Content Marketing – The Rewards, The Challenges

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This presentation was delivered on November 6, 2013 - I discuss my experience in constructing and implementing a content marketing strategic plan in a B2B environment.

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<ul><li><p>Content Marketing the rewards, the challenges and the skeptics. </p></li><li><p>AgendaStart from Scratch (what are the goals?)Pitching (the dog and pony show)Gathering Resources (rounding up the right soldiers)Staying Organized (a.k.a. staying sane)Educating Everyone (the dog and pony show pt.2)Selecting the Right Tools (choose your weapons wisely)Managing Expectations (including your own)Glitches (technical, metaphysical, philosophical, etc.)The Big Three (content + SEO + social = )Measurement (is this thing on?)Resources</p></li><li><p>Start from Scratch (what are the goals?)</p></li><li><p>Pitching(the dog and pony show)</p></li><li><p>Gathering Resources (rounding up the right soldiers)</p></li><li><p>Staying Organized (a.k.a. staying sane)</p></li><li><p>Educating Everyone(the dog and pony show pt.2)</p></li><li><p>Selecting the Right Tools (choose your weapons wisely)</p></li><li><p>Managing Expectations (including your own)</p></li><li><p>Glitches (technical, metaphysical, philosophical, etc.)</p></li><li><p>The Big Three (content + SEO + social = )</p></li><li><p>Measurement (is this thing on?)</p></li><li><p>ResourcesTechvibes (Canadian Technology News)Search Engine LandSearch Engine WatchEconsultancyMcKinsey &amp; Co. Topic: Digital</p><p>LinkedIn Group: B2B Content MarketingLinkedIn Group: Web ManagersLinkedIn Group: Content Marketing Group</p><p>Training: W3Schools.com (Great code reference site)Training: One Month Rails (Online)Training: Ladies Learning Code (In-class)</p></li><li><p>The End </p><p>Liz Oke</p><p>@lizokeca.linkedin.com/in/lizoke</p><p>About me:Education:Fine Arts degree from Mount Allison UniversityDesign Certificate from Humber CollegeWeb Marketing Certificate from University of Toronto 2010Self-taught coder</p><p>Work background:Started in Public RelationsWent into graphic designTransitioned into traditional marketing in 2005Changed to digital marketing in 2009</p><p>Digital marketing:Started as a consultant for Manulife and World VisionIn 2010, worked as a Digital Marketing consultant for Mercer, Canada, main goal was to integrate digital into the marketing mix, mainly social and SEO, ended up traveling around the world to different offices in the company to educate other marketing departments on how to integrate digital into existing marketing practicesIn 2011-2012, worked as a Marketing Director for an education company mainly focused on online lead generation website developmentCurrently working as a Digital Marketing Strategist at Blakes (Blake, Cassels &amp; Graydon one of the top law firms in Canada) mainly focused on web development, content marketing and SEO*I am covering a lot of ground in 45 mins, we are going to have a Q&amp;A at the end of the presentation, so I am happy to answer questions at the end and you can contact me anytime afterwards through LinkedIn, twitter.</p><p>Tonight I am going to speak to the main project I am working on for Blakes, the creation of a website that is focused mainly on content marketing. Im going to talk about my experiences, and will be providing recommendations based on my experience with the project. </p><p>The main issue that Blakes has right now, is that we have tons of content, but the way it is delivered has become ineffective. The brand is strong, the firm has been around since the 1800s. The current way we deliver content has been done for the past 15 years, and it doesnt work anymore.</p><p>Basically, our lawyers will write a Bulletin, it is given to the communications team to post on blakes.com, Then a notification is emailed out to whichever email list it applies to. The writing is dry and boring,The email lists are not updated,We are not strategic about timing of when the emails go outThe emails are going to become non-compliant with the new anti-spam regulations that are coming out soon in Canada. </p><p>The content ends up unread by our target readers. It is not working. How to change our current strategy plus changing an internal culture that is used to doing things a certain way is not easy. </p><p>The solution:We are creating a site which is content-rich, allowing visitors to create a login, manage their preferences (topics of interest, and frequency in how content is delivered to them, that also connects to our CRM tool to ensure we have the most up-to-date contact information </p><p>The website is currently in the works and will launch in February 2014. Tonight, I am going to share my experience with the project. *At the idea stage, I began writing the project plan (aka the Holy Grail)</p><p>This is vital for a project like this, as content marketing is still a fairly new concept for many companies and writing out the initial goals is key. </p><p>The main goals for the Blakes site are:For Blakes to be seen as the number 1 business law resource in CanadaThe site to dive leads back to the main blakes.com site and for prospects to contact a lawyerThe site to be compliant with anti-spam legislationTo increase the amount of views to an article and opens with delivered emails, and increased click-through ratesThe site to nurture leads with existing clients and with prospects*After the goals were established, pitching the idea internally came next.</p><p>The Stakeholders:Marketing departmentNew business development directorsSenior managementLawyers within each practiceIT department</p><p>The project plan was vital here, as well as collecting the current statistics for the existing strategy. Showing that the current tactics were failing can be a tricky message to deliver.</p><p>Most brutal audience:Marketing department fear of changeNew business directors fear of changeIT fear of change, lack of knowledge in the digital landscape</p><p>I currently outsource all development work on Blakes web properties IT resisted doing the project initially in open source (WordPress and pushed for it to be developed in SharePoint (they love Microsoft)*Once I had buy-in, I knocked on a few doors:</p><p>Usability firmMy favourite in-house graphic designerMy favourite development teamFreelance web content writers plus one full-time web writer/editorReliable in-house translators who know CMS and understand SEO*Setting timelines was key for the project from the start.</p><p>I started this project in JulyUsability from July-AugustWeb design in SeptemberDevelopment of site from October to DecemberContent development and translation from November DecemberSoft launch in DecemberHard launch in February 2014</p><p>Always pad timelines. *Education on the value of the project and of content marketing is key through out this exercise. </p><p>I meet with my developers once a weekI speak to the project at every monthly National Marketing meetingI meet with various people on the Communications team one-on-one frequently throughout the week</p><p>Content marketing is a constant sell to get stakeholders to understand the nature of it, and the key point is to have stakeholders internally understand why it is important to their role, and for the company as a whole.*My two cents:Choose the right platform for your content for me, it was WordPress it is versatile, easy to manage and update.</p><p>Hiring a usability expert is vital. If you are using an existing platform for content, hire a UX expert to look at your current site, and see if they have any tweaks or recommendations to make your site better it is worth the investment in the long run. A website is always a work in progress.</p><p>Choose an amazing designer and developer team.</p><p>Work with experienced web writers that understand linkbuilding and on-page SEO</p><p>Create a weekly editorial meeting that covers what content pieces need to be developed, who is going to create them and how will SEO and social be integrated into the content piece (depending on the target audience). </p><p>Choose the right analytics/reporting tools that are easy to manage. I will go into this in more detail in a later slide.</p><p>Make sure senior management is 100% on board with the idea and that they understand the goals and objectives of your content marketing plan. *Its easy to become burnt out when planning a content marketing strategy.</p><p>Be nice to yourself.</p><p>Be patient with the unbelievers </p><p>When you start seeing results, show it to them, and they will understand. *The fun part of my experience with this project has been the planning, the pitch, doing the wireframes and the design.</p><p>The hard part has been the implementation. </p><p>Examples:There has been many issues working with IT. Sourcing the right software to bridge/communicate between WordPress and our CRM toolFinding good web writers who want to write about business lawTalking the CMO away from calling the site iBusiness*I am just getting into the thick of this element of the project!</p><p>If you are thinking about doing something like what I am working on, the best approach is to do a content inventory look at existing content and collect into a spreadsheet, fill in ideas to repurpose and repackage content, look at analytics for popular topics with your audience, fill out SEO on-page information for each piece of content, and where social fits in.</p><p>This is where weekly editorial meetings will be handy once the site rolls out.</p><p>Everyone on the team will need to know clearly what their role is to make sure content marketing is effective!*With measurement, revisit initial goals</p><p>Pinpoint target markets for your content and make sure it is reaching them (Google Analytics, CRM)</p><p>I will be developing a weekly, monthly and quarterly report for the site.</p><p>One thing I would recommend, make reports easy to digest so the stakeholders will look forward to reading them.</p><p>Getting Google Analytics certification is recommended also. ***</p></li></ul>