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Pro-Speak: Interview With Stephanie Ottavan

"My best advice - ask your customers what is important to them. Approach it from a Value Proposition perspective."

Let’s start with a quick intro, shall we?

 

I’m Stephanie Ottavan, President of Door No. 3 Design, Inc. We are a woman-owned and women-dominated, full-service graphic design firm in Frederick, MD that delivers brilliant, effective communications on time and on budget. I know – sounds too good to be true… but, it’s not. Sure, we are a one-stop shop that offers a myriad of services including logo and brand design, visual conceptualization, marketing and advertising, web design, and even audio editing. But it’s our process and dedication to client service that stands us apart from other design firms.

 

How will you explain Content Marketing?

 

First, I think we should define what content marketing is. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

 

Content marketing is not advertising. It’s providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues. Blogs are a great way to do this. I had a colleague once ask me, “How do you know what fonts look good together?” It was a great question and a topic that I never thought people were curious about. But they were, so we wrote a blog explaining the process in picking fonts, the design rule of thumb and what to look for.

Stephanie Ottavan- Crackitt Interview Content Marketing

 

Why do you think so many businesses struggle with content creation?

 

It’s hard to see the forest through the trees and look at your company products and services from a customer perspective. That’s the only way you will create truly meaning content for your clients and customers. I used to struggle with the inner dialogue – “what makes me an expert on this subject” or “I don’t have time for this” or “I don’t know what to write about.” Then, I realized what it can do for me in terms of giving my website a wider reach with blogs, gaining more visibility in the community, word of mouth recommendations, etc. In the end, you are driving brand awareness, trust, and legitimacy.

 

How would new technologies like VR & AI impact content marketing?

 

“The world is no longer flat. The internet is fast becoming a place you step inside. Just as you had to make your site responsive for mobile, so too will you have to make it responsive for VR.,” Sarah Hill – CEO for StoryUp. Content creation will be more interactive, stories more robust and the experience more meaningful.

 

One advice you would like to give to anyone starting content marketing?

 

My best advice – ask your customers what is important to them. Approach it from a Value Proposition perspective. Your customer’s most important job might be taking care of her family. Figure out what products and services you offer that make her life easier or better. Always keep in mind that not all customers are the same. Know who your customers are and what is important to them – from their perspective – not yours.

 

What should be our biggest content marketing goals to achieve for 2018?

 

Understand what content marketing is and how you can implement it into your marketing strategy. You want to create high-quality, valuable content to attract, inform, and engage an audience, while also promoting your brand. Goals should be: brand awareness, brand loyalty, customer education and customer engagement.

 

Can you give 3 hacks to our viewers that they can self-implement?

 

  1. Start small and make it manageable. You must be consistent and keep up with what you started. If you are writing a blog, sit down and brainstorm topics one day. The next time you sit down, write 3 blogs at once. So, if you are short on time one week, you have content you can put out there.

 

  1. Be authentic. Customers can smell bullshit…even on the internet. Tell a story with a beginning, middle and end with a clear call to action. It should be helpful, informative, entertaining and measurable.

 

  1. Be concise and targeted to a specific customer demographic.

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