By: Steve Lock, Product Manager, Linkdex
The following insights were taken from a recent event thrown by us [Linkdex] in London for our clients. They are called “Think Tanks,” and this one focused on content marketing; it was called “Great Content Matters.”
The event was a great success with amazing speakers and I am really pleased at how open they were with sharing insights from projects including some of the world’s biggest brands.
It was a half day mini-conference format and I have tried to distill some of my favorite takeaways into one blog post for those who missed it.
Danny Denhard (@dannydenhard), Senior SEO Manager Europe, VoucherCodes.co.uk
I have been lucky enough to know Danny for a while and was really chuffed he could come and speak for us. I know he has been working on some really exciting projects and VoucherCodes.co.uk pivoted away from traditional SEO into content driven marketing, which has generated great results for them.
Some of my favorite takeaways from Danny:
- They found that to get the best links, PR was essential and the most important part of their digital marketing. Quite simply, they are by far the best place to get coverage on major publishers in comparison to SEO’s.
- Building and scaling their editorial team has been key, even with a bias towards people with blogging backgrounds over search marketing.
- Processes are key and integrating their teams for the best results.
- You can grab Danny’s slides here.
Mat Morrison (@mediaczar), Social Media Strategy Director, Starcom MediaVest
This was the first time I have seen Mat present and he proved to be as entertaining as he is experienced. Mat has worked with more big brands than almost anyone I have ever met, including Procter & Gamble, Hewlett Packard, Sony, and many more.
Some of my favorite takeaways from Mat:
- Content marketing is nothing new and has been around for a REALLY long time, this is part of the reason why it’s so popular.
- Headlines are really key with both print and social.
- Red Bull are masters of integrating owned and earned media, through incredible content that is perfect for social media.
- Create content about your audience and not about you. Make content personalized—this is one of the keys behind incredibly successful campaigns such as Elf Yourself. This is a key mechanic they try to integrate at Starcom Mediavest.
- One of the keys to success in social media is appealing to self interest. Mat also referenced Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model, a classic pillar of marketing theory.
Marcos Guerrero, Marketing and Media Sales Director, Thomas Cook
Marcos is a leading travel marketing expert having worked for Expedia, founding Ticket.com, but spending a vast majority of his career in senior roles for Thomas Cook.
Some of my favorite takeaways from Marcos:
- Analysis of the journey of your customers leads to opportunities when you link each stage of their journey back to your business.
- There are serious issues with travel websites, as a vast majority of users look at many sites before choosing—could this be a content problem?
- 91% of surveyed users look at more than one site to book a holiday.
- 49% of users surveyed use social media to make holiday decisions.
- Marcos didn’t use slides for his presentation and went old school with a whiteboard!
Jono Alderson (@jonoalderson), Head of SEO and Analytics, Twentysix
Jono’s talk was one of the favorites of the day, with the audience on viewing content marketing from an analytics perspective. Jono is a leading Google Analytics expert and focuses on data driven decision making for his clients.
Some of my favorite takeaways from Jono:
- Conversions can be the worst metrics in the world sometimes, and often, especially with content marketing, you need to look at microconversions.
- The biggest analytics problem is that all the main platforms focus on visit data, when often the best insights are to be had from visitors.
- Calculating and increasing average visit/visitor values is really important and a key metric for content marketing.
- Use top level business goals to drive sign off for content marketing from stakeholders.
- Make pages useful—a great FAQ page will answer people’s questions and provide a great user experience, but may not be linked to huge numbers of transactions for example.
- We need to look at content with less emphasis on direct conversions, as content can be really valuable at the start of a buying journey and difficult to attribute as a result.
- You can grab Jono’s slides here.
Phil Mackechnie (@akcamiwik), Head of Organic Campaigns and Money
Phil holds one of the top digital jobs at MoneySupermarket.com, where they have a reputation for building amazing teams, scaling organic search, and making data driven decisions.
Some of my favorite takeaways from Phil:
- Agile marketing is key to Phil at MoneySupermarket as they need to be flexible and move quickly on insights.
- Breaking down silos is an essential part of agile methodology.
- MoneySupermarket have seen shifts in Google where publishing high quality and engaging content is key to ranking well in todays SERP’s.
- Structured ideation as a result has become a key part of producing content.
- Restructuring has taken place and the team is being built around being able to drive and act quickly on insights.
- Integration is both inevitable and key to success.
- You can grab Phil’s slides here.
Simon Penson (@simonpenson), Marketing Director and Founder, Zazzle Media
Simon Penson is a good industry friend and one of the most prolific bloggers and speakers in the country right now. The thing I love about Simon the most is the fact he practices what he preaches and is a real workhorse when it comes to his own internal marketing. His slides have received over 15k views on SlideShare already.
Some of my favorite takeaways from Simon:
- Simon shared his framework they use at Zazzle, which can be best seen by downloading his slides.
- At Zazzle, they have leveraged Facebook data to drive compelling insights for clients to let research drive their content decisions.
- Simon recommended some great looking tools including Facebook Power Editor, Google Trends, Mural.ly, Storyboard That, Bottlenose, Quora, Think with Google, Google Public Data, and Zanran.
- Getting your content marketing plans down in an editorial calendar is also key to making sure campaigns get executed well.
- You can grab Simon’s slides here.
Andrew Smith, Marketing Director, Escherman
Andrew Smith is currently MD at Escherman, a leading digital communications agency with clients such as Oracle and Zendesk. He has accumulated decades of experience in PR and marketing, and has seen the industry evolve from a very unique perspective for 28 years. I am also looking forward to reading his book “Share This”.
Some of my favorite takeaways from Andrew:
- “You cannot bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them to buying it”—Ogilvy.
- Ogilvy also believed that research should be the start of every campaign. This has never been so true in content marketing.
- Storytelling is key to good content and messaging.
- Lissted.com is a great service that anyone can join and get access to powerful PR tools.
- You can grab Andrew’s slides here.
Matt Roberts, Co-Founder and VP of Product, Linkdex
Last, but not least, was Matt Roberts. He began his marketing career 20 years ago in direct marketing agencies before progressing into digital marketing. Even when the dot com bubble burst he continued to immerse himself in all things SEO.
Some of my favorite takeaways from Matt:
- OK content is not OK. This was something that has resonated with the whole team at Linkdex, inspired by the iconic Honda advert. It’s something we believe to be very true of content marketing and the current industry shifts.
- Clearly everyone believes OK is not OK in terms of web content.
- Can we hack SMART/SMARTER to be a content marketing framework? We think we can.
- Matt unveiled a project we have been working on very hard for the last four weeks with Alex Moss and 3 Door Digital; SmarterContent.org. It’s an exciting content marketing community and curation site driven purely by Twitter.
- You can grab Matt’s slides here.
I hope you enjoyed the insights as much as I enjoyed the event. If you’re interested in the next Think Tank, please feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Lock is Product Manager forLinkdex, a technology partner for a number of leading agencies and brands. He is also UK Co-Chair for SEMPO. You can follow him onTwitter via @stevejlock and keep your eyes peeled for his personal blog that should be launching later this year.
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