Some Examples Of Content Marketing ‘failures’
Ed Pank, Managing Director, WARC Asia Pacific
Todd Wheatland, Head of Strategy, King Content
Luana Zugman, Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing — Legal, Tax & Accounting, Thomson Reuters
Skye Murray, Marketing Manager, Robert Half Recruitment
Anton Buchner, Senior Consultant, TrinityP3
Ed: So we’ve all lodged pieces that we thought were great that under-performed for a variety of reasons in terms of, they just didn’t kind of cut it, they didn’t kind of make the grade. How can you manage risk when you come to your own content marketing strategies and make the most value out of your efforts? We’ve all made mistakes, let’s kind of fess up and share some of those mistakes with the audience so that hopefully you guys can learn.
Anton: Okay I fucked up. Let’s get real. I just think if you go back to the 2% of people that have a strategy and 98% of you don’t, that’s okay. I’d be interested to know what you’re actually measuring in your strategy. So I think for me it’s, have you got a strategy? Have you actually measured? And therefore can you deem whether it’s actually been a failure or a success? I have done some work on a beauty, beauty products and we extended it into I guess a whole value added sweet of stories around women and their beauty regime. This is a bloke talking about beauty regimes, I love it. So the girls in the audience, it was about creating a beauty regime and what role or what look you had and what level of experience you had with beauty products. So if that makes a bit of sense, we thought we had the best strategy and we had lots of interesting content. We invited women to salons and filmed them, videoed them, etc. And we tested, systematically tested about 30 pieces of content. Videoed them, put them through social networks, got advocates and promoters to get out there and talk about it. We had some spectacular failures on content that we thought was fantastic. This is from experts, you know, hair experts who’d come from the UK, etc. I won’t go into the specifics but the learning was, we thought it was great, we didn’t necessarily know what our audience wanted, we didn’t actually ask what they wanted, and we sort of probably pushed a bit too much at them and hoped, in a classic thing of hope it goes viral, hope people go and share it. I’d love a million shares on Facebook. It doesn’t quite happen. So I think the big learning from the couple of failures was you know, ask your consumers or your audience or your target groups, what they’re wanting, and that’s the interaction metric. I mean, Oreo was interesting but they ever ask consumers if those were the best, informative pieces for the day? Probably not.
Todd: But they know their audience, right?
Anton: They knew the audience, yeah.
Todd: They’re trying to play a relevant role in the audience’s, you know, they’re giving some value whether it’s entertaining or informative bits. It depends on their audience.
Anton: I think they said they’d scraped Facebook for the keywords and the key conversations so they understood.
Ed: But Anton were you able to change or evolve your concepts?
Anton: We did.
Ed: On real time feedback?
Anton: Yeah, so we learnt. We ran a series of events over about 6 months so we learnt from the spectacular failures in some of the first events then having customer feedback and then tailoring some of the next events to what the women were saying. We then broke it into 3 basic clusters. Very advanced beauty regime, sort of mid-level awareness and knowledge and very basic. So we ran basic content to people who had a basic understanding, mid-level content to mid-level of understanding and more advanced master class type stuff which sort of sounds obvious doesn’t it? But test things and fail I think to understand.
Ed: I think that’s one of the advantages of content marketing actually. Isn’t it? You can learn on the go. If you put stuff out there and it doesn’t work, tweak it, change it, and that’s one of the kind of major plus points I think of it as a channel. Skye any failures?
Skye: I’d just say, I actually wouldn’t call them failures because I think it’s just learning experiences.
Ed: Sure, good point.
Skye: We’ve definitely had content that’s worked better than other pieces, but that helps us drive a strategy and decide on what our customers actually want so I think it can only really help you. We look at our analytics on a regular basis. We see what our email campaign, send the most popular articles and I think the key and Anton was basically saying, ask people. You’ve got, I’m sure everyone in this room has internal databases that they can leverage or Facebook communities or any other social sort of networks that you can get in touch with, ask them what they want to hear. …