Content marketing – Alicia Rodríguez

Alicia Rodríguez became a specialist in content marketing when the economic crisis forced her to leave her position as head of finance and reinvent herself professionally. Faced with the low demand of professionals in her sector decided to turn 180º and be trained in social media.

Since then, and thanks to continuous training, she has become a leading professional in this sector. Alicia combines her work as head of content marketing for the Semrush company in Spain and LATAM with her position as head of SoMeChatES, a project she developed by herself as an exchange space for marketing and social media professionals.

She talks about the importance of content marketing and social networks for companies, the planning of 2.0 strategies and the history and operation of the SoMEChatES platform.

 

“If we analyze it more in detail and from the daily reality we live in, we see that the real actions that many companies carry out in RRSS are still appreciating a series of shortcomings or bad practices.”Alicia Rodríguez

You studied Business Administration and after dedicating several years to the banking and financial sector, you decided to change your career to dedicate yourself to content marketing, why did you make this decision?

The truth is that this decision was a result of some circumstances. In 2011 the economic crisis in Spain was taking ahead a lot of companies and, among them, the one in which I worked as finance manager.

After a while of trying to “relocate” in another company with the same profile and seeing that the new accesses were limited and precarious, I decided that it was time to reinvent myself and give a 180º professional turn. It was the ideal time to leave the comfort zone and face new challenges.

So I discovered that one of the most demanded profesionals were Community Managers and I embarked on a postgraduate course in Community Management that opened the doors to the blessed madness that is Social Media and Marketing.

The change of profile was a fact but without deviating too much from the entrepreneurial base that I had studied at university.

Since then, and based on encouraging and not neglecting the continuous training in both subjects, I have managed to consolidate myself little by little at a new profession that I am passionate about.

 

Do you think that your previous training and experience has helped you in your later experiences? How?

I am of the opinion that all the knowledge we add in life is useful, although sometimes we do not realize it.

So, yes, I am sure that having a background in business administration allows me, among other things, to know first hand how companies think about certain monetary aspects.

With this background, it is easier for me to find the balance between administration and marketing and to bring to a successful conclusion some negotiations that I face.

An error too common in companies is to think that the different departments are islands that can operate and govern independently. As long as we are not able to visualize the companies as a whole and give priority to all departments heading in the same direction, we will not get the company to go forward and not lurching individually.

In my opinion, it is very important to have a global vision of the company that allows us to take advantage of the strengths and synergies of all those involved. It is about achieving the maximum common end as a company and not individual medals as departments. I know, it may sound like utopia, but in our hands is trying to make it a reality.

 

How does SoMeChatES work?

SoMeChatES was born as a natural space where marketing and Social Media professionals periodically found answers to various current issues, having speakers as references on different topics.

All this was articulated in a new format as was the Twitter chats. Its name: SOcial  MEdia CHATs in ESpañol already gave clues about what could be found by diving into the contents of this site.

Currently, the holding of these sessions is on standby (for reasons of implementation of other projects) and the model of SoMeChatES has evolved more towards advising, editing digital content, teaching or marketing conferences of contents.

 

What benefits can SoMeChatES and Alicia Rodríguez Ruiz offer to Marketing and Communication professionals?

Twitter chats are characterized by their easy management, their low implementation costs and by offering results of visibility and creation or management of communities that other actions or marketing channels do not achieve to the same extent.

When at the end of 2013 I launched my Twitter space chats no one in Spanish did it, being a pioneer in this service and the experience acquired during these years have helped SoMeChatES to earn a special site in the management of this service.

On the other hand, having an experience of more than three years in the content edition in Spanish for a company the size of SEMrush, has helped me to claim a position as a content marketing professional.

What are the pillars on which we have to build a good marketing and communication 2.0 strategy?

I’m not going to discover anything new, but I’m going to insist on something that is known but that in many cases remains unimplemented.

I mean forget ourselves and  put the accent on the user and final consumer of our products and services.

It is about analyzing what my product can do for them, what extra value it gives them compared to what my competition offers and letting them know so that they do not feel invaded and arrive at them in the way they choose to be informed.

I explain myself a little more.

As much as I consider that what I offer is the most wonderful product in the world, if I want to buy it, I do not perceive it in this sense, my enthusiasm for what I produce will not lead me to reach the long-awaited conversion that probably , have set as objective.

Also, if my product is the eighth wonder of the world but is unknown to the general public and to my potential customers in particular, I will not be able to sell it either.

And finally, if I crush my potential clients with aggressive campaigns instead of attracting them, what I will achieve will be a frontal rejection on their part.

If I am able to make an adequate mixture with these “ingredients”, namely: active listening (social networks) + diffusion (content marketing + appropriate channels) + inbound philosophy, I will get those pillars that you mention in the statement of your question are strong and support the marketing actions that you decide to carry out at all times.

 

How important is content marketing for companies?

Well managed, social networks are that massive speaker that serves as a showcase and that, together with the internet, have managed to democratize large and small companies.

Yes, it must be said that the big ones are still imposing on the small ones in many aspects, although what they have achieved is to make possible a series of options that were previously unthinkable for certain businesses and that today are not only carried out but also that give good results and are the beacon to the success and survival of those businesses.

See social networks as the channel of dissemination of our content and worry about carrying out actions measured and suitable in each of them can be important benefits in terms of enhancing visibility and brand image, create community or take our company to a status of reference in the sector that differentiates us from our most direct competitors.

On the subject of social networks I always insist that less is more and that you have to think with a cool head and know that it is not a question of quantity but quality. So, we must analyze which networks are the most appropriate for our business and for what we want to achieve and perhaps being “only” in a couple of them we get more and better results than being in 25.

We already know that social networks are like mushrooms, they grow everywhere, that’s why it is important to design an intelligent strategy of social networks that allows us to serve them well and not be jumping from flower to flower without getting anything productive in return.

 

How can we effectively analyze the results of our strategies?

It may seem obvious, but before getting into analysis we have to decide and be clear about what we should take as a sample of analysis. That is, to analyze the results effectively, the first thing we will have to be as clear as water is what we want to achieve.

Once the objectives are determined, we will know what the KPIs and the metrics are.

For example, our analysis of metrics and KPIs will be very different if what we intend for our brand is to gain visibility or if what we want is to maximize sales.

Likewise, and naturally, once we know what we want to measure we can opt for a series of tools, namely: Google Analytics, SEMrush, Mention, Metricool, Salesforce, Tableau … Use tools to use or because they are fashionable not It helps us to achieve objectives, however, if we know the information we need, choosing the most appropriate tools will almost be sewing and singing.

Here I would also like to point out that for the same function we can find several tools.

My advice is that we do not go crazy and try to use them all because this leads us to incur an unnecessary waste of time. As in the case of Social Networks, it is advisable to think that virtue is in the middle term and that it is better if we use tools intelligently.

Do you think that in general Spanish companies take advantage of the potential of social networks?

According to the results of studies on this subject, the degree of market penetration of social networks in the Spanish business ecosystem is good and continues to grow, but if we analyze it more in detail and from the daily reality we live in, we see that the real actions that many companies carry out in RRSS are still appreciating a series of shortcomings or bad practices that with the degree of knowledge of social networks that there are currently should not be given.

So, in my opinion, digital education and the change of mentality towards non-analogical processes continues to be a real workhorse for too many managers who close the doors to a necessary digital transformation in their businesses and do so because they are anchored in a world analogue rooted in a comfort zone from which they do not want to move.

With this attitude they do not just realize all the possibilities that are denying their businesses and the risk they are running by creating a growing digital divide with those of their competitors that are doing their homework in channels as effective as social networks.

In summary, I think that it still takes a lot of digital education for companies to confront social networks as the opportunity for their businesses that they are and that they should not let slip.

By the way, that social networks are the inflection point that differentiates them from their competitors through the hiring of professionals who know the right and upside down social networks and not by assigning them to relatives or acquaintances who perform work more economically but without any basis for strategy or marketing actions using the RRSS as a channel.

If we want professional results, we will have to put at the forefront of social networks true specialized professionals.

 

What do we have to take into account when planning a content strategy?

I will focus my response based on two main actors in all content strategy: our audience and our ability.

We will have to keep our audience well informed to offer you the most appropriate content.

  • In what part of the funnel are they
  • Are users who are in the mouth of the funnel and need content with which to learn to use the product of my company?
  • Are users who already know me and need me to give them that final push to convert to a sale?
  • Are they regular users but I have to “pamper” them so that they feel loyal and happy and do not leave?

Based on all this, I will have that my content strategy will be one or the other. Moreover, according to my type of audience, I will have to think about different contents elaborated according to different premises but perfectly adapted to each stage and to each user.

We will also have to see where these contents demand us from.

  • Are they regular and active users of our blog?
  • Are they more of Twitter or prefer more visual social networks?
  • Do they see us from their phones or from their desktop computers?
  • In what hours and days are you most receptive to reading my content in each social network or in the blog?
  • Do they accept my newsletters well or do they feel invaded because (for example) the frequency of sending is too high?
  • Are my readers digital natives or are they learning and adapting to the non-analog environment?

Once I have answered all or most of these questions, I will be closer to designing the ideal content strategy for my audience.

Regarding our capacity, this directly affects the generation of content that we do.

  • How many articles on the blog are we able to maintain a week or a month

At this point, being as realistic as possible is synonymous with success. It is useless to publish a week two articles and then be a month without publishing anything.

Transmitting to our readers of the blog a constancy and a rhythm that is respected over time shows seriousness and doing things well. An editorial calendar that is changed every two times or that is not fulfilled shows obvious signs of lack of seriousness or bad organization. And we do not want this to be the first thing you see about us, right?

And there are more questions …

  • How many publications can we attend correctly in social networks?
  • In how many social networks are we capable of guaranteeing both the publications and the responses to the received interactions?

If we focus on the types of content, if our audience is merely visual,

  • Are we capable of creating audiovisual content by ourselves and that it be of quality?
  • Do we know how to design infographics that are valuable?
  • Are we available and have enough resources to hold webinars or record video tutorials explaining our products or services?
  • Do our readers require more technically elaborated whitepapers or ebooks and can we write them?
  • After analyzing these points we will have all the necessary information to know first hand what we can commit ourselves to and with what we can support our content strategy.