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What Do We Want? CONTENT. When Do We Want It? ASAP. Your Strategic Approach to Sane + Sustainable Success

August 30, 2019

Presented by: Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

Is fast and always-on really the path to content marketing transformation? Is real-time, right now going to deliver the best content marketing experiences? Ann Handley is here to tell you this: NO. It is absolutely not. In this talk, Ann Handley explores a strategic approach to sane and sustainable success.

Session Notes

In this jargon-free, fun, relatable talk, Ann Handley becomes your ASAP Content Tour Guide, annotating your tour of how the smartest companies:

  • Slow down their inspiration. They don’t run with a good idea. Instead, the smartest companies kindle an idea over time to create a slower, longer-lasting burn to make a good idea FIST-PUMP GREAT.
  • Slow down engagement. You don’t need a vomit of dumb comments to facilitate great conversation online. Actually, you don’t want that, either. Ann shows you a saner path. (Spoiler: It maps to REAL marketing success.)
  • Slow down content’s value. She’ll show you how to play with content marketing to propel growth over time—not try for viral or launch a one-hit wonder. 

Ann Handley was fun and energetic. She began with a funny and engaging story about a rabbit in her backyard and compared it to clients, this made the audience laugh hysterically. Through her experience luring the rabbit, she compared the steps she took to getting a client. She then put that story on hold and naturally segued into her speech.  At the end of her speech, she brought us back to her playful rabbit story. The audience loved her. Ann is a fantastic public speaker.

Slow Down at Certain Strategic Moments

  • 73% of marketers are producing more content than a year ago
  • Volume of content is NOT the key: be more strategic, slow down
  • Start with these questions: What does our audience need? and How best do we communicate that in a way that’s going to resonate with them?
  • It’s important to think about what unites an audience and what truth will compel them to engage emotionally

Ann played her favorite commercial, which is for Case Knives, and said it’s the best piece of marketing she has seen, based on the authenticity of the commercial and the poetry in the script.

She advocates peer-to-peer vs brand-to-target messaging and says it’s important to trust your instincts as a marketer. 

Slow Down the Experience

  • Ann played the Bronx Zoo “Name A Roach After Your Loved One” Valentine’s commercial and the audience laughed (“roaches, unlike flowers, live forever”).
  • Ann then played the El Paso Zoo spin off marketing video for, “Name a Roach After Your Ex” because they feed roaches to meerkats. They live streamed the meerkats devouring roaches for sponsors to watch
  • Ann explains that El Paso Zoo is telling the TRUTH over TIME (they teased the video over time to build momentum)
  • Important questions your audience asks: Do I like you^?Do I trust you? Do you seem authentic?

Shed Your Marketing Voice

  • Through your communication, aim to make a real connection with someone
  • Shed the professional “marketing voice” to create a friendship with your potential client
  • Email is the only place where people (not algorithms) are in control
  • Email newsletters are very important: focus on the “letter” in newsletter
  • Email from a personal email handle (i.e. AnnHandley@uberflip.com) as opposed to “no reply” or something impersonal
  • Example of a great email: Warren Buffet’s annual email to shareholders.  He imagines himself talking to Doris, his sister.  It isn’t full of jargon, and it’s approachable. It’s conversational

Key Takeaways

  1. Become customer obsessed by telling a true story over time
  2. The three moments, as marketers, you need to slow down: What you think you know about your customers, how they experience your content, and how you present yourself to them
  3. Quality over quantity: More content is NOT the answer
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