Content That’s Not Crap!

We all need to create content, and then create more, but how do we make sure that the content we are pushing out is actually good?

On today’s episode we’re going to be talking to Tim Asimos, CPSM about developing a digital marketing strategy and creating content that results in measurable value.

“Strategy before execution is always rule number one with anything in marketing.”

CQ: On a recent episode of This Old Marketing Podcast with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose, they discussed four content marketing trends for 2016. On the episode, Doug Kessler is quoted as saying,  “Crap is the single biggest threat to B2B content marketing. More content, produced by an inexperienced pool of content creators who are stretched to the limit, can only lead to one conclusion — a tidal wave of crappy content that will cause audiences to raise their barriers, shutting out high-quality content along with the dreck.”

TA: I semi-agree. There is a definite concern of content overload – but I also think it’s like anything else in communications: Good content will still be found and appreciated. The key to standing out is to create really compelling content that your audience will take the time to read, listen or watch.

CQ: How do you recommend people approach content strategy?

TA: Strategy before execution is rule #1 with anything in marketing. Some folks get overwhelmed at the thought of content strategy – but it doesn’t need to be huge. It’s as simple as who are you trying to reach, what they interested in, and where your expertise aligns with their information gaps. Answer questions like – How can you solve their problems? Which formats will you use? Which topics will you cover? What will be the frequency? Start by putting it down on paper to have a plan in place. I go by the phrase, “Crawl, walk, run!”

CQ: How do you recommend marketers connect with technical experts for content production?

TA: There are three parts to this:

  1. Start with Executive Buy-In. Show the c-suite how content aligns with the overarching company goals – thought leadership, increased firm awareness, and connecting/engaging with clients. Content is a long term strategy not a short term campaign. Think about it like working out – you’ve got to keep going to the gym or you’ll be out of shape. Results take time, and you can’t slack off or those results will fade away.
  2. Think Like a Journalist. Once you have the buy-in, technical folks will be much more likely to pitch in. From a tactical standpoint – the marketer needs to think/act like a journalist. Don’t hand an engineer a piece of blank paper and ask them to write a 1,200 word blog post. Rather, go spend 15-20 minutes interviewing that person, and then you draft the article. Send it to them for review, and you’ll be surprised how quickly they will respond with edits! The key is to make it as easy as possible for the subject matter experts.
  3. Approach the Mid-Level.  Don’t overlook the new kids. The younger folks in firms oftentimes have just as much knowledge and are very eager to make a name for themselves through content. They have more time and a lower billable rate. Remember: thought leaders don’t always have to be the same people who speak at conferences.

 

CQ: Aside from blogging, what are some other forms of content marketing that you’d suggest?

TA: Yes, blogging – this is the low hanging fruit, but it also has a high ROI and fast results. As for other forms of content – start with re-purposing in mind before you create anything, thinking of different forms like:

  • Speaking Opportunities
  • White Papers, Guides, E-books
  • Webinars
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

 

CQ: What are some hacks you can recommend for quick, effective content creation?

TA: A few ideas…

  • Create a Content Calendar: It’s a whole lot easier to write when you plan out your ideas in advance and tie them to your strategy. Diversify the types of things you’re writing about – original thought leadership takes time, but responding to news and other research can be quicker.
  • Refresh Evergreen Content: Once you’ve got evergreen content a few years down the road – update that existing content to make it current and relevant. That is HubSpot’s secret!
  • Create a Parking Lot: Keep a running list of topics that haven’t quite made the content calendar, but are still great ideas. Reference this when you are having trouble writing about the planned topics.

 

CQ: As a marketer planning to start a content marketing program, where do you start?

TA: First and foremost – a marketer must truly understand the meaning of content marketing. It is to be relevant, informative and helpful to the client – and this is very different from the content most firms are used to creating. It’s not a new idea – but it is a fundamental shift in the way we are communicating with our audiences. Number two – have a clear strategy in place before you begin. And number three – start small and build it out. Crawl, walk, run.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Music by SONGO 21 – Studio sessions 2003 by SONGO 21 is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

Links and Resources

ABOUT Tim

Tim Asimos

Tim Asimos is a Vice President and Director of Digital Innovation at Circle S Studio in Richmond, Virginia. With hybrid blend of skills in communication, strategy and analysis, Tim leverages technology to develop effective online marketing strategies. Integrating digital, social and content marketing, he is focused on delivering measurable results that help companies grow. Tim’s unique approach is based on more than 10 years of experience in corporate B2B and AEC marketing. Tim is a syndicated blogger and frequent speaker on the topics of content marketing, lead generation and online marketing. He earned a Bachelor’s in Communication Studies and Master’s in Business Administration from Liberty University. He is currently President Elect for the Richmond Chapter of the American Marketing Association and has served on the Board since 2007. He is also a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) and is a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM.)

DOUBLE DIP WITH Tim

Join us Thursday on the podcast where we’ll chat with Tim about his career and how he has come full circle working in the AEC industry.

“I’m not an AEC marketer. I’m a marketer that happens to work in the AEC industry right now.”


Music by SONGO 21 – Studio sessions 2003 by SONGO 21 is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

NEXT ON COMMUNIQUESO

Next week, we’ll welcome Erin Ongena of CallisonRTKL about leveraging a decentralized marketing team. Large-scale mergers, paired with the ability to conduct business virtually, are leading to many marketers finding themselves part of a team that they don’t see on a regular basis, if at all.