Content Marketing Manager @ Vision Critical | Content, Social Media Advertising and Inbound Marketing for Tech Companies
Marketing and Advertising | Vancouver, Canada Area, CA
My official title is “content marketing manager,” but, in fact, I’m just a marketing nerd.
As a Vancouver-based digital marketing professional, I help companies get high-quality traffic to their site, increase brand awareness and convert more leads and prospects into customers. To do this, I use my love for both words and data.
I create provocative, well-researched content like blog posts and Slideshare presentations. But I also know enough about SEO, keyword research, social media marketing and influencer outreach to make sure that your content gets in front of the right people. And unlike most content marketers, I have deep knowledge of social media advertising, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Translation: I will write your content and promote it effectively, too. I’m not just a content marketer—I’m also a growth hacker and a data-driven strategist.
Fun-but-somewhat-random fact: I was once named one of top 100 influencers in content marketing.
I currently work at Vision Critical. Consistently mentioned as one of the superstars of the Canadian tech industry, Vision Critical is a Vancouver-based software company that provides a customer intelligence platform for enterprises that want to facilitate two-way engagement with their customers.
I’m always game for coffee or drinks. If you ever see me in person, ask me about my obsession with Beyoncé and my fascination with the tech industry, SaaS companies and startups. I’m also happy to chat about my struggles as a Crossfit athlete. (Using the term ‘athlete’ generously here…)
Questions? Comments? Just want to say hi? Hit me up here on LinkedIn or tweet me at @kcclaveria.
2015 - Present
Content Marketing Manager / Vision Critical
Grow readership for the company's corporate blog by formulating blog content strategy, authoring timely posts, managing contributions from internal and external thought leaders, and optimizing posts for SEO
Run Vision Critical's social media advertising program, increasing brand awareness and generating leads on Twitter (through promoted tweets), Facebook (boosted posts and website ads), Instagram and LinkedIn (sponsored posts and InMail)
Collaborate with the demand marketing team to drive organic social media traffic to e-books, customer case studies, reports, infographics, white papers, webinars, demos and other campaign-related content
Optimize social media advertising programs to increase conversions, decrease cost per acquisition and get more in-target leads
Manage and grow the company's social media community on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Slideshare, Instagram, Pinterest and Scoop.It, among others
Increase brand awareness for the company by working with our PR team and assisting company executives write byline articles for high-profile marketing, market research and business online publications
Secure syndication with sites like Business2Community.com, a website with over 3 million monthly readers, and the Customer Experience Update, a blog with over 50,000 newsletter subscribers, resulting to increase brand awareness and referral traffic to the Vision Critical blog
Optimize content for SEO by writing blog posts targeted for keywords related to the business challenges we solve
Partnered with the customer marketing team to produce blog content featuring high-profile Vision Critical customers, showcasing the success of our software
Collaborate with HR to enhance our talent branding on LinkedIn, Instagram and other social network resulting to increased brand awareness and more job applications
*Promoted from previous role of Social Media Marketing Assistant
Social Media Marketing Assistant / Vision Critical
- Managed all of Vision Critical's social media presences (including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Slideshare) resulting to increased brand awareness and more leads. - Increased readership for the Vision Critical blog by writing blog posts, editing contributions, managing the editorial calendar, and overseeing the promotion of new posts - Helped executives and coordinated with our PR manager to write articles for byline opportunities with high-profile online publications
Account Executive & Community Manager / Dunn PR
* Promoted from previous role of Account Coordinator
- Designed marketing materials and web content assets for the agency such as post-campaign summaries, email newsletters, case studies, and social media weekly reports to better communicate project strategies and achievements. - Increased awareness of clients' brands through media and blogger relations. Clients include real estate developers in Vancouver (Adera Development Corporation, Rize Alliance, The Salient Group), beverage brands (Apothic Red Wine, Barefoot Wines, O.N.E. Coconut Water, Pepsi), and non-profit organizations (World Wildlife Fund). - Grew clients' and the agency's online communities by co-managing social media accounts (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus); contributing blog posts ideas and content; and advising on PR strategy & tactics.
Account Coordinator / Dunn PR
- Increased awareness of clients' brands through media and blogger relations.
- Wrote PR and marketing content, including press releases, blog posts, advertorials, media pitches, tweets, and Facebook updates.
- Created lists of media, bloggers, and online influencers for PR campaigns
- Enhanced the firm's social media presence by launching and managing the firm's Google+ (http://gplus.to/dunnpr) and LinkedIn profile pages and managing Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Intern / Dunn PR
- Created media lists and identified top online influencers for a number of PR campaigns for clients. - Collaborated with the firm’s partner to enhance the organization’s social media presence.
Social Media Specialist / SFU Volunteer Services
- Created content for the organization blog, covering the topics of volunteerism and community engagement. - Engaged Facebook community through relevant content and polls resulting to a 27% increase in likes and 124% increase in page views within 6 months. - Further increased the organization's following by 15% in the last three months.
My primary role in this 4-month work term involved internal and external communication, public relations, social media, marketing, and community outreach.
- Consistently provided relevant content via social networks which resulted to additional 187 Twitter followers (an increase of 30%) on Twitter and 130 Facebook fans (an increase of 61%) - Organized the promotion, selection, and training of 6 new student volunteer writers who helped increased blog content (http://blogs.sfu.ca/services/volunteer/) - Promoted the organization's blog via social media and newsletters, helping to increase visits to the blog by 400% compared to the same time period from the previous year - Created and sent 2 general email newsletters every month via MailChimp with an average open rate of 20.29% - Developed 6 faculty-specific email newsletters per month via MailChimp with an average of 26.98% open rate
Online Learning Community (OLC) Student Researcher & Writer / Simon Fraser University
In this work-study position, I wrote articles for the SFU Online Learning Community (http://www.sfu.ca/olc)
- Enhanced academic and work life of university students by researching and writing articles covering topics related to job search, work transition, work-life balance, and networking.
Knowledge Base Content Coordinator / eBay Inc
- Collaborated with stakeholders to launch a knowledge management system utilized by over 3000 employees. - Ensured consistent tone and formatting of articles by developing and implementing a style guide - Worked with content and project management teams to create and maintain a taxonomy of the articles resulting to a better end user experience. - Increased first call resolution and decreased contact handle time by leading a group of three subject matter experts in writing, reviewing, editing, and maintaining over 400 educational articles discussing site features, workflows, and policies. - Reduced customer frustration and multiple customer contacts by liaising with the Project Management team to ensure that agents have timely access to frequently asked questions regarding site changes
Live Chat Content Analyst / eBay
Reported to the Customer Support Outsourcing Senior Supervisor; developed content and workflow for a Customer Support department that answered customer questions via chat and email
- Enhanced communication with off-shore partners through the creation of informative emails and through active participation in teleconferences - Strengthened workflow and content consistency among three separate department offices through the management of internal knowledge management tools and of a widely-used intranet - Maximized efficiency for over 500 agents through collaboration with supervisors, trainers, policy managers, and agents in the creation of new department policies and workflows
Customer Support Agent / eBay
Handled 80-120 customer contacts per day, answering questions and explaining eBay features and policies.\
- Exceeded monthly, quarterly and yearly productivity, quality, satisfaction and resolution targets; formally recognized for ability deliver excellent customer service: the first Live Chat agent to be awarded with the maximum three bonus marks in a quality case for a Chat contact with eBay Customer Support
British Columbia Institute of Technology / BCIT
Simon Fraser University
Activities: Golden Key, Blog writer for SFU Volunteer Services, Online Learning Community Student Writer
Activities: Pride Collective, Peer Tutor (paid)
Competent Communicator, Toastmasters International (August 2014)
Dean's Honour Roll, SFU Beedie School of Business (Summer 2011, Spring 2011, Summer 2010, and Fall 2009)
Open Scholarship, Simon Fraser University (Summer 2011, Winter 2010, and Fall 2010)
Open Scholarship, Simon Fraser University (Winter 2010)
Leadership Summit Recognition Award, SFU Development and Volunteer Services (January 2011)
Marketing communication & advertising, social media, civic engagement, Bikram's yoga, fitness, pop music, meetups & tweetups.
These mega-deals are ripped straight from the headlines—and all in the last month. Consolidation in the marketing technology space is here, and, as these deals demonstrate, they are getting bigger and bigger.Today, hearing about multi-billion dollar acquisitions in the land of marketing software isn’t uncommon—in fact, it’s expected.
The number of acquisitions in martech raises a couple of questions. For one, what are the factors behind consolidation in the space? And, more importantly, what are the implications of this trend for software buyers and the customers they serve?
What’s driving martech consolidation
For established vendors, acquiring a smaller, more nimble company is often a defensive play. Acquiring companies with complementary offerings could help behemoths fend off potential competitors. (In many cases, they buy emerging companies that could pose a threat in the future.) Also, buying a smaller company is often a faster and easier way of taking advantage of emerging opportunities in the market.
Buyer demand is a driving force. The martech landscape has become so fragmented and confusing—in 2016, almost 4,000 companies are part of the martech landscape. Some consolidation could help simplify the space and reduce the overwhelming number of choices for software buyers by combining platforms that offer similar features.
The more significant reason for consolidation has to do with the wider trend of customer empowerment.
“The martech space changes faster than any other tech environment in an attempt to keep up with changing customer expectations and behaviors,” Arjen van den Akker, product marketing director at content management software company SDL, tells Martech Advisor.
The way customers buy and interact with brands is evolving quickly because of mobile and cloud technologies. To keep up with these changes, marketers are looking for software that will give them better intelligence about their customers. Many martech players see acquisition as a way of meeting demand for marketing needs that have emerged as a result of the evolving consumer landscape.
How martech acquisitions impact marketing software buyers
For marketers spending billions of dollars in martech each year, the growing trend in consolidation has few notable consequences.
As software vendors combine resources, technologies, and data, marketers might see more innovative products. Salesforce acquiring commerce software company Demandware, for instance, could address “disjointed retail processes” in the market and result in innovative products that merge marketing and commerce.
Marketers ultimately need to remember the real reason they’re investing in martech: to better understand current and potential customers with the purpose of driving sales. Companies need to makes sure that their marketing stack—regardless of the vendors that they work with—provides deep customer intelligenceand paints a holistic picture of the customer.
Martech consolidation is not about to slow down anytime soon. In fact, many tech experts expect that another major social network—Twitter—will be sold to a bigger company soon. More mega-acquisitions are ahead, and as behemoth companies become even bigger in the marketing software space, consolidation will only accelerate.
As the martech landscape consolidates further, marketers need to consider the implications not just from a technical or customer data perspective. Working with billion-dollar software companies won’t necessarily result in a deeper understanding of the customer or the market. In the end, having the best software doesn’t replace the need to engage directly with customers.
A version of this article was first published here.
Here’s what Mary Meeker had to say about millennials, video ads and the future of retail.
At 213 slides, venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s 2016 edition of her annual Internet Trends report is the biggest one yet.
Delivered at the annual Code Conference, Meeker highlighted some key trends this year, including the growth of online advertising, the “re-imagining” of transportation and the changing consumer demographic.
If you work in marketing, customer experience or product development, here are the most important takeaways for you from Meeker’s Internet Trends 2016 presentation.
Authenticity is key to more effective video advertising.
Despite the growth of video ads, most of them are not resonating with customers, as these stats demonstrate:
81 percent of people mute video ads
62 percent are turned off by brands that force pre-roll viewing
93 percent of customers are considering using ad-blocking software
But it’s not all doom and gloom for advertisers that want to use videos. Ads that are authentic, entertaining and emotional are most effective, according to a study conducted by the video company Unruly.
Millennials are more global, tolerant and diverse.
It’s no secret that millennials are different from older generations. Meeker shares a useful slide summarizing the general characteristics of Gen Y compared to baby boomers, Gen X and the “silent” generation. (In later slides, Meeker also reminds people that the spending power of this generation will only rise significantly in the next 10 to 20 years.)
More retailers are investing in the direct-to-consumer marketing channel.
According to Meeker, more consumers are shopping directly from their favorite brands instead of going through retailers. But there’s also a concurrent trend where retailers are developing their “own vertically-integrated products.” As retailers become brands, and brands become retailers, expect more direct-to-consumer models to emerge in the years ahead.
Omnichannel is key in retail.
For many retailers, it’s no longer a question of online versus offline: the answer is both. According to Meeker, brick-and-mortar companies are beefing up their online presence, while brands that started as e-commerce brands are becoming “data-optimized physical retailers.”
Meeker’s slide sums it up well: “Omnichannel is key.”
Upstarts are growing faster than ever before.
A combination of viral marketing, on-demand purchasing and access to capital is helping many retailers drive sales. According to Meeker, it’s now easier than ever for internet retailers to achieve $100 million in annual sales within five years of launch—something that took a lot longer in previous decades.
Gen Z and millennials have significant differences.
The rise of “internet-related dislocations” is bad news for big brands.
There’s a compelling reason why traditional media and retail companies need to step up with innovation: Internet-enabled upstarts are quickly chipping away market share and revenue from them.
Meeker says we’re still in the early days of “Internet-related dislocations,” but the current generation of Internet leaders are already growing faster than ever before.
Data analytics is now a growth platform.
Companies are collecting more data than ever before and, as a result, data is now a new growth platform. More analytics platforms are making it easy for non-technical people to have direct access to data, according to Meeker.
Customers want better data and privacy protection.
As it becomes easier for companies to collect data, consumers are also becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy.
45 percent of customers are more worried about online privacy than a year ago
74 percent of customers have limited their online activity in the last year due to privacy concerns
78 percent of consumers are concerned about companies selling their data
These stunning stats from Meeker reiterates that most customers are uncomfortable in how companies collect and use their data. Marketers need to find the right balance between their need for insight and the growing demand for more privacy. But more importantly, companies need to be more transparent—they need to ask for consent for their customer data and feedback as part of their customer intelligence program.
Meeker’s Internet Trends 2016 presentation is particularly relevant to big brands as it highlights the impressive growth of startups and the evolving lifestyle of millennials and Gen Z.
The big lesson: to remain relevant in this time of significant change, business and marketing leaders need to be relentless in their pursuit for innovation. In doing so, companies must focus on understanding their customers—something they can only gain through ongoing and authentic engagement.
Check out Mary Meeker’s full Internet Trends 2016 report below.
Authenticity matters to consumers, but most global brands are not effectively connecting with customers.
That’s one of the stunning conclusions from Authentic100, a global report on brand authenticity, conducted by the multinational PR firm Cohn & Wolfe and released this month. The report explores what brand authenticity means to consumers and how customer trust drives revenue.
From the consumers’ perspective, authenticity encompasses seven attributes, according to the study:
Delivering on promises
Providing high quality
Treating customers well
Protecting customer privacy and data
Being genuine and real, not artificial
Acting with integrity
When clustered together, these seven traits roll up into three drivers of brand authenticity, what the report calls the 3 Rs: reliable, respectful and real.
The top 10 most authentic global brands
The company tested these attributes in a survey of 12,000 consumers in 14 markets and found that, out of 1,600 brands, the following 10 are seen as most authentic:
The authenticity gap: Customers want brands to get real
While some brands are connecting well with customers, the same can’t be said for the business world in general. In particular, most brands struggle with the last R: being real.
That’s a problem because consumers are yearning for authenticity: 78 percent of the people that Cohn & Wolfe engaged indicated that they don’t think brands are open and honest. In the U.S., only 23 percent of consumers perceive businesses to be honest.
The study found a close connection between brand authenticity and business results: 88 percent of consumers indicated that they will reward brands that are honest and real. According to Cohn & Wolfe, “if companies were to be more authentic, then consumers say the turnaround would earn their recommendation, loyalty, investment and even a desire to work for the company.”
Why CX matters to brand authenticity
For consumers, brand authenticity is not something abstract. In fact, the report provides a very specific recommendation on how companies can build authenticity.
“To be perceived as authentic, brands can gain more by focusing on what consumers experience, versus what they have to learn,” says the report. “How a brand directly treats a consumer (69 percent) is more important than how a brand treats the planet (55 percent) or if a brand is clear about its beliefs (59 percent).”
Given the focus and investment companies have been putting on CX, that insight should be good news for most companies. While many business leaders see authenticity as a marketing problem, the study suggests that it’s more of a customer experience issue. According to Gartner, 89 percent of businesses already see CX as a top priority. This focus on customer experience is a great first step toward brand authenticity.
That’s not to say that achieving seamless CX is easy. Indeed, companies are struggling to improve their customer experience strategy. For one, many don’t yet have a holistic picture of the customer journey. The bigger issue is that companies lack actionable insight on how to enhance CX. Despite all the big data available to brands, they don’t really know their customers. Many companies don’t have the customer intelligence necessary to cater to today’s connected customers.
Ultimately, Cohn & Wolfe’s study strongly suggests that, to be seen as authentic, companies don’t need a big PR push telling the public that they’re genuine. They don’t even need sappy marketing campaigns to make an emotional connection with their customers. Instead, companies need to get back to the basics: they need to walk the walk and deliver on their promise of better experiences for their customers.
Note: A version of this article first appeared here.
Some people have asked me recently why I am no longer regularly publishing long-form content on LinkedIn. As an early adopter to the program, I was an advocate for this LinkedIn feature. I helped my colleagues to do it. I encouraged friends to try it. I even wrote blog posts about it.
But after going semi-viral and accumulating over 2,000 followers, I’ve cut back on LinkedIn Publishing.
I have a few reasons why—some are legitimate, some aren’t super profound.
The first reason is that I got busy. I have a life, ok? I started doing CrossFit. I went on a three-week vacation. Work continues to be exciting and busy. And on top of all of that, I was doing some freelance work on the side for awhile.
Another reason: I’ve decided to prioritize my own blog. I’ve opted to post some awesome blog posts there exclusively. I’ve decided to build up my own database, turning on lead forms on my site so I can occasionally email people with new content.
The third reason is a bit vain, but a complaint I hear from others. Since LinkedIn opened up publishing for everyone, the views on my LinkedIn posts have plummeted. If I work on a post on LinkedIn and I only get a few dozens of views, is it really worth my time? Probably not—especially if I can get that many views (if not more) from syndicating on Business 2 Community or just from my own blog.
The best way to get a lot of views on LinkedIn is to be featured on LinkedIn Pulse. But cracking that code is impossible. Some of the posts that I worked hard on—those posts that I thought for sure would get picked up by LinkedIn Pulse—went nowhere. And some of my so-so posts were, oddly enough, picked up.
More crucially though, the quality of posts published on LinkedIn has, in my opinion, vanished greatly since LinkedIn Publishing was opened to the public. The content has become often mediocre…and sometimes even downright shitty. It has become a wasteland of re-published (read: duplicate) content. (Side note: I am guilty of this wrongdoing; I repost some of my blog posts on LinkedIn.) When the overall quality of content on a platform declines, participating becomes discouraging.
The bottom line: LinkedIn Publishing is ruined for me, and we marketers are partly to blame. Quickly browse some of the articles on LinkedIn and you’d quickly realize that marketers are using it as just another way to push not-so-great content. LinkedIn Publishing is no longer a tier 1 content platform. It’s not even tier 2.
But should you follow my lead and also abandon LinkedIn Publishing? Not necessarily. There are some good reasons to keep on writing for LinkedIn:
You only blog on LinkedIn. I believe every inbound marketer should create her or his own blog. Afterall,opening your own blog on WordPress or Medium is super easy. But I understand that some people have legitimate reasons for not wanting to create and maintain their own blog. If you’re one of these people and LinkedIn is the only place where you share your own content, then by all means, continue to do that.
You’re a LinkedIn Influencer. Becoming part of the LinkedIn Influencer program is the only sure way to get high traffic consistently. LinkedIn pushes its influencers pretty heavily, and many of these influencers bring their huge network and reach to the site.
You’ve tested LinkedIn Publishing and you find that it’s actually leading to inbound traffic in leads. I’ve used UTM tracking to monitor the performance of my posts and of my colleagues. While we do get some traffic from these posts, this traffic is incremental and often not significant enough. LinkedIn Publishing is hard to scale right now (and it’s not like you can pay LinkedIn to advertise your post), and so I find that the few leads that we get from this tactic is not worth the effort, especially compared to other inbound marketing tactics. At least not yet.
LinkedIn Publishing started as a very promising platform. It was supposed to be an opportunity to spark interesting conversations about anything related to your profession. It was supposed to lower the barrier for building thought leadership and influence. It was supposed to bridge the gap between content creation and online professional networking. That promise has diminished.
Smart inbound marketers know that they have to be picky with their time. We all only have 24 hours in our day, and we have to double down on the tactics that work—and identify and quickly abandon those that don’t. LinkedIn Publishing simply isn’t making the cut, and I’m opting out for now.
Advertising on Facebook is one of the most cost-effective and scalable ways of using social media to get more leads for your business. With billions of people logging into the site on a monthly basis, there simply isn’t an excuse not to advertise on this platform.
But if you’re already advertising on Facebook, you might be doing one thing that’s driving your costs up: accidentally showing your ads to your competitors.
When you don’t exclude your competitors from Facebook ad targeting, this is essentially what you’re doing.
There are some obvious disadvantages to doing this:
Exposing your campaign could encourage your competitors to copy it and launch similar initiatives.
If your competitors choose to click your ads, it will increase your costs if you’re running a PPC campaign.
It could also decrease your ad’s quality score if your competitors aren’t engaging with it. (It’s highly unlikely that your competitors will like, comment on or share your ads.)
Thankfully, Facebook now allows advertisers to exclude people that work for a certain company. And the even better news is that it’s super easy to do!
Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
Create an ad on the Facebook Ad Manager.
Under “Who do you want your ads to reach,” look for the “Detailed targeting” subsection.
Click “Exclude People.”
Click “Browse” and then choose “Demographic.”
Scroll down and select “Work.” Choose “Employers.”
Voila! From here, just start typing your competitors’ brand names, and select each one.
You might even choose to add your own company’s name, if you don’t want your colleagues to click your ads. (If you’ve selected cost per click, you will get charged even if it’s your own people clicking the ads.)
A note on some of the shortcomings of this approach:
For this to work, people need to have added their employers in their Facebook profile. Not everyone do this, so there is a possibility some of your competitors’ employees will still see your ads.
Facebook may not include your competitor’s name on the list if not enough people have listed it as their place of work.
Despite these shortcomings though, I think excluding people from your competitor brands for every campaign is worth the time.
I hope this little Facebook advertising hack is useful! And if you have any Facebook hacks as well, let me know in the comments.