You know, once a great secret spreads, you get all kinds of “wannabe” corporate marketing types creating what they think is great content. And you know what? Most corporate content is flat out boring. It’s all about “me me me”. The best Content Marketing secret agents understand that it’s not all about the brand, it’s about what the customer wants that matters most.
Well, say goodbye to boring corporate content because Julie Fleischer, Director, CRM Content Strategy & Integration at Kraft Foods, has some excellent advice to share in advance of her presentation at Content Marketing World. Her content marketing mission has been a tough one, but she joined us for this debrief:
In your your current role as Director of CRM for Kraft Foods, how has your work with content as a marketing asset evolved? What do you think about all the recent buzz about content?
Creating content that is innately relevant to our consumers, brands, and business objectives has been at the heart of everything we’ve been doing for the past 15+ years. In fact, Kraft Foods has been a pioneer in the online and content publishing space. We’ve been offering online branded content through our CRM activities since the early nineties: we launched kraftfoods.com back in 1992 and our food&family magazine in 2001. We’ve had a YouTube channel since 2005 and have since then expanded our platforms in mobile, social media, apps.
The purpose and partnership with our consumers hasn’t changed, but the technology and platforms used to disseminate content have. Today, we are more connected with our consumers and we are able to provide them tools and apps that help them along with the recipes they seek. We are mindful about delivering content and creating experiences across our entire paid, owned, earned and borrowed media to create a holistic and meaningful consumer experience – one that is ideal for each particular touchpoint.
How would you define content marketing to someone that is new to the idea?
Content marketing has been around for a very long time; it’s the cornerstone of the value exchange with consumers. Content marketing is by definition content that consumers want to engage with. As the advertising environment has grown more cluttered, as the signal to noise ratio has declined, and as technology has enabled consumers to block out messages, content marketing emerged as the best way to ensure that a brand’s message was actually being consumed. But equally important, content marketing elevates a brand, by enabling its voice to serve a purpose in its consumers’ lives. It can be educational…informational…humorous…an advisor or a partner…with the right content, a brand can add value to a consumers life, not just speak loudly at them from every screen or printed surface possible.
For Kraft Foods, we share a passion with our consumers around food and feeding our families. We understand deeply how they cook and eat and put food on the table and we make their lives more delicious by providing them with meaningful resources and food ideas, when and where they want them.
Your session “Don’t Bore Me: How Kraft Foods Mines Consumer Insights to Create Content that’s Always Spot On, Right Now, and Never Ever Boring” is focused on using great content to create value for your customers. What are 3 of the primary takeaways from your Content Marketing World presentation that you think are most important?
My five key takeaways:
1. Understand and define your basis of conversation. What do your consumers really value? What does your brand have permission to say and do? It’s important to explore different bases of conversation including information, utility, entertainment and community to find the best one for your brand and your consumers.
2. Be captivating. Life is too short, media is too abundant, and consumers are too busy to pay attention to anything that’s less than fabulous. If consumers aren’t willing to raise their hand that they want to engage with your content, you’re boring them. And you’re wasting your money.
3. Location, location, location. Today, content needs to be everywhere the consumer is. It needs to be easy to find. And often times, paid media is required in order to drive earned impressions.
4. Timeliness matters. Relevance can be measured with an egg timer. It’s important to be as real-time as possible and to be able to reorient plans around successful pieces of content. You need to be able to adjust on the fly
5. The metric system. Measurement is a discipline that drives success. Be vigilant about measuring engagement, return rates, satisfaction and virality as key success metrics.
Where do you see content fitting in with the overall digital marketing mix?
The mix tends to refer to the distribution channels. Your content is the basis of conversation. It’s the “what”. The mix is the “how”.
Many companies are challenged to create new content on an extended basis. Can you provide 3 tips for managing long term, effective content creation for marketing?
1. Budget for it. Great content doesn’t just happen. It takes copywriters, designers, photographers, directors, editors…and in our case, culinary professionals. There are absolutely ways to be cost-efficient in the development of content, but don’t underestimate the need to invest
2. Request and curate it. 20,000 recipes on KraftRecipes.com have been contributed by our member community. Engaged, passionate consumers can be your best source of content. So long as you have a content management system in place that enables smart curation and you have business rules around that curation, your consumers can be more than your best advocates, they can be your best creators.
3. Follow up. Remember that you can’t just drop a piece of content into cyberspace and forget it. Leverage SEO and integrated support to get the most possible out of each piece of content you promote.
Content Marketing Institute’s study earlier this year mentions that most B2B companies are using content marketing tactics to grow their business. While content marketing has a high adoption rate with B2B companies, many are still having difficulty earning internal support. As a B2C marketer, what advice can you offer on winning upstream executive approval for content marketing initiatives?
These days, it can be so inexpensive to test a content strategy and then bring real in-market results to support your recommendation. Build an inexpensive web page, start a blog, buy paid search around important keywords, try something new on your Facebook page…and see what kind of traction you get. It’s hard for senior management to argue with success.
What’s one content marketing secret that you would like to share with Content Marketing World attendees?
The most important question to answer is “what is your basis of conversation?” What do you as a brand have to offer that matters to consumers? What are you going to provide them makes them want to come back to you again and again? It’s not as simple as finding a point of difference and a creative hook and trumpeting it across paid media. To be successful in Content Marketing, you have to take the time to get to know your consumers, what s/he needs, and how you can serve that need uniquely and authentically. Once you understand the role you play, all of the other elements – the channel mix and the role of channels, the creation/curation of content, etc – can follow.
Nicely done Agent Fleischer.
To get more insight from Julie at Content Marketing World, check out her presentation “Don’t Bore Me: How Kraft Foods Mines Consumer Insights to Create Content that’s Always Spot On, Right Now, and Never Ever Boring” on Sept 5th at 9:45am.
Also be sure to check out the TopRank session on the future of optimization: “Optimize and Socialize for Better Content Marketing” – Sept 6 – 3:05-3:30pm (Content Creation & Optimization Track).
What’s your best content marketing secret?
Share your best in the comments and we’ll pick 3 winners this week to receive a free copy of “Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing”.
Who’s on deck in our series of Content Marketing Secrets? Why, it’s B2B Marketing pioneer Ardath Albee of Marketing Interactions.