Today we catch up with Beth Carter to discuss the world of content marketing. Based in Chicago, Beth runs Clariant Creative Agency which focuses on inbound marketing.
Pagezii – Beth, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Beth – My background is not what you might expect from a “typical” marketer. My undergraduate degree is in economics, and I hold a master’s degree in public policy. Basically, I’m very well trained in analyzing huge amounts of data, and extracting meaning from that data – and then explaining the data to key decision makers. As it turns out, that is precisely what marketing is all about.
I’ve also always been a strong writer – back when I was still in the public policy world, the written analysis was always my favorite part of the job. Eventually I married and had kids, and I left the workforce for a while. When I was ready to return to the workforce, my kids were still little, and flexibility was the #1 criteria for me. I quickly realized that most office jobs just didn’t offer the kind of flexibility I needed, and so I went ahead and created my own firm. After going through a few iterations of my business model, Clariant Creative Agency was born.
Pagezii – And what does Clariant Creative do?
Clariant Creative focuses on inbound marketing
Beth – Clariant Creative focuses on what is called inbound marketing. For those who are new to the term, we help businesses create powerful lead generating websites that attract the right types of prospects and help nurture and convert those prospects into interested leads and customers. Content plays a big role in this, and we are experts at producing targeted, strategic content – from blog posts and case studies to eBooks, white papers, webinars and more – that helps solve the challenges their buyers are experiencing, so that the buyer begins to think of the business as the best possible solution.
We see a lot of businesses that intuitively understand the importance of creating great, lead generating content. But in practice, it’s very hard to do on a consistent basis, and of a consistent quality. We help our clients get more out of the resources they have by filling those gaps and making sure that everything in their lead generation strategy flows smoothly from one step to the next, without missing a beat.
Pagezii – What is the most memorable marketing campaign that you’ve worked on?
Beth – One of my favorite moments as a marketer happened just recently, and it’s actually a rather small moment – but it had such a big impact for our client on a personal level. We had just onboarded a new client, and as part of our work, we planned out an entire quarter’s worth of blog content. It wasn’t just that we came up with a bunch of blog titles, either. We carefully analyzed keyword data, so we knew what their audience was searching for. And we carefully analyzed their buyers, so we knew exactly who their best customers were and what their biggest pain points were.
Additionally, we knew exactly what each blog post needed to accomplish, in order to help contribute to their overarching lead generation goals. And we had incorporated all of that insight into this editorial calendar. But best of all, it was all consolidated into a very easy to understand plan. This company had never had a tool like this before. From our perspective, it was really a rather simple thing; it’s standard operating procedure for any inbound marketing strategy, really. But for this company – and this particular marketer – it was like the Rosetta Stone. She audibly gasped when we showed it to her, because she immediately recognized that we totally, completely had her back and were going to deliver amazing results for her. Something so simple for us was so incredibly important for her. It was wonderfully validating, but also important for us to remember that it’s not always the big, flashy, shiny things that make a difference.
Pagezii – What marketing trends do you see for 2017?
There’s just no substitute for a conversation…
Beth – I see two things happening: First, businesses will become even more strategic about the content they’re creating. The technology available to us is nearly overwhelming; we can analyze how well our own content is performing in the search engines, how our competitor’s content is performing, how engaged our readers are with what we’re producing, what kinds of content gets shared the most, what kinds of content generate what kinds of results. It’s truly astonishing how much information we have. This means that we are past the days of creating a bunch of content, throwing it to the wall and seeing what sticks. We can measure it all before we even create it, which takes so much of the guesswork out of the equation. It’s fantastic.
The second thing I’m seeing is sort of a counter-revolution to all this digital marketing. With so much information online, people are realizing that sometimes there’s just no substitute for an honest-to-goodness, face-to-face conversation. There’s just no substitute for getting out there and talking to people. So we’re seeing an uptick in businesses attending trade shows, going to networking events, or even working old-fashioned cold calling back into their sales strategy. And it’s working, because it’s actually a refreshing change of pace. I don’t think digital is going away (ever), but that just means that personal interaction becomes even more valuable.
Pagezii – Beth, thank you for sharing your insight in the world of inbound marketing and we wish you continued success with Clariant Creative Agency.