Content Marketing

Why I Went All-In on Content Marketing

I’m an “Ad Guy.”

By that, I don’t mean that I fashion myself as the protagonist in some modern Mad Men fantasy. I simply mean that I’ve plied my trade in nearly every corner of the marketing realm. I’ve worked at media companies like Yahoo, Epic, true[X] media and 33Across, and I’ve wrangled with every kind of digital initiative—from big branding, to direct response initiatives, to social, local, mobile, video, native, and most recently, programmatic.

But with all due respect to those powerful types of marketing, there’s one destined to rule them all: content marketing.

That’s a conclusion I came to several months ago, when I simply couldn’t ignore the facts. Over 75 percent of online ads are being ignored; over half are never even being seen. And the overall derision of display couldn’t be more clear; the marketplace recently classified the most common digital ad placements—the right rail and the leaderboard—as the “ad ghetto.” Yikes. I knew there had to be a better way.

Enter content marketing.

Content is perhaps one of the oldest forms of brand communication—just look at John Deere’s The Furrow—but it’s gained an incredible new power with the rise of social media. Content isn’t some magic elixir that entrances people to read, click and buy, but it is the magical thing gives brands the opportunity to strengthen relationships with people until the point of purchase and beyond. And unlike most magic, you can track and measure exactly how it works.

So content marketing was the game I wanted in on, and a few weeks ago, I joined Contently as chief revenue officer. Why Contently?

There are practical reasons. A) The company solves a big problem in the media world by empowering brands to find the best freelancers across the globe and helping journalists find work. B) The software workflow is top notch. I could geek out over that, but I will keep the platform conversations to my workplace buddies for now. C) The organization continues to grow at 200 percent YOY (cha-ching). D) Our top clients are all direct relationships from the Fortune 50 list. E) We have created a reporting tool that tracks the true performance of every piece of content generated through the platform.

The emotional reasons? The company has created an amazing culture. Every successful start-up, in some form or fashion, attributes their success to this ingredient. Our staff is comprised of problem solvers, strategic thinkers, journalists, nerds and a scattering of non-allergenic hipster dogs from Brooklyn. Everyone has a unique story, is extremely different and really frickin smart.

To quote Eric Schmidt’s conversation with Sheryl Sandberg, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, get on, don’t ask what seat.” I tell people in their careers, “Look for growth. Look for the teams that are growing quickly. Look for the companies that are doing well. Look for a place where you feel that you can have a lot of impact.”

I’m proud to be chief revenue officer of this rocket ship.

About the Author:

Currently reading: Brian Kilmeade’s George Washington’s Secret Six

Re-reading: Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point

Contently avatar: Ernest Hemingway

What’s the deal with The Content Strategist? At Contently, storytelling is the only marketing we do, and it works wonders. It could for you, too. Learn more.

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