In his role of B2B content strategist, Michael Kirsten started more than 3 years ago with content marketing at Kelly Services and he is still learning, so he says. In an interview with Shimon Ben Ayoun from SPOTONVISION, Michael is asked about his key learnings in the last years. Michael: “It all begins with understanding what you’re up against.”
He starts summing up all the things that you need to have in place when you start with content marketing:
- Try to understand what my core business is about
- What are the pain points of my prospects and customers?
- What do they really want to know?
- Where can I find them?
- Where do they go for information?
Michael: “Once you have mapped out the personas you want to reach, what topics they are interested in and what type of content I can produce for them, that’s when it all starts. On top you need to have a content production and distribution strategy in place.”
Michael’s key learnings in implementing content marketing
- Having a strategy in place
- Communicating internally
- Communicating externally
Michael: “After 3 years we’re still happy about the fact that we put a lot of effort in this starting phase, and even so we are still learning.”
In its initial content marketing period Kelly Services focused very much on volume, in other words, producing a lot of content. Part of the content was also geared towards convincing colleagues inside the company. Changing from traditional marketing to content marketing requires more or less a change management programme. “A lot of people need convincing, “ says Michael.
How did Kelly Services map the content?
Kelly Services started out by prioritizing content and topics based its core business versus what the 5 main topics were of the key buyer personas. Michael: “When we first started we created a lot of reports, whitepapers and eBooks. Right now we are producing more video, infographics etc. Kelly Services is competing against a lot of content. We’re doing less whitepapers, because people don’t want to spend too much time reading. We do have research reports though and based on these reports we create infographics and shorter eBooks and sometimes even a shorter whitepaper. This way we are sure that we various types of content for each type of buyer and we are sure that we can reach more buyers.”
Lead nurturing was a next step for Kelly Services. With a marketing automation tool in place they can now nurture the leads in a more structured way.
How does Kelly Services measure the results of content marketing?
Apart from looking at the number of downloads, number of clicks and newsletter subscribers, Kelly Services is mostly looking at leads that we generate. Michael: “Back when we started, this was one of the main reasons to get a GO for content marketing.”
What are some of the improvements Kelly Services made in marketing in the last year?
- Targeting has improved; in the beginning we made more generic content, nowadays we make far more niche content.
- Instead of focussing on quantity, we are now more focused on quality content.
- We realize that it’s worth to create ambassadors amongst colleagues to help spread the word.
Even though Kelly Services is one of the frontrunners in the industry when it comes to using content marketing, and even though they are reaping the results on a daily basis, Michael concludes the interview once more by saying how much there is to learn still.
Interview with Michael Kirsten, B2B content marketer at Kelly Services