Building Great Content for a Brand – #Pubcon Liveblog

Content session speakers
Stoney deGeyter, Loren Baker and Ann Smarty

Content – it’s a chief component in everyone’s digital marketing strategy. More than just tips, this morning’s Pubcon Las Vegas session on “Building Great Content” includes a case study on American Eagle Outfitters that highlights just how critical strategic content marketing really is. Read on for in-depth coverage of this session, featuring Loren Baker, Ann Smarty and Stoney deGeyter.

Content Marketing Piece Goes Viral – Loren Baker

Loren Baker (@LorenBaker), VP of business development at Foundation Digital and founder of Search Engine Journal, is going to share an example of intentional content marketing, as demonstrated with his client American Eagle Outfitters. But first, some of Baker’s general thoughts:

Content serves many masters:

  • SEO targets
  • Outreach targets
  • Social sharing
  • Social influencers
  • Ad enhancement
  • Content lifespan

Tools Baker likes:

  • Google Autocomplete
  • SEMRush
  • Majestic
  • SharedCount

American Eagle Outfitters Case Study

One of the things American Eagle Outfitters’ target demographic (millennials) is interested in is making products they buy their own — such as distressing denim for a unique look. This brand’s customers were taking new jeans, customizing them, and then putting them online.

Accordingly, Baker wanted to create a content piece all around distressing denim, perform outreach to influencers, and share it everywhere. The client, surprised, said wait — no one ever shares content from our blog. Baker then brought everyone to the table and looked at Google AutoComplete.

Google AutoComplete for keyword research
Google AutoComplete keyword research (click to enlarge)

The first thing they saw was that people were looking how to distress denim. There was a Direct Answer and videos in the SERP — and not one retailer.

What About the Long Tail slide
Long-tail queries research (click to enlarge)

Using SEMRush, they looked at the volume of the long-tail keywords they were targeting re: distressed denim and developed a strategy.

They moved forward and created this content plan:

  • An in-depth blog post on distressing denim that was much more in-depth than the competition
  • An infographic visualizing how-tos and DIY tips with subtle product placement (be careful, though, because the more branded it gets, the harder it is to get the media to pick it up)
  • Content for social distribution on the client’s social channels
  • Material for the client’s customer email list

The results?

  • 10,000+ Facebook likes
  • 450+ Facebook shares
  • 2,500+ other signals from social sites
  • 25+ unique links (high Trust Flow)
  • 500+ co-citation links
  • 25,000 referrals per month from organic search

Baker reminds the audience that it’s important to hire quality writers and designers for things like this.

“Invest in passionate writers and designers. People can tell the difference between forced content and passionate content — the good writer might cost a little more, but it’s worth it. Also, you don’t have the back and forth, the revisions, etc. This applies to designers, as well,” said Baker.

Extra tip: Use the Bulk Upload tool on SharedCount to import all the sites that have linked to your piece of content and then see all the social activity across the web.

How to Mine your Own Mind for Content Ideas – Stoney deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter (@StoneyD), president of Pole Position Marketing, opens by saying, “I don’t know if this is something new and awesome, or born out of my own laziness — but I find that sometimes I’m my own best resource.”

You are your best cure for writer’s block. Advice from deGeyter? Look to your old content, of any kind, and re-spin it to make your old content newer, more exciting and better than the first time around.


  • Take an original writing as the jump-off point and rework it start to finish.
  • Turn a comment into a full post. Use your comment as a base for fleshing out a complete blog post on the topic.
  • Turn 140 characters into 600 words. (How do people write so many books? They take a nugget of information and then expand it out. This can be done with anything.)
  • Look to your posts and presentations.
  • Turn one post into many posts for new audiences. Break the original into single focus posts and try to reach different readers with each individual post.
  • Make an email response a blog post. Maybe you just provided some valuable information to a client — take that and rework it!
  • Speaking of clients — all that client work? Turn it into case studies for your blog. (But, of course, always mask the client.)

It works the other way around, too:

  • Turn a fact-filled blog post into an infographic.
  • Turn a series of blog posts into an ebook.

By changing content from one format to another, you’re likely to reach an entirely different audience for your brand. Look for opportunities to do this and you’ll win! Find more content ideation tips from deGeyter here:

Turning a Video Series into All Kinds of Content – Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty (@SEOSmarty), brand and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and founder of, will talk about how her company used a video series for engagement.

“Everything has been written. Everything is a copy of a copy. It’s very hard to stand out, and it’s a very hard time for marketers to reach out to all the social media channels that we have. We’re trying to cover everything. How do you make your content marketing meaningful?” she says.

Her solution? Content repackaging.

“Add new value. Organize it in a different way,” she says, echoing deGeyter’s sentiments.

She talks about a video series that Internet Marketing Ninjas created. The content the videos make possible goes beyond just YouTube. Here are her ideas:

  • Put video bloopers and small clips on Instagram, Twitter, Fine.
  • Use funny animated GIFs (from the videos) in your promotions using or
  • Turn the videos into podcasts for Soundcloud and iTunes.
  • Once the series has accumulated, they will make a course on Udemy.
  • Turn the videos into articles.

Bottom line? Don’t shy away from videos. You can turn how-tos into videos (using screenshots). Turn team photos into slide shows. Smarty recommends to accomplish these tasks.

Smarty’s Preferred Image Creation Tools

  • HaikuDeck
  • Canva
  • Venngage

Smarty’s final thought for brands and content marketers:

“Any time you think about content marketing, always ask yourself, what else can I do with this content? Every time! Don’t forget to think about that and make sure you don’t miss any opportunities.”

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

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3 Replies to “Building Great Content for a Brand – #Pubcon Liveblog”

Brand domination is one of the signs i look for in healthy website , usually healthy content goes with such a website. content seems to be the buzzword of 2015 , i find myself having to educate business owners to this as well.

Virginia Nussey

Hi MRC – that’s a good heuristic.

Hi Kristi Kellogg,

You are absolutely right in this article. We all know that now a days content really matter for online business. Thanks Kristi Kellogg to sharing this informative article with us.



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