With more web views than ever before, more by-lines in trade titles and extracts in the national press, Ben Robinson is convinced of the value of content over PR
“If someone asked me to choose between content and PR, it would be content every time. There’s no PR without content,” says Ben Robinson, chief strategy and marketing officer at Temenos, the digital banking specialist and client of FirstWord since January 2015.
Robinson, whose background as an analyst gives him an affinity for proof points and numbers, is clear: a year-and-a-half of commissioning and publishing quality content in volume has enhanced Temenos’s reputation and helped raise its profile.
“It’s been a virtuous circle,” he says. “Great content drives web traffic, which raises our profile, which drives traffic, which raises our profile.”
Here are the numbers:
- 120 pieces of original content in 2015 and 180 since the start of the contract
- Web traffic up by more than a third since the start of 2015
- 14 per cent average global share of voice for Temenos’s search terms
- 265,000 web views in first quarter of 2016
- 2,000 new LinkedIn followers a month
Temenos had always produced blogs and thought leadership pieces for its website, but relying on busy senior staff to write it left the output sporadic, undisciplined and of variable quality.
“Our website has always been important for generating leads and we thought regular, compelling new content would be a good way to drive more traffic. Before we might have published nothing new for a month then three blogs in a week,” says Robinson. “We needed quality and consistency and some editorial discipline.”
Introduced to FirstWord by a mutual friend, Robinson didn’t even bother with a beauty parade before signing up. “Their pedigree was clear,” he says, and as the relationship has developed he has become even more convinced of its value.
“It’s an à la carte service from conception to execution. It’s whatever we need and is very collaborative. Their methodology is very flexible and the output is good value. For example, they will call our CEO about a topic and write it up; he edits it and we get a high-quality blog for less than an hour of his time once a month. It’s a very efficient use of his time,” he says.
Each month Temenos receives a number of original articles from FirstWord, including at least one thought leadership piece. These articles, along with company news, get put into a monthly newsletter that is emailed to prospects and customers. The content also appears on its website and, according to Robinson, Temenos has seen a huge increase in engagement.
“We now get something like 80 per cent of our sales leads from the website and we are being invited to speak at more conferences,” he says.
Besides articles and blogs, Temenos has also commissioned white papers from FirstWord, including the A-Z of Banking Fraud. “I think we had a vague notion of what we wanted, what would be a good topic. FirstWord refined the idea, came up with the format, researched and wrote it. It looks excellent and has been received very well,” he adds.
For Robinson, the move into high-quality content was obvious. “We live in a world of too much content and almost zero distribution costs. So the challenge today is getting people’s attention, standing out from all of the noise. We believe that a key way to do this is with really compelling content. The model of sending press releases and putting ads in papers is dead,” he says.
Indeed, Temenos has always preferred to market itself indirectly, using events such as its global Innovation Jam competition to get closer to prospects and get people talking. But adding content to the mix has proved a game changer.
“We’re told all the time now we’re thought leaders. We hear that a lot. Our web traffic has been growing by 30 per cent a year since we started this and people ask if they can post their own stuff. In fact, we’re going to open the site up to third parties soon,” he says.
SEO and strategy
Search engine optimisation also plays an important role in the strategy and Temenos makes sure that key words and phrases are registered and incorporated into copy.
“We have something like a global average share of voice of 14 per cent for our search terms – for core banking it’s much higher, while for digital it’s lower,” says Robinson. The bigger the share, the higher Temenos finds itself in internet searches.
Looking ahead, Robinson wants to extend the relationship to include more film and video and embed FirstWord into the company to cover more of its marketing activities.
“I’d love to see more of FirstWord,” he says. “Its model of jointly developing projects works really well and the outcomes are easily measured which means I know the value it brings and am very happy.”
More on FirstWord and Temenos can be found here