One of the leading developments in marketing has been the increased importance of content management strategies. With the proliferation of communication via the internet, companies of all sizes who are serious about engaging their target audience are looking to content as a significant tool. Clare McDermott, writing for the Content Marketing Institute today, took the opportunity to speak to to Amanda Nelson recently about how her organization creates content that is compelling, fresh, and engaging. Amanda manages content for Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud platform. Her job is to create and curate content for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud community. She manages everything from the blog and eBooks to webinars and infographics — with the help of a content team, of course.
Excerpts from Clare’s interview with Amanda appear below:
CMI: What issue do you think your content solves for your audience?
Amanda: Businesses want to become social, but they don’t always know where to start. What we do is create content to educate these organizations in the hope that when they are ready for social media monitoring, engagement, or publishing software, they will think of us.
What kinds of content tactics are you using?
What we do is develop a content engine. A content engine starts with a central focus. In our case, it’s an eBook, but it could be a case study or any other piece of content that a company might have. From there, we publish the content by recycling and reusing it on multiple media:
- We’ll read the eBook aloud and make it an audio book.
- We’ll interview the customer for a quote in the eBook and then put that up as a video.
- We’ll take the audio from the video and make a podcast.
- We’ll create a presentation from the eBook with highlights.
What results have you gotten since you started using the “content engine”?
We’ve had significant increases — about a 300 percent year-over-year increase in our eBook shares and downloads. I believe social shares of our blog posts increased by about 150 percent. What challenges have you run into?
A lot of people want to plan and curate, but at the end of the day, we need writers.. I sometimes have a need for (outside) writers..I’ll go out to the community and get guest bloggers.
What’s your favorite tool used to communicate with the team?
We use Google Hangout because we’re actually all spread out across the country and Canada.. it is great because it’s video and it can hold up to 10 people. There are also fun things that you can do. You can do screen share or overlay funny faces. Whoever is talking is displayed predominately so it constantly changes. It’s in real-time, easy to use and free. The hangout is public so anyone else can join. People can see that you’re hanging out. It’s very social.
What are the most exciting examples of content marketing that you’ve see outside of your own business?
“News-jacking:” you see what’s going on in the media and they’re able to create content around it that becomes really shareable because it’s sitting where it’s hot.
As you read through Amanda’s comments, take note of what she has done (with plenty of resources including a team of people) and think through how to interpret it and implement similar concepts in your business. We suggest the following:
- Think through your audience, where they hang out, and what your main message to each segment may be.
- Create a content engine that is your prescribed way of being consistent.
- Think about ways to use free, crowdsourced help for additional content.
- Investigate Google Hangout as a tool for enhanced collaboration.
- News-jack something interesting to supplement your original content. (Like we just did with this excerpt!)