As part of our BloggersIdeas interview series, today we have Victoria Edwards from Florida blue. Victoria Edwards has been working in SEO and social media for eight years and currently works for Florida Blue a not-for profit health solutions company, based in Jacksonville, Florida.
Victoria is their Digital Content Strategist and focuses content management, creation and optimization. She’s written for various publications like, Search Engine Watch and Huffington Post, to name a few.
Please introduce yourself to our readers. Can you tell us something about your content writer journey. How and when did you enter into this?
My name is Victoria Edwards and presently am the digital content strategist for Florida Blue, an health insurance company, which is located in Florida, U.S.A.
I started our in online marketing about 9 years ago. I was an assistant to an Executive Vice President of a manufacturing company. I saw they had a website, but was always unclear as to how people found their products if noon knew the name of the business. No one there really had an answer for me, so I decided to research and found out about Search Engine Optimization. I became fascinated with SEO and all that it entailed.
I convinced my boss at the time to let me redesign their site using a really easy CMS (Thank you HubSpot.) I was able to redesign the site with very little HTML knowledge, but quickly was able to pick it up. They soon started ranking 1st page for their products, which was so exciting to see.
I knew that my passion was in SEO. Content came later when I started diving into social media marketing. I feel that having a strong foundation of SEO is so imperative for content and social media marketing.
What is your educational background and who suggested you to this digital world ?
My major is marketing and fashion design, but gravitated to the marketing side, as that’s where I learned about graphics design. Learning PhotoShop and Illustrator lead increased my passion in regards to computers, which then lead into online marketing and content.
I am self -taught and WISH they had SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media in universities when I was in school. It is slowly coming into schools, but not as fast as I had hoped!
How has the importance or value of content changed over the time you’ve been in online marketing?
I think there is even more focus on entertaining content than ever before. Before you could game the search engines with keyword stuffed content, but now so much of it relies on the end user and their experience with the content and how they share it.
No matter what industry you are in, you must have not only educational content, but content that can extract various emotions from the consumer. We are spoiled and have little patience when it comes to online, so our expectations are higher to be entertained.
What are a few of the industry-specific challenges you see in your company’s content plan, ie.: finance, B2B, publishing and how do you plan for those?
As I am in the health care industry, our editorial process is vigorous. It must go through several layers of approval before going live. Even when it goes live, there are times, where I must edit the content as rules or dates change. I have a content calendar that is built out way in advance, so we can start creating that content now, as it may take a few weeks for some content to get approved, due to its nature.
Being organized, having a content calendar that can be seen by all internal employees, so they are aware of what is going on is key, as they can provide additional guidance or insight to content that might have not been thought of, as there’s so much going on.
What do you see on the horizon for content marketing in 2014?
I see more focus in content marketing than ever before. I think that more companies will increase their content marketing budget, as they are seeing the real value of it.
I also see that more content marketing experts will be expected to have a background in search marketing, specifically SEO, so they can better target their content for the search engines. Finally, I see that content marketers MUST focus on how to repurpose their content from a user experience perspective, as content needs to be easily consumed across mobile, tablets, iPads and so on.
What are some of the best B2C content marketing examples that you like to reference?
There are several resources I go to for guidance. They are:
- Search Engine Watch
- Content Marketing Institute
How do I integrate content marketing in my own company?
Meet with various departments that you have at your company and tell them that you are a resource they should utilize to get their product or service out to the consumer. Your job as a content marketer is to educate internally and make yourself seen, so you can help others.
If you have a small company with few employees, you still need content. No matter what size company you have, you need a content calendar where you can plan out the future months of what type of content you need out there. If you have only a few employees, then you must all take responsibility of creating content as NOT doing content marketing is not an option for businesses anymore.
What’s the most underutilized content distribution tool?
There are so many tools out there to pick, but one article that I bookmark and refer to often is Lee Oden’s 10 Content Marketing Tools for Creation, Distribution and Analytics. I use Hootsuite and buffer, but there are so many out there for people to try.
What are top 10 SEO/Social tools used by you?
I use the following tools:
- Screaming Frog
- Google Analytics
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Open Site Explorer
- Google PageSpeed Insight
- You Get Signal
- If you want more information about what types of tools are out there, then check out Moz’s blog on The 100 Best Free SEO Tools & Resources for Every Challenge – Interactive.
I hope you enjoy this mind blowing interview session with Victoria , she had given her best in this session.
If you have any questions or doubts please do ask in the comments below !