"GLPH": a new podcast about content marketing
This is a transfer with those who write, edit, shoot photos, videos and direct the editorial work. Here we discuss everything related to media management and content production.
Today we present to your attention the text transcript of the first issue. Alina Testova of Glyph Media awaits you in it and our joint discussion of corporate blogs, approaches to managing a team of editors and lifhacks for self-creation of content that startups and independent IT specialists could use.
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On the photo: Alina Testova, founder of Glyph Media - Telegram channel
dmitrykabanov : As in what you are doing[управление командой ИТ-редакторов]now. , does technical education and past work experience help you?
Generally[шутка]does not help. . I'll tell you about my background. I studied at Izhevsk State Technical University in bachelor's degree in business computer science. Then I entered the business computer science in the Master's program of the Higher School of Economics.
One of the most important things that education has given me is acquaintance with cool people. I met with the guys who showed that they were interested in creating something of their own. And I really wanted to go too.
When I entered the Higher School of Economics, in the first year I saw serious children. They wanted to get into the coolest companies, passed interviews, arranged themselves in the "big three" and so on.
Others engaged in their own business and registered businesses. Therefore, I also wanted to strive for something. I went to Microsoft's Internship program and worked there for more than a year. This experience is also very helpful in terms of what we are doing now. He made it possible to better understand how life is organized in large companies and how to make content for them.
For example, you can request an expert comment from the client, but this information will be long before you go. This is not because there are not very smart people working somewhere, or someone is sabotaging the process, but simply because big IT companies are built. It is not always possible to quickly receive the necessary feedback in full.
I did not say one more important thing about the university. He gave me an understanding that not all things in your life will be interesting. For example, subjects in the institute may not like you, but you will have to deal with them according to the program. It is necessary to try to extract from this a maximum.
This is how it is now. I think that any businessman understands this perfectly. In your life, there is a flow of documents, work with cadres and paper. This is not the most exciting part of entrepreneurial work, but it is necessary. It forms a system, as well as the certainty that you really understand all the processes.
Tell me in more detail how the model of your company is arranged now: who works for you, what customers are and what problems do you solve for them?
I'll start with the last question about clients and their problems. Very often customers do not quite imagine what they eventually want to receive. There is nothing wrong. Our task is to explain what they can get and what they should not expect.
Customers have different ideas about what content is and what tasks it solves. Some believe that content is a natural extension of SEO and contextual advertising. Therefore, they want to get about the same metrics from the content.
For example, when reading an article, the reader should click on all three links in the text, go to the desired site and become a paying customer. In this case, our task at the first stages is to explain that we are doing not quite advertising content. It works differently, and therefore it is not entirely correct to expect exactly the same indicators.
There are customers who have seen the "Tinkoff Journal" or the magazine DOC +, and they want something like that. They already have a better idea of what content can do and what it can not do.
This is a story not about specific clicks and CTR, but about building a dialogue with the audience, its training and the provision of benefits. In other words, it is building a community of people loyal to this brand. Approximately in this vein, we explain our work to clients.
Recording a podcast in the coworking SOK - photo excursion to the location in Instagram
This is basically all the same IT companies? Or are there other types of business?
In general, it turned out that most of our customers are somehow connected with IT. They can have their own production, which in any case contains a technological component. They can be engaged directly in the IT field. Either these customers develop products at the intersection of the consumer segment or offline services and IT. In one way or another, the technology is present in the work of almost every one of our clients.
I am convinced that the presence or absence of technology does not affect in any way what you can tell about yourself or not. Loyalty of readers and the provision of benefits to them have nothing to do with IT or any other specific industry. Therefore, we are open and will gladly take in our ranks any company that wants to create its own small media.
Anyway, this approach implies that the company is present or wants to be present on the network. These are not printed booklets, not an internal magazine or a newspaper for employees - this is what is available to the widest possible audience on the Internet.
Such cooperation with the content provider is an option for medium and large businesses. What can a startup or a start-up entrepreneur do on his own?
I will try to combine this issue with something that I have not answered yet - about our team and our team. For us in the team for the most part, editors work, and they have their own inner gradation. This gradation is not associated with any rigid hierarchy, we have a fairly flat structure. Nevertheless, the tasks of the editors differ slightly.
There is a junior editor - a person who is just starting his way and trying to work in this area. He may have had a slightly different background, but now he works in this direction. There is an editor who already has some experience.
All of them are engaged in writing texts.
Also we have a senior editor. The senior editor is a person who already can not only create his own texts, but also evaluate others. Based on his experience, he gives comments and explains how another person can improve their work.
The issuing editor combines the administrative part with the practical one. He can form plans for the company on the content based on its tasks and select topics. He also controls the work of all other editors.
I think that a similar structure can ideally be built by a small company. In this case, there will be enough editor and editor. By the word "editor" I do not mean one particular person. Such people in small companies can be a variety of employees who will combine their main work with this textual direction. The editor can be a CEO, CTO, chief marketer and so on.
All these people should be able to devote time to creating content. They will work with the issuing editor to understand who their readers are and how they can be useful to them.
Our materials are not a story about the company's news in the format of a press release. They need to explain how the experience of the organization can be useful to managers or users.
You can tell what good you have done in your industry and how you change your small piece of the market. In the end, you can write how to work with the maximum benefit of the product or service of the company.
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People who are just starting[работать с контентом], can go to a dead end in an attempt to find the first topic. They often think that all this has already been said better and more interesting.
People just drop their hands, and they stop doing something. Are there lifhacks for startups about how to start blogging?
In our company, this is called "it was already in the Simpsons". This is an important myth in the field of content creation. Do not think of "silver bullets" or "magic pill", which supposedly lead to explosive growth. If you want to do the content on your own:
Look at what other companies in your industry are doing;
think what useful and interesting you can tell;
just start with something.
There is no magic formula. Very often, people engaged in this area, slightly bend the stick in the direction of their "supernatural". They make a content plan for five years ahead, go over it and look for complex solutions. All this work can look much simpler and more understandable.
You see that there is a request for the disclosure of the topic X, - you write about it. You see that you have a new solution interesting for your users, and there are other news around this market - you are talking about it.
You understand that now all people are watching football or are engaged in a completely different theme - you are taking a short break, preparing new content and not trying to get into this stream.
I would not advise to constantly refer to situational content, because it usually looks a little far-fetched. Your audience is not stupid. They are well aware that the company is trying to use interest in topic X in order to propiaritsya.
All this is seen, and people become less interested. It is much better to publish sincere material about what is happening, how you did it and how you solved your problems.
You talked about the fact that education and technology specialties help to be on one foot with the directors and founders of companies and find common views on the content.
Now you start to make a new format of "office hours", open consultations for start-ups. How much does this audience overlap with customers who are already there? Who comes to such consultations on content marketing and what questions do they ask?
Many years ago, when we first tried to participate in office hours, we were treated more by small companies and start-ups. They wanted to solve their problems with minimal expenses. Because a small company has no reason to spend a lot of money on content.
Most likely, you have a person in the company who can spend a small amount of time and make the materials in the volume you need. When you are a small company, you do not need to cover half the world.
Between the first consultations and current office hours it took about three years. We expected to see roughly the same small companies and projects that will be interested in how to do everything with minimal costs. It turned out a little differently.
It turned out that the content became more interesting for medium and large companies, or for small companies with rather serious goals for the nearest development. During this time, the content marketing industry itself has grown very much. I think that the projects of Maxim Ilyakhov coolly fueled this industry. People have become more clear about what content marketing is and what it can give. That this is not equal to a conditional advertising banner or a furious nativke in a magazine.
Three years ago, we had to explain how this works and why everything should develop that way. Now people come and ask to outsource all the content for the company or write materials based on interviews with employees. Previously, the process of discussion and explanation took much more time.
Let's go back to working with the team and try to combine everything with the latest answers. How can companies use your advice in order to find an editor and correctly assess the quality of his work?
We ourselves are faced with the fact that it is really very difficult to find an editor for the format we need. Most of the editors who work with us have passed our in-house school.
We do not rely on external educational projects and activities. Even those guys who have already worked in the industry, we try to give our own understanding of how everything should work.
For a long time we made a lot of content for sites that have high toxicity. In this environment, any user can read the article and say: "Yes you fools all". Materials are published on sites where it is not accepted to praise and support each otherfriend. On the contrary, there it is enough rigidly and categorically point out mistakes.
This is not the medium to which third-party schools usually prepare editors. Here you just walk through the minefield and you must understand that any phrase or careless word can click you hard on the nose. It's not even about disinformation, but that your tonality you can not get into the generally accepted direction. Then you will have a hard time.
Therefore, we are forced to prepare our editors for this and scare them a little. In another way, making content for such sites is very difficult and it can be severely affected.
In place of companies, I would look not only at the resume of a potential employee, but first I would work with my own expectations, goals and objectives. If you think that you will hire a person with an impressive resume, and he will do you everything beautifully, then, most likely, you are mistaken.
There is a high probability that a person will really try, and you will get, at best, mixed estimates. After that, the company's management will be in frustrated feelings and will not understand why a good idea turns into negative or stinging comments.
Alina Testova - all articles of the user
It's not just that you should be ready for negative reviews. The point is that you need to understand well where you want to publish the materials. If it's Habr, look:
what audience likes this site
who of the companies and what writes
what materials like the audience
It will be very cool if this information will be known not only to the editor from outside. He will have his own perception, and he may not immediately absorb your inner values and goals. Convert this information inside yourself, and then discuss it in a dialogue with this editor.
Understand how you want to position yourself on this site.
Discuss with the editor the need to study this platform, because the language and format it is familiar with may not be entirely appropriate. General policy should be formed with this person, and not given to him at the mercy.
I want to continue this thought and ask you to reveal the idea of the current perception of the profession of the editor and content marketer from the point of view of managers.
How do they relate to this? Are there any nuances that should be improved and rethought to the leaders? What will allow them to "squeeze the most out" of these people?
I run the agency, where most of the editors work. Therefore, I have a specific perception of content marketers. I will try to improvise and tell on the basis of my experience with the leaders that they can see.
First of all, they can see in this person an employee of an advertising or PR department. From the point of view of the corporate hierarchy, he is likely to be there.
But the content marketer is not exactly the one who will be responsible for advertising or promoting a particular product and service. This person is closer to the PR-service, which is responsible for the perception of the brand as a whole. Therefore, from the point of view of the company's CEO, we can say that the content marketer is closer to PR people than to advertisers.
In this case, I would not call him a classic PR man. The format in which this person works is very far from the press releases and the activities of PR-managers. This is such a "thing in itself," a person who must accumulate a lot of information from different sources.
It is desirable that this employee has not only an editorial experience. Ideally, this person should have an idea of the industry in which your business operates. It is necessary to speak with customers in one language and clearly communicate the values of the company.
For an IT company it will be great if a person worked in your particular area of information technology. One option is to ask one of the staff to do it. But here there are questions with KPI and human satisfaction with this work.
You can not just take a programmer and get him to write the texts in a company blog. He simply says that he does not know how to express his thoughts beautifully, and in general "they have already written about this".
This person should understand well how to present the material unofficially, how to submit a topic not boringly and not to praise themselves. Therefore, the search for an editor is always an open topic and a very difficult question for business.
Let's talk about UGC-platforms. These are sites where you can publish relatively freely. What are you seeing opportunities for companies here?
Can you give recommendations on the amount of materials that can be released on Habr, vc.ru or on your blog? Are there any quantitative indicators here?
I'll go from the opposite and tell you about what you do not need to do. As I said before, there is no magic formula. Here you can touch on another myth that is tied to this topic. It consists in the fact that all the materials you write are imperishable and ideal. To release them, you need to go through all the circles of hell and take into account all the opinions.
Of course, not to ask any opinions and publish on behalf of the company the thoughts of a particular employee is not entirely correct. But adjusting to the fact that you will be doing one text for months is an absolutely disastrous approach. As practice shows, such "imperishable" content never reaches the end reader. He remains dusty somewhere in the table.
It is necessary to find a middle ground between the quality of content and the time it takes to work on this material. Many topics have already been uncovered somewhere. There is no need to try to make a comprehensive material, but it is very important to consolidate the benefit for who will read it.
You can tell about your experience, what rakes you have come to and what conclusions can be drawn from this. Let it be a simple topic and not a very voluminous text, but there will be a lot of sincerity and real advice for other companies, users and potential readers.
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