Remember taking exams in high school or college? Getting out your scanner cards, filling in the little boxes (number two pencils only!) and piling them all neatly in a box so you can get your marks a week later? Not the most fun process, was it?
Well the kids of today don’t have to go through that rigamarole, thanks to companies like ExamSoft. And Stephanie Totty is in charge of making sure as many students have that privilege as possible.
As the Senior Content Strategy Manager at ExamSoft Worldwide, Totty works tirelessly to generate interest for ExamSoft across their blog, social channels, webinars, and a host of other platforms. “I started mostly as a copywriter and social media person, and just grew from there.” Totty told me in interview, “The focus of my role has morphed into content strategy and creation. Which is great, because I find that a lot more interesting than just creating social posts — this way I get to be hands-on in the process.”
To find out all the marketing secrets Totty has learned in her four years at ExamSoft, we chatted with her over Google Hangout. Here’s what she had to say:
How has content marketing evolved since you started?
I think there’s just a lot more emphasis put on content marketing now. I don’t really feel like a few years ago content marketing was really much of a thing, and now it’s almost a buzzword. Content creation was important, and it was there, but the major focus was elsewhere. Now everyone is starting to take the content creation and strategy process more seriously, and I feel like we’re all in the phase where we’re just churning out content. Which is not necessarily the best strategy to take.
I know I fell into that myself a couple of years ago, and now I’m desperately trying to claw my way out of mounds and masses of blog posts, videos, white papers, and case studies. I’m much more conscientious about what gets created, when, why, and how we can repurpose old pieces of content in new or more effective ways. So I feel like that’s the trend now in Content Marketing is being a lot more strategic about the way the content is created and for what purpose.
What metrics should marketers be paying more attention to in 2017?
Personally, the most important metric for me to be paying attention to is content consumption. What type of content is being consumed, where it is being consumed, who it is being consumed by, and when it is being consumed? I have mounds and mounds of content and it’s all floating around out there, and I want to be much more informed of which parts of that content are actually helping people and that people are interested in.
That way I can do two things — first, determine where can I shave off things that are just taking up space and cluttering up my area. And second, for continued content creation. I want to be much more informed about what’s working, what’s not, where to place it, when to place it, and who to push it to. So content consumption in general, and Vidyard is amazing for that as it tells me exactly who is looking at what, where they are looking at it, and for how long. Then we use Uberflip for doing that for all my written content.
What is one content marketing strategy that most companies miss out on?
I feel that client-created content has been a huge part of what has made us so successful in our content creation and content consumption. When I first came on board it was very difficult to get that process started because our clients weren’t used to it. And to be honest, I just hounded people. I called, I knocked on doors, and I wouldn’t take no for an answer, but it’s hard to start that process and have those conversations with your clients.
Saying “Can you help us do this?” and “Would you work on this project even though you have a full-time job and now I’m asking you to do these other things as well?” is sometimes an awkward conversation to have. But four years later I have people knocking on my door — clients I have never heard of — emailing me and saying “Hey I’m doing this thing, and I would love to do a webinar on it. Is that something that is possible?”. And I say “Yes! Absolutely!” I have peers in marketing that say it’s too much work or they don’t know where they would start, ask if we pay them, or what the rules I just tell them that you make the rules up as you go. Do what works for your specific industry and clients. It’s proven invaluable for us.
What’s your favorite campaign that you have been a part of?
We led a Twitter chat last year for those in the educational assessment. We called it #AssessChat, we had an academic lead it, and we gave away tickets to our user conference. It was a great campaign because the whole point of it was to generate buzz around our user conference and get people to show up. But it had the added effect of getting people who were not clients that had never heard of our company and so it was a bit of fuel for the pipeline. Sales got some really great leads out of it, and that was really neat for me because social rarely works in our space. So when it does work, I get really excited about it!
What resources do you turn to in order to get better at your job?
I love the MarketingProfs newsletter! I always feel like their content is really relevant and on-point, and that they’re always on top of relevant topics. I pay attention to what Vidyard and Uberflip post on LinkedIn, which puts it right in front of my nose. And I am a part of several B2B marketing groups on LinkedIn, so when I am looking for professional content that’s what I stick to.
Twitter is my jam but its usually flying by during the day when I’m working so I don’t always catch it. I would say whatever type of industry you’re a part of, find some relevant linked groups. I know sometimes they can be spammy but there’s some really good stuff in there was well.