I talk a lot about the need for strategy when embarking on a social media and content marketing program, and for good reason!
When becoming your own media publisher and producing content via social and your owned media channels, it is so easy just to ‘do stuff’.
But without purpose and strategic direction (locked back to your overarching commercial goals), that ‘stuff’ just becomes noise and thus, a waste of time. At the very worst, you could be sending out mixed messages, which will only serve to confuse the marketplace.
Let’s face it, it’s hard enough to cut through the clutter and get people to recognise your brand without confusing them along the way!
With that in mind, let’s look at the example of Darren Woolley from TrinityP3, who has cleverly and strategically harnessed the power of owned, earned and social media to grow a global consulting firm.
I recently interviewed Darren for the PR Warrior podcast (you can listen to the episode here, or subscribe via iTunes) in which he took us behind the scenes of how he approaches the content publishing process, which mediums he uses and how social media fits into the marketing equation.
TrinityP3 is business-to-business consulting firm specialising in the niche area of marketing management advisory services.
From its base in Australia, TrinityP3 continues to expand its global footprint, helped in no small part by its ongoing strategic program of owned, earned and social media communications.
TrinityP3’s content-first approach has not only confirmed the consultancy (and along with it, Darren) as genuine pioneers and thought leaders in the space, but has helped them attract leads and secure clients. Not just any clients, by the way, but some of the biggest brand advertisers in the world!
But first, some quick background …
Darren Woolley started his professional life as a scientist but ended up in advertising where he ultimately became a creative director with one of Australia’s biggest ad agencies, J. Walter Thompson.
After 15 years in advertising, he realised when marketers and their agencies worked well together, amazing things could happen. Unfortunately, that is often not the way it pans out, he says. So in 2000, Darren established TrinityP3 with a view to providing a truly independent advisory service to marketers about the way they engaged with and used the creative resources available to them.
Today, TrinityP3 has over 30 consultants around the world with offices in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, London; at time of writing, Darren was in the final stages of negotiating a joint venture in the US.
Powered by owned, earned and social media
While Darren has been blogging and active on social media for a long time, five years ago he decided to get more strategic about the content the business was producing and this has led to even greater growth for the company.
“It’s paying off in spades”, he says.
For the first decade Darren employed largely marketing tactics such as email, traditional media relations, speaking gigs, sponsorship and some paid media.
He started a blog in 2006 but didn’t have a lot of discipline or focus at that point.
“I was really just sharing observations that I made … around how marketers could better work with their agencies, and how marketers increasingly could build the capabilities they needed in-house,” he says.
Darren’s early articles revolved around meeting challenges or solving problems his clients were experiencing. He got the usual feedback from people: “Aren’t you giving away all your IP?”, but he didn’t see it that way as he was “just sharing with people the things I found interesting or insightful.”
But because he lacked discipline and focus with the blog, in some ways Darren felt he was just “preaching to the choir”.
That changed five years ago when he started getting serious about the purpose of his content; he says with the strategy deeply in place, TrinityP3’s content has really got traction.
Content with depth
In the industry TrinityP3 operates, “everyone has an opinion” says Darren.
But after working with hundreds and hundreds of marketers and their agencies, TrinityP3 has the most in-depth view of the key elements of marketing management, along with financial modelling, so what the company produces is not just opinion, says Darren.
“We actually build (proprietary) financial models to underpin it.”
This, in turn, has helped Darren and TrinityP3 stand out in a sea of sameness and in doing so reinforced the (business and personal) brand’s thought leadership positioning in the marketplace.
One of the advantages of being a global publisher of content (as well as having an active presence on social channels) is that it’s easier to open in other markets because of the reputation both Darren and, by default the consultancy, have built and reinforced over time.
“It’s because of the blog and the content sharing that we’ve really built a very sophisticated – and quite often seen as a challenger – view of this particular category … I think that is what’s getting the most interest, especially in the UK and Europe,” says Darren.
The TrinityP3 platform
The blog sits at the digital heart of TrinityP3’s PR and content activities. All of the content that TrinityP3 produces and shares across multitude of channels ends up on the blog, including YouTube videos and a podcast that’s published to SoundCloud (along with the transcription of each episode).
Darren says the blog is the number one driver of traffic to the TrinityP3 website, which continues to grow. In 2007, the website was attracting just over 3000 unique visitors per year; in 2016, this figure hit 200,000 – a jump of just over 7000 per cent in traffic.
The TrinityP3 blog contains over 1000 articles; Darren and his team publish three times per week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – across 50 weeks of the year. It’s a relentless schedule, but obviously a key reason why TrinityP3’s profile and reputation remains sky-high within the marketing management niche.
But the TrinityP3 content machine is much more than just the blog. Check out the breadth of content the firm publishes, along with the social channels it actively manages:
Owned media properties
- On the couch video series
- Managing Marketing podcast (via iTunes and SoundCloud)
- TrinityP3 blog
- Fortnightly e-newsletter
- Books (hard copy and digital versions)
- Downloadable Whitepapers
- Premium content (e.g. The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing in a Data-driven World)
Social media channels
- SlideShare (88 SlideShares published)
- Twitter (20,400 followers)
- LinkedIn (1040 followers)
- YouTube channel (71,000 video views)
- Facebook (765 likes)
All the above (and more!) is discussed in my interview with Darren. Other topics discussed include:
- the TrinityP3 content marketing process
- video live-streaming – is there room for it in the content mix?
- Twitter – Darren has been an avid user of Twitter over time; what does he think of the medium these days?
- Facebook – “We use it to bring more of a human face to the business as well as keep people abreast as to what’s going on.”
- Earned media – Content and social media has been invaluable in building the professional reputation of both Darren and TrinityP3 but earned media – media coverage and speaking gigs specifically – have also been critical in building profile and reputation of both business and personal brand.