Nigel had spent 15 years working as a print journalist, before transitioning into content marketing in 2012. Since that time, he has provided copy for content marketing agencies, PR firms, custom publishing houses, marketing companies, government departments, educational institutions, SMEs and many Australian and multinational corporations. He has an extensive publication history and vast experience bringing a brand's story to life through engaging copy.We recently asked him some questions about his approach to content creation.
What is it you enjoy about creating content?
I enjoy getting to inhabit so many different worlds. In any one day, you can go from talking to a twentysomething blockchain start-up founder, to a third-generation oyster farmer, to an academic who has devoted his life to developing treatments for liver cancer.
Tell us about your journey to become a content creator
Like most people in the field, I'm an erstwhile journalist. I've been in a growing industry, and a vertiginously declining one – being in the expanding one has proved a much happier experience.
What is the piece of content you are most proud of?
While working for GQ, I got to spend a night drinking with Christopher Hitchens. It was a memorable evening. I like to think the article I wrote about it conveyed some of the brilliance and charisma of the now sadly departed Hitch.
What value does content bring to a client's marketing strategy?
It's well-established that old-school marketing isn't as effective as it used to be, especially with younger consumers. I presume almost everyone now does some Googling before making a significant purchase (or even an insignificant one). Organisations that don't have quality content that propels them to the top of the search rankings are bringing a knife to a gunfight.
What's your approach in bringing a client's story to life through brand journalism?
My approach is exactly the same as it was when I was a journalist. You identify what the intended audience will find entertaining, inspiring or useful then structure the content around that.
How do you determine the tone, voice and style is right for a piece of content?
Often the client already has a good idea of what tone, voice and style works for their brand. If not, it's usually self-evident given the product or service being featured and the market for that product or service.
What is the most useful thing a marketer can provide you in the brief that allows you to understand their brand?
Demographic and psychographic information is always helpful. As a general rule, it's always better for clients to err on the side of providing too much information about the content they want rather than too little.
What makes successful content?
This is an age of endless distraction. People are only going to invest several precious minutes in consuming a piece of content if you give them a good reason to do so. It's been my experience that the organisations that have the most success with content marketing are the ones that invest in creating a smaller amount of well-targeted, attention-grabbing content rather than churning out reams of average content then taking a spray-and-pray approach. You can find Nigel and his creative portfolio on the Fabulate platform, by clicking and viewing his profile here.