Blair Hammond is the Senior Manager of Global Content at Reebok. A strategic storyteller, Blair has worked behind the editorial desk at a number of publications and across a variety of corporate departments to execute internal communications and consumer-facing digital campaigns. Currently, at Reebok, her professional experience includes dynamic multimedia and print content creation at national and international brands. Blair is proud to have earned her journalism degree and Global MBA from leading universities and am always up for brainstorming punny headlines.
Ahead of her presentation at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit in New York this March 21-22, we sat down with Blair to talk all things digital marketing, from social platforms to data usage.
Why has content marketing seen such growth in recent years? How are you capitalizing on this?
Consumers have shut off the traditional world of marketing. They skip television ads, stream music instead of turning on the radio and run pop-up blockers for ad-free web surfing. In short, we don’t have their attention anymore. We instead must create something valuable, and have them come to us. That 'value' happens at the center of the page and through storytelling. We must give them a reason to talk about Reebok.
What advice would you give to brands just beginning their content marketing journey?
Everyone is hungry but few can cook. Blog posts and multimedia content really have to be developed by someone with a keen eye for what is newsworthy. Content teams also require access to creative support (photographers, designers, videographers) and data/analytics for continued editorial refinement based on traffic, time on site and conversion. Most importantly ramping up your content marketing is a mindset versus a staffing project.
What is your SEO strategy and how are you optimizing your websites and e-commerce platforms for search marketing?
We meet regularly with Reebok’s SEO expert and converge the two mediums (blog and e-commerce) whenever possible. We try to hold all of our content development accountable to SEO best practises like developing topic authority, reaching key story lengths, maintaining freshness of the site and frequency of new content and ensuring the content is unique and useful to our consumers.
How do you maintain brand loyalty and meaningful engagement in the over-crowded digital space?
We focus heavily on inserting Reebok into the news cycle. That’s done by our Newsroom team, made up of our PR, social media and editorial teams. The content marketing function powers our owned channels so that the messaging is consistent across screens, platforms and URLs. It also gives material to our media outreach team to enable a constant conversation with key titles trusted by Millennials. Yes, it’s crowded right now for brands, but when you act with purpose and with speed, all of those screens can work in your favor.
How crucial is the role that data plays in your decision-making?
Very. We’re constantly testing and learning. Some projects are done precisely for establishing baseline data that we didn’t previously have. We’re also tracking key metrics of engagement and working ever more closely with our e-commerce team to ensure our storytelling is aligned with their unique sales propositions. At the end of the day, that data is sales.
What social media platforms do you find most useful and how are you measuring your success?
Twitter is still crucial for us for driving consistent traffic to our blog and for inserting Reebok into trending news. If we want big numbers, however, we leverage Facebook because of the way the platform displays our blog content. It’s big, it’s eye-catching and (let’s face it) everyone still uses Facebook.
How does your output across the different social media platforms differ and why?
We’re a visual brand so Instagram and any of the updates made to that platform are very important for us. For example, Instagram stories have been an exciting new ground of us during events, product launches and even artist collaborations. That’s where we tell visual stories. We have conversations on Twitter, it’s constantly a two-way dialogue with our fans and those talking about trending Millennial news. SnapChat we turn on at fun moments but not with significant frequency.
You can hear more from Blair, along with other digital marketing industry leaders, at the Digital Marketing Innovation Summit this March 21-22 in New York.