Shelley Walsh Podcast

#398 Why Do Content Marketing Campaigns Fail? Interview with Shelley Walsh

In Content Marketing, Internet Marketing Podcast, SEO, The Digital Marketing Blog by Sean0 Comments

In today’s episode of the Internet Marketing Podcast, Andy is speaking to Shelley Walsh, founder of ShellShock Ltd, a Content Marketing Agency located in Leeds, to talk about the state of content marketing today and why content campaigns can fail. It’s a topic that she’s recently written about and you can find that here.

The State of Content Marketing

Shelley starts by giving her view on the current state of content marketing and explains that she see’s the industry booming, with a continued increase in output, but a serious lack of quality.

She explains how:

  • A report by Buzzsumo produced back in 2015 that highlighted that 50% of content gets 8 shares or less and 75% gets zero links
  • There is a misunderstanding about exactly what Content Marketing is
  • Many brands forge ahead churning out content without consideration for objective, strategy or measurement
  • Link building and many link builders have simply become content marketers as SEO tactics and strategies have changed

Why do Content Campaigns Fail?

Next, Shelley discusses why she believes many content marketing campaigns fail. She explains that often, content campaigns can fail for any of six reasons:

  • Audience
  • Objective
  • Not having a strong enough concept (U.S.E)
  • Not having a reason for journalists to share (no unique story or data)
  • Underestimating promotion
  • Timing

She goes into each possible reason in detail and also provides her tips for how to avoid these issues.

Where is Content Marketing Headed?

Shelley then talks about where she thinks content marketing is headed. She explains:

  • The impact of home assistants, apps and AI
  • How SEO has gone full circle
  • How content production for links will reduce and move toward lead generation and capturing data

Finally, Shelley provides our audience with her one top tip and key takeaway.

Connect with Shelley

If you’d like to connect with Shelley, you can do so on Twitter here.

You can find the Shellshock website here, her blog here and her own site here. Plus  here’s the article that echoes this podcast: Why Content Campaigns Fail.

Full Transcript of the Show

Andy:                                   Now today I’m joined by Shelley Walsh, founder of ShellShock Ltd.  Shelley, how are you doing?

Shelley Walsh:                  I’m very well Andy, how are you?

Andy:                                  Very well considering.  It’s gone a bit grey again.  I’m always talking about the weather on these shows, I do apologise. I wouldn’t exactly describe you as up in the deep North but is it Leeds you’re near?

Shelley Walsh:                  I think some people might call it the grim North but yes I am in Leeds, very much in the North heartland.

Andy:                                  Well let’s start off.  Tell us a little bit about yourself and ShellShock.

About Shelley Walsh:

Shelley Walsh:                  Thank you Andy.  ShellShock is a company that I founded fourteen years ago.  Currently we are a content, strategy and production agency.  As I say, we were founded fourteen years ago and we started to focus on online marketing for the last six years.  Before that we were graphic design and then a web design agency.  We work on a collective model, which I head up, and then I use experts in animation, video, coding and writing and I oversee content strategy, production, creative ideas etc.  Me personally, I have got twenty years of marketing and creative experience and I also have a little side blog, Content 101, which is a blog and a newsletter and that covers in depth posts and content marketing practical advice.

Andy:                                  Now on the show [00:02:00.29], there are certain topics that we like to keep circling back to and this is one of them, content marketing.  Today, we’re going to be talking about why content campaigns fail.  We’ll come on to that particular bit of it in a minute, but before we get into that, where do you see the state of content marketing right now Shelley?

Where is Content Marketing Right Now? Is Content Marketing Dead!?

Shelley Walsh:                   I think within the SEO industry, it’s embraced content marketing over the last few years, but I think there’s been a lot of misunderstanding about what content marketing actually is and therefore I think there’s been quite a lack of availability of real talent in the industry and it’s taken SEO quite a while to get on board with how to actually do content.  As I said before, I’ve got twenty years’ experience and I think the real value I’ve got is that I came from offline and have particularly a lot of experience in magazine editing gained before I migrated on to online that’s given me a lot of valuable skills.  Now that I’m doing content marketing and online marketing, it really feeds into that, so I really understand it.  Obviously I have a close eye on the industry and as a specialist content producer myself I do actually see very few SEO agencies really getting content right.  Having said that, there are a couple of agencies that have surfaced that are really doing an outstanding job, particularly I’ve got to mention Verve.  They are really out there at the front at the moment, producing some amazing creative campaigns.  I also think Simon Penson at Zazzle really knows what he’s talking about and the reason for that I believe, is that he’s from a magazine editing background also, similar to myself, so he’s got some really great knowledge and all the stuff that he writes is always very interesting to read. But I think my most favourite agency is Column Five in the US.  I’ve followed their progress over the last six years.  They produce some absolutely amazing work for [00:04:00.24] big brands.  They’re definitely worth checking out for creative inspiration.  If I come back to the current state of content marketing, there was a recent stat that said 79% of content marketers in the UK were expected to produce more content in 2017, so obviously content is booming, but what’s interesting is that the survey backed up that the industry is struggling to find its feet with content production.  Now I don’t know if you recall, there was an article a few years ago in 2015 by Buzzsumo.  They did a really good, amazing report about how they uncovered that 50% of content gets eight shares or less and 75% gets zero links.  So there’s a lot of content out there that’s failing.  And then two surveys this year on the state of content marketing and content marketing in the UK have both said that 65% have said they find it a challenge.  So if 65% of marketers find it a challenge to actually produce engaging content, and 60% say that they can’t produce content consistently, which is kind of really feeding into this whole – why content is failing.  Obviously content is really booming and there’s this massive increase in production, but in spite of this we’re having this term of Content Shock that’s being bandied around.  This was cited in 2014 by Mark Schaefer.  And then obviously people are always saying ‘oh content marketing’s dead’ or ‘SEO / content marketing is dead’.

Andy:                                   ‘Podcasting is dead’.

Shelley Walsh:                  Yes but content production, there’s just no way it’s slowing down.  It is definitely speeding up and I’m seeing a lot of “brands as publishers” forging ahead, just churning out content.  I don’t think they really have an objective or a strategy or any measures results.  They’re just producing for the sake of it.  And then there’s obviously big campaign pieces, which is where my predominant focus has been [00:06:00.19], and when I talk about a big content campaign piece, I mean campaigns that are specifically produced for air link generation, so it’s really everybody who used to be a link builder has kind of become a content marketer in a way.  They all produce content campaigns now – it’s the new link building.  So really when I’m talking about content campaigns and content campaigns failing, it really is about content for links really.

Why do Content Marketing Campaigns Fail?

Andy:                                  I’m going to guess that the answer to my next question has numerous parts.  The question being of course, why do content campaigns actually fail?

Shelley Walsh:                  I’ve specialised in production of content for six years ago now and I do a lot of research now when I’m not working.  Who produces what, I look for inspiration and really keep up to date with everything that’s happening.  I’ve seen a lot successes and a lot of fails, and being really focused on the space, I think this has really given me a clear insight into why content’s failing and also what I’ve found is how prescriptive content production can be.  But even though it can be prescriptive, I would say don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an easy formulaic process. No one gets it right every time.  I think honestly for every one great piece of content you’ll see there’s probably at least ten fails behind it.  It’s like with anything to a degree – it’s a bit of a numbers game.  People only see the successes though.  They don’t see the fails behind it.  I think the one thing more than anything with content campaigns is that persistence with promotion is key, and really understanding what an influence wants.  From my observations and doing all this work over the last six years, I’ve tried a lot of things.  I like to try and do lots of things, I think it’s really important and I’ve made loads of mistakes [00:08:01.01] but I’ve also made some really big wins as well, which has really helped me to learn and develop the experience, to know what makes and breaks content.  I’ve kind of broken that down into six predominant reasons as to why I feel they fail.  I think the first one, and I think this is probably the most important more than anything is, you didn’t conduct audience research first and you didn’t understand who your audience is and by this I mean really thinking about and focusing on-,  It’s about looking at the end first.  You start with the end and work backwards.  So it’s – where do I want my content to be placed?  Because obviously your KPI, your whole objective really is getting links, so it’s like – where am I going to get those links from?  Where do I want them from?  And obviously with big campaigns, you’re looking at influencer links, you’re looking at authority links.  It’s generally media so you’re looking at journalist.  So you’ve really got to think – where do I want them from?  What are they going to want to share?  What is going to be of interest to them?  Instead of thinking about yourself it’s about – what is the other person going to be interested in?  But also understanding that you’ve got a primary and secondary audience.  So your primary audience is the person that you’re directly reaching out to, say your influencer or your journalist, but then you’ve also got the secondary audience, which is their audience, which is just as important.  They pretty much generally are going to be one and the same thing, but there can be subtle differences.  One thing that I really like to do and I think it’s very important, is to do your research well, but when you actually find the influencer is to go on the media site and have a really good drill down to see on that site, what themes and topics are popular.  Also run through Buzzsumo, which is a great tool, to check what are the most popular pages on the site.  So see which are popular themes.  And you can get ideas for titles etc. and then you have something to refer [00:10:00.16] back to when you’re pitching to them.  To say, you’ve shared this etc. you might like this kind of piece.  Really again, it’s not about you.  Avoid self-promotion.  I’ve worked with a lot of big brands and a lot of big brands are very focused on heavy handed branding on their design.  They’ve got quite strict internal policies and style guides to adhere to and I’ve had real play-offs before.  I’ve said – look we really want to avoid branding.  You want to focus on your concept and try not to overly brand this piece.  I’ve had a few nightmare experiences.  One that comes to mind, obviously I can’t discuss who the client was or too much detail about it, but we came up with this quite bold and daring, it was quite a risqué concept actually, and initially it went through and I think if we’d have gone with the original piece it could have been quite interesting.  But after due diligence and several rounds of stakeholder intervention, the concept, the piece, it just got diluted so much.  It was just rendered useless and the content bombed.  It’s a waste of time for everybody when that happens, it really is, and sadly it does happen.

Andy:                                   basically it got toned down by the stakeholders and ended up not being powerful enough?

Shelley Walsh:                  It actually got toned down so much, it completely almost changed the concept in a way.  In fact, if you know The Oatmeal, and I think probably a lot of people listening will do, he did an absolutely brilliant one of his cartoon comics all about how web design fails.  It was very similar and it’s just great.  It’s this visual of where he goes through the web design process and how it gets destroyed by rounds of approvals.  It is an absolutely classic and it makes me laugh every time because it is so true, it’s just wonderful.  And [00:12:00.16] then bringing on to the second really important point again, which your audience feeds into, is objective and strategy.  It’s so important to have an objective.  Why are you doing this piece?  What are you going to achieve, what are you going to get out of it?  Often the client will just come and say ‘we want an interactive map’ and it’s like, but why do you want an interactive map.  A lot of clients can look at it as a tool first in a way.  They take this tool first approach and then they want you to retrofit your concept back to the tool.  And then when you get all these new tools that become available such as 360 video, you get these huge flurry of producers who are jumping on it, because it’s ‘oh it’s 360’ and it’s a novelty and it’s got novelty value.  So they’re putting out pieces of content that are novelty but they’ve actually got quite a shallow concept and so there’s not really any substance.  So you might come on to the piece and go ‘ooh this is exciting, this promises so much’.  It’s promising up front, but then when you actually get into it, it’s like well where’s the value?  And you’re left feeling quite deflated and short-changed, because there’s nothing there to engage you and it can actually really turn people off I find.  So when you’re starting a piece it’s what do you want to achieve?  Be really targeted and focused like I said earlier.  Know what sites you want to target and be really strategic.  Actually reduce down, don’t try to cast too wide a net by trying to appeal – if you try to appeal to everybody you’re going to engage no one.  You’ve got to be as niche as possible and I think being more niche is much more useful.  Also ask yourself, why am I doing this?  Like I was talking earlier about these brands ads publishers where they’re just churning out stuff on their blog.  And they’re throwing budget away.  Why are you doing this?  Tie your [00:13:59.29] content production to specific goals.  As I said, big content is about predominantly back links, but you also want to tie your content into wider goals and have a predetermined user journey to capture and retain traffic.  You might have this link based piece, but also use it to be capturing email addresses.  I say this all the time, for me a database of opt-ined users is absolutely the most valuable marketing asset you can have.  Nothing can beat it and I’m always pushing people towards that.

How to Create Strong & Newsworthy Content Marketing Ideas

Andy:                                  Now Shelley you mentioned about watering down earlier, but I’m just interested in this concept on content not being strong enough.  Have you got anything more to say about that?

Shelley Walsh:                  Actually that would be another of my main reasons as to why content fails and concept is absolutely vital.  I always say to people – if you have two pieces of content and one looks flashy and it’s had a fortune spent on interactivity and it looks amazing but the concept is not there, there’s no value in it, compared to a piece of content that has this amazing, amazing idea but it’s not necessarily rendered in such a fantastic way, the styling isn’t brilliant, I’ll always go for the concept. Concept wins every time.  There’s a brilliant book called ‘Made To Stick’ Chip and Dan Heath, and I’m sure everybody out there knows, it’s well known in my circles, people talk about it all the time and it’s all about what makes ideas sticky.  I highly recommend reading it.  Their premise, and the whole book centres around this, they have this acronym of success, which means simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and stories.  Now I’ve actually taken this and distilled it down and I use a slightly simpler acronym of USC, so what we’re looking at is the content [00:16:00.28].  It should be useful.  You want to offer content that has value to the audience and what they’re going to be interested in.  For example, that’s why the popularity of How To posts is so popular, but what I love is curations of niche information.  There’s a lot of information out there and if you can bundle it up into a nice little neat creative package for people I think that’s always very popular.  Then if you can disrupt patterns.  I mean basically, the brain is a self-organising pattern maker and if you can disrupt that pattern with something unexpected you’ll get attention.  There’s ways to do this.  It can be how the information is visually delivered or like a twist in the concept.  And then emotional, now I think it’s well reported that anything emotional, if you can connect with somebody on an emotional level, your strength of connection is so much stronger than any other – and a lot of advertisers, marketers, everybody knows this.  We all play on this and I always cite pain points and challenges.  If you can understand your audience and know what their pain points and challenges are, and particularly ask yourself the question – what keeps your audience awake at 3AM?  And if you can understand that and answer that, you’re always going to have some really powerful content that’s going to appeal to your audience.  When it comes down to it, creating concepts, ideation, it’s hard.  It’s really tough, because essentially there’s no new ideas out there.  YouTube alone has 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, and that’s just YouTube.  We’re absolutely drowning in content now and so actually being able to have an original idea is between slim and not a chance.  My favourite way to get around this, and I think this might be Steve Jobs used to talk about this, about connection and I know James [00:18:06.27], another great writer and podcaster, he talks about this all the time, it’s about combining two random ideas to create a new one.  And this is where I really see it’s at.  As an example of this, I always cite one of my favourite combinations of all time, which is the camera phone.  So if you think about it, when I was growing up many, many years ago, the actual notion that a phone would fit in your pocket was quite amazing and Star Trek-wise, and then actually the thought of combining that with a camera when we had film cameras was just way too remote to even imagine that possibility.  You wouldn’t even possibly bring the two together but then someone somewhere one day sat down at a board table and had this idea and they just thought it would be a gimmick to sell more phones, but look how it’s revolutionised everything.  We wouldn’t have Instagram, we wouldn’t have the popularity of Facebook, we wouldn’t have millions and millions of pictures of people’s food, which we’ve got to thank for on Facebook and Instagram of everyone photographing their dinner, food porn.  But look how that’s changed the world.  And that was a great combination of bringing two random things together.  So moving on to the next reason.  When I actually understood this, this really changed everything for me and this was a huge key point in why content really fails and that is that you didn’t have a reason for journalists to share.  Now when you actually understand what the journalist mind-set is, because journalists are very, very different to bloggers and obviously in link building outreach, people are really used to dealing with bloggers, but when we’ve moved in to this whole PR world of journalism, which is really interesting because I think it’s take a long time for the SEO industry to actually catch up with ow to work with a journalist and I think there’s still a lot don’t know how to [00:20:00.22] do it and it’s a shame because a lot of PRs haven’t quite caught up with it.  It’s happening now, it is happening more, where the two are coming together, but what you need to ask yourself is –  what’s the story?  You imagine what does a journalist want?  A journalist wants newsworthy content for their audience and for their readers.  They don’t care about Buzzfeed, List[00:20:25.20], they don’t care about quirky quizzes that people share on Facebook all the time and they absolutely do not care about you or your brand, not at all.  They just want something unique and as I say, newsworthy.  What they’re going to respond to is unique data and research, they’re going to respond to surveys that show insights and ground-breaking news, so they can have exclusivity. So they can offer something of value to their readers.  And then it’s like how you approach the journalists in your email, for example: if you were to send a journalist an email that said – I read your publication all the time and I think you’re great, would you share my piece of content about how great bathrooms are?  They’re going to see straight through that.  It might work with bloggers, that might have been the classic approach with bloggers, but a journalist, they’re pitched to all the time.  You’ve got to lead with the unique stat or the value that you’re offering them and get to the point.  And then you’ve also got to give them the right topic and make sure that if you’re pitching about weddings that you’re not speaking to somebody who covers sports.  It might sound laughable but there’s a lot of people out there who I know, they’re just sending out blanket emails, 200 emails.  The only variation that they’re putting in that is their name at the beginning, and they sometimes forget to do that.  The amount of emails I’ve had through where it still says ‘name’.

Andy:                                  Oh yes, in square brackets.

Shelley Walsh:                  Yes, you do not blanket email journalists.  [00:22:01.01] Attention to detail, do your research, but what I do find that really does help, coming back to-, which ties into the unique, if you can get endorsement for your content and if you can partner up, for example: I did a piece where we got endorsement from Action Fraud, which is part of the police.  It’s a police website.  It was on a piece called ‘How to trust a website’, which did really, really well.  The endorsement we got obviously gave the piece a lot of credibility and really helped when we were outreaching it, and it also meant that we got links from a lot of police websites as well, which was very, very valuable, so that was quite a success.  So always been looking for, like I say if you’re doing a piece about pets, maybe the Cats’ Protection League.  Always see what authorities there are in your area that you can approach.  And leading on, I’ve talked quite a bit about promotion, the next real fail point I think is underestimating how much promotion is actually needed, and I think this is massively underestimated by especially clients, and I think a lot of agencies as well.  I think in my view, content, campaign, it’s got to be like 80/ 20, promotion / content split, and most people see it the other way round.  You can have the best piece of content in the world but if you’re not putting the investment into getting it out there, then nobody’s going to see it.  I think people just don’t realise.  They’ll see a piece of content that has gone viral and think ‘ooh, that’s just gone viral on its own.  How amazing.’  They don’t realise that it hasn’t. It’s had a shed-load of outreach.

The Importance of Content Promotion

Andy:                                  Yes, all that work.

Shelley Walsh:                  Yes, and it’s had a shed-load of social promotion, it will have just had so much work behind the scenes to keep seeding it, to keep pushing it.  I’m trying to think actually, there was a brilliant article.  Unfortunately I just can’t remember it.  But you know, it talks about these processes people just don’t see.  They see something go viral and they just think [00:24:02.19] – ‘oh yes, it’s just gone viral by itself’, but it doesn’t.  It’s hard work.  The rule of promotion is, persistence pays off.  Now, a lot of people will work on the basis of when they do a campaign they’ll just do two days of isolated outreach or they’ll quote on, ‘okay, we’ll do two rounds of outreach for you’, but that has really limited results, because outreach needs to be conducted over weeks and months because you’ve got to keep picking up the links and you’ve got to sustain momentum.  So if you’re trying to promote a piece of content based on just two days’ worth of work, then you’re not giving it the full effort it needs and I think really, on this basis, I think the best people for outreach really are the people who are conducting it in house.  It’s very much a digital PR person’s job and they need to be there constantly monitoring new opportunities and even like if there’s an item in the news that suddenly comes up that you can jump on, or something of relevance comes up.  There’s always new opportunities.  A lot of the content I produce is evergreen, so you can be constantly looking for new links.  For example, the ‘How to trust a website’ that I talked about before.  Actually we were really lucky at the time when that hit, because there had just been a huge outage at TalkTalk.  There was a massive data breach a couple of years ago.  So we rode off the back – we were so fortunate that happened weeks just before we launched this, so it was already in production and we really jumped on that, but then the next year I think in possibly February, there was internet awareness day and again we managed to get links because we tied into that awareness day.  So you’re constantly looking and I just think people don’t realise that.  They think – we’ll do a piece of content, we’ll just outreach it once and leave it at that, whereas you’ve got to be doing social promotion, [00:26:00.18] you want to outreach to your top level publications and offer them exclusivity and then you want to be outreaching to your hub sites and then mid-level sites, and then you want to be doing your social promotion, your non-paid promotion and then it’s looking at feeding and syndicating on sites such as Reddit and then you’ve got to be doing your paid social ads and so you would start that when mentions on social start to slow down, then you want to be bumping it up with some paid, then outreach to blogs and then you want to be looking around to be picking up all your non-linking citations and placements who haven’t linked back, and picking all those up.  So as you can see, it’s a constant-, There’s a lot of work there.

Andy:                                  It’s like a life-cycle thing isn’t it.  It’s almost like some content has a life-cycle – the different phases of its life.

Shelley Walsh:                  It definitely does, yes and as I say, I always recommend that tiered basis of what I just talked through.  Going through that process of starting with exclusivity at the top level and then working your way down, but you know, you just want to keep bumping it along.  You want to keep pushing it.  You can stretch a piece of content out for years.  Now funnily enough, I produced a piece five or so years ago.  It’s a bit of a legendary.  It was the Kitchen Cheat Sheet and it did actually go viral.  It went massive.

Andy:                                  Oh right, yes.

Shelley Walsh:                  It’s quite funny. I was talking to the client about it only a couple of weeks ago and its actually just been picked up by Taschen Books, are going to be publishing it in one of their books, which is quite nice.  Yes so I’m looking forward to that coming out.

Andy:  Fame.

Shelley Walsh:                  Yes I know, I’m in publication.  How great is that? And I love Taschen Books as well.  So yes, the Kitchen Cheat Sheet was an infographic and it just went crazy, it went nuts, and it basically had social mentions every day for about four or five years.  It was incredible and it still keeps getting picked up.  It would still get picked up and get a link.  For example, I think it had been going for two years and it suddenly got a link on Lifehacker, which was a really big site at the time [00:28:00.16], and the client was saying it was just a massive piece for them that just drove the page.  It had the most traffic on the site, it was just incredible.  So  that’s what I’m talking about.  You can really rinse a piece of content over many years.  It’s not just something you should be looking at in isolation.  Get your full value out of it.  Which kind of brings me to the last point, which I just touched on just a little bit before, was that you can have the best content in the world, but if it’s at the wrong time it’s going to fail.  You can follow all your processes, you can follow all these formulas and it’s still going to fail.  And I think this can just be so unfortunate as to – oh this is awful.  You’ve spent months producing a concept and just as you’re about to launch, somebody does the same idea.  It’s absolutely gutting when that happens.  And it happens, and it is horrible when you’ve invested in sometime. Or you know, you can have a major news event and it just knocks you out of a schedule.  You might have been lined up in a schedule for a publisher to have said yes and then you just get bumped.  Or for example, there just might be too much competition at that time.  That time you’re approaching the journalists, they just might be overwhelmed.  So it’s interesting.  I always recommend and say avoid seasonal content, high seasons such as say Christmas or the World Cup, because journalists and influencers, they are just absolutely inundated and swamped at those times with so much content.  It’s really difficult to cut through the noise unless you’ve got such a solid relationship that you’ve got a guaranteed placement, it’s really hard to cut through.  So I would say avoid that.  Awareness days are actually fantastic though.  They are great.  Awareness days are not high seasonality.  If you can tap into – like the internet awareness day that I talked about earlier for the [00:30:06.12] trust website.  Look for industry-specific awareness days and that will really help if you’re outreaching in particular to a journalist.  If you can time it right and tie it in, I mean it might be that your timing is not quite right, but you could look at it in the future and pick it back up in a different round.  Branded 3 have got a really good events PR calendar, which I’ve got a link out to that on my site.  I’ll tell you the article at the end, but that’s a really good resource to have.  It has all the events listed.  So pretty much coming down to it, those are the real six predominant issues as to why I think content can fail.

Andy:                                  And you’ve written a blog post on this haven’t you, which we can put a link to in the show notes.

Shelley Walsh:                  Yes, I have Andy.  It’s creatively called – Why do content campaigns fail?  And it’s very in depth.  It’s quite a nice in depth piece.  It’s 3000 words.  It’s got lots of examples in there.  So if you go onto Content101.com, you’ll be able to read that article and it has all the points that I’ve been talking about and a lot more in there as well so you might want to visit that after listening to this.

Where is Content Marketing Headed in 2017 and Beyond?

Andy:                                  Well Shelley I can imagine our listeners taking notes, there’s so much valuable information there you’ve given.  I was interested in, getting the crystal ball out, where do you see content marketing going, specifically away from link marketing in the next few years?

Shelley Walsh:                  I think real content strategy, it’s about looking at the flow of a user journey through a funnel and addressing information that’s required at each step of the way and addressing gaps of opportunity to capture search and positioning content in the right places at the right time [00:32:01.03] to capture attention.  It’s not just one off big content campaign pieces, it’s about trying to tie in a campaign to a wider objective.  And so I think moving forward, this whole idea of having these content campaign which just purely get this spike in traffic.  You have them for links and it’s just this one big spike, I see the focus on trying to stretch that out, so actually leading it into more lead generation, so you’re moving people into capturing their email addresses as I mentioned earlier, which I think is the most lucrative for businesses.  So I see moving forward, that the campaigns will move away – it will still be about links to a degree, but I think it’s going to be much more about lead generation and actually being able to follow people through to a wider strategy to actually retain them and engage them rather than just this spike.

Shelley Walsh’s Top Tip/Key Takeaway for Content Marketing Success

Andy:                                  And if there was one, out of the gazillion points you’ve made today, top tip or take away for our audience, what would it be?

Shelley Walsh:                  Definitely without a doubt, it’s knowing your audience and your objective.  I’ll get that in as one.  Really know why you’re doing this.  There’s no doubt about that.  Start at the end and work your way back.  Where do you want to place it?  I do think that having a story for the journalist is absolutely essential but that really ties in to know your audience and your objective.

Andy:                                  Well Shelley, thanks so much for coming on the show.  Let us know how our listeners can find out more about you and more about ShellShock.

Shelley Walsh:                  So you can head over the shellshockuk.com, and that’s the agency site for content campaigns and production.  I also have a couple of blogs, which spin off from that.  So I’ve got shelleywalsh.com, [00:34:00.15] there you can find – I wrote a book a few years ago – I did a few presentations about this – ‘What Is Creativity?’  And also, there’s a little eBook – ‘How to Have Ideas’.  You can download both of those for free on shelleywalsh.com.  And then I’ve also got Content101.com, which is all about content marketing and that is where you can find the article that I talked about before, ‘Why Content Campaigns Fail’.

Andy:                                  Brilliant, and that’s content, then the numbers one, zero, one .com isn’t it?

Shelley Walsh:                  Yes, content101.com, yes.

Andy:                                   Fantastic.  Well thank you so much Shelley.  And thanks to our listeners for listening.  The show notes are in the usual place, Sitevisibility.com/Impodcast.  Don’t forget, if you’re enjoying the show, please leave a review because that would be great.  If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, a couple of ways to get in contact with us.  Email is podcast@sitevisibility.  If you want to Tweet us, it’s @sitevisibility.  If you want to connect with me personally, I’m Doctor Pod, D-O-C-T-O-R-P-O-D on Twitter and LinkedIn, and don’t forget, we have a Site Visibility group on LinkedIn, that’s another way to join the conversation and I think that’s everything.  That’s all from me, Andy, and it’s all from Shelley.

Shelley Walsh:                  Thank you very much Andy, it’s been an absolute pleasure.

Andy:                                  And we’ll see you next time, on Internet Marketing.

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