We kicked off the Content Matters Podcast in January 2019 with the goal of talking to and sharing insights with thought leaders in the content management space. It was a year packed with experts who understand the value of content, how it impacts marketing activities, and what you need to do to ensure the content you create supports the needs of your customers. For our last podcast of 2019, we thought it would be nice to look back on these conversations and bring you a key insight from each of the thought leaders we interviewed.
Why Content Matters
To get started, let’s hear from Ingeniux’s VP Business Development, David Hillis, on why we started the Content Matters Podcast in the first place.
“I would argue that content is actually the most valuable business asset that most organizations have. Content shapes the way that we interact with the world, with our customers, with the market. It's how we project not only who we are but where we're going as a company.”
Every brand is now a publisher or has the opportunity to be a publisher, and it’s become incredibly important to understand content strategy, content quality, and production and the relationship between content and the customer.
Alan Porter on Defining the Customer Journey
Alan Porter is a frequent conference speaker, guest writer, and trainer on content marketing, content strategy, customer experience, and the author of “ The Content Pool: Leveraging Your Company's Largest Hidden Asset.” Porter shared his insights on everything from overcoming content silos, the overlap of product and content marketing, and the important role of the technical communicator.
We talked about creating personas and journey maps and how to bridge the gaps between the work that is often spread across different groups.
“One of the questions they're asking is what's the transaction they're trying to do? How do they do it? What outcomes does your customer want to make his job easier? Then figure out where you fit within that overall story framework. So, for me, that's what a customer journey means. And that really needs to come from a higher level. Unfortunately, things happen functionally. Content marketing is like, let's do a customer journey around the website, and product marketing can be like let's do a content journey around how somebody actually uses the product, and the two don't necessarily talk to each other. So, it really needs to take that broader, sort of more holistic point of view.”
Scott Hunter on Building Apps Today
Scott Hunter is the Director of Program Management for .NET at Microsoft. This was one of the most technical talks we had on the podcast, but it was very interesting to see what Microsoft is doing with its .NET technology to help organizations create solutions that help customers. One of the goals Hunter talked about is making it easier to create solutions.
“I would say that it's probably easier today than it was. Development goes through weird cycles; it goes through being easy to hard, then back to easy. In .NET, we're trying to go back to easy. We went through a phase where we have a bunch of talented engineers that know how to do crazy stuff with code, and sometimes part of my job at Microsoft, and my team's job at Microsoft is to make sure we don't ship complicated projects. We have awesome engineers that want to do cool engineering feats, but our real goal is to be the watchdog on the product to make sure that it's easy to use.”
Mathew Sweezey on the Future of Marketing
As the Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce, Mathew Sweezey spends a lot of time talking to brands and consumers about their experiences. When we talked to him, his focus was on the idea of human-to-human marketing, and the role AI can play in making interactions and experiences more contextual and personal. He also believes marketing has a bigger role to play than building awareness and bringing in leads.
“That means that marketing must transition from the brand that just fills the pipeline and gets more people in, to the owner and sustainer of all experiences, right? If we believe that a brand is the sum of all experiences, it would make sense that we do that. And so, when we do that, now, we have marketing sitting on top of product, on top of service and support, not to dictate everything that they do, but only to make sure that they have a cohesive and connected experience."
Ann Handley on Storytelling
Everyone is talking about storytelling in marketing and why it’s so critical today. To understand what that means, you only have to listen to Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and a digital/content marketing expert.
Handley shared her insights on how to get started with storytelling, the value of the written word, and the next big thing in content creation.
“What do we mean by storytelling? Handley explained that it’s about who you are, what value you provide, and how you deliver services. It’s all the touchpoints that make up your story. She said businesses often get caught talking about themselves when they should be reframing their business in the context of why it matters to customers. Storytelling in a business context makes the customer the hero, eases their pain, and shoulders their burdens.”
Ken Malfi on Pillar Page Strategies
As the Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Townsend Security, responsible for brand awareness and lead generation, Malfi is on the ground building marketing strategies that are building awareness and leads for his company.
He shared his insights on SEO, creating pillar pages, and implementing account-based marketing. And it’s all information you can use to design your marketing strategy.
“Mafli knew this is the way they needed to go, seeing that Pillar pages utilize all of the white hat SEO tactics in a single methodology. His boss agreed, and they spent three months creating their first pillar page. They spent the next three months tweaking it to let Google know they were improving it and the following six months promoting it. Mafli said the results were phenomenal. From its launch in January 2017 to September 2017, the pillar page was ranked number one for the top handful of keywords they wanted to rank for.”
Claudio Guglieri on Designing Experiences
Claudio Guglieri shared his insights on designing experiences. Currently, the Group Creative Director at Huge, a full-service digital agency headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, with offices across the US and the globe, Guglieri has worked with some of the biggest tech companies, including Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft (where he led the visual direction of Fluent Design, Microsoft's own design system).
He shared that design is changing, and it’s much more about how you approach problems than the craft of the work itself. “Companies can’t differentiate on the visuals (although they are still very important); they must differentiate on how they are solving a problem or delivering an experience.”
On designing for emotional experiences, he said, “Everything is linked to your emotional relationship to an interface and how efficient and transparent it is.”
Chris Willis on Content Governance
Chris Willis is the CMO of Acrolinx, an AI-powered content governance solution. He joined us on the Content Matters podcast to talk about active content governance and how his company empowers their clients to create content that aligns with their strategy and brand.
He talked about this idea of “chaos in the engine” - we’re creating more and more content, but it’s coming at a cost. The review and approval process is inefficient and takes so long that by the time the content is approved for publishing, it’s no longer relevant.
If you want to understand how to create strategy-aligned content, how to write to brand without losing individual voices, and how active content governance can help, then this is a podcast you should listen to.
Cathy McKnight on Content Operations
When we talked to Cathy McKnight, VP of Strategy at the Content Advisory, we talked about content management, content marketing, and content operations. Anyone who has to deliver great content across a wide range of channels, content that comes from across the organization, understands the challenges in not only creating the content but managing and sharing it.
McKnight shares her tips for success, including the four fundamental technologies needed to create great content experiences, how to select the right CMS, and why content operations is so critical.
“It's not about breaking down silos, it's about making it permeable, giving a line of sight into what other people do and the content and data they have so that others can leverage it from their own perspective. Different roles in a company see things differently.”
Matt Heinz on Account-based Marketing
He may not have coined the term “account-based marketing,” but Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing is definitely an expert in this now must-have marketing strategy.
We talked with Heinz about the challenges companies face implementing an ABM strategy, including data management and getting Sales and Marketing to work closely together. He also shared his views on ABM technology and the importance of good content.
“It is knowing what content you need to put in front of someone to drive engagement and conversation. It doesn't need to be a big whitepaper or polished video. Heinz said it could be a statistic or an infographic. You must understand the customer journey and what a specific person in the account needs at each stage. This makes for more meaningful and impactful content at each stage.”
Deane Barker on Content Management
Deane Barker joined the Content Matters podcast as our first guest. At the time, he was Chief Strategy Officer at Blend Interactive but has since moved on to work with a CMS vendor. With Barker, we had a great conversation around headless content management and its successor – hybrid content management. His view on the future of content management will make you think hard about the CMS market.
“Barker thinks that someday we will look back at serving a web property from a single CMS as a little naïve. There is a great role for headless CMS - supporting a traditional CMS. The traditional CMS would provide marketing, page composition, and simpler, and direct content management will be done in other content management systems like a headless CMS.
“The CMS will become a content provider management system - orchestrating and directing backend content providers (think DAM, video, virtual reality, technical docs, headless). Everything will come into the content provider system for the last mile of delivery. This is also what Forrester is calling agile CMS.”
More to Come in 2020
That wraps up our highlights from the Content Matters Podcast in 2019. Keep an eye out for new podcasts with a host of new guests in 2020 – we’ve got a lot more to talk about!