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This Company Is Proving that the Listicle Is Dead

Learn how NewsCred powers their platform with longform, tactical content.

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BY Kathryn Hawkins - 17 Mar 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

NewsCred powers the content strategies of enterprise companies around the globe -- so it's no surprise that content marketing serves as the foundation of NewsCred's own marketing strategy.

Through a combination of longform blog content, webinars, white papers, email newsletters, and social media content, NewsCred has developed a successful and thoughtful method for reaching and driving engagement with prospects at every stage of the marketing funnel.

Content is such a strong component of its marketing approach, in fact, that NewsCred found that every new customer they gained last year was impacted by their content somewhere along the way. (Though it's not a quick win: On average, customers consumed 20 pieces of content before signing up.)

NewsCred's grown its content marketing newsletter to more than 100,000 subscribers, with only one full-time managing editor and a team of freelance writers to power the program on a few original pieces and two syndicated stories each week. How do they do it?

I talked with Managing Editor Heather Eng about the company's philosophy. (Disclaimer: My agency, Eucalypt, is a NewsCred content agency partner, but we don't work with Heather directly.)

 

Who's the audience for your content at NewsCred, and how would you define your content marketing strategy in a nutshell?

As a content marketing company, we use content marketing to market ourselves. So therefore we strive to be the best content marketers out there, and we hope to take our learnings and share them back with our audience.

So our target is basically senior level marketers and decision makers, and also practitioners at enterprise companies, all of whom use content to drive business results. Knowing our target audience helps us create content for them. And with that in mind, we think about what they would be looking for, the information that those marketers would need or would help them be more successful at their job, which is our ultimate goal -- to enable them to use their content to drive business results.

So we really strive to produce content that will help them get there. It's in-depth and tactical because we want to give them all the information that they need to actually put it into practice, and then see them through to get results.

 

Why the heavy focus on longform articles, as opposed to shorter, more frequent pieces?

In the past couple of years, the content marketing space -- and I think editorial space in general -- has evolved. Until then, it was more about listicles and clickbait, and people were using that to drive content. But I feel like there's a bit of fatigue around that. Readers are just tired of clicking on things. Clickbait needs to get them to click on things to get their attention, but it doesn't really engage them.

So what we strive to do is deliver value at every interaction. I think that we're not the only ones going this way. Many other content marketers are striving to do the same: to just build that trust with their readers, because that's what content marketing is. It's such a key component in order to build brand awareness, brand loyalty and really build trust with prospects. So what we strive to do is create content that is research and data driven, long-form, and tactical, so that we're delivering that value to people.

We're really making sure that we're building a strong relationship with our readers, and they know that every time they get an email from us - or any time they see a social media post - they're going to get something that really gives them value and answers their questions and doesn't just hint at it and leave them wanting more.

 

What are some of your own personal favorite pieces that you've published?

One would be our 50 Best Content Marketing Brands of 2017. I'm really proud of that just because it was a lot of really hard work writing it and researching the 50 content marketing brands. It was quite a beast to put together, but it's always really gratifying to see what other people are doing and I just love seeing the creative work that's out there. I got a lot of good ideas and inspiration.

But beyond that, it would probably be a piece that I wrote in January called, Why Content Marketers Must Make Time to Write. It's something that I feel is so important and it's something that every content marketer needs to do. But it's hard to fit it in everyday, just because you're so busy with meetings and assigning stories and editing stories to actually give yourself that dedicated time to sit down and write.

If you think about it, it's one of the single most important things we do as content marketers: taking the time and making the effort to produce really great content.

For many more details from our interview -- including a step by step path of converting a customer through content marketing -- check out the feature article on our blog.