About Joe Lapin
Joe Lapin is currently the Vice President of Marketing at Bisk, online learning service provider. Prior to this role, he founded Campbell Learn, a consulting firm that specialized in enrollment marketing in higher education. They leveraged the power of storytelling and design thinking to help higher-ed institutions recruit, enroll, and retain students.
Joe has over ten years of experience in integrated marketing and brand strategy and has built brand campaigns and GTM strategies for over 80 higher-ed institutions and ed-tech companies, including Harvard Kennedy School, American University’s School of Education, Northwestern University, and more. An experienced writer himself, he’s also written for top-tier publications like Fast Company, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Slate, Salon, The Independent, and more.
Case Study Highlights
- Outline a large quantity of strategic content for various campuses across the United States.
- Scale content across different audiences, channels, and geographies while using a cohesive Brand Voice.
- Increase conversions and improve upon user experience by leveraging existing media and adhering to specific formatting and SEO guidelines.
- Develop a customized strategy that could produce high-quality content at scale by:
- Familiarizing team members with the client’s preferred style guide, target audiences, and academic programs.
- Creating standardized templates geared towards the clients’ specific strategic goals.
- Tracking already-used media, headings, and phrasing to avoid duplicate content.
- Ensuring each piece of content passed through two rounds of revisions and quality assurance before submission to the client.
- Designed a content plan aligned with the client’s enrollment goals.
- Delivered all pieces of content at a level that exceeded the client’s expectations.
- Improved user experience and increased revenue for the institution.
- Reduced the client’s stress levels and overall workload.
Background: A High-Volume Content Project Requiring All Hands On Deck
In early 2022, Joe began providing enrollment marketing consulting services for higher-ed institutions across the country through his consultancy. A strategic and creative leader with a background in professional writing, integrating marketing, and brand strategy, he had already built successful brand campaigns and GTM strategies for a variety of higher-ed institutions and tech-ed companies.
But when an opportunity arose to manage a high-volume project producing content for a college and career-training institution with multiple campuses throughout the US, he knew he was going to need support to maintain the level of quality he was used to providing his clients, especially with regards to project management.
In Joe’s words:
As someone who isn’t an operationally-minded person, someone who’s more creative and entrepreneurial and strategic, I do find the weight of project management and operations to pull me out of the focus that I need.
It’s one thing to create content, but it was another task entirely to develop top-tier content rooted in a cohesive strategy at scale. Joe knew he needed support from a team of focused content strategists who could engineer an effective high-level plan, produce exceptional content, and help him manage the project in an efficient but enjoyable way.
Joe had already worked extensively with North Star Messaging + Strategy while in previous roles, so when faced with the need for strategic content plans and personality-driven content, he reached out immediately.
Speaking to why he chose North Star, Joe remarks:
The process of working with North Star as people is fantastic. Described in a UX way, my user experience is enjoyable, easy, and partnership focused. And those are the things that I need when I’m trying to drive big ideas and big decisions.
Challenge: Scale Content Across Different Audiences Under a Single Brand Voice
The greatest challenge facing the North Star team as they dove into project management and content creation was the sheer scale of the project. In total, they needed to produce hundreds of pieces of content across dozens of campuses targeted toward two separate audiences with their own sets of specialized knowledge. In short, North Star had to find a way to scale content across different audiences, channels, and geographies while speaking with the same unique and recognizable Brand Voice.
As Joe explains it:
In my work, I need expertise in many different content styles and in many different voices. With this project, there were two distinct audiences with separate voices, yet only one brand and technical expertise needed.
In addition to the project’s wide scope, the content had to be conversion and UX focused, leveraging existing media to create a fresh look that could drive more traffic to the client’s webpages.
Summing up what North Star needed to accomplish, Joe says:
So, the content not only had to be quality and audience specific, but conversion focused and UX focused, especially within a UX environment. That was—I would say—needing improvement.
Solution: Develop a Strategy That Could Function At Scale
To produce the high-quality and highly-specialized content Joe needed on such a large scale, North Star set to work developing a customized strategy and integrated workflow—skills that were key to why Joe chose North Star for the project.
In his words:
I knew that y’all could scale without me having to manage individual situations. You think about templates, scalability, and workflows, which allows huge amounts of content to be executed at that level of quality. So, those are the reasons that I called you and continue to trust you.
The first step in the process was familiarizing our team with the details of the project brief, including the client’s preferred style guide, as well as background on the target audience and academic programs. This ensured each team member involved in the project was on the same page before creating any content.
Next, we developed an overarching strategy for the content. This included revamping the structure of key website pages from a content perspective, then creating templates that would allow multiple writers to create content while meeting the same standards and specifications set by Joe and his client. In particular, the templates accounted for not only formatting, style, and content, but also SEO best practices, given that increased web traffic was a major goal.
Once the templates were approved, we moved into execution. We created a shared document where we could track the specific media, headings, and phrasing used by each writer for each webpage. The purpose of the document was to avoid creating duplicate content, which was a likely possibility given the large number of webpages we needed to create targeting highly similar information.
Finally, we developed a process to ensure each piece of content passed through two rounds of internal revisions and quality assurance before being sent out for Joe and his clients’ review.
Results: A Flawless, Stress-Free Execution From Start To Finish
Thanks to North Star’s strategic thinking and follow-through, Joe succeeded in delivering hundreds of pieces of content beyond the standard his client expected. The content we produced not only succeeded in connecting with the client’s specialized audiences, but also improved upon the user experience, helping to drive revenue for the institution.
More than that, our professional and collaborative partnership gave Joe the peace of mind he needed to focus on other projects while trusting that our team could deliver exactly what he needed.
As Joe puts it:
What working with North Star did for me in terms of my stress and ability to focus on other things… I mean, that’s well worth the price of admission.
In a world where content creators and business owners are reaching the point of burnout faster than ever, solutions that offer reduced stress and a smaller workload while still guaranteeing results are invaluable—and that’s exactly what Joe experienced in his partnership with North Star.
Get Strategic Support On Your Next Project
Whatever the scale of your upcoming project, North Star can help you make the strategic planning simple. Our expert team of writers and strategists are ready to support you with personalized feedback and customized plans so you can hit your goals with confidence.
Content agencies that deliver the way North Star delivers are rare. Trust, quality, operational efficiency, a strategic partner, good people—you’re not going to find all of that in too many other places.