Kristin Meeks is a consultant that specializes in the integration of digital and traditional marketing practices. Meeks is the owner of WV Social Media, located in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and the founder of the Social Media Marketing Made Simple Training Academy. Her specialty is helping clients and academy members find the strategy behind their social media practices. WV Social Media serves clients from coast to coast, assessing their social media needs, facilitating marketing training and most importantly helping marketers plan and execute strategic marketing practices. Meeks teaches Content Marketing for the WVU Reed College of Media Integrated Marketing Communications online graduate program.
Kristen Meeks: There is a sense of urg
ency to get content out. This happens every day, where someone sends me something saying, “Oh, we need to do something with this.” And I say, “Let's slow down. Let's be more strategic and make sure that it looks and feels like our brand, and then also let's make sure it's the right message for that target demographic.” That to me is the most important part, and I feel like people struggle with that because they just feel this sense of urgency to get the content out as quick as possible whether it's from a boss or a client. It’s not always the best approach. It's about getting that content and making it work for your brand and work for your campaign, and also have a good call to action in there.
ML: What would you say the first step in knowing your customer really is?
KM: My favorite thing to do when I start working with a client is to talk to current customers. The best thing is to get a testimonial and dissect it and figure out why this person keeps coming back, why they liked a piece of content or why they didn’t. Another thing that's very effective and I always tell people to do is test your content. Just because a piece of content worked yesterday, it doesn't mean it's going to work today. We have to continuously test our content. I do a ton of A/B testing—different photos, different messages, different calls to action. I also do a lot of tracking. We can track how people are using our websites and know exactly what those people are doing when they get to our site and who those people are. I do look at what my competitors are doing, look at what my clients' competitors are doing, what's working, what's not, and then I think a big thing is just to stay relevant and stay up-to-date on what's coming around the bend. In marketing, the thing they say is, “It's changed more in the last five years than it has in the last 30.”
ML: Who should be doing content marketing in the organization?
KM: Everybody. A lot of times people think content marketing is a one-person job, but if we bring in a committee that has people from all different departments we get some of the best content. A lot of times people want to give me a committee of all the C-Suite. I don't want all those people. I want the people who are working with your customers every single day because they're hearing all the questions that we can answer and all the struggles we can find solutions for with content marketing. If your current customers are having those issues, then there's other people out there who are having those same issues and if your brand can come in and make that a solution, then they're going to trust you with everything else in terms of that industry. I love to have a team together. They start bringing up stuff that other people in the room had never even heard of before because they don't work with that distinct audience every single day but that person on that committee does. That's where I see some of the best content coming out; when it's not just one person's job.
ML: How has social media come into how one does content marketing? Has it changed the game or have you simply morphed what you've been doing to make it work on social media?
KM: I definitely think that it's allowed us to reuse and recycle content. I think it's allowed us to do that a lot more because when I was an undergrad, you would write newspapers articles and then the content would just die. You sent it to the newspaper, the article ran and then it was over. Now with social media you can break it down into tweets, and you could put it on your website for a blog. You could do a podcast on it, you could do an infographic, you could put it on your website to live for the next six months. Social and technology have really helped us be able to reuse content. Even now, content isn't the cheapest thing to produce. If we can get more longevity out of it and still keep seeing a return on investment then that's going to make everyone happy to not have to invest as much money. Or, if they're investing as much money then they're still seeing that same piece of content being recycled in different forms and video and online. That will continue to come back up and attract new customers.
Join Amy Teller on our Marketing Communications Today podcast Thursday, July 18 at 1 p.m. as she discusses how digital technologies have transformed the media landscape.
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