Engaging content marketing for complex industries

Delivering integrated content marketing campaigns in complex industries such as legal or financial services can often be challenging. You want to produce content which is useful but also engages with the user. Content marketing has seen a drastic change over the last few years where the direct sell is being avoided whilst appealing to your user’s interests and behaviours is key.

We decided to focus our efforts on a campaign around legal myths for Co-op Legal Services. Working with our PR and Social Media teams from the start was essential to deliver a joined up campaign. From commissioning research for the Press, working with the practice areas to answer common questions to defining a target audience for Facebook, all were vital.

Quiz_Cover

We knew legal misconceptions often divided opinion therefore a quiz felt like the appropriate tool to adopt. Appealing to people’s competitive sides proved to strike a chord as they instantly started sharing their scores on Social Media. Over 5,500 users completed the quiz overall which surpassed previous campaigns. 143,000 impressions were delivered on Facebook with 5,000 users engaging with the post.

A leading Legal IT website featured the quiz on their site as well as bloggers. All of which delivered traffic to the website.

A PDF download of the questions from the quiz with additional examples also achieved strong engagement with 40,000 views on Slideshare.

96% of the traffic from all sources to the campaign were new to the website. Put another way, we were engaging with people who had never visited the website before and we couldn’t think of a better introduction.

This proves that if you do your research, get under the skin of your audience and work collaboratively, you can deliver a results driven campaign. In this instance, the business was also presented to a new audience.

Influencer Engagement: Progressing from the first date

Hi, I’m Annette, the SEO Manager for our Food division. I started at the Co-op last April and attended the annual ‘Christmas in July’ Press Event. I hadn’t met any of the product developers before, but I was blown away by their passion as they explained how and why each product had been carefully crafted.

And so, a few weeks later, I started on my first outreach campaign – eager to share these fabulous stories and products with the blogosphere. I remember sending out carefully constructed emails to chosen bloggers and… absolutely nothing. I couldn’t understand it, I thought that bloggers would be lining up to work with a brand as established as ours, but it turns out that we had never worked specifically with bloggers before.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to build a blogger database for the team. I knew that sending out a couple of products just wasn’t going to cut it, We didn’t just want a couple of random guest blog posts or product reviews. We needed a connection – a new way to work with bloggers that would produce advocates and partners – excited to work with us and enthusiastic about our brand… And so the Christmas blogger event was born.

That 1st event was compared to a first date – an exploratory evening for us to find out more about each other.
1. Co-op-Blogger-Event-Paul-Dempsey

We introduced them to our sumptuous food and drink, and they told us what their challenges were. The feedback from the event was very positive – some even said that it was one of the best blogger events of the year. Not bad for a 1st effort!

Blogger Event

We’ve been building on these relationships for a year – sending updates, hosting smaller events, including bloggers in campaigns and sending out occasional products for review. The invitations for this years Christmas event at 1AS on 27th November, went out last week and the response was amazing – RSVPs increased 300% over last year! Not only is this event bigger and better – there is more involvement from across the business than last year with PR, Food Digital Marketing, Food Product Developers, Taste Team and Sodexo in the trenches along with us in SEO and Social – working to bring it all together.

The panel of bloggers – taking questions from the audience at this year’s event will feature-

rsz_blogger_-_louise Louise Hegarty of birdsandlilies.com
Louise is a Parenting and Lifestyle Blogger from Nottingham. She’s been blogging since 2012, and it has a blossoming readership and a large social following. Lou has an honest and open writing style, and is happy to share her experiences of IVF, Parenting and life in general. She has a 3 year old daughter, and loves making lists, talking too fast and eating lots of cheese.

rsz_blogger_-_janeJane Arschavir of HodgePodgeDays.co.uk
Jane Arschavir has been blogging since June 2013. She stumbled into blogging following a life-changing injury and her blog grew from there. Jane writes about a whole range of topics (hence hodge-podge), and her hobbies include getting brain freeze from eating ice pops too quickly, writer’s block and shouting at the television.

 rsz_blogger_-_sianSian Russell from HelpfulMum.com
Siân’s blog has been established for over four years. She writes about parenting, days out, travel, food, product reviews, lifestyle and the Yorkshire Dales. She has presented at BlogCamp events on video editing techniques and YouTube. In July 2014, she graduated as a mature student in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and now manages a Bed & Breakfast in the Dales

We’re so excited! Keep your eyes open for the post-event round-up!

3. Co-op-Blogger-Event-Masterchef
We even had some extra special guests – Masterchef anyone?

SearchLove London – 2015

Hello, I’m Jen, and I’m a SEO Executive at the Co-op.  SearchLove is arguably one of the best search events of the year,  I attended this years event and learned far too much for one post so I’ve decided to highlight a few gems.

The Future of Queries

Tom Anthony, head of R&D at Distilled sees queries changing a lot in the future, one trend being implicit signals over explicit as users expect us to know the context of their query. The explicit aspect of a query would be ‘co-op store’ while the implicit aspect would be for us to know that they are on their iPhone on Balloon Street, Manchester. As we look to the future we will be using the data gathered through wearables and beacons to enable us to delivery hyper local results depending on whether the user is walking or running, or simply stood on the other side of the road.

This data will then influence another future trend, compound queries. Google no longer deliver results from each query independently and instead use previous searches and user intent to deliver a more accurate result. If marketers start thinking about the users intent rather than keywords they will soon be able to cut out competitors and serve the user direct. Great example using Google’s voice search below

An SEO Approach to Content Marketing

Anum Hussain, Growth Marketer from HubSpot tried and tested a few tactics when building a content strategy for new website, Sidekick. Her tactic began traditionally; producing SEO site pages, building high quality relevant links and increasing social shares, yet her results really began to change when they updated historical content with related site links and doubled down on one topic across all content. This is a simple tactic that reminds us how effective some onsite fundamentals can be, and one we definitely plan to start increasing.

Be a Unicorn

Larry Kim, founder and CTO of WordStream taught us his best Facebook and Twitter advertising hacks of all time reinforcing the phrase we’ve used a lot over the past 12 months, “you’ve got to pay to play”. He suggests to only promote content that would work organically and so if it takes off organically then promote it, it’s all about being reactive. Not only will it save you time finding good content (unicorns) it will also save you money if you promote it to the correct audience, or retarget users for an extra push.

Larrys Pyramid Scheme

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Will Critchlow, CEO and co-founder of Distilled shared some practical advice on a topic that has been a talking point of late, download sizes (his diagram explains the industries’ issue pretty well).

Will downloading content


AMP (
accelerated mobile pages) has launched to combat this with many top tier publishers on board. Try it out here (on your mobile) or use this guide to start creating an AMP page.

Chasing “perfect

Ian Lurie, CEO of Portent stressed we need to start chasing the human algorithm, it’s the only one that doesn’t change and the one we should already understand. Understanding what humans want from our content instantly moves us closer to perfect. Things to consider;

  • Content delivery
  • Rational navigation
  • Correct targeting
  • Broken links
  • Speed

…plus many, many more.

The Algorithm

Rand Fishkin, founder or more preferred title, Wizard of Moz, shared some fascinating data on where the algorithm is moving and reinforced many of our theories. Our perceptions have been that the algorithm is flattening and he produced the data to prove that. However, as more ranking factors are added to the mix, links are just as important as they were, meaning we need to stick at what we’re good at and continue building great links while incorporating the rest. I’m sure you’ll want to read all about search ranking factors 2015 in full.

I hope you found this round up useful, as I said there was so much information that I didn’t manage to squeeze in but you can find it all here, let me know what you think below or find me @jenbowden1