There is so much to learn from Velocity Partners. You might say, hey VC, that’s cheating! A content award for a content marketing agency! Their content is bound to be good! And you’d be right. It does have to be good, but it’s way better than that.
We love it for its attitude as well as its production values. You can’t read Velocity’s content without smiling, or leaning over to the person sitting next to you and saying ‘you’re so going to love this.’ Thoughtful, funny, provocative – Velocity’s content doesn’t sit on a shelf gathering dust, it flies around the web powered by its own chutzpah.
Here are three reasons why it works, and some words from the master of B2B content marketing, Velocity’s Doug Kessler.
Why Velocity is so damn good
1. They lead with ideas
Lots of them. Velocity gives the impression of a business that’s jam packed full and brimming over with big influential and useful thinking.
They champion great looking stuff, and are really generous with it. Take a look at the Slideshares and ebooks – beautifully designed and so easy to read. And they are BIG old documents – their B2B marketing manifesto is nearly 5,000 words. These guys have a lot to say.
With 12 similarly sized Slideshares and ebooks on the site there’s more than a published book’s worth of content given away for free on the site.
2. They are supremely confident
Confidence is shown in the playful and emotional way they use language, and also in the blokey swearing. Shit, big ass, crap – their language is miles away from safe corporate tip toeing. Sometimes brash, but more clever than that, it sweeps you along.
There’s lots of action, it’s very fast paced. It’s like being in the company of your funny clever best friend (maybe one who intimidates you a bit, but you really enjoy spending time with – they are never ever dull. You can guarantee a hangover if you went out for the night with Velocity, but it would be so worth it.)
3. It is REALLY clear who they want to work with
“We specialise in B2B technology marketing because it’s hard to do. But we’ve helped clients in non-tech markets too. We avoid bullies, dullards and bureaucrats, preferring to work with nice, confident, ambitious clients.”
Nice use of the word ‘nice.’ Makes them approachable in what could feel too testosterone fuelled. And the content they produce is aimed straight at these nice, confident and ambitious people. What they choose to write about, and the way they choose to say it, is geared precisely to this audience.
We love it! Many congratulations to Velocity on a very well deserved Valuable Content Award. We stand in awe.
Doug Kessler on Velocity’s award-winning approach to content
We’re all learning all the time, and it seems the whole market is on the same learning curve, and it’s a really steep one now, and that makes it fun. We enjoy that. We had some huge insights that we stumbled into that changed pretty dramatically the way we did content.
Focus on psychographic targeting
One early lesson was using psychographic targeting, instead of demographic targeting.
Why did we follow that path? Because our business was being fed by referrals and that can be a rocky road because the clients who are referred to you are random. You’ll find you get some people that you’re flying with, where everything you do is fun, and fast and works, and you’re on the same wavelength. But with other people it’s like pulling teeth. It’s slow, it costs a fortune and they begrudge you the tiny profit you’ve got left, and it just does not work.
So we looked at our business and we looked at our marketing and we said ‘we love the people over here, but we’re not so crazy about the people over there, so lets do a piece that appeals to the people over here.’ Let’s appeal to confident ambitious marketers who have some power.
I guess psychographic sounds a little jargony, but it all it means is this – you know that the person you’re writing to has certain views and opinions and biases and passions and beliefs and you play to that. It really works for us, and for our clients too.
It makes a huge difference when you create content in this way. You have this laser focus on the person in your mind when you’re writing. As a copywriter myself I really love having that target in my mind.
Understand the personality traits of your dream clients
Confidence, ambition, power. Those are the three things we wanted. We did a slide show called ‘’The Other C Word” about how confidence is the magic ingredient in all marketing. The idea was ‘let’s find people like that’ ‘let’s put stuff out that appeals to those people.’
Results of getting it right
What we found with the psychographic targeting was that if somebody rang up and I said ‘I love that Manifesto, can we talk about doing something like that with my marketing’ they weren’t twice as likely to become a client, they were 50 to a 100 times more likely.
Putting out this attitude, and energy, and fun, and humanity we were getting marketers like us. Now we’ve got our dance cards full of marketers like us, and that changes everything.
5 takeaways from Velocity
- Be bold and brave. Who are the clients you really want? Forget ones you don’t like working for – use your content to drive a course direct to your dream client’s door.
- Aim really high. Think stratospheric! Velocity knows there’s a sea of mediocre content out there – stuff that no one is ever going to be bothered to read – so they ride way above it. Make yours funnier, smarter, more surprising.
- Invest in design. Nothing leaves Velocity that looks less than fantastic. Make that your aim too.
- Steal widely from the greats. Think about what moves you – beautiful music, incredible film making, stunning prose. Analyse why it affects you, and try and recreate that feeling in whatever you create.
- Love what you do. Velocity’s content is joyful, and that joy is infectious. Their rants are heartfelt, and people respond to passion. Dial up the emotion!
Your award badge is on its way Doug!