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Raconteur chief on LinkedIn success and future marketing trends

David Kells is Director of Strategic Partnerships at B2B business publisher Raconteur, and he joined us for an in-depth chat as part of our Marketing Maestro interview series in partnership with Press Gazette. Despite the frosty conditions outside, it appears fellow publisher Raconteur sees a sunny outlook by harnessing social media and shareable content.

What’s been your proudest achievement in your current role?

Helping to execute on Raconteur’s new brand proposition. We’ve felt for some time that decision making in business has been becoming more complex. As a publisher that specialises in a number of key verticals in B2B, we create content for multiple job functions and seniorities from a range of different sectors. Therefore, it’s important for us to really understand what drives business leaders to make different decisions and the impact it has on marketing.

I’ve loved being part of the team to take that concept, coupled with some great research, and drive engagement with it across our client network, and potential future readers.

Seeing the awesome feedback roll in from our peers and partners from multichannel campaigns has been a career highlight.

What media channels do you see as most important and best value when it comes to marketing spend and activity?

We drive a lot of dynamic digital content activity through LinkedIn, on both client and editorial side.

LinkedIn has a mixed reception for a lot of marketers as campaign costs can spiral and engagement in the senior business community can be hard to come by.

But given our heritage in quality B2B content and our approach to design, we’ve had great success on the platform recently.

What is your advice for mastering social media?

Obsess over timing, context, and design.

I scroll past so much poorly executed branded content on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter either because it lacks editorial quality or is hampered by a lack of ambition. Being agile enough to contribute during noisy editorial periods with well-researched and well-told stories is what gives brands the edge in B2B social. Couple that with a commitment to genuinely interesting design that’s engineered to suit the platform, and you’re onto a winner.

In your opinion, what is the main difference between B2C and B2B marketing?

B2B has a more complex buying committee. We conducted a survey this year to analyse the state of decision making in B2B, and one of the key insights was that 53% of the time business decisions involve 11+ people. That’s a lot of stakeholders with different priorities, goals and emotions. Therefore marketers in the world of B2B are being challenged like never before to make sure their campaigns drive engagement and deliver.

What is the key to producing engaging marketing content and what types of content works best for you?

Great design and UX are key for me. Buyers in both B2B and B2C have far higher expectations of a brand’s marketing. Therefore, the content must showcase the investment put in to capture its audience. Once you have the audience’s attention, the experience has to be seamless.

With content needing to influence more decision makers than ever before, shareability has to be at the core – which is greatly aided by quality design.

What future marketing trends will become mainstream before too long?

Increased audience interaction, participation, and personalisation.

Marketers and agencies have had a taste for increased transparency in digital marketing campaigns and will continue to scratch underneath the surface of a campaign to gain a more complete view of engagement levels. Across all platforms, marketers will expect a higher understanding of the actions their campaigns inspired, which will speed up tech and publishing innovation.

And finally, if you could ask your peers for one piece of advice or help, what would it be?

I’d love to sit on a roundtable with marketers who have managed successful campaigns to grow first-party data. We’ve had early success in our journey so far, and it remains a key strategic goal. So, soaking up peer feedback on their journey to audience growth would be an afternoon well spent.