Digital Marketers Continue to Seek Ways to Rise Above the Crowd [Interview]

marketing, b2b, content, content marketingIn a report published by Visual.ly in September titled, “Content Marketing Reimagined: How Brands Can Earn Attention in 2015,” research showed that marketers are increasing their digital budgets to accommodate growing media consumption. We had an opportunity to interview Elliott Brown of Visual.ly to learn more about the data uncovered in the report.

HOW DO YOU CURRENTLY VIEW THE CONTENT MARKETING LANDSCAPE?

Elliott Brown: “It’s hard to get traction with content. It used to be that if you just did it — if you were creating content and getting it out there — that was enough. Going back seven or 10 years, that was certainly the case. I think we’ve seen a lot of people try to get into the game, and all of the sudden there are a lot more voices out there, as well as channels. With all of the social media channels that are popping up, you’re competing with alerts on people’s phones. There is a lot more content out there in general. You’re competing with everyone out there from interpersonal communications to other marketers.”

HOW CAN MARKETERS IMPROVE ON MEASURING ROI?

EB: “To get better at measuring their ROI, they need to plan for it from the beginning, and it should be a part of their strategy. A lot of the times you start working and publishing and say, ‘Let’s use this CMS and this CRM,’ and you might have pieces that don’t really fit well. Measuring ROI should be a part of their strategic planning. It’s tougher in some areas that others, like B2B, where you have a full sales cycle.”

HOW IS MOBILE CHANGING THE DIGITAL MARKETING LANDSCAPE?

EB: “There are two big ways. Strategically, you’ve got to be thinking about what the consumer mindset is when they’re on their phone. It gives you a better opportunity to provide more relevant content. You also can’t be totally static – you need to be flexible and responsive to what people are doing. Tactically, mobile is a completely different channel. Responsive design is a good start, but you need to really think about everything you’re doing.”

WERE YOU SURPRISED BY ANY OF THE STUDY RESULTS?

EB: “I think the most startling thing that should make people gasp is the amount of data being produced. People are publishing a significant amount of more stuff, meaning that in two years, there are going to be more people competing for the same eyeballs. On the Internet, it’s about finding new audiences, and there aren’t going to be too many new audiences to find anymore beyond a certain point. You’ve got to be focused on informing people, entertaining people, or providing them with a service.”

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO TODAY’S DIGITAL MARKETERS?

EB: “The biggest advice that I have is to not put junk out there. I know that’s simplistic way of looking at it, but putting a tweet or blog post out there isn’t enough. Quality is really starting to trump quantity, and it’s worth putting the investment in better content that engages people. One way you can have both quality and quantity is by improving the way you work with your creative team. I would say improving the working relationship with people who create content will streamline the process.”

You can download the free report, “Content Marketing Reimagined: How Brands Can Earn Attention in 2015,” published by Visual.ly in September 2015.

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