After content creation, the distribution and promotion of content is a challenging task for marketers. The number of channels on which your target group is present continues to grow. "Your website and Facebook alone are no longer sufficient," says Valeri Potchekailov. In 2016 he started the Ghent company Story Chief together with Brik De Maeyer and Gregory Claeyssens. "Content is king," says Valeri, "but content distribution is queen. And she wears the pants. "
As a copywriter, you often have little idea what ultimately happens to your texts after completion. Because then marketers have the assignment to optimally use the content through all available channels. And there lies the crux according to Valeri, who recently cited this at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam. He asked his audience: 'Which of you cuts its content from Word or Google Docs and then sticks it to a website, Facebook, Medium or LinkedIn? And who swears by that? " Many hands showed that content distribution is a current challenge. “It takes a lot of time. Certainly if you also include your ambassadors, people who can put your message through on their personal channels to increase your reach. How do you manage all that? How do you use your content efficiently for multichannel? That was the question where we Story Chief started with it. "
You were a digital agency first?
“Yes, Sugar. We saw the same problems with regard to content, collaboration and publishing. That is how we came up with a practical content tool. We first created a landing page, in which we explained the operation and where people could register for free early access. That landing page was ours Minimal Viable Product (MVP), to verify the idea before we started building immediately. After a nice article on Bloovi we received 700 registrations within two hours. Then we knew: there is a real demand for this. January 2017 we went live. The following six months we talked to the users to improve the tool. The improved version went live in June. We now have 1300 users, free and paid, ten people and two investors. "
Why is there such a big demand for this?
“Blogging is the number one method for SEO and lead generation, according to HubSpot. Blogs are indexed by Google. If you deal well with that, and you write what your target group is looking for, then your leads will come in via that channel. A typical example is Neckermann Reizen, part of Thomas Cook. At Compagnon by Neckermann they shared inspiration and tips in their articles and travel reports. For example, search for “Visit Sagrada familia"You will not only find valuable information about visiting the Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, the design by Antoni Gaudí and the completion date of 2026 (!), But also a link to book the trip to Barcelona," Valeri outlines. “You can book a lot more trips this way. Our tool saves a lot of hours on distribution. "
How does Story Chief do that? How does your tool work?
“Content marketing includes content creation, content distribution and of course lead generation. We bring these three branches together in one flow. We help you determine the subject and keywords, write it yourself, have it easily checked and checked, and then distribute your content. You can connect all your channels for this: your CMS system, from WordPress to larger systems such as Sitecore and Adobe, but also the blog sites Medium and Blogger, the accelerated mobile pages Facebook instant articles and Google AMP, social media and e-mail programs. You then spread your content to all your channels with one push of a button. All in all, our tool saves you three to four hours of time per item. "
I had about 30 channels on your website.
"Yes that's right. With this you as a marketer also see a list of possible channels that you can easily use. Such as Facebook instant articles and Google AMP for example. Many people know accelerated mobile pages not, while it makes your content suitable for mobile consumption. You don't need IT knowledge to set it up. We want to make it as easy as possible. ”
How do you prevent duplicate content?
“You set up a primary channel, usually your own website. We use on all other channels canonical URLs, so that Google does not see duplicate content. For SEO we also have a keyword checklist and a keyword counter, among others keyword spamming to prevent."
And how do you do the lead generation?
“We offer lead capture forms, whose leads we store in our own CRM. We also have integrations with a number of CRM systems. The entire process from lead to sales is certainly a separate business in B2B, and we prefer to focus on content distribution. ”
Lead generation sometimes seems like a poor child with marketers ...
“I see that many marketeers are still chasing traffic. And that is a common mistake, because ultimately you want to attract new customers. If you only pay attention to the number of visitors, you will soon recover clickbait articles of dubious quality. People then click away again. But if you also look at the reading time, for example, you create bond and better leads. And then you also realize that content must be qualitative, good texts with qualitative images. Then of course you have to distribute it well. Your content may be great, but your target group must also be aware of it. "
Is your tool primarily intended for large parties such as the Neckermann you mentioned?
“No, in principle we serve everyone. With our free version you can spread five stories per month, including your own blog that you set up quickly and looks great right away. Without support and premium features, which you only get with a paid account. Such as deploying ambassadors and journalists, a content calendar and linking with newsletters. That sounds commercial of course, but we also think those free users are important. Because that way we generate a lot of data quickly so that we can continue to make the tool more user-friendly. And that also makes all kinds of interesting analyzes possible. That way you can see which content scores better on which channel in terms of clicks and reading time. ”
What do you dream of? How do you see the future of Story Chief?
“We want to be the best content distribution tool and make content marketing accessible to everyone, including small businesses. Exactly as MailChimp now does for email marketing. That's why I don't really see our future with a whole body of sellers, because our tool has to sell itself. Customer centricity is number one for us. "
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* This interview has been distributed with Story Chief *