Who Should Control Your Marketing Content?


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I recently had the privilege of attending a marketing breakfast roundtable hosted by NetProspex, where 25 bright marketing minds from the Boston area, including Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, gathered to discuss various marketing topics. When registering, each participant was asked to submit a question they wanted an answer to or a topic that they wanted to discuss. The conversation was flowing, the insights were remarkable and we were able to cover all of one question; who should be in control of content?

Of course this one question spawned more tangential conversations/questions and led to a discussion of what type of experience an employee should ideally have when tasked with developing content for an organization? We discussed the difference in utilizing a journalist versus a marketer and some of the variations in writing styles that typically exist between these two backgrounds. A journalist tends to focus on the facts; the Who, What, When, Where, and Why. A marketer tends to be focused on promoting the product, its features and benefits, and exudes more of a sales vibe. The conversation really got me thinking, not only about who should be handling content, but also about what type of background or experience is optimal to produce stellar content?

I started thinking of the idea of storytelling and I was extremely excited when one of the participants finally mentioned “telling a story” as part of their marketing strategy. The story needs to be consistent across all the platforms used to promote your content, whether that is your website, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, White Papers, Case Studies, or your employees. “Marketer’s don’t always call it ‘content marketing‘. They say ‘branding’ – and storytelling is used to ensure everyone from the CFO to the guy who opens the warehouse doors is delivering the same message” stated one of the members of our roundtable.

But should your content, or story, seem as if it is coming from the same voice through all your channels? We used a large software company as an example of creating what I would call “Monotone Marketing”, meaning you are getting the same tone, language, and so on to create the “one voice” of the company. I believe that with the increasing utilization of Social Media in marketing campaigns, organizations are going to find it more difficult to monitor content and maintain a “one voice” marketing story. What happens when some of your audience doesn’t connect or relate to that “one voice”, do you just throw up your arms and pack it in? I find that by developing and delivering content with multiple voices, you increase likelihood that more people in your target audience will be connected and engaged in the conversation.

Another point that fell in this same category was how “B2B brands want to be more human, and the tone of content can help humanize a brand.” Humanizing a brand will increase the amount of people you are able to connect with and alleviate some of the concerns marketers have with trying to reach a narrow target audience. Have your organization adopt the same philosophy as MarketingProfs, who uses the “Flawesome” methodology; being awesome despite your flaws. Content doesn’t have to be perfect, as humans aren’t perfect. Another member of the roundtable chimed in that they were trying to “convince our team that it is okay to write like a human.” One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from Albert Einstein who said “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”.

We briefly discussed the use of video content as a way to share similar topics or stories in a different format that has the ability to reach a more diverse audience. A great example of this would be to take a blog you recently wrote and convert that topic into a 90 second video post. Your blog may not be getting as many views as you would like, so recycle the content and present it in a different fashion for a fresh take and to reach a new audience. Video content is a great way to get your story out, and in most cases, gives you the ability to communicate your story without occupying your audience for more than a minute to five minutes (which is key when you don’t have long to capture the attention of your audience).Marketing Formats, Content Management

Marketing is no longer just about publishing written content. Marketers have transitioned into being producers who take stories and develop content across multiple formats for distribution across multiple channels. They slice and dice a story into 140 characters and develop eBooks alike. Ann recounted a conversation she had recently with an Eloqua employee with a journalism background who stated that “a picture is worth 1,000 slogans”. So now we’ve incorporated a visual representation of your story, which is nothing new in marketing, but has been transformed with the use of Infographics and “Info-doodles” (something MarketingProfs has recently introduced in their campaigns) as part of your strategy.

So what did I leave with and what resonated most about the type of employees that should be producing your organization’s content? Easy, you need a writer/journalist who can think with a sales mentality and has the ability to connect with the audience when telling a story about your product. They need to be a videographer who can edit/produce your video content as well as being a graphic designer and doodler. They should have the ability to capture your audience in 140 characters or less and it wouldn’t hurt if they had an understanding of basic photography principles. They should be an editor and copywriter, with a strong knowledge of the English language and proper grammar. Seems easy, right?

Big thanks to NetProspex for hosting this wonderful event and allowing me to be a part of it, can’t wait for future roundtable discussions. The quotes used in this post were taken from the sound bytes of the event and can be seen here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jonathan Catley
Jonathan has been working in Sales and Marketing for the Hospitality and IT industry over the past 5 years and is currently working with AGSalesworks (@AGSalesworks). He is focused on Social Media campaigns and Lead Generation for AG. You can connect with Jonathan on Twitter, or Linkedin


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