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Telling an Evergreen Story: An Interview with Janine Pollack

June 30, 2023

Today’s consumers are served advertisements for an increasing number of products, services and solutions throughout the day. Because of this input, 86% of consumers are “banner-blind” and may not register advertisements that are directly in front of them. How can marketers break through the noise, and ensure their brand is noticed? 

Meet Janine Pollack, Executive Director of Growth and Content at MNI Targeted Media

As the self-appointed Storyteller-in-Chief of MNI, Janine understands the value of content marketing, and building a cohesive narrative around your brand. Across her tenure at MNI, she has refined her ability to connect business objectives to client needs. Previously she oversaw strategy and development for Fortune Knowledge Group’s thought leadership programs and was part of Fortune’s launch of its The Most Powerful Woman podcast. 

Get to know Janine and her thoughts on the ongoing value of content marketing for businesses. 

It can be challenging to get executive buy-in for content marketing. Can you break down the value of this medium? 

Content marketing allows you to establish a clear and consistent voice, as well as effectively promote your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Rather than selling products, content marketing is how the brand itself connects with consumers, answering their questions and showcasing the brand identity. 

For executives, content marketing is a surefire way to bring in high-quality leads. These consumers are those either looking for a solution to a specific problem, or those who are already in the buying mindset. By including strategic call-to-actions in your content marketing, you’ll be able to generate greater and better leads to help your business grow. In addition, more content means better SEO performance, getting your brand in front of an increased number of consumers. 

Content marketing often requires consistency. What are your top tips for establishing an ongoing presence for your brand? 

Firstly, effective content marketing requires a suitable home on your organization’s website. Look beyond your social media channels, and consider a blog, a podcast, or an email newsletter. This allows you to have a centralized location for your thought leadership pieces. With a home in mind, you can begin to consider what kind of content you want to create. 

Having concrete goals for your content marketing is key— be they establishing yourself as an authority on the topic, or simply driving conversions. Know what your brand is (and isn’t) and choose the conversations you want to integrate into wisely. It can be useful to check out the competition, and find where they may have gaps in their knowledge, for an easy integration point. You’ll want to make sure that each piece of content you create serves your overall goal in some way.

There are a number of channels to promote your thought leadership through. What are some of the tactics that you’ve found most successful? What are some ways that you can expand your content across mediums? 

For an effective multichannel strategy, the first step is knowing where your target audiences prefer to receive content. Choose the channels you’ll utilize carefully, and formulate the content you create around the formats that work best for them. 

A multichannel approach may seem complex, but there are many ways to effectively repurpose your existing content. For example, you can pull quotes or tips from a larger blog post to share one at a time on social media, or you can combine multiple pieces together to create an eBook. 

What innovations do you expect to see in the content marketing space, in 2023? 

Content marketing as a whole is growing more intuitive. Sophisticated targeting mechanisms make sure that your content is getting in front of the right audiences at the right times through the right channels. 

Furthermore, there are increasing opportunities to effectively utilize native advertising within your online content. Native advertising is a natural fit for content marketing, and allows you to give your readers a call to action that aligns with the content you are promoting. In addition, it can be easily integrated into the content of your personal site.

Marketing, specifically the digital sector is growing exponentially. What advice would you give to those entering into the field? 

Entering into the content marketing space can be a daunting prospect. It can take years for a strategy to be fully realized, and entering from the bottom level means that you’ll feel like playing catch-up to organizations that have been building their content for much longer than you have. 

It’s an old but true adage — quality over quantity. While it may be tempting to churn out content like it's going out of style, make sure that you’re speaking thoughtfully to your audiences. Diversifying your approach could also be a key strategy to get ahead of the competition.  

What is your biggest challenge as a marketer, right now? How are you facing it? 

For content marketers, the biggest challenge is maintaining relevance in an increasingly-crowded marketplace. There are millions of independent and company blogs in operation, and regardless of your industry, you will face competition entering the pool. The best way to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your efforts is to narrow your content channels— focus on differentiation, and provide content that no one else does. 

With everything emerging on generative AI solutions, how can brands utilize this emergent medium in their content marketing? 

It’s best to think of generative AI as an assisting tool, rather than a magic wand. While this technology does hold the capability to create new engaging content, generative AI requires a human element to ensure that misinformation is not being spread. Three easy ways to use generative AI in your content marketing are to use it for your ideation process, to simplify longer content or to synthesize larger blocks of information to their more basic components. 

What is one final thought that you want to leave our readers with? 

Good content marketing is a combination of time, strategy and creativity. In other words it taks patience. Sometimes, particularly for those just starting out, the layered nuance of the touchpoints isn’t immediately obvious but once you dip your toe, the rewards are real. Content marketing allows you to combine thought leadership, promotion and marketing strategy togher to realize higher-quality leads, increased brand awareness and ultimately achieve a deeper connection with your desired audiences.