Welcome to our interview series, Creativity Drives Business, where successful marketing and creative leaders share industry insights, how they got to where they are today, and explore the future role of creativity in business.
Kristin Twiford, Content Marketing Manager at Libris, discusses how Libris focuses on visual storytelling as a pillar in their marketing strategy.
Q: How did you get into content marketing?
I’ve spent my career writing and producing video. I started out as a TV news reporter, then worked in nonprofit communications.
I fell into content marketing because I sat next to digital asset management expert Peter Krogh on the bus between DC and New York while I was job searching in New York City. We spent most of the bus ride talking about photography, video and visual storytelling.
He told me about the work he was doing with Libris, helping brands make it easier to find, share and use their visual assets to engage their audiences. My first thought was, wow, I need that tool (I was managing communications for a school for children with autism at the time and I was constantly hitting roadblocks when I was trying to find or deliver photos and videos). Then, he told me they were looking for someone to work on writing, video and education. With my background, it was a perfect fit. I jumped at the chance to cover how other brands are using visual storytelling.
Q: How do you think content marketing roles in business are changing?
Like everything else, I think content marketing is becoming more visual. Last year, I produced a ton of video content, and this year, we’re focusing on video even more. I’m excited to see content marketers moving towards more multimedia content.
"Like everything else, I think content marketing is becoming more visual. I’m excited to see content marketers moving towards more multimedia content."
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face? How do you overcome them?
My biggest challenge is saying ‘no’ to projects. I work on a really creative team and we have a lot of ideas we want to try out.
We try to strike a balance between being nimble and having content planned out in advance. My content calendar has high-impact “hero” pieces of content that I know I want to produce, along with room for flexibility for new ideas that come along.
Q: What are you looking ahead to in 2018?
In 2018, we’re launching a new series, “Behind the Scenes with the Storytellers.” I love seeing what makes creative people tick, and we know our audience is curious about what their peers are doing. So far, the series has taken us to the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) arena, which was a blast for me to shoot and produce, as well as a hit with our audience. Check it out!
Up next, we’re sharing the stories of the Women’s March Chicago and the Now Hear This podcast festival, and we’ve got a bunch more exciting storytellers in the hopper.
Q: What was your favorite campaign or project you worked on?
I can’t narrow it down to one story, but I love working on case studies and features with our clients. I feel so fortunate that I get to tell the stories of creative people who I admire. I’ve gotten to interview the Colorado Rockies about their real-time social media workflow and their Twitter snowball fight, the director of communications for the refugee protection agency HIAS about how a photo of a family reuniting at the airport went viral, and the graphic designer from Applegate Natural & Organic Meats about how they draw a direct line from social media to revenue.
I’m so grateful to have a front row seat to the creative process behind some of the most innovative, exciting storytelling I’ve ever seen, and I love getting to share that insider’s perspective with our audience.
"We pay close attention to engagement metrics so we can figure out what resonates and what types of content we should continue to produce."
Q: How do you handle content feedback and reviews for the work your team produces?
I rely heavily on feedback from our team and our clients to improve our content. We pay close attention to engagement metrics (percentage of a video watched, time on page, social shares, etc.) so we can figure out what resonates and what types of content we should continue to produce.
Q: What tools, books, or industry resources help you in your day-to-day work?
I use the Adobe Creative Cloud every day—for the most part, Premiere Pro, Photoshop and InDesign. I also use Libris to access any photos, logos, file video clips and any other creative assets I need, and to share files with other team members (which is fun since not everyone gets to use the product they’re promoting on a daily basis).
And, I love Giphy Capture—both for work and for hilarity. Here is a gif masterpiece I made for a punny post on the best DAM movie lines:
Q: How does content drive business results for your organization?
Sometimes, our content is our first impression—someone might spot a cool story on social media or find our blog through a google search for ‘metadata’ or ‘visual storytelling.’ Other times, they engage with our content while they are test driving Libris and looking for tips on how to make their media library searchable.
Either way, our content helps people learn how to create visual stories effortlessly—and our product helps them take that to the next level. If you’re serious about visual storytelling, chances are you need a tool like ours to help you work faster and cut out steps.
"Listen to your clients/customers, read your customer reviews, and keep in constant contact with your team members. You are sitting on a treasure trove of authentic, compelling stories - you just have to find them!"
Q: Tell us about some brands you admire. What makes them stand out?
This list could go on and on, but to name a few… General Electric—their experiential marketing stunt at Grand Central Terminal about treating female scientists like stars was incredible both in person and on social media (they created an awesome 360 video). LEGO—they have an amazing video series that profiles their designers, like this one—it’s great content their biggest fans are sure to binge watch. And then I love following sports teams because they are so fast-paced and innovative. Some that I keep my eye on are the Sacramento Kings, the Minnesota Vikings and, most recently, the Vegas Golden Knights.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you want to give to other creatives?
Listen to your clients/customers, read your customer reviews, and keep in constant contact with your team members (client services, sales, etc.). You are sitting on a treasure trove of authentic, compelling stories—you just have to find them!
A huge thank you to Kristin for taking the time to share her thoughts. Stay tuned for the next interview soon.