Marissa Gbenro: Hi there and welcome to the Win-Win podcast by Highspot. Be part of us as we dive into altering traits within the office and focus on easy methods to navigate them efficiently. I’m your host, Marissa Gbenro.
Right this moment, we’ll focus on how COVID-19 and digital work have modified the advertising panorama. I’ve invited my pal, 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 basically, actually splendidly unbelievable.
My identify is Robert Rose and I’m at the moment — properly, I’ve two roles, actually: the chief technique advisor for a company referred to as the Content material Advertising and marketing Institute, which is a media firm the place we evangelize the method of content material advertising via occasions and blogs and webinars and all these sorts of issues, after which my function as a advisor, the place I work with a number of manufacturers all around 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 , host a podcast or two and I’ve written a few books and maintain 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, lately at Highspot we carried out a survey throughout completely different advertising capabilities and the aim was to uncover advertising challenges which have emerged on account of the worldwide pandemic and digital work. Each, I believe, carry comparable however completely 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 believed it was actually fascinating that although they’re comparable challenges that we’ve seen ceaselessly with advertising, it appears these challenges have grow to be much more heightened.
The three greatest challenges that we discovered via the survey have been understanding easy methods to higher interact clients, uncovering what content material is best, and understanding what content material sellers discover most useful. Once more, this has all the time been a difficulty for entrepreneurs — I believe everybody has these objectives that they’re attempting to resolve — however plainly they’ve been exquisitely heightened by working just about and never having sellers subsequent door to you. Everyone seems to be vying for the eyes of patrons which are additionally working just about and each marketer solely has digital methods to now interact with these patrons. Robert, would you say that these are the most important 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 will not be 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 thought of easy methods to interact clients and easy methods 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 thought of the digital content material expertise isn’t just sitting subsequent to — it’s a substitute. It has to truly act as a proxy of that bodily, intimate relationship constructing that we may do in-person at a convention, at a consumer, wherever it’s.
What I see once I see the identical challenges that we’ve seen ceaselessly is that this wrinkle is basically simply further 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 grow to be profoundly clear via the final 12 months is that buyer expertise is extra necessary now than ever earlier than. It’s all the time been actually necessary, actually guiding your patrons, potential clients, or present clients via a digital expertise that truly convinces them that you’re the precise vendor or companion.
I really feel like entrepreneurs have grow to be a lot extra necessary to the funnel for organizations as a result of that is actually the one approach 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 easy methods 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 firms do which are main this cost is identical issues that make up the wrinkles and the challenges that aren’t completely 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 certain — 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 grow to be simply as siloed. We’ve grow to be siloed in advertising, gross sales, buyer expertise, and buyer loyalty. All of these digital experiences that we create have been sort 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 clear up it.
It’s actually troublesome and it’s not okay anymore. It must be the strain to get these issues linked. We regularly take a look at our web site and the one perception that now we have into bettering it or personalizing it or making it extra related is the perception we get from the advert tech, principally no matter report that claims how guests have been gathered there. We don’t have knowledge going forwards and backwards between the experiences to assist enhance them and to attach them in a manner 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 truly 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 information in a wise, clear, and clever approach to ship a greater expertise, as an alternative of the siloed factor that we’ve been coping with for thus lengthy.
MG: I really like that reply a lot, and it makes me pause to consider ways in which we will higher present a cohesive expertise from web site to e-mail advertising from demand gen to content material. A number of different challenges that we discovered within the surveys, as we stated earlier: uncovering content material that’s best, higher understanding what content material resonates most together with your sellers, in addition to understanding what patrons are in search of. 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 book?
What are your finest practices you could provide or have seen work for among the organizations and entrepreneurs that you just work with to actually higher perceive your content material panorama in addition to what subjects and sorts of content material are patrons participating with now to actually assist transfer that needle?
RR: Yeah, it’s troublesome. 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 area gross sales, area advertising, enterprise gross sales, enterprise advertising, demand era, there are siloed groups engaged on varied elements of the client journey.
For a second, don’t take into consideration de-siloing the group. That’s usually above our pay grade. However what we will do is begin eager about how we decipher the client’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 must put in my e-mail handle if I wish to subscribe to the useful resource middle on the identical web site.” These sorts of straightforward, straightforward adjustments that I do know will not be so easy and never really easy since you want good know-how with a view to do all of these issues. However actually discovering the small, straightforward wins the place we will begin to join these experiences in a manner that one, provides us a greater singular view into the client 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 following one. If you can begin to decipher the journey, what occurs is you begin de-siloing the group in consequence. 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 eager about among the organizations and distributors that I comply with very carefully and also you’re proper; I downloaded an 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 grow to be so consumed by these manufacturers with out even realizing it. They swindled me the best way that you just’re recommending.
I utterly agree that it’s all about — coming again to your level — holding patrons inside this digital expertise. It’s about ensuring that they’ve a cohesive expertise from begin to end together 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 book, podcast, or webinar, it turns into so much simpler to eat that content material once you’ve made it straightforward for me and it’s not taking a whole lot of my time or vitality. I’m going to be extra liable to say sure and see what it’s a must to say and point out it to a boss or a colleague as I transfer additional down the funnel and say, “I truly listened to a podcast episode lately that talks about this actual factor.”
This matter has sparked one other query for you. What are some predictions that you’ve got that content material, product, or area advertising may even see change over the following 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 company can have spoken to the thought 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. I believe there are a whole lot of traits for 2021 that can proceed and, actually, we’re going to nonetheless see the extra direct-to-consumer sorts of efforts each in B2B and B2C due to the whole lot 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 necessary for digital entrepreneurs is to hitch up the talent units wanted for what we’d generally name “content material” within the enterprise. It was ok for content material entrepreneurs to have the ability to write properly, create some good content material, possibly do some design, possibly have some model journalism of their background, however now we’re seeing companies say, “ what, issues like taxonomies, workflow, CMS, measurement, search engine optimization, and content material construction and all of these issues are extremely necessary too.” The place we’re seeing content material entrepreneurs actually succeed is once they begin to add a bit to their T-shaped abilities. 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 talent units to a few of these extra technical sorts of approaches.
MG: With a view to achieve success with the adjustments which have occurred during the last 12 months, and we’re nonetheless ready to see how way more issues will proceed to vary, it’s a must to put on many hats and it’s a must to have completely different units of abilities and abilities with a view to suppose exterior of the field. You possibly can’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 compelled to develop in during the last 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 arduous to do once you’re so siloed in a single perform of the enterprise, it’s arduous so that you can come exterior of your self to say “Hey, although I’m a content material marketer, that is how I see it weaving right into a marketing campaign for product advertising, buyer advertising, or demand gen. Listed here are ways in which we will thread the needle via a number of completely different capabilities to be sure that the viewers, our patrons, our prospects, present clients, are getting the most effective expertise attainable as a result of it’s not only one manner 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 be aware of that you just suppose are a good suggestion to observe for or leap on board? Are there any insider insights to share from what you’ve seen working with completely different organizations and entrepreneurs?
RR: Properly, we simply spoke about two, which have been the thought of audio and video for certain. We’ve all seen the rise of Clubhouse and among the acquisitions that Twitter has made within the audio area. We will see podcasts actually as a brand new pattern with firms 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 start out to consider issues like audio. How do I begin to actually make the most of 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 — although you edit them in a non-linear manner, they grow to be linear experiences to your client. It’s not the sort of factor that individuals simply form of skip round and flick thru, 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 take a look at nice tv, films, radio, and podcasts and go, “Wow. They actually know easy methods to create a robust set of narratives there in that linear expertise.”
I believe that’s the place now we have essentially the most development and, fairly frankly, an enormous alternative this 12 months with so many individuals being caught in entrance of their screens. Properly, we may give them one thing to have 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 will we as manufacturers and entrepreneurs get actually good at it.
MG: I completely love that and utterly agree that audio and video is the sort of content material that I’m consuming and the sort of content material that I wish to create for different individuals. I respect the advice. Is there a advice that you’ve got for the way to consider that technique and easy methods to begin to deploy that inside your group?
RR: — and right here’s the humorous factor — this may 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 now we have, and that is actually the place we will begin to increase our brains relating to how will 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 out there as an audio stream. In case you would favor to take heed to it slightly 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 an alternative of a five-minute learn, that’s one factor. Webinars, the thought of on-line content material delivered via 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 wish individuals to subscribe to. All the best way to actually simply providing up other ways to eat the identical content material we’ve been creating. That interview with our CEO? Sure, it’s good that now we have it in an exquisite 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 will begin providing methods to eat the content material based mostly on the ways in which individuals actually wish to.
MG: I believe that’s such an important advice as a result of typically I’ll have time and vitality to take heed to one thing, but when it’s a video, it feels for some motive extra consuming for me to observe a video, although I can avert my eyes and proceed to hear. It’s the concept 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 by some means I’ve time for that.
I actually respect the thought 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 desire is, giving your viewers a number of ways in which they will eat the identical actual factor.
RR: From what I’ve heard from colleagues who’ve accomplished it, they are saying it has elevated engagement so much, they’re getting way more elevated engagement on the content material that that they had created. A variety of that, I believe, is as a result of it’s that linear expertise. So you consider a weblog submit and also you go learn it and, let’s be sincere, we stretch that time period “learn” so much. We learn it, however actually we learn the headlines and possibly we learn one of many little blocks of textual content in there and obtained the principle message of it and went, “OK, I’m accomplished.”
But when it’s a linear expertise, like audio, you’re going to take heed to it. And to your level, you would possibly take heed to it when you’re multitasking or doing different issues, however you listened to the entire thing, proper? You take heed 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 priceless. It actually makes for — going again to our unique dialogue — a greater buyer expertise.
MG: I’m taking so many notes based mostly 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 to 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.