How to Run Discovery For Content Strategy

This is part of a series of articles entitled “A Definitive Guide to Content Marketing”. Read the whole series here.

What is discovery? If you’ve ever watched a legal thriller, you have heard the term discovery, which means:

Discovery enables the parties to know before the trial begins what evidence may be presented. It’s designed to prevent “trial by ambush,” where one side doesn’t learn of the other side’s evidence or witnesses until the trial, when there’s no time to obtain answering evidence.

Discovery, in marketing terms, is to identify all of the aspects that will influence your content marketing strategy. Ideally, you hold discovery as an in-person meeting, but it can be done online through a shared document. In the case of the latter, you’ll still want to block off time and have a conference call while updating the document. Use a digital app like Trello, or stick things up on the wall in a conference room.

The person who is ultimately responsible for the final product should lead the discussion. At first, encourage people to start dumping ideas out of their skulls.

Start with building blocks. Things you want to cover, sketch a logo, what would your Facebook page look like, how would you handle Q&As, who would be your biggest get for a live event. What would a theme week look like? The adage “there are no bad ideas” is especially apt here.

Discovery works better with a couple of people (but not too many, as it will get noisy and off-track very quickly). Encourage everyone to do their own discovery in advance of the meeting. Tell them to come equipped with story ideas and thoughts of what the brand means/should mean.

Now try to hone into recurring themes and ideas that resonated with most people. Flesh them out and give them greater context.

Keep detailed notes from this session, but don’t expect to figure it all out. Make a goal of having at least three universal themes answered. Sample themes: what is our major area(s) of focus?

Select one person to take copious notes. You should make both the raw version (literally verbatim) and the cleaned up copy available for all participants.

This is part of a series of articles entitled “A Definitive Guide to Content Marketing”. Read the whole series here.

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