Ethology’s Mike Corak held a great keynote at the Content Marketing Conference Europe 2014 in Antwerp: “Topics, Not Keywords: How to Make Content Work for Brands.” Being a very experienced and integrated thinking digital (content) marketing practitioner as this interview and overview of his keynote shows, Mike’s presentation offered plenty of food for thought and practice.
Although we were very impressed by Mike’s know-how and approach, it shouldn’t have surprised us as Mike Corak is a digital marketing veteran. As Executive Vice President of Strategy at ethology, Mike leads the strategic planning and agency services teams.
Further, he has developed and implemented winning digital and integrated strategies for hundreds of companies including Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, ConocoPhillips, FedEx, Fujitsu, Nike, Office Depot and Walt Disney. Prior to ethology, Mike led the interactive services, strategy and client management at Off Madison Ave, serving a variety of Fortune 500 companies. Previously, he served as a senior strategic planner at iCrossing, working with most of the agency’s largest clients.
Prior to his keynote we asked Mike to share a content marketing tip, within the context of his keynote topic.
Mike Corak: My session is titled “Topics, Not Keywords: How to Make Content Work for Brands.” The gist is that search evolution toward the semantic web is good news for content marketers in that the need for keyword-focused content is being replaced by thematic relevance and authority. Google is essentially catching up to what user-focused content should have always been. The punch line is that future success in content marketing will be more dependent on system building than line-level content production and output. So, a practical tip—and a need for 99% of the companies I audit annually—is to create a centralized content strategy and integrated delivery system to guide your content marketing efforts now.
Next, we asked Mike what – according to him – is one of the most important ways that content marketing creates value for customers.
Mike Corak: One way content marketing creates value for customers is when its output is usable for both businesses and users. Unfortunately, what’s sometimes created is not usable content—it’s often a blog post developed to plug a missing SEO ranking for a keyword. But what does result in something usable is when content is developed around a theme a brand is authentically authoritative on—coming from a true point of understanding user intent—and that the brand is proactively anticipating and creating content to be as useful and evergreen as possible. All you have to do is ask yourself what kind of content would BEST fulfill users’ needs? Then tell me how often the answer is a keyword-focused block of text.
More content marketing wisdom from Mike Corak
An interview at the occasion of the Content Marketing Experience Conference Europe 2014 in Antwerp, in which Mike shares some great views – and his presentation – on various aspects of content marketing, content strategy and integrated marketing. A must-read!
More about Mike Corak
Mike’s peers have recognized him for his results-oriented work. His awards include “Email Campaign of the Year” from the Email Experience Council (EEC) a division of the DMA, and “Best Consumer Products Website of the Year” by the American Business Association (ABA). Mike serves as a SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) board member, helping drive the search and social industry’s trade group initiatives in research and education.