December 9, 2019 | Stephanie Ostermann

Beyond the Blog | WS Shares Replay


Kelsey:

Hello, welcome to Beyond the Blog: How to Build Lifetime Loyalty with Content. My name is Kelsey MacCuaig. I’m an account executive at WS and I’ll be your host for today’s webinar. This webinar is the second in the WS Shares series. Our goal today is to leave you with some actionable takeaways on how to use content to connect with and grow your customer base.

A little bit about me: I have a Bachelor of Communications majoring in PR. I have over five years of communications experience. I’m a huge fan of to-do lists and coloured pens, and my mantra is “know your audience.”

Before we get going today, I’m going to run through a few housekeeping items. This webinar is being recorded and a link will be sent out at the conclusion of the webinar. Please note this can take up to 24 hours. If you found this webinar informative, please share it with your teams and colleagues. The slides for this webinar can be made available by request. And of course we welcome your questions and will have a formal Q&A led by me at the end of the webinar, but please share your questions in the chat as they come up, as I will be monitoring. Follow us on social – we want to keep this conversation going. So use the hashtag #WeSolveWithSoul. You can find us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook at the handles on the screen.

A little bit about WS before we get going. We combine strategic brand marketing and tactical performance marketing. What does that mean? We’re customer centric. We’re experts in audience behaviour. We believe in strategy first, tactic second. We look beyond the funnel, we believe in creating customers for life, not just leading to a sale in a linear fashion. We operate based on evidence and we’re constantly using real time data to inform our experience and our expertise and we believe in an agile process. We change our assets as we watch them perform, tweaking and shifting them as needed.

Now, don’t worry, you don’t have to listen to my voice for much longer. So let’s introduce you to today’s speakers. First I’d like to introduce Stephanie – or as we call her in our office – Steph. Steph is the OG Director of Content here at WS. She’s our go-to word wizard and master of everything social. Unfortunately, she’s also not so secretly in love with Justin Bieber, but please don’t hold that against her.

Stephanie:

Hi, everybody.

Kelsey:

Next, I would like to introduce Evan. Evan is not the Director of Content, but he is our Associate Creative Director. Inspired by unique digital experiences, Evan has over 19 years of experience in the digital landscape, which means he started in this industry before I was even out of Elementary School. In addition to being a well-seasoned digital expert, Evan is also dog dad to Nixon. And unfortunately Nixon couldn’t join us today because he isn’t an expert in this field, like his dad.

Evan:

Hello, everybody.

Kelsey:

Now, what we’re going to run through today. First, we’re going to cover what the heck growth marketing is. We’re going to talk about content and why your company should bother creating it. We’re going to explore how data can help you make better decisions about your content. We’re going to talk about what happens after your content strategy is in place. And then we’ll top it all off with a riveting question and answer period led by myself. So without further ado, here’s Steph to cover what the heck growth marketing is.

Stephanie:

And more than that, I’ll be here to talk to you about a whole bunch of things, but we’re going to start with growth marketing, because that’s really the backbone of what we’re talking about here today.

Growth marketing isn’t growth hacking.

You’ve probably heard that term before, that’s making tiny little changes to lots of things over and over again, in order to get the biggest result possible. That’s something you might do to individual tactics, maybe part of your overall strategy. But it’s not what growth strategy and growth marketing really is. It isn’t about customer acquisition. So we’re not looking to get new customers into the funnel only. We’re doing that absolutely as a very important part of your marketing, because you do also always have to be trying to bring in some new people. But what we’re really looking at is those people who’ve already bought from you.

It’s not sales driven. So we aren’t looking to make a sale. We’re not making decisions based on the sale. Growth marketing looks at the relationship that we’re trying to form.

So I answered some of those questions already. What is growth marketing? Well, it is about lifetime customer value. So how often does a person come back to you what are they buying when they come back? How many times will they come back in the length of that relationship that you have with them? That’s really what growth marketing focuses on. Because when you focus on bringing those customers back, you’re going to improve your profits. Increasing your customer retention rate, even by 5% can improve your profits by up to 95%. So when we’re talking about what it is, it is about customer retention, aka loyalty. And it is relationship driven. We’re looking to build relationships with our customers, so that they see the brand as someone they can rely on, trust, sense that when they’re ready to make that purchase again, they come back to you rather than shopping your competitors, researching your competitors, heading off to someone else. And so strong customer support, strong customer retention.

So, when it comes to content, and what content is a very important part of growth marketing is what we’re going to focus on today. Because through content, you can build relationships with your customers. So we’ll talk now about what content actually is.

I am going to read this – it will be the only slide that I read word for word. But content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. And ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. So what it really means is making sure that your content isn’t just advertising. We’re not promoting a product, we’re not promoting a service, we’re really looking to create our content around the job or tasks that your product or service is helping that customer to execute. But all of the things that are related to that task, so what is the customers needs, what are their pain points, what’s the real challenge and trying to get that done? And that’s going to build a relationship. So we’re not driving to a sale, it will eventually go there. All businesses need some sales, but we’re really looking at making sure that we’re addressing all of the components around whatever that product is for. So an example that I like to use is if you own one of the new scooter companies here in Calgary, and your content wouldn’t just be about the scooter and how to start the scooter and how to get on the scooter. It might be a top 10 list of the best helmets that are available on the market. It might be a guide to how to dress appropriately so that when you get to the office, you don’t look like you just wrote a scooter there.  All of those sorts of things are content that are related to the challenges that might come with using the product.

So it’s important to remember that content is not a distribution method. We’re not – it’s not a blog, it’s not a social media post. It’s not a video or an email newsletter. So those are all methods of distributing content. And we recently you’ve probably heard the saying “content is king” and then you know, some people will go well, no, no “creative is king.” And so what’s important to remember is that neither of those things are distribution methods. Those are the products that you’re trying to push out those are the completed deliverable. And so content is what you’re giving and then how you distribute it. So you might be delivering creative through a content distribution method, you might put it on social, you might share it. If it’s beautifully visual, it might go on Instagram. So you also might use that same piece of content over many different platforms to make sure that you reach as many audience members as possible. So someone might prefer to watch a video. And the person that sits next to them might prefer to read an article. Or they might really like to watch videos first thing in the morning with the sound just a little bit on or while they’re busy doing dishes, but they like to read an article later when they settle at their desk, and they’re looking for things to do instead of working.

What does that look like though? Like what does it really mean to take a piece of content and then distributed in a million different ways. Let’s not say a million, let’s say 20. So this is the content pillar principle set up by

A company called Core DNA. And it really is a beautiful visual on what it looks like to take a high investment piece of content. Like in their example here, they’re using an e-book. So when you book 50 to 100 pages, you have to consider layout, design, all of the content that goes inside of it, there may have been an intensive amount of research, editing, you know, all the things that go into creating these really high investment pieces, it would be a shame to just take that e-book, and throw it up on Amazon, and then never think about it again, just hope that Amazon’s magic does its thing and people find you, I’m going to tell you that your audience is not going to find you like by osmosis or magic, you have to do more than that. And so you can take your e-book and you can start to break your e-book out into pieces. You might be able to write a really great email that shares a little bit of knowledge that pushes to the e-book. You can probably write a blog post, there’s probably an infographic or a video. So there’s all kinds of different ways you can use this.

I’m talking very fast, I apologize. I’m really, really excited about this. So if you need me to explain more, just pop a question and then Kelsey will poke me. But we did this for the webinar too. So the webinar itself is our high investment piece. It takes a lot of time to create all the content to design the deck. And so we won’t just do this as a one and done. We’ll use the slides on SlideShare will put up a blog post that has the transcript in the video, we might put the video on to YouTube. So we’re going to continue to try to find ways to make sure that this piece of content which took a long time gives us lots of return.

So why invest in content, like why bother? And this is, content is relatively new. I think that people are trying or some places are doing it really amazingly well. And we’re going to talk about that later. But why bother – like it’s a high investment piece, it takes a lot of time, you probably need someone who knows how to do it.

And so one of the things is that we’re going to make sure that those high investment pieces sit on land you own and when I say land you own I mean your website or microsite your marketing automation list. So we’re not going to borrow a distribution method, we’re not going to borrow a distribution method through a traditional source. We’re not going to hope that a social platform will make sure our audience sees it, we’re going to make sure we’re adding them to the website, because then we control it, we can make sure that people see those results through the ways that we drive traffic there. And also, we’re going to be able to improve our search engine optimization, because Google loves it when you update your website constantly. If your website hasn’t been touched in a year, you’re doing it wrong. So a blog or articles are really easy ways to continue to update constantly. You’re also going to start to see some higher traffic. Well, what’s the advantage to that that means that someone might be able to then click on your product brochure, they might be able to click through and make a purchase depending on what you’re selling. So getting them back onto your site gives you a little more control, and it lets you see a little bit more benefit. It is time intensive. SEO can really take some time to see some results. So you have to be patient. This isn’t the same as just pushing out some paid media and immediately seeing impressions and clicks.

So the next thing we’re going to look to do is move your audience off of social media. So again, I mentioned you’re borrowing an audience. When you put it a piece into a print publication, you’re borrowing their audience. That’s the audience they’ve created. That’s the audience they’ve built up trust with. It’s a great thing to do as part of your strategy, but it can’t be all of it. And so what we’re doing is we’re looking to move that audience off of social media, off of these borrowed platforms, and bring them into whatever your content offering looks like. So whether that’s your email list, or it’s a subscription service, or it’s a membership, a gated portal that lets people get in and see more, the more you can get them to opt in so that you can reach out to them directly, the better and stronger that your content is going to be and the more return on investment you’re going to see. So pulling that audience off of social media lets you control again what are they seeing, when are seeing it. And it gives you a way to prevent something like tomorrow any of the platforms saying “we’re not going to have business pages anymore,” or “we’re no longer going to share information about user data.” “We’re not going to let you post anything that pushes back to your website,” etc, etc. They get to do what they want. So by bringing them off, you get to own them. And so you’re now owning your audience.

Content is also going to help you create more landing pages, more interesting landing pages, you’re going to get to increase the amount of content an audience member sees. So our examples here are one of our clients. Key messaging, there’s a landing page for each one. In addition, once they’re below the fold, they’re getting specific content pieces that go further into the features and benefits about the products that we’re talking about. Those are chosen specifically for each landing page. The opt-in is also customized to the key messaging of the landing page. So we’re able to create more and more of these, and the more content you have, the more you can experiment, the more you can say, “what if there were only three blog posts on this page? What if there was a dealer locator?” Where would you put that, so you get to play move things around. But the key is you need some content to be able to actually start to fill these things out. Because you can’t just have a landing page that has next to no information on it, Google will penalize you for that is a low trust factor when there’s just nothing there, but an opt-in. So you want to make sure that you’re really fleshing that out.

And then return on investment. So content marketing costs in and around 62% less than traditional marketing tactics and generates about three times as many leads – that’s from demand metric. So when you think about it, in those terms, your return on investment is quite high, because you are bringing in your leads, you’re putting them on your list. So first of all, I want to just mention that if you’re looking to understand how to adequately budget for content, you can use that lifetime customer value method that I talked about with did write a blog post about this, Kelsey is going to drop it in the chat. So you can bookmark a treat later. It’s a big formula, you need to go dig some numbers out, it would be a whole webinar all on its own. So we didn’t include it here. But I encourage you to read it, because it will really help you to understand how to adequately budget for content and how to adequately budget for growth marketing, because it talks about why it’s so important to focus on this part of your segment.

But when we talk about also return on investment, and the general costs, there’s the beauty of content is that user generated content is one way of bringing some of those costs way, way down. So one piece of content type that’s typically quite expensive is video. You need a script, you need a storyboard, you need all those things. And then you also have to edit after the fact. You need to figure out how to get people to go watch it. So an example that I have here is Fab Fit Fun. They’re a quarterly subscription box that some of our audience might be familiar with. It’s cosmetics and clothes and accessories and all that sort of stuff that come in this box once a quarter. And what they have done is they’ve set up their Fab Fit Fun partner program. And so this is affiliate marketing. And what they’re doing is they’re letting their affiliates create content for them. So the affiliate gets a box, they set up their phone, they put on Facebook Live and they open the box. And then in turn, that affiliate is getting a small cut, and Fab Fit Fun is getting all of this really high trust and high credibility content without having to do any of the legwork. They haven’t had to film the video, edit it, make sure it’s perfect, all of those things. They also sometimes will sponsor these after the fact so that more and more people see them. I have included here our friend Khloe Kardashian. Khloe Kardashian is not an influencer or partner. She is a celebrity endorsement so she’ll have also gotten probably a payment on top of her affiliate payments. But again, she’s doing the same thing. It is not a heavily edited, heavily directed piece. She’s sitting in her bathroom or her vanity. She’s in her very big house, filming. But it’s not meant to look perfect because content doesn’t have to. And user generated content is really authentic. So there’s one other way that you can start to bring that budget into a realm that is more comfortable for everybody.

I’m going to hand off to Evan now. He’s going to talk about creating data driven content.

Evan:

Thank you, Stephanie. So how does one do that? So we’ll do the usual. Let’s start by talking about what not to do. As humans, we tend to have a lot of opinions on things. We know what frustrates us, what we like. And it’s important for us to leave those personal preferences at the door. We are not the intended audience. So the final product should not be tooled to us but should actually be tooled to the audience that we’re trying to reach. In the creative department, we tend to get in this cycle a lot here where we go back and forth on what things should actually be on a website. But at the end of the day, we have to look, you know, is putting a form at the bottom versus putting it at the top results in more engagement and more click-throughs and signups, then that’s where it should be. It shouldn’t be 100% based on the look. We also have to keep in mind that we’re creating content, we’re not creating paid pieces. So we have to make sure that it’s engaging and useful for the audience, which also leads into making sure we treat it as content and not an ad. The goal is to build a relationship of trust and not to sell an agenda.

So what job is the piece of content helping the audience to accomplish? What is the purpose of the content and how are we going to engage with it? You need to think about what makes the most sense from the audience’s perspective: when, where and how will they be engaging with it? How you browse the web changes drastically between work hours and versus when you’re at home. When you’re at home, you may be on your phone on the couch watching TV. When you’re at the office, you’re probably on a web browser on your computer. So how you deliver that content would be very different.

The other thing is the context of the content, so it can change the delivery method. You know, if I was looking into oil for my car, a how-to video, a how-to piece would be very different than why I should do it.  A how-to would likely be a video outlining steps 1-2-3 on how to change the oil in my car, where why I should do it would be an article that tells me your engine my blow up that you don’t change the oil in your car. So you should probably do that. Check out this video on how to do that.

Other things we think about, you know, where are they in the journey and how did they get there. Depending on where people are, the messaging might be very different. It might be more persuasive if they’re, you know, on the edge of the journey or it might be more enticing if they’re so close to clicking through on something, then we should probably tool it a little more to where they are. Dig into the data and see where they’re coming from. Look into your analytics and tool based on those, always keeping in the back of your mind that you’re not selling but you’re building trust and relationship to convert a sale.

Quick, current and honest… So content has to happen quick to do it properly. You should people know as much as you can. You don’t want things to go stale and look old and that that gives an opinion of your offering for people too. If they have seen your blog hasn’t been updated in ages or you haven’t done anything forever. In the creative department, we tend to want to put the best piece we can out, you know, the shiny, awesome creative piece that has a nice ribbon on it. And, you know, will get a lot of attention. But at the end of the day content is quick. So we should just get it out. It doesn’t have to be as polished and that’s okay. People can consume content quickly, and then they move on to the next thing. So it’s easily digestible, then out onto the next.

People can smell ads a mile away, so it’s not really worth turning them off. And if they can smell an ad, they might even get vocal about it. So it’s just not even worth risking it.

Creation has to be current to the user and what they’re after. So people want to consume something relevant to them. You wouldn’t really want to push out articles on winter boots in the summertime because who’s buying winter boots in the summer?

Stephanie:

We either really, really prepare people or really unprepared people.

Evan:

People getting a sweet deal on winter boots!

And then the other thing is being honest. What we mean by that is you want to make sure that the users’ expectations are met when they click beyond what the last step was. So you don’t want it to feel like a clickbait article where you’ve fooled them into thinking they’re seeing a Top 10 list, and then they’ve moved on. And it’s not actually a Top 10 list. It’s a push for a product. And we’ve all been through those kind of things, and how likely are you going to click on one of those articles? Again, not very likely. So try to avoid that you can accidentally create clickbait if your titles don’t align with what you’re actually doing on the other end of it. So make sure your titles align with the content.

And then what’s the best way to deliver? Well, really, that depends on you know, your audience, what platforms early on, and what’s the best spots to reach them. Look at where they’re hanging out and reach out to them. They’re if you’re trying a new platform that you’ve never been on, reach into the platform’s analytics and see what demographics they have, and what audiences in there, maybe it’s, maybe they’re all hiding in there and you never knew it, maybe they’re not in there at all. You know, are they on Facebook, YouTube, some still read print, the goal is to get them from where they are to your website, so that you can feed them more content.

And then monitoring. So the beauty of the web is that it’s never done, which can be a bit daunting at times, but we’re always learning about what the audience is doing and what they’re taking in. So if they’re not clicking on something, if they’re not signing up, then there’s something that we’re not quite doing right. What is it? So looking at the analytics, looking at tools that you have available to you, maybe it’s heat mapping, maybe it’s comments. Adjust based on that. You know, if the headline isn’t effective, then you can throw another headline in there and see if that’s maybe going to be more effective. Or if the image isn’t quite resonating change the image. You can also take opportunities to AD split when you can on things like imagery and see what’s actually working. Same with headlines, you know, maybe one will prove to be better than the other. And when you when you know which way to go forward with it.

Stephanie:

A really great place to do that, too, is in your email marketing, because it’s extra easy to test two different subject lines with kind of the same looking audiences.

Evan:

So we’ll run through an example of who is doing content really well, which is Netflix. They’re a content company and they do an awesome job of it. Half the time, you may not even realize that they’re tooling everything all the time to you, but they are, they’re always learning about you and they’re picking up your data.

So I’ll start with email. These are two of my emails that came in. So I apologize for the insight into my awful viewing habits that everybody’s going to have. I’m really sorry, but maybe I’ll sell you on some of these, I don’t know. So it’s important that email is not just an email, there could be various reasons to send out an email. Sometimes it’s a newsletter. Sometimes it’s a push to the product, sometimes a push to an article, it really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with the news or the email. So keeping that in mind, that changes how you lay them out. So in the case of Netflix, on the left, I have, “hey, a new episode of something that I’ve engaged with” has been added. And on the right I have, “hey, here’s some new shows that we think you might actually enjoy based on your viewing habits.” So on the left, it’s pretty quick. It’s, hey, check this out, hit play, watch the show. On the right, we really, really think that you’re going to like American Ninja Warrior with cars. Hit play if you want to check that out, but you know, in case we’re a little off, here’s a here’s a buddy comedy or a murderous crime show or home renovation show. So they’ve kind of gone through the whole spectrum of my Netflix account there and that when I click on that, they’re going to know what I clicked on and the next email might be really tool to say if I clicked Sextuplets, it would be all about that kind of show.

So then we go into the interface on Netflix and what they’re doing here on the left we have my Netflix, in the middle is Stephanie’s, and on the right is Kelsey’s Netflix – aka the children’s version of Netflix. So the adult version versus the children’s version, there’s some obvious differences between how they look. The adult one is a lot darker, crisper, and little more serious. For the kids one, it’s colourful, more bubbly and fun. On the left, we have preferences that vary between mine and say Stephanie’s based on our viewing habits. So immediately I have American Ninja warriors with cars (aka Hyperdrive), and Stephanie has a drama 13 Reasons Why. She has higher up in priority a concert where lower down, my second priority thing would be Dave Chappelle based on comedy viewing. And also the categories change. So for you it’s probably a little blurry and hard to read. But I have a lot of trending stuff. And Stephanie has a lot of more drama based stuff in her feed. That’s likely due to viewing habits, where I’m probably in there quite a bit more than her, and she’s kind of in every couple days and out. The other thing is that in the wording too based on that. Mine says “New This Week” so they know that I’m constantly seeing stuff where Stephanie’s is just new releases. Both of ours are based on our viewing habits, where the children’s one is based on a group’s viewing habits. So kids love these shows, where “Hey, Evan, you like the show so check these shows out.” And that’s likely due to, you know, legislation on watching kids and monitoring kids. It’s probably kind of creepy, you know, and Netflix doesn’t want to be that guy….

Stephanie:

They don’t want to be obvious about it anyway. They’ll save it for later.

Evan:

Other things worth noting on the kids one that’s a little different. The characters are front and center because kids may not know the name of the show or they can’t read, but they recognize characters so they’ll click on the character to move beyond it. And also the “Watch It Again,” which Stephanie informed me kids watch the same thing over and over and over again. So that is really high priority on the kids’ Netflix.

Kelsey, do you watch the same thing over and over and over again?

Kelsey:

Unfortunately I absolutely do. That section’s built for me.

Evan:

Netflix is doing a lot of things right in their monitoring. The stuff that I see, a lot of the time it does resonate with me, like I really got into Hyperdrive after finally biting the bullet on it. But they do make some missteps, but the important thing is they constantly learn from it. So recently, we’ve noticed in our feeds like the “Continue Watching” has dropped off quite a bit. And that may be because I kind of went away from watching the same thing over and over again. But then when I wanted to get back to it, I couldn’t find it and I had to scroll through 100 categories. So what’s happened actually is “Continue Watching” has come back up in my feed and it’s almost back at the top now.

And then onto the visual side of things. So this is interesting too in how they will represent a show very differently for two different people. So I’ve watched Glow, Stephanie’s watch Glow. On the top is my representation of what they think would trigger me to watch Glow. And on the bottom is what Stephanie’s version would be. So, I had a lot of sitcoms and stuff on my feed, which kind of led to this more “buddy” look going on in the top, where Steph may have a lot more strong, powerful lead type shows, which put the bottom one in there. They also do this within categories, which can be frustrating at times, because you lose track of shows. So you may have remembered, you know, the main character standing behind some moody palm trees. If they change that icon on you, you lose it in the in the interface, and you never find it again. So I’m sure we’ll eventually see changes to that based on feedback.

I am going to hand this over back to Stephanie, because now we’re getting into the social stuff. And she does that a lot better than me. Because nobody really likes to seeing me post pictures of my dog all day.

Stephanie:

Everybody likes pictures of your dog…. Who doesn’t love pictures of dogs? I disagree.

So arguably, Netflix has access to more content that any of us could ever dream of having, because they’re making it and they’re licensing it, and they’re streaming it. And so their social media effort is really about understanding their audiences and they’re unable to say, Netflix is just for our 15 to 20 year old viewers because Instagram might be, you know, I mean, it’s about an 18 to 34. The demographic is actually slowly starting to age. (Not that any of us are doing that). But that’s what’s happening. People who were young before are now old, but they’re still on Instagram.

And so they have to make sure that when they’re addressing their content they’re addressing, what they’re doing is they’re addressing the fans. They’re addressing specific fans of specific shows. And so they are not looking to explain to anybody what show any given post is from. They’re not telling you that “coffee with a shot of cynicism” is from Gilmore Girls. But if you’re a Gilmore Girls watcher, you know it you know it just by seeing it, you get the joke. Maybe you don’t get the joke, but you want to get the joke because you agree with that – that is exactly you on a Monday morning. It’s very relatable. And so you will be willing to open up the comments and try to figure out what show they’re talking about because almost always in the comments. There is someone saying what show is this from? So they’re making sure that they’re addressing those fans because it makes that person feel like they’re part of a community and that they’re in on the inside joke which also people love that that feeling. And so unless you watch Riverdale you don’t necessarily know what that lower left-handed one is. You might not know that the Stranger Things season this year had a Russian twist. So those little bits and pieces that they’re giving people are mostly for existing fans but are intended to entice.

They’re also creating some of their own new content. So they’re doing on site seamless background interviews with the talent that they have access to, where they talk about things they love. They talk about their favourite artists, they talk about music, and they also talk about their shows. So it makes those different stars more relatable. And when you think about when you are a super fan of a TV show, you want to consume every bit of content you possibly can about the show. So GIFs, memes, interviews, behind the scenes photos, that’s all where you’ll find it is on the Netflix social media accounts.

And then the question is what happens after. You have an amazing content strategy, you have it all set. And so the key to remember is that it is never done, you’re never finished creating your content. Content doesn’t just – you know, it doesn’t fit a perfect 12-month calendar, you’re constantly creating new things. You should also be revisiting your older pieces to update them, looking at evergreen pieces and re-sharing them. And then you can take those pieces and you can put them into your marketing automation funnel. So you’re able to look at how to use them in emails. So now I may not have read it when you posted it on social because I was busy, I didn’t care, social media is very noisy, but I might click through it when you send it to me in an email. So it’s important to remember to keep thinking about all the different ways you can put this content in front of people. You’re also able to use content and programmatic native advertising, so into your paid advertising as well. Maybe one blog post becomes a landing page unto itself. Maybe you’re putting pieces into the bottom of other articles. You’ve seen these – BuzzFeed is notorious for them that they’ve got an article and then at the bottom, there’s a few more from BuzzFeed and then there’s a bunch that kind of looks like they’re from BuzzFeed, but they’re not. That’s all native placements. So that’s a great place to get your articles read as well. And then, after we’re done with a great content strategy, let’s start looking at how we’re pushing to the sale. Are we able to with behavioural data, see whether people are ready to start making a purchase? Are they visiting product pages more? Are they adding items to cart and then abandoning?

And the big thing to remember…. We’re in a tiny room together and whenever someone moves their hands, I’m like what? [laughter].

Here’s an example on the side here is an email from Fab Fit Fun again. So I am a subscriber, and what they’re trying to make sure (I’m an existing customer, I have paid for a box), but I am able to cancel at any time. They send an email out before they send the next one. And I might say, “You know what, I don’t want this box this quarter or I never want one again.” And so they make sure to consistently reengage me. They’re looking to retain me as a customer and the way they’re doing this is with really great content. And so one of them is about their favourite pumpkin spice snacks. One’s about how to style a scarf that was actually in the box that I got most recently. So they’re making sure that that content continues to reengage me bring me back to the site. And that’s ultimately what growth marketing is about. It’s building loyalty. And the way you do that is by providing valuable content. So really think about how that works, and how it’s happening when you are looking at your content, how to keep using it, how to get the most out of it.

Kelsey:

Alright, so that concludes the content side of the webinar. What we’d like to do is open up to questions. Before we get into the questions, I just wanted to remind you that if you want the slides absolutely email Stephanie or Evan (their emails are displayed on the screen). Also, if you have questions later on, or maybe you’re too shy right now to share your questions, you can email Steph or Evan anytime and they will get back to you. I’m also going to share our poll questions and answers and share the results.

Kelsey:

So how effective is your current content strategy?

The majority of attendees today says that they do a good job at content, but they’d like to get better. Which is great because content is forever evolving and you can always, always, always make it better.

All right. Now we’re going to get into the questions. So the first question we received is: They say growth marketing isn’t about sales. And so then what’s the point?

Stephanie:

So at the end of the day, it is about sales. But when you’re forming the pieces that you’re using, it can be about sales. So every business is in it to make a sale. We’re not trying not to. So when you’re talking to an internal team, and they’re wanting you to put in a really strong call to action, or they’re saying, we should include a paragraph that talks about the product, that’s when you say, NO, no, this piece isn’t about the sale. And it’s not about the product or service. It is about building a relationship and what will kill a relationship really fast as if you immediately hop to a sale. If you think about your childhood friend from high school, who has an MLM business who hasn’t sent you a message in forever, and when they do, it’s like, “Hey, do you want to connect for coffee?”, but you know that underneath, it’s really about getting you to buy a starter kit. That’s where you start to break down trust. So just making sure that we understand that growth marketing is absolutely about sales, but the actual application and tactics and tools that we’re using cannot always be about the sale.

Kelsey:

So the next question we received is can a brand own an audience?

Stephanie:

Yes. So the real, the easiest way to do that is for some kind of sign-up or opt-in. So if you have an email marketing list that you’ve created, and you have all of the required legal opt-ins that are there, then you own your audience.

Kelsey:

Perfect. So another question. We mentioned flushing out the landing page to avoid punishment by Google. How do you balance that with a pleasing aesthetic where designers tell you less is more?

Stephanie:

It’s really important to think about user experience and user interface so you can deliver a whole lot of content in a way that is still visually pleasing. Ideally, you wouldn’t be hiding a lot of content behind extra clicks because you don’t want a whole bunch of clicks and Evan can speak more to that. But we there are ways to deliver content, and a large amount of content in a way that doesn’t make everybody feel upset about what it looks like. And one of the push-backs we’ve gotten before is the length of pages and how much scrolling is involved. So, again, we have to go back to that part where we have to be careful that we’re not using our own personal opinions about things and how we interact with a particular piece. And go back to the data. Because if the data says, when we know that blog posts that are over 2000 words long get read more than any other blog post. Well, we’ve been going on this assumption that 300 to 600 words is best. It’s it was all based on feels, and the data is telling us otherwise. So that’s really how you can balance those two things. I’m going to let Evan hop in about presenting visually lots of data.

Evan:

Yeah. From the data side of it, it’s really making it interesting too. So we wouldn’t just run words down a page, its aesthetically, you know, supporting imagery and stuff like that to make sure that you’re getting your point across. But also keeping in mind, you know, what, what are the people here to see and read. Landing pages specifically are one, where we go back and forth on a whole ton. And, you know, we had a big pushback about, you know, we can’t make a form look pretty. But at the end of the day, you know, it’s a whole other challenge, right? So we challenge our designers. You know, what you probably can make that form look pretty. That’s a challenge for you to do. Not, we won’t put the form there because it makes the image to the left of it look ugly, makes the form look pretty too.

Kelsey:

Okay, and so last question that we’ve received. So how much content should we be creating to be successful?

Stephanie:

That’s a really complicated question. So It’s going to depend on a few factors. One is what platform are you using for distribution. There’s lots of research that goes into what’s optimal for each platform. For example, if you’re posting seven plus times a day on Instagram – sorry, not a day, a week – on Instagram, you’re more likely to drive traffic back to your website than if you’re just posting once or twice. But on Facebook, if you posted every single day, or more than a few times a day, all Facebook would do is group them all into one big post anyway. So paying attention to platform is important. It’s also important to consider what your audience is telling you. You can reach a point where you’re putting out too much content and you’re just the audience is just like, okay, we know, thank you. So you’ll start to see your views go down, your engagement will start to drop. So it’s all about testing. But I like to start from the point of data that exists for each platform, and then test and try from there. There’s other things to remember too, like evergreen content can be reposted multiple times you can post the same tweet on Twitter four times a day, it doesn’t matter. So paying attention as well, to those sort of little quirks of all the distribution platforms is important.

Kelsey:

Perfect. Well, I think that concludes our webinar today. As discussed earlier, this will be available probably within 24 hours. So we just like to thank all of you for joining us today. We had a lot of fun presenting. So hopefully you had some fun listening and learned a thing or two as well. So thank you very much and enjoy the rest of your day.

Thanks, everybody.

Stephanie Ostermann

Stephanie has eight years of experience in content strategy across all channels; specializing in content creation, execution and deployment, social media scheduling and community management. She holds her Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University. Stephanie wonders how communities define and redefine themselves both on and offline. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Evan MacLeod

Evan Macleod is the Associate Creative Director at WS. Split hairs over the difference between interactivity and functionality with him by connecting on LinkedIn.

Kelsey McCuaig

It takes an interesting mix of talent and training to succeed in marketing. Kelsey brings both to our team, including two years in journalism before finishing her Bachelor of Communications from Mount Royal University — majoring in public relations with a minor in business. After four years of PR work, she joined us at WS in 2019. She excels in strategic planning, project management and public relations, and often wonders at what point they decide it’s “partially sunny” and not “partially cloudy.”