Christopher Yeich on Creating Niche Content
Content creation is a critical component of any successful marketing strategy. However, different niches may require different approaches to content creation, depending on the target audience's needs, interests, and behaviors. Understanding the unique content needs and preferences of different niches is essential for creating effective content strategies that resonate with the target audience and achieve business objectives.
In conversation with Rishabh Shekhar, Co-Founder and COO at Pepper Content, Christopher Yeich, Director of Global Content Marketing at TransUnion talks about how content differs from selling a product to selling a service.
Here are some excerpts:
1. Tell us about your background and journey in content marketing.
I am the head of the TransUnion B2B content marketing discipline, which primarily focuses on US markets within MySpace. We service seven vertical markets and other lines of business with recent acquisitions, such as NewStar. Our philosophy on the content team is to have an outside-in view by truly understanding our audiences through data-driven insights to provide them with valuable expertise, counsel, advice, and direction, and serve as a partner in their challenges. We want to maintain long-standing relationships with our clients by giving them something meaningful through content storytelling that helps them do their jobs better, smarter, and faster. Building long-standing valued relationships with our customers is foundational to us.
2. How does content differ when it comes to selling a service versus selling a product?
As someone in charge of content marketing, I believe that providing a broad range of content is essential. We create content for each stage of the customer journey, from top-funnel thought leadership to mid-funnel practical guidance and lower-funnel services and solutions. However, we focus on building relationships with our customers through top-funnel content that features subject matter experts who can speak their language and provide valuable insights. We then create practical guidance content that addresses the challenges customers face and offers recommendations to overcome them, without heavily promoting our products and solutions.
For example, here are the top 10 things that you would need to be mindful of when you do that. So whether it's a video, an article, an infographic, or a blog. A webpage or a webinar does, it doesn't matter what format it takes, it's meant to provide that positioning of here's how we can help you and understand, some of the challenges that you face.
And from our stance as experts, in this particular industry, here's what we would recommend. And that has nothing really to do again with the heavy-handed products and solutions. It's all about the challenges and how to start to overcome those challenges.
3. What content metrics do you track as a content marketer?
It's a great question and it's something that we talk about a lot here internally. I have a PowerPoint deck that I've put together to showcase internally just how we do content marketing at TransUnion. I believe that leads, marketing qualified leads, sales accepted leads, and sales qualified leads are the most important demand generation KPIs. This tie directly to revenue, pipeline, and marketing's contribution to pipeline goals. However, I am also interested in engagement metrics such as page views, unique visits, time on page, bounce rate, and conversion percentage through form fills. I am particularly interested in the "next click" after someone consumes a piece of content, to see what interests them beyond that initial article or blog post. This helps us create a relevant "what's next" component for the user and is vital for account-based marketing.
4. What does your ideal content marketing stack look like?
There's complexity built into it. As a large enterprise, we use best-in-class tools and platforms from organizations like Adobe, Google, and Salesforce to create a unified view of our stack, so nothing is siloed. We need connectivity between systems for operational and measurement purposes, and having integration capability with other systems is valuable. We track the performance of all those things that are tracked through various systems, and a dashboard system of business intelligence that can showcase all of the data that flows from those various systems into meaningful dashboards that we can track anytime 24/7 to make optimization adjustments based on those data outputs.
5. What's your take on outsourcing content?
Having done this for a while, I feel the best approach is to generate as much content as possible through internal subject matter experts as you possibly can. That's the best-case scenario. The reality of the world, though. More often than not is that one doesn't have all of the necessary resources to hire a hundred people in a content team, for example.
So we do use agency partners as an extension of our team for content creation. We work with both larger agencies and individuals with subject matter expertise in certain fields, industries, or solutions. It's a blend of both and we outsource some of our content creation to individuals who have decades of experience in the industry we cater to. We don't have a full-blown team with a subject matter expert for every vertical industry, so outsourcing allows us to access that expertise.
6. What should budding content marketers not spend their time doing?
I would say the primary thing to do is to use as many data-driven insights as possible to understand the needs of the audiences that you're trying to serve. A must what not-to-do is just talking about your products and solutions all the time. From a content marketing standpoint that doesn't provide full value to somebody. It just positions you as an organization and as a brand that wants to sell you something.
I think the key to success is always being mindful of that outside-in view versus an inside-out view. It's easy for brands and organizations to go with an inside-out view because they build things, they make things, and they sell things. But, but that's not the best content marketing practice.
On the other side of that coin, if you adopt an outside-in view and truly understand the needs of your customers, you're then able to cater to their needs and that's going to give them something of value that helps establish that long-standing relationship.
An outside-in view is key to where somebody should be thinking about how to look at content marketing effectively.
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