Content Marketing Show 2014
Our full round up of all the speakers at Content Marketing Show 2014. With everything from analytics, to video, to recruitment!
Amy-Kate and I recently visited the Content Marketing Show at Institute of Education in London. We had a fantastic day with some sunny sun sunshine and a plethora of brilliant speakers and presentations. Here’s our round up from each speaker:
Jump to speaker:
|Steve Waddington||Johery Rafidison|
|Fergus Parker||Jasper Martens|
|Emma Dunn||Andrew Tipp|
|Stephen Masters||Raph Goldberg|
|Andrew Davies||Wes West|
|Nichola Stott||Marcin Chirowski|
|Chelsea Blacker||Charlie Williams|
“Can a brand ever be truly social?” – Steve Waddington
Steve, or more affectionately ‘Wadds’, started off by talking about how the industry has changed over the past 10 years, with a key shift from B2C mass communication to something more personal. Because of this, brands are now ‘joining the party’.
Wadds notes that brands are often undertaking lazy marketing that lacks complete thought. And in trying to be cool, they just look silly and daft.
He showed us the tongue-in-cheek Condescending Corporate Brand Page (Facebook Page), which hilariously aggregates examples of corporate social media use in all it’s awkward and misused glory.
Ultimately he divvied these brands up into two unique ‘brand types’.
Nice but dim – these sort of brands ask you on Mother’s Day to like a photo if you love your mother, or tell them all about your football predictions during the world cup, despite these topics having absolutely nothing to do with their brand or products. There’s nothing offensive about these brands, but they are entirely off the mark when engaging with their consumers effectively.
Nutters – these are the hashtag and current trend hijackers, Wadds describes them as almost psychopathic in their behaviour. These brand insert themselves into a conversation which is entirely irrelevant which not only causes offence but can run a huge risk of completely killing their brand. A la Kenneth Cole who caused a twitter storm when a tweet was sent in 2011 combining protests in Egypt with an attempt to sell shoes.
The key thing to learn from these brand types is that it is critical to be empathetic and intrinsically human.
He moved on then to talk about automation which “has a place for listening and from a data point of view”. But we as an industry need to recognise that you simply cannot automate a conversation. By relying too heavily on automation you leave your brand open to screw up and really it lacks thought.
Wadds showcased some brands that use social media well such as O2, who are well known for their sense of humour and quick wit. Alongside that O2 use social media effectively to keep their consumers informed when there is a problem. O2 create a conversation with their consumers, social media after all is supposed to be social!
A personal story
Wadds then shared with us a very personal story regarding his wife’s battle with breast cancer. He spoke about how they very carefully managed communication due to the sensitive nature of the journey.
They shared important experiences and milestones on social media and this highlighted how social networks work at a very human level. We can take this forward as a lesson for how we manage our corporate social media and challenge our businesses to use social media at a more human level.
Steve showed us and spoke about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the importance of aligning your content strategy to these basic needs:
- Be human, Be empathetic.
- Don’t just jump into conversations for the sake of it.
- Don’t be condescending.
- Stop posting sh*t on the internet!
- Your brand shouldn’t be a robot.
- When we are brave, amazing things happen.
And an extra personal message: Please visit Coppafeel.org.
“How to use data for your content strategy” – Johery Rafidison (Jojo)
Jojo started off declaring “I love data!”. He then gave us an insight in to his background which started in Market Research. He then moved into the PR industry and his latest position for Grayling is focused around their need to become more data-focused in their PR and Marketing.
He then went on to explain how data research can help you hone your marketing efforts. He enthused that most data is already available to be used, with Google and Facebook being examples of this.
Jojo commented that one of the main things he noted during his work in Market Research is that you should trust what people do and not what they say. It is often the case that what someone may state to be fact on a survey is not actually what they do or how they truly behave.
He went on to note that we should be using more data to write our stories and that the tools available to do this are either cheap or free.
An example of data being used to tell a story is the latest offering from Google Trends. Google real time tracked how matches during the World Cup affected search queries, with some really interesting facts and figures to demonstrate this: www.google.com/trends/worldcup. The aim of this exercise was to look at how people reacted or behaved with data being able to provide some really insightful stories.
Jojo touch on the much recently talked about Facebook experiment, focusing on how well they used this data and how much it truly shows about peoples behaviour.
He shows us an interesting graph which explores the correlation between relationship status and post volumes; single people post more on social media than people in a relationship.
You can find this kind of data in tools such as Keyword Planner, Facebook Insights, Google Trends, Google Analytics, IconSquare and more.
Jojo encourages you to use and work with the data you can mine to build a story. Anyone can include pie charts and graphs instead you can use tools like Gephi and CartoDB, which are both network mapping tools, to visualise and present this data in an interesting and cool way.
He showed us some analysis around the #BrightonSEO hashtag (UK only), using the Gephi network mapping tool to visualise this. Tools like CartoDB can build a timeline map to visualize the location and duration of tweets of an event for example.
- Most of the data you need is already available Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Google Trends
- Use this data to write your story
- Present the data in an interesting or cool way
“Content Yearbook 2014” – Fergus Parker
Fergus focused his presentation around the last 12 months in the content marketing industry, including who has succeeded and who has failed.
Effective content marketing is not so simple. For newbies, they may view success as a straight upward curve. Reality is different, Fergus shows us an analytics graph of when they thought they’d cracked it with a piece of content:
Spike of traffic. Flat line of nope.
Fergus asks us… Do your consumers really love you?
We ourselves claim that 48% of our content marketing is not effective which equates to £2.1bn worth of budget not being used appropriately.
We need to look at the: What, How and Why
We need to make sure that our content is achieving some of the following:
- inspires the user
- educates the user
- provokes emotion
- inspires belief (transfer inner meaning and purpose to the user)
- is relevant
- is authentic
Fergus encourages us to be more agile with our strategy based on what your data is telling you!
Low-lights for 2014
Most awkward goes to mad men’s Father’s Day campaign, given that the character is not ideal father this was pushing it somewhat. Make sure your campaign is relevant!
NYPD made the mistake of asking for users to send photos of the NYPD officers in the New York community, this got hijacked with photos of officers man handling various community members.
— Stop The Wars (@sickjew) April 22, 2014
You must make sure you have an online community which is positively engaged! In the whole arcadia “Give Greg the holiday” fiasco some brands came out on top such as trekamerica who offered Greg a free holiday to Las Vegas – gaining them huge coverage and lots of brand brownie points.
Insulation Cellecta, however, swooped in to the convo with a totally unrelated service and even worse it was not even free!
— Cellecta Insulation (@Cellecta_LTD) May 22, 2014
Highlights for 2014
Fergus loves Buffer’s blog. Buffer realised they had to become publishers themselves and so started to target those who had an audience of their customers. By doing this they hugely increased their shares and audience.
Ford produced a touching Mother’s Day video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLEjELGdewk) whereby children could design their mums their Dream car. This video taps into the inspiration and emotional connection of the audience. And there is lots of cooing and ‘ahhs’ when the last child states their car “Runs on love”.
Fergus then showed us a fantastic video from Dissolve Footage, which is a tongue-in-cheek insight at how utterly ridiculously fake some brand video marketing is, including all the generic cliches.
Key tips from Fergus:
- Don’t always produce content just for your customers (produce content for those with an audience)
- Create an emotional connection. Most popular content creates emotional connection
- Always be relevant. You’d be surprised.
- Be authentic. Don’t be someone or something you are not.
- Don’t sell yourselves in your content!
“Case study: create an inbound strategy in a boring industry” – Jasper Martens
Jasper works for Simply Business an insurance company who increased presence by focusing on business related articles. Their competitors had deep pockets, and Simply Business were left thinking how on earth they could make a difference. This is where content marketing turned things around for them. Direct traffic was low, Converting PPC was proving too costly, so they had to change route.
By providing content for small business which is Simply Business’s target audience they are capturing potential customers much higher up the funnel. Though users are not at the position of purchasing insurance when they first touch base they often return in 1-2 months to get a quote. The content catches them at pre-purchase point.
Simply Business ran business related Google hangouts and found it was important to focus on what you do with the content afterwords, sharing on YouTube then on twitter to raise brand awareness.
The content base that they have developed now drives a huge amount of traffic and has been critical to their growth and success.
Jasper calls on you to: Show balls, go big!
If you intend on using interactive content you can get it built externally, don’t let lack of in house skill stop you.
You should also remember that your target is not always your customers but also about journalists and bloggers, you can expand in to different subject matters to target these influencers. They wrote content around technology innovation which then got coverage which nearly crushed their website, and although the traffic wasn’t relevant they still won some business and importantly brand awareness.
Jasper talked about the success they had creating stories from data they had readily available to them. If you have data use it!
They ask a lot from their customers in order to do insurance quotes so out of this they can use the data to see what is trending and changing. This makes for a great story. You might have a really good data set you should analyse it and publish on your blog anything that is of interest.
Simply Business did this and managed to get loads of coverage due to one Excel document!
Jasper recommends you also do the following:
- Plan your activities
- Have a weekly content meeting
- Keep an editorial calendar
- Seek external help if you lack skills
Key tips from Jasper
- Be relevant but remember it needs to appeal to your customers to be interesting.
- Be brave.
- Use your content to engage with your existing customers to sustain retention.
“Why people share stuff” – Emma Dunn
Emma talks to us about the psychology of what it is that drives people to share on social media. She states if we can identify these factors we can increase our ‘luck’ and drive more shares of our own content.
And really this boils down to one key thing “people love to look cool in front of their friends”.
Emma tells us that if you have an online profile you have an online brand, what people share is an element of maintaining their brand.
She shows us an example from I Fucking Love Science (a popular Facebook page). She likens the amount of shares on this post to a post on Facebook’s own brand page.
IFLS’s post was more successful because people like to share stuff that makes them look cool, makes then look smart and that makes them look in the know. Paraphrasing this post told their friends “I’m smart”.
Emma explains that people share videos with the shock factor, because people love things that surprise them.
She explains that really good content needs to trigger emotion. Content that makes you feel sad or content isn’t as successful as content that invokes fear, amusement, surprise or anger.
Another way to produce successful content is by addressing a specific niche or interest. If you can make content that makes people think “actually I know someone who will find that useful“ they will share it.
People like things that make them look good and they want to tell the world about themselves. Emma shows us an example of piece of content which is targeted at the Scottish (she is Scottish herself) she explains that she is likely to share this because it says something about her identity, and this adds to her online brand.
Emma tells us that people love a good story, something that they are passionate and emotional about like Kony 2012 which was viewed over 100million times on YouTube.
She created a piece of content called conflict of Pinterest, where they encouraged people to share the most beautiful country in the world, this works on tapping in to someone’s identity. Latvia won this competition because the community fiercely got behind it.
Key tips from Emma
- Provide content that helps people tell the world about themselves and look cool.
- Make content exciting and unexpected.
- Offer something useful to niche audiences.
- Tell a good story.
“Why thinking like a poker player will make you a better content marketer” – Andrew Tipp
Andrew takes us on a journey to understand how we can learn from poker players. Poker players are studious, analytical and thoughtful they can look at data and data tells a story to them.
Poker players never have complete information, they only have the cards facing them and what they can read from the other players.
Andrew encourages to look at the data we have available but also to source out the ‘tells’ we can pull from around us.
We can look for tells by using tools such as Google, we can use all of this data to look for trends and patterns in order to focus our energy on what is the lowest risk and highest chance of winning. We don’t know Google’s algorithm but we can search for clues and work out what is likely to be the best way for our content to be found.
We need to look at the expected value. Andrew likened this to the odds on a players hand, two kings vs two queens, the expected value is in the favour of the two kings, this hand has a positive expected value. We should make content decisions with a positive expected value. If we can identify what is likely to be successful we should put our energy into it even if it is not going to be a quick win.
Andrew highlights the importance of creating a 12 month strategy and selling the long term value of this to a client. You need to focus on the end game and everything as whole, instead of short term wins.
Andrew encourages you to study competitors and work out how they’re outplaying you. Who are they targeting? What is their strategy? What content are they producing? What format are they using? Where are they acquiring links?
By studying competitors, you can also see opportunities around you. Andrews says that you have to be adaptable, you have to base your content strategy on what’s going on around you.
You have to have a different strategy for each campaign you can use the same formula for every client or situation. It’s about picking up small incremental wins, most of our wins as content marketers are from small ball content such as how to, guides etc.
Andrew states that a lot of people don’t know when to fold; don’t persist with content ideas that aren’t ‘winning hands’.
Key tips from Andrew
- Have a 12 month strategy.
- Sell the long term value.
- Learn when to fold.
- Go for small incremental wins.
- Learn from your competitors.
- Look for tells in the industry using the data available to you.
“How a journalistic approach and magazine mindset improves brand content” – Stephen Masters
Stephen starts by telling us that content marketing is about humans and emotions. Ultimately people like talking about themselves.
He urges us to consider that journalists tell stories really well as they know how to find angles. They know about giving an audience the stories they want to read. We can learn from journalists how to create emotive and read worthy content. Good content contains emotion and colour!
We need to think more about how people browse magazines, they will flick through, settle on a few things and read what they want to. They do not read cover to cover.
One great piece can make someone love your entire site, so make sure you have varied selection to choose from.
With this in mind your content should contain a selection of different content types which are related to the main focus. Much like how a magazine has interviews, editorials, pictorials, etc.
Stephen tells us that currently content marketing is a very PR based angle and that we often write titles based on what Google is going to rank us for. He feel this is the wrong approach as this has no emotive connection to the reader.
You can use interviews to create great stories and create content that people want to read. Especially if you are targeting your content to bloggers and journalists. If you are hoping to get coverage you need to ensure your content contains facts, colour, reference points, compliments, contradictions, so that the journalist can pull their own angle from your story.
If you intend on undertaking an interview one of the most important things to do is: Stalk before you talk.
Stephen says that by doing this you can have a story ready in your head before you enter the room. You can find their passion and build your questions around this to help create a natural conversation.
You should give your interviewee a few ideas of the topics you’ll covering, have a little chat before you start to make sure they are not worried about making a fool of themselves. An interview is business and pleasure – it should be pleasant – especially for the interviewee, you can play to their ego and get them talking about something passionate that they care about.
Think about where you are going to be interviewing you need to be able to be somewhere you can transcribe or record your conversation. Public places might be too loud, and the office might provide too many interruptions.
Stephen says it is important to do a trial run and make sure your tech works! Make sure you camera or phone has storage and battery. And if all else fails make sure you have pen and paper!
Make sure you take a notepad with your topics listed so that you can always keep conversation flowing and don’t forget anything.
Remember that manners cost nothing, thank the interviewees for their time their interview and quotes will add personality to the story and the brand.
Retaining relationships is really important so make sure you check your facts and send a draft before it is published to make sure the interviewee is happy with it as a piece.
Stephen encourages you to realise that 50% is in the writing, and 50% is in the marketing, so “get it up and get it out”.
Top tips from Stephen
- Add colour and interest to your content.
- Stalk before you talk to interviewees.
- Make sure your tech works!
- 50% writing 50% marketing, get it up get it out!
“The Hero’s journey using archetypes in video marketing” – Raph Goldberg
Raph took us through the story building process for building and effective marketing video.
He showed us the typical Hero’s journey which ordinarily consists of: Call to adventure – Transformation – Challenges and Temptations – Death and Rebirth – Transformation – Atonement – Return. By using this tried and tested formula you can build a story that really tap in to the core of human nature – “Stories are in our blood, it’s out culture our history for thousands of years, it connects with us”.
Raph tells us that by effectively building a Hero’s journey you can connect on a subconscious level with the viewers.
There are a range of common archetypes that we are innately aware of in our life on a subconscious level: Hero, Sovereign, Sage, Magician, Innocent, Creator, Lover, Explorer, Caregiver, Jester, Citizen and Rebel.
We can utilise these existing archetypes in our stories as they already have preloaded connotations. You can tweak these archetypes to create humour and interest.
Raph states one of the best ways to communicate is through video and that the stories are the delivery method for the content.
He shares some stats with us:
In order to really capture a users attention and make them continue watching, you have to hook them in within the first 10 seconds.
Video marketing strategies:
Raph explains to us that there are three pathways in your video marketing strategy:
- Get found
- Get seen
- Get talked about
You need to always think about the viewer – what do you want them to do once they’ve watched or while they’re watching your video? What can of emotion are your trying evoke? What kind of response do you need.
Who, why, what, how. This will inform the style, story and purpose of your video.
His final point: “Business and brands need stories more than ever. To tell stories you need the right tools.”
You can find a full write up of Raph’s presentation here: http://tanglewood.com/blog/heros-journey-using-archetypes-video-marketing
Key tips from Raph
- Use archetypes to tap in to build an effective story.
- Use video as the medium for delivering your content.
- Think about what you are trying to achieve from your video content.
“How do you measure Content Marketing? The $44bn question” – Andrew Davies
Andrew spoke to us about how we can measure and prove the value in our Content Marketing stating “proving value demands greater maturity”.
He states that leaders in this field measure more, and we need to take note of this and measure more ourselves. You should be able to follow this from the title of the content right through to the organisations’ goals.
4 step approach (picture)
To measure your content you should undertake a content audit. You should understand what you publish, how often and where.
By doing this you will be able to track which types of content are most successful and gain the most traction. You need to look at your audience engagement, which pieces of content evoke the most response? This will help you devise a strategy based on what works instead of assumptions and guess work. Refine and build your strategy using data and statistics.
Andrew states “you are what you read”. You need to understand: What does this persons engagement mean about them as a person? Who are you marketing to?
Google Zero Moment of Truth buying study taught us that it takes 18.2 articles before making buying decision, utilise this kind of knowledge to inform your strategy.
You should segment your audience to build personas and target content to them on an individual basis you can market more effectively by looking at the data and the content data they consume
Andrew had worked on a client with a segment of “cheap northerners”. The client believed these were of low economic value and not very valuable to them. They built personas to work out how to efficiently target this sector and found that this segment were interested in first division and championship clubs, they created campaigns and content around this topic to increase brand visibility to this group.
Data as house into call centre.
Andrew encourages you to think about what you’re measured on. What are your business drivers? You should make sure the content you are publishing is working towards achieving your business objectives. Think outside content engagement and move to a business approach of thinking about sales and service metrics.
With EConsultancy anonymised profiling, they recommended 4 pieces of content and by understanding the customers in this way they increased revenue 414%.
Andrew states that content marketers need to be more analytical and business thinking as we are managing the corporate skin between the business and consumers
By working in this way we are improving content intelligence which then empowers the brand to drive better insight and develop better engagement.
Top tips from Andew
- To become a leader you need to measure more
- Do a content audit
- Segment and profile your users
- Think about content marketing in terms of your overall business objectives – make sure they align
Wes introduced us to the benefits of using animation within your content marketing strategy and took us through the process that goes in to building and animation.
Animation can be useful if you’re looking to do something would otherwise be ridiclulously out of budget, like talking cats, flying in to space and whatever other craziness you were considering! You’re also not bound by actors or complicated sets which can be a lot more cost effective than flying a crew to Hawaii.
Wes states that animation can be useful when you need to present your brand in a friendly and unintimidating way. There is something rather innocent about animation (or can be!).
He showed us an UmBongo advert which is purely animation, it shows how imaginative you can be with your advertising and storyline when you take away the boundaries of the physical world.
Wes explains that because of this animation can be a cheaper way of fulfilling your creative brief.
Key tips from Wes
- Keep it short, animation is best kept short and snappy
- He recommends 45-60 seconds
- Make sure there is a demand for the animation
“Getting Past the Buying Objection with Problem-Solving Content” – Nichola Stott
What type of content
Nichola introduces us to the different levels of content and their purposes:
Discovery – a way for the consumer to discover your brand but not necessarily act on it – a random meme for example
Gather – a way for your consumer to research what you do or sell and look at options available
Refine – a way for your consumer to consider your brand and whether they can trust you over your competitors
Decide – a way for your consumer to jump over the final huddle and complete the process of buying
With content it is critical to find problems your consumers are facing and then create content which solves those issues!
How do we find problems
In order to find the problems your consumers are facing you need to look at the data you have available and also undertake some research. You then need to analyse this and find the gold.
Nichola notes that we tend to self center on social media and so it is unlikely that you will find as much insight on these platforms.
Nichola speaks about the barriers faced since Google stop providing keyword terms. To get around this you can look at your historical data if it is still relevant to your product base. If you have an search facility on your site (which you should!) you should look at your on site search logs, these will give you an insight in to what your consumers are searching for in your site and any content you may be missing.
Other ways that Nichola identifies content opportunities is through forums and q&as sites. The ones she recommends to delve in to are:
These sites are where people go to ask and find information about products and services in a much more anonymous environment.
You should search these sites using seed terms like your product name, brand name and then both combined to find questions, concerns and information that people are posting and asking about. You can use advanced Google queries to do this:
Nichola recommends using the chrome extension – DataMiner to help scrape all of the information in to an excel sheet. Once you have all this data you then need to analyse by stripping noise words, grouping synonyms, group into taxonomic and then count the common themes to create a data case.
Once you have your data case for a piece of content you need to decide which content mechanic you are going to use; blog post, FAQ, games, tool or infographic.
Nichola notes that if it is something that is coming up time and time again it’s a great time to invest in some hero content, such as an interactive guide or something shareable.
By using this process you can use your content strategy to avert buying objections and possibly increase conversions.
Key tips from Nichola
- Use forums to find out what your customers are asking, answer those questions with your content.
- Use your website search logs to find insight.
- Think about what type of content you should use.
“How to organise a successful international bloggers event” – Marcin Chirowski
Marcin spoke about how we connect with bloggers and it’s an issue that we, as content marketers, have to overcome. He recommends utilising social media to approach your targeted bloggers… he knows of one blogger who gets over 9,000 emails a day!
Marcin stresses the importance of building a relationship, connecting and listening to bloggers via social media before reaching out and asking them to do something for you.
He showed us a pyramid diagram which shows the funnel you should ultimately take in building a relationship. With the bottom slice being social (easiest/low effort) and the top slice being a one to one meeting (hardest/higher effort).
Marcin then went on to tell us about some events he has organised which has helped to build great on-going relationships with bloggers.
One event was targeted at Italian bloggers. By doing this event he managed to establish relationships with around 50 bloggers.
Another event was targeted at French fashion bloggers. They actually brought the bloggers to London and then took them to areas in London with a high fashion presence.
He followed both events up with a competition which was then shared on the networks of the bloggers he had made connections with which proved successful in gaining shares and results.
Work with locals – you are after their local knowledge, language skills and connections.
Marcin highlighted the importance of continuing to stay engaged with the bloggers throughout the whole process and to remain exclusive with the bloggers you have targeted.
Ultimately Marcin urges to look at how we can more effectively use events to create and build relationships with bloggers and influencers we want to connect with. And how you can reap the rewards if you plan and execute your event strategy well.
Key tips from Marcin
- Use events to connect with influencers!
- Plan the event around their interests, make it both business and pleasure.
- Stay exclusive to the bloggers you are targeting.
“Motivational content stories for the down trodden” – Chelsea Blacker
Chelsea shared with us her stories of working with various challenging industries and how she created content to fit with their strategies.
Promoting a gambling client
Chelsea spoke about the issues surrounding news and stories in the gambling industry, something which often garners negative press. Because of this they had to find an angle which showed the industry in a more positive light.
They hooked in to the sportsmanship element of poker and gambling and the skills required; discipline, patience, mathematics, risk analysis.
BlueGlass tied this up to the psychology of Poker playing, specifically bluffing. They carried out academic research into tells and bluffing and published this on their clients website.
Form this ‘The Psychology of Lying’ was born. Chelsea commented on the importance of picking up the phone and speaking to publishers to create a buzz for the content. In return this piece gained 12,500 shares on social platforms and was picked up by various outlets on the web bringing in 519 links… amazing results!
In this case the academic research and involving psychology professionals was critical to the accuracy and success of the content… it’s worth paying for this!
Promoting a B2B client
Chelsea’s second case study is for a client who needs to push its conference room bookings.
For this they decided the best tact was to work on content that would help their target market to learn more about their industry and daily challenges.
One of the key elements was involving the clients’ staff and helping them to be seen as the experts! They created a blog to deliver resources to the clients target market such as “Top Tips To Survive As An Events Manager”
By taking the expertise in their staff they were able to market them as content creators to external sites in order to get content published elsewhere.
Not getting sued
Another challenge around a client in the health sector. A notoriously strict industry where you really have to be careful what you claim and say!
So to work around this BlueGlass went in search of experts in the field. They looked specifically for nutritionists who didn’t have a particularly large digital presence and would be happy for some exposure.
They created a knowledge base which was separate from their client’s sites, and created content around the products and related products, this was their informational content.
By using an expert who need more exposure BlueGlass were able to worth closely with their expert gaining them an online presence and building their client
Chelsea commented that you really need to be able to connect your content up as a having an ROI especially when employing experts.
Key tips from Chelsea
- Paying for experts in the field is worth it.
- Find experts who need exposure, it then works to their benefit
- Always ensure your content connects with ROI
“Gateway drug content strategy elements you should use” – Charlie Williams
Charlie started off by showing us a few stats around the content marketing industry:
- 88% are using content marketing this year
- 42% Have a Content Strategy
He stated that he often hears two main things:
- We need content that will get us shares
- Our content is not working!
He came to the conclusion a lot of website simply do not have a content strategy. He mentioned http://contentstrategy.com/book.html which can help to fill in the gaps.
One of the key things to note is that it isn’t necessarily another thing to learn, just taking key elements and implementing them will help evolve your content marketing.
WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY!
Always ask why you are making the piece of content, what is the purpose of that piece of content, what is the objective or outcome?
Evaluate and measure
Charlie highlighted the importance of measuring the ‘victory conditions’ so you can see the success (or failure).
Make sure that you have a full content inventory which includes everything that you have including titles, content type, url, owner etc.
Charlie mentioned that we need to remember we are not the target market. We need to gather real insight and work out what our users want or need to know. A good way to find this information is by asking a business expert, they should know what questions are asked, what the consumer wants, what pains them and what is a block for them.
Ask the users by doing research! Undertaking surveys but keeping the numbers limited to get the best data. You can use survey systems like Survey Gizmo, SurveyMonkey and Polldaddy to gather your insight.
Gather information from Customer Services and Sales teams as they will know what are common issues are barriers for your consumers.
Undertake Keyword research to see what your users are searching for and what terms they use to search for it, tools like SEM Rush, Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, Tool.io and SerpIQ.
Charlie also stated it’s good to see what research your client has on file!
Look at competitors, what have they done and what can you do better?
Always remember that you are serving your user and consumer needs, wants and goals and you should align your content strategy to fulfil these.
Key tips from Charlie
- Speak to a the business experts, see what they know about the customers concerns and worries.
- Undertake research and surveys.
- Keep a content inventory so you always know what articles you have and on what.
- Speak to Customer/Sales Teams to gather insight.
“Running and motivating a creative content team” – Lisa Myers
Lisa opened by telling us a little bit about herself, she’s from Norway, wasn’t particularly good at school, doesn’t have a degree, is dyslexic and has a self proclaimed attention span of a goldfish!
She concludes it’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are! Quoting W.Dyer: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.
Lisa spoke about the danger of hiring someone based purely on their CV, given that people can and do lie. Hiring based on someone’s experience alone is equally dangerous in that it does not mean they are any good.
“It’s about chemistry” Lisa likens people to atoms that need need to work well individually and together.
She states the key things to look for when recruiting are: intelligence, problem solving ability, passion and attitude!
She recommends throwing away the rule book and writing your own. Ask some more creative interview questions and you will learn more about the talent.
A hugely important quote from Lisa: “Seize the talent when you see it not when you need it!”. Don’t let talent slip through your fingers!
Motivation and happiness
In terms of both recruitment and retaining your workforce you need to work out how you are going to motivate your staff. This isn’t always down to financial reward. But you must ensure you commensurate people fairly.
To motivate and keep your team happy you need to understand the psychology behind this: Autonomy, mastery and purpose. Trust people to do things in their own way, give them responsibility for their work to inspire pride.
You should develop your individuals, for example Verve undertake mediation training, cognitive therapy, and provide evening courses.
Lisa encourages you to think outside the box and provide fun and interactive ways to communicate and build the relationship with your colleagues and employees. Have weekly questionnaires, high fives, in office awards and make sure that encouragement doesn’t just come from the management but that everyone in the office works to encourage one another.
Key tips from Lisa
- Throw the rule book away, create your own questions.
- Seize the talent when you see it not when you need it.
- Chemistry is just as important as experience.
- Always develop your team members.
- Encouragement should come from all not just managers.