Peter Gillis

We were very pleased to welcome Stephen Walsh back to give his second seminar at the Centre. Stephen has been responsible for the successful marketing of his own company, Kineo, ultimately leading to Kineo’s acquisition by City & Guilds in 2012. Stephen has now set off to develop the talents he honed at Kineo and is currently CEO of Anders Pink, a new content marketing agency.
His talk on how to leverage social media in the edtech space attracted a lot of interest with over 20 members in attendance.

Stephen’s inspiration for developing his social media strategy was a book called “Love is the killer app” by Tim Sanders.

More traditional forms of e-Marketing, like banner ads, and e-mails are referred to as interruption marketing where the focus is to interrupt the potential client in the course of their online activities and seek to distract them to a marketing message. The success rate of these activities is very poor to the point of being questionable in value terms. The more valuable approach is to build relationships through sharing useful information with potential customers through social media, this is not easy and requires dedication and investment in time, because the quality of the information shared is paramount. Stephen also points out that it will not happen over night, so needs dedication in the long term. But when successful potential clients see the supplier in a much more positive light and may well lead the client to come to them. Stephen also shared statistics showing the trend shift driving traffic to sites, the quantity driven by search is in decline while the reverse is true for traffic through social media, and as the graphic below shows, the trends crossed in the middle of 2014.


Stephen had promised to give attendees 5 tips to create compelling content for social media, they were:

  1. Get your story straight. Your story should reflect the passion and personality of your particular brand. The story is just that, a story, so it should be written for a particular audience and deliver to a plan, with start middle and end. Then it is important to share the story, monitor feedback, adjust and go again.
  2. The killer story is just the start, next you need a content plan. Your story needs to be found, therefore it is important to deliver the story in a format, through channels and amplified by champions of your target audience. The plan must be data driven, through an analysis of what is working where.
  3. Get the format right, your content can be in a myriad of formats; animations, quizzes, blog article, top tips etc. etc. Different messages work better in different formats. Stephen gave us many examples including Infographics are a useful tool to raise awareness, while Demos and Webinars may be a lot more useful if the objective is to get a decision.
  4. Spend more on promotion than creation. “If you create tweet and forget, so will your audience” says Stephen. You need a strategy of content promotion, one strategy is to identify influencers in your domain, reach out to them and build relationships with them, this makes your job of amplification a lot easier.
  5. Track Competitors, as with traditional forms of promotion it is important to track intelligence on competitor activity. In social Media that activity would equate to what are they publishing? Who mentioned or linked to them? How many shares are they getting etc.

The end of the session involved a lively interaction with Stephen’s other enterprise, Buzzsumo an online tool that helps organisation do a lot of the data tracking, and intelligence gathering mentioned in this article. All members in attendance were given three months free access to Buzzsumo

Stephen made a final point, an important one, keeping an eye on your competition is valuable, but if you follow or copy you will always be a step behind. Stephen’s company was called Kineo which means ‘stir it up’ Content Marketers should be looking to stir it up.
Members can access Stephen’s presentation by logging in to the Members’ Area