Something with Content Marketing – which exciting jobs hide behind the buzzword?

Job profiles at Serviceplan

Is it possible to earn money with content? When it comes to content marketing, certainly. Kristina Kipp and Mario Dorozalla from the Content Marketing team in Berlin have been focusing on the power of digital content for over three years. Even though their clients run the full spectrum, they all have the same goal in their sights: to boost their revenue through digital content. In the following interview, they tell us how they keep their clients happy.

  • What exactly is content marketing and what form does it take in your work? Is it related to advertising or PR? And where do consumers come in?

    Kristina: There are many different concepts of content marketing, as it is still a relatively new discipline – in Germany, at least. Neil Patel offers a very clear description that we feel is right on the money: “Content marketing is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis. Eventually, when consumers make a purchase decision, their loyalty already lies with you. They will purchase your product and prefer it over competitors’ options.

    This means that showing an advert to consumers just once is the polar opposite of what we do with content marketing here in Berlin: we seek the attention and the goodwill of consumers 24/7. Nevertheless, these areas all fuse together and advertising and PR always have to be part of the mix.

    Mario: Our approach to content marketing involves accompanying consumers on their journey to the product, to the purchase decision. We are there right at the start of the customer journey. The consumer has a problem, is faced with a challenge and looks for initial pointers on the internet. Ideally, our content should target consumers before they have the need to buy the product in question – a product that they might not even know yet. In most cases, Google comes up with the first response to the problem in question. However, products and brands are not yet actively communicated at this stage.

  • Which means you produce content that, on the surface, is not about a product at all?List Title

    Kristina: Yes, that’s right. Let’s take one of our top clients, for example – a sports car brand. At this point, we wouldn’t propose a feature that highlights the advantages of a particular model. Instead, for example, we might put together an article on the ten most attractive driving routes in Germany. Our aim is to get visitors to engage with the brand world and for them to find the article stimulating and useful. And for the content that hits home with users to bring them closer to the brand. For this reason, the content appears in an environment that is branded by our client.

    Mario: For example, our content appears in our clients’ blogs or apps. Our approach to content marketing can be seen as a kind of funnel: at the top, we communicate on a relatively broad base about various topics that appeal to the needs, desires and lifestyles of the target group, without touching on any specific products. This might be features on landscapes, or on design and luxury. In the middle of the funnel, we use more specific content to hone in on the solutions being offered by the brand or product more closely – sporty handling or sophisticated engineering, for example. It is only at the end of the funnel that we actually talk about product features such as vehicle type.

  • Google, apps, blogs … is it fair to say that you develop your content primarily for digital media?List Title

    Mario: Yes, we specialise in performance-oriented content marketing in which all content is measured in terms of its success. In this way, clients can be sure that their investment is worthwhile and that pre-defined targets and values are achieved. For example, we can determine online how often certain pages are called up or how many times a newsletter has been opened – you can’t do that with a print magazine or a letter. All the same, we can – and should – combine digital content with offline measures occasionally.

  • Kristina, you are Content Marketing Consultant while Mario is Content Marketing Manager. What is the difference between these two positions?

    Kristina: As a consultant, I am the strategist in our team and am often involved right at the start of the project. Clients tell me what they want to achieve with content marketing – I then advise them to define their marketing goals with regard to content marketing as precisely as possible. Then I develop a concept in which I define how we can achieve these goals: which target groups we should try to reach on which channels using which content – and how we measure whether we have reached our goals or whether we still need to fine-tune certain elements.

    Once the concept phase is over, the tactician – i.e. the manager – takes up the reins of the project. In this case, of course, it is Mario who uses his finely-honed tactical skills to bring the project to life for the client, monitoring production and quality and keeping things on track for success. This means that Mario is in constant contact with the client and cultivates a relationship that will hopefully go on indefinitely. J

  • Okay, so Kristina is the strategist and Mario is the tactician who steers the processes. Do you write the content as well? Or are other people responsible for that?

    Mario: For the level of quality that we are looking for, it is essential to work together with professional writers or content marketing specialists in UX and graphic design. Our content marketing has a key feature: it can be applied to all sectors, from SaaS providers to carmakers and real estate companies. All of these harness the selling power of our content marketing. My job is to get the right specialists on board and to manage their input.

  • When you get a very technical feature back from a professional writer, what do you look for when you’re revising it? For example, whether it is exciting, well-paced and maybe even entertaining rather than just informative?

    Mario: To ensure a smooth production process, we put together a very extensive author or producer briefing at the outset. All the content criteria needed to achieve the client’s goals are defined there – outline, formats, language, length, tone of voice, keywords and additional SEO measures. As far as we are concerned, content is only good when it achieves what it sets out to achieve. If this is the case, then it ticks all the right boxes, even from an objective point of view.

  • Where does your content appear and in what form? Do you approach specific media – a portal, for instance – and then propose your clients’ subject areas and provide them with background information? Or do you produce finished articles and then publish them in your clients’ formats – i.e. less “paid and earned media” and more “owned media”?

    Kristina: Generally speaking, we shape and develop content that we can publish in our clients’ blogs, apps, social media channels, etc. This is the only way for us to develop users the way we want to, because it allows us, for example, to gauge how long they have a content page open, how fast or slow they are scrolling, what they click on next and whether they actually make a purchase. However, paid and earned media are invaluable additions that allow us to generate attention for our content and to attract more user traffic to our clients’ channels. We always recommend to our clients the best possible interplay between the various channels – one that allows target groups to be reached effectively and developed efficiently.

  • Who is responsible for creating the persona – i.e. the fictitious consumer profile that is representative of a target group – to whose interests, motivations, life situation, language usage, etc., content is worded and shaped?

    Kristina: We create the personas in the strategy stage. Sometimes our tools and the information available to us are not enough to create the clearly defined profile that we need for a successful project. In this case, we conduct a workshop with the client or turn to market researchers or strategy service providers here in the group that specialise in personas.

    Mario: Incidentally, a persona does not just determine subject areas. Different personality profiles also have very different expectations as regards formats. Some people enjoy watching videos, others prefer to read a three-page report or an interview, and there are even those who like to have their facts delivered in Alexa’s voice. Some people like being singled out in social media, others avoid it at all costs. In other words, personas are not only instrumental in determining subject areas, but also have a major influence on formats, channels, wording and writing style.

  • You serve clients in the B2B and B2C markets, right?

    Kristina: Yes, we can work with any target group. We are also well positioned in the B2B market when it comes to lead generation. With suitable content and marketing automation tools, we can secure leads for our clients and qualify these in the long term. For example, this works very well in the case of complex products that require a lot of explanation and that we need to introduce users to gradually.

  • What is a typical working day for you? Do you work together a lot as a team?

    Kristina: There isn’t really any such thing as a typical day for us. Then again, coordination meetings with the team, fielding client calls, visiting clients, giving presentations, checking and writing e-mails, invoicing, etc. – all of this is usually part of the daily routine for all of us.

  • Which personal skills and traits are particularly important in what you do?

    Mario: Creativity and empathy are important. The ability to look beyond the supposedly proven formula. If you’re not getting anywhere, try something new. However, analytical skills are a great advantage too. For our monthly reporting, you must be able to put yourself in the target group’s shoes, derive interpretations and recommend courses of action.

    Kristina: Strong communication skills. You are constantly required to mediate and negotiate. With clients, professional writers and colleagues. What needs to be done? How should it be done? What options are there? What is supposed to happen? And when is it supposed to happen?


  • What project are you particularly proud of because it really challenged you and brought out the best in you?

    Mario: The project with the aforementioned sports car brand. We commission features in English for this project. My team is in great shape, our workflows are running smoothly and the client is happy. We have a follow-up job that is scheduled to run over the next three years, so it really is something to be proud of.

    Kristina: I designed an extensive lead generation campaign for a tourism company and implemented it as well. That was my first campaign of this magnitude with a really appealing subject area. We got excellent results and the client was over the moon. I’m really proud of that project.

  • What did you do before this?

    Kristina: I studied Communications and English and American Studies and had already got involved in PR and editorial work during my studies – that’s how I got into content marketing.

  • And why do you choose to stay in content marketing now?

    Kristina: It’s a great way to combine writing, strategic and analytical skills.

  • And how about you, Mario?

    Mario: I originally studied Tourism Management and then later on Marketing and Communications. I got interested in content marketing back when I was a student. Even then, I was captivated by the notion that content marketing doesn’t emanate from product benefits but rather from people’s needs.

  • Many thanks, Kristina and Mario, for taking the time to talk to us about your job – which is clearly every bit as exciting as it sounds!

Did we spark your appetite? Then go ahead and apply for a job advertisement (in German only) as Senior Advisor Content Marketing at  Serviceplan Public Relations & Content in Berlin now.

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