In this week’s Content Questionnaire, we asked Melissa Ashcraft, Senior Social Media Manager at Wacom to share her insights on the digital marketing world. Here are her answers:
Q: What’s your idea of a perfect piece of web content?
The content piece I aspire to is the New York Times Snow Fall. I would love to do an interactive long form story complete with video, photos and maps. I think we could do it at Wacom and feature our artists, their workflow, tutorials and, of course, the finished piece. Something to work toward…
Q: What is your current content focus?
I work closely with my paid media counterpart, Charles Voloshin, to create content that resonates with our established social audience and works for the people who come into the Wacom Community through paid advertising. We compare notes on Google Analytics and our social media reporting to fine tune our content so both audiences are inspired.
Right now, we know that how to pieces about drawing and illustration are the most successful so we’re going deeper into that type of content with long videos and expanded blog posts teaching our audience how to do a specific thing, like “How to draw solid characters.”
Q: What is your biggest marketing fear?
I’m afraid of missing trends. I come from an agency background where I saw the best and the worst of what big brands were doing. Going in-house has been wonderful, except for the fact that I’m not seeing as much work as I used to. It’s easy to get stuck in the weeds of our own brand’s work and miss the great (and not great) things others are doing.
Q: What buzzwords are you guilty of using most?
Content marketing. Content marketing. Content marketing. It’s a very convenient way to explain the way marketing has had to evolve to thrive in the current digital landscape. I prefer the term brand journalism, but that feels even more buzzy.
Q: What brands do you have a marketing crush on?
GoPro, of course. Wacom has as much user generated content as those guys. We are striving to showcase it as well as GoPro does.
I must watch the SmugMug videos daily trying to crack those videos. Why do they work? Can I make those videos on my limited budget and with my very small, talented team? I think I can.
Q: Which results make you happiest?
I love our monthly reports. I love to view of all of our work in a single place and see how it is evolving.
Q: What marketing skill would you most like to have?
I wish I were a videographer. I get so frustrated because I don’t have the words or skills to communicate what I have in my head for video. I want to be able to give directions on shots, and editing, and not just say, “Make it snappier.” What does that even mean?
Q: What do you consider your greatest content marketing achievement (to date)?
My first integrated marketing program, 90 Tips in 90 Days. We created or curated a piece of how to content every day for 90 days. It was wildly successful in terms of our objectives. But it was also a crash course in content management. We had content coming from all directions, from our team, from influencers, agency, freelancers and combing the web.
Q: If you were a type of web content, what do you think it would be?
I’d like to say I’d be a G+ Hangout: you never know what you’re going to get. But the truth is, I’m more like a Slideshare presentation: reliable and effective.
Q: If you could do it all over again, what vertical would you work in and why?
I always think I’d like to be in food and then I realize I want to always love food. I don’t want the magic to leave food and cooking.
Q: What personal trait are you always trying to improve?
I can be extremely blunt. Even more so when I don’t feel like people have taken my direction. I need to be more tactful in my feedback. My manager once hit mute the spilt second before I was going to give feedback on something I found frustrating. He did me a favor by giving me a second to compose a more thoughtful reply.
Q: What is your brand’s most valuable asset?
Our customers. Everyone says that, right? How many companies can say they work with as many artists as Wacom does? Looking at art created by our customers never gets old.
Q: Do you think your office environment reflects your brand?
No office culture could reflect Wacom’s brand. We make tools that most every digital artist uses. To reflect that, we’d have to have elements of car companies and design firms and universities and toy companies and the list goes on.
Inside Wacom’s walls you’ll find smart, kind people who are working hard to keep bringing these tools to artists. This involves spreadsheets and power point decks and the occasional cubicle – far from the wild creativity that our brand represents but necessary to keep the lights on.
Q: What is your favorite part of the workday?
The morning when it’s quiet in the office. I scroll through all of our social accounts to see what’s working and what’s not working and make plans to adjust course.
Q: What is the quality you like best in other brands?
I love a sense of humor. Humor is risky, though. I think it’s scary to do something that people won’t like and won’t find funny. It’s okay to take a risk and fail sometimes.
Q: What’s one social media trend that you wish would die out?
I would like the hashtag to die. Unless you’re tracking a hashtag, you shouldn’t use a hashtag. #protip
Want to get to know other marketers we respect? Check out our complete Content Questionnaire series.