Talking Content Marketing – With Erika Heald

Erika_HealdTalking Content Marketing welcomes Erika Heald, Head of Social Media and Content Marketing for Anaplan, a SaaS modelling and planning platform for sales, operations, and finance.

Erika has spent the past 15 years helping startups and Fortune 500 organisations such as Charles Schwab and United Health Group define content processes to drive lead generation and customer loyalty by leveraging compelling, shareable, targeted content. 

Here we discuss the importance of creating content objectives and the balance between educating and entertaining our audiences.

Your ‘Building Your Content Curation Road Map‘ presentation, is setting clear objectives of paramount importance. Otherwise content creation just becomes a worthless distraction?

If you are curating and sharing content without having clear objectives in place, it’s not a good use of your time.

Without having clearly defined objectives you can’t measure your effectiveness. Additionally, your objectives are a big driver in setting your topic areas and strategies. Without objectives for your content curation efforts, it’s just random acts of marketing.

You’ve mentioned that the ‘marketing technology landscape can be a bit overwhelming.’ Do you see this as a curse or opportunity for businesses?

The good news is: you have a vast sea of marketing apps to choose from to get your job done. It’s also the bad news. How do you find the right tool for your team? You can’t realistically try them all out.

I suggest marketers make good use of their network and ask their peers which tools they’re using and start from there in their evaluation process. And follow blogs that consistently give comprehensive overviews of new tools, like Ian Cleary’s Razor Social.

Do businesses need to find the right balance between educating and entertaining their audience?

Ideally, you’ll find that sweet spot of entertaining them while you are educating them. I think an interesting example of that is MarketingProfs. Their product is marketing tools and education. And they are frequently serving that up with a side dish of humour and entertainment.

Which brands do you admire that have a content driven approach?

I think Marketo, Kapost, and HubSpot are all great examples of companies that all maintain some fun and entertainment value while educating their customers.

As a marketer, I’m inundated with content, yet theirs always manages to stand out and grab my attention. Outside of marketing technology vendors, Whole Foods is a great example of a company that’s creating educational and entertaining content that supports their brand. And Birchbox’s magazine is another great example of a brand serving up content that’s useful and interesting to their audience.

What inspires you to write?

That’s a great question.

I’ve been scribbling things down in a notebook since I was a kid. I think then and now a big driver behind my writing was its ability to connect with and get to know other people. The ability of writing to help you find your people, so to speak.

What was your favourite presentation (apart from yours) at this years Content Marketing World?

I’ll have to go with the one that had me taking the most notes and tweets, “7 Steps to Becoming a Performance Driven Content Marketer” by Paul Roetzer. Lots of practical, actionable advice. He shared a useful assessment spreadsheet that marketers can use to assess the skills and skills gaps on their marketing teams.


Thanks Erika for sharing her views and her look on how the role of content marketing shapes her world.

Erika on Twitter: click here

Erika’s Blog: click here

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