Content Marketing Strategist
Is your content marketing efforts attracting the right customers to your brand? Or are you struggling to create a coherent compelling story that’s memorable, and relevant across all marketing channels?
Attract the right people to your brand
If you’re tired with same-old-same-old content that looks too much like your competitors, and ready to redefine your content marketing so that it better defines your brand difference, helps your organisation stand out and attracts the right customers to your brand, then it’s time we talked.
Content marketing: authority, reach and relevance
Since 2005, I’ve been producing digital content professionally for a variety of clients across a broad range of industries. From 2005-2007, I was an internal communications consultant for a large multinational, responsible for creating strategic content that satisfied objectives for the change management, corporate communications, human resources and sales divisions.
In this role, I invited myself to sales and marketing events, interviewed key customers, toured factories around Australia to meet and interview personnel across a broad range of business divisions, and visited headquarters in Stockholm, where I was asked to present my case on why our statistics had improved so quickly. It was easy to explain: I was simply writing real news, taking more time to understand what my readers wanted, and using a respectful and authoritative tone-of-voice.
I created and executed the Twitter strategy for Australia and New Zealand’s first social commerce start-up, rolling out channels across the two countries over a 14-month period, until the startup was sold for a reputed $40 million in March 2012. My team and I have renovated and re-launched numerous websites, through the prism of inbound marketing, conceiving compelling lead magnets, a refined SEO focus, and public relations campaigns that incorporate both traditional and cutting-edge publicity strategies.
Since 2012, I’ve run dozens of public courses on content marketing across Australia for small business owners, to brainstorm and create their own content marketing strategy.
I am a long-time advocate for inbound marketing as cost-efficient and highly effective long-term branding strategy.
Putting the customer first with front-end content strategy
Most businesses want to provide exceptional customer service. But how many actually deliver, providing easily accessible and navigable, on-time information in the most suitable format for the customer?
Content marketing must be customer-centric if it’s to be effective. When working on front-end content strategy for an organisation, questions I typically ask include:
- Who’s our ideal client and target audience?
- Are your typical clients actually your ideal clients?
- What’s the long-term aim for creating content for these people?
- What’s the more immediate aim for creating content for these people?
- What are the key pieces of content these people need at each stage of the customer journey?
- How can we demonstrate our organisational values through our content?
- How can we demonstrate our point-of-difference through our content?
- What key pieces of cornerstone content are needed to act as long-term SEO assets for the organisation?
- How can we better coordinate the efforts of all our content creators?
- How can we better use our customers, prospects, suppliers and other key stakeholders to inspire and create content for the organisation?
The process of content marketing strategy planning
Working closely with your organisation, the process of content marketing strategy planning is:
1. Determine content marketing objectives. This is often a hierarchy of key factors such as brand awareness, consumer engagement, sales, customer service, email list growth, public relations, education and advocacy.
2. Analysis of the current landscape. We examine who your customers are, who your competitors are, and what your relative strengths and weaknesses are compared to these.
3. Crafting a stronger origin story. We explore the back story of your brand or organisation and whether it is clear, compelling and evolving to stay relevant to your target market. We look at what key personalities in your organisation could be featured and what storylines relate to your broader brand story.
4. Exploration of search engine opportunities. Working with SEO specialists (or doing it yourself), we explore keyword niches to meet your marketing objectives that your organisation isn’t already dominating, in order to draw new, smart-targeted prospects to your organisation.
5. Measuring success. We agree on key metrics and check-in time to measure the success of your content marketing strategy.
The process of content marketing production planning
Some organisation request further long-term support to cover the process of content marketing production planning. The process for this is:
- Determining your content marketing team members. At a minimum, these would include writers, graphic designers, and a project manager. Ideally, these would also include a videographer, audiographer and SEO specialist.
- Training for your content team members to ensure they understand and can follow your content marketing strategic plan.
- Brainstorming with your writers, or writing clear briefs for your freelance writers, on key themes, stories and angles.
- Determining your content pillars – larger pieces of content such as white papers, webinars, video series, ebooks or slideshows.
- Developing a comprehensive content calendar to support your promotions and other relevant events.
- Establishing content workflow: who would be doing what, where and when?
Integrating content marketing strategy with advertising
Your organisation’s broadcast, print and pay per click advertising should seamlessly support and integrate with organic content marketing.
Particularly with recent changes to the Facebook and Instagram algorithm, content marketing works better when supported by a pay-per-click strategy. To minimise inefficiencies and ensure a comprehensive, holistic approach to marketing, your PPC plan should work hand-in-hand with your content marketing strategy.
Some clients engage me to consultant with their digital agency to ensure the approach is integrated and in harmony with the content strategy plan. On occasion, the advertising focus can inspire a rich theme of further content to support the ad campaign.
Who am I?
I’m Brook McCarthy. I've been self-employed since 2008, specialising in digital marketing for small business and solo-entrepreneurs. Prior to this, I was a public relations professional, which is where I first dived into the fast-moving world of online communications. Having worked in small business my entire life, and with my father running his own PR consultancy, I well understand the challenges of small business owners; juggling multiple roles with splintered attention, feeling overstretched and sometimes, overwhelmed.
My training experience
I have many years experience training large and small groups in diverse organisations, from international corporations, to small family-owned businesses and lean start-ups.
With a skill for making complex information easily digestible and relatable, and a talent for catering to the different training needs of diverse individuals, I have worked with a massive cross-section of people, including facilitating cross-cultural groups in countries including Vietnam, Cambodia and Turkey.
Since 2012, I've facilitated public courses across Australia especially for small business owners, on the topics of digital marketing, copy writing, business blogging, SEO and social media marketing.
Let’s get your content marketing working properly!