Talking Content Marketing – With Andrew Davis

Andrew DavisTalking Content Marketing gives a warm welcome to author and speaker Andrew Davis.

Andrew stands for teaching marketers how to get rich by targeting a niche so they can grow their business, attract smart talent, and even save an entire city. As a former television producer and agency executive he hopes to help content marketers take a more programmatic approach to creating less content while they see bigger results.

Here we talk about the facets that we need to build engaging relationships and to be consistent with our content efforts.

When embracing a content mindset, do we need to approach with authority and warmth. Rather than focusing on search engines we need to become more human?

Social media is powered by billions of social interactions: millions of Tweets with @replies and #hashtags, Facebook posts, comments, Likes and notes, YouTube annotations and replies, Reddit threads, and even ‘thumbs-up’ on StumbleUpon.

Here’s the rub: a social interaction is “an interpersonal relationship between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring.”

See that? It says “two or more people.” A social interaction, by definition, cannot occur between an inanimate object, an anthropomorphized brand, or even a personified logo. This means, all those Tweets from your branded tweet stream – they don’t matter – they’re inauthentic. Those posts are fake and forced attempts at social interaction. They’re a prime example of traditional marketers attempting to feign authenticity in an environment powered by authentic personal interactions. Here’s a hint: social media is powered by people, not logos.

Here’s the good news. You don’t need a high-priced ad agency or brand consultant to help you develop your brand’s voice. In fact, your ‘brand voice’ is the sum of the individual voices that make up your company’s employee roster. It’s the voices of the people who power your vendors and of the customers who buy your products. In today’s online universe everyone has an audience and every individual has a voice. You no longer have to inauthentically personify your brand, your team does this for you.

So, I believe that the future of all branding is personal. Focusing on search engines won’t help.

Do you see frequency or consistency of content as the main drive for success?

In the digital world, the value of your content is determined by the audience it garners on a regular basis.

Content that gets a million views on YouTube is probably great content, but it’s not necessarily valuable. A channel on YouTube with a million subscribers is valuable. Why? Because a subscriber makes a commitment to consume the content you’re creating.

To get people to commit to your content, it has to be relevant to them—and you have to deliver it consistently (it also has to be of high quality—and I’m talking quality in terms of substance, not necessarily production value).

So, I define valuable content as – high-quality, relevant content, delivered on a consistent basis.

To make that step as successful storytellers/content creators do we need to look beyond the campaign mentality and more on the longer term investment towards and audience?

Today, our marketing efforts are  characterized by a series of campaigns designed to drive spikes of interest that result in sales or leads. In other words, our marketing efforts are a series of expensive, fun, albeit potentially successful, one-night stands.

Instead, envision a world in which you focus on building long-term, authentic relationships with your media partners, loyal customers, bloggers, podcasters, videographers, talented content creators, other brands, and even your competitors—relationships that make your products relevant in a deeper way. In this scenario, your marketing efforts will look more like a first date that blossoms into a marriage.

However, as with a marriage, you’ll have to choose your marketing partners carefully. While digital media has dramatically shifted the marketing landscape, many marketing services providers have not adjusted. The largest shifts have occurred in the advertising, public relations, talent management, and publishing worlds, and to be frank, many of these players haven’t figured out how to take advantage of the new opportunities. The good news is you can use this slow movement to your advantage. The bad news is you’re going to have to work a little harder to find the right partners to make it happen.

Stop creating campaigns and start making comittments!

Do many businesses use the role of content marketing as a platform to self promote?

Too many “content marketers” take a brand-first, or company-first approach to their content marketing. This doesn’t work. Instead of creating branded content, think about creating a content brand.

I believe that there’s a big difference between treating your content as a marketing asset and treating it like a product. In the future more and more marketers will focus on creating content as brands themselves. Brands that increase demand for the products they sell. Here’s a quick anecdote:

Defiance, a powdered milk company, was having a really hard time penetrating a crowded market against 300 other brands. They’d tried advertising, but it didn’t seem to sell more dried milk.

The advertisements did spark thousands of consumer inquiries on how to take care of a newborn baby. Instead of ignoring those inquiries, the CEO Joe Nathan hired Nurse Kennedy to answer every consumer inquiry on behalf of the company.

Word got out that Defiance would answer any infant health-related question, and before they knew it, Nurse Kennedy’s staff of 11 nurses answered hundreds of questions a day. They also started selling more and more powdered milk.

That’s when Defiance got smart. They published a book (treating their content like a product) for new mothers that answered every single question they’d been asked. (Only one question was related to powdered milk, by the way.) They scaled their internal knowledge and the people who powered their brand by turning it into a book – a content brand. Powdered milk sales skyrocketed and they distributed millions of copies of their baby book.

That company went on to become Glaxo and that book was first published in 1908. That’s right, Glaxo Smith Kline, the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world (worth more than $73 billion today), owes its century-long success to Nurse Kennedy and the Baby Book.

Treat your content like a product and you’ll cut through information overload, build a valuable audience and create quality content that drives demand for whatever you sell.

Joe Nathan took an audience-first approach to creating content that increased demand for the product he sold. You should do the same.

You’ve said that you’re a fan of podcasts. Which ones would you not ‘unsubscribe’ from?

1. 99% Invisible

Roman Mars, the host of 99% Invisible, was named one of the most creative people in the world by Fast Company magazine.  He built his reputation as a storyteller with this podcast — and it’s amazing!

I listen to this show EVERY single week.

2. On the Media

Okay, content marketers are not in the media business, per se. So why do I recommend this podcast? Each week, On the Media asks big questions about storytelling from a journalism and media brand perspective — and each week I walk away with a new idea, lesson, or cautionary tale that I can apply to my own brand storytelling.

There are a bunch more I really like – including – PJA’s radio show called The Unconventionals. It’s a great show – I just wish it was more frequently delivered. 🙂

Can you let us into the topic/discussion sneak peak for your up and coming Content Marketing World presentation?

I’m really excited about this year’s Content Marketing World!

My goal is to kickoff content marketing world by forcing you to think big. I want you to be inspired by brilliant brands who have used amazingly smart content to increase the size of their market.

Every case studies I’ll show you has married the art of telling great stories with the science of driving real revenue.

What’s amazing about this kind of content is that it’s designed to create a sudden urge to act on behalf of the content consumer. The content inspires them to buy something they didn’t know they needed, or to go on a journey they never expected.

We’ll go on the new consumer journey and I’ll show you how to harness the power of moments of inspiration to drive more revenue.

Hope to see you there!


It’s great to have Andrew on board and to contribute to this growing resource. It will be interesting looking back on this and how the world is developing. Why not see the world from Andrew’s angle:

Andrew on Twitter: click here

Andrew’s site: click here

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