Leigh Stewart

Director of Content Strategy at GHX

‘B2B Can Learn a Lot About Marketing From B2C’

Technology has changed the face of content marketing forever. From AI content technology to SEO, B2B content marketers can learn a lot from B2C companies when it comes to boosting productivity, growing engagement, and driving conversions.

Prasad Shetty, Sales Manager - North America, Pepper Content speaks to Leigh Stewart, Director of Content Strategy at GHX about the magic of SEO, the perks of working remotely, and the need for a content marketing platform that performs brilliantly across all APIs. 

1. Please introduce yourself and let us know more about your content marketing journey.

I am a content director specializing in the healthcare field. I've done everything from B2C to health insurance benefits, and now I'm in the healthcare supply chain and tech area. 

I have been in content marketing since before we knew where the content was going. I've been doing content for about 15 years now. At the start, I managed to snag myself a job as a translator in a broadcast news organization, then I found a job in gaming where I was doing online community management and press releases. From there I moved into online real estate and that was my first taste of SEO. When you're in content and you come into the SEO sphere it can feel like a massive constraint on your ability to write beautiful sentences, create a flow, and have power over the narrative.

When I got introduced to the SEO metrics I realized there's so much possibility for growth and for demonstrating the value of content. By doing SEO, we were seeing consistent growth in our metrics. 

I eventually joined a job in DNA and microbiome testing for consumers. This covered every aspect of the product from aligning the test results with what consumers can understand correctly. We were going to market in the European Union. We wanted to be qualified as a medical product. I was the primary content person there and the only native English speaker. So I got the honor of doing all of the paperwork for our test to be qualified as a medical device and not just as a wellness product.

It was a phenomenal experience because it took content to another level. I was not just writing words. All of these words had consequences, impact, and legal ramifications. Once we did that, I moved into more growth-focused content like SEO or turbocharging the blog. I became an internal auditor for a medical device quality management system because apparently, I was good at preparing the initial documentation.

So then I got to dip into developing processes and I began to understand the value of mapping workflows. All of these different experiences have contributed to where I am now, which is building content experiences that span beyond ‘hey, we're doing marketing’ and focus on how we consolidate our resources, become more efficient, and not only communicate what we're doing to the broader marketing team but also the organization at large.

The end goal is to demonstrate that content is a revenue-generating center and not a cost center that you are just throwing money into like a dark hole and hoping something comes out of it.

2. What excites you about content marketing and what tires you out?

The one thing that excites me is SEO. There's a lot that B2B can learn from B2C. We've all become accustomed to a high-quality website experience when it comes to finding the information that you want or when it comes to gliding through the different stages of that funnel.

SEO, for me, is one of the primary ways to generate that traffic that you can then go to convert. I believe, in the B2B environment, there's often a lot of growth potential if you take up SEO. Just basic things like meta descriptions, keyword word optimization, etc. can make such a difference to what you're doing. 

The one thing I struggle with, that I think a lot of us struggle with is putting content into that larger context and creating those healthy boundaries. There is a constant demand for content in terms of volume across the board. But as a content leader, I want us to do less work and have more growth. 

3. Is the future remote or hybrid?

I've been working from home for about seven years now. I truly believe that as content people, we can work from home and should. It creates that space and environment where we have the quiet and the comfort to focus on writing and getting the work done. That doesn't mean there isn't a place for us to reconvene regularly as a team. 

And here I think about bringing in agile marketing. If there is something we need to sprint on, let's get together for a week, put our heads down, and fix all the plugs.

What really determines quality, productivity, and overall rating of content from content producers is how motivated they are in a constantly changing digital environment

4. One of the debates that we have been seeing pretty often with content leaders like you is quality versus quantity. What is your take on that?

I will always lean toward quality. There is a misunderstanding about what it takes to create content. We’re not human computers. We don’t just sit down like AI and spit out words. We put in thought and we have to do research. You must create content in a meaningful manner, and you focus on quality. Your goal is to deliver results, not deliver 150,000 words.

Volume is a secondary aspect. It’s better to start slowly, optimize your pages, and make sure that your content is delivering for your customers rather than just creating endless realms of content that one person will see once and which will eventually end up just weighing down your website and tiring out your customers.

5. What's your take on the need for a content marketing stack or platform that helps you do anything and everything under one roof? 

I love the idea of it. The truth is there are a lot of players out there who claim to have such services. I've dug into a lot of them. However, given the breadth of content marketing functions, I prefer to select the right tool for my needs and my organization’s growth.

6. Can you name a few people in content marketing you idolize? 

I will refer to books. One that I'm currently reading is F#ck Content Marketing by Randy Frisch. This book helped move my career because I had all these intuitions about where we needed to go. But this book nailed the framework and what they call the big rock content model. This model gives you a great framework for content operations which are usually all over the place.

It’s time to start talking about content as a revenue center and stop looking at it as a cost center. The future of content resides squarely in our ability as leaders to demonstrate through data-driven strategies that we are key to unlocking growth in the digital age.

Get started with Pepper’s Content Marketing Platform.

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