Talking Content Marketing gives a warm welcome to Margaret Magnarelli.
Margaret is the Managing Editor for Content and Senior Director of Marketing at Monster, the leading global platform for connecting jobs and people.
I was interested in a content approach that Margaret defines as ‘HOW,’ ‘NOW,’ and ‘WOW.’ Plus by being a part of this years Content Marketing World the right time to find out more from her side of the world.
Six questions, six answers, lets go….
1) Views and time on site has increased in a short space of time at Monster. What has been the biggest shift in more people interacting with the site than they were in 2015?
The increased interaction with the site is primarily owed to the fact that Monster has made a concerted effort to invest in content, owing to the foresight of my boss, SVP of global communications and content Matt Anchin. He lobbied the C-suite to create my position.
After I started last June (2015), I brought together four content creators who already worked at Monster—but in different departments—under one umbrella to create a formal brand newsroom. I worked with them to establish a more consistent publishing schedule and a single brand voice. This year, I hired another editor and a video producer, which has allowed us to boost production to 20-plus content assets a week.
Meanwhile, I have endeavored to make content more integrated with other departments to boost results. For example, I’ve built a relationship with our head of SEO with the aim of collaborating to improve search equity on old content. I’ve brought UX graphic designers in to create infographics and social media imagery. I worked with our CRM team to get Monster content into our newsletters. I work with our social media director to push out content and leverage platforms. I work with our PR director to turn owned content into earned content.
I’ll be talking more about how I built these relationships in my CM World talk on how to build a brand newsroom, in case anyone is interested!
2) Your ‘how’ ‘now’ and ‘wow’ approach to content is an interesting one as it provides a structure to work to. Can you elaborate how it works?
When I was at Money, we were always telling people to diversify their investment portfolios—that way you mitigate risks while potentially improving your performance. “How? Now. Wow!” is my way of applying that same philosophy to content. We’re looking at the ways people find content and making sure we’re hitting them all.
“How?” refers to service content, which is Monster’s bread and butter—our readers respond to utility. One piece of this is SEO. Monster’s got a lot of “search juice” since we were the 454th URL ever registered. And, in partnership with our internal SEO director and external agency 360i, we look for ways to grow this library of educational evergreen content.
“Now” is news-, trend- or data-driven content that shows that we have our fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the work world—for example looking at the market for augmented reality jobs through the lens of Pokémon Go .We also look for stories within our enterprise data, such as this infographic on the job market for new grads or the Monster 100 series, which showcases the top 100 employers hiring on Monster. “Now” powers our PR engine, and it is of interest to our syndication partners, which include Fortune.com, FastCompany.com and newspapers across the U.S.
“Wow!” is content we’re creating for the purpose of of social sharing or social engagement— so visual content, GIFs stories, Facebook Live events, Quora answers or funny videos. This kind of content often gives us an opportunity to be more fun, as well, so that we’re not seen as simply the earnest mentor. We’d like to be seen as the kind of mentor you’d want to have a beer with.
3) Established media brands such as The Financial Times are now becoming full service agencies. Does this highlight a world where consumers are looking for deeper content solutions not just campaign initiatives?
Oh, definitely. Consumers are beginning to feel overwhelmed with content—especially as they look at the sea of it on their social channels. It’s hard for brands to come into that sea and build trust with one-off campaigns. I believe that if you want your content to resonate, you need to consistently create high quality, high-integrity and high-utility content.
So I’d say that the growth of sponsored content at journalism outlets has a lot to do with the fact that brands (and their agencies) are coming to recognize that if they want to gain traction with content, they need to deliver quality and consistency. And they’re saying to themselves, “Who can do that better than journalists?” (Okay, I may be biased…)
This is not to mention the fact that these traditional media properties have established audiences and distribution, making them nearly a full-service option.
4) Are there particular topics that people will relate to more? The reason I ask this is that when speaking to the head of content for Eventbrite in the UK, Mark Walker, failure is a popular theme.
For us, it’s similar—what we call “career fear” definitely powers high click throughs. I’m talking about stories like biggest mistakes to avoid or how to fix mistakes you’re already making
While these stories do drive traffic, I’m conscious to not make them too much of our mix. It’s not the right voice for our brand—we want to be encouraging and helpful, with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. If we only did career fear, people would eventually walk away with a bad taste in their mouths. Also, people are now more conscious of click bait, and these types of headlines teeter on that.
As for other stuff that does well for us: Straightforward job search help, anything salary related and company lists—like “10 companies that will love your pet as much as you do” or “9 companies with unlimited vacation.” The latter is a win for both sides of the house as it lets us highlight our customers.
5) Do you think that many businesses still fall into the trap of creating content as it ticks something on a ‘do list’ rather than adding value by serving an audience?
Yes. In this world where content is king, companies are realizing that there’s value in creating it. But they don’t quite know how to do it. So businesses are still using a “build it and they will come” approach to content rather than focusing on the whats and wheres of their target audiences. (What do they want and need? And where are they on the web?). They’re also thinking of it more as advertising—promote, promote, promote vs. serve, serve, serve.
Ultimately, content marketing has to still be marketing. It has to be about serving an audience need.
6) What are you looking forward to at this year’s Content Marketing World?
Everything! It’s my first time going, and I’m excited to hear from the most inspired and inspiring minds in content.
I’m especially interested in learning more about structured content and personalization. And I’m excited about Zillow’s Stephanie Reid Simons’s presentation on creating once and publishing everywhere, as well as SEOmoz founder Rand Fishkin’s “The Absolute Most Up-To-Date Presentation on What The Heck is Going On With Search Engines.” Talk about a good headline!
Huge thanks to Margaret for sharing her approach and being a part of the Talking Content Marketing project. Why not connect and find more from Margaret’s side:
Margaret on Twitter: click here
Monster.com: click here