This is the third post in a series called Interviews at Content Hero, where we chat to industry leaders, influencers and agencies about content marketing and how it can affect success.
Today we are chatting to Doug Kessler, co-founder and creative director of Velocity Partners, a leading UK based B2B content marketing agency that works with some of the biggest brands in the world.
Tell us about Velocity Partners, I hear you’re pretty big?
Oh man, we’re HUGE… In every way but size (20 and counting).
We’re a B2B content marketing agency with extra chops in tech markets (and any solution that targets marketers – we’re really good at that).
We’re unashamed geeks (well maybe a bit ashamed). Geeks about content, design, persuasion and data. Funnel geeks. Digital geeks. Copywriting geeks. Behavioural psychology geeks. But NICE geeks (except for Neil who can be a right bastard).
According to the Chartered Marketing Institute, the biggest challenge faced by B2B content marketers is producing enough content. How would you best recommend marketers overcome this challenge?
Throw money at the problem. Throw it at smart people who get content (and have proven it) and take the trouble to understand your business.
That might be in-house hires, outsourcing to agencies or a mixture. But you need to resource your content marketing effort. And ‘resource’ is code for money.
I’d only start worrying about content volume when you feel that ’you’ve cracked the content quality challenge. Both are important but you don’t want to scale up shite.
Writing is the main function that B2B marketers outsource, followed by design. What tips do you have for B2B marketers new to outsourcing?
Start with content you love. Ask who made it. Send them flattering emails and wave money at them.
Hire the ones you can hire. Rent the ones you can’t.
If you find real talent, do whatever you need to do to keep it. Bend your rules. Break your budgets. Be a great client. Celebrate your wins.
This year, 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing. That’s 2% more than in 2012. Do you see this pattern continuing in 2014?
I don’t really believe that 93% of marketers are using what I’d call content marketing. Look deeper into that survey and you see it means anyone who’s ever posted a blog or a tweet or issued a white paper or ran an event. These ‘random acts of content’ aren’t what I’d call content marketing.
My TOTAL guess is that half of B2B marketers are really doing content marketing and that this number is on the way to doubling: everyone will do it. Then it will be settle into a Bell Curve as to who does it really well, who sucks and who just does it.
In our latest expert round up, you listed three great tools for marketers to try out. What other tools do Velocity Partners have in their arsenal?
I think I listed Google Analytics, Evernote and TweetDeck.
I’d add marketing automation of course.
We’re always experimenting with lots of different tools but I can’t say any has really grabbed us and made us work it into our lives.
We use the tools of content creation: InDesign, Photoshop, Word – and the developers use all sorts of weird and wacky coding and testing tools. Martha has a Zune but she never uses it.
What are your personal favourite formats of content?
I’m a SlideShare dude. Animated video is a favourite. And we’re experimenting with immersive, scrolling, multimedia stories and having a ball.
Mobile-friendly of course.
The Avengers or The Justice League?