MozCon 2011: Content Strategy: What Works (and What Doesn’t)

MozCon 2011: Content Strategy: What Works (and What Doesn’t)

Content Strategy: What Works (and What Doesn’t)

Session description: Get an inside look at the content creation strategy used by Portent to make their clients mores successful on the web. Ian will share how his agency has produced works that have earned links, rankings, social sharing and conversions and how you can repeat this process yourself.
Speaker: Ian Lurie, Portent Interactive

(Be sure and check out our interview with Ian.)

The skinny

Good enough isn’t. Marketers need to work really, really hard to curate and source their content.

What he said

  • Why is content the dried turd of the internet? No one notices until they step on it.
  • Who’s doing the content? The marketing guy? An e-lancer?
  • The content budget is so small, but why has this happened? Decision makers are incredibly far away from those charged with creating content.
  • Good enough isn’t good enough anymore. You can’t throw something up against the wall until it sticks. Everything affects your ranking and traffic.
  • Opportunity gap: Find the easy wins, find the places you can easily find rankings and traffic. (Raven’s Keyword and Content Opportunity tools are a perfect fit for this)
  • Subject matter: What is everyone saying? Conversation is *everywhere*. Collect it in one place and build your own search engine. Record Google Alerts, put it together in a Google Reader folder, manage your subscriptions and make it a public page, essentially generating a RSS feed of a lot of different RSS feeds.
  • Sourcing: You will have to hire talent. A few copywriters cannot cover everything you need. If you pay crap, you get crap. Recruit constantly.
  • Stacking the deck: Use social media to curate. Find 5-10 interesting things to share with your followers to build authority. Scheduling tweets works best for this. It’s all about audience building. Take 3rd party content to curate that audience so that when you’re ready to share your own content, you have that authority.
  • Document everything. Document the process you went through to get to the end game, or end content. There has to be enough documentation for someone else to pick up one of your projects.


  1. Brain required – you are not building a printing press.
  2. Marketing is hard work – you have to do work.
  3. Don’t be a jackass.
  4. Measure everything.

Audience participation

  • How do you determine how much to spend for content? Ian says to go with your instincts. Go to e-lance, and double or triple that amount.
  • How do you go out and find an expert? Start with personal connections, and then move on to the web.
  • Create content on client’s site, third party site, or new site? Split between client site and third party site.

Update: Ian has a great blog post on his own presentation over at