Meet the Ants—Kelly Fiddner

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You ran a marathon in Paris? Tell us about that experience.

I’m an absolute Francophile, so being in Paris was like visiting the mother ship. There’s nothing like meandering through the different arrondissements. Incroyable! You have the road to yourself, 40,000 other runners and thousands of Parisians cheering you on. Running next to the Seine? A dream come true!

 

What did you do as a teen that you hope Mia doesn’t do?

I was incredibly shy and not confident when I was young, so probably my biggest wish for her is to be confident in the choices she makes and in the woman she will become.

 

When did the obsession with recycling and living green start?

Being mindful of the things and people around me has been an evolution. I totally missed the whole hippie culture, so I’ve labeled myself a 21st century hippie chick. I’d give anything to live in northern California, own an organic farm or vineyard, do yoga and surf every day.

 

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in healthcare marketing in the last 12 months?

A true interest in digital marketing. And it’s about time!

 

How do you decide what to feature in the healthcare blog?

Healthcare marketing departments have so many irons in the fire and so many internal and external parties to satisfy. In ConsumerFocusedHealthcareMarketing.com, I try to pinpoint their struggles from 30 feet and from 30,000 feet, finding smart solutions to make their lives easier.

 

How do you develop a content strategy?

I start by asking “why,” as in, “Why are we in business?” If we can answer that, the “what” or the content strategy will unfold.

 

Describe the shift from push advertising to pull advertising.

I equate push advertising to using a megaphone to talk to your audience. It’s a one-way monologue with one purpose—to sell product. Pull advertising is a completely different mindset. To pull an audience in, you have to compel them; and to compel them, you have to know them.

 

What’s the difference between content marketing and brand journalism?

Custom content leverages an organization’s intellectual property collectively to provide value, help and resources to its audiences. Brand journalism leverages current events and news by hijacking it and creating relevant brand content around it. Great content marketers do both.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Only Mad Men Like Advertising; Customers Want Content

4934882110_87025eb586_oMarketers who are driving growth and building stronger brand connections with their audiences are doing so by providing value outside of a purchasing need. 

 

As we’ve discussed in our last few blog posts on content marketing, consumers have crept into the driver’s seat and have virtually shut off the world of traditional marketing as we know it. It doesn’t matter whether you sell to businesses or consumers—a buyer is a consumer and vice versa; their behavior is what they’ve acquired in their retail experiences.

A consumer’s brand experience begins online.

Marketing’s dependence on mass promotional campaigns with goals of reach and frequency are being replaced by messaging, information, tools and interactions that target, position and differentiate you from your competitors. This shift in thinking is much different than the promotional marketing efforts you’ve traditionally launched to publicize your product or service or your brand as a whole.

If you remember, we defined content marketing in a recent post, Content Marketing Is Just Old-School MarComm, as:

the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Selling needs to be kept under the radar. What you’re trying to do is build your case and establish trust with prospective buyers. Make it easy for your buyers to buy from you. Make them want to buy from you. People buy from people they know, like and trust. So get to know your customers. Be likable. And by all means, be trustworthy.

Content marketing helps you get found by the people who matter to your business.

Think about the different types of content that contribute to your buyer’s journey. How can you capture attention and inspire them?

Here’s a simple example of the difference between “promotional marketing” and “content marketing.” Let’s use healthcare marketing, which is one of the industries struggling with the move from promotional marketing to content marketing.

Which of the below scenarios is an example of content marketing?

  • Running an ad touting your joint replacement surgery center
  • Creating a video that provides tips on how to treat knee pain after jogging

The print ad is promotional marketing because it will appeal to very few people who need a specific procedure—joint replacement surgery—at the time they see your ad. The content marketing example is the knee pain video because it will connect with a far broader audience who suffer from knee pain.

Understand that content marketing as a philosophy alone will not ensure success. If you take the idea of creating a video on knee pain and run a search for “knee pain video,” it will more than likely result in over a million hits. In order to show up through all of the clutter, you have to create a relevant, compelling program that differentiates you.

How do you begin? By asking the same questions a marketer would normally ask:

  • What are our goals?
  • How do we measure success?
  • Who is our primary audience?
  • What are our differentiators?

Once you determine the answers, you will want to think in terms of providing relevant messaging and content to an audience that may not have an immediate need to buy today. Focus on driving actions unrelated to making a purchase, like signing up for a seminar, requesting information, downloading a case study or white paper, or participating in a webinar. In other words, you are striving for engagement.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Townsend via flickr

Smart Moves for Getting Started with Content Marketing

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Smart marketers understand that today’s consumers have virtually shut off the traditional world of marketing and choose messaging that makes them stop, think and behave differently.

 

It’s no wonder then, that content marketing are now a cornerstone of inbound marketing efforts in business and consumer marketing. So what do you need to get started? This is the first question of many that marketers ask themselves.

For starters, a carefully planned strategy and well-coordinated implementation is required to be successful. In the content marketing efforts we manage for clients and ourselves, we’ve discovered six components that are imperative in getting started on the right foot, regardless of the business you are in.

  • Establish target market. Who will you talk to? Everyone? Think again. That net is much too wide. Is your target a specific age group? Parents? Medium-sized businesses in a specific revenue bracket? This is one of the initial steps to take before one piece of content is created. Establish who your target audience is for your content marketing plan and base it on age, location, income and other demographic information.
  • Create reader profiles (or personas). This technique is fairly simple. Start by identifying the attributes needed for someone to be your customer. The goal is to describe who you will attempt to write for or who might already be reading your content. Going through this exercise will help to personalize your writing, identify ways to connect with your target audience and create more practical content with their needs in mind.
  • Determine digital distribution. How are you distributing your content? Before you create it, decide where you will host, publish and post it. A website or microsite is one of the more common platforms because you can disseminate content through a blog, photo gallery or downloads such as ebooks, videos, podcasts, etc. From it, social media should play a major role as distributor, as we advise in Content Marketing Is Not Social Media Marketing, as it can extend the reach of your content and foster authentic conversations with your customers and prospects.
  • Research keywords. What words do users type when they are searching for your products or services? It’s of the utmost importance to do the research and choose words with the highest number of monthly searches and the lowest competition.

For example, “urgent care” is a phrase with lots of competition, but in spite of the amount of monthly search volume, it isn’t practical to incorporate into a keyword strategy. A good tool to use is Google’s Keyword Planner; it will help you find “long-tail” keywords and phrases such as “urgent care for children in Tulsa, OK” that will garner better traffic results for your site.

  • Think like a publisher. Publishers use editorial calendars to monitor dates and buying cycles, track specifics of content ideas and keep content consistent and relevant. It also allows you to see connections within your content, get ideas on how you can repurpose it and ensures you have key information for SEO.
  • Report, analyze and adjust. One of inbound marketing’s biggest benefits is the ability to track and measure your progress to see what’s working. Then you can adapt to optimize results.

These are the critical components to put in place that will ensure you are on the right path for success.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Content Marketing Is Just Old-School MarComm

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Content has always been an important part of many marketing plans, but somewhere along the line, something changed old-school marketing into the data-driven digital beast we are all clamoring to master.

That thing is called the internet, and it has transformed marketing communications into a completely new animal.

Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services…they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Today’s content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.

If you prefer a more formal definition, let’s use Content Marketing Institute’s version that defines it as the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience–with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

60 percent of business decision makers say that company content helps them make better product decisions.(Source: Roper Public Affairs)

Content drives the Internet. As marketers, we know that consumers are looking for information that helps them solve their problem. In that respect, content marketing isn’t new.

80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Source: Roper Public Affairs)

Whatever the label, the goal has always been the same: to share useful information that helps customers solve their business problems in the hope they do something, like return to your site, subscribe to your newsletter or download your latest white paper.

70 percent of business decision makers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company. (Source: Roper Public Affairs)

Offer useful, informative, practical content. Create content that makes your readers’ lives easier. Share content that makes them laugh and entertains them. Show them you understand what’s keeping them awake at night and offer solutions. This is the path to building brand recognition, trust, authority, credibility, loyalty and authenticity.

Good content marketing should:

  • Be relevant to your reader
  • Close the gap (inform)
  • Be non-promotional/non-selling
  • Be relevant to your company
  • Provide proof

Organizations that are having the most success use an approach to content marketing that involves a high ratio of valuable content with no sales messaging, mixed with intermittent promotional messages. The types of content keep growing, but here is a brief list:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • E-books
  • Case Studies
  • Demos
  • Events
  • Free trials
  • Information guides
  • Manuals
  • Online tutorials, courses
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations
  • Reference guides
  • Surveys
  • Videos
  • Webinars/Webcasts
  • White papers
  • Widgets

Getting started with content marketing can be as simple as implementing one type of content at a time, such as a blog. Then you can begin to layer new content types into the rest of your marketing plan.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Photo credit: Catherine Snodgrass via flickr