Apr 21, 2023
The year was 2023. The date was April 18. Globe Content Studio presented its first Tactics & Takeaways event in Toronto, a morning of insights into content marketing.
You can view the sessions in their entirety here.
In the spirit of the event’s title, what follows are key takeaways from each presentation.
Behind the headlines: Extracting insights from published content
Use analytics software to measure content performance on your owned and operated. Start by ranking results by page/audio/video views or listens.
Look at your top-10 stories on a regular basis, depending on how often you publish.
Identify topic patterns in your most-popular posts and use them to guide future ideation, taking comfort in the knowledge you’ll be delivering material your audience wants.
Sean Stanleigh, head of Globe Content Studio
How to tell authentic stories
Take a people-first approach to your storytelling, letting the subjects speak in their own voices.
Representation has to permeate the entire production process (creators as well as speakers), because the storyteller shapes it from their own perspective.
By connecting your audience to the storyteller’s passion and experiences, you in turn connect the audience to your brand and its purpose.
Jessica Robinson, content lead
Is AI your next social media manager?
AI tools could vastly improve the way we work and create, but they can’t do it solo. They require tons of original human input and thoughtful human oversight of the output. Garbage in = garbage out.
If you fear automated machines taking your job, don’t try to beat them by becoming more “hyper-efficient” like they are. You won’t win that battle. They’ll just keep getting “harder, better, faster, stronger.”
To future-proof yourself, win with “humanity.” Find ways to put distinctive, heartfelt, meaningful and truly original marks on whatever content you’re creating, whether it’s a social media post or something much bigger. It’ll pay off, literally.
Shazia Khan, social media strategist
Are podcasts the right fit for your brand?
Think about who your audience is and what the story is that you’re going to tell. If your audience doesn’t listen to podcasts, why are you considering one? Do you have a compelling story to tell in this medium?
How much brand integration feels authentic? Let your audience and story lead your production and only integrate your brand in ways that complement the show rather than detract from it. Sometimes less is more.
Successful podcasts require resources. Do you have those resources (time, talent, expertise) internally? Or is it better to partner with another company to get yours off the ground?
Kiran Rana, executive podcast producer, and Kyle Fulton, podcast producer
Reach the niche: Getting in front of the right audience
Target a select audience or client group and get to know their pain points – what solutions do they need? Can they be solved through content?
A niche can be many things – whether a specific group (members of an industry) or within a broader demographic (drivers interested in EVs).
Use article metrics, online comments or speak directly to your audience to learn what they are interested in, use the information to forecast questions they may have, then find answers to those questions.
Pablo Fuchs, Globe Advisor editor, and Jordan Chittley, editor of Globe Drive and Globe Careers
What the Netflix series Drive to Survive can teach us about content marketing
Humanize storytelling: Through the series, Formula 1 demystified a complex sport by focusing on the characters, personalities and relationships that form the backbone of the paddock.
Good content needs an effective distribution strategy: F1 leveraged Netflix’s market dominance to ensure the widest reach.
Great content supported by seamless design helps create an impactful brand experience.
Aashish Arora, interactive designer, and Suhash Talwar, media strategy lead
Five skill-testing questions with quizmaster Jason Ainsworth
We won’t ask the questions again here, but we’ll focus on how to do customer surveys, which formed the backbone of this presentation.
Test, test, test! Then test again. Most importantly, get somebody outside your head to test. Errors start to become invisible as your brain corrects them automatically. If you have a particular demo you are going to survey, try to test your survey from that demo.
Only ask as many questions as you need and only of those people who really need to answer them. Virtually nobody wants to answer 20+ questions and if you want to know what recent auto purchasers are thinking, only survey actual recent auto purchasers.
Jason Ainsworth, research and insights analyst
Distribution and measurement: From omnichannel strategies to evaluating performance beyond PVs
Always-on content provides the ability to capitalize on news or trend-based topics.
Re-amplifying content can give you more budget to test and learn.
Timing plays an important role, lean into content pieces that grab the most attention, especially for shorter-run content.
Cast a wide net terms of distribution, then refine based on what you’ve learned.
Let data tell you what tactics are best at driving your primary and secondary objectives and find a balance.
Shape the message for the environment, bringing new life to a concept to connect with audiences in those moments.
It doesn’t matter how great the content is if no one is reading it, so delivering quality (engagement) over quantity (views) is key to influencing consideration for your brand.
Not all content is created equal, so the way it is evaluated is as unique as the execution.
Use different measuring sticks for different media channels and content formats since they offer distinct value propositions.
There is no consistency with content measurement across the industry, so it is important to hold partners and publishers accountable for transparency on the methodologies they are using to make informed conclusions on what success looks like.
Kirstie Ciccone, senior manager of content marketing and strategic solutions, and Jenna Del Ben, media strategy lead, and Vadeem Semko, media strategist
Tips for producing long-form video (two to five minutes in length)
When wanting to create video content, there are many formats to choose from. Animated video and shot video are great options that GCS uses often.
When creating a video, the message your content delivers is important to think of. Some messaging options are around promoting a product or educating about your brand/service.
Audiences are craving video content, but also have a shorter than ever attention plan. Try to engage your audience within the first 2-5 seconds of your video with a compelling message and bold visuals.
Stacie Campbell, creative lead
What it means to ‘win hearts and minds’ and why it matters
Elevate your content beyond the who, what, when, where and why that is often found in a press release. Facts are important, the corporate message matters, but just focusing on that message isn’t going to be enough to interest a wider audience.
Be discerning when selecting subjects. The people in your story matter! Strategically crafting content that connects the audience to real-life situations makes it relatable for the audience you want to attract.
When developing content, be sure to strike a balance between the factual information that needs to be shared with emotion-based storytelling that moves the audience’s hearts. Think of it as a heart/mind balance.
Dayo Kefentse and Carol Neshevich, content strategists
Hope to see you at next year’s event, whether in-person or online. Reach Globe Content Studio at GCS@globeandmail.com or follow us @globecontent.