As a follow up to my previous blog post about the 2014 Kentico Content Marketing Survey, MSR Communications reached out to me on behalf of Petr Palas, CEO at Kentico, to ask if I'd be interested in doing an interview with him about the survey.
I've written this blog post based on our conversation. In addition to the discussion, I've also included a summary of the key takeaways from each of Petr's answers.
Zachary Chastain: "Hi Petr, I’d like to start off by thanking you for taking the time to sit down and discuss the Kentico Content Marketing Survey with me! I really appreciate you carving out some time to speak with me today!"
Petr Palas: Sure. Thanks for speaking with me.
Zachary: Alright, so I think we'll get started, I'll just dive right into the questions.
Zachary: Question 5 from the Kentico Content Marketing Survey demonstrated that consumers overwhelmingly trust information that comes from their friends and family over information coming directly from a company. Obviously getting these recommendations is an essential part of a content marketing strategy. What are the most important steps for content marketers to take in order to make sure that their content is turning their readers into people who share their information and recommend their products and services?
Petr: Yeah, that's a good question. I think it all starts with the quality of the content and with the content being authentic and transparent. Definitely not manipulative. So, if a company tries to provide highly valuable content that is based on their area of expertise and use this content as a value add for the client, not just marketing copy. It's also important that you make it easy for your customers to share your content, especially through social media.
Key takeaways from Petr's Answer:
- Provide quality content.
- Be authentic and transparent, never manipulative.
- Write about topics that you are an expert in.
- Your content should provide value to its readers, not just your marketing department.
- Make sure your content is optimized to encourage and facilitate sharing.
Zachary: Ok, great insights, thank you!
Question 10 from the survey shows an incredible gap
between people who trust companies and those who don’t, with about 75% saying they don’t feel companies are more trustworthy now than they were 5 years ago. Consumers seem to feel like we haven’t gotten any closer to all of these predictions that the rise of social media would usher in an age of transparency and collaboration with consumers.
What would you say are the top 3 things that businesses should be doing to make sure they’re building trust with consumers instead of breaking it?
Petr: Yes, so I would say that it's not a surprise that people do not believe companies today more than they did before, regardless of the platform, what's really important is the content. When writing content companies often take a marketing approach when communicating with customers through social media, rather than being authentic. They need to be more customer focused, rather than just focusing on being on point with the messaging. So, if I should name 3 things it would be authenticity, taking an interest in their audience, and providing valuable content.
If they're just using marketing talk and posting as much content as they can to social media without any regard for who they're targeting or actually listening to and interacting with their audience then it's not going to do them any good.
Key takeaways from Petr's Answer:
- The platform is less important than the content. It's not enough to be on social if you're just there to post marketing copy.
- Be customer focused and authentic.
- Take an interest in your audience and really listen to them.
- Your content always needs to provide value.
Zachary: Great observations, Petr. I totally agree! I've seen a lot of the issues you're talking about when doing my Facebook page analysis blog posts. There are very few brands who really listen to and engage with their communities in a meaningful way.
Petr: Yes, definitely agree.
This was a 30 minute call, so there was just too much content to fit into one post! You can read the rest of my discussion with Petr Palas, CEO at Kentico here.
Key takeaways overall:
- Write quality content that provides real value to your customers.
- Be genuine and take a real interest in listening to your audience.
- Marketing copy just won't cut it! Your content should instead be shareable by design.
- Be transparent and customer focused. You're writing this content for them, not for you, or your marketing department, or anyone else. They come first.
If you're still thirsty for more great advice on creating quality blog content, check out 5 Steps to Bolstering Your Brand's Blog Content!