This week, Site Strategics’ very own Lynnell Nixon took part in “Turning Content Into Gold: A Panel of Content Experts,” hosted by B2B Marketers in downtown Indianapolis. With the backdrop of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and the tantalizing smells of prime rib and cheesecake, Nixon and four other Indy content experts weighed in on how content is created, marketed, and measured.
The first question focused on where you go to get content ideas. “Research, research, research,” said Nixon. “Talk to the client. Look at the competition.” The other panelists agreed research is often overlooked when a client is focused on particular goals and objectives. However, creating content based on strategy requires a deep dive into research.
Should you hire a subject expert or a content marketing expert? Audience members posed this question for the panel, who agreed it’s best to start with a good writer – although the input and fact checking by an expert (usually the client) is also important. “Experts aren’t always good writers,” said Nixon, although she acknowledged the importance of understanding the facts. Panelist Lorraine Ball of Round Peg suggested recording interviews with experts to accurately capture crucial technical information.
Panelists discussed various forms of content, including video, audio, and social media. “Different people process information in different ways – and that goes back to researching and knowing your audience,” said Nixon. “Personally I love the written word, but I love a clever visual as well. I’ve been pretty responsive to appropriate Instagram ads.”
Panelists were asked whether it’s preferable to have content created in-house (that is, by the client) or by a third party. They agreed that whoever creates the content should be a good communicator in the particular medium being used – and overseen by someone who understands the strategy. Nixon was cautious about client-written content: “Clients are a great source of information – in particular their sales staff,” she said. “But they also have the ‘curse of knowledge,’ and don’t always understand what their own customers don’t know.”
Other points of discussion included the role of content as it leads to the goal of conversions vs. rankings, content delivery channels, native advertising, content promotion through social media, and the evolving role of keywords.
“I thought it was a great discussion and covered a lot of territory in this constantly evolving area,” said Nixon. Smiling, she added, “Content marketing isn’t everything in digital marketing, but it is the heart of everything.”