Croud recently held its very first Content & Cocktails night, where Croud’s Australian team were joined by speakers from renowned hospitality group Seagrass and leading global insurance group QBE. If you didn’t get a chance to join us, or you had too many of our bespoke drinks to remember what went down, here’s a round-up!
The room was packed early in the night, filled with familiar faces of our lovely clients and plenty of fresh faces who were curious about Croud’s take on content marketing in Australia. We put together a bespoke content menu, which included two speciality cocktails:
Search Optimised Spritzed Okar
Serving suggestion: Best served with precision, a combination of voice and type, and jazzed up with keywords and headings. Optimise your site before serving chilled.
How to get the most out of your content agency
Kicking off the event, Croud’s Director of Content, Liam Carnahan, put the spotlight on content agencies, demystifying their role and sharing insight into how to get the most out of any agency you work with.
1. Learning to trust (with a caveat)
The first step to success with an agency is focusing on trust. You need to learn to trust your new team members to guide you in the right direction, and also trust them to overcome the inevitable bumps along the way. The caveat? Your agency must give you reasons to trust them, by not only demonstrating the quality of their work, but also by showing their ability to manage your time and money properly.
2. Strategy before all else
It’s shocking how many agencies out there will be willing to operate without a strategy. A sound content strategy is vital for every business that wants to see results, but there are still many business owners and marketing directors who are keen to skip this step and jump to the execution stage. A good agency won’t let you do this, even for smaller one-off projects; they need smaller, one-off strategies to take off.
3. Feedback over feelings
There is little more important in the world of content marketing than strong feedback. Yet, there are many clients who are afraid to give honest feedback about content, because they feel guilty critiquing someone’s creative work. To succeed with your content agency, you must overcome this fear and be willing to give direct and clear feedback, particularly in the early stages. A good agency will solicit this kind of feedback constantly.
4. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar
Here’s a quick tip to get ahead with your agency – if you’re kind to them, they’ll bend over backwards to make sure you stay happy. On the flip side, a rude, unkind, or belligerent client will get exactly what they paid for, but they’ll miss out on those extra perks that come with being a beloved client and trusted partner.
5. A good content experience involves a lot of concrete processes
Content marketing inherently involves a lot of moving parts. Your content agency should have plans in place to make life easier for everyone, and enhance transparency about the status of your ever-flowing stream of content. When vetting a new agency, ensure they have strong processes that aren’t bureaucratic, but just damn useful.
Fireside chat with Seagrass, QBE and Croud
Next up was the panel discussed which explored the positive impact of having robust content strategies. The host of the panel, Croud’s Rae Sturn, was joined on stage by David Owens, Head of Marketing for Seagrass Group, and Ben Shute, Senior Marketing Manager of Social Media and Content at QBE, two of Croud’s clients.
Together they discussed the ins and outs of running a successful strategy, and how their vastly different industries utilise content to suit the various needs and interests of their audiences. The discussion transitioned from conversing about the overall importance of content creation to the complications faced when creating content for mundane products and services.
David Ovens divulged the exciting content opportunities within hospitality and entertained the audience with his vigour for the aesthetic and excitement of the industry’s content. On the other hand, Ben Shute light-heartedly admitted the obvious notion of insurance’s ordinary nature, but expressed the imaginative challenge it presents for his content team at QBE.
With both clients’ long-term industry experience, the panel presented valuable insights as to how rapidly content marketing has evolved and how adapting with a flexible strategy is a crucial step to success. Wrapping up the lively discussion with their reflections on the future of content marketing, the panellists expressed the growing importance of personalisation, interactivity, and visuals within any modern and evolving content strategy.
The night ended how it started out (though, perhaps a bit more lively thanks to the bar tab).
Our first Content & Cocktails event was such a success, and we know it won’t be our last. Perhaps next time, we’ll delight our community with some SEO & Snacks or Paid Advertising & Pinot. Stay tuned.
To find out more about Croud’s content offering, or to sign up to be kept up to date on our next events, contact us.