Some content marketers thrive on being a jack of all trades. This is especially true of Camille. Her background spans advertising to copywriting to product marketing, and she draws on all of those skills today. Startups are Camille’s current sweet spot, and she has a clear knack for getting inside the heads of others—whether that’s the sales team or her customers—in order to best understand how content should work from the inside out.
In this episode, Allie and Camille discuss transitioning from advertising to content marketing, and striking a balance between a creative contributor and a creative catalyst.
When Camille is not writing, she’s hanging out with her pup and two favorite redheads. Or she’s trying to coach the Portland Trail Blazers to victory from her couch.
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11:40 – Camille’s journey to Head of Content
Camille’s career has included advertising, copywriting, self-employment, and more. The opportunity to lead a content team wasn’t one she was actively pursuing, but she’d had it in mind for several years.
“My following’s starting to build a little bit on LinkedIn, and I got a few job offers or job opportunities. I wasn’t really planning on taking another job, but MarketerHire stood out because I would be able to support freelancers. And that’s what I was doing at the time. I was like, I really know this audience and I’m really passionate about helping freelancers. And then on the other hand, just connecting marketers to freelancers. So because of that, because of the role itself Linda and Tracy, whom I think is great. All of those things, I ended up taking that job, and learned a ton there, got that great experience there. I thought I would stay there for a long time too. And then essentially just got this opportunity to lead content. I felt like that was interesting to me. That had always been my goal for the past two, three years.”
17:01 – Follow what’s interesting
Camille can’t stand hours of data entry, but she’s enjoyed every work experience she’s had, especially her work in B2B, which she assumed would be boring.
“I had one position where I was doing qualitative data, going through surveys and coding them by the themes in there. I was only doing that part-time, it was like 20 hours a week. And I was constantly looking at the clock. I could not do that for 40 hours a week. So anything that’s a lot of very data-entry heavy, it’s like this very tricky for me. I think B2B is actually more interesting to me, even though I thought it was stupid and boring when I was coming out of college. It’s actually pretty fun I think from the content standpoint. More fun I think in a lot of ways, because we’re able to just get deeper and it’s more about education and explainer type content rather than inspiration, which is still fun and good. I think I’ll probably still stay in B2B for a while.”
19:44 – Create a community-driven content flywheel
One tactic that’s worked well for Camille is tapping a business’s social media community for crowdsourced ideas, and letting them help spread the word once the content is complete.
“A good example for me was when I was creating content, sometimes I would start on social. We would have the direction of we want to create the top tools for social media or whatever. And so we’d go to social media and just say, ‘Hey what are your favorite tools?’ and have three or four questions. And by the way, I’m going to pick the best ones to be featured in this article that I’m doing. So now they know that I’m writing this article, and they’re interested in seeing the article and they’re interested in being featured in it…I found that to be a good repeatable motion of, how can we get people involved in the content so that A) it’s correct. It’s from the community. And then also just have them be excited about the content that you’re creating. So it just turns into a really nice flywheel effect. Building in public is the short answer.”
24:25 – Get exposure to top talent
When you get to work with high-end designers and strategists, you start to understand what strong marketing looks like, as well as how your talents fit into that universe.
“At the agency level, basically seeing what good looks like. So for me, seeing what really good design looks like. Seeing what really good strategy decks look like. What really good pitches look like. You get exposed to everything that goes into content creation, even if it’s outside of your zone, I guess, if it’s not written content. So seeing that and being in just a lot of brainstorms with other creatives and other marketers. And just seeing how they think and how you fit into that, and how you can best collaborate. It was a light bulb moment for me when my boss at the time, I think it was like the director of creative services, was like, oh, you’re really good in a brainstorm. It’s good for the room though. So try to encourage other people to do more of what you’re doing…that was an early on leadership lesson of how can you not be the person anymore, but be the catalyst for your team.”
26:21 – Build the rocket ship while you’re flying it
Working for startups means going with the flow. For Camille, this included working with limited budgets and getting comfortable making decisions on the fly.
“Learning how to work on a non-existent budget, essentially…Learning how to cut what you’re not using, or what’s not working too. I worked directly for the COO at one point. And so that was one lesson there. If I wanted something, I’d have to cut something else basically. Or I’d have to make a really good case for why we need to invest in it. Bringing data into that was always helpful. And then this job and my last job, I think the main thing was just moving fast. They’re both seed, but essentially Series A for MarketerHire, and then Series B for Dooly. So very similar places. And you’re sort of like they say, building the rocket ship while you’re flying it. And so being able to just go, and not be too worried that things are broken still, and trying to fix it as you go.”
36:51 – Set goals based on priority
In her current role, Camille checks in regularly with the VP of Marketing to confirm what the priorities are for a given week or month. In a startup, that’s always changing.
“I realized that I liked and needed a startup environment. Because you’re able to switch tasks quite a bit. But it’s a great question because I am constantly like should I spend more time on this, more time on that? I think for me, it’s mostly just checking in and aligning with the VP of marketing, which can be hard because he’s also insanely busy. But being like, okay, what are our number one priorities for this week, for this month? For instance for us, it’s driving signups. It’s very to me, more copy and conversion and relationship-focused. And so even if some of that doesn’t totally fall under content, whatever I can do to support. For instance our partnership lead, in creating content with partners if we think that’s going to drive more signups. So just aligning it back to whatever the north star is for the team, and focusing on that way.”
42:34 – Dooly’s distribution engine
A unique feature of Dooly is that they have a huge audience of followers. This means Camille’s team can jump right into creating content that those followers want to see.
“Using your own product data as a SaaS company to drive your content strategy and your long form content I think it’s pretty interesting. They’ve done all these things really well. I think something that’s a little bit unique that we’ve done is one, on our LinkedIn partner pages. So for instance Sales Humor and Daily Sales have 500,000-700,000 followers. And so early on, Mark did a really good job of making those partners to help our distribution engine. So we have this opportunity to get in front of lot of eyeballs, which is usually what a content team I think struggles with is that just an element at the beginning. And so then for us, it’s okay. Since we already have these things going for us on social and we have some buzz there, it’s creating the type of content that I would say scrollers want to see, in terms of what that headline is and what type of content it is.”
45:30 – Collaborate with sales & product
One helpful practice Camille recently undertook was creating a matrix of user personas and the associated problems those user types currently face. This type of work helps smooth the workflow between sales, product, and marketing.
“I’m making a little matrix where I’m pulling things like from the positioning doc and the persona doc about the common problems that salespeople are facing, based on all these interviews that he’s done. And then I’m able to chop that up and put it as like a brief, like in things that we do with partners. And when I was meeting with our sales team partner, for instance, who also writes some of our blogs, he was like, ‘What are some of the common problems that Dooly users face?’ I can come up with memes and I know what good sales content looks like. But just coming up with that stuff from scratch is really hard. And so just being able to give him the matrix of: these are the main problems, these are how we solve it I think will be easier for him to develop content, easier for us to develop content. That’s the other thing I would add, is there should be a strong relationship between the product manager or product marketer and the content team.”
49:34 – Content marketing does not equal SEO
Camille holds the belief that you can be a great content marketer without touching SEO. Old concepts like assuming blogs are mandatory are no longer true in today’s content world.
“For content marketing, something that’s controversial for me is that I think most people are like ‘content marketing equals SEO writing,’ and that is not true. So one I think you can be a great content marketer without doing any SEO. I think SEO is a good pillar, and I think it’s right for a lot of business businesses. I think especially SaaS. But I think I’ve realized that service-based businesses actually probably don’t always need any SEO. And there’s just other places that you can play. Even if you’re in content marketing and you were doing a lot of sales enablement and a lot of landing pages, that could be a killer strategy or for a team. And so I think getting out of that focus of we need a blog. We need SEO to do content marketing well is controversial. Because I think for a long time it’s been like content marketing equals long-form SEO writing. And if you can’t do that, you’re not going to do well.”
53:20 – Use “method marketing” to understand your customers
Camille is a fan of putting herself in the shoes of others in order to understand their mindset and challenges. This applies to others in her company, like sales, in addition to customers.
“I was trying to figure out, what’s the type of content or the types of things that I need to learn to be able to educate salespeople effectively? That’s a hard gig, because I feel like I could just be making this up, but I think they don’t respect people as much if they haven’t been in the trenches, if they haven’t literally had to do direct outbound. And so I’m learning those strategies for myself. Even doing them right now with my podcast of having to do some outbound, and having to feel that. Those sorts of things, finding the parallels, like what’s the overlap between my experiences and a sales person’s experiences? But also extending those, putting myself in uncomfortable situations so that I more feel the pain of a sales person. Another thing early I did was just sign up for our product when I started, and getting in there and using it and stuff. Figuring out now, getting a Salesforce seat. All those things have been helpful for me, but reading the types of books that your customers would read, whether that’s a business book or if it’s an inspirational book. Trying to do some of what I call method marketing there, like method acting.”
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