The Figaro Digital Content Marketing Seminar took place on Thursday 18 June at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden. Our team of experts from Great British Chefs, Branded3, Edit-Place, Liberty Marketing and Tate London discussed everything from producing exciting content through media partnerships, to the actual value of viral and why the line between SEO and content marketing is becoming increasingly blurred
Innovative Content Marketing
Ollie Lloyd – CEO, Great British Chefs
“All content creation needs to start with absolute clarity of what you’re trying to achieve as a brand.”
A lot of marketers produce content that has a brand behind it rather than an idea or a story, said Ollie at Great British Chefs. But an idea that is worth sharing and paying for is so much more valuable. By teaming up with a media partner, brands can produce really interesting content and amplify it across an extended network.
Before getting started on any content creation, make sure you and any partners are absolutely clear on what you’re trying to achieve as a brand. Dramatise an idea from that objective, create the content, and amplify it with your partners. Ollie took delegates through his work with three different brands—Celebrity Cruises, Urban Fruit and Cath Kidston—to highlight the potential for reaching a larger and potentially new audience that wouldn’t necessarily engage otherwise. Working with a publisher with status in your space means that your paid content will travel further because it has more credibility.
Don’t Go Viral – Go Useful
Stephen Kenwright – Head of Search, Branded3
“Going viral doesn’t last forever. You need to keep doing it.”
Viral content hits such as the Old Spice and Volvo ads cost millions of pounds to create, said Stephen at Branded3. The Protein World ‘Are You Beach Body Ready’ poster went viral because it was put directly in the eye line of thousands of commuters, not because of the creative. Stephen warned against creating content with the aim of going viral: good content will get coverage, so focus on making it engaging and relevant. If you do manage to spark an influx of interest, however, make sure your website has the capacity to stay up and running with a sudden high volume of traffic.
And keep creating great content to support the success: there’s no point just driving business with a big campaign as viral content doesn’t last forever. Stephen’s advice: put content in your own language; amplify it as much as you can; and be prepared for people to talk back if your content’s getting noticed. If you want to boost attention and interest, do PR properly and talk to people about it. Remember, the aim is to create useful content, not viral.
Improve your Traffic and Conversion Rates with the Right Content
Julien Wolff – Co-founder & CEO, Edit-Place
“You need to know about you. Try to figure out what you’ve been talking about all these years, and what people have liked.”
In order to create effective global content, you need to have a well-defined content strategy. Depending on your industry, this could be designed to increase SEO traffic, social traffic, or conversion levels. For SEO, marketers should look at what keywords are driving traffic to their site and group them, as these could be potential ideas to build content around. Then look at your competitors: are they already talking about the same topic and are there any new keywords you can target?
Once you’ve got your keywords, check your ranking and consider how much content to produce to optimise that. To improve social traffic, find the right SEO keywords and create content around it. What are people reading, sharing and engaging with? Find common points that you can use to create editorial briefs to give to your content creator. Social is conversion in some cases. For ecommerce sites, you need to get traffic around the product page, so the content of your product descriptions needs to be tapping into what your customers are looking for.
You need to adapt your content for each country. Keywords can differ from country to country and, if you’re selling products, studying the keywords used on reviews of similar products can give you an informed idea of how the needs of customers change depending on location. Julien’s takeaways: write SEO articles using the right keywords to improve ranking; create blog content on the right subjects to enhance social traffic; and provide clear, concise product descriptions to boost conversions.
Are you a Content Marketer or an SEO?
Philip Woodward – Senior Copywriter, Liberty Marketing
“You’re either both, or you’re neither.”
Writers are SEOs and SEOs are writers, said Philip at Liberty Marketing. The content you write needs to be informed by intelligent keyword use to boost your ranking and, likewise, your search ranking is dependent on producing valuable and engaging content. Google wants what people want, so you need to make your information easy, accessible and helpful.
Some of the way content helps SEO: it can boost your ranking if you’re creating regular, fresh content. It can drive links. It can create social gravitas, which Google favours. It can help you rank for long-tail search terms. Some of the ways SEO helps content: it can help you discover the keywords that’ll inform your content. It can allow you to build personas so that you can ensure your content is relevant and targeted.
Philip’s takeaways: content marketers need to understand the analytics and think like an SEO. Look at your blogs and landing pages and see what’s getting traffic. Make little tweaks to things like keyword use, and see if it has a positive impact. Know which pages are working: link to content from these and you’re more likely to get a good response.
Reaching New Audiences: Awareness, Engagement, Partnerships and Advocacy
Maria Pavlou – Digital Communications Officer, Tate London
“Our content strategy is all about ‘seeding’. We want other media partners, retailers and bloggers to pick up our content and promote it for us.”
For a cultural institution like Tate London, content needs to inspire the public and encourage them to pay for further exhibitions, but it also needs to bring in new audiences. Tate is, by nature, academic, communications need to be translated into everyday language that all demographics can access. Maria Pavlou at Tate took delegates through some of the ways the organisation has produced highly engaging content on a low budget, from winning a spot on the Underground for Tate Weather (a billboard that’s fed with live weather updates represented with artwork) to getting video content around American fashion icon Iris Apfel and French artist Matisse promoted by fashion retailers like Topshop.
The audience is key, said Maria, and Tate is conscious that the information supplied with content needs to be tailored to the audience’s needs for each campaign. Having other media partners, retailers and bloggers to pick up content and promote it is a great way of amplifying reach to new audiences, as well as being affordable. Look beyond your niche and try a new angle.
Written by Estelle Hakner.