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4 min read

Search Leeds 2018 – Content marketing tips that won’t break the bank – Kirsty Hulse

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Kirsty Hulse is the founder and MD of Manyminds.

She is talking today about content marketing tips that won’t break the bank (or you spirit).

She starts by sharing a secret: she found selling content marketing very easy for the first 2 years, but it’s been harder over the last 6 months.


Is it because people are asking why can’t the PR team do it?

She took it to Twitter, and she asked if the industry are also finding things harder. 70% of people agreed – it is getting harder.

She also asked, which current ranking factor is depreciating in value? 70% said links. This isn’t new, we know that. This isn’t too problematic, we change and we evolve as tech is always changing. We just have to change with the industry – and we have to keep asking: what’s next?

What is next then? Brands.

Any small startup can have a strong brand value. We’re already building brands with our content marketing efforts – we’re already doing that, she says.  The difficulty is: there’s already people that build brands and we need to start working alongside these.

We need to do the following:

  • diversify our objectives
  • pimp our data
  • become brand experts
  • nail creative execution
  • become business consultants

We’ve already started doing this slightly as an industry, she says. We sit strongly within the SEO space, with link revenue. But not enough. She asked her Twitter audience the following:

On this then, the three things she’s going to focus on during this talk are:

  1. Ideas are everything
  2. Volume is imperative
  3. Create assets cheaply

Step one: Ideas, not assets are everything

She uses the example of Greggs, sit down candlelit dinner for Valentines day.

The campaign got wall to wall coverage. The important thing to remember here is that Greggs is not a transactional website as they are not an online business at all. In fact, all the links from this were pointing towards OpenTable – and no one redirected any of them. Seems madness, but it was all for Greggs brand rather than SEO benefit.

Similarly, she mentions the Poundland stunt, which my colleague Rebecca has covered in this blog post in the past.

Another stunt was when Kodak pulled a mobile wiping stunt on unknowing Londoners.

The one thing that these have in common is that these are ‘brand stories’. The point she’s trying to get across is that none of these relied on execution, or a big data set. We should in fact start thinking about brand stories.

Don’t be afraid to know a brand and lead with it

The most important thing within this is to know your brand – there are four thing to remember here:

  1. What are the 3 core objectives?
  2. What is value proposition?
  3. What is the USP?
  4. What is the consistent message?

She made a template for this, she said you should drop her a quick email her if you would like it.

Step two: Volume is imperative

But what if you brand is a bit sh*t, she says? It doesn’t matter.

She asked the audience who had experienced a huge campaign fail, and about 40% of people in the audience said that they’ve had a massive campaign flop during their time in marketing. She explains how she has as well. The idea and execution was her favourite that she’s ever done, says Kirsty. However, because of something out of her control, a London terror attack, a London campaign flopped a day before the campaign launched.

The difficulty here is she had already built up the client’s expectations.

The primary way to mitigate this is by not putting all out eggs in one basket. She formats her campaigns like this:

Step three: create assets cheaply

In order to do this, she says, we need to create ideas very cheaply.

A few tips on how to do this (which equal instant link collateral):

  • Entrepreneur stories and interviews
  • Product launch
  • Business news

You do not need to spend a lot to create engaging content

Finally, she gives an example of one of her clients, a data centres client – very dry she says. They took the most stunning images of data centres across the world and they received a lot of high level links and 20% increase traffic. But how did they do this so cheaply? Through a variation of tools:

  • She used designmodo to create high quality content very cheaply
  • Outgrow – makes quizzes embedded into your site
  • Timeline – create easy timelines – free to use and opensource

If you remember and integrate these three things within your content marketing, you’ll be able to ensure you can come up with engaging content which does the job but does not break the bank.