Why Content Matters Now: An Interview with Rep Cap’s Joseph Riddle

Why Content Matters Now: An Interview with Rep Cap’s Joseph RiddleWe’re excited to welcome Joseph Riddle to the Rep Cap team as director of business development. Joseph has a 20-year career in media and publishing. He comes to Rep Cap from SmartBrief, where he spent 14 years helping marketers reach new audiences through email newsletters. He lives in Salt Lake City with his partner, Gregg, and dog, Gus.

Earlier this month we got together in Rep Cap’s hometown, Baton Rouge, to talk all things content.

Why are you excited to join the Rep Cap team?

Everyone’s trying to do content marketing these days, but it’s not easy. In my experience, very few people are doing it really well. That’s why I’m excited to be working at Rep Cap — it’s a chance to work with marketers who really get great content.

What are you most interested in learning about in your new role?

Marketing technology is changing fast — so fast that we don’t even always have a common nomenclature. It feels like the Wild West again — similar to how the landscape felt 20 years ago when I first started selling digital ads.

For the first time, as marketers we can really measure everything we do, and see if our hunches are true. It’s fun to see how people manage the challenges of marketing measurement in really innovative ways.

How have you seen digital media change?

In the early days of online media and ads, all people cared about was traffic. How many clicks did they get? How many visits? But clicks quickly became commoditized. “Clicks” is a squishy metric — a click in and of itself doesn’t hold value.

For a long time, there weren’t sophisticated ways for marketers to tie clicks to sales. But marketing technology is catching up, and mar-tech companies are filling the gap, helping marketers attribute sales and map out every touchpoint along the way.

That’s why I think content matters more than ever. Big-picture branding isn’t enough to drive a sale anymore. You have to provide more than that — you have to educate the client all the way through the sale. If your content is lacking, buyers will think your product probably misses the mark too.

Content is a big opportunity. I think like a salesperson first, and I see content marketing as an incredible tool that allows companies to scale the consultative, personal sales approach.

The Rep Cap team is fully remote. You have a lot of experience managing remote teams. What have you learned?

I managed a team of editors and salespeople who were flung all over the country — New York, D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco. I’ve found that working remotely enforces an organization’s flat hierarchy. You can’t check in constantly if you’re working asynchronously on different time zones. I didn’t want my employees to see me as “the boss” — I wanted them to look to me as a collaborator.

Millennials are leading work trends, pushing toward more freedom and less micromanagement. So I was really surprised to learn in a 360 review that my millennial employees actually wanted more communication from me — more regular check-ins. I think it’s important for managers to tailor their communication style for every individual employee.

You’ve worked with clients in many different industries, but I know you love education. Why is that an industry you love?

I’ve always been passionate about education. The new push in education is toward lifelong learning — the idea that education is K-12 and it has an endpoint isn’t relevant anymore. We should all think of ourselves as lifelong learners.

Millennials definitely think that way, and it will be incumbent on employers to respond to that expectation for continued learning on the job. I’m excited to watch the future of higher ed and employment education. Big companies are running executive training programs in-house instead of sending leaders out to business school. We’re seeing more companies hire chief learning officers. Companies are thinking of themselves as educational institutions.

For employees with an eye on growing and improving, that’s very exciting. And for content creators and educators, that opens new doors we haven’t even dreamed of yet.

Thinking about millennials again — they default to working collaboratively, in teams. That means Gen Xers and baby boomers will need to shift from thinking about millennials as direct reports who work under us to thinking of them as potential thought leaders and people who can teach us something. Experts can come from anywhere, and the most successful organizations and content teams will look far and wide for their thought leaders and star contributors — not just at the top.

Thanks, Joseph!

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Rep Cap is a Baton Rouge marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, email newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Our editors and writers are experts in their fields, which include HR technology, employee benefits, and financial services and accounting. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how great content can help you attract and retain your customers.