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Talking Content Marketing with Rebecca Lieb


Lets bring another content marketing influencer to the Talking Content Marketing discussion with Rebecca Lieb.

Rebecca is a research analyst, an author, a columnist, a strategic advisor and a speaker. But those are the titles. What she really is, is a person who is laser-focused on the bleeding edges of digital media and marketing, content marketing and content strategy, and the points at which channels, media and technology converge.

Here are six questions that look at the importance of content audits and becoming relevant to our marketplace.


Does having a genuine belief to serve a marketplace help to grow a culture of content? 

Yes, indeed it does. I’ve seen really impressive examples of service not only help customers, but also deliver solid ROI. Sony Europe, for example, is committed culturally to content, which means ideas for content can bubble up anywhere and be appropriately vetted and exploited. So, for example, when the call center staff mentioned that one model TV was prompting dozens of calls (at a cost to the company of 7 Euros/call), Sony’s community message board volunteers created content around the issue and it’s fix. That single post got 14,000 views in one week – a savings of almost $100,000 to the company.

The ability for content to be shared and circulated within an organization can reap tremendous benefits. Not everyone needs to be a storyteller, but recognizing stories, and where stories are needed, is a tremendous asset.

It can’t all be generated by marketing – they’re not close enough to issues pertaining to R&D, product, customer service and support or sales.

Before companies jump head first with creating content why is it important to consider a content audit? 

You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are.

A content audit is so valuable not only in that it’s a catalogue of what exists, but it’s also an assessment of quality, quantity, workflow, maintenance procedures, whether content is being found and used, how well content assets are reused across media channels, and a host of other specifics. An audit is also invaluable for pinpointing what’s needed or not there, for identifying gaps and needs in content, tools, people and processes.


Has producing two books entitled you to a space within the industry as a useful resource to others?

Gosh, I hope people find my books (and research reports) useful! But I would never consider myself “entitled.” Having written a book (or two) is certainly an accomplishment (believe me, it ain’t easy!), but I feel most proud of the body of my work, which is continually evolving and following emerging trends in technology and marketing. Books are stops along the wayside – this space changes WAY too fast to rest on specific publishing laurels!


Andy Crestodina said ‘does the web really need another medium quality post on a general topic.’ Do businesses need to think more about the the relevance of what they create rather than a fascination with the ‘publish’ button?

Of course brands need to consider the relevance of what they create, as well as the quality. They also need to think about goals, KPIs, the target audience(s), and a host of other issues. Taken together, these are content strategy. Just creating a lot of stuff and publishing it, adding to the noise instead of creating meaningful signals, is content without strategy. Just hitting “publish” can’t deliver on goals because goals haven’t been defined, nor has how to achieve or measure them. Willy-nilly lemmings are what gives this all a bad name. But you don’t have to be one.


What examples of brands do you consider adopting a successful content culture?

I always like to look at non-profits for innovation – they have small budgets and have to make a lot out of a little.

Charity:water has not just all their employees creating content (no one there “owns” content), but also scores of motivated organizations and individuals who both create content and raise money for the organization on their behalf. Conversely, major corporations like GE, IBM and Dell have become such successful publishers. I’m so proud of my friend and Dell’s Managing Editor Stephanie Losee, whose TechPageOne is the only corporate-backed publication syndicated by Google News.


How do you keep inspired? How do you learn?

Funny, I never thought of it in quite these terms, but basically I consume content 24/7. I’m online all the time, usually with NPR on in the background. I am a constant presence at industry events and conferences (a big perk of what I do for a living). As an analyst, I get to call movers and shakers in the industry and ask nosy questions. I’m relentlessly curious and have been fortunate in that I’ve found a profession that allows me to satisfy that curiosity legitimately. 

Many thanks to Rebecca for Talking Content Marketing and giving her time. To connect with Rebecca and her publications:

Rebecca on Twitter: click here

The Truth About Search Engine Optimisation book: click here

Content Marketing: Think Like A Publisher book: click here

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