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Talking Content Marketing – With Sarah Mitchell

Sarah_Mitchell b&w printTalking Content Marketing gives a warm welcome to Sarah Mitchell.

Sarah is owner of Australian content marketing consultancy, Global Copywriting and the head of content strategy at Lush Digital Media. She is a writer at heart but fascinated with how businesses can build assets from their marketing investment. Sarah believes the only way to do this is to take a strategic approach to content marketing and spends time working with companies on developing and documenting strategies.

Here is our interview that looks at businesses adopting a content mindset.

You mention in your ‘Why I’m Not Going To Publish On LinkedIn Pulse‘ the importance to grow within our own places to influence others. Should we put more energy in the spaces that we have total control of i.e. our websites, our blogs?

I believe so. My own blog is the one place I can control everything. It’s a chance for me to cultivate a following interested in my thinking. I find the social channels are getting so busy, it’s hard to get any traction. I do endorse guest blogging, writing for print and submitting articles to publications in your industry or field of interest. I’m not saying never publish anywhere but on your own blog. I do question when I write something who it’s going to benefit more.

What is your biggest frustration with businesses that adopt a content marketing approach?

Hands down, it’s their reluctance to invest in a strategy. So many start down the content marketing path with no real goal. They know they have to do it but they haven’t thought it through and have no idea how to measure success. Invariably they don’t get the results they expected so they abandon it altogether.

Is the biggest challenge when embracing a content mindset the balance to inform and entertain, whilst still making a sale?

I don’t really view that as a challenge, to be honest. If you approach your content from a journalist’s point of view, informing and entertaining is a lot easier. But, if your content doesn’t have a call to action, you might as well not do it at all. It’s the biggest difference between journalism and brand journalism. Brand journalists have to ask for a sale or at least that the reader take the next logical step. My opinion is if the content is good and the reader or viewer has made it all the way to the end, they are absolutely ready to hear about what you’d like them to do next. If it’s not good quality or good content, they’ll abandon it early and never see the call to action anyway.

Is the biggest differentiator to find our own voices that we can share with an audience that trusts us?

I can’t tell you how much I love this question. I would say finding your own voice is the cost of entry. If you can’t do that – if you can’t speak with some authenticity – you won’t earn anyone’s trust. I see so much ‘me too’ marketing – people who emulate the content of a successful business in the hopes some of that success might rub off. I can’t imagine putting time or money into any creative pursuit without wanting to put my own stamp on it. What’s the point?

What are your aims for Lush Digital Media in the coming months?

They have a huge pool of creative talent and they’re all ‘doers’. It’s rare to see so much positive energy in an organisation and I love going into the Lush office. What I want to achieve relates to harnessing that energy into creating more education and information around content marketing. We’ve already started a Brand Newsroom podcast although that was really James Lush’s idea. We’re in the process of writing workshops on a number of topics to help our clients become brand journalists and content marketers. I want to demonstrate that visual content is a long-term business asset when approached with a media mindset. I’m really enjoying mentoring some of the Lush staff who have taken a real interest in the strategy behind the content.

Which organisation or person would you not press the unsubscribe button?

Of course, I read Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose and would never unsubscribe. They’re the standard-bearers of content marketing. I look forward to reading Jonathan Crossfield‘s articles because he understands social media better than anyone. He’s an original thinker and a great storyteller. His work falls into the Saturday morning coffee category – the time of the week I can grab a cup of coffee and read for pleasure.

A huge thanks to Sarah for her time and insights. Why not have a read in the places Sarah contributes:

The Global Copywriting Blog: click here

Brand Newsroom podcast (coming soon to iTunes): click here

Lush Digital Media blog: click here

Sarah also contributes original content to Chief Content Officer magazine and the Content Marketing Institute Blog: click here

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