In today’s crowded digital landscape, the question driving every marketing campaign is how to get noticed? With people’s shifting priorities now favouring the natural discovery of products, marketing has become an area where companies aim to have an increasingly strategic competitive advantage for growing their business.
In this series by StackAdapt, a Toronto-based native advertising technology company, you’ll join COO Vitaly Pecherskiy as he meets with top minds in the marketing and advertising industry to uncover how Canadian companies use forward thinking strategies and cutting-edge software to break through the noise.
To kick things off, Vitaly Pecherskiy had the pleasure of sitting down with Tiffany Regaudie, content marketing manager at TouchBistro, where he learned more about how the company successfully uses content marketing to grow their business.
Can you talk about how your team is structured and what is the culture of the marketing team like at TouchBistro?
Our marketing team is made up of two main pillars: demand generation and brand. Content marketing sits within a communications team on the brand side. I report into a senior communications manager, and I have a content marketing specialist that reports into me.
Our marketing team culture is one of my favourite parts about working at TouchBistro! We live by autonomy and accountability, which means we are given the freedom to succeed and fail. It’s an exciting time to be at TouchBistro – we’re at a high growth stage, and luckily our leadership know that growth requires being bold and trying new things. I’ve never been so well-resourced to do my best work.
How does your team judge its success?
My KPIs as content marketing manager are based on increasing traffic to our blog, subscribers to our blog, and views on our brand videos. I live and die by these metrics every quarter! I also personally judge our success using other metrics I think are important, such as increasing time on site, decreasing bounce rate, and getting more video completions under our belt so we can retarget that audience with campaigns that tell a larger narrative about our brand.
But I do also have an “agency” function to my work, which is really to support generating leads on the demand generation side of the marketing team. I’m the creative lead on many of the projects that come from our demand gen team, so I am still tangentially accountable for generating leads that way.
How do you distinguish between must-have content and fluff? Or are you a believer that any content can have legs?
Our audience is made up of independent restaurateurs who are very much expected to be the jack-of-all-trades of their business. They’re people who just want to make great food and deliver an amazing guest experience, but they actually need to be accountants, marketers, and human resources experts on top of being great chefs.
So our must-have content is the “how-to meat” for restaurant owners: how to know enough about accounting to make sound business decisions, how to rock a social media campaign to get noticed, how to design a menu in such a way that’s going to increase sales – this is the content that does very well for us, because it’s geared toward making restaurateurs’ lives easier.
Producing content takes up so much time and so many resources that it can be easy to overlook a thoughtful distribution strategy.
I come from a book publishing background, so I’ve spent a lot of time editing whole manuscripts and content that goes very deep on a subject. I’m pretty grateful for this experience, as I like to think it’s kept me devoted to quality content over fluff. I do believe that any piece of content that speaks to your audience can have legs – it’s just a case of how long you’re willing to wait for those legs to start moving and gain speed. You have to be timely and solve a problem to get noticed quickly.
Have you seen patterns in the type of content you produce and its success?
Video as a medium is, of course, a type of content that does well for TouchBistro. We just released our first brand video, which garnered more than 3 million impressions and a higher-than-average completion rate across several channels (through StackAdapt and YouTube, among others). While it’s definitely easier said than done, we are shifting toward a video-first strategy, as video is obviously now the most consumable form of content across all audiences.
How do you determine ROI for content?
We measure ROI in several ways, from both a demand generation perspective and a brand perspective. On the demand gen side, we measure ROI by the amount of leads we can move down our funnel, from engaging with a piece of gated content to requesting a quote and being passed to our sales team as an opportunity. We have some strict economics at TouchBistro that govern how much we are willing to pay for a lead that books a demo vs. downloads a piece of gated content or subscribes to our blog.
But on the brand side, we’re much more focused on establishing our brand presence in new markets, given that we have just entered London, UK, Bogota, Colombia, and Mexico City. So as we are still establishing our brand in these markets, we measure ROI via impressions, website traffic, and how many people engage with our SEM ads.
Creating content can be expensive – how do you decide if it needs to be amplified through paid channels and how do you decide how much to pay for distribution?
I base our paid distribution decisions on past organic search traffic performance, so I know the content is in demand and has legs. From this foundation, I’ve developed a solid bank of data that tell me which types of content I should amplify and for how much.
Think about how much money you’re willing to put behind a piece of content … because organic traffic just isn’t what it used to be.
We already know we’ll be putting a larger paid push behind video campaigns, but for other types of content, I base my budget on topic relevance. For example, this year 18 states and 20 cities in the US raised minimum wage, which has been a hot topic among restaurant owners. I developed a significant repertoire of content on rising minimum wage, which I’ll continue to slow drip throughout the year with several paid campaign pushes behind them – the topic is timely and people want to read about it, so it deserves the amplification.
What advice would you give to an organization that’s new to content marketing?
Think as much about content distribution as you do about content production. Producing content takes up so much time and so many resources that it can be easy to overlook a thoughtful distribution strategy. So don’t just think about the content itself and what it will look like, but where it should live and how users should consume it. Think about how much money you’re willing to put behind a piece of content … because organic traffic just isn’t what it used to be.
Rapid-fire bonus questions!
Number one metric every marketer should care about is…Time on site. Visitors don’t mean much if they’re not consuming and therefore remembering your content.
One thing most marketers don’t spend enough time on is…Thinking big picture. Marketers are doers, which is great, but you need to think about how your campaigns relate and build on each other.
To become a better marketer one must… Read, read, and read some more. Marketing is a moving target. If you don’t keep up with best practices, you’ll become obsolete before you know what hit you!