How A Non-Marketing Content Approach Produced Award-Winning Results

Matt Hartley shouldn’t be a marketer.

And but, he’s a 2022 B2C Content Marketer of the Year finalist.

Though seemingly incongruous, it’s not. Companies don’t all method content material (or advertising and marketing) with the identical organizational construction.

Matt leads editorial technique for TD Bank Group as a senior supervisor within the company and public affairs division. Under his management, TD Stories took residence high honors for Best Content Marketing Program in Financial Services and earned finalist mentions for Best Content Marketing Launch and Financial Services Publication within the 2022 Content Marketing Awards.

Those outcomes show that division, title, and reporting construction don’t matter if the content material works.

“We tell stories aligned with (the company’s) communication goals. We’re not necessarily looking to sell something. It is about brand building, thought leadership, financial literacy,” Matt explains.

Here’s how a non-marketer finalist for Content Marketer of the Year constructed an award-winning program.

If the #Content works, details like reporting structure, title, and department don’t matter, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Launching the newsroom

In 2018, Matt joined TD as a content material strategist. He was employed partly due to his background in reporting and creating new content material merchandise. Matt had labored as a know-how reporter at The Globe and Mail and the National Post. He additionally created the Financial Post Tech Desk, a house for Canadian and worldwide tech information, and was the founding editor of the Post’s arcade video-game information web site.

TD management had acknowledged the shifting media panorama. They noticed fewer earned media alternatives and turned to Matt to assist scale a TD-owned channel known as TD Newsroom.

While TD Newsroom aligned with the exterior communications objectives, it ended up with an inside viewers – lower than 10% of holiday makers got here to the location from outdoors the financial institution.

Turning the content material program inside out

TD Newsroom’s significance grew when the pandemic hit in 2020, making some types of conventional buyer outreach inconceivable. No longer simply one other device within the communication toolbox, TD Newsroom turned pivotal.

“Creating our own content and being able to distribute it became crucially important to us,” Matt says.

The TD Newsroom workforce targeted on creating branded service journalism (content material supposed to assist clients), and site visitors to the location elevated considerably. Topics corresponding to banking duties you’ll be able to perform on-line, budgeting for earnings impacted by COVID, and planning an emergency fund took heart stage.

That was the start of the TD Newsroom evolution.

“We were rethinking how we did content and where the customer was in their journey,” Matt says. The workforce additionally doubled down on data-driven content material and refined its content material technique.

In 2021, TD Stories debuted. “It places the customer at the center of the story. It tells stories that resonate with customers and colleagues,” Matt says.

The web site’s tagline – “Enriching lives one story at a time” – displays this mission.

TD Stories organizes content material round 5 pillars (as proven within the web site navigation within the screenshot above):

  • Your Money options monetary ideas and recommendation.
  • Innovation highlights new applied sciences to create extra personalised banking experiences.
  • Community options tales about TD’s involvement within the communities the place it operates and the place its staff dwell.
  • Colleagues tells the tales of staff.
  • Insights options thought management from the financial institution’s executives.

TD Stories places the customer at the center of the story, says @thehartleyTO of @TDnews_Canada, via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Making the whole lot rely

“We’re a small but mighty team within corporate affairs. It’s a flat team – everyone brings ideas to the table. It really wouldn’t work if it wasn’t as cohesive as it is,” Matt says.

The digital content material workforce additionally features a bit of like an company. In company affairs, they work with relationship managers for classes corresponding to private banking, insurance coverage, US banking, and so forth., in addition to product, partnership, and philanthropic managers.

“We work with them to create the stories. We may pitch to them, asking for a subject matter expert to help us tell a story, etc.,” Matt explains. “We could not exist in a vacuum.”

He oversees a digital content material workforce that features a data-driven technique position that has been important within the TD Stories evolution. That added focus has helped the workforce in its content material growth.

For instance, the financial institution’s editorial calendar revolves round repeating deadlines and patterns. Deadlines for retirement plan contributions and earnings tax returns happen throughout the identical interval yearly. And every spring, extra folks start home searching.

With TD’s digital content material workforce amping up the content material measurement technique, Matt and workforce can analyze how nicely these yearly content material items carry out. They can also higher perceive what persons are looking for, to allow them to refine and enhance the subsequent content material iterations.

“We can take those moments and make those moments fresh,” Matt explains. “We can ensure the customer gets the best and most accurate information possible.”

The metrics mirror the workforce’s dedication to excellence. In 2021, site visitors to TD Stories grew greater than 125% year-over-year. Almost all of the site visitors (98%) comes from exterior sources, together with 25% from natural Google searches.

Knowing the actual objective

“At the end of the day, the content is not the end goal. The goal is to help educate the customer and help them feel more informed and financially confident. When you keep that in mind, the actual structure of a story or every sentence is a means to an end,” Matt says.

Educating the customer is the goal – story and sentence structure are the means to that end, says @thehartleyTO of @TDnews_Canada via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

That’s a part of the key science of name journalism. As Matt explains: “Take the objectives of the business and marry them with stories that the customers find engaging and useful.”

And that’s an award-winning components no matter division identify, title, or organizational construction.

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute