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Marketing & Tech
Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

The Importance of Creating and Sharing High-Quality Content

In this episode of the CPSA Social Selling and Tech show we'll discuss the importance of brand positioning and how providing top content can set you apart from the competition.

We'll consider types of content that are used at different stages in the sales and marketing funnel, technologies that can help grow your brand, and the role salespeople can play in helping to hone the message being conveyed.

Our guest is Matthew Gonnering, speaker and CEO at Widen Enterprises, a content technology company that powers the content that builds brands with clever global cloud-based digital asset management solutions.

Listen to this episode of the CPSA Social Selling and Tech Podcast and discover:

* What can sharing high-quality content do for generating brand awareness?

* Why should companies invest in creating proprietary content?

* What should the role of the sales team be in shaping the brand message?

* What tools are out there to get the right message, to the right people, at the right times?

Want to hear more? Check out these bonus soundbites:

* Tell us about how to develop a lead list through making your content asset downloadable and collecting names and emails.

* What are some of the KPIs salespeople should be aware of when understanding if their company's content is making a buzz?

* What types of content generates high engagement? Does it depend on whether the market is B2C or B2C? Does it differ between industries?

Read the edited Transcription:

Bill Banham: In this episode of the CPSA Social Selling and Tech show, we'll discover the importance of brand positioning, and how providing top content can set you apart from the competition. We'll also consider types of content that are being used at different stages of the sales and marketing funnel, technologies that can help grow your brand, and the role that salespeople can play in helping to hone the message that's being conveyed.

Our guest today is Matthew Gonnering, speaker and CEO at Widen Enterprises, a content technology company that powers the content which builds brands with clever global cloud-based digital asset management solutions. Matthew rose to the ranks to become a sales and marketing leader, and CEO at just 32 years old. Matthew Gonnering, welcome to the show.

Matthew G: Thanks, Bill, for having me. I appreciate that.

Bill Banham: Can you tell me what can sharing high quality content do for generating brand awareness?

Matthew G: Yeah, great lead in question. When I think about awareness, I always think about connections with other concepts that it has friendly exchanges with. So, there's awareness, there's association, there's loyalty when it comes to brand, all those contributing to building equity. I think as you build up this brand equity, you can influence markets, and so when I think about high quality content and the relationship in brand awareness, I think about high quality content leaving a more lasting influential impression, and that impression is connected to the position that your brand takes, and position might be a helpful brand, a sage brand, a gesture brand, an explorer brand, but the high quality content ultimately can position your brand to create and communicate competitive advantage.

Bill Banham: Let's draw down a little bit more, and think about what those benefits are in terms of growing leads and sales. What would you say to companies who are thinking about investing in creating proprietary content? And maybe suggest a few ongoing types of branding and messaging activities that they could try, and maybe some bigger projects which they could experiment too.

Matthew G: Yeah, whenever you hear the term investing, you wanna connect it with returns. So, what return would you get from any kind of proprietary content that you would create. There's the ownership of it, the rights of it, the control of it, you get to do all these things and you get to build your own brand based on that ownership, and all that stuff is directly attributed to you. So, I think that is creating loyalty. I think there is an increase in loyalty as a result of creating that proprietary content, because what you're doing is you're demonstrating it's you. It's the authentic you, and everybody loves the authenticity, and therefore I think their customers are more loyal as a result of it. But you're also giving up something too with proprietary content, or at least in a channel that's not directed by yours. So, if you say, you got a great piece of research and you put content into, or information into an article, and you put it on your channel, you might not have very good reach. So, you wanna use somebody else's channel, so you might have it published in Forbes, or Entrepreneur, or some other more high profile publication, and you would give up the distribution of it in favour of getting that broad reach, and I think sometimes that's important as well, to make sure your message is heard on maybe other people's channels, not exclusively on your own.

Bill Banham: Given that salespeople are those on the front lines, those having the real conversations with leads and clients, and getting to understand in a qualitative manner the demographics of their audiences, what do you think should be the role of the sales team in shaping the brand message?

Matthew G: The role of the sales team I think is very much a contributor, because they are, like you said, on the front lines. They know what is resonating, they know what isn't. They know how people are reacting to certain messages, so absolutely they contribute to it. But I do think that the marketers should own that message, and I think they…Marketers do seek input from many others, and sales being a very important contributor to that. But even coming from a sales role myself, I feel like there were points where what I wanted...If I would've controlled the message, I may have taken it down, feature written it, feature richness, functionality first, and trying to do my best to connect it to benefits, but not articulating it exactly the way I wanted to, so it wasn't until my own marketing training, marketing awareness, and then staffing an incredible marketing team where I learned to appreciate how they can articulate that message better than someone in a sales role, but yet still listening to what sales needs.

Bill Banham: Let's look at some suggestions for tools to help get that brand message out there in the right way. What tools are out there to get the right content to the right people, at the right times?

Matthew G: Some are focused on content, some are focused on experience, some are focused on social, so there's a wide gamut of categorization. Across those, there are flashy ones, there's practical ones, there's high scale ones, there's niche ones, there's a ton. I know what we use, and so the three that we use, and it's not just three. Our own marketing technology staff uses a couple dozen technologies, but there's kind of three core ones that we're using. One is on the customer relationship management, or CRM, side. We've used Salesforce dot com for, I wanna say a decade now. So, we've used that as a way to manage the central customer records. Then we use a marketing automation system, we use Hub Spot. That's part of delivering the campaigns, optimizing the lead flow. Then we use Digital Asset Management, which is Widen, and that's our central source of marketing and creative content. So, we've put these three technologies in place, and then we build other technologies sometimes in between, sometimes on pop up, sometimes in support of those three.

Bill Banham: Now, there's often discussion about is Salesforce the right option for a smaller organization, but let's put that one to one side for a second. Hub Spot is perhaps more affordable for smaller organizations. You guys are a medium size organization, of course. Why do you guys use Hub Spot? Without shouting all of their wonderful benefits too much, just top two or three things that stand out for you when using Hub Spot as the platform to help get the message and brand out there.

Matthew G:  Well, we saw what they were producing in their product advancements, and then we looked at our own marketing technology sect that consisted of many independent applications that were brought together within the Hub Spot suite of services. So, we looked at it as, we can consolidate I think four or five different technologies that had, that were operating independently for a very long time into one application, into one experience with Hub Spot. So, Hub Spot made that really easy to migrate blogging, and web content management, drip campaigns, automated campaign generation, so they've made it really easy to bring those all together. So, in a nutshell, the advantage there for us was a more seamless experience within one provider, as opposed to multiple providers serving a few different areas that Hub Spot could kind of put a ribbon on and make a little bit easier for our marketing team that is not huge. So, how much time we spend with each application and each vendor really mattered, so Hub Spot was able to make us more efficient on how we spend our time.

Bill Banham: We are coming to the end of this Social Selling and Tech show from the CPSA. Before we wrap things up, can you leave our listeners with your top two or three tips for creating content, which will organically be shared to their target audiences?

Matthew G: When I think about two to three tips in creating content, it's more or less don't forget the basics, which is know your audience. Who is your audience? What do they want? And then you have to be a resource for them. That's what people are looking for. They're looking for a resource that can ultimately help them realize their full potential. So, I guess if we were parse this off into three tips, is one, know your audience. Two, be a resource for them, and three, help them realize their fullest potential, because that's what we're all after.

Bill Banham: Perfect. Matthew Gonnering, thank you very much for being the guest today.

Matthew G: Thanks, Bill.

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