How A Non-Advertising and marketing Content material Strategy Produced Award-Successful Outcomes

Matt Hartley isn’t a marketer.

And but, he’s a 2022 B2C Content material Marketer of the Yr finalist.

Although seemingly incongruous, it’s not. Corporations don’t all method content material (or advertising) with the identical organizational construction.

Matt leads editorial technique for TD Financial institution Group as a senior supervisor within the company and public affairs division. Beneath his management, TD Tales took dwelling high honors for Greatest Content material Advertising and marketing Program in Monetary Providers and earned finalist mentions for Greatest Content material Advertising and marketing Launch and Monetary Providers Publication within the 2022 Content material Advertising and marketing Awards.

These outcomes show that division, title, and reporting construction don’t matter if the content material works.

“We inform tales aligned with (the corporate’s) communication objectives. We’re not essentially seeking to promote one thing. It’s about model constructing, thought management, monetary literacy,” Matt explains.

Right here’s how a non-marketer finalist for Content material Marketer of the Yr constructed an award-winning program.

If the #Content material works, particulars like reporting construction, title, and division don’t matter, says @AnnGynn through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Launching the newsroom

In 2018, Matt joined TD as a content material strategist. He was employed partly due to his background in reporting and creating new content material merchandise. Matt had labored as a know-how reporter at The Globe and Mail and the Nationwide Publish. He additionally created the Monetary Publish Tech Desk, a house for Canadian and worldwide tech information, and was the founding editor of the Publish’s arcade video-game information website.

TD management had acknowledged the shifting media panorama. They noticed fewer earned media alternatives and turned to Matt to assist scale a TD-owned channel referred to as TD Newsroom.

Whereas TD Newsroom aligned with the exterior communications objectives, it ended up with an inside viewers – lower than 10% of holiday makers got here to the positioning from exterior the financial institution.

Turning the content material program inside out

TD Newsroom’s significance grew when the pandemic hit in 2020, making some types of conventional buyer outreach not possible. Not simply one other device within the communication toolbox, TD Newsroom turned pivotal.

“Creating our personal content material and with the ability to distribute it turned crucially necessary to us,” Matt says.

The TD Newsroom staff centered on creating branded service journalism (content material supposed to assist clients), and site visitors to the positioning elevated considerably. Matters equivalent to banking duties you’ll be able to perform on-line, budgeting for earnings impacted by COVID, and planning an emergency fund took middle stage.

That was the start of the TD Newsroom evolution.

“We had been rethinking how we did content material and the place the client was of their journey,” Matt says. The staff additionally doubled down on data-driven content material and refined its content material technique.

In 2021, TD Tales debuted. “It locations the client on the middle of the story. It tells tales that resonate with clients and colleagues,” Matt says.

The positioning’s tagline – “Enriching lives one story at a time” – displays this mission.

TD Tales organizes content material round 5 pillars (as proven within the website navigation within the screenshot above):

  • Your Cash options monetary ideas and recommendation.
  • Innovation highlights new applied sciences to create extra customized banking experiences.
  • Neighborhood options tales about TD’s involvement within the communities the place it operates and the place its staff stay.
  • Colleagues tells the tales of staff.
  • Insights options thought management from the financial institution’s executives.

TD Tales locations the client on the middle of the story, says @thehartleyTO of @TDnews_Canada, through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Making every thing depend

“We’re a small however mighty staff inside company affairs. It’s a flat staff – everybody brings concepts to the desk. It actually wouldn’t work if it wasn’t as cohesive as it’s,” Matt says.

The digital content material staff additionally capabilities somewhat like an company. In company affairs, they work with relationship managers for classes equivalent to private banking, insurance coverage, US banking, and so on., in addition to product, partnership, and philanthropic managers.

“We work with them to create the tales. We could pitch to them, asking for a topic professional to assist us inform a narrative, and so on.,” Matt explains. “We couldn’t exist in a vacuum.”

He oversees a digital content material staff that features a data-driven technique function that has been important within the TD Tales evolution. That added focus has helped the staff in its content material growth.

For instance, the financial institution’s editorial calendar revolves round repeating deadlines and patterns. Deadlines for retirement plan contributions and earnings tax returns happen throughout the identical interval yearly. And every spring, extra individuals start home searching.

With TD’s digital content material staff amping up the content material measurement technique, Matt and staff can analyze how properly these yearly content material items carry out. Additionally they can higher perceive what individuals are trying to find, to allow them to refine and enhance the following content material iterations.

“We are able to take these moments and make these moments contemporary,” Matt explains. “We are able to make sure the buyer will get the very best and most correct info attainable.”

The metrics mirror the staff’s dedication to excellence. In 2021, site visitors to TD Tales grew greater than 125% year-over-year. Virtually all of the site visitors (98%) comes from exterior sources, together with 25% from natural Google searches.

Realizing the true objective

“On the finish of the day, the content material isn’t the top objective. The objective is to assist educate the client and assist them really feel extra knowledgeable and financially assured. Whenever you maintain that in thoughts, the precise construction of a narrative or each sentence is a way to an finish,” Matt says.

Educating the client is the objective – story and sentence construction are the means to that finish, says @thehartleyTO of @TDnews_Canada through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

That’s a part of the key science of brand name journalism. As Matt explains: “Take the targets of the enterprise and marry them with tales that the purchasers discover participating and helpful.”

And that’s an award-winning system no matter division identify, title, or organizational construction.

Need extra content material advertising ideas, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute