We have been discussing content forever now! While it has been hailed as the king, the queen and what not, it is surprising that not much is said about its creators – the content marketers and the challenges faced by them.
While we cannot deny the importance of content marketing (and that it is here to stay), the job of a content marketer has become highly challenging and demanding. With a very fine line between the job profiles, a lot of us (read: social media managers) deal with this role-reversal each day. Apart from being responsible for maintaining a highly engaging brand identity, we are also entrusted to roll out exciting content even quickly, each day every day!
We at Beta21 love to share firsthand experiences and for this story we got in touch with Serena Mariani, who shared with us interesting insights on how to battle this aspect. Serena is an award-winning, social media marketer and a digital project manager based in London. A citizen of the Internet since 1992, Serena received the Mark Hanson Award 2012 as “Best Social Media Communicator under 30”. In 6 years of agency and in-house experience, she has been part of teams helping brands like Max Factor, Subway, and Vanish to successfully transition to the era of content marketing and social media. We tossed the following question to Serena and this is what she had to say:
Brands are trying to churn out a greater amount of content for their audience today. Is this tactic really helpful to brands to gain the reach they are looking for?
What is the content marketing strategy taken by you for your clients in relation to the above mentioned issue?
What are the challenges faced by you as a Content Marketer (on a constant basis) and what are the steps taken to overcome them?
A few questions to ask before jumping into another arena – Which channels are the most relevant (in terms of demographics, reach, potential) for my brand/client and for its specific objectives? Is my content plan sustainable with the current resources if I stretch it over more channels? Will the results be measurable and relevant?
This brings us to challenge #2 – proving the ROI of Content Marketing for your company/brand. The way to overcome this is simple – just remember content marketing IS marketing. A robust content plan is not a series of topics and formats: it starts from the objectives that the brand wants to achieve and draws a path to achieving them, and includes clear KPIs for performance analysis. “Increasing newsletter sign up by 15% in 6 months” is an objective – “publishing three blog posts weekly” is not.
Do you have any tips for content marketers that have just started out?
1. Start with the objectives, set ambitious but realistic goals, and go achieve them (see previous answer).
2. There is no such thing as a “boring” subject or industry – don\’t shy away from jobs or assignments because they sound less sexy than writing jokes or posting pictures of funny animals a\’ la Buzzfeed. In fact, technical or niche subjects offer great opportunities to provide value to customers through a well-thought content marketing strategy. For example, UK insurance company Simply Business is a great B2B content marketing success story.
3. It\’s about the story, not (just) the technology. Content marketing must start from good insights about your audience – what do your customers, prospects and stakeholders care and want to know about? It is of vital importance to nail this and decline it into a sustainable content plan, rather than jumping on the next social network bandwagon.
Any noteworthy tools that you use as part of your content marketing and would want to recommend to our audience?
Follow Serena on @social_serena or go through her digital marketing blog for some hands on tips! We also highly recommend her food & travel blog, so check it out too!