Andy Przystanski started his career in the field of human resources or HR. Gradually, he made his way up to a product marketing manager when he joined Namely in 2015. As he grew in the role, he found content interesting and then became the content marketing manager there. This is when he found himself firmly rooted in HRTech and never looked back.
Today, he is the Content Marketing Lead at Lattice. Andy joined Lattice at the end of 2019 on the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with his Head of Content, he has worked hard to change how content is marketed at the company.
How content has changed at Lattice
Andy attributes the evolution of content at Lattice to his partnership with the company’s Head of Content, Annette Cardwell. Prior to their joining the company, the content marketing approach was stereotypically that of a startup — short surface-level blogs, no research or quotes, basic posts just for ranking.
Cardwell brought with her a journalistic quality and, with Andy, took surface-level content and turned it into something people would want to read.
Our philosophy is that our primary stakeholder is the reader. If you don’t build trust with the leader, they don’t care what you do as a company. And this is what makes the next step - usually sales - easier.
According to Andy, now that their content has built trust among their audience and the company’s product has evolved, the content team is able to weave the product a little bit more into the content. Moreover, their content includes insights gained from customer feedback, internal subject matter experts, and the company’s own data. In Andy’s words - an exciting shift to be part of.
A content marketer’s key role
The content marketer’s role differs with the company. Andy finds that, if you boil the role down to its absolute essence, a content marketer provides fuel for the engine, which is demand generation. They build a brand, thought leadership, and a reputation for the company.
Today, the content we content marketers create is valuable not only for our prospects but also for our existing customers. And when they bring up examples of our content, it is so validating.
Andy adds that, if one is doing a great job with content and is fully invested in it, it is hard to focus on just one KPI or one cross-team stakeholder. It is much bigger than that!
The quality vs. quantity debate and how to scale high-quality content
Andy says that focusing on quantity without prioritizing quality is almost a surefire recipe for failure. Quality is the key to reader trust. Most readers will not have a full understanding of the scale at which you publish. They may see one piece of content on social or search. They aren't living and breathing in your content library day to day. So if that one piece is not good, it’ll be the example they consider.
The most important thing about scaling is recognizing that you can’t do it alone.
That is why Andy and his team work with freelance writers and freelance editors who have immense journalistic experience and can maintain a high bar of quality. It is important to outsource because most companies don't have the budget for massive in-house teams but at the same time want more content published.
The secret sauce behind Lattice’s success
Andy finds that two things make up the secret sauce behind Lattice’s success. The first is their focus on quality. The second is the awareness that sometimes companies must take a step back and think about their industries in the bigger picture.
In Lattice’s case, it was to break assumptions of what HR content is. They focused more on storytelling - stories about work, employees, managers, people’s transition into different roles, the emotions attached to them and so much more. Andy says that the sooner you make that connection, the range and richness of stories and content will far exceed what you may have planned.
Salesforce of content
In terms of building a Salesforce for content, Andy would love a platform where the content calendar could live, that freelancers could access, where SEO keywords would be generated, and metrics were a touch away. He wants a platform that can provide traffic numbers, allow for the management of several tools, that integrates Google Docs.
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