DMS Live & On-Demand Presentations & Webinars


Content That Converts: Creating Sales-Driven Content That Delivers



Female Speaker:             All right, so I’m just going to start with a few announcements. Of course, as always, we value your feedback on the sessions. So, please make sure you complete evaluations in the mobile event app. Complete just three or more for a chance to win one of three $100 American Express gift cards. 

                                    So, now we’re excited to share a session on “Content that Converts” and to bring to the stage Kathy Bryan and Patrick Cunningham, who are gonna share some insights on the topic. Please help me welcome them.

Patrick: Thank you. How’s everybody doing tonight? Good? So, first, I just wanna say this; I have the privilege of being on stage with Kathy Bryan. I've got to spend about two weeks with her, and the amount I've actually already learned from her is actually incredible. So, if you could just real quick because she is unbelievably impressive, you guys, just give her one more round of applause.

Kathy:   Thank you everyone. So, as he said, I’m Kathy Bryan. I’m the SVB of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Digital Media Solutions. A lot of you probably know us as DMS or just by our giant D, which is all around the conference. So, DMS is the fastest growing marketing company in America, and the reason we have had such success is because we leverage the best people, processes and technology to – we’ve created the largest entry point for mass distribution, and that allows us to provide scalable and reliable customer acquisition solutions that are all completely trackable, which means that all of our marketing clients can really understand where – what's happening with their marketing dollars and see the true ROI.

                                    My role, though, there is not doing that. My role is generating leads for our sales team, which is why I’m here to talk with you today about content that converts. And I am very lucky to have Patrick Cunningham from NJ Lenders by my side so – but the first thing that I wanted to talk about today is that content marketing is not an objective. And before I dive into this, I wondering, does anyone here know what I mean by that? I’m hoping, yes. Yes, you. I want you to answer.

Audience Member 1:     Who cares if you're doing content marketing? The goal is to accomplish a specific goal, acquiring a lead.

Kathy:   Yes, exactly. Thank you. So, I have been doing marketing for a couple of decades and I've been doing content marketing since before it was called content marketing. It was just copy that did what you wanted. And throughout my career, people have come to me more times than I can count, and they want infographics, they want videos, they wanna be on Facebook, all of these things. Why? Because they’ve heard that they're hot. Why? Because they look cool. Why? Because they want them. But, so often, it doesn’t align with a marketing objective. The objective seems to often be to have it, and that doesn’t make any sense.

                                    Unless your “it,” whether it’s an infographic or an article or a video, aligns with your marketing objective and supports that objective and is going to help you achieve that objective, there's absolutely no reason to do it. So, I’m gonna take you back 20 years ago. I was working on the US Airways account at the time. US Airways, the perception 20 years ago – of course, they don’t exist anymore, but the perception 20 years ago was that they were a regional carrier. But they had become a really big airline, as big as the big guys.

                                    And our job was to change the perception, to get people to understand how big they were; that if you needed to get somewhere, US Airways was a choice because they flew there often. So, my client comes to me one day. The president wants a blog – the president of US Airways. Why? Because it’s 1999 and blogs are hot. He wanted people to understand why he was successful, what he ate for breakfast. I dunno. It was gonna be about him. It was not, in any way, gonna help us change the perception of US Airways in terms of the size and scale of their ability to get you from where you were to where you needed to be.

                                    It was gonna be about how great the president was. And it was my job to help our client, my client at US Airways, talk to her president to say, “No, you can’t have a blog. This doesn’t make sense. It’s gonna pull resources away from what we’re doing, which is what we should being because it supports our marketing objective.” So, 20 years later, 2019 now, people come and ask me about podcasts all the time. And podcasts can be great. I am not in any way saying that podcasts cannot be effective, but I do think I am probably the first person to say, “I don’t want a podcast.”

                                    The reason why: for Digital Solutions, my job, what we do most often, we use content on our website. We write two articles a day, and that content drives people to leads where they submit a form asking for more information about what we do. If we were to create a podcast series, what would happen is we would use our articles to drive people to the podcast, and then from the podcast, we’d have to drive people back to our website to submit these leads. Now, podcasts are hot, totally. Half of America listens to podcasts right now.

                                    But there are 750,000 podcast series out there. Just driving that awareness would be tremendous in terms of the resources. So, for us, it just doesn’t make sense. Whether it’s podcasts, infographics, articles, videos, any of this, all of them can work. But what I wanna make sure you guys are all here thinking when you leave today, “What are all the pieces of content that you're doing? What are all the pieces of content that you're considering doing? Does every single one of them align with your true marketing objective? If it is to generate leads, do each of these help you generate leads? If they don’t, stop doing them, and do the things that do generate leads.”

Patrick: So, does everybody understand this? Everybody understand this message here? Yes? Yeah? Show of hands, real quick. If you can just continue being honest with me for another couple minutes, just how many people in this room have actually created a customer persona? Okay, how many people have actually taken it to the next step and created a customer persona that included at least their interests, maybe the music they like to listen to and the influencers they're following? Okay, getting a little bit smaller.

                                    And how about how many people in the room, by a show of hands, have created a customer persona where you spent a day in the life of your perfect customer? All right, we got two. When we’re creating content for our customers or our audience, imagine how much easier it is to actually communicate with them if you're communicating with them like you are their friend already. Think of one of your best friend, and if you were gonna tell them about your product or your service, is there anything that you're going to hold back?

                                    Are you gonna explain it to them – and let’s call it technobabble that they don’t understand, or are you gonna explain it to them like they're your best friend? What I've learned in the mortgage industry, in creating our customer persona, is how many more customers actually exist other than the person who wants to buy a home and somebody who wants to refinance a home. There’s couples that have high down payments and high credit scores, couples that have high down payments and low credit scores, couples that wanna live in condominiums because they don’t like maintenance, and the list goes on and on and on.

                                    But what I can tell you is that the communication and the way you create your content becomes so much easier if you're creating for somebody who is like your friend. Does everybody agree with that? Is it easier for you to have a conversation with one of your best friends or put together a blog you wanna put out in front of the market? Which one? Friends. Right? Whenever I hear this, and I hear it a lot over the last two or three years, is, “You gotta create this, you gotta create this.” And I’m guilty of doing this two and a half, three years ago, going, “Oh man, that’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of research.

                                    But what I can tell you is, is the amount of quality content that we were able to start creating is so much easier; there was so much less time that was required because we knew where they congregated, we knew what they were looking for, and we were able to answer the questions, the conversations they were already having inside their mind. Does that make sense?

Kathy:   All right, so before I get into the section about keywords, I need to make a little disclaimer. I am not an SEO professional. If there were an SEO professional standing on this stage right now for this section of our session, it would probably be presented differently. Keywords. Keyword research is incredibly important, but it can also completely derail you. When you're doing keyword research, a lot of people use paid tools like SEMrush. You can also use Google Trends, which is a free tool.

                                    So, all of these tools, they tell you what people were searching; they give you the top keywords based on monthly search volume for the past. They don’t tell you the now, they don’t tell you the future. That’s very important because – what people will be searching for may be dramatically different from what they are searching for today. I’m gonna give you an example. In addition to writing content on behalf of Digital Media Solutions, my team writes content on behalf of some clients. We are working with a banking client, a mortgage client, so it aligns very well with some of the stuff that Patrick is talking about.

                                    And they wanted to increase the number of perspective borrowers that were coming to them through educational content that made people understand the types of products that make sense now. So, it’s July, and it’s the summer time. The purchase market is hot. The keyword list, all of the top words are purchased. Makes total sense. What the tool didn’t know – this was SEMrush – is that the Fed has just lowered the rates. Refi was about to get hot, and then in September, right – we all saw this – it’s about to get hotter. SEMrush didn’t know this because that’s not what SEMrush does. It tells us what is that monthly search volume historically.

                                    So, we, being people who understand the business, having already gone through this exercise of really understanding our audience of who we’re talking to, we were able to apply our intelligence, our insights and say, “Let’s go further down the list. Let’s write about refi because it’s going to be hot. We wanna be the people who are out there with the content for the thing that’s coming not the thing that already happened.” So, the other thing that comes into play, though. Google – and I’m talking about Google specifically because they're obviously the big player when it comes to most of the search engines – Google is incredibly intelligent.

                                    The artificial intelligence of Google can now match the context of what people are searching for with the context of the content that you have. What that means is, where in the past, you had to have a one-to-one match for keywords, you don’t need that one-to-one match anymore. So, the practice of making sure the keyword, or the 10, 15 keywords that you identify from this keyword list, are in your content, that doesn’t have to happen anymore. What you need is good content that has a context that matches the context of what you're searching, and if you succeed with that, you're going to have good content that Google likes and that resonates with your target audience.

Patrick: So – everybody here have a website? Yes? Is there any content on your website – that you would not spend money to drive traffic to? Yes? I see somebody nodding their head. Anybody else? Yeah? So, if these pages exist on your website, chances are, if they're not getting any traffic, you wouldn’t send any traffic to it. They're – really serve no purpose. Right? Two simple strategies that we started to incorporate. We’re doing a massive overhaul on our website right now on the back end, and the reason for that is is because – here’s how we’re defining what belongs on there – is No. 1, would we spend money to drive traffic to it? Is it worth it?

                                    No. 2 is – does it keep us a little sleepless at night that our competitors may wanna steal the content that we put on there? And next and last is, is could our customer potentially feel like they can go through the entire process without ever speaking to us – but know that we didn’t withhold any information and we’re the right people to trust? And the reason why is because there’s a trade statistic that goes around that every mortgage consumer closes 75 percent of the time with the first person in the industry that they speak to. There’s an article – I was talking to a loan officer today, and what he found online was that 47 percent of consumers don’t even shop.

                                    The first person they talk to they close with, and sometimes there is a variance with the interest rate of almost half a percent. So, having this information on your website that serves no purpose and putting content in front of people is almost like continually sending out two or three e-mails a day, and you're just sending them out just to send them out. So, if you wouldn’t invest money in it and you wouldn’t pay to drive traffic to it, it doesn’t make you a little bit nervous that your competitors are probably trying to figure a way to model what you're doing?

                                    And if your customers don’t feel, by the end of what they're reading, that they can actually implicitly trust you – just think about that, and whether or not it’s worth being on your website and in front of your audience.

Kathy:   All right, so I have another hand-raising exercise here because clearly we’re into those. All right, so who relies on Google to drive traffic to their website? Who relies on Facebook? Keep your Google hand up. All right, so we’ve got a lot of double-handers, some, just one.  So, this is a topic that I could probably talk all day about. If you want a little bit extra, I wrote an article that’s on with a headline that’s pretty much this, if not exactly this. So, Google and Facebook. We use them as consumers, right? We’re on them all the time. We’re posting on Facebook all the time.

                                    It’s almost like we’ve forgotten that they're not ours because we use them as much as anything, really. They're part of our lives. But Google and Facebook, they’ve got their own worlds; and in their own world, they change algorithms and they change policies and they don’t come and ask us, “Hey, do you mind? Hey, will this impact you? If we change this algorithm will it tank your entire business?” They don’t come and they don't ask those questions. They don’t follow up and check in with us to make sure we’re okay after the changes have happened; they just make those changes.

                                    We rely too much on these guys for the impact that they could have on our business. So, looking at a couple of examples. Facebook – from an organic perspective with Facebook, in 2018, Facebook launched their “friends and family” algorithm. So, all of these business that had thousands, millions of followers, they were used to being able to post, and it would instantly get in the news feeds of their target audience for free. Amazing. Suddenly, overnight, this isn’t happening. Their organic impressions are dropping. 2019, they take it a level further. Now, it’s the “closest friends and family” algorithm.

                                    So, really, unless you are somebody that the users want to see, unless somebody said, “I want to see content from you,” it’s very hard to generate a large number of organic impressions on Facebook. That’s fine. We can do it the paid way, right? So, a lot of brands, they still know that they need to be in front of their consumers on Facebook; they go the pay-to-play method. Facebook is regularly changing policies of how you can pay to get your sponsor posts in front of people. This year, they introduced the special ad categories.

                                    So, for industries like real estate, banking, suddenly, you can’t target based on demographics like age, race, religion. Why? Because they wanna make sure you don’t discriminate. That’s good; that’s important. But what happens is suddenly you're advertising to a broader audience. As a result of that, you know that these are not necessarily, the groups of people that have the highest propensity to convert, so you’re spending more to go broader. Your conversion rate is not as good. It may make it more prohibitively expensive to advertise on Facebook, which is a place that we have relied on.

                                    Google. As of this summer, 50 percent of Google searches result in no click. What that means is half the time someone goes to Google, they type in a query, and the information they need, they find right there within Google’s walled universe. So, looking at a couple of examples of how this has impacted people, Google added college scorecard data some time ago. This summer, they made it more robust. There's more college scorecard data for more schools being shown right within those Google search results.

                                    So, a prospective college student or a parent of a prospective college student might find what they're looking for right there, never going onto a school website or a lead generation site that works on behalf of schools to drive perspective students. So, similarly, Google Hotels is a new tool in Google search results where travelers can now search for hotels right there. This is dramatically impacting the online travel agents, the OTAs like Expedia and the like, who have now found that they have to pay for advertising off of Google to generate the same levels of traffic that they used to generate because they were reliant on Google.

                                    Then, just going with a third example, to take it back to podcasts, which we were talking about before. You can now listen to podcasts directly within the Google search results. You don’t have to leave Google to listen to a podcast. So, what do you do about it? You don’t walk away from Google and Facebook. Nobody would recommend that. There are a lot of users on Google and Facebook. They’re important places to be, but what you need to do is diversify. One of the best ways to diversify is through first party data.

                                    So, if you’ve got a newsletter, for example, you could use first party data acquired through a subscription acquisition campaign, for instance, where you have people opting in to get your information. They say, “Yes, I want to hear from you.” You, then, own those people. You own those e-mail addresses, and you can send them what you want to send them when you want to send it, and they're waiting to get it from you. So, continue to use Google and Facebook. They’re important. But figure out how to diversify away from Google and Facebook.

                                    Don’t put the fate of your business in the hands of two players that are in the midst of investigations and have to control their perception to control their own fate and not yours.

Patrick: Agree. So, this is actually really interesting. And the more that Kathy and I actually talked about this actual slide here, and how it relates to how much of an advantage we actually really have over the reporters in the news, it’s probably led to about two or three different revelations. So, imagine, right, that you have to create content that appears to – appeals to your readers, but also remains congruent to the people that are paying you to put their message in front of those same readers. I’d imagine that – for some of us, it may not be creating content right now or putting our stuff out there or taking a point of view. This would be really difficult.

                                    And we don’t have to worry about that – because, as I talked about earlier, is we created our customer persona. We know exactly who are perfect customers are. We know exactly what a life is in their day. And the reason that they follow our content, the reason they read our content is they believe they can trust in us. And then, additionally to that, the reason why they can buy into that is because we shared a point of view; we picked a side. So, when I was a loan originator, I didn’t just provide choices and options for people; I tried to help them identify one or the other.

                                    Either you were focused on building wealth, which means we were looking for a cheaper cost of debt than 6 percent or you wanted to be debt-free. Because we did have Israeli clients that came over with very different practices than citizens of the United States. They believe in everything being paid off. And the person that I used to work for, that was his client base; and when they came over here, we had to appeal to one or the other. But people that called us, I’m just like, “Well, why should I do this?” Those are the customers that at – truthfully, we tried to advise not to do anything until they figured out what it was that they were gonna do.

                                    But here’s really, in our industry, how this really has an impact. Is anybody familiar with 2008, 2009 – right? As an originator, I think I have a lot of credibility; when I say, “Hello, and this is what I do,” probably not much, right? So, if we start pot – spotting a trend, right, before the news actually publishes it – when that debacle happens, they're right on top of it, right? If it leads, it bleeds. But when there's really good news, they don’t move as quickly as – say, interest rates improve by an eighth. You actually have to search for that. When interest rates improve by half a percent, now it’s in the news, and we get to take a reactive approach.

                                    But where we do build credibility as content marketers is – that when we start spotting the trends to start – provide our audience with content leading up to it. Because we need that authority to confirm – it’s like the exclamation point at the end of our sentence, just because of what happened in 2008 and ‘09. So, that is a huge advantage. But I cannot emphasize this enough; so much has changed. And no one really knows people that are really sitting on the fence. You have to have a point of view, you have to have a perspective, you have to a make a decision of what you stand for and what it is you are looking to do. Think about people who are close to you, right? You’re like, “Hey, what do you wanna eat?”

                                    “I dunno. What do you wanna eat?” Half an hour, 45 minutes, an hour, two hours – sometimes you don’t even go get something to eat, might just go get a shake or something. You’re like, “All right. Let’s just have somethin’ to drink.” But your customers appreciate it because they're looking for guidance. I do wanna add this in here really quick because I – it’s something that I really, truly, truly geek out on, and this is the reason I believe this. Is everybody inside of this room, whether you're an entrepreneur, whether you're a business owner, or whether you work in a marketing department for a company – what Tony Robbins did, incredibly successful with neurolinguistic programming, was – is he didn’t create it.    

                                    What they said is, “We’re gonna go and study people and study what they do really well.” And then, he just came along, he said, “Well, let’s just call that “modeling”.” And then, he took it a step further, he said, “Let’s just compress decades into days.” And that’s what our consumers are looking from – for from us today. They're not looking for us to use technical babble – technobabble, in my industry, of what all the terms are, but they're like, “What do I need to do? What exactly does that mean to me? When does it need to be done by? Who should I be paying attention to? Who should I communicate with?”

                                    They want the steps. They want our expert advice. So, in taking what he did, and compress decades into days, is what can do with our content. And the advantage that we have over the news is that we don’t have to worry about them telling us how we need to speak to our friends because they're paying us to put the same stuff in front of our friends. Agreed? Yeah? And then, last is, is don’t be afraid to get started. My mentor, Les Brown, one of his coined expressions is, is, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to start to become great.” Nobody knows who you are if there's nothing out there.

                                    I don’t encourage everybody to be the loudest person in the room, but you have something of value. We have something of value. Your companies have something of value. Don’t withhold it from your consumer because the consumer is much smarter today because of the plethora of information that’s available to them. So, why not put your best foot forward?

Kathy:   So, before we go into Q&A, I wanna go through some of the things that we talked about today just as a reminder. So, No. 1, what do you need before you start content marketing? Can anyone answer? 

Audience Member 2:     Customer persona?

Kathy:   Yes, and you need a reason to be doing content marketing; a marketing objective. So, if you’ve got a marketing objective, you understand your audience, then look at your keyword list, but don’t hold that up as the end-all be-all. Know that you are smarter than your keyword list and apply what you know to that keyword list, so that you can write content that truly resonates with your consumers in the future. From there, make sure you get eyeballs on your content. If you’ve got content but nobody’s seeing it, it doesn’t matter.

                                    And then, don’t have all those eyeballs come in from one or two places because they can tank you just as fast as you’ve succeeded. So, you're doing all of that, you're doing a great job with one exception: every piece of content needs a call to action. You know your marketing objective; you know your audience. Tell your audience what you need them to do to achieve your marketing objective, and that’s how you get content to convert.

Kathy:   Questions?

Patrick: Nothing? Can I ask everybody – awesome.

Audience Member 3:     In general with the content that you guys produce for your agency, what are some of the topline metrics that you guys normally like to look at on a generic, broad basis?

Kathy:   Sure. That’s a great question in terms of metrics we look at. Certainly, we do look at the number of leads that an individual piece drives because we’re able to see that. But that’s not always the no. 1, first thing we can see. We do look at the number of views that we’re getting to it because we’re not gonna get the leads unless we’re getting the views. So, the initial thing we look at is the views. What we’ve seen, though, sometimes a piece of content can be sneaky. Initially, it doesn’t get a lot of views, but then, over time, it really grows. There's one piece of content that – I’m gonna use an example from June.

                                    So, June is Pride Month, and we wrote an article about the best Pride campaigns. And I don’t think initially it was that great. But it was our top article driving traffic to our website in June because that’s Pride month and everybody’s looking for ideas for how to have their own Pride campaigns. So, it can be really surprising what can be hot. What you also have to look at is what is bringing the traffic to your site. Now, I’m saying diversify away from Google and Facebook, but Google has power. So, there may be some content that brings people in, but then, you're driving from that content to other content on your site, and that content converts.

                                    So, while each piece needs to be evaluated on its own, you also need to look at the ecosystem of your content and make sure it’s all working together.

Audience Member 4:     Hi. So, tell me about the strategy that you guys utilize of where you put the content at; where it’s housed, whether it be a website, whether it’s on LinkedIn, whether it’s on Facebook, and how you decide which way to go with that.      

Kathy:   That’s right. Do you wanna start with that or –?

Patrick: I’ll let you start with that and then I’ll –

Kathy:   Okay. So, almost all of our content is housed on our website. And I say “almost all” because we also do contributor articles, in which case we can’t have the root storage place be our website. It’s somebody else’s website. From there, we like to try to get as many eyeballs on it as we can. So, we’re going to try everything first to see, does this resonate on social? Does this resonate in our newsletter? Does this resonate in any of the other places that we have to put it? And then, we go from there and say, “Okay, we know that content that really features a person does very well on social” because social is about that interaction.

                                    In our newsletter, it’s more going to be the informational pieces because people are opening newsletters more to learn, less to have that engagement. So, we – our gut tells us, we kind of know what’s gonna work here, what’s gonna work there, but we’re not gonna be restricted to that initially. Initially, we’ll go more broad, and then we’ll hone in from there. Going back to the contributor content, though, one of the reasons that publications accept contributor content is for their contributors to share it. So, all of our contributor content also lives, in a manner, on our website where we use our website to drive to the contributor content, and then we’ll promote all of that on social also.

Patrick: And then, for what we’re – just for what we’re right now is, is we’re testing a lot more on the social platform and getting them on our list. But the majority of content, where it’s being stored right now, is on our e-mail list because that’s where we’re testing the content for the new site that we’re putting together right now. It’s just making it very easy because it doesn’t anything to send out our existing database of past clients before – go ahead.

Patrick: So, having that list of past clients, even people that have refinanced right now, is when we send it out, we actually encourage them to just let us know, give us some simple feedback on. If they feel like it’s valuable, if they feel like it helped them part of process, it’s something that we wanna get up onto the news site because we do want the customer to walk away with something that's gonna walk them through the process. But, right now, all the content that’s going on the new website, we’re housing inside of our e-mail database, but that's being put up on the new site as we’re building it right now.

Audience Member 4:     [Inaudible] – are the algorithms built on Facebook, on LinkedIn – are there issues where if you're driving them outside of LinkedIn or Facebook or beyond, and I only use those two as an example, that it hurts you versus helps you?

Patrick: Want me to go –?

Kathy:   Great – that’s a great question, and I have never seen anything that specifically one or the other. My gut says that it does not help or hurt you because some of the top, most popular posts, most shared posts that I see do drive you off of the site. So, it’s interesting looking at what clearly has become Google’s long game, where Google initially started with “The faster we get you where you wanna go the more we’ve succeeded,” now they're keeping everyone inside, I wouldn't be surprised if we see some of the social sites figure out ways to do something similar. But I think right now it would hurt them. They’re not quite to that point yet.

Patrick: Do you wanna add to that – what she –? Okay. So, what I’ll add to that – this is something that I actually thought was really interesting. So, what we found is, is that LinkedIn worked really well from the business-to-business. Right? The representation from a loan officer to a real estate agent. Occasionally, we’ve seen the referrals come through there, but as far as the algorithms changing where – they both want everything to stay native. They don’t want everybody leaving. And Facebook’s actually went a step further. I’m not sure – for everybody here who’s familiar with it, but you can actually build out almost a mini-landing page right from your Facebook ad.

                                    I thought that was the coolest thing I've ever saw. I was like, “Great, I don’t have to worry about getting a landing page software. I don’t have to worry about all of this different – additional stuff. I don’t have to pay a developer to come in here and write the coding for it. I could actually just do it right inside of Facebook.” And what’s really nice about it, it doesn’t allow you to get carried away with all this nonsense when it’s really, they're looking for the information and they're looking for the best information.

                                    So, that’s where I've seen the biggest algorithm change, but I actually – right now, I’m a proponent for that special ad change because it’s leveled the playing field, especially in my industry, as far as marketers go. Because there is smaller agencies, they're in a mentorship program that I’m in, that were doing very, very well with look-alike audiences. Right? And the custom audience that’s there, they spent a lot of money; I’m not taking it away from them. But when Facebook made the changes that they did, even our custom audiences that we were hold – where we were holding – housing the data, we still haven’t got an ad approved through it.

                                    New custom audiences that don’t have the targeting and following the new protocols now, as they're going right through, we don’t have any difficulty with that, but for us, it just leveled the playing field. So, that’s how, at least, I’ve seen the effect in our industry.

Kathy:   Any other questions?

Patrick: Cool.

Kathy:   We’ve got five minutes left, but there are no questions. Okay.

Audience Member 5:     A lot of us now are using third party content writers. There are literally thousands of them across the country now. What’s the best way – do you have any – of managing them, do you have any suggestions on how to organize them to get the most out of them?

Kathy:   I’m laughing because we–

Patrick: We were just talking about this.

Kathy:   – were talking about this beforehand. My honest opinion is – they're really, really tough. We used to use third party content writers and we just weren’t getting high quality content. But it depends on what type of third-party writer you're using. If it’s somebody who is writing an article for $50, you're gonna get a $50 value out of that writer, and that’s what there are a lot of right now; people who are just cranking out content. And some of them get into a specific vertical and they crank out the same content, essentially, for everybody that they're writing it for.

                                    And there’s a lot of editing, and I think you end up spending a lot of time to end up with mediocre content on your website. If you're using a true writer, someone you're paying a real, experienced writer’s wage to, then I think it’s a different story. And then, the key is you’ve gotta make them really be part of your team, even if they're not officially part of your team. They need to understand your business. If they're gonna be writing about your business, they're on the front lines. If they're writing the content for your business, they need to know enough to do a good job. Otherwise, you're gonna end up being the person who’s editing all of it to make that work and it’s going to be a big chore.

Patrick: Is everybody okay if I share something with you? Has anybody here ever heard of So, I see two there. I’d encourage each and every one of you to check this out because outside of Google search tool – it’s now a paid service, which is $99 month. There is a free aspect of it. But check it out because when you're looking at creating content and you're looking at starting to make that deeper dive into your customer persona, the questions – the way that they just format and the way they're pulling the data and how they're pulling the data in too – because it’s how, what, why, where, it’s just – the way it’s formatted really makes it very easy, especially being a content marketer.

                                    And then, when you click on these things, bringing it to the search pages where people are actually going to look for it. But I found it incredibly useful to help with creating content and taking a deeper dive at a consumer. Anything?

Kathy:   Any last questions? All right. Thank you to everyone who joined us.

Patrick: Thank you.

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: DMS) is a leading provider of technology and digital performance marketing solutions leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers. DMS proprietary technology solutions, significant proprietary media distribution and data-driven processes help large brands steadily acquire more customers. For more information visit

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Digital Media Solutions
Previous Article
On-Demand Webinar: How to Engage the Digital Window Shopper
On-Demand Webinar: How to Engage the Digital Window Shopper

The on-demand webinar, How to Engage the Digital Window Shopper, reveals the latest research on consumer sh...

Next Article
Subscription Marketing: Winning The War On Loyalty
Subscription Marketing: Winning The War On Loyalty

Connect to Convert session: Subscription Marketing: Winning the War On Loyalty

× Streams