Content marketing with world leader Robert Rose

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.08.10 pm.png

Robert Rose is an early pioneer and global leader in content marketing having led strategies for some of the world’s most successful companies including LinkedIn, Dell, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NBC and Capital One.  His book, Managing Content Marketing was a top 10 book on Amazon and his latest book Experiences: The Era of Content Marketing is in high demand globally. Robert is currently a Chief Strategy Officer for the Content Marketing Institute and a keynote speaker at marketing events world-wide.

Robert’s impressive resume is long, however I value most of all is his ability as a story-teller.  For more than 20-years Robert has understood the importance of businesses telling their stories effectively; capitalising on the latest technologies available to build a strong customer base.

 Q:  I love the saying "content is king". What are your views?

A: “Well, you can argue that this is all a web site or social media is - a container for content. So, yeah, it’s of absolutely importance. Then, of course - the question is what’s the right balance of content that actually positions our product or service, versus that which delivers value in and of itself.  As you might expect, I think we should be weighting more of the latter and less of the former.  Somewhere along the line, we got in our heads that our web site and social media had to be “digital billboards” that let people know how we sell. To me the forward leaning companies out there are treating digital properties as an opportunity to deliver content-driven experiences that deliver value to people. It’s then easy to tell you how and what we sell.”


Q: What in your experience makes great content?

A: “Truly, the measuring stick is does it deliver value?  If the question ‘am I [the customer] better off having consumed this content’ can be answered in the affirmative - you’ve delivered great content.”


Q: What in your experience make lousy content?

A: “Content that doesn’t deliver any value to the customer. Now, that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about ourselves, or be promotional. Now, for example, we may see a news article that discusses the same topic that our latest e-book covers. Sending out a social post, or email that draws the context and promotes the e-book can be argued to be delivering value to the customer. But too often we fill social, web and other platforms with words simply because we can or to fill a content quota. This is quintessentially lousy content.”


Q: What advice do you have for writing blogs and ensuring your content is heard?

A: “Assuming you are consistently delivering great content, it means you’re focused on differentiating - and that itself will help you rise above the noise. However, today’s great content program really does deserve a content promotion program. This means paying for placement in native [native advertising] and it means paying for syndication and it means - yeah - even paying for ads for your content.  Great content deserves its own promotion effort.”


Q: What are some of your favourite brands for providing great content marketing?

A: “I think what Indium, the soldering company, is doing is spectacular. They have a complete blog network, and are translating it into six different languages. Also, a personal favorite of mine is by Adobe. Their content is just awesome -and the newest re-design of their digital magazine is just spectacular.”


Q: How long should content such as a blog be?  This is important as there are various opinions on this topic.

A: “The answer is (frankly) “as long as it needs to be”. I know that feels like a cop-out - but there is no template answer to this. Short content works, long content works, and both are appropriate for mobile.  The real answer is understanding the context for where our audiences will consume the content, and providing the length as a contextual attribute to our strategy.  For example, if we’re reaching our target market through a channel on their mobile device, and are caching them in transit - snackable, short pieces are probably optimal.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also create the 1500 essay blog post to pay off that short content. The answer is, truly, in understanding our audiences.”


Q: What are your thoughts on video and podcast content and should small-to-medium business consider this ?

A: “One thing I’ll say about video is that quality matters. So for those that are thinking about video, think about the audio quality, and the editing, and actually getting good at the creation of it. And you don’t have to be “big” to do that. For example, I know a home contractor/builder company - basically three guys who do home renovation. They take videos of their client sites - basically to show progress of their work. It’s a neat little client-services thing they do to show their clients how their project is coming along.  But then at the end of the project, they make a little “how-to” show - and they put that on their website. It’s a wonderful way to show off their skills by teaching people how to do some of this themselves (and more importantly how hard it is to do well).

“As for podcasting, it’s a great tool these days. The key with podcasting is patience. It takes a long time to find your audience - and so you really have to be willing to be consistent with it over a longer period of time. If you only have an idea for a couple of shows - don’t start until you flesh out a real editorial calendar that you can stick to for at least a year…”.


Q: What makes a good storyteller and how did you get started with the Content Marketing Institute?

A: “There’s a wonderful quote by the author Daniel Wallace that goes ‘a storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself,’ this is truly at the heart of it. A great storyteller is somebody who truly wants to create something of value to help someone be entertained, understand something, or inspired to take action.

“As for me - I got started when I met Joe Pulizzi at a conference in Chicago in 2008. He and I were both doing content marketing without really even realizing it; he from the publishing side, and me on the marketing practitioner side. We joined up, I quit my job - and the rest as they say is history.”

 To hear more from Robert Rose, you can purchase a copy of his books here or tune into his podcast.

 More tips to grow your brand


Leave a Reply