During the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, I realised when networking events were cancelled and water-cooler conversations became a quaint thing of the past, your digital identity is all that’s left – so it better be good!
People only have a split-second to decide whether to work with you or scroll on, so showing up online in a way that will present you in the best light and in a way your potential customers will resonate and engage with, is the only way.
I have always had a fascination with the power of storytelling and the connection and sense of belonging a community brings.
Wandering through newsagencies as a child fascinated me. There were so many stories and such a huge number of magazines targeting different interest groups.
As a teen in the 90s, getting my hands on my first Dolly magazine opened up a world of belonging. I read those magazines from cover to cover many times and craved more content – in a way teens today can’t appreciate – in the time before the Internet and social media.
It was my absolute fascination with the power of magazine brands to captivate and transform the lives of readers that led me into a career in the publishing industry.
After training as a Journalist, I spent 18 months writing travel news stories for Yahoo as well as traipsing the world on trips to Canada’s ice hotel and into the Australian outback on the Ghan – for the Harvey World Travel magazine.
While it was a wonderful start – the rush of the magazine world really came when entering the spacious offices of Murdoch magazines in the early 2000s. I crossed to the ‘dark side’ – working as an Account Manager for Better Homes & Gardens magazine, and its burgeoning online platform. My job was to sell an intimate understanding of the magazine’s mass-market audience to advertisers like Revlon, Bluescope Steel, Chang’s and Sealy and to drive website sales for the Better Homes & Gardens brand.
It was then I became hooked on the business of media and the importance of understanding your audience.
I took my publishing career across to Canada in 2005 for almost a decade, working with clients based in the US, Singapore and UK – on a range of travel, home décor and finance magazines.
Audiences began to shift online.
The GFC hit.
I noticed something remarkable.
Some brands slipped away, deciding to ride out the storm away from the public eye.
The most successful brands, like Royal Bank of Canada, who was my client during the downturn – stayed the course, showing their customers they had resilience during a difficult time. They were there for their customers through thick and thin. The Royal Bank of Canada remains one of the most trusted financial institutions in the world.
I also worked with Invesco during this time. Invesco launched new funds during the GFC and refused to stay quiet. Equally, Fidelity Investments, who I worked with for 6 years, continued to empathise with customers via ongoing reassuring advertising content, throughout a bear market.
They showed up and were heard. Their customers felt understood. Guess who held on to their customers?
While the media landscape has changed, the fundamentals remain the same.
Content marketing is effective because it’s about understanding your audience and continuing to show up. When your target market is ready to make a purchasing decision – you will be the natural choice.