Driving through the Battery Tunnel into Manhattan: $7.50. Parking in a garage on the West Side Highway: $23. Getting content marketing advice from MasterCard’s VP of global digital marketing Adam Broitman: "Priceless."
This morning, at Conductor’s C3 event in New York City, Broitman told a room full of marketers that content marketing is inherently flawed because the words “content” and “marketing” are often at odds with one another. That’s why when Broitman joined MasterCard just two years ago, he told his team to ditch the marketing aspect and focus on the content.
“You need to forget about yourself--the brand--at first,” Broitman said. “There are a lot of brands out there putting garbage out and calling it content marketing. But that doesn’t serve the user.”
According to Broitman, MasterCard’s content strategy began with listening because being a great storyteller means telling the stories that people want to hear. The company discovered people on Twitter and Facebook were sharing reasons why they love a particular city and using the hashtag #lovethiscity. MasterCard decided to join the conversation, and the following is the first post the company made:
“We found a conversation online that was already happening and stories people were already telling on their own,” Broitman said. “These are the types of stories people want to hear ... About 95 percent of marketing today is marketer-centered marketing. [Content marketing] must be user-centered marketing. [That] means putting the needs, wants, and limitations of end users at the heart of each stage of the decision-making process when designing programs to drive awareness, intent, and conversion.”
Tom Gerace, CEO of Skyword, said a lot of the brands that dipped their toes into content marketing early on are not hitting the scale and success they want. The reason is they’re not putting search and social media at the center of their content marketing efforts, he said.
“People discover through social and through search,” Gerace told attendees. “Content marketers need to take a step back, find out what the customer wants, and put them first.”
The process for taking this step back, Gerace said, is first figuring out which content your audience connecting to and what’s bringing them to your site. He suggested looking at visitors coming in through search and social. "What topics are they searching for? What’s converting them, and what specific topics they are connecting with?" he said.
What’s also important, is looking at your top influencers, Gerace advised. “Look at who is creating content for you and then sharing that content. These are the people driving a lot of free exposure for you, so you need to identify them and look to them more often.”
Additionally, Gerace said, what connects socially isn’t always something that’s going to work on search, and vice versa.
“If you don’t focus on the user, your marketing will fall off,” Broitman said. “Make your content priceless. Only then will the marketing be effective.”
See what the Twitterverse is saying about content marketing: