• Tom Dewhurst

Develop your Content Marketing Growth Strategy - with Emma Westley

Who are we talking to?

Emma Westley has 15 years’ experience in growth marketing, cross-channel communications and marketing automation. She is an ambitious and innovative marketer who has worked closely with commercial and product teams. She's also worked with and for enterprise, mid-market and startup companies to develop comprehensive marketing strategies aligned to their business and sales KPIs.

Which growth channel are we talking about today?

Content marketing

Describe this channel to someone who’s never done it before?

Content marketing is everything! ;) It’s all the valuable content you create to attract, engage and convert customers. It covers everything from videos to blog articles, from case studies to pricing collateral. Some might even say you can’t do marketing without doing content!

What frameworks have you used?

I mainly use 2 frameworks for content marketing. Both focused on the planning stage:

3-Box - this is an old B2C brand framework that I’ve adapted for content marketing. It’s really useful for focusing on the 3 key things you want to communicate across all your content and then how these 3 things link your ‘features’ to the customer ‘benefits’.

TOFU-MOFU-BOFU - a bit more of a B2B one but it helps to work out how your content fits into the marketing/sales funnel and at what stage you should be promoting a teaser video vs, say, a case study. I usually use this framework in conjunction with customer journey planning too.

Can you share any relevant case studies or projects?

Barclaycard (B2B) - With Barclaycard, I led a series of customer journey planning sessions and used the TOFU-MOFU-BOFU framework to establish what content we needed to create at each stage of the customer journey. We then considered how that content was going to be distributed out to the target audience on a ‘drip’ basis using the Eloqua marketing automation platform.

Whitesmith (startup app development agency) - Here, I led a number of strategy sessions with this agency and leveraged the 3-Box approach. This helped the team to focus their messaging and work out what content we needed to create in order to connect with our target audience.

What about any challenging projects?

HomeServe Now (disruptive startup app) - HomeServe is traditionally known as a B2C company but this new app they were launching was to trade (SMB first). The challenge was the audience wasn’t your traditional B2B one, even though the sales/onboarding cycle was still fairly long. So the content had to quite quickly flip from ‘awareness’ stage to ‘onboarding’, without a nice journey that you’d usually take people on!

Top 3: mistakes to avoid?

  1. Creating content that sucks! My mantra is if you wouldn’t read it, then why would anyone else.

  2. Developing new content just for the sake of it. Do a content audit first and find older stuff that you can repurpose or update. It’ll save you a lot of money!

  3. Not being consistent and using lots of different messages across different channels. Come up with an overarching theme and stick to it - you’ll always underestimate how long it takes for a message to resonate and stick with the customer; and you’ll always overestimate how many times they’ll see that message - they likely won’t!

Top 3: businesses nailing this channel at the moment?

Here are 4 - 2 B2C and 2 B2B

  1. Netflix

  2. HubSpot

  3. Trip Advisor

  4. Drift

Top 3: key KPIs?

While everyone wants to see hard metrics here, you have to accept with content marketing that a fair amount of it is going to be subliminal and ‘influence’ the conversion rather than be the sole ‘creator’ of it. Your KPI should therefore reflect that and be something along the lines of:

  1. Viewing / reading time

  2. Engagement and shares

  3. Contribution to conversion

Top 3: tools for this channel?

Never underestimate the power of a good designer for content marketing! If budget really is that tight, there are loads of tools to create features and assets yourself:

  1. Canva - Create beautiful designs with your team.

  2. Doodly - The simplest drag and drop doodle video creator available!

  3. Piktochart - Create beautiful infographics, flyers, posters, presentations and reports.

For general content marketing planning and management:

  1. SEMrush - Discover your competitors, improve your SEO, boost your rankings.

  2. Upland Kapost - The Content Marketing Platform to Unite All Revenue Teams.

  3. Immerj - Marketing plan tools, templates and resources for B2B Start-ups.

Top 3: tips and hacks for this channel?

  1. Keep asking why - why are you creating something, why is it of value to the customer? Don’t just blindly create.

  2. Google search! If you’ve got an idea for content but aren’t sure about it, then start typing in different variations of the idea into Google. The suggestions that come up alongside what you type will help you structure what the content should focus on (what people are actually searching) and what related topics to include too.

  3. Sweat your content and themes - come up with 1 big theme and 1 big piece of content per quarter. Then ‘atomize’ it across different sub-themes and different channels. This will help reinforce your message too and result in better recall from your customers.

What's the benefit of working with you as a Growth Division marketing expert?

Growth Division experts bring experience across a wide range of channels and content types so that you, as a business, receive a more balanced and ultimately integrated approach to your marketing. This approach puts in place the foundations you need to grow and scale your marketing, which leads to improved sales and revenue KPIs.

Marketing experts offer on demand expertise that can be tapped into for specific challenges or areas of marketing.

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