Can you talk me through the different kinds of content marketing you do at the BizDojo and why you’ve chosen those particular channels or types of communication?
Collaboration and sharing are our key values so this really underpins everything we do. So for us, most of our content is about taking the tips, tricks, insights and skills we celebrate and share within our community inhouse, and our strategy is then around finding ways to share these with even more people in the wider tech, freelancer, design, entrepreneurial and co-working communities.
Our content, like everything we do, is user led. We don’t say ‘we need to get on Youtube because it’s great for search’, but we do think along the lines of ‘we have awesome residents across the country, so how can we easily share their stories in an engaging way?’ and video has been the obvious answer to that.
Some things we do are really obvious. We work with a lot of entrepreneurs and startups, and we ourselves have experience of being in that hungry startup phase, so when we go to a big conference, we’ll share that on everything from Storify to Youtube, to our blog and newsletter, because we know our audience will want to go but probably can’t make it along.
So far our users have led us to make video, consolidate Twitter stories, capture photos, write blog posts, contribute to articles and share presentations – and bring together all the above – and a bit more – into newsletters.
All of this is made possible by our awesome team; they’re experienced in everything from writing and journalism, design, social media and video production. This means that we can keep all our content production inhouse. I think this allows us to craft tight messaging that always reflects who we are.
How do you measure the impact of your content marketing? What kind of results are you seeing from your efforts?
We’re big on measuring, so for us analytics – while they’re not the be all and end all – is a biggie. We measure the usual suspects like time on page and pages visited after first engagement with content, lead generation, visits to website, rates of engagement overall and so on, and keep an eye on our content drill down and how often our content finds its way into people’s hands. Because we’re constantly measuring we can hone and re-hone each piece as we go.
I do think it’s not all about getting new buy-in to the pipeline though. A big part of what we do really depends on keeping graduates of our co-working spaces as part of the ecosystem. We want those guys around so our current residents can learn from them, so as we’ve ramped up our content marketing it’s been really nice to see this content being a catalyst for new conversations with old friends.
What things have you learned over time about the kinds of content that engages your particular audience?
We’re really passionate and interested in our community, and I think it’s that inherent understanding of what interests us that allows us to know what will interest our audience. We have a diverse team – each with their own perspective – and that mirrors the diversity we have in terms of our offering, and the diversity within our audience. So our biggest lesson to date has probably been using our whole team to create content to really make the most of this.
Also we know that some folks love video, others a blog post, or others would prefer to see something in a slideshow of images with a few captions. We try to keep this in mind when we’re planning content, so we cover off most bases and end up with what we think is a cohesive story.
And of course, at the end of the day, everyone loves those ‘our 5 tips for …’ articles, especially if they’re pushed through Twitter.
You’re surrounded by lots of startups where you are. What are some of the trends you’re seeing in terms of how they’re managing their content marketing?
Marketing in startups is really diverse, just because whatever the strengths are of your team are the strengths you have for your startup. If you have three founders, and one of them comes from a marketing and design background, you’ll probably get some really slick, beautifully executed video or content-rich social campaigns.
For those without that kind of luxury the budget probably doesn’t stretch to adding a content producer and time may not stretch to writing a blog post. It becomes about covering off the basics, so most will dabble in Twitter, have a blog that’s updated a couple times a month and maybe a little bit of video content.
Among the more established startups with bigger teams and more resource, we’re seeing a lot of video content around both product features but also community building, as well as e-books on topics helpful to their audience.
What I think is really interesting is watching what startups in accelerators do with their marketing – both local guys like Lightning Lab and international ones like Y Combinator. There’s a pattern among those startups where they immediately ramp up their blog posts, video content and sharing various iterations of their pitch decks. Watching a startup carefully once they’ve been accepted to one of those programmes is a great base to model marketing plans from.