Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on February 27, 2017

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How to Aim Your Brand for a Content Marketing Win with Doug Kessler

doug kessler on brand

“A brand is a set of promises. If you break that, you hurt the brand.” With a storied career in advertising including his current gig as co-founder and creative director of the Velocity Partners agency, Doug Kessler has spent his career helping brands create and communicate promises to their communities. This week, Doug stopped by the On Brand podcast for a chat about content, creative, and strategy.

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About Doug Kessler

Doug Kessler is co-founder and creative director of Velocity Partners, the London-based B2B content marketing agency — and Content Marketing Institute Agency of the Year. Doug has written a lot about content marketing including the B2B Content Strategy Checklist, Insane Honesty in Content Marketing and Crap: Why the Biggest Threat to Content Marketing is Content Marketing.

Episode Highlights

We started the show with … crap. Doug has spent a lot of time writing about crap. Or specifically, what we need to avoid creating as content marketers. As he notes, “the biggest threat to content marketing is content marketing. Content makes too much sense to go anywhere.”

Content quantity vs. quality. So what about the million-dollar question, ‘how much content should you create?’ Doug’s answer: “Do as much as you can above a certain quality level. Every piece you put out can either help or hurt your brand.” What you really have to do is …

Create a content brand. You have to be more than just a brand builder and a content creator. You have to develop a content brand. But it’s harder and harder to hit a home run.

How can you produce a content marketing home run? As Doug notes, “the first step is to aim for it.” This sounds obvious but so many of us fall prey to internal and external constraints that keep our content in the middle of the bell curve. That said, you still need to be strategic instead of following creative whims. “At Ogilvy in the ‘80s, we used to say, ‘you can always get attention from a gorilla in a jock strap.’”

B2B content isn’t necessarily harder. “It’s different. Not all pieces have to do everything. There are heart pieces and there are head pieces. We need more content that celebrates the Simon Sinek ‘why.’”

What brand has made Doug smile recently? “A B2C example is Everlane for their radical transparency in their supply chain and their margins. Thank you! For B2B, I’d say GE.” Doug then reminded us of their Hammer ad (below).

To learn more about Doug, check out the Velocity Partners website and follow Doug on Twitter.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently Matt Reno gave us a shout on Twitter for our episode featuring Brad Flowers. Specifically, Matt said he “poured some bourbon, opened the sketchbook, and chilled while listening to an insightful branding podcast.” Thanks for listening, Matt!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!




Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands online. He also teaches at the University of Iowa and is host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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