Welcome to the weekend! Whether you’re in the Northeast experiencing the first big snowfall of the season or in SoCal enjoying the sun, now’s as good a time as any to grab a cup of coffee and unwind with some weekend inspiration. For marketers, perhaps nothing is more inspiring than connecting with likeminded professionals. In fact, doing so should be part of every marketer’s job description.
As we all know, key takeaways can be discovered in the most unlikely of places and offered by anyone–from the most established marketer to the burgeoning newbie. My goal is to shed light on these places by regularly featuring fresh new faces on this blog.
Most recently I sat down with Amanda Ciccatelli, social media strategist at NYC-based global events company Informa. So, what impactful advice can be offered on a cold winter’s day? Ciccatelli shared her thoughts on everything from making homemade bitters to the importance of being human to the holy grail of content marketing.
Q: What does an average day at work look like for you?
A: An average day for me involves searching the Web for newsworthy, interesting and relevant topics about insights, marketing and innovation; generating content ideas for blog posts, social media posts, podcasts and videos; researching innovative new digital trends; launching social advertising campaigns; and acting as Editor to my team of bloggers, among other things. In my role I also use Google Analytics to uncover trends, solutions and action points about the content I create; conduct video interviews with talented and inspiring people; and travel internationally to amazing events.
Q: What about your job do you love most?
A: I love the creative aspect of my job. I have the freedom to not only create new and innovative ideas about social strategy and content marketing, but I actually get to bring them to fruition. Also, I love my team! In my opinion, I work with some of the most talented people in NYC.
Q: What are content marketing challenges that businesses struggle with today and why?
A: I think the biggest challenge businesses face today is creating content that truly engages their audience. The “publish and pray” strategy of the past simply doesn’t cut it anymore; the secret is in the research. Content marketers are still marketers and, as with any marketing campaign, understanding who your audience is, what they’re looking for, where to find them and how to deliver the most effective message is essential to success.
Q: Tell me about an amazing content marketing success story.
A: I’m a huge fan of the Anthropologie brand, especially how it is portrayed on its blog and Instagram account. Anthropologie’s DIY drink recipe campaign is a content marketing success to me. The company features DIY cocktail recipes on its blog frequently.
The drink recipes work for two main reasons: they’re seasonal and timely (summer refreshers or winter warmers) and they feature unique ingredients and flavors, reflecting the unique style of Anthropologie’s fashions. Like many examples of the best content marketing strategies we see today, these posts aren’t an obvious play for sales (after all, Anthropologie doesn’t sell homemade bitters). Instead, the posts position Anthropologie as a trendy, knowledgeable friend who knows a thing or two about drinks, and clothes. Genius!
Q: What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve received about marketing?
A: Don’t forget to be human! As marketers, we sometimes forget that most of our content is being read by other humans. If you want your message to stand out, ditch the robot-speak and talk to your audience the way that other humans speak. Add some humor. Keep it light. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Q: What’s the greatest piece of marketing advice you have to offer?
A: Don’t be afraid to fail. In marketing, you have to be creative and innovative so you will fail. With failure comes learning, and with learning comes success.
Q: Three marketing trends you expect to see dominate 2016 and why?
A: Content marketing is a big one. If you are a company that’s not already embracing it, you better start now.
Another will be video. As you’ve probably seen, video has taken over most of our social media newsfeeds and there’s a good reason for that: it works! Finally, I expect omnichannel marketing to play a large role in 2016 now that customers are using multiple devices every day. Marketers have to develop strategies in order to effectively reach them on each device.
Q: Three content marketing vehicles every company needs to use and why?
A: Blogging, social media, and video. These are the holy grail of content marketing right now. Without them, content marketing wouldn’t exist.
Want to be featured in my #weekendinspiration blog series? Comment here or e-mail me at Aboccamazzo@hotmail.com telling me what inspirational topic you’d like to discuss!