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If you’re not from a tech background, it’s difficult to imagine what a job in the tech world looks like. Upskilling is about bridging the gap between what you do have and what you don’t, and topping up on soft or hard skills. Understanding people’s career aims and being empathetic to individual situations helps development and drives people in the right direction. It’s about playing to people’s strengths, and filling in the gaps.
When we look for content writers, for example, they will need to understand the business, and be a good writer, which are two quite different skills. A lot of people have great writing skills. While original written content is still the most important type of content, there are other skills needed to be successful in the media industries, like understanding video, social content, editing, processing content and so on, which can be easily skilled up.
Collaboration is a great way to understand where these gaps are. It can also help us to understand how creative working can be paired with other skills we learn from others to optimise processes and win business success.
USING DATA TO INNOVATE CONTENT
Using features such as Google Analytics or LinkedIn Analytics help us to understand what content is hitting the mark and what’s not. Understanding what formats work, where your audience is, and how they’re finding you, is how you can keep improving and optimising your content.
Don’t underestimate the power of data in digital marketing. Out of the 375,000 users we received in August, I would say roughly 80-90% were from SEO. Even though a very small portion of our traffic comes from social media, LinkedIn is by far the highest traffic source for us. I think 80% of our traffic from socials comes from LinkedIn, 10% from Facebook and 10% from Twitter. We looked at our feed on LinkedIn, and thought, it’s pretty boring. It’s just one post after another. So we came up with a project to do more varied content on social media. We’ve been experimenting with different forms of content, with memes, polls, videos and LinkedIn Live events.
We recently managed to get 500 people to a LinkedIn Live event. We thought it was a great way to connect with the community. It’s about finding different formats and different ways to get people’s attention when there is so much stuff happening all the time,especially after a pandemic, where everyone has laptop screen fatigue. You have to figure out how to stand out, and there’s so many different ways that you can still keep customers engaged. Technology will only help us to get there, as live events become increasingly nuanced and interactive.
INNOVATING CONTENT TO BUILD COMMUNITY
YouTube is something we’d never put much effort into, so we tried to focus on it this year. We soon realised that creating YouTube content is challenging. You’ve got to come up with the premise for the video and plan it, then record it, and then edit it. What do you want to put in the video apart from someone speaking? Do consumers want text onscreen with images? What about animation? We hired three people, a video script writer and two video editors to focus on this, because otherwise, we just weren’t going to get it done. But video creates a new way of consuming content that is more engaging, and can bring in new audiences who consume content this way instead of reading a blogpost.
Sure, this means you need more technical skills, but you can either learn these or collaborate with people to combine skills. This also requires emotional intelligence as a soft skill, and knowing how to talk to different people to reach an aim or convey a message in a particular tone. A computer can’t necessarily do that.
Think about your content channels, too. Organisations are using the instant messaging programme Slack to build communities. You can create different channels where people can ask questions, make polls and begin discussions. It’s another way to constantly engage your community, while creating another channel to advertise as well. Let’s say you’re a B2B business, who does regular webinars to find prospects or upskill your current customers. If you’ve got 1000 people on a Slack channel who are reading it mostly every day, that’s a great way to send a non-invasive message to say, ‘hey, we’ve got this webinar coming up, do you want to sign up?’
FIND YOUR USP
You really have to have a USP to add value. I see so many blogs that pop up that copy content. That’s not adding value or building trust with the user. You need to be unique, you need to stand out from the rest of the crowd and be very authentic. What is your voice? Who is your audience?
Originality of content is key. Why would you want to follow a page that copies everyone else? Coming up with fresh stuff definitely is a challenge, and that’s where I think these brainstorming meetings come in. Collaboration is vital for fresh idea generation, because you can utilise the skills or different perspectives of others to shape these ideas in new and innovative ways. That’s why we use a lot of influencer marketing, too. They use a different language, to convey our overall message, bringing their own following and brand to the table, sharing our content in a way that reaches new and wider audiences, which increases our traffic as well as refreshing our content.
I’m very addicted to my phone. It’s not good. I’m on LinkedIn all the time. But one benefit of having this digital world at our fingertips, thanks to technology, is that I know everything going on. I see news from everywhere, which really helps me stay in tune with what people are doing, what other brands are doing and what competitors are doing. Use this as your research tool. If you understand what’s going on, and if you are prepared to be agile, then I think you can really prepare for anything.