Hi Paul, tell us about yourself in a few sentences - who are you?
I’m the Marketing Manager of Liberty who are a digital marketing agency based in Cardiff, Wales. My job role sees me manage the overall marketing strategy and activity for the agency. However, as an SEO and content strategist at heart, I can’t keep myself out of any content campaigns that we run for our clients!
Talk us through a successful campaign you’ve worked on...
I’m lucky to have been involved in a number of successful campaigns across a wide range of sectors and industries. One of my favourites has to be the ‘Which deadline day player are you?’ quiz we ran for a football tipster client. Deadline day is an exciting day for football fans as they find out what players will be joining and leaving your favourite team. To capitalise on this excitement, we created an interactive quiz which put you in the shoes of a football player on deadline day.
Based on a series of dynamic questions, you would be lead to a famous deadline day story. The campaign worked incredibly well for our client, securing great traffic, engagement and links to the website. It also earned us nominations in the UK and European Search Awards for best content campaign.
What visual content trends will dominate social media in 2017?
I think it’s going to be interesting to see how the Instagram v Snapchat channel war will play out. Snapchat were the first to the market with the idea and were of course incredibly successful in attracting users at launch. However, with the backing of Facebook, Instagram seem to be replicating the features that Snapchat has.
For marketing purposes, Instagram seems to be more favourable to brands. It has more to offer for users in one platform, and it's ROI are much better than that of a Snap. The engagement rate on Instagram is higher, and (active) audience there is bigger as well. A lot of influencers are unhappy with Snap. They like to use it for personal life but in terms of business (views, engagement, reach, etc.) they see more opportunities and value in Instagram, and a lot of them are slowly transitioning there as well.
Video is of course still a huge trend that will continue to rise, with Google estimating that video will make up 80% of internet traffic by 2020. With Mark Zuckerberg openly talking about how Facebook will be investing more in video, expect YouTube v Facebook to be the next big channel war!
What advice do you have for integrating visuals in content marketing strategies?
There’s a number of stats across the web that support how essential it is to integrate visuals in a content strategy:
· Blog articles with images get 94% more views. (Source)
· Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. (Source)
· Organic Facebook engagement is highest on posts with videos (13.9%) and photos (13.7%) (Source)
· 71% of marketer’s report using visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy. (source)
When coming up with content ideas, it’s important to consider what medium will best communicate the message you’re trying to put forward. Whether it’s a review, a whitepaper or an interview, visuals are going to be able to help you tell that story. Users tend to skim articles before deciding whether to read them, so make sure that your visuals can tell the same story as the words on the page in order to keep people interested.
One that note, I think that when sourcing visuals, it’s important to make sure that they’re of a good quality and look genuine. People have certainly grown used to bad stock photography and it’s likely to turn people off reading an article or browsing your site.
Which common mistakes do content creators need to avoid?
One of the biggest common problems we see is brands doing content for content’s sake. This often happens when a brand knows that content marketing is important but they haven’t implemented a cohesive strategy beforehand. Before dedicating resources to creating content it’s essential that a brand has:
· An in depth understanding of their customer personas (background, goals, challenges, trusted sources etc.)
· A goal for their overall strategy
· Goals for each piece of content (engagement, shares, links, conversions etc.)
· An established tone of voice that can be used across all content and channels
· An outreach or content distribution strategy
· A way to measure KPIs that are linked to the strategy and individual content goals
I think the last point is important, as a common as a mistake among content marketers is not measuring content performance. By measuring your content then you can see what works well and what doesn’t. This allows you to constantly refine your strategy and create better content for your target audience.
Aside from your own work, what’s the strangest, or most memorable campaign you’ve ever seen?
I think one of my favourite and most memorable content campaigns I’ve seen is ‘The Evolution of Western Dance Music’ by Thomson. I’m not a dance music fan, but I think it’s a great way of visualising the topic of travel and music which is also directly related to what the campaign (Holidays to Ibiza) was trying to achieve. It’s also a great example of choosing the correct medium to communicate a message. If this was a blog, it would be incredibly long and cumbersome to navigate through. However by representing the data as an infographic, it’s very easy and entertaining to use.
Your #1 Tip for storytelling:
Make sure that your visuals are interesting and can tell the same story as the words on the page. Users tend to skim articles before reading so this helps them stay interested and can also help them absorb information visually as well as by reading.
What are three images you love on Picfair?