We recently sat down and had a great chat with Jess Crandon for The Sausage Factory podcast. Jess is a Senior Analyst at Salesforce, we’re long term fans as she’s the absolute boss when it comes to copywriting, marketing and content experience.
During our conversation, she shared her exciting journey in the world of content, dropped some insights on the potential perils of not-so-great content, and spilled the beans on how she leverages feedback to create top-notch content.
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to listen to the whole episode. We’ve pulled out all the juicy bits from the recording with Jess, so you won’t miss a thing.
Takeaway #1: It’s a thin line between great & terrible
Witnessing the content marketing landscape in flux, Jess couldn’t resist sharing her thoughts, here’s her take. The world of content marketing is at a crossroads, teetering between greatness and disaster. Enter Chat GPT, the AI powerhouse that has really shaken content marketing up. From creating ‘content’ in a matter of seconds to potential job losses, it’s got a few people feeling hot under the collar and not in a good way. Its arrival swiftly transformed the content experience we once knew.
The gap between AI dependent companies and those turning a blind eye is widening. Some companies will be promising dirt-cheap content at scale, but Jess points out you’ll be able to sniff out the robotic touch in no time. These companies risk losing their human touch. Authenticity, vulnerability, and personality are what connect people. Can AI truly replicate these qualities?
Don’t get us wrong, AI has incredible potential for positive applications too. Jess recently discovered a post on LinkedIn where someone shared a content brief with ChatGPT. However, they dismissed the ideas it generated, not wanting to move forward with an idea that AI came up with so easily. If a robot can create it, they wouldn’t be sharing it with their client.
So, let’s try thinking outside the box a little when it comes to using AI for our content marketing. The next few years are going to be intriguing. Content experience is changing, what side will you be on?
Takeaway #2: Align with marketing and sales teams
Let’s delve into the realm of feedback loops and explore how Jess effectively prioritises input from her colleagues to shape and enhance her content strategy. When it comes to reviewing content retrospectively, it’s important to be close to your performance marketing team, making sure there is an open feedback loop. This will allow you to start building a bank of what works and what doesn’t work in your approach to your content marketing.
Even better if you’re working with a demand gen team, be so tightly aligned, so they can inform you straight away of metrics and trends on what worked. It’s all about not being afraid to ask for feedback on the results, it’s only going to benefit you and your business.
The feedback from sales is invaluable when it comes to validating the impact of content during the crucial stage of prospects converting into customers. Hearing sales representatives say things like, “That customer story you created helped us close a deal” or “This format with quotes is incredibly useful” provides concrete evidence of the content’s effectiveness. Understanding how sales utilises the content further reinforces its value and confirms future content strategies.
Takeaway #3: The reader is number one
When creating content, many people may approach you, eager to add their two cents. From stakeholders to brand managers and designers, you name it, everyone wants to have their say. However, it’s crucial to consider the reader’s perspective.
Would the content you’re creating resonate with whoever is reading? If not, don’t bother. Your biggest responsibility as a content marketer is to understand the reader. If you need to have those tricky conversations with other stakeholders to highlight why certain points shouldn’t be reflected in the final piece, then so be it. The reader comes before anything.
Jess shared her all-time favourite piece of content, or in a section we like to call ‘Matt’s Bangers’. She stumbled upon it 3 or 4 years ago, and it left a lasting impression. It’s called ‘The Ultimate Guide to Building a Business Case” by Juro (Law tech startup). “They created this amazing piece of content. It’s massive, it’s super long, but it’s the most in-depth piece of content I’ve ever seen”.
This comprehensive and in-depth masterpiece walks you through every step of creating a compelling business case for purchasing technology. It provides all the necessary components, complete with examples and guidance on involving the right stakeholder at each stage.
It really inspired Jess, “I think after having read this ebook, I was like, I’m actually looking forward to writing a business case”. It’s a pretty great content experience.
The sausage of death
Every week, we invite guests to reveal their ‘Sausage of Death’—a remarkably dull content piece that left a lasting negative impression. Jess’s Sausage of Death? Google search results. In her eyes, content marketers have now ruined the content experience for everyone. Marketers solely tailor content for SEO purposes.
Finding valuable content now requires dedicated search efforts. There’s immense potential for improvement and sharing valuable content, but currently, it’s missing the mark. The truly valuable stuff isn’t even making it to page one. It’s a real shame.
A massive thanks to Jess for joining us on the podcast! Moving forward, we’ll keep exploring what truly great content looks like with a number of guest experts, just like Jess.
We’re eager to hear your take on the AI takeover, along with your nominations for ‘Matt’s Bangers’ (content you love) and something you’d rather not have seen (the dreaded Sausage of Death).
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