My First Week at Sagittarius.

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Having taken a year out of work and travelling the world returning to the ‘9-5’ daily grind is a rather daunting prospect, right? Wrong… not when you’re joining Sagittarius, and let me tell you why…

Before I started with Sagittarius I had met what seemed like nearly half the staff and spoken to Claire, our Joint Head of Talent, so many times she was on speed dial (ok, slight exaggeration…). Claire’s approach to recruitment was so refreshing and well done that she really made me feel like part of the team before I had started.

All aspects of the employment and contract had been covered thoroughly so there seemed to be no ‘unknowns’. Those classic first day nerves never stood a chance.

Day 1

Straight into meetings and induction: My induction was delivered by Paul, our CEO, which is kind of unheard of anyway where else and a really nice touch for new starters. Then straight into a solid day of Sales, Client Services and Marketing meetings… by then end of the day I felt like a Sagittarius veteran.

Day 2 & 3

Issued my work iPhone – happy girl! Then up to ‘The BIG Smoke’ with my CEO to partake in client meetings. It was great to be introduced to clients so soon and get going with projects from the outset. Information overload!

Day 3 & 4

My laptop had sadly still not arrived… so our CEO went out bought me a MacBook Pro (as you do) and spent his evening setting it up for me… how kind. Of course I was also provided with matching apple keyboard and mouse!

Thursday and Friday was spent in training sessions and getting to grips with internal processes. By the end of the week I felt like I had the week was nicely finished.

It’s actually been three weeks since I started - I have been so engrossed in projects that my ‘First week’ blog is now a 3-week overview. In the last three weeks I have been immersed into the team and client projects. We have had blogging lunches with pizza, arranged our amazing Staff Christmas party, driven complicated projects forward and even jumped on hot marketing trends (check out our Mannequin Challenge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vswFxEbFQj0.

Some of the benefits:

  • A never ending supply of (FREE!!) fruit, biscuits and other snacks
  • Pizza Express Lunches
  • Friday beers
  • Real rewards for those who go above and beyond (zero ‘carrot dangling’)
  • Quality hardware and software to enable efficient and effective output
  • QUALITY ongoing training
  • A fantastic bunch of people to work with who are really driven and proactive
  • A forward thinking and open minded agency who are open to new initiatives and development.

What have I found out from my first few weeks at the agency?

  1. Agency life is good – common sense and a realistic view on things prevails! Hurrah!
  2. There is a HUGE amount of intelligence, talent and passion squeezed into this little office.
  3. Sagittarius board members really care about their employees and it shows.
  4. There is a huge investment in the staff at Sagittarius and this spans training, welfare and benefits – I feel very lucky to have found a place with such a company.
  5. Last, but of course, not least – I’m really enjoying! (pat on the back to me for choosing Sagittarius!)

What’s clear is that Sagittarius really do invest in their team, which is so refreshing! I have thoroughly enjoyed my first few weeks at the agency and feel really positive about their vision and how I can be a part of driving the business forward!

Here’s to the future!

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Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Natalie Waite
Natalie Waite
Head of Sitecore Optimisation Consultancy
Natalie has a strategic online marketing background having spent 4 years working in buying for the UK's leading shopping channel and 3 years specialising in digital marketing. She has a wealth of knowledge across online channels; whilst specialising in retargeting, content marketing strategies and strategic development. With a keen interest in driving conversions, regarding both traffic to a website and its subsequent action on site, she is keen to work alongside our clients to leverage their online communications and conversions.
Natalie Waite

Natalie Waite

02 Dec 2016 - 5 minute read
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