Talking Budgets, Quality, and Challenges in Content Marketing with Brittany Geronimo
Every content marketer faces two crucial challenges. One is the challenge of balancing demand generation with brand marketing. Which do you choose first? How do you know what the audience wants? The second one is the ultimate quality over quantity conundrum. Do you put out more content to reach your target audience or do you focus on a couple of excellent pieces to draw them in?
Brittany Geronimo, Cybersecurity Marketer & Brand Strategist, and Director of Content Marketing and Strategy at Socure, talks to Anirudh Singla, Founder, and CEO, of Pepper Content about this and more in a recent interview.
1. How did you get into content marketing and how has the journey been?
I've always loved writing and editing. And I kind of fell into marketing and it seemed like a natural fit. It’s been 11 years now. One of the first companies I worked for had a marketing department and writers, but there wasn’t anyone officially doing content marketing. So that’s when I came up with the idea of moving into the role of content marketing, and they accepted! Over time I moved from cybersecurity to financial services, where I led content marketing and brand strategy for about four years.
I love content marketing - it really brings together my passion for writing and the value that content brings to marketing. I last worked on cybersecurity at BlueVoyant where I led content marketing and built the program from the ground up. It was a lot of fun and was great to put different processes in place almost autonomously.
2. How do you balance demand generation and brand marketing in your role?
It's a balance I address every day. I live in a world with fellow branders and that’s what I'm passionate about. But in the end, if you're putting out all this content, you still need to obviously drive leads and demand.
I think the ultimate balance should be struck between putting out beautiful, well-written, high-quality pieces of content that support your brand message and making sure that you're answering your audience’s need such that they begin to see you as an expert in your field.
3. How is your content team currently structured? Do you also work with freelancers?
Our content team is on the smaller side - it is just me and another person. But we work with several teams.
I generally handle the strategy and front end of the content. This involves figuring out themes for each quarter, and managing the editorial calendar. And then I have someone who comes in and works on the back end. This involves distribution and making sure that the sales team is aware of the content and where it has been placed.
We work very closely with our digital marketing team, who works on campaigns around webinars and paid ads and strategies to amplify content. We also work with product marketing to assess what the audience wants to hear and their pain points. And finally, we work with design and brand, which I absolutely love doing. They're just as important a part of being a success as content is.
If you have great writing but a poor design, it is going to fall flat.
We work with freelancers occasionally. But we have a lot of great writers and subject matter experts in the company, so we’re not short on content. I would say freelancers come in when we need to be strategic and amplify content as much as possible. That’s why I’m also big on repurposing.
4. Tell us about the top challenge you try to overcome daily.
This would definitely be the quantity over quality conundrum. It's great to have a lot of content, but in the end, you have to stop creating so much and figure out what you can do with what you have. You also have to be strategic about content promotion. If you're not repurposing your content, you might find yourself going in circles. If sales don’t use it and it's not helpful to clients, you’re wasting resources.
5. What’s your experience with the content marketing budget in the organizations you’ve worked with?
It's kind of tricky with content because content kind of feeds into all the different sub teams of marketing. So with content marketing, I might not necessarily have a big budget number assigned to my team, but my content then powers a lot of different campaigns that we are spending money on in different parts of the organization.
6. If there was a Salesforce-like platform for content marketers, what would you want it to look like?
It should be a central place where you could store assets and have basic version control. You could then swap things out with a new version and see it automatically populate everywhere the asset lives. The platform should also have a very simple way to measure success, bringing data from different places like social media and your website in one place to measure how it's resonating with the audience.
7. Is there one thing you’d like to tell content marketers not to do?
I would say don't get caught up in the day-to-day tactical work. I am guilty of this, you know. It's easy to run through your to-do list and your request list, and get the tasks done. But I think it can be challenging to take a step back and be really strategic and think about that big picture. So I would say, don't get lost in your to-do list. Really try to focus on the big picture.
I think in the end, that'll bring more value to your content.
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