We interviewed Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute, to discuss the key things you need include in your content marketing strategy. We also looked at the four biggest changes this year in technology and media trends, so that you know how to keep your strategy up to date.
Rakhal: Now, let’s go over the things that are going to really change or affect the content strategies that are going on this year. Now, something I know we’ve been discussing a lot at Newsmodo is the rise of mobile consumption. A comScore study from the US found that mobile use accounts for at least 54% of digital consumption. Of course, that number is growing rapidly. This really indicates that the business and content producers need to start thinking mobile first. If they’re not already doing that, they need to be thinking about it for at least this year. Do you have any tips for those wanting to review and improve their content from a mobile consumption perspective Robert?
Robert: Yes, I do. I guess the biggest one would be to not fall into the trap that mobile is a different design. Mobile is simply having our website or simply having our content platform be responsive is not an answer. Mobile is a means of behaviour. It is a consumption behavior not a platform. When you look at mobile from your content strategy, think of it in that way because just a very tactical example of this. If someone is looking for your information, your presence on the web over a mobile phone, their need for the front page of your website that talks about how many awards you’ve won and how many of your executives are the best ever, is not top of mind for them. Think about what is the experience you’re trying to create on a mobile device or more appropriately a mobile consumption behavior? What information or experience can you create?
That will trickle down into everything you’re doing. From the blog you write, to the website you create, to the emails you send, and to the apps you develop, all of that is about what does my customer want to do and how do they want to interact with my experience that is related to my brand in a mobile way? If you start thinking about it in that sense, it changes really everything you’re doing from a content creation process because it’s no longer about just making my regular website mobile capable; it’s about writing and creating something that is mobile optimized.
Rakhal: Now I mentioned Rich Answers and the fact that an increasing amount of Google searches results in around 20% at the moment of yielding Rich Answers. Now, this is a really new area. We’re also wrapping our heads around it obviously. Can you talk a little bit about this and what it means for publishers or brands?
Robert: Yeah, to the extent that I really understand it. What you’re talking about here is the Knowledge Graph that Google is developing where when you put in a question, or you put in a search query, Google will just answer it for you. You can do this now with things like what time is the next movie going to show, or how long does it take to fly from LA to Melbourne? You can do that and you’ll get the answer right there. You don’t have to go to a website. The answer just comes up on the front page of Google. Now, how does that apply to brands? The content that they’re pulling that from in many cases are sites. They are sites that are well-answered, and are well-trafficked, and ranked well in the Google algorithm is that it actually pull that content. Now of course, they’re pulling most of that content from things like Wikipedia and those sorts of things.
You can start to think about your content being a source of that answer because if they click through on that answer, where are you taking them? Thinking about the experience that those customers will have, once you can start to leverage that to some degree becomes a really interesting way for you to leverage questions that your customers may be asking that you can answer. It’s an opportunity there. The other thing that maybe the other side of that coin which is taking up that screen real estate. Google have just taken out the right rail Google Ads to accommodate mobile, means there’s less screen real estate for both the ads and for both organic search results. Getting to the top of Google is important, but perhaps even more important is of the traffic you do drive. What is it you do when they get there?
Rakhal: I love that. That’s such an important point. Now we talk about social and how fast that’s all changing as well with Facebook instant articles. How can this kind of development affect us as content creators and publishers of great content?
Robert: Ultimately to me it’s about, as I like to say great content marketing takes a village. It is truly an institutional effort by our company. So many times now what I find is this that many of the businesses I work with are really working at a product silo or a functional silo level, and don’t really communicate with each other, and quite frankly don’t connect the experiences that they’re creating. This product blog over here, and this product blog over here, and the company website, and all of that, are just disconnected islands where people can visit. Quite frankly, we’re not learning as a business, we’re just learning at individual silo levels. It’s not really helping, and so to the extent that we can build a centralized process around how we create, manage, distribute, and promote content, and use that to cross functionally and cross product, learn and optimize the experiences our customers are having. We will be so much better off.