Digital Marketing Interview Series with Editorial Manager at HootSuite
This week we've interviewed David Godsall, Editorial Manager at HootSuite, on his thoughts about the future of content marketing and how he gained skills in the field:
We are so overloaded with free content on the Internet these days. Why is it still worthwhile for companies to invest in content marketing?The ROI on a content marketing program is different for every business. In general, though, the changes we're seeing in how marketers are reaching their customers are a result of evolving consumer behaviour. We all engage in more sophisticated and nuanced conversations with brands when we make purchase decisions, and content marketing is about having a more active and strategic presence in those conversations. It's not about competing for consumer mind share and attention with all the other distractions in a noisy mediascape; it's about building trust and credibility by informing and entertaining your future customers.
What are your top metrics for assessing content marketing success?The obvious ones—blog audience, social shares per post, and social media clickthroughs—remain important, of course. They measure how many people are paying attention. But I think deeper, more granular, engagement metrics are often neglected. Content marketers need to pay attention to things such as time-on-page and scroll depth.
What are three techniques for generating topic ideas when a content marketer faces a writer's block?
- Social listening: Your audience will tell you what's on their minds. A good social relationship platform, like Hootsuite, will make it easy to gather insights and ideas.
- Reading: Keep the thought leaders in your industry in a list or stream. When you're wondering what to write about, you can turn to their content for inspiration.
- Follow your own lead: When you're in need of a new idea, consider what's performed well for you in the past. What was it about that post or campaign that made it successful? Can you apply your own winning formula to something new?
When a piece of content really stands out for you, what makes it good?I don't consider a piece of content to be a stand-out success, regardless of the numbers, unless it really contributes something new to the conversation. At Hootsuite, our best pieces have grown out of totally fresh and unexpected ideas. That's why we work so hard to nurture those ideas when they surface.
What do you enjoy the most about content marketing?It's becoming a cliché, but I genuinely love storytelling. I think traditional marketing for many businesses left little room for telling stories, but consumers demanded something different. Consumers want to know like and trust the brands who get their business, and increasingly the way to build that relationship is to tell (true) stories that explain what you're all about.
What are your thoughts on the future of content marketing?I think within 10 years we'll have dropped the word "content" from the moniker.
David manages the Hootsuite blog. As a writer and editor, he has covered tech, media, and entrepreneurship for national business magazines. An advocate for creative content marketing, he believes that behind every great business is a great story. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter at @dgodsall.