After immersing myself in MM’s book ‘The Content Revolution’, and nodding to myself more than one of those parcel shelf dogs, I felt that I really needed to know if there were others out there that thought the same about content – and hell! Did they too want to do something about it?
The perfect opportunity and scenario was to attend Mark’s Content Workshop, held at The Shelly Theatre in Boscombe. There were a handful of people there, a good number of people. Some worked with content, some would like to in the future, and some just wanted to know more about it.
What’s the big deal with content anyway?
Marks runs The ID Group, a content marketing agency based in Parkstone, Dorset. He admits he’s had his ups and downs, his successes and his failures. He’s fiercely honest. But one thing remains consistent with him – he’s dedicated to building an audience for his clients who will then trust them and regard them as an influential source.
Everyone wants a successful profitable business. For that, we need customers. We therefore need an audience. Mark knows that effective content marketing creates better experiences for customers and he wants to teach people to understand how to grow their audience.
Who was there?
There was a real mix of people at the workshop that I attended; an academic, a journalist, a marketing manager, a digital agency worker and owner of a business for starters. We all had something to say about content.
But it wasn’t just Mark talking at the group (although he IS very engaging). As well as citing some major successful businessmen (Dave Trott, Steve Jobs) we got to talk (by digital means) to Tim Poulson, owner of successful startupwww.pcosdietsupport.com. We also spoke with Ian Rhodes, a digital marketer, influential businessman and one half of the Marketing Homebrew (a two-weekly content marketing podcast) with Mark himself.
Speaking with others who deal with content first-hand brought up loads of questions from the attendees. An important one that everyone seemed to share an interest in asking was: ‘what content can I provide that will help me?’
The answer coming from MM was simple; three rules to live by – Imitate, Collaborate and Persist.
What Mark explained was that we can’t stick to these (now archaic) 20th century tactics of ‘shoving stuff out there’ and hoping that we receive a follow, a like, or even some conversation in return. It’s got to be more tactical, it’s got to have more planning, more feeling and definitely the personal approach.
This was proven right there and then at the workshop. We had the lovely Rob Murray demonstrate this for us. He works for Farrow & Ball (a major national business which I’m sure you’ve all heard of, based right here in Dorset) and it was his idea last year to introduce a separate blog called ‘The Chromologist’. Concentrating simply on colour, the blog site (that runs alongside the main F&B site) informs and inspires its followers to explore everything concerning colour. It ‘delves deep into the world of colour, from art and home inspiration to food fashion and literature’.
This is a perfect example of a company committed to creating content, organically building an audience and as Rob himself admitted: “The Chromologist could eat up Farrow & Ball in terms of search and targeted messages.”
So what did I learn?
I’m a content writer. I write content for others and hope they see the importance of content as much as I do. Mark clarifies the very importance of content in today’s digital world. We can’t all carry on just sharing others’ information, knowledge and skills. We need to stand out from the crowd; we need to let them know that YES we know what we’re talking about and YES we are proud to shout about it!
I not only learned that more and more people out there are realising that content is key; I also learned that you can always find out ways to improve your business, idea or product. Don’t sit around waiting for your clients/audience to come to you. Sign up to one of Mark’s content workshops – I guarantee you’ll end up with a bit of the ‘nodding dog syndrome’ by the end.