Divvy’r of the Month – Beta (Hunting) Edition – Inquest Marketing
The content marketing world is an ocean. Full of fish that even ‘the old man’ from the “The Old Man and the Sea” wouldn’t touch. It’s a wilderness of thorn trees, poison ivy and yes, even some definite wall hangers. There are predators, there are prey, and as a content marketer you have to decide when to pull the trigger, and what your target should be.
Scouting. Tracking. Killing the Content Marketing Beast.
When your content-marketing livelihood is based off the “kill what you eat” motto, then deciding what to kill is extremely important. You must scout out your content marketing tools thoroughly and not waste time on smaller, less sustainable prey. The content marketing tool you choose is your hatchet, and you are Brian Robeson. This has been Benton Boyd’s safari. As the Director of Online Marketing/Digital Strategy at Inquest Marketing, Benton scouted Divvy 1.0, and really followed our tracks by actively participating in our Divvy 2.0 beta. Benton, an avid hunter outside of the content marketing world, has pulled the trigger on Divvy 2.0 and it has been more than sustainable, it’s been a feast!
Q1: Inquest Marketing has some trophy clients (feel free to name drop). How has Inquest been able to lure the attention of those big bucks and hit them in the boiler room?
A: We’ve had a number of clients that have really been receptive to the growing trend for more content-related marketing solutions. Clients that range from a local brand, the Garden Weasel line of gardening tools (that remind many of late night infomercials back in the 70s and 80s) – where we’ve been doing content marketing since long before we knew it was called that, to global heavy equipment manufacturers, to regional grocers… all have been increasingly keen on the critical importance of reaching their target audiences with the right information in the right place at the right time.
Our focus on making content marketing a key component to our integrated approach has certainly been instrumental in bringing exciting new clients and projects on board. A great example would be how we have recently expanded on our relationship with Fujifilm, based primarily on the implementation of a solid content marketing strategy for their North American Graphic Services division (and managed in DivvyHQ 2.0. of course) – it’s that commitment to providing solutions that truly help our clients – and their brands – connect with their unique target audiences – that helps us stay on target.
Q2: (Pt 1) Hiding in your blind over the years, what methods were you using to assist you and your agency in your content planning and production?
A: Putting a consistent method to the madness that is content planning and production has actually been a moving target for many marketers, us included. And not one particular process has seemed to emerge – one-size-fits-all simply doesn’t apply when the level of service you provide for each client varies as widely as your clients are diverse. Each client and the strategies required to accomplish that client’s goals and objectives has always seemed to warrant its own “brand new” approach. The desire to replicate a “process” has certainly been significant – it’s simply not always a reality for us.
(Pt 2) How did you roost out DivvyHQ, and avoid stepping on the dropplings at the same time? What made you sure it was the wall hanger you wanted?
A: Like with any successful hunt, one of the most critical keys to success is scouting. Lots of it. Divvy had been on my radar, with me floating around in that awareness/consideration part of their funnel for a couple years now. Spending significant time with the Divvy folks at Content Marketing World the past couple of years, learning more about their system, going through the trial & beta, and doing lots of competitive shopping/research eventually led to pulling the trigger on DivvyHQ. It’s that scouting, spending time understanding what tools were available out there, what software existed that could help our agency be as efficient and effective as we could be on behalf of our clients, that really set DivvyHQ apart from the rest of the pack.
Q3: Your company builds brand advocates via social. What research do you put to use to help you avoid being a social stump setter?
A: Research is critical to everything we do. That gets underscored and bolded when we start talking about content and one of our favorite and most engaging delivery vehicles, social media. For us, that research covers all aspects of what we do, whether its research and development of target personas, evaluation of content performance on a particular social media channel to determine effectiveness, or just the “standard” keyword analysis that comes with nearly any type of project these days. Research is what enables us to ensure that the strategies and tactics we are executing are tied to something measurable for our clients. We are definitely excited about the prospect of research tools being built into DivvyHQ.
Q4: Inquest Marketing touts the importance of social community engagement, which we whole-heartedly agree with. How have you seen this done poorly? Who have you seen put on their hunters orange, and really get noticed? What advice do you have for brands to make sure they nail it?
A: Pretty sure everyone can relate to “poorly done” social media engagement without having to cite examples and point fingers. In fact, even as an agency, there are occasionally times we are not quite on target, and posting for the for the sake of “being social” – not necessarily posting with specific engagement – with content mapped to a specific stage of a particular persona’s funnel – in mind. And that is what gets your content noticed. Content that targets the right audience, with the right message – in the right place, and at the right time. That’s deep engagement. That’s what we all strive for. That’s doing it right.
The best thing a brand can do is to have a solid content marketing plan that drives relevance and engagement through every piece of content, from blog posts to social media to website content. Don’t just post to be… posting, just because you are supposed to post something. Post because you have an engaging solution that provides your target audience with something they need or desire, something that provides some bit of utility. Post knowing your target audience well enough to know what their consumption habits are, what channels they frequent, what times they are more likely to be online and attentive. Post knowing that each piece of content, however big or small, plays some role in the tactical execution of a well-planned content marketing strategy.
Q5: The content marketing world is a very connected group. Recommendations go a long way. If a colleague asked you about us, what would you say? What would you caution them about regarding our platform.
A: I have certainly not been shy about my opinions on DivvyHQ. I was singing praises even prior to 2.0!
When asked about DivvyHQ, I can get downright giddy about the potential of this platform, and how I feel it has fundamentally transformed how we approach content marketing. DivvyHQ, in its entirety, can actually become a pretty solid foundation for a content marketing program all by itself. The functionality and capabilities built in can be utilized in a way that practically forces you to think strategy while you execute. Features can be configured to help create a consistent, repeatable methodology that – while customized for each client and account – brings some consistency, some workflow to your overall approach to content marketing and the internal processes that drive it.
Add to that a support system that is nothing short of remarkable. I know that we are not among the larger organizations on DivvyHQ’s client list… But I dare you to tell Brody, Tony, Brock… anyone over there that. We have been treated like we were a top priority, from getting signed up back in the Divvy 1.0 days and all the way through the beta to right now. When there is an issue, a question, anything at all – I know I’ll hear back quickly, with resolution not far behind.
I can’t honestly say I have much in the way of criticism or caution. This is a system designed and developed by marketers – by content people – for marketers to plan and execute better content strategies. It’s allowed me to put some consistency to how we plan for our clients, and internally for ourselves. Ultimately, it has played a key role in redefining how we approach content marketing in general.
Q6: (Pt 1) What bulls-eyes do you have in your sights for your clients in 2014? For your agency? How do you avoid flock shooting those targets?
A: Obviously we’d like to continue to expand on how we are serving our clients in a digital capacity. Essentially, we see every customer, new and old, as a content marketing opportunity. And in hindsight we always have – we just did not always have the “Content Marketing” banner flying along with us. But creating content that meets the unique needs of targeted audiences, based on specific client objectives… these things have always been a focus, and critical to ensuring that our clients are connecting with their target audiences in relevant, meaningful – and engaging – ways.
As an agency, we’d like to continue to utilize resources – like DivvyHQ – to layer a more efficient process over the top of an already content-focused organization. For us, continuing to build marketing programs that help our clients connect their brands with their customers is our ultimate goal. Fostering the paradigm shift that all-things-marketing can really be simplified and reduced to “content” is a personal goal that I feel needs to be the cornerstone for everything we do here at InQuest Marketing, both internally and externally.
(Pt 2) How will Divvy 2.0 help you hit those goals dead center?
A: DivvyHQ – especially as it has evolved into 2.0 –gives us the platform to apply our content strategies more consistently – and executing on those strategies based on each and every client’s individual needs. I cannot imagine being where we are now – in implementing the level of content marketing services we are capable of – without DivvyHQ as the foundation, an architecture to house our content philosophy. Where we were taking a lot of baby steps in getting “content marketing” nailed down for clients, DivvyHQ has been instrumental in getting us closer to where we want to be by leaps and bounds.
There is no question that the platform will continue to help us expand and enhance our approach to creating more successful content marketing strategies for each and every client we work with. We are constantly finding new ways to utilize DivvyHQ to bring relevancy, consistency, collaboration, and strategy to projects that we may have never guessed we’d manage in DivvyHQ. Projects that we may not have previously thought of as “content” – but hey, when it comes down to it – it IS truly all about content. That’s marketing.
Mounted and Stuffed
Thanks to Benton and his content marketing team. We are ecstatic to be featured in Inquest Marketing’s and Benton’s content marketing trophy room. Benton is correct, Divvy 2.0 will continue to grow its antlers along with those of its clients. Now out of beta, Divvy will continuously expand upon its functions and features. As Divvy matures into even more of a content marketing beast, other potential customers will want to zero in on us, pull the trigger, and put us on display.