Scrutinizing the Quality Perspective in Content Marketing with Kevin Bobowski
If content marketers want to focus on quality, they must learn to work backward in their content strategy. Once you start with what goal your content needs to achieve, you will be better equipped to focus on how to achieve it, and therein lies the necessity for quality.
In his interview, Kevin Bobowski, Chief Marketing Officer, Aware, talks to Aditi Ramnath, Director of US Business Development, Pepper Content, about this and more.
1. Tell us about your marketing journey.
My journey began 20 years ago in technology marketing and B2B software. I’ve worked with VC-backed companies, private equity, growth-backed public companies, and many more. I started my marketing journey in analytics when I started working with the United States Postal Service on their website. That’s what got me into technology. It wasn't for about 10 years that content marketing became a thing. We were already producing data sheets and white papers. But soon, content marketing became a category of its own. It was viewed as a silver bullet. If marketing was underperforming, content marketing was the savior. And over time, content marketing evolved and is now part of everything within marketing.
Without content, there is no marketing. Without marketing, there's no performance, there's no brand.
Content fuels all marketing departments, and everybody is a content creator now.
2. Who do you consider an expert in content creation?
When I think of an expert, I don't necessarily think about it in the context of content creation. It's what they're delivering, the kind of education or insights they have. They could deliver in any way - through a presentation, a blog post, a podcast, or even a LinkedIn post. So I think about experts, what they're delivering, and the insights they offer instead of how they deliver it.
3. In your opinion, what parts make up the right machinery for an effective content engine?
To build an effective, high-performing content marketing machine, you need to understand who you're writing for, their needs, pain points, and aspirations. Any effective content marketing engine starts with your persona and their needs. For instance, in B2B technology, content could be aimed at the press, which would be different from what you would write for analysts, investors, or prospects.
What happened with content marketing was that it started as a volume play. It wasn't a qualitative, precise, targeted play where you were solving a specific problem. Today it is.
Moreover, once you know who your persona is, you have to break down the funnel - focus on the top, middle, and bottom. Are they aware of you at every level? Are they intimately familiar with your brand? Is there an action you want them to take? All of this impacts how you write content as well.
And finally, the timeliness of your content is important. For instance, the year's first half had people talking about the Great Recession. Today, people are talking about the Great Reorganization. So, if you are going to talk about the Great Resignation, it is not going to work.
4. Quality vs. quantity is a massive dilemma for content marketers. Is there a way to balance both?
If you think about it in terms of quantity, you're going down this path of activity-based content. If you're a content marketer, you must think about the activities and outcomes you're trying to pursue. And so I do believe that oftentimes content teams are not aligned closely with the performance of the business. And what that means is that they become reactive because everything becomes a priority. After all, everybody wants something for their part of the business.
5. What are the challenges of a content marketer, and how do you face them?
The marketing department wants content from different experts, and we are all experts in our own subjects. The problem is if everybody's writing content and they're pushing it off to their CMS or their DXP, who knows what gets out there? So while marketing departments democratize, they also need a way to funnel content through their DXP and check its quality.
6. What do you think is one thing that content marketing companies should not do?
Trying to focus on quantity over quality would be my answer. Because ultimately, that will hurt your brand and confuse your audience. Content marketers must continue to reach out to thought leaders and experts and add more points of view and voices in the marketplace.
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