Content Pros Podcast (content marketing)

Carlos Abler was given the opportunity to jump in as the "content czar" at 3M after he had been working for the company as a contractor in 2010. From a cross-vertical customer-focused perspective, the opportunity to work in that capacity for a multibillion-dollar company with tens of thousands of products in every vertical there is was hugely attractive.

He has been working hard to evolve the culture of content marketing ever since.

One of his major initiatives includes a program called Content to Customer, a toolkit that helps various areas within 3M achieve content excellence while focusing on technology, process, and strategy. And for the past few years, Carlos has been taking this content acceleration framework and applying it across all levels of the organization. Through workshops, visual storytelling, and information design, he helps everyone from marketing to sales to customer care anchor themselves around strategically managing the customer experience.

"Content is an interface at all those touch-points and across all those things."

It isn't always easy to introduce content marketing to those who haven't bought into it yet. As with anything new, there is an adoption curve.

Carlos recognizes that being up front about the challenges that transitioning into content marketing presents goes a long way. Once it's out in the open that not everyone will "get it" right away (which is okay), it's much easier to create a positive atmosphere. And, as will happen with early-adopters in any realm, it's important to reward those who are ready to pilot content marketing programs and bring others along for the ride.

Another key to adopting content marketing lies in the hands of the top-level management at the organization. The organization needs to manage expectations, and say, "As leadership in a company who's expecting our culture to adapt to these new imperatives in marketing and customer relations, we also understand that we have a responsibility, as organizational leaders, to give people some time to get it right."

The organization must invest in training, resources, and outside assistance to support those who are left to implement the new initiative. Introducing something new and then leaving employees to fight their way through it without the proper resources is a recipe for disaster.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Carlos wanted to be a lot of things, but one of the big ones was an Egyptologist or an archeologist, "discovering buried miracles of past civilizations and that type of thing." Perhaps he was influenced by the Indiana Jones "sexy guy with a bullwhip" version of an archeologist, but there you have it.

Carlos has two different backgrounds that have culminated to where he is today. The first was his studies in human experience and behavior – how humans works, and how they make sense of the world. The second was in creating artistic and narrative experiences for people through theatre, animation, and multimedia installations. In the late 90s, he was heading on the path to produce large-scale multimedia theater spectacles and feature-length films. He started picking up digital skills to be able to create movie trailers on his own and get by that way, but discovered that he loved working in the digital sphere. The rest is history.


Jason Miller is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, where he leads the global content marketing and social efforts for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 Best Selling Book, Welcome to the Funnel.

In Welcome to the Funnel, and in life, Jason advocates for content marketing teams to be put together like rock bands, specifically KISS...

1. Paul Stanley (guitar) = Social Media. Entertaining, out there in front.

2. Gene Simmons (bass) = Content. Writing the bulk of the songs/content.

3. Peter Criss (drums) = SEO. Laying the beat/foundation for everything. He's a part of the band, as an SEO person should be part of the marketing team, not off in a corner somewhere.

4. Ace Frehley (guitar) = Demand Gen. Pulling it all together.

5. Doc McGhee (band manager) = PR. PR and marketing need to work together to make sure they're not mixing messages.

6. KISS Army (fans) = The community. Like Seth Godin says, if you don't have somebody to consume your content, you don't have anything.

Each person in the team has an individual role that comes together to create a beautiful final product. For KISS, it's a record. For marketers, it's "Big Rock" content, content that has high value and can be repurposed and "sliced and diced" over and over again.

Direct download: Jason20Miller20-20Content20Pros.m4a
Category:content marketing -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs, a company that offers real-world education for modern marketers through training, best practices, research, and other content. She also literally wrote the book on how to create great marketing content with her bestseller, Everybody Writes.

In this episode of Content Pros, Ann reiterates that writing isn’t reserved for a chosen few: “Our words are our ambassadors. They’re carrying messages for us. So when I hear from marketers sometimes, ‘I’m not a writer’ or ‘I don’t write,’ I call BS on that, because I think we are all writers. We are all communicators and we’re all communicating.” The first step is getting over the initial fear of the blank page and just get it out, whether through dictation or on the page. Then, on the rewrite, you can ask questions with the reader in mind: “Am I saying this as clearly as I could? Could I say this more briefly?”

On an organizational level, Ann talks about the six essential roles needed for a successful content marketing team, and the importance of setting goals and measuring success. Everything should connect back to an overall business strategy, but at the same time, that business strategy must be customer-centric. Talking about ourselves rather than how to help ease the customers’ pain points won’t do the job. Obviously the harder goals of leads and sales should be measures, but Ann also measures softer goals: awareness and shares. As someone who must be tuned into what resonates with her audience, she is not one to discount the validity of shares.

Visit ContentProsPodcast.com for more insights from your favorite content marketers.

 

Direct download: Ann20Handley20-20Content20Pros.m4a
Category:content marketing -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Jason Falls is the Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy (& Director of Bourbon Integration) at Elasticity, a digital marketing and public relations firm. Think digital-era Don Draper (especially with the bourbon). Jason produces a ton of content, not only for clients, but he has two books of his own.

On this episode of Content Pros, Jason shares that whatever the content, long-form or short, there are two things to remember:

  1. Keep sight of the overall strategy.Don’t get so enamored with tactical executions and ideas that you forget what the overall strategy is. Get everyone on board, top to bottom. “There should be triggers in place to make sure that everyones is pointed in the same direction.”
  1. Plan to measure.From the start, build the expectations of the metrics that you’re going to generate before you talk tactics. “It’s identifying the audience that is ultimately going to purchase your product and making the path to conversion as smooth as possible for them.” You can’t do that if you haven’t started measuring what works and what doesn’t.

Check out ContentProsPodcast.com for further insights from Jason and other Content Pros Podcast guests!

Direct download: Jason20Falls20-20Content20Pros.m4a
Category:content marketing -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Jay Baer is the President of Convince & Convert, the digital marketing consulting company (whose blog you're reading right now!). The Convince & Convert blog was named the #1 content marketing blog in the world by Content Marketing Institute. Jay is also a keynote speaker and bestselling author.

Jay and Content Pros’ host, Amber Naslund, wrote “The Now Revolution” in 2010, predicting that social media will no longer be dedicated to one “social media person”, but instead each department within a business will need at least one person who is plugged into social.

That’s coming true right now.

Jay’s next prediction is that within the next three years, marketing will move from having a content marketing department back to just one marketing department. Most of the marketing done now is wholly or partially content marketing, so why have a separate department?

Jay’s #1 content trend for 2015 is this: embracing cooperative content. Finding customers, employees, associates, and collaborators will become more and more important for content marketers to produce content that is valuable. Watch out for video content, content amplification, and human resources while you’re at it.

Read the full highlights and learn more at http://contentprospodcast.com.

Direct download: Jay20Baer20-20Content20Pros.m4a
Category:content marketing -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT