GLPH: New Content Marketing Podcast

    This is a program with those who write, edit, take photos, videos and manage the work of the editorial board. Here we discuss everything related to media management and content production.

    Today we present to your attention a text transcript of the first issue. It is waiting for you Alina Testova from Glyph Media and our joint discussion of corporate blogs, approaches to managing a team of editors and life hacking for independent content creation, which could be used by start-ups and independent IT specialists.

    In the photo: Alina Testova, founder of Glyph Media - Telegram channel

    dmitrykabanov : How is it that you are doing [managing the team of IT editors], does technical education and past work experience help you?

    Does not help at all [joke]. I will tell about the background. I studied at the Izhevsk State Technical University in the bachelor's degree in business informatics. Then I enrolled in business informatics at the graduate school of the Higher School of Economics.

    One of the most important things education has given me is getting to know cool people. I met the guys by whom it was obvious that they were interested in creating something of their own. And I really wanted to go for it too.

    When I entered the HSE, in the first year I saw serious guys. They wanted to get into cool companies, had interviews, got into the “big three” and so on.

    Others went about their business and registered businesses. Therefore, I also wanted to strive for something. I went to the Internship program at Microsoft and worked there for over a year. This experience is also very helpful in terms of what we are doing now. He made it possible to better understand how life works in large companies and how to make content for them.

    For example, you can request an expert comment from a client, but this information will be long enough for you to go. This happens not because some not very smart people work somewhere or someone sabotages the process, but large IT companies are just like that. It is not always possible to quickly receive the necessary feedback in full.

    I did not say another important thing about the university. He gave me the understanding that not all things in your life will be interesting. For example, you may not like subjects at the institute, but you will have to study them according to the program. We must try to extract the maximum from this.

    It happens now. I think that every entrepreneur understands this perfectly well. In your life there are documents, work with frames and paper. This is not the most exciting part of entrepreneurial work, but it is necessary. It forms the system, as well as the confidence that you really understand all the processes.

    Tell me more about how the model of your company works now: who works for you, what customers are there and what problems do you solve for them?

    I will start with the last question about customers and their problems. Very often, customers do not quite know what they want to end up with. There is nothing wrong. Our task is to explain what they can get and what they should not count on.

    Customers have a variety of ideas about what content is and what tasks it solves. Some people think that content is a natural continuation of SEO and contextual advertising. Therefore, they want to get from the content about the same metrics.

    For example, when reading an article, the reader should click on all three links in the text, go to the desired site and become a paying customer. In this case, our task at the first stages is to explain that we are doing not quite advertising content. It works differently, and therefore it is not entirely correct to expect exactly the same indicators.

    There are customers who have seen Tinkoff Magazine or DOC +, and they want something similar. They already have a better idea of ​​what content can do and what it cannot do.

    This is not a story about specific clicks and CTR, but about building a dialogue with the audience, its training and provision of benefits. In other words, it is building a community of people loyal to this brand. Around this key, we explain our work to clients.

    Recording a podcast in coworking SOK - photo tour of the location on Instagram

    Is it basically still an IT company? Or do other types of businesses have such tasks?

    In general, it turned out that most of our customers are somehow connected with IT. They may have their own production, which in any case contains a technological component. They can be employed directly in the IT field. Either these customers are developing products at the intersection of the consumer segment or offline services and IT. One way or another, technologies are present in the work of virtually every one of our clients.

    I am convinced that the presence or absence of technology does not affect whether you can talk about yourself or not. The loyalty of the readers and the provision of their benefits have nothing to do with IT or another particular industry. Therefore, we are open and will gladly take into our ranks any company that wants to create its own small media.

    Anyway, this approach implies that the company is present or wants to be present on the network. These are not printed booklets, not an internal magazine or newspaper for employees - this is what is available to the widest possible audience on the Internet.

    Such cooperation with a content provider is an option for medium and large businesses. What can a startup or start-up entrepreneur do on its own?

    I will try to combine this question with one that I haven’t yet answered - about our team and our team. Our team is mostly editors, and they have their own internal gradation. This gradation is not related to any rigid hierarchy, we have a fairly flat structure. However, the tasks of editors are slightly different.

    There is a junior editor - a person who is just starting his way and trying to work in this area. He may have had a slightly different background, but now he is working in this direction. There is an editor who already has some experience.

    All of them are engaged in writing texts.

    We also have a senior and graduating editor. A senior editor is a person who can already not only create his own texts, but also evaluate others. Based on his experience, he gives comments and explains how another person can improve his work.

    The issuing editor combines the administrative part with the practical. He can formulate plans for a company on the basis of its tasks and select topics. He also controls the work of all other editors.

    I think that a small company could ideally build a similar structure. In this case, it will be enough editor and issuing editor. By the word "editor" I do not mean one particular person. Such people in small companies can be a variety of employees who will combine their main work with this text direction. The editor may be the CEO, CTO, chief marketer, and so on.

    All these people should be able to devote time to creating content. They will work with the publishing editor to understand who their readers are and how they can be useful to them.

    Our materials are not a story about company news in a press release format. They need to explain how the experience of the organization can be useful to managers or users.

    You can tell what good you have done in your industry and how you change your small piece of the market. In the end, you can write how to work with the company's product or service with maximum benefit.

    GLPH.Media podcast in iTunes and web version

    People who are just starting [to work with content] may come to a dead end trying to find the first topics. It often seems to them that they have already spoken about everything better and more interesting.

    People just give up and they stop doing something. Are there lifehacks for startups on how to start blogging?

    In our company, this is called "it was already in the Simpsons." This is an important myth in the field of content creation. Do not invent "silver bullets" or "magic pills", which allegedly lead to explosive growth. If you want to make content on your own:

    • see what other companies in your industry are doing;
    • think what is useful and interesting you can tell;
    • just start somewhere.

    There is no magic formula. Very often, people employed in this field, slightly outweigh the stick in the direction of their "superknowledge." They make a content plan for five years ahead, go over it and look for complex solutions. All this work can look much simpler and clearer.

    You see that there is a request for disclosing a topic X, - you are writing about it. You see that you have a new solution that is interesting for your users, and there is other news around this market - you talk about it.

    You understand that now all people are watching football or are busy with a completely different topic - you take a short break, prepare new content and do not try to break into this stream.

    I wouldn’t advise constantly referring to situational content, because it usually looks a bit far-fetched. Your audience is not fools. They are well aware that the company is trying to use interest in the topic X in order to promote it.

    Everyone sees it, and people become less interested. It would be much better to publish sincere material about what is happening, how you did it and how you solved your problems.

    You talked about the fact that education and technological specialty help to be on the same footing with the directors and founders of companies and to find common views on content.

    Now you are starting to make a new format of “office hours”, open consultations for startups. How does this audience overlap with customers that are already there? Who comes to these content marketing consultations and what questions do they ask?

    Many years ago, when we first tried to participate in office hours, small companies and start-ups turned to us more. They wanted to solve their problems with minimal cost. Because a small company has no reason to spend a lot of money on content.

    Most likely, in your company there is a person who can spend a small amount of time and make materials in the volume you need. When you are a small company, you do not need to cover half the world. About three years have passed

    between the first consultations and the current office hours . We expected to see about the same small companies and projects that would be interested in how to do everything with minimal costs. It turned out a little different.

    It turned out that the content has become more interesting to medium and large companies, or small companies with fairly serious goals for the nearest development. During this time, the content marketing industry itself has grown a lot. I think that the projects of Maxim Ilyakhov fueled this industry tremendously. It became more clear to people what content marketing is and what it can give. That this is not equal to the conditional advertising banner or a fierce native in some magazine.

    Three years ago, we had to explain how this works and why everything should develop that way. Now people themselves come and ask to outsource all the content for the company or write materials based on interviews with employees. Previously, the process of discussion and explanation took much longer.

    Let's go back to work with the team and try to combine everything with the latest answers. How can companies use your advice to find an editor and correctly evaluate the quality of his work?

    We ourselves are faced with the fact that to find an editor for the format we need is really very difficult. Most of the editors who work with us have gone through our internal school.

    We do not rely on external educational projects and events. Even to those guys who have already worked in the industry, we try to give our own understanding of how things should work.

    For quite a long time, we have been doing a lot of content for sites that are highly toxic. In this environment, any user can read the article and say: "Yes, you are all fools." Materials are published on sites where it is not accepted to praise and support each other. On the contrary, there are rather rigidly and categorically pointing out errors.

    This is not the environment that third-party schools usually prepare for editors. Here you just walk through a minefield and must understand that any phrase or careless word can click your nose hard. It's not even about disinformation, but about the fact that with your tonality you can not get into the generally accepted direction. Then you will have hard times.

    Therefore, we are forced to prepare our editors for this and frighten them a little. It is very difficult to make content for such sites in a different way and you may suffer from this.

    In the place of companies, I would look not only at the resume of a potential employee, but at first I would work with my own expectations, goals and objectives. If you think that you hire a person with an impressive resume, and he will make you all beautiful, then most likely you are mistaken.

    There is a high probability that a person will really try, and you will get, at best, mixed estimates. After that, the company’s management will be upset and will not understand why a good idea turns into negative or sarcastic comments.

    Alina Testova - all articles of the user are

    not only that you must be prepared for negative reviews. The fact is that you need to understand well where you want to publish materials. If it is Habr, look:

    • what audience likes this venue
    • who from companies and that writes
    • what materials do the audience like

    It will be very nice if this information is known not only by the editor from the outside. He will have his own perception, and he may not immediately absorb your inner values ​​and goals. Digest this information inside yourself, and then discuss it in a dialogue with this editor.

    Understand how you want to position yourself on this platform.

    Discuss with the editor the need to explore this platform, because its usual language and format may not be entirely appropriate. General policymakers should be formed with this person, and not given to him at the mercy.

    I want to continue this thought and ask you to uncover the idea of ​​the current perception of the profession of an editor and content marketer from the point of view of managers.

    How do they relate to this? Are there nuances that should be improved and rethought managers? What will allow them to "squeeze the maximum" of these people?

    I lead an agency where most editors work. Therefore, I have a specific perception of content marketers. I will try to improvise and tell, based on my experience with managers, what they can see.

    First of all, they can see in this person an employee of the advertising or PR department. From the point of view of the corporate hierarchy, he is likely to be there.

    But the content marketer is not quite the one who will be responsible for advertising or promoting a particular product and service. This person is closer to the PR service, which is responsible for the perception of the brand as a whole. Therefore, from the point of view of the head of the company, it can be said that the content marketer is closer to the PR people than to the advertisers.

    In this case, I would not call him a classic PR man. The format in which this person works is very far from press releases and the activities of PR managers. This is such a “thing in itself,” a person who has to accumulate a lot of information from different sources.

    It is desirable that this employee was not only editorial experience. Ideally, this person should have an idea about the industry in which your business operates. It is necessary to speak with customers in the same language and clearly convey the values ​​of the company.

    For an IT company, it would be great if the person was working in your particular area of ​​information technology. One option is to ask one of the employees to do this. But here questions arise with KPI and human satisfaction with this work.

    You can not just take a programmer and get him to write texts in the company's blog. He will simply say that he does not know how to express his thoughts beautifully, and in general “everything has already been written about this.”

    This person should understand well how to present the material in an unbanal way, how to submit a topic without being boring and not to praise yourself. Therefore, the search for an editor is always an open topic and a very difficult question for business.

    Let's talk about UGC platforms. These are sites where you can publish relatively freely. What opportunities do you see here for companies?

    Can you give recommendations on the amount of materials that can be published on Habré, or on your blog? Are there quantitative indicators here?

    I will go on the contrary and tell you what not to do. As I said before, there is no magic formula. Here you can touch on another myth that is tied to this topic. It lies in the fact that all the materials that you write - it is netenka and ideal. To release them, you need to go through all the circles of hell and take into account all opinions.

    Of course, not asking for any opinions and publishing the thoughts of a certain employee on behalf of the company is not entirely correct. But to tune in to the fact that you will be doing one text for months is an absolutely disastrous approach. As practice shows, such "imperishable" content never reaches the end reader. He stays gathering dust somewhere in the table.

    We need to find a middle ground between the quality of the content and the time spent working on this material. Many topics have already been disclosed somewhere. There is no need to try to make a comprehensive material, but it is very important to consolidate the benefits for the one who will read it.

    You can tell about your experience, what rake you stepped on and what conclusions can be drawn from this. Let it be a simple topic and not very voluminous text, but it will have a lot of sincerity and real advice for other companies, users and potential readers.

    Notes and additional materials:

    • Guest of this release - Alina Testova, founder of Glyph Media
    • Our other podcasts are all broadcasts [ iTunes ] [ Web ]
    • "VSCE" - a podcast about media entrepreneurs [ iTunes ] [ Web ]

    Our microformat on content marketing in Telegram:

    Why companies need an English-language blog on Habré
    Why stamina is a quality you can't do without
    Work experience is not always “who have you worked before”
    What will they not tell at the interview in the corporation
    Courses “do not do anything” ". Let's tell why
    Pro Del Toro and about working with content
    Archetypes: why stories work

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