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  • Steven Wilson-Beales

Hannah Smith on making shit stick: The Content Marketing Show, November 2013

Following the brilliant cm show earlier this year I thought I’d attend the third event this year and report back. Here are the notes that I’ve gathered from the event.

  1. Distilled’s Hannah smith discussed how to engage your clients at that discovery stage in her ‘throwing shit against the wall and seeing what sticks’ presentation. Quoting Mark Zuckerberg “people may be more interested in a squirrel dying outside your window than children dying in Africa.” Our attention is dictated by our facebook newsfeed so our content marketing strategy needs to adapt to these conditions.

  2. People need to love your marketing if they are going to share it.

  3. Content should be goal driven. What you create depends on what you want to achieve. It’s not always easy to create a story to attach a story to persuade to covert. Self-serving messaging (blatant PR) will not get people to share and may even damage your brand.

  4. You brand is not what you sell, it’s how you sell it. People talk about ‘off brand’. Redbull was highlighted as a good example, a publisher of extreme sport content, a new business model. Businesses need to think beyond their products and content marketers need to help them with this. Also Simply Business, The Happiness Generator, UK festival finder for the trainline.com.

  5. How do you figure out what your audience wants, needs? Find people in your target audience, ask them about the problems they face, what do they do online, offline? What do they share, what sites do they read, where do they shop?

  6. What works for one company might not work for another. Find what works for you. Frame your content appropriately – is social media bad for your phone example.

  7. Hannah recommended the ‘Made to Stick’ book.

  8. Hannah signed off by stating there are no guarantees, you just need to launch and see what happens. Failure is part of the process.

  9. Pick your battles, if your client has no appetite for content that entertains or educates then just concentrate on conversions. Then revisit.

  10. Address the issues with the content at the beginning.

  11. Make your content goes further, across all browsers and devices. Make sure your social buttons work, particularly on mobile.

  12. Make your headline and social share copy ‘clicky’. Hannah referred to Upworthy’s content strategy deck.

  13. Make sure you have retargetting pixels across everything you do. Test paid promotion – it increases reach.

  14. Plan to fail, agree what success looks like before the project.


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