Marissa Gbenro: Hiya and welcome to the Win-Win podcast by Highspot. Be part of us as we dive into altering traits within the office and talk about tips on how to navigate them efficiently. I’m your host, Marissa Gbenro.
In the present day, we’ll talk about how COVID-19 and digital work have modified the advertising and marketing panorama. I’ve invited my good friend, Robert Rose from The Content material Advisory, to assist us discover these challenges and alternatives. Welcome, Robert, and thanks for becoming a member of us. Are you able to introduce your self and your function to our viewers?
Robert Rose: Oh, I actually can Marissa. Properly, to begin with, thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be a visitor in your present, which is admittedly, actually splendidly implausible.
My title is Robert Rose and I’m at the moment — properly, I’ve two roles, actually: the chief technique advisor for a corporation known as the Content material Advertising and marketing Institute, which is a media firm the place we evangelize the strategy of content material advertising and marketing by means of occasions and blogs and webinars and all these sorts of issues, after which my function as a advisor, the place I work with plenty of manufacturers everywhere in the world, principally by Zoom, and assist them operationalize their content material. I work with these manufacturers to determine the individuals, the method, and the know-how of how content material might be made right into a purposeful technique of their enterprise.
In between all of that, I, as you realize, host a podcast or two and I’ve written a few books and preserve myself busy on this splendidly locked-down world that we discover ourselves in.
MG: Thanks a lot, Robert. I’ve been an enormous fan even earlier than I used to be in a position to be part of your podcast. Thanks for letting me be part of the wonderful content material that you just’re creating on the Content material Advertising and marketing Institute as properly.
So, Robert, not too long ago at Highspot we carried out a survey throughout totally different advertising and marketing features and the aim was to uncover advertising and marketing challenges which have emerged on account of the worldwide pandemic and digital work. Each, I believe, carry related however totally different challenges to entrepreneurs internationally and the outcomes of the survey felt very relatable. Nothing actually shocked me as a result of I’m a content material marketer and skilled the identical issues. However I assumed it was actually attention-grabbing that although they’re related challenges that we’ve seen perpetually with advertising and marketing, it appears these challenges have turn out to be much more heightened.
The three greatest challenges that we discovered by means of the survey have been understanding tips on how to higher have interaction clients, uncovering what content material is handiest, and understanding what content material sellers discover most respected. Once more, this has all the time been a problem for entrepreneurs — I believe everybody has these targets that they’re attempting to resolve — however it appears that evidently they’ve been exquisitely heightened by working nearly and never having sellers subsequent door to you. Everyone seems to be vying for the eyes of patrons which might be additionally working nearly and each marketer solely has digital methods to now have interaction with these patrons. Robert, would you say that these are the largest challenges that you just’re seeing as properly with the entrepreneurs and organizations that you just work with?
RR: I believe you stated it properly. These are usually not essentially new challenges, however I believe they’ve a brand new wrinkle added to them which is one thing that we’ve been calling “the de-commodification of bodily area.” Kind of the overarching new wrinkle to these three challenges is the concept of tips on how to have interaction clients and tips on how to create content material that has an affect. The entire issues that we have been challenged to do with content material have been all the time in a world the place the digital expertise or the content material expertise we have been creating was an adjunct to the bodily area. In different phrases, it was the place you went and downloaded the convention presentation after you attended the convention, or it was the place you went to get the expertise after you had the salesperson go to you in your workplace, or it was the web site that you just did the analysis on earlier than you invited individuals into your group. It was form of sitting alongside it. Now the concept of the digital content material expertise is not only sitting subsequent to — it’s a alternative. It has to really act as a proxy of that bodily, intimate relationship constructing that we may do in-person at a convention, at a shopper, wherever it’s.
What I see once I see the identical challenges that we’ve seen perpetually is that this wrinkle is admittedly simply additional emphasis on the necessity to get nice with digital content material and the digital experiences we’re creating as a result of they’re simply that rather more environment friendly.
MG: I completely love that time period “digital expertise” as a result of I believe what additionally has turn out to be profoundly clear by means of the final 12 months is that buyer expertise is extra essential now than ever earlier than. It’s all the time been actually essential, actually guiding your patrons, potential clients, or present clients by means of a digital expertise that truly convinces them that you’re the best vendor or associate.
I really feel like entrepreneurs have turn out to be a lot extra essential to the funnel for organizations as a result of that is actually the one method to get patrons within the door earlier than sellers are in a position to wow them with the product and gross sales pitches. What’s your tackle tips on how to elevate these digital experiences for patrons to make sure that entrepreneurs are actually getting that foot within the door and in a position to assist fill the funnel and persuade these patrons to maneuver ahead?
RR: Definitely, all of that’s true and I believe the one factor we’re seeing corporations do which might be main this cost is similar issues that make up the wrinkles and the challenges that aren’t totally different. It’s the identical solutions, however they’re extra accelerated now; in different phrases, the solutions to the challenges are the identical, which is to get higher at it.
What I imply by that’s — as a result of that’s an unsatisfying reply for positive — what we’re seeing is the necessity to join these digital experiences. What has occurred as we’ve gotten more adept with digital content material and the creation of digital experiences is we’ve additionally turn out to be simply as siloed. We’ve turn out to be siloed in advertising and marketing, gross sales, buyer expertise, and buyer loyalty. All of these digital experiences that we create have been type of off on their very own island. In lots of instances, and whereas that was okay, all people form of realized that’s an issue and we actually ought to try to remedy it.
It’s actually tough and it’s not okay anymore. It must be the strain to get these issues related. We frequently have a look at our web site and the one perception that we’ve into bettering it or personalizing it or making it extra related is the perception we get from the advert tech, mainly no matter report that claims how guests have been gathered there. We don’t have information going backwards and forwards between the experiences to assist enhance them and to attach them in a approach that makes them extra private and extra related and extra helpful for patrons. The reply to that, or the place we’re seeing it get elevated, is the place you possibly can really begin to join issues to your weblog, the web site, the e-commerce channel, the e-mail channel, the textual content expertise, all of these issues that they find out about one another. They usually’re utilizing the info in a sensible, clear, and clever method to ship a greater expertise, as a substitute of the siloed factor that we’ve been coping with for thus lengthy.
MG: I like that reply a lot, and it makes me pause to consider ways in which we are able to higher present a cohesive expertise from web site to e mail advertising and marketing from demand gen to content material. A couple of different challenges that we discovered within the surveys, as we stated earlier: uncovering content material that’s handiest, higher understanding what content material resonates most along with your sellers, in addition to understanding what patrons are searching for. whether or not it’s topical, what subjects are they most engaged with in addition to what sort of content material. Is it a webinar? Is it a podcast? Is it an infographic? Is it an e-book?
What are your greatest practices which you can provide or have seen work for a number of the organizations and entrepreneurs that you just work with to essentially higher perceive your content material panorama in addition to what subjects and sorts of content material are patrons participating with now to essentially assist transfer that needle?
RR: Yeah, it’s tough. There’s little question about it. These new wrinkles actually haven’t made it any simpler. The one factor that we are saying that’s useful to consider when beginning is that in lots of organizations and particularly people who have separate subject gross sales, subject advertising and marketing, enterprise gross sales, enterprise advertising and marketing, demand technology, there are siloed groups engaged on varied elements of the shopper journey.
For a second, don’t take into consideration de-siloing the group. That’s sometimes above our pay grade. However what we are able to do is begin excited about how we decipher the shopper’s expertise, even when we begin with one bridge. Simply one thing so simple as, “Hey, if I subscribed to the weblog, I shouldn’t should put in my e mail tackle if I wish to subscribe to the useful resource heart on the identical web site.” These sorts of straightforward, straightforward modifications that I do know are usually not so easy and never really easy since you want good know-how so as to do all of these issues. However actually discovering the small, straightforward wins the place we are able to begin to join these experiences in a approach that one, provides us a greater singular view into the shopper journey themselves, and two, begins to hitch the content material journey for them in order that they’re not annoyed, that decreases the friction on the issues that they’re attempting to do as they undergo our varied digital content material and simply begin small after which do the subsequent one. If you can begin to decipher the journey, what occurs is you begin de-siloing the group consequently. Possibly that may be a useful 2021 tip. Don’t take into consideration attempting to de-silo all people. What you are able to do is begin wanting on the buyer’s journey and begin seeing how one can de-silo that, one step at a time.
MG: You bought me excited about a number of the organizations and distributors that I comply with very carefully and also you’re proper; I downloaded an e-book and clicked a button that stated sure, ship me newsletters and weblog posts and so forth and so forth. That’s how I’ve turn out to be so consumed by these manufacturers with out even realizing it. They swindled me the way in which that you just’re recommending.
I fully agree that it’s all about — coming again to your level — protecting patrons inside this digital expertise. It’s about ensuring that they’ve a cohesive expertise from begin to end along with your model, no matter what activation you’re placing forth on the time, whether or not it’s a weblog submit, a brand new e-book, podcast, or webinar, it turns into rather a lot simpler to devour that content material while you’ve made it straightforward for me and it’s not taking a variety of my time or vitality. I’m going to be extra liable to say sure and see what it’s important to say and point out it to a boss or a colleague as I transfer additional down the funnel and say, “I really listened to a podcast episode not too long ago that talks about this precise factor.”
This subject has sparked one other query for you. What are some predictions that you’ve got that content material, product, or subject advertising and marketing might even see change over the subsequent 12 months?
RR: I believe it’s a associated factor. I imply, there are many great predictions and I believe lots of them you and former friends can have spoken to the concept of the rise of audio as a format — not this podcast withstanding, proper? However then there’s additionally video and multimedia and the supply of that, the resurgence or renaissance, if you’ll, of e mail advertising and marketing. I believe there are a variety of traits for 2021 that may proceed and, actually, we’re going to nonetheless see the extra direct-to-consumer kinds of efforts each in B2B and B2C due to every little thing we simply spent the final 20 minutes speaking about.
However the one prediction that I’ll point out as a result of I believe it’s actually essential for digital entrepreneurs is to hitch up the ability units wanted for what we might generally name “content material” within the enterprise. It was once adequate for content material entrepreneurs to have the ability to write properly, create some good content material, perhaps do some design, perhaps have some model journalism of their background, however now we’re seeing companies say, “You understand what, issues like taxonomies, workflow, CMS, measurement, search engine optimisation, and content material construction and all of these issues are extremely essential too.” The place we’re seeing content material entrepreneurs actually succeed is after they begin to add a bit to their T-shaped expertise. So, along with being nice storytellers, they need to even be nice content material strategists as properly. Those that we’re seeing actually succeed are these that may broaden out their ability units to a few of these extra technical kinds of approaches.
MG: With a view to achieve success with the modifications which have occurred over the past 12 months, and we’re nonetheless ready to see how way more issues will proceed to alter, it’s important to put on many hats and it’s important to have totally different units of expertise and skills so as to suppose exterior of the field. You’ll be able to’t simply be a content material strategist with out placing collectively what you see this purchaser’s journey wanting like, or a marketing campaign wanting like. I believe that, as a content material marketer myself, that has been an space that I’ve been pressured to develop in over the past 12 months. No extra is it nearly phrases, however once I meet up with our design crew or our digital crew, what’s the expertise that I would like our patrons to have? What does it appear to be? What’s it going to really feel like? What sort of feelings are we hoping to tug at to get them to have an interest within the issues that we’re saying, the story we’re attempting to inform? I believe that’s onerous to do while you’re so siloed in a single perform of the enterprise, it’s onerous so that you can come exterior of your self to say “Hey, regardless that I’m a content material marketer, that is how I see it weaving right into a marketing campaign for product advertising and marketing, buyer advertising and marketing, or demand gen. Listed here are ways in which we are able to thread the needle by means of a number of totally different features to be sure that the viewers, our patrons, our prospects, present clients, are getting the very best expertise attainable as a result of it’s not only one approach of viewing this interplay and expertise.”
One different query I did have for you — much like the earlier one about predictions for the 12 months — are there traits that you’ve got taken notice of that you just suppose are a good suggestion to look at for or bounce on board? Are there any insider insights to share from what you’ve seen working with totally different organizations and entrepreneurs?
RR: Properly, we simply spoke about two, which have been the concept of audio and video for positive. We’ve all seen the rise of Clubhouse and a number of the acquisitions that Twitter has made within the audio area. We are able to see podcasts actually as a brand new development with corporations like Amazon and Spotify making acquisitions very, in a short time on this area. So, as a content material marketer, as a marketer, it actually simply perks up my ears to begin to consider issues like audio. How do I begin to actually benefit from the audio and video that goes together with it?
My considering as of late has actually been round this concept of linear experiences. So, each audio and video — regardless that you edit them in a non-linear approach, they turn out to be linear experiences in your client. It’s not the type of factor that folks simply form of skip round and flick through, proper? Both you’re in otherwise you’re not, proper? You’re both listening otherwise you’re not, otherwise you’re watching otherwise you’re not. It’s an enormous problem for us to get actually good at this, the place we have a look at nice tv, films, radio, and podcasts and go, “Wow. They actually know tips on how to create a robust set of narratives there in that linear expertise.”
I believe that’s the place we’ve essentially the most progress and, fairly frankly, an enormous alternative this 12 months with so many individuals being caught in entrance of their screens. Properly, we can provide them one thing to take a look at. We simply really want to push ourselves and push the medium and push our creativity.
So, for me, it’s all about audio and video this 12 months and the way can we as manufacturers and entrepreneurs get actually good at it.
MG: I completely love that and fully agree that audio and video is the type of content material that I’m consuming and the type of content material that I wish to create for different individuals. I respect the advice. Is there a suggestion that you’ve got for a way to consider that technique and tips on how to begin to deploy that inside your group?
RR: You understand — and right here’s the humorous factor — this can go proper again to the place we began the present, which is experiences that sit in parallel to those you’ve already created. We talked about this as a problem that we’ve, and that is actually the place we are able to begin to increase our brains relating to how can we develop content material. Simply easy issues. In case you’ve obtained a weblog, one of many issues that I’m engaged on is making all my weblog posts accessible as an audio stream. In case you would like to hearken to it fairly than learn it, there’s that chance. In case you’re taking a stroll or no matter, and also you wish to have a five-minute hear as a substitute of a five-minute learn, that’s one factor. Webinars, the concept of on-line content material delivered by means of video exhibits. Then, in fact, there’s the traditional launching a podcast, launching a videocast, getting your YouTube channel all arrange. All of this stuff I believe are going to play into one aspect of the spectrum, launching precise exhibits that we would like individuals to subscribe to. All the way in which to actually simply providing up other ways to devour the identical content material we’ve been creating. That interview with our CEO? Sure, it’s good that we’ve it in a beautiful 1,200 phrase weblog submit, however let’s get the audio of that up or let’s get the video or each, the place we are able to begin providing methods to devour the content material primarily based on the ways in which individuals actually wish to.
MG: I believe that’s such an amazing suggestion as a result of typically I’ll have time and vitality to hearken to one thing, but when it’s a video, it feels for some purpose extra consuming for me to look at a video, regardless that I can avert my eyes and proceed to hear. It’s the concept that it’s in video format that makes me really feel like I don’t have the time for it. You say that, “Oh, it’s an audio file,” or, “It’s a podcast,” and in some way I’ve time for that.
I actually respect the concept of taking a weblog submit and placing it into an audio format or taking a video and decoupling it and placing it into audio and video. So, no matter your choice is, giving your viewers a number of ways in which they will devour the identical precise factor.
RR: From what I’ve heard from colleagues who’ve achieved it, they are saying it has elevated engagement rather a lot, they’re getting way more elevated engagement on the content material that they’d created. Quite a lot of that, I believe, is as a result of it’s that linear expertise. So you concentrate on a weblog submit and also you go learn it and, let’s be sincere, we stretch that time period “learn” rather a lot. We learn it, however actually we learn the headlines and perhaps we learn one of many little blocks of textual content in there and obtained the principle message of it and went, “OK, I’m achieved.”
But when it’s a linear expertise, like audio, you’re going to hearken to it. And to your level, you would possibly hearken to it whilst you’re multitasking or doing different issues, however you listened to the entire thing, proper? You hearken to all 5 minutes of it or eight minutes of it, or nevertheless lengthy it’s. In order that elevated engagement is one thing I’m listening to that’s actually beneficial. It actually makes for — going again to our authentic dialogue — a greater buyer expertise.
MG: I’m taking so many notes primarily based on this dialog for issues that I’m planning to stroll away with and new concepts for our content material technique right here at Highspot. So, Robert, thanks a lot. This was simply as informative and academic for me as I believe anybody who could also be listening to this, thanks in your time and for becoming a member of us on the Win-Win podcast. It’s all the time a pleasure.
RR: Completely. My pleasure, thanks a lot for having me on the present. I actually respect it.