Diane Williams is Fifth Story’s EVP of Content & Media. Here, she shares insights on how to create content that stands out, where to spend your marketing dollars and who’s doing content marketing right.

1) What do you think is the most important thing for clients to focus on and allocate resources to if they are new to content marketing?

Focus on the needs of your consumers, it’s all about them, not about your brand. Consumers are looking for information that will solve a problem. Good content marketing will influence consumers as they go through different stages of the purchase journey, including generating the need or want for a product or service, identifying questions consumers will have about that product or service, determining how to evaluate products that are out there in the marketplace, highlighting any pitfalls they need to be aware of and showing them how to buy. It’s also important to keep the information simple to understand and get right to the point, especially if many of your consumers are accessing information on mobile devices.

2) Do you think many companies in Canada are focusing on content marketing? Why or why not?

Companies recognize they need content for SEO. However, many marketers are already stretched, whether it’s by time restrictions, budgets, resources or even know-how. Many companies might even believe that all they need to do is write content. However, it’s also important that their content is easy to find online, and it matters how many clicks it takes for consumers to access that specific piece of content. It’s also important for companies to consider if they can measure content, what the specific goal(s) of each piece of content is/are, whether the site has the right call to action, and whether the content needs a digital campaign to support it.

3) Do you have any favourite examples of clients doing great content marketing? Why is it great?

A really good example is Velux Canada, where they understood that the rapid shift to digital marketing had disrupted the way brands traditionally market to consumers. Their solution was to develop a content strategy consisting of written and video pieces for their blog. The content is relevant to their potential customers and is emotional, easily digestible and engages customers – which all work together to help drive conversions.

4) What do you think is most difficult part of the client-agency/partner relationship?

Clients are busy, and for truly successful relationships to be developed and fostered, communication must be at the forefront. Having an open dialogue with the client to understand the challenges of their business, as well as their successes and objectives, is how some of the best ideas are developed. It enables either party to discuss any problems that might crop up so they can be discussed and solved.

5) What are the hardest skills or experience to hire for in content marketing? Why?

That your content marketing team has a holistic understanding of content marketing and an integrated approach. This ensures your content will align with your bigger business goals and meaningfully engage your customers. Specifically, you want someone who will  look at content strategy and content creation, who also understands and has experience with purchase journeys and measurement. Finally, digital should always play a key role, so look for someone with a proven track record of successful, cost-effective digital campaigns who also understands how the function and design of a webpage can encourage desired customer outcomes.