Talking Content Marketing – With Kevin Cain
Talking Content Marketing gives a warm welcome to content marketing and communications strategist, Kevin Cain.
Our contributors from Australia (and Boston) are growing in numbers. Kevin can fit into both categories. He is originally from Boston and now lives in Sydney.
Here we discuss the merits of businesses adopting a content marketing mindset and what we need to do to make it a success.
When it comes to adopting a content marketing mindset do businesses need to delve a bit deeper than blogs and ebooks?
Yes, they absolutely do.
All of the customer-facing content that businesses create has a role to play in shaping customer experience and shepherding prospects down the path to purchase. As such, content marketers need to broaden their vision to include content that isn’t typically part of their domain, such as technical documentation or the FAQs that the customer service or product team may have created. The fact is that every piece of content a business produces represents a potential touch point with its prospects and customers. It therefore needs to be aligned and working together to create a great customer experience. I think it’s up to content marketers to bring it all together as a strategic initiative.
Jonathan Crossfield mentioned that people need to admit when they don’t know or are unsure. Has the growth of a content approach given rise to too many people self proclaiming that they are the expert (or thought leader)?
In my view, thought leadership has become a bit of a buzzword that people like to associate themselves with even if they aren’t always able to demonstrate that they actually are thought leaders.
While I agree with Jonathan that people need to admit when they don’t know something, I would argue that content marketing has helped to show just how rare true thought leaders are. In fact, what it has really demonstrated for me is how well many other people have adapted to repurposing and repackaging whatever the real thought leaders have already said. That, of course, is another art from in and of itself.
[By the way, you can see some more of my thoughts re: thought leadership here if you’re interested.]
Is the heart of a successful content approach the ability to be consistent (of voice and standing for something) rather than frequency?
Consistency is certainly very important. I think first and foremost, you’ve got to consistently create content that provides real value to your target audience.
Anything that’s not useful by, for example, answering people’s questions, solving one of their problems, or providing relevant information that they need, is just noise. Having a consistent tone and brand is also critical, but really nice to haves if your content isn’t valuable. Frequency does have a role to play in successful content marketing, but should always be sacrificed if it’s going to come at the cost of creating high-quality, valuable content.
Do you believe distribution of content is more important that the creation of content?
I think that content creation and distribution are equally important, and that where most businesses fall down is not paying enough attention to both aspects of content marketing. In my experience, they often go to great lengths to create a solid piece of content and then drop the ball when it comes to distributing that content in really creative and effective ways.
If a company is considering a content marketing consultant to give a helping hand, what is the biggest mindset change that a business needs to adopt?
That content is increasingly becoming a key driver of customer relationships and customer experiences and, as a result, content marketing needs to play a much bigger and more strategic role than most people realize. While traditional marketing tactics often still have their place, for many businesses content’s really the key marketing driver.
If I could grant you a long afternoon lunch in your best restaurant to talk marketing with three other people who influence you, who would they be?
I would want to have lunch with Philip Schiller, the CMO of Apple to learn as much as I could about the brilliant marketing that company does; with whomever the person was at Volkswagen who came up with the Pink Moon Commercial back in the early 2000s, which is one of the best and most memorable pieces of marketing that I’ve ever seen; and last but not least with Lady Gaga, who of course isn’t a marketer at all, but did such an amazing job several years ago of building a personal brand that was creative, unique, cut through all of the noise, and catapulted her to stardom.
Thanks to Kevin for his input and consideration for what businesses need to consider. Why not connect and see how Kevin’s space looks:
Kevin on Twitter: click here
Kevin on LinkedIn: click here
Kevin’s website: click here