Content Marketing Rockstars: Walter Lim from Cooler Insights
Why Content Marketing?
Walter: Great content is the lifeblood of the Internet. It is the starting point of virtually everything which you do online and offline, and can strongly enhance the intrinsic value of your brand. Without captivating content, Google has nothing worthwhile to search for, and Facebook would be boring.
In our digital, social and mobile-first world, brands need to understand that their potential customers value helpful and entertaining content much more than a slick ad. Valuable content builds trust, improves brand reputation, and makes your brand more likeable than others.
Delivered at the right time on the right channels to the right audiences, it can grow your reach to new customers, generate new leads, improve conversions, and foster customer loyalty.
How did you get started with Content Marketing?
Walter: I started my journey way back in October 2005 when I experimented with blogging on Cooler Insights. At its infancy then, social media was perceived with fear and distrust, and people were generally cautious about what they put out online.
Despite being a public officer and Corp Comms Director in a government agency, I stuck my neck out to push for my organisation to embrace social media. We were one of the first agencies to roll out a blog, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and YouTube channel.
As the years rolled by, I focused my content on business and digital marketing topics such as social media, content marketing, and influencer marketing. I also left public service in May 2014, started Cooler Insights as a business in August of the same year, and began accepting content marketing clients.
Content Marketing requires lots of inspiration, how do you stay inspired?
Walter: My sources of inspiration come from various sources: the books I read (I usually carry a book along with me everywhere I go), podcasts I listen to, movies I watch, and everyday life itself.
One of the best ways to be inspired is to learn from the leaders in content marketing. They include Michael Stelzner, Joe Pulizzi, Lee Odden, Ann Handley, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jay Baer, and many others.
I also derive a lot of inspiration from speaking and interacting with like-minded friends, partners, clients and associates.
What are some valuable insights you would give to businesses or organizations that are starting up or have been struggling with content marketing?
Walter: The most important piece of advice I have is for them to treat content marketing just like any other marketing activity. If you’re doing it as an entrepreneur or start-up, you need to schedule time on your calendar each week to do this. Once you do it frequently enough and make it a habit, creating and curating content becomes second nature.
Perhaps the next piece of advice I’d give is for these business executives and entrepreneurs to gain some understanding of digital analytics. This should cover the entire span of your customer journey – from social media insights, web analytics, to email analytics. Doing so allows you to better track and monitor the performance of your content pieces.
What do you think is the future of Content Marketing?
Walter: From my experience, it does appear that Content Marketing is evolving from a mostly social and search-based brand awareness strategy to one that focuses more on customer conversion, long-term loyalty and brand advocacy. This is expected in an increasingly content-saturated online marketplace (defined by Mark Schaefer as “Content Shock”) where it will become harder to continually attract new customers through content.
Beyond that, I also see short videos, bite-sized “stories”, gamified content, and episodic storytelling taking on greater prominence. Savvy brands which can mix and match utility with virality and gamification will be better placed to win the content wars.
It does appear that Content Marketing is evolving from a mostly social and search-based brand awareness strategy to one that focuses more on customer conversion, long-term loyalty and brand advocacy.
Besides Content Marketing, what are you passionate about?
Walter: I’m personally interested in building and growing businesses being an entrepreneur myself while helping others to grow their business. I’m also a huge believer in the importance of storytelling, and the difference which an engaging and enrapturing tale can make to any business.
Give us an elevator pitch of your business.
Walter: Focused on helping companies and organisations of any size to grow their business online, Cooler Insights blends the art of storytelling with the science of analytics to deliver value to our clients. We cover the entire spectrum of your company’s content marketing needs – from SEO, social media, advertising campaigns, lead generation, to emails – and we address your needs across your entire customer journey. Our clients include a mixture of MNCs, GLCs, and SMEs.
How can people connect with you/your business?
Walter: The best way to reach me is to drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or reach out to me on LinkedIn. I also encourage those who are keen to learn more to visit our website and consider signing up for my monthly social media marketing course at Equinet Academy.