Recently we hosted our first ever event at our new offices in Surry Hills with our mates at General Assembly, and boy was it a biggie! With a bumper crowd of over 180 people, we just about managed to squeeze everyone in and get some fab engaging content tips from an expert panel. (We’re super sorry if you came along and couldn’t snag a seat! Definitely a learning for next time).
But if you didn’t take down any notes or just generally want some tips for creating great content in today’s digital landscape – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our panel featured a stellar cast with Danielle Kirk from Contiki, Dan Steiner from UNiDAYS, Dominique Hermo from News Corp Australia and our very own Founder Gordon D’Mello. So what were the best takeaways? Strap in, let’s get to it.
#1 Understand What Your Goals Are From Content
As a few of the panelists touched on during the night, it’s important to really have an underlying strategy behind your content. Not just in the type and styles of content you’re creating, but understanding what you and your business actually want to achieve. Do you want engaging content that drives sales, allows your brand to express tone and voice, or maybe allows your collaborate with other brands?
Yes, we all want content that ultimately leads to business down the line – but we have to understand that often if we go with a money-driven approach, it’s pretty likely the content will be pretty average. But understanding what your ultimate key goals from content are, will then allow you to create content at a top of your funnel that will drip towards your end conversion.
#2 Trust Your Content Creators
Your boss comes to you, asks you to write a bunch of content for your brand, then proceeds to ask why your brand hasn’t been mentioned 30 times in an article. Sound familiar? I’m sure marketers and content producers around the world have slightly different variations of similar conversations – and look, it’s understandable at times. Brands want to get mentioned and promoted in content, but this is where trust plays a big part.
As Dominique mentioned during the panel, actually trusting your content creators is such a huge bookmark for success. Because at the end of the day, content creators don’t want their content to perform badly – they’re just as invested in the success of content as bosses and managers are. So trust who you’re working with to create engaging and effective content that works for your audience – because they have your best interests at heart, too.
#3 Understand The Metrics
Danielle, Gordon and Dan all touched on the importance of actually understanding the metrics of the content channels you use. We’ve all heard about how you can create amazing content, but if you don’t have the channels, promotion or ability to get an audience – what’s the point?
A lot of that has to do with understanding how a lot of online marketing channels work. Dan and Danielle regularly mentioned how they are always trying to learn about Tik Tok as a channel, given both of their audiences are heavily Gen Z orientated (with Danielle and the Contiki team already having a Tik Tok strategy in place). And Gordon mentioned how a lot of brands are using a cliffhanger moment at the 45 second mark of an IGTV video to get videos to click in and watch the rest. Understanding your content vehicles is arguably more important heading into 2020, as the content you put in them.
#4 Continuously Track Your Audience
Dan mentioned how the team at UNiDAYS were constantly getting feedback from Gen Zs across the country, and how that informed the topics and content for their recently started UNiDAYS podcast. And this is one we can definitely vouch for, because constantly understanding your audience is so vital. It sounds simple, but we’re often shocked at how much this doesn’t happen.
For example, are you regularly talking with your target audience or customers about they would like to see as content from you/your brand? Are you running focus groups, surveys, Instagram/Facebook polls, or capturing data that can give you direction for content strategy? And not only that but just track how they behave. Dan challenged the audience to watch how a young person would use their mobile, switching so regularly between apps, messaging someone, then read an article, scroll through a few videos on Instagram and tag a friend in a meme on Facebook. Make sure you know how your audience operates, because that will also give you insight into how long you have to get their attention and engage with them.
#5 Be Smart With Your Pitches
And when it comes to actually getting featured in publishers, Gordon and Danielle spoke candidly about the importance of personalised pitches. Instead of firing off a press release to hundreds and hundreds of publishers or editors, pick the top 10-20 publishers you’d love to get a feature in and make them a priority. Really go hard for them and make sure you almost treat them like a client.
When you’re reaching out to a huge volume of people, it’s obvious in an email. And that’s often where spelling mistakes are made, or when you don’t even realise an editor you’ve got on your books finished up at a specific company years ago. And then you have the basics; having a strong novelty point, including high res imagery, easy to edit content and quotes.
5 Key Takeaways In A Nutshell:
1. Understand what your goals are from creating content
2. Trust your content creators to do their job
3. Make sure you understand the metrics of your content vehicles
4. Always track your audience, and understand what they want
5. Be smart with pitching to publishers and managers, make it personal