I never knew about Bob Gilbreath and his fabulous blog www.MarketingwithMeaning.com before Joe Pulizzi's list of Top 42 Content Marketing Blogs singled him out. I interviewed Bob recently about how he uses content to market his business.
Here's what Bob has to say about sharing personal stories on a business blog:
"Readers don’t just want a factual white paper from a talking head, they want to smile and see things from your individual perspective.
"I often end up talking about everything from my children to my love for Guitar Hero, both to make key points and share who I am."
And here are other questions Bob generously responded to…
1. What kinds of content do you write or use to market your business?
It is important for our agency, Bridge Worldwide, to show that we are leading thinking in the digital and relationship marketing field. Our current clients depend on us to help them figure out the right path in a chaotic marketing world, while prospective clients are looking for smart, proven partners who can do the same.
As a result, we create and share our thinking broadly. We do this through mini-books that we distribute by hand, case studies on our website (www.bridgeworldwide.com), and several blogs by individuals within the company.
Some examples of our company blogs include:
Although we are a company of 220 people all located in a single office in Cincinnati, Ohio, we often learn about what we are working on through our blogs.
2. What sources, besides your own, do you use to find content? (blogs, newspapers, magazines, colleagues, books, etc.)
We attend conferences, subscribe to industry publications, and maintain personal relationships with other thought leaders in the field. We often test ideas out on each other, and if they are strong enough to stand up to our internal critics we release them into the wild.
3. How much of yourself, your personality, your own experiences do you include?
We try to include feature as much of our own work as possible. Since we work with large clients such as Procter & Gamble, ConAgra Foods and Abbott, we get a first hand view of how to succeed in the digital marketing business. We try to feature as much of this work as possible, without sharing proprietary information.
In the blog I maintain, Marketing With Meaning (www.marketingwithmeaning.com), I believe it is important to share as much of my personality as possible. I learned from my favorite blogs that the key to keep readers returning is to bring your own stories forward as much as possible. Readers don’t just want a factual white paper from a talking head, they want to smile and see things from your individual perspective. I often end up talking about everything from my children to my love for Guitar Hero, both to make key points and share who I am.
4. What kinds of results do you see from your online content? (Do you have a story that illustrates?)
We are seeing a significant increase in traffic to our company website. We also get a surprising number of positive comments from existing clients who have found our blogs and follow them closely. My favorite story is that a few months ago a company in the Middle East discovered our Marketing With Meaning blog and emailed me out of the blue for help on an upcoming project.
5. How much time do you spend daily writing or posting content on your blogs or sites?
I personally spend about 30 minutes per day working on our Marketing With Meaning concept, which include writing 2-3 posts per week, sending a handful of Twitter updates per day, monitoring comments/traffic, and responding to outstanding opportunities like this.
6. What advice would you give to others in your profession about using content for marketing?
First, make sure you choose a specific focus area and then stick to it doggedly. Second, make sure that everything you write is valuable to your audience. Don’t just repeat a link to an article, add your point-of-view and make content that others will find link-worthy.
Finally, I would limit blog entries to three per week at most. Readers don’t have time to engage with you every day, and fewer posts means better posts.
7. Tell us what your profession is, and who your typical clients are.
Bridge Worldwide is an advertising agency that focuses on digital+relationship marketing. Our clients are Fortune 500 companies across industries such as CPG, financial services, health care and consumer electronics. Our clients include P&G, Abbott, and ConAgra Foods. As Chief Marketing Strategist, I lead about 50 people in Client Service and Strategic Planning.
8. Where can people find you and learn more about what you have to say?