Flagship Content Marketing Strategy

Credit: HubSpot

Raise your hand if you think you have too much content.

Looking around the imaginary room right now, I’d say most hands are in the air.

As much as content is the fuel to your content marketing strategy, sometimes less is more—especially when it comes to flagship content.

Flagship content is content you should spend a lot of time and resources developing because it’s crucial for your marketing funnel and buyer journey.

Here’s a great example of flagship content: Engagio’s Clear & Complete Guide to Account-Based Marketing. It’s helpful, well-researched, and entertaining. By far one of the best pieces from a content marketing strategy I’ve seen.

I happen to know Engagio paid an agency $45k for this one piece alone.

One. Piece.

But according to the agency that developed it, the impact of the guide was significant. After three months from going live, the paper had:

  • 251 demos requests (by far their biggest source of leads)
  • 31 new opportunities for $569K of pipeline.
  • 15 existing opportunities accelerated and won for $246K

Incredible the amount of value one piece of content delivered, right?

Even if you don’t have $45k kicking around to hire an agency to do this for you, you can still map out your important pieces and prioritize the production yourself.

Step 1: Map out your current content

Download this content mapping template from HubSpot to get started.

Fill out the persona part on the left-hand side and then write down the flagship content you already have for every phase of your customer journey. Here’s what mine looked like when I did this with Vendasta:

IMPORTANT: Only include your most-impactful content in this exercise.

You might have hundreds of blog posts and videos and podcast episodes, but the idea is pair everything down to your key pieces. Be extremely picky.

Step 2: Brainstorm new flagship content

After mapping out your content, you’ll probably realize that a lot of it isn’t good enough to make the cut or that you’re short in some areas.

For example, when we did this exercise at Vendasta, we realized we were really heavy on top- and bottom-of-funnel content and really low on middle-funnel content.

The next step is to sit down and brainstorm new flagship pieces for every stage.

Add them in red to your content map so you know which ones don’t exist yet.

After brainstorming, you should be able to sit back, look at the map, and feel really good about the journey you’ve outlined.

Is it the ideal funnel you want your persona to go through?

Is it the strongest content you want to put in front of them?

If you’re not sure, review the map with other marketers and your leadership team.

Step 3: Get cracking

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and start creating content.

There’s no right or wrong place to start, but I’d go with whichever stage is lowest on flagship material. That means the column with the most red.

Again, if you don’t have a large content marketing team or a big budget to farm this out to an agency, you’ll have to pick away at it yourself. The good news is, flagship content helps immensely across all of your lead generation programs, from email marketing to social nurturing to ABM and beyond. It’s worth the time investment.

Step 4: Iterate

Once you have at least one flagship piece at every stage of your funnel, you can start testing the effectiveness of your map.

I prefer to start with email since it’s free and I’ve got a decent-sized list. Put together test campaigns featuring your flagship content and figure out which ones convert the highest. If your email list isn’t big enough to segment into test groups of at least 400 contacts each, consider promoting the content on social to spark a fire.

You’ll find some pieces don’t perform as well as you thought they would, while some perform better. That’s ok. Keep swapping out the duds for new ideas.