Winning Top Tier Coverage for Search Engine Impact

Winning top tier media coverage for search engine performance - Martin Calvert, Blueclaw

In today’s guest post, Blueclaw’s Marketing Director Martin Calvert examines the impact of quality media coverage on visibility and search performance. 

Links remain the lynchpin of off-site SEO strategy, but not all links are created equal.

Google’s commitment to rewarding sites that provide the most value to human visitors, means the search engine is looking for indications that your site is organically featured and linked to by high quality sites.

As Google’s Matt Cutts states –

‘…the objective is not to ‘Make your links appear natural’; the objective is that your links are natural.”

Natural links from great website and publications help your site – unnatural links from poor quality site do nothing or actively damage your rankings.

Unlocking that higher tier of coverage and winning over publications, blogs and influencers takes great content, aligned to your SEO strategy.

However, lessons can be drawn from other disciplines – including PR.

Content Marketing, SEO and PR

Considering…

“What sites can I be featured on? What would their readers find compelling about what we have to say? What topics would capture their interest? Where can I reasonably expect to win coverage?”

….are all questions that professionals in another content-centric industry are very familiar with – PR.

As SEO becomes ever more like PR in terms of these questions, the more marketers can look to the established habits of great PR firms to guide their content strategy, while also incorporating the SEO criteria and metrics they need to drive rankings.

As in PR, the more authoritative and discerning a publication/site you target, the better your content must be. Remember, these publications thrive on maintaining high standards, and have their own SEO and readerships to consider.

SEO is a bit of an arms race in that with so many companies attempting to implement a link-earning strategy, the best sites have become more discerning about who they link to.

Meanwhile, more ‘accessible’ sites lose value quickly – and could even result in a penalty.

Higher Value Links, Greater Results

The gold standard of leading industry publications, mainstream media and .gov and .edu domains remains in force.

The effort to produce this content of a quality that will win coverage (and links) from this type of outlet can be off-putting.

For some companies, they will continue to suffer from the fatal half measure of lacklustre content generation leading to lacklustre results.

Breaking out of that routine and really taking your SEO strategy forward, requires creativity, insight and authentic content of unambiguous value.

The good news is the better your content is, the further it can travel and the greater results you can anticipate.

This is particularly the case if there is an element of virality – content that people cannot resist linking to and sharing on social media and elsewhere.

Manning the Pump

The internet is awash with mediocre content, churned out on a timely schedule.

The written word is vital but engaging, entertaining and insightful visual elements also increase the value of content as the delivery mechanism for the crucial link to your site.

A vanishingly small number of companies can produce content on a consistent basis that retains high standards of quality – and some will choose never to invest that time, effort or money.

We know that Google loves new content, are hungry to index it and will give a boost to fresh material on the assumption that newer = more timely, relevant and interesting.

That’s something to bear in mind when producing content for your own site, but it’s also at the forefront of the minds of savvier website owners. Your great content helps their site – so they’ll be willing to scratch your back in turn with a follow link.

Consistency in Content

Consistency in content creation in terms of timeliness and quality is just as important for the mainstream media.

Though they may be less concerned about their own search rankings, they do demand dependable partners who can be relied upon to help with a quote, a bit of insight or a meaty piece of content that makes their story or their site that much better.

In short, your SEO programme will suffer and winning, retaining and expanding your media relationships will be harder without regularity of great content – that crucial connective tissue – to keep the reciprocal relationships working well.

Differentiating on Content for Next-Level SEO

Content marketing is the delivery mechanism for off-site SEO – and the better your content, the greater leeway you have to engage and negotiate with the sites that fit the ideal profile for your SEO strategy.

What qualifies as great content will vary depending on your industry, and demands of the press, industry publications, sector-specific sites and influencers.

Content marketing is in a hype phase at the moment, meaning that there is a flood of sub-par content.

Differentiating is critical, as is creating a reputation for quality and consistency – looking to PR for inspiration is just one route.

Author Biog

Martin Calvert - Blueclaw

Martin has an 11-year career as an international researcher, speaker and client and agency-side practitioner in the field of online communication and influence. Drawing on his diverse experience, Martin provides a practical, personable and data-driven view of digital marketing and SEO.

Having recently joined Blueclaw as Marketing Director, Martin is responsible for enthusing major brands and challengers alike about the new art of the possible in digital marketing.

Martin’s session at next week’s Search Leaders Masterclass at Etihad Stadium, Manchester: Earning media coverage, social shares & engagement for next-gen SEO

 

Content Marketing: The Delivery Mechanism for Contemporary SEO

Content Marketing - The Delivery Mechanism for Contemporary SEO by Martin Calvert, Blueclaw

As part of our build-up to this month’s Search Leaders Masterclass at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Blueclaw’s Marketing Director Martin Calvert examines the role of content marketing as a delivery mechanism for next-gen SEO.

SEO is dead. Content is king.
Well…that’s what a lot of clickbait blogs have been announcing for some time.

The fact is SEO and content marketing are inextricably linked, and too many SEO programmes are undercut by a casual approach to content that leads to poor results.

Grown up SEO
To a large extent, a scalable and effective SEO programme still depends on inbound links from high-authority sites.

Google and other search engines are continually instructing marketers to produce websites that are accessible and of legitimate interest to actual humans, rather than focusing on how to manipulate bots.

In other words, SEO has grown up.

Of course, the smarter Google gets at detecting web content that is spammy or otherwise odd (and algorithm updates like Google Panda and Google Possum are arriving frequently), the more danger there is for website owners who host dodgy content.

The way to their heart (and to obtain the coverage and links you need) is through genuinely superior content that makes their publications and websites better, and add real value, amusement and/or insight to the reader on the page.

Winning valuable coverage for SEO is best achieved through content that deserves coverage and commentary – content that is ‘linkable’ even by those who have no interest at all in your particular brand.

SEO and Content Marketing
Content Marketing – The Delivery Mechanism for Contemporary SEO by Martin Calvert, Blueclaw

SEO in its most basic definition is about getting the right traffic to the right pages, through better understanding of ranking factors and approaches. SEO is all about the outcome.

Content marketing is an approach that (among many other things) helps achieve that outcome – the connective tissue between your intended audience, a target publication/blog/website and the delivery mechanism for that coveted link through to your site.

The Delivery Mechanism
In the olden days of off-site SEO, the delivery mechanism – the means to secure links to your site, may just have been the link itself, a dense keyword-rich article or a bit of detail for a directory listing.

What’s changed is that the delivery mechanism – the content that surrounds, embraces and supports the link you want to obtain – must be much closer to what a human reader will consider to be good.

Out with the Old
So. Keyword-stuffing is out. Duplicate content and oversold meta-descriptions are out. Google’s Panda update is becoming ever-more effective at spotting (and delivering penalties to) ‘over-optimised’ sites with a dubious, unnatural link profile.

Today, content produced for SEO-benefit must be of a higher quality, greater depth and more human to win authentic coverage and abide by the best practice demanded by search engines.

That’s for the benefit of both the publications you depend upon to link to you, who need to protect and boost their own rankings, as well to retain the SEO value of any link to your site.

A Supporting Role
Content marketing specialists may feel a little uncomfortable about this description of the supporting role that content can play in SEO.

Indeed, it’s the lack of investment in content marketing expertise that is responsible for so many underwhelming SEO campaigns.

By not prioritising genuinely superior, targeted and high quality content, some companies reduce the content element of SEO to just ‘fodder’.

Contemporary SEO success is contingent on getting out of that mindset – and SEO specialists working with (and giving credit to) content marketing experts who can hit the standard required to deliver truly top-tier on-topic coverage, inbound links and productive relationships with media partners.

Author Biog

Martin Calvert - Blueclaw

Martin has an 11-year career as an international researcher, speaker and client and agency-side practitioner in the field of online communication and influence. Drawing on his diverse experience, Martin provides a practical, personable and data-driven view of digital marketing and SEO.

Having recently joined Blueclaw as Marketing Director, Martin is responsible for enthusing major brands and challengers alike about the new art of the possible in digital marketing.

Martin’s session at the Search Leaders Masterclass in Manchester on Tuesday 29th November 2016:  Earning media coverage, social shares & engagement for next-gen SEO

Content is the King and Title is the Queen: How to Choose a Perfect Match for Your Social Media Shares

Content is King and Title is Queen - Raymond Stokes

In today’s guest post, Raymond Stokes highlights 4 key tips on how to make your content stand out and maximise its social reach.

Do you spend time agonizing about the perfect title for your blog post? Do you struggle with creating articles that are too short or too long?

When it comes to social media, these questions matter more than you might realize.

In 2016, social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are responsible for nearly one-third of all website traffic. This shift means that when it comes to attracting visitors, social media compatibility is now of equal importance to high ranks in web searches.

But before you start researching the best way to make your FB and Twitter posts go viral, take a moment to clarify your basic objectives.

While SEO keywords are less important when it comes to social media, you still need to research the kind of content that will make sales. Content is still the king (no matter what they say), and its title is the queen that helps it stand out. To maximize the effectiveness of your social media presence, make sure that these two are perfectly matched.

Here are 4 basic tips to find that perfect match:

1. Make your title catchy and your content descriptive

Your title will stand out more with strong phrases, even if they are negative ones. A title such as “What We Hate the Most” or “Brilliant” definitely grab the reader’s attention. But use these with caution. Negativity can sometimes come across as excessively rude or even inappropriate. If everything stands out, then nothing does.

To really intrigue your readers, focus on “who” rather than “why”.

To make your Twitter content really stand out, use some of these most retweetable words:

  • you
  • twitter
  • check out
  • post
  • blog
  • how to

You can also use action words in your titles:

Content is the King and Title is the Queen: How to Choose a Perfect Match for Your Social Media Shares - Raymond Stokes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Image source

And try to make your title even catchier with some good, strong action words too. Expand your use of attention-grabbing phrases beyond the title to the text itself. Again, if you use such phrases sparingly, they will stand out more.

Above all, keep your content descriptive and illustrative and match it with a catchy title for the optimum formula for success.

Content is the King and Title is the Queen: How to Choose a Perfect Match for Your Social Media Shares - Raymond Stokes

2. A picture is worth a thousand words

Recent research reveals that headlines which include the word “photo(s)” perform 37% better than headlines without this word. In addition, articles with images get 94% more total views.

2016 is the year of social media and the year of visual content.

Besides enticing users to share your content on their social media networks, images will also help to drive more traffic from social media sites.

To maximize the power of images, ensure that any shared post which readers may pass along contains images that are correctly optimized for social media.

And don’t just stick in a random image just for the sake of visual appeal. Images are only effective if they are relevant to your content. Stock photos or generic images do not resonate with readers.

Content is the King and Title is the Queen: How to Choose a Perfect Match for Your Social Media Shares - Raymond Stokes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another effective way to use images is to include them as thumbnails to “popular posts” or “related posts” in the sidebar. Such thumbnails usually include the featured image of the post. This can help you get a higher CTR as well as decrease the bounce rate.

3. Short title and long content

The optimum length of your title will depend on what your goals are and the platform you are using.

If your goal is to get a high search ranking, then focus on keeping the title under 70 characters; this will ensure that it doesn’t get cut off in search engine results.

Maybe what you really want is a title that’s optimized for social sharing. On Twitter, shoot for a headline between 8–12 words in length; on average, headlines of this length get the most retweets. If you’re using Facebook, headlines with either 12 or 14 words receive the most Likes.

Content is the King and Title is the Queen: How to Choose a Perfect Match for Your Social Media Shares - Raymond Stokes

*Image source

For example, let’s take a blog post with the title: “Think Heart Disease Only Affects Older Men? Here Are 10 Statistics Guaranteed to Prove You Wrong.”  Rephrase the title to cut out unneeded words:

  • Before: Think Heart Disease Only Affects Older Men? Here Are 10 Statistics Guaranteed to Prove You Wrong.
  • After: 10 Stats That Prove Heart Disease Is Not Just for Older Men

See? It’s that easy. Test out your title by saying it out loud to make sure it’s easy for your readers to digest. The less of a mouthful your title is, the better.

As for the content, it’s not necessarily true that the more words you write, the better. Above all, make sure that your content is useful and necessary.

When it comes to length, ask yourself how many words it will take to cover the topic.  How long must your article be to explain everything you would like to inform your readers about? These are questions which are essential for deciding on the length of your article. As a general rule, though, remember that content over 300 words is considered more valuable.

4. Use facts and figures to show the value of your content

According to a 2013 Conductor study published on Moz the type of headline that resonates best with readers are those that include numbers (“30 Ways To Make Drinking Coffee More Delightful.”)  The second category was those headlines that directly address the reader (Ways You Can Make Drinking Coffee More Delightful).

Stats are a great way to engage the attention because they offer proof to back up your statements. For instance, you want to show why inbound marketing is the best thing ever. Which of these sentences are more persuasive?

  1. “Inbound marketing has shown to be a more effective way to reach customers”
  2. “Inbound marketing brings 56% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound marketing”

The second sentence clearly has a much bigger impact on the reader because of the use of statistics. Anyone can make general statements like the first example. By offering real proof, the statement becomes much more trustworthy.

For example, case studies are usually filled with stats. Another effective use of numbers is in roundup posts:  curated collections of examples, thoughts, or tips, or just a gathering of information. These are great because people tend to just naturally share and link to them. Infographics are another great way to incorporate for numbers.

It’s even possible that a blog is not the ideal place to publish your content. Make sure to implement your content well so that the hard work that you put into gathering data will not be wasted.

Have you crafted any great headlines that led to many links and shares? Please share your experience.

Author bio:

Content is the King and Title is the Queen: How to Choose a Perfect Match for Your Social Media Shares - Raymond Stokes

Raymond Stokes – start-up launcher, social media specialist and dreamer. One of his first projects Essay For College inspires him to work more and have the guts to open a digital world. Follow Ray on Twitter.

CLManc16: Top Takeaways

Delegates attending Search Leaders Masterclass - Manchester

Tom Armenante, Head of SEO at MatalanDirect.com, shares his top takeaways from last week’s Content Leaders Masterclass #CLManc16, which took place in Manchester. 

The Content Leaders Masterclass was a great event, full of experts within the industry who work at some of the UK’s largest brands. As experts that work day in day out across a vast amount of clients, they had an in-depth knowledge and experience in tackling a diverse range of content marketing issues.

Content Structure
Several of the roundtable ‘Chairs’ discussed the structure of digital content, with the debate focusing on two different aspects. The structuring of the vast amount of content you can host on your site and the best ways to present this. A secondary topic of discussion was around how to ‘Best’ display the different types of content on your site.

Firstly, in terms of the quantity of content, everyone agreed it was important to make sure that content is displayed clearly on the site. This is usually by having some sort of central hub that organises it all, making it easy for both visitors and Google to access and digest the content.

The other side of content structure discussed – was that to get the most value out of the content, it shouldn’t just sit on the blog or a single point on the site. Joe Griffiths, Head of Digital Marketing at Blue Logic Digital explained that he’d seen the best results from content by structuring it on a specific section of the site that the content was trying to benefit. For example, if your website sells taps then having buyers guide type content in a sub directory off the taps category. This way not only will you be able to see the benefit of the long tail traffic from the content but also, Google will be able to see that you are an expert in that specific topic. If people are interacting with the content in a positive way, Google will start to rank your domain accordingly.

Content Objectives
One point that was reiterated by many of the industry leaders, especially Jaywing’s Content Marketing Director Mike Hepburn, was that specific pieces of content are best suited to different objectives. You need to ask yourself when planning the content: Is the end goal for it to be shared socially? Is it to generate coverage back to the site? Or, is it to generate revenue or a conversion? This is a very important aspect to keep in mind when creating the content, as knowing what you want the content to achieve will help you craft it.

Content Leaders Masterclass, Castlefield Rooms, Manchester

Another point that Mike discussed was the different stages in producing this content; for an article to be well-rounded and meet its specific objectives, it must be split into 3 phases. These are in equal portions 1/3 planning, 1/3 producing and 1/3 distributing. If too much time is dedicated to one phase and not the other – you’re less likely to achieve your objectives.

Types of Content
One theme that was covered by almost every ‘Leader’ was that there are different types of content for different types of objective, this is something that should be really tied into what the objective of the content is.

Ian Harris, CEO & Founder at Search Laboratory, qualified these as engaging content, viral content and ranking content. Engaging content is the type of content that is meant to inform users, helping them to create a firmer image on the product or service they are looking into. Viral content is just that, meant to be viewed or shared, creating hype and buzz that could potentially result in links back to a website. Then finally, there is ranking content. This isn’t usually what attracts the most links to a website but is there with the purpose of converting. Each type of content should be specifically created with one of these outcomes in mind and depending on which one will inform how your content is shaped.

Answering People’s Questions
Finally, Branded3’s Director of Search Stephen Kenwright, was really pushing the benefit of creating content that answered the visitors’ questions; he talked about their experience working with a cruise retailer. During this campaign they created content, answering everything anyone would ever want to know about cruises. The engagement that Google saw with these pieces of content really drove the organic visibility for that site. This really highlights that Google is aware of when you are helping people to find what they are looking for.

Summary
An honourable mention has to go to The Co-operative Group’s Head of Digital & Social – Paul Morris (pictured below), who gave a short keynote presentation at the start of the masterclass talking about his experiences in heading up Digital at the Co-op.

In my opinion, one of the main points he portrayed in his talk was ‘the castle metaphor’. This looked at how SEO activity that’s undertaken on a site is always underpinned by strong integration within the brand that you work for. A lot of the time, education is the key to making different stakeholders see the benefit of your campaign, and in return, showing them how what you do can complement what they do.

Content Leaders Masterclass, Castlefield Rooms, Manchester

In summary, this was a really interesting masterclass format that offered the opportunity to discuss day-to-day content issues with peers within the industry, which will hopefully have given everyone some useful food for thought.

Author Bio
Tom (Featured Image) is the Head of SEO at MatalanDirect.com, and has a keen interest in trying to expand his knowledge of digital marketing by regularly attending key industry events , as well as by trial and error via his own e-commerce business Gocableties.

Think Like a Publisher

In today’s guest post, Jaywing’s Head of Content Strategy James Longhurst takes a closer look at why brands should start thinking like publishers when it comes to content creation and long-term engagement. 

The job title ‘publisher’ has fallen out of favour in many media organisations.   In the transition from print to digital it has come to be regarded as an old-fashioned term. However, we think the role of a publisher is still vital for organisations to adopt when creating content.

A publisher acts as the brand ambassador for the content output, inside and outside the organisation. They are the independent arbiter that eases tensions and navigates a path between the editorial and commercial influences behind content creation.  As brands move from short-term experimentation to developing a long-term approach to content, they need to think more like a publisher.

Audience
Having an intimate and almost innate understanding of audience is critical to a publisher’s success. This used to happen almost instinctually but the wealth of data available now means that publishers should be using evidence and audience insight to back up their decisions and support publishing plans.

Too many organisations take a supply side approach, focusing time and energy on creating content because they can or because the business demands it rather than creating content their audience wants.

It’s the publisher’s job to ask the obvious but vital questions: “Who’s the audience for this?” “What does this audience need to know?” “How do our audience want to receive this information?”

Objectives
The objectives for most publishers is to make money from their content, and that will almost certainly be the ultimate goal of your organisations content efforts, either directly through e-commerce or indirectly through shifting brand perception.

Publishers have a clear view of the objectives, know when to follow them rigidly but also know when to have a little flexibility or when objectives may need to be changed through the year.

Great publishers will pull together a common set of editorial and commercial goals and share them across teams to allow everyone to work towards some common objectives.

Managing Creative conflict
If you’ve worked in any publishing organisation you will be familiar with arguments, both polite and otherwise, between sales and editorial teams. They are a by-product of any commercial media company.

It’s the publisher’s role to navigate this tension and know when to give the editorial team the backing it needs to create great content, but also to know when to back the commercial team to meet business objectives.

It’s a job that means constantly finding compromise between these two functions – and that’s no bad thing. The publisher should be able to take the objective view and take the personalities out of the decision.

Innovation
Good publishers look beyond the day-to-day, in a way that may be impossible for their editorial and commercial colleagues who are working to targets and deadlines, to ensure a long-term strategic approach to content creation and distribution.

It’s this long-term view that also should allow a publisher to become the champion of innovation.

A good publisher will be the instigator and/or facilitator for new product launches, content initiatives, production efficiency, fostering an environment of creative excellence and harnessing tools and technology that allows swift and effective content distribution.

Data vs Instinct 
William Morris, the textile designer and novelist, said of furnishings “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” and I think that’s a lovely approach for a publisher to take towards content marketing.

Use data and testing to know that your content is useful and is hitting your transactional goals but don’t be afraid to use your instinct and champion content that you believe to be beautiful, publishers use their understanding of their audiences and learn when to make that call and champion great editorial even when the immediate return isn’t obvious.

Think like a publisher
It’s by considering these traits, baking them into your organisations content strategy and thinking more like a publisher that you can increase the effectiveness, quality and efficiency of your content efforts.

If you’d like to find out more about this topic, don’t miss Jaywing’s roundtable session at the Content Leaders Masterclass #CLManc16 in Manchester on Tuesday 26th January 2016. The session will be led by Mike Hepburn, Content Marketing Director at Jaywing.

Guest Post: Why brands need to stop diluting the value of their content through poor implementation

In today’s guest post, Blue Logic Digital’s Head of Digital Marketing Joe Griffiths, takes a closer look at what brands need to be doing in order to prevent diluting the value of their content through poor implementation. 

Businesses are investing heavily in content, with B2B brands investing 28% of their overall marketing spend towards content marketing, with B2C brands investing an even bigger 32%.

This is serious investment that needs to be utilised in the best possible way.

From my experience, businesses tend to house the majority of their content on a blog. This tends to be because a blog is the easiest route to getting content live on a website. Almost all focus is placed on getting the highest quality content possible that no one asks the question of whether a blog is even the best place to publish it.

Unfortunately, despite the substantial investment, businesses are diluting the value of their content through poor implementation.

Why blogs aren’t always the best place to publish content

Blogs can be a great place to house certain types of content, but this mainly applies to time sensitive and news related content which won’t be the type of evergreen, useful content that businesses are likely to have invested in.

The problem with putting an evergreen piece of useful content on a blog is that as soon as it falls off the first page, it will rarely be seen by visitors to your site outside of the odd long tail visit you get through Google.

To get the most out of this kind of content, it needs to be implemented in such a way so that it is seen by customers at the point when they most likely to want to read it.

How evergreen content should be implemented

This should start with the target audience of who the content was written for, who is this aimed at and what is their typical customer journey? Where will they want to see this? Where will it be of most use? Great content should sit within a customer journey, not outside of it.

You don’t always need data to understand where this should be, sometimes just a bit of common sense goes a long way. If you’ve written a buyer’s guide to mattresses, then it’s not surprising that this should be accessible from the mattresses section (and mattress product pages) of your website as this is likely to be where users who want this kind of content will be when they need it.

This can be implemented in a number of ways, but the aim is the same with any method of implementation, if you are on a category or page where there is relevant, useful content that could be of use to many users, there needs to be a pathway into it to maximise its value.

From an SEO perspective, the association with relevant, informative content through interlinking and where it sits in the site structure will show Google that your site (and your core landing pages) have a much higher association with expert content, making your site offer more value than just a list of products or services that you’re selling.

Of course there are lots of limitations that stop us from implementing content in this way (usually CMS restrictions), when this happens we tend to have to settle for solid interlinking between relevant content and core pages, but the ideal should always be to structure content where users are likely to see and digest it.

*Featured image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/htakashi/

Author Biog

Joe GriffithsJoe Griffiths heads up the digital marketing offering at Blue Logic Digital, overseeing the strategic development of the agency’s clients.

Having led award-winning content strategies for the likes of Virgin Holidays and Ladbrokes, Joe has a wealth of experience creating and implementing marketing strategies which have delivered real brand growth. Joe will be one of the official roundtable ‘Chairs’ at next month’s #CLManc16.

Speaker Spotlight: Nicola Carey (Jaywing)

In today’s edition of ‘Speaker Spotlight’, Jaywing’s Head of Strategy & Planning Nicola Carey shares her thoughts on all things brand engagement.

At the Brand & Audience Engagement Masterclass BEMLeeds, Nicola will deliver a session on – The Dating Game: The importance of brand seduction in the age of information

What inspired you to enter a career in brand marketing?

When I was in my early teens I didn’t have photos of Take That on my wall. I had Absolut Vodka Ads. (Not sure what this says about my upbringing!) Also, and I know it’s a cliché of advertising, but whenever I need lifting I watch the Guinness show reel – the idea that a brand through its communication could make me ‘feel’ something was what brought me into marketing.

In your opinion – What is the single biggest challenge that brands face when it comes to ‘Brand & Audience Engagement’?

I do think there is a big challenge in cutting through all the ‘buzzword bingo’ to enable brands to get to the heart of what engagement means for customers as individuals. It may indeed be that the engagement sticking point is one of ‘making sense of all the data’ or ‘creating exciting content’ but in my experience, it is very rare these play out consistently for brands across sectors or even audience groups. I guess you could say that the greatest challenge for brands is actually defining their own ‘rules of engagement’.

What is your career defining project to-date?

That’s a difficult question as my career has been pretty varied! I would have said it was spear-heading a 12 market insight project for BBC News which saw me understanding the role of the BBC brand and how it engages audiences in everywhere from Afghanistan to Seattle.

Who would be your ‘Dream’ client – if you could win their business?

For me, this changes all the time. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a number of brands that might be thought of as classically ‘sexy’ brands to work with – Red Bull, Diageo, EE and most recently First Direct. However, and without wanting to sound too earnest, it’s the unique challenges and problems and the client’s attitude towards tackling them which makes a client a dream client.

What is the 1-book that changed your thinking and approach to your career/job?

Neither of the two things which come to mind are actually books. Simon Sinek’s whole ‘Start With Why’/Golden Circles philosophy (as best summarised in one of his TED talks) really helped bring to life brand purpose for me in a way which felt meaningful. Being a planner, I also often look to my peers for inspiration. There are so many good blogs out there but the one which stands out for me is Richard Huntington’s Adliterate, full of interesting thinking and provocations.

 

Strong Line-Up Confirmed for Brand & Audience Engagement Masterclass

I’m delighted to announce that the speaker line-up for the Brand & Audience Engagement Masterclass has now been confirmed with leading experts from Elmwood, Jaywing, WRG, Wolfstar and Igniyte  – presenting a series of engaging sessions on Tuesday 14th July 2015.

The masterclass in association with Network Marketing and the University of Liverpool will provide delegates with a powerful series of insights, strategies and tactics from five industry leaders who will share their latest thinking on brand and audience engagement.

Topics:

  • Developing the right brand engagement strategy
  • Creating and promoting powerful content through owned, earned and paid media channels
  • Tactics for driving customer acquisition and retention through better online brand engagement
  • Measuring the effectiveness of brand and social engagement
  • How to deliver an engaging online user experience

Who’s attending?

  • Head of Marketing Operations, O2
  • Global Vice President – Brand Strategy, Arla Foods
  • Professor of Marketing, University of Liverpool
  • Marketing Director, Joe Browns
  • Marketing Director, Taylors of Harrogate
  • Global Marketing Manager, Mamas & Papas
  • Head of Community & Social Media Marketing, Premier Farnell
  • Head of Marketing, WageDayAdvance
  • Digital Marketing Manager, Irwin Mitchell
  • Regional Marketing Manager, DLA Piper
  • Marketing Manager, Yorkshire Water
  • Senior Manager – Brand Operations, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Customer Strategy & Planning Manager, Yorkshire Building Society
  • Customer Insight Manager, Asda
  • Marketing & Communications Director, Capita
  • Brand Activation Manager, Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate
  • Digital Marketing Manager, The Co-operative Group
  • Senior Manager – Online Content, Brand & Communications, TD Direct
  • Head of Customer Knowledge & Insight, TD Direct
  • US Marketing Coordinator, Pure Collection
  • Digital Content Coordinator, Pure Collection
  • Retail Development Manager, Warburtons
  • Brand & Social Media Manager, Superbreak
  • Customer Retention Manager, WageDayAdvance
  • Customer Retention & Engagement Manager, Satsuma Loans
  • Communications Manager, Xerox
  • UK Marketing Manager, Smoothwall
  • Marketing Manager, University of Leeds
  • Head of Marketing, Pets Choice
  • Social and PR Manager, Pets Choice

If you’d like to attend, please complete the contact form or call me on +44 (0)7796322894.