In the dynamic realm of content marketing, strategic thinking is not just beneficial; it's essential.

That was the core theme of thought-provoking episode 33 of the Marketing Smarts Live Show, titled "How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money!"

The show featured content expert Ahava Leibtag, president and owner of Aha Media Group, a copywriting, content strategy, and content marketing consultancy.

The conversation constituted a masterclass in content strategy, exploring various aspects of content development and emphasizing the importance of a strategic approach.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understanding your audience. The first step in a strategic content approach is understanding your audience: What are their needs, challenges, and pain points? That understanding forms the foundation of any effective content strategy.

  2. Content alignment with business goals. Every piece of content should align with your broader business goals, whether brand awareness, lead generation, or customer retention. Your content should be a steppingstone for achieving the objectives that lead to your goal.

  3. Efficiency in content creation. One of the highlights of the show was the discussion on efficiency. By being strategic, you can create more impactful content in less time, optimizing resources and maximizing ROI.

By focusing on audience understanding, aligning content with business goals, and striving for efficiency, businesses not only save time and money but also boost their content marketing results significantly.

The path to strategic content development is not just about creating content; it's about creating a legacy of value-driven, impactful communication and messaging.

Watch the video for more:

Make sure you don't miss any future episodes: Subscribe to the Marketing Smarts Live Show on YouTube. And to catch up on all previous episodes, check out the full playlist on YouTube.

Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 33

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:

Transcript: How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money, With Ahava Leibtag

Welcome to the "Marketing Smarts Live" show by MarketingProfs and the Marketing Smarts Podcast. Where we dive into B2B news, resources, valuable guest content, and much more each week.

If you're a B2B marketer looking for a place to learn, keep up to date, and have some fun along the way, grab a beverage, a notepad, or at least some style of writing utensil, and welcome to the show!

The basic premise is that any B2B buyer is going to want to touch your website, look at your social media channels, encounter you in multiple ways before they actually do the old-fashioned pick-up-the-phone experience.

This week, we talk about things like:

Why marketers need to be strategic with their content in 2023

What content strategy really is

The negative hype surrounding AI-generated content

A good starting point for strategic content

And so much more!

Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I'm super excited to bring you EPISODE 33 of the Marketing Smarts Live show.

This week's topic is all about How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money and our guest is.

So, if you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up and let's get ready to rock and roll.

Hey, I'm your boy George B. Thomas speaker, trainer, catalyst, and host of this hear show, the Marketing Smarts Live show as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app.

Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Ahava Leibtag .

Ahava, a 2020 inductee into the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame as an Innovative Individual, has 20+ years of experience in content.

She has consulted with some of the world's largest firms to attract and grow their audiences. Ahava is the president and owner of Aha Media Group, LLC, a copywriting, content strategy, and content marketing consultancy.

She is also the author of The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web and loves a great logic puzzle, a long game of Apples to Apples, and anything that has chocolate.

Now, remember, the clips of Ahava Leibtag today are pulled from the full marketing smarts podcast episode and, if you want to listen to the full interview with Ahava Leibtag and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast, link to the full show will be in the description below after the live show ends.

Now, in this episode, again, I'm talking with Ahava Leibtag about How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money.

Why is your potential customer experience important and how does content play into the experience? Also, how does content play into the cash that shows up at the bottom line.

So many questions and so little time. I wanted to start getting down to why being strategic right now with B2B content efforts was so stinking important. So, I asked Ahava the questions, Why, now more than ever, do marketers need to be strategic with their content development?

Here's what she had to say!

Ahava: I love the people on LinkedIn that talk about what they predicted for 2022 and what really happened. I appreciate that intellectual honesty. Nobody has a crystal ball. I forget who did the research, but I think there are 14 touchpoints of content before a B2B buyer actually contacts an organization in order to have a conversation about buying the service or product that's offered.

I think particularly a lot of us work in competitive marketplaces where there's an array of choices and levels that people can choose. You can buy HubSpot, or you can buy Salesforce, or you can buy a customized version of Salesforce. Somebody looking at CRMs and project management systems and digital marketing tools, sometimes it can just be overwhelming the amount of possibilities that are out there. I think the basic premise is that any B2B buyer is going to want to touch your website, look at your social media channels, encounter you in multiple ways before they actually do the old-fashioned pick up the phone experience.

When I say pick up the phone, I'm talking about a clear Sales-qualified lead where they have given you enough signals that they are ready to have a substantial conversation. I'm not talking about signing up for a newsletter, because they might be using you for educational purposes. That's great and that's a metric you should track and it's a marketing channel that you should use when appropriate.

What I mean is that if you're a B2B marketer, at the end of the day, your job is going to be secured by what the numbers look like at the end of the Excel spreadsheet or the P&L. If they ain't round and green, nobody cares how many pieces of content you created. They care if you pushed people into a funnel and made them come out the other side a customer. That's why I think it was incredibly important, it continues to be incredibly important.

The other thing is for the last month or so everyone is freaking out about AI like we're not going to have any jobs anymore. I'm like don't worry, there's more jobs than we know what to do with. It reminds me of, I always show this picture of Buckingham Palace when they used to route the phone lines before they got automatic routers for the telephones, and I don't think you see a dearth of telephone repair people out there, because there are still cell towers and technology keeps moving along. Back to my original premise of AI writing, that just is so clear that it's not high quality, that it's not for your customers. I think that's even another reason why it's really important for B2B marketers to be as strategic as possible.

Did you hear that?

So much goodness in that clip!

I love that Ahava touched based on AI in the content creation process pertaining to the mindset that content marketers might be battling with.

But, I also like how she talked about overwhelm and experience and the amount of touches that your potential customer needs before they think about starting a conversation!

Bonus tips: Content that drive revenue puts you in a different league and sparks some interesting internal conversations as well.

So being strategic is important! Are you being strategic in your content creation efforts?

Put the answer to that in the chat pane or, let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b and of course, tag me using@georgebthomas.

We'll get back to Ahava Leibtag and his thoughts on How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money But first, I have to ask...

Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to - That's

Now, it's time for one of my favorite sections...

In The B2B News - Where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the google news tab related to you and your B2B business. Because Ahava brought up the AI conversation...

This week, the title is: Generative AI for B2B Marketing: Use Cases and Challenges by Anna Anisin

A little tease of the content...

Marketing is one of the fields that I believe can significantly benefit from the power of AI tools like ChatGPT.

AI has already provided many marketers with great results through solutions such as recommender systems or customer service chatbots, and tools like ChatGPT could provide even bigger opportunities for the field.

This article will discuss how companies can leverage large language models and generative AI for marketing and what they should keep in mind when doing so.

So to check out the use cases and concerns, and to read this article, check out the link below when the live show is over.

So let's get back to Ahava Leibtag and his Marketing Smarts podcast episode.

I wanted to get down to what could be called the brass tax of this conversation so, I asked Ahava the questions that I thought would help a ton of B2B marketers just like you!

The questions was: How does being strategic with your content development boost results for B2B marketers?

Lets see what her answer was.

Ahava: First of all, thank you for asking the question again. I think you asked it two questions ago and I didn't really answer it.

The first thing I'll tell you is that I'm married to an economist. An economist talks about resources. Time and money are resources, but so is energy. Emotional energy can also be saved through being strategic.

I'll give you some tactical examples from our side of the house. We work with a lot of B2B healthcare companies who are involved in digital health, med tech, pharma, and they're very often told by their stakeholders or executive sponsors, "We need to write content about X, we need to get this message out there. Go do it." They'll sit down and they'll try to accomplish that, and their audience could care less. That's nice that executives want to talk about something, but if there's no marketplace or no listeners about that particular topic, then why are we bothering?

One of the things we're always telling our customers and clients is, "Do you really know who you're talking to, and do you know if that's the right audience," that's actually either in a B2B world, because you have two personas always, the buyer and the signer of the contract. Meaning, the decision-maker always has to be the person you're thinking about as well, arming the buyer to address the decision-maker.

CFOs exist to crush dreams. I mean, they're great at what they do, and I love my CFO, she's fantastic, but very often she'll say to me, "Give me proof that you really need that." That's where if I've had a good salesperson on the other side, I can make a compelling case. If I haven't, then I have no proof points.

When you're strategic with your content and you document it, it saves you a lot of time and money because you're targeting the right audience. It's like spending ads into a space where nobody is buying. It would be like choosing the 14-year-old demographic to sell baby diapers to, it doesn't make any sense.

From my perspective, when you think about another strategic element that can save you emotional energy, which is a resource, is if you have documented content strategy, then if a stakeholder comes stomping at you, "I want to do this," you can pull out your beautiful slide deck or whatever it is and say, "I'm happy to do that. Show me how that fits into what we're trying to accomplish, and I'll be more than happy." That can be a really great starting point for a great conversation. You want to talk about X, let's frame that conversation around what the business priorities and goals are, and then a beautiful piece of content might come out of that. That's where I think saving time and money is really important.

The other thing is when you don't have strategy, you end up purchasing really expensive technology because you think tools are going to solve your problem. They never do. What tools do is facilitate more efficiencies within a business. People solve problems. What I find very often is they're like, "We need a bigger CRM because we have a larger audience." Then you ask them, "When is the last time you really looked through that data and figured out how clean it was?"

Those are the kinds of things where I think strategy is incredibly important. I'll tell you from my own company. We're a healthcare company. When COVID hit, it was like what are going to do, and we completely changed our strategy. We were like we're going to be of service to our audience, we ungated all of our content, healthcare communicators need what we do, we produced plan language cheat sheets, and our business grew tremendously. Then in 2021, it was like what are we doing now? I worked on several projects myself because I felt out of touch with the marketplace, and I realized what we had to do. So, 2022 was the first year of a two-year strategy, and we grew tremendously and got everything done that we needed to get done.

My daughter plays high school basketball, she's on the varsity. Her coach will often scream at them from the sidelines, "Move. We know what we're doing." That's what strategy is. It gives you the freedom to say, "Do what you need to do, run the plays on the court," because you know what you're doing. If you know what you're doing, you're saving effort and energy, not wondering what's happening and constantly feeling like you're in a swirl of chaos.

Do you think about time and money as resources you have a limited supply of?

What about energy or emotional energy? Is that at the top of your mind pertaining to your content creation process?

Are you talking about things that nobody cares about? Are you also paying attention to both of your potential B2B buyer personas?

I really love this topic that Ahava passed by pretty quickly that was proof points! Do you have proof points in your marketing content? To dig deeper into that conversation, you need to check out the episode we did with Melanie Diezel on the Marketing Smarts podcast!

And one last thing. Do you think your tools solve problems or the humans in your organization? Maybe rewind that part and listen in again to what Ahava shared!

We'll get back to Ahava Leibtag in a few minutes but first it's time for some...

Dope B2B Learnings From The Vault of MarketingProfs Articles

That's right, It's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.

Article one this week is: This Simple Process Can Eliminate Four of Your Biggest Content Creation Nightmares by Kelsey Raymond

Remember how, back in the day, after every birthday or holiday, your mom insisted that you hand-write personal, thoughtful thank-you notes to everyone who had given you something? And how you probably waited until the last acceptable minute to get started and mail them off?

Well, successfully executing your company's content marketing strategy can instill that same nightmarish sense of procrastination and panic—especially when you're trying to strike a balance between creating engaging, high-quality content and producing it at scale.

Much as you may have felt it was nearly impossible to write an elegant and sincere thank-you note to every relative or family friend who gave you a sweater or a book for your 12th birthday, crafting consistent, thoughtful content at scale is a tough mission to undertake.

Article two this week is: How to Tackle the 4Ws of Marketing Content Creation With Data by Lux Narayan

As with most undertakings, before you begin writing or otherwise creating content, you should ask yourself some stock questions: why, what, when, and where—the 4Ws of content creation.

And because creating marketing content is as much science as it is art, the most powerful weapon you have at your disposal is data.

So, before you start working on your next piece of content, consider the 4Ws. Also keep in mind how you can use data to resolve the concerns you should be addressing with each question.

Want to keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing MarketingProfs articles.

OK, back to Ahava Leibtag... Let's dive back into this conversation of How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money

So, are you paying attention to the hurdles that might get into the way of your strategic content? Are you paying attention to humans that might be the hurdles? Now, at this point, you might be like WHAT!!!

Let's see what Ahava had to say when I asked her - What hurdles have you seen get in the way of B2B marketers about content, strategy, or creating strategic content?

Ahava: There's only two, really. I think everything can ladder up to two. The first one is that people paying the salaries of the people doing the marketing work don't value marketing or communications. The second thing is that executives and stakeholders do not fully understand who their true audience is and what they want to consume, how fast they need to consume it, and what really moves the needle for the organization in terms of audiences listening to them. There might be a third one, which is that digital marketing moves so quickly that it's hard to stay on top of trends. That might be the third one.

Those are the hurdles, and I don't think that those are internal hurdles, I just think that those exist. Medicine also moves at the speed of light and doctors have to keep on top of research. Technologists and software programmers need to keep on top of it. Oil rigs are constantly being refined. So, I think everybody in their field has to do that. In content marketing and in content, it's that they're not valued and the stakeholders aren't close enough to the true audience.

Two major hurdles!

Lack of marketing communication value and not knowing your audience!

I'm just going to drop the mic right there on that question.

But, for you, it's how do we put people, and systems in place to fix those hurdles!

We're going to get some words of wisdom from Ahava Leibtag here in a few minutes but right now it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep, time for...

From The #MPB2B Community

We searched far and wide in the #MPB2B universe to find amazing information and conversation to bring to the masses.

So, first, make sure you are using the hashtag, and second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community.

Then, we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show. This week, it's...

René Siegel

Connecting colleagues, clients, and communities.

Rene is Passionate about empowering your entrepreneurial spirit, amplifying authentic stories, lifting the next generation.

Her post goes a little something like this...

Shouldn't EVERY webinar session include a wardrobe change?

I was honored to share my thoughts about "Personal Branding for Introverts" at the MarketingProfs Shakeup B2B conference yesterday!

And Lady Gaga is a terrific example of an introvert who's used creative ways to build her brand and stand out. So, to shake things up in our session, Best-selling Author Ann Handley helped me rock the Q&A with some Gaga garb!

There is more to the post but, you need to check out the description and click that link to check it out!

Marketing Smarts viewer, I have to ask... are you going to be next to get the spotlight?

Remember community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show!

Pro tip, it won't hurt if you tag me into your post as well I'm @georgebthomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.

OK, let's kick it back to Ahava Leibtag and some words of wisdom around this topic of How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money.

Here is what Ahava Leibtag wanted to leave us with...

Ahava: Always be reading. Just always be reading. Always be reading new things, novels, nonfiction, magazines, blog posts. Always be reading. Language is a technology, it's a tool that we use to communicate with each other. It's constantly changing, it's constantly evolving. If you continue to read, I think you will always have a handle on those new adaptive ways to communicate. That's my best words of advice. Or listen to books on tape, I don't care how you do it.

I think always be learning is really what I'm talking about. I really genuinely believe that true marketers and communicators should be reading. I think there's just something neurologically that happens when we do that that really keeps our brains spry, it's like a form of exercise for your brain.

Always be reading! Always be listening!

Language is a technology!

Language is a tool!

Language is always changing!

Always be learning! Keep exercising your brain!

Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know, use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.

Enter your email address to continue reading

How Being Strategic About Content Development Can Boost Results and Save Time and Money | Marketing Smarts Live Show

Don't's free!

Already a member? Sign in now.

Sign in with your preferred account, below.

Did you like this article?
Know someone who would enjoy it too? Share with your friends, free of charge, no sign up required! Simply share this link, and they will get instant access…
  • Copy Link

  • Email

  • Twitter

  • Facebook

  • Pinterest

  • Linkedin


image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas