How are Australia’s leading universities using content marketing to get ahead of the competition? Marketing and Communications Coordinator Barbara Serra, talks about the competitive landscape in higher education. Plus, we talk about her experiences growing up with iconic Italian brands.
Listen to Barbara’s story and advice to future journalists here:
Rakhal: I know you’ve become an accomplished content marketer within the agency space. What’s been your experience working in the Australian content and marketing industry? Particularly through the content marketing growth and then also now with an incredible brand like Deakin University?
Barbara: I have a lot of overseas experience. Obviously having worked in the UK for the majority of my career, and having worked for one of the biggest branded content agencies on a global scale. For me coming to Australia, the first thing I’ve noticed was that the market was still relatively young in terms of content marketing and advertising. Perhaps that’s endemic to some specific conditions and constraints that are presenting the Australian market. There is so much untapped opportunity. Perhaps in the last couple of years, brands and companies are really starting to explore the content marketing and the branded aspect of content a lot more.
Deakin particularly has been particularly successful in doing that. We have a number of newsrooms that we service with regular content. They’re attracting a lot of interest but also they’re presenting a great story. They’re providing a lot of validation and trust signals. Also, providing an insight into what we really are as a company, and what our values are which I think its great. You really need to be playing in that space. You really need to be out there and having consumers being able to learn and find out about you and what you’re doing as a company, and most of all what you stand for and what your values are.
Rakhal: You mentioned in a very good point that the content marketing industry here in Australia is still relatively new and immature comparatively to others around the world. That also presents incredible opportunities particularly in your current role at Deakin University. What is it that inspires you to continue in this industry and do what you do?
Barbara: I’m quite attached to storytelling. It’s been a part of my career for so long that it’s hard to move too far away from it, I guess. When digital and online marketing sort of started to becoming more prominent from 2007, 2008, there was a great shift in the market. There was a lot of focus on quick activity, a lot of display advertising and a lot of looking at data and perhaps forgetting to tell the story. Data is great and it’s good to get those insights and understand what moves people and what makes people click, if you like.
What’s really going to build engagement is still going to be storytelling. People don’t really respond that well to data. You need to be able to tell a story about your brand. You need to be able to engage an audience. That’s how we share information. That’s how we evolve, if you like. Not just as consumers but as people overall. It’s really important.