This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3. With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.
This is the fifth and final post in the series based on the transcript from the video – How to overcome the challenges of content marketing – from the May 2014 seminar, How to be an Effective Content Marketer.
Featuring a number of brand marketers who have established successful content marketing processes, this panel will discuss the challenges associated with content marketing and share strategies to overcome them.
- Todd Wheatland, Head of Strategy, King Content
- Anton Buchner, Senior Consultant, TrinityP3
- Luana Zugman, Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing — Legal, Tax & Accounting, Thomson Reuters
- Skye Murray, Marketing Manager, Robert Half Recruitment
In the previous post the panel discussed whether to outsource their content marketing or do it in-house. They also shared their experiences on the best ways they have found to carry out their content marketing strategies.
Today, the panel wraps up the presentation by sharing insights with the audience into what they can do today to make their content marketing efforts more effective.
What’s the one thing marketers can do to make their content marketing more effective?
Ed: Okay so before we open this up to the audience for questions, and if you have any questions, do think of them in advance. What’s the one thing that marketers here can do tomorrow to make their content marketing more effective?
If you could choose one thing, what would be the advice that you would want this audience to take away from your learned wisdom and experience in this field? Skye?
Skye: I’d say if it’s possible and one thing that has helped our content marketing become more successful, is if you can put it in the hands of your employees, do it.
Whether it be contributing to your social media program or writing blog posts for you or even from our perspective we have a content distribution tool that allows our employees to post our content to LinkedIn and Twitter and it just amplifies the message and really gets the content out there so I’d say if you can get it just out of the marketing and PR department and get everyone in the organisation on board, that’s a great start.
Ed: Recruit brand champions internally.
Ed: Yep, okay. Anton?
Anton: I would challenge you all to go back to the CEO or Chairman or MD or owner of your business, ask for the business plan, we have to dust this thing off out of a cupboard somewhere and go and find out what your mission, vision and values are for your business.
So what is the direction that your business is moving in, and then start to develop a content marketing strategy or framework or an approach that maps to that business vision and plan because otherwise it’s just short-term tactical stuff and we’ve all seen stuff.
Work out a strategy for your brand first
Ed: So work out a strategy for your brand first of all.
Anton: Yeah, work out the business or brand strategy and then actually have a business rounding that you can start to develop a content marketing strategy around, or a story around.
Do you really know your customer?
Todd: I think one easy place to start is having conversations internally and identifying who else can fire their synapses around this sort of stuff by really focusing around the customer.
So thinking about who has already talked to the customer. You know, you’ve got sales people in the organisation, you might even have social media teams who are listening to conversations, customer service people and anyone who has touched, engages and connects, no matter how senior or junior they may be. These people can all really provide some incredible insights into forming that, we’ll call it persona, but what the viewpoint of what that audience and their problems and challenges are. That’s where I’d say is the start.
Luana: That’s exactly what I was going to say. But yes, I couldn’t stress that enough. I think it’s about if you can go out tomorrow and understand your customer. That’s the first thing that you need to do, and your audience and then really start building your strategy from that and really mapping the life cycle and really understanding what’s the journey you want to take that audience or customer. Then again, matching that audience to desires and needs and what they want to do and then to come up with a strategy.
I think that’s the number one thing. Without that, you’re going to be experimenting, you might have tactical things that might work for you, but probably not as an approach.
Ed: Okay so customer life cycle, brand business strategy and brand champions. Three things for you guys to take away with in terms of effective content marketing.
Any questions from the floor?
Find your brand champions
Audience member: I’m Jordan Kerr from Virgin Mobile. My question is, we live in what blogger Seth Godin refers to as an age of invisibility where essentially every person with a web cam is a content creator and we’re in competition with all these people.
So my question is around dissemination of content and whether you guys have tips on how to get noticed, you know get some thinking along the lines of seeding and sleeping with journalists, that kind of thing.
Anton: Does that happen? Did you say sleeping? Look I’ll jump in, I don’t sleep with journalists. My wife would kill me.
The answer is I’d probably find out what’s worked, and what I’ve seen work for clients is linked to brand champions. So find your advocates, if you have a database and you asked net promoter score, the NPS question, they can very quickly identify net promoters of a business.
If you can’t ask that, you can look at your interaction metrics so email metrics, whose been opening, whose been clicking, whose been engaging with your content. You can find the top 2%, 3%, 5% of your database that absolutely loves you.
If you don’t, survey monkey tomorrow, ask net promoter score, it’s really simple. Find those people, they’ll be on your database somewhere and they’re your brand champions.
So you don’t have to seed, you don’t have to pay, they like your business, they like your product, they comment on your product. If you look at your email metrics, they’re regularly opening and clicking. Good. They’re leaning forward.
Hopefully you can track the commentary so actively commenting and if you can get share metrics, they’re actively sharing your content, they’re the ones you want who can share the content out.
Otherwise you’re in a paid model and you go and pay ten people, ten journalists, ten people to hopefully spruik it, get onto Mamamia and hopefully she will talk about it. It’s sort of a hope strategy.
Ed: So seeding with influencers. Any other questions from the floor?
There’s a balance between knowing your audience and knowing yourself
Audience member: It is really important to listen to your audience but if all you do is listen, you’ll only ever follow them. Isn’t there a role for leading your audience and actually innovating itself. If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would’ve said a faster horse. So should we lead?
Todd: I think there’s a balance between knowing your audience and knowing yourself. We talked a lot about transparency and all those human values and it’s very hard for a company to get out of its own way sometimes and even give its employees permission to be human because we’ve spent so many years trying to make sure that never happens.
But for this to really succeed, it’s that balance of understanding the audience and then also knowing who you are and what that tone is and how you can actually go in and add value to what they’re trying to represent because going to them and speaking to the company in formal language isn’t going to cut it.
Anton: I think that’s the point. Yes we should lead, absolutely we should lead. All those examples they’re put up and led. You know, GE led insights into that conversation. Oreo had some ideas and led the conversation, sparked the conversation.
So you’ve got to lead, but you’ve got to lead the conversation in the right directions based on consumer insight, based on consumer understanding and I think that’s the beauty.
You know content marketing today, you can ask in Facebook today a question and get some very quick answers, or LinkedIn or wherever, as to whether it’s the right direction.
Look what Jamie Oliver does. If you’ve seen Jamie Oliver, he does the covers of his magazine, he puts two covers of his magazines into Facebook and asks which one
the consumers like. He goes with the one that’s most liked and publishes that for his magazine front cover, as an example.
Ed: Guys, we’ve run out of time. Only time for a couple of questions but there will be an opportunity to ask more questions later on so I’d like to thank our esteemed panel for their contributions. Thank you very much.