Inside this post
- The typical corporate content marketing strategy is 90% blog-focused. How does yours compare?
- A one-question customer survey that opened our eyes
- Why businesses shy away from creating long form video and podcasts and settle with lots of blogs, and mediocre rich-media content
- The excuses you’re making not to serve the other 2/3 of your audience (the watchers and the listeners) are a total myth
Corporate Content Marketing: Big Budgets… Same ole’ Same ole’ (blog) Content
Years ago, I worked for an industry leading provider of Fintech (financial technology) solutions for small businesses and enterprise-level corporations.
Our marketing program was robust. We had marketing teams dedicated to each of our products, end users, developers, and VARS (value added resellers). We had marketing program managers, project managers, copywriters, creatives, and even a video team at one of our offices who spent all of their time and resources building the flashiest of video assets, although only a handful each year.
Webinars – The Missed Opportunity: Why We All Settle For Mediocre
Meanwhile, we conducted the occasional and obligatory thought leadership webinars, typically hosted on WebEx, that really presented a lot like the Zoom calls that now fill all of our current pandemic work-from-home calendars. They were just as painful and boring to watch as you might imagine. Sometimes we hosted the recordings on YouTube and counted it as long-form video assets.
I never loved what these recordings did to the overall impression on our YouTube channel. With all the investment we made into building a handful of very impressive brand videos each year, the recorded Zoom calls were degrading the way we projected ourselves to the outside world.
We agreed that content is king, but we also believed that blogs were the preferred channel for delivering that content. We found out later that we were way off with that assumption.
Building a Glimmer of Hope
I spent a lot of time and effort single-handedly working to build a better webinar experience. In the coming months, I built a studio with three cameras: an old Go-Pro that I had sitting in a drawer at home, a Canon DSLR camera, and an $80 Sony Handicam. After months of tinkering and scraping up chunks of marketing budget, I managed to get a working set that would create a multi-camera webinar studio that would be far better than a recorded Zoom call. The concept was spot on, but the production quality was variable at best. We needed some real equipment.
Getting Stakeholder Approval For More Investment: The 1-Question Customer Survey
I needed to get buy-in to invest in some better cameras and audio. So we ran a survey to our customers – one question: How do you prefer to consume your content? Do you prefer to read blogs and articles? Watch YouTube videos? Or listen to podcasts?
The response was profound. It was a perfect three way tie! It was then, that we realized that we were failing to serve the right kind of content to 2/3 of our audience.
We were doing a great job of serving our blog readership, but turning our backs to everyone else, expecting them to adapt to us, rather than us adapting to their needs.
Businesses Need to Stop Dragging Their Feet on Video and Podcasts
So that’s all great, but elevating our webinars would be too heavy of a lift! Even if we could manage to build a nice studio, our video team would require extra head count to accommodate the extra post-work, and who’s going to run the studio if I were to leave? And what about the listeners? Really? We’re also going to start a podcast? There was just no way.
‘Maybe we could explore this next year’, was the response I got.
I wasn’t even about to accept this as an answer. We needed to find a way to create really high-quality video content to replace those crappy zoom call recordings that were polluting our YouTube channel. We needed to create truly valuable podcast content for the listeners, all while continuing to write awesome blogs and social content that would keep us ranking high on Google.
Great Content Is Born In The Studio
The short ending to this story is that we did. We found a way to elevate content quality across the board, and multiply our content production to 10x our previous score.
The longer explanation will come in my next blog post. This is your Switchr mascot, Mark Cafiero here, and my plane is landing. Stay tuned for part II of this post: our strategy.
Update: I’m back. See part II here.