Content marketing is a popular strategic approach, but it takes time and a lot of efforts. Automating as much as you can content creation, optimization, and distribution can be key to success. We discussed this topic with Ruth Raventós, one of the co-founders of Nelio Software.
If you don’t come from Mars in the world of marketing, you’ve probably heard about content marketing — and, probably, you’ve even experimented it with your organization. If so, you probably know that creating content in order to drive lead generation and sales is not effortless.
It takes time, creativity, research, money, and the ability to measure your results, just like any other marketing approach.
Nevertheless, 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers are relying on content marketing according to a research published this year by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs and sponsored by Brightcove.
What is content marketing and why it’s such a big deal?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content Marketing Institute
Content marketing is an excellent way to build your own audience. When your brand shares valuable content, people are more likely to trust it. And trust is like a magic glue that makes your audience stick with you.
Are blogs worth for content marketing?
The same research mentioned above, states that 79% of marketers use blogs to distribute their content — and, even more importantly, 60% of the most successful marketers think that a blog is one of the most effective formats.
When it comes to blogging, there is no CMS like WordPress. But, even if WordPress simplifies a lot the editing and publishing process, you still need to organize, optimize, distribute, and promote your content through different channels to reach your audience.
Here is why we decided to ask a few questions to Ruth Raventós, who created two WordPress plugins to make content marketing easier and is truly devoted to this approach.
A chat with Ruth Raventos, co-founder at Nelio Software
You are one of the co-founders of Nelio Software and a Ph.D. in Software Engineering. Talk me about your background: how did you find yourself interested in content marketing?
After finishing my degree I started working as a software developer. But I was attracted to the academic world, so I did my Ph.D. and became a teacher and researcher of topics related to information systems development.
However, I like challenges and in 2013 my partners, David Aguilera, Antonio Villegas, and I chose to leave the comfort of a good stable job and build our own startup, Nelio Software. We didn’t have a concrete project in mind yet, just a vague idea of creating a scalable service. What service? How would we do it? We didn’t know, but we were super thrilled about running our own business… so, who cares, right?
In the end, we decided we would work within the WordPress ecosystem and would develop plugins. We started brainstorming a lot of alternatives related to WordPress. In the end, we came up with two different projects that shared one vision: making WordPress sites more impactful.
And from there, our interest in content marketing came naturally.
Your company developed two different plugins for WordPress, Nelio Content, and Nelio A/B Testing. What needs are you trying to solve for your customers?
Nelio Content features an editorial calendar and a content assistant. It has been designed to help you to efficiently create, schedule, and promote the content of your blog by automatically creating social publications on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest. Focus on the content that works best with its built-in analytics, and run a successful blog while saving tons of time.
Nelio A/B Testing is a powerful and versatile conversion optimization service for WordPress. It helps you define, manage, and keep track of A/B-testing experiments, combined with powerful and beautiful heatmaps.
With Nelio A/B Testing you can create alternatives to titles, featured images and excerpts without the help of designers and developers. Nelio A/B Testing will tell you which ones keep traffic on your site.
How did you understand that there was room for your plugins within the WordPress environment and market?
The idea of plugins came from our own needs as web owners. We had a clear idea of what we wanted for ourselves. From there, we made an in-depth analysis of the plugins and other similar tools that existed in the market and their popularity. It seemed to us that there was a market and, at the same time, they could be improved in many ways to have a much greater impact. And that’s it; we started with the development of an MVP for each one.
Talking about WordPress, you are part of the organization of the upcoming WordCamp Barcelona. Why do you think it’s crucial for the community to stick together?
Being part of this community has been critical to our success. It allows you to meet other interesting product developers, with whom to share your experience. An open source community is a great place to learn new things and grow as a professional, especially when you’re getting started and you don’t know exactly where you’re headed.
As you progress and become a better professional, you can’t help giving something back. Our first contact with the community was like everybody else’s — we attended a few meetups, talk to the organizers, met people… but as soon as we felt more confident and identified we too had a story to tell, we quickly got involved with the organization. Keep in mind these communities are volunteer-driven, so it’s very important that everybody who can and cares gets involved!
You often write content on your blog… do you ever struggle with SEO?
I’ve always been surprised at how many people present themselves as SEO experts. For us, the only formula that has worked so far is to improve our positioning in a totally organic way thanks to the regularity and constancy of the post published in our blog and their automatic promotion in social networks with Nelio Content…
But yes, SEO is anything but easy. So far, we’ve been focused on following the best practices everybody talks about (links, tags, keyword management, and so on) and we’ve recently integrated your plugin, WordLift, to our content marketing strategy, hoping it’ll help us rank even better.
Do you think content organization can make a substantial difference in engaging your readers and, at the end of the day, converting them into customers?
For us, it has been key. Our experience is that with no advertising budget, but with great planning in creating content and seeing what is working best for us on our website, we have been able to create our current business. In fact, the use of our two products has helped us grow and make a difference.
If you had to sum up your experience in content marketing in three tips, what would they be?
Content marketing is based on the generation and promotion of content. Therefore, the creation of a blog is the starting point for any online communication strategy of any professional or company. A blog with quality content helps you improve the visibility of your brand, it is the key factor to generate leads and, of course, the best way to improve your SEO. However, from our experience, a blog requires a lot of sacrifice and perseverance. Therefore, my recommendation to make this trip more bearable would be:
First, have a topic that you’re passionate about.
This way, it’ll be easier for you to write quality content. You’d better like what you write about or you’ll soon leave it aside.
Second, be consistent.
You may not be the best writer in the world or you may not always choose the best topics possible, but if you persevere and, whatever happens, continue to publish content, you’ll eventually get better than most.
Finally, be as much as efficient as possible in the entire content generation process and its promotion.
Automate as many tasks as you can and don’t waste time doing work that doesn’t give you value. Tools like WordLift or Nelio Content will help you to save a ton of time.