Marissa Gbenro: Hiya and welcome to the Win-Win podcast by Highspot. Be part of us as we dive into altering developments within the office and focus on the way to navigate them efficiently. I’m your host, Marissa Gbenro.
Immediately, we’ll focus on how COVID-19 and digital work have modified the advertising and marketing 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 position to our viewers?
Robert Rose: Oh, I actually can Marissa. Effectively, to start with, thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be a visitor in your present, which is de facto, actually splendidly unbelievable.
My identify is Robert Rose and I’m at the moment — effectively, 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 strategy of content material advertising and marketing by occasions and blogs and webinars and all these sorts of issues, after which my position as a marketing consultant, the place I work with a number of manufacturers all around the world, largely by Zoom, and assist them operationalize their content material. I work with these manufacturers to determine the individuals, the method, and the expertise of how content material will be made right into a practical technique of their enterprise.
In between all of that, I, as you recognize, 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 superb content material that you just’re creating on the Content material Advertising and marketing Institute as effectively.
So, Robert, lately at Highspot we performed 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 feel, carry comparable 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 comparable challenges that we’ve seen perpetually with advertising and marketing, it appears these challenges have develop into much more heightened.
The three greatest challenges that we discovered by the survey have been understanding the way to higher have interaction clients, uncovering what content material is handiest, and understanding what content material sellers discover most precious. Once more, this has at all times been a difficulty for entrepreneurs — I feel everybody has these objectives that they’re attempting to unravel — 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 are 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 effectively with the entrepreneurs and organizations that you just work with?
RR: I feel you stated it effectively. These aren’t essentially new challenges, however I feel they’ve a brand new wrinkle added to them which is one thing that we’ve been calling “the de-commodification of bodily house.” Form of the overarching new wrinkle to these three challenges is the thought of the way to have interaction clients and the way to create content material that has an influence. All the issues that we have been challenged to do with content material have been at all times in a world the place the digital expertise or the content material expertise we have been creating was an adjunct to the bodily house. 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 kind of sitting alongside it. Now the thought of the digital content material expertise is not only 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 shopper, wherever it’s.
What I see after I see the identical challenges that we’ve seen perpetually is that this wrinkle is de facto 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 feel what additionally has develop into profoundly clear by the final yr is that buyer expertise is extra necessary now than ever earlier than. It’s at all times been actually necessary, actually guiding your patrons, potential clients, or present clients by a digital expertise that really convinces them that you’re the best vendor or accomplice.
I really feel like entrepreneurs have develop into a lot extra necessary to the funnel for organizations as a result of that is actually the one option 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 the way 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 feel 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 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 develop into simply as siloed. We’ve develop into siloed in advertising and marketing, 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 circumstances, and whereas that was okay, everyone kind 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 needs to be the stress to get these issues related. We frequently take a look at our web site and the one perception that we now have into enhancing 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 amassed there. We don’t have information going forwards and backwards between the experiences to assist enhance them and to attach them in a means 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 may 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. And so they’re utilizing the info in a wise, clear, and clever option to ship a greater expertise, as a substitute of the siloed factor that we’ve been coping with for therefore 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 number 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 together with your sellers, in addition to understanding what patrons are on the lookout for. whether or not it’s topical, what matters 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 that you could provide or have seen work for a number of the organizations and entrepreneurs that you just work with to actually higher perceive your content material panorama in addition to what matters 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 those who have separate area gross sales, area advertising and marketing, enterprise gross sales, enterprise advertising and marketing, demand technology, there are siloed groups engaged on varied components of the client 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 fascinated by 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 tackle if I wish to subscribe to the useful resource heart on the identical web site.” These varieties of easy, simple modifications that I do know aren’t so easy and never really easy since you want good expertise as a way to do all of these issues. However actually discovering the small, simple wins the place we are able to begin to join these experiences in a means that one, provides us a greater singular view into the client journey themselves, and two, begins to affix the content material journey for them in order that they’re not pissed off, 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 because of this. Perhaps that may be a useful 2021 tip. Don’t take into consideration attempting to de-silo everyone. What you are able to do is begin trying on the buyer’s journey and begin seeing how one can de-silo that, one step at a time.
MG: You bought me fascinated by a number of the organizations and distributors that I comply with very intently 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 develop into so consumed by these manufacturers with out even realizing it. They swindled me the way in which that you just’re recommending.
I utterly 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 together with your model, no matter what activation you might be placing forth on the time, whether or not it’s a weblog submit, a brand new e-book, podcast, or webinar, it turns into lots simpler to eat that content material whenever you’ve made it simple for me and it’s not taking numerous my time or vitality. I’m going to be extra susceptible 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 really 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 that content material, product, or area advertising and marketing may even see change over the following yr?
RR: I feel it’s a associated factor. I imply, there are many fantastic predictions and I feel a lot of them you and former company may 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 and marketing. I feel there are numerous developments for 2021 that may proceed and, actually, we’re going to nonetheless see the extra direct-to-consumer sorts of efforts each in B2B and B2C due to every part we simply spent the final 20 minutes speaking about.
However the one prediction that I’ll point out as a result of I feel it’s actually necessary for digital entrepreneurs is to affix up the ability units wanted for what we’d generally name “content material” within the enterprise. It was once ok for content material entrepreneurs to have the ability to write effectively, create some good content material, possibly do some design, possibly have some model journalism of their background, however now we’re seeing companies say, “You recognize 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 after 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 effectively. Those that we’re seeing actually succeed are these that may broaden out their ability units to a few of these extra technical sorts of approaches.
MG: To be able to achieve success with the modifications which have occurred during the last yr, and we’re nonetheless ready to see how far more issues will proceed to alter, it’s a must to put on many hats and it’s a must to have totally different units of abilities and abilities as a way to suppose outdoors 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 trying like, or a marketing campaign trying like. I feel that, as a content material marketer myself, that has been an space that I’ve been pressured to develop in during the last yr. No extra is it nearly phrases, however after I meet up with our design group or our digital group, what’s the expertise that I need our patrons to have? What does it seem like? 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 feel that’s exhausting to do whenever you’re so siloed in a single operate of the enterprise, it’s exhausting so that you can come outdoors of your self to say “Hey, though 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 below are ways in which we are able to thread the needle by a number of totally different features to make it possible for the viewers, our patrons, our prospects, present clients, are getting the most effective expertise doable as a result of it’s not only one means of viewing this interplay and expertise.”
One different query I did have for you — much like the earlier one about predictions for the yr — are there developments that you’ve taken word 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 totally different organizations and entrepreneurs?
RR: Effectively, we simply spoke about two, which have been the thought 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 house. We are able to see podcasts actually as a brand new development with firms like Amazon and Spotify making acquisitions very, in a short time on this house. 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 make the most of the audio and video that goes together with it?
My considering lately has actually been round this concept of linear experiences. So, each audio and video — though you edit them in a non-linear means, they develop into linear experiences to your shopper. It’s not the sort of factor that folks simply kind 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 take a look at nice tv, films, radio, and podcasts and go, “Wow. They actually know the way to create a powerful set of narratives there in that linear expertise.”
I feel that’s the place we now have probably the most progress and, fairly frankly, an enormous alternative this yr with so many individuals being caught in entrance of their screens. Effectively, we can provide them one thing to have a look at. We simply actually need to push ourselves and push the medium and push our creativity.
So, for me, it’s all about audio and video this yr 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 admire the advice. Is there a advice that you’ve for the way to consider that technique and the way to begin to deploy that inside your group?
RR: You recognize — 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 we now have, and that is actually the place we are able to begin to increase our brains in the case of how will we develop content material. Simply easy issues. In the event 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 the event you would like to hearken to it fairly than learn it, there’s that chance. In the event you’re taking a stroll or no matter, and also you wish to have a five-minute pay attention as a substitute of a five-minute learn, that’s one factor. Webinars, the thought of on-line content material delivered by 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 feel are going to play into one facet of the spectrum, launching precise exhibits that we wish individuals to subscribe to. All the way in which 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 we now 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 are able to begin providing methods to eat the content material primarily based on the ways in which individuals actually wish to.
MG: I feel that’s such a fantastic advice as a result of generally I’ll have time and vitality to hearken to one thing, but when it’s a video, it feels for some motive extra consuming for me to observe a video, though I can avert my eyes and proceed to pay attention. 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 someway I’ve time for that.
I actually admire 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’ll eat the identical actual factor.
RR: From what I’ve heard from colleagues who’ve completed it, they are saying it has elevated engagement lots, they’re getting far more elevated engagement on the content material that that they had created. A variety of that, I feel, 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 trustworthy, we stretch that time period “learn” lots. 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 completed.”
But when it’s a linear expertise, like audio, you’re going to hearken to it. And to your level, you may hearken to it when 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 nonetheless 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 feel 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 at all times a pleasure.
RR: Completely. My pleasure, thanks a lot for having me on the present. I actually admire it.