Thinking outside the content marketing bubble

April 16th, 2019

A bubble. A small pond. An echo chamber. These are not places VERB Interactive wants to be.

We’re a digital agency focused on travel and hospitality based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a mid-sized city on the east coast of Canada that many of our clients have never been to and some had never even heard of before they met us.

It would have been easy for us to be a monstrous fish in a small pond. We have a powerful and large development team, creative studio, copywriters, social strategists, account managers, user experience designers, analysts and SEO experts. All told, we’re 150-people strong.

But 15 years ago, when we were founded, we decided we wanted to swim in bigger pools. And so our client base is comprised of international companies – luxury resorts, hotels, cruise lines, and destinations. We hire people with weathered passports and well-used carry-on luggage. We hire dreamers who act – not just think.

Landing major accounts requires big thinking and getting out of a bubble. While other agencies in our city battle it out for the same set of clients year after year, we focus our sights on what else is out there.

Being part of the Content Marketing Association (CMA) is an important part of our efforts to think bigger. Connecting to a network of people who are constantly researching and reacting to changes in the marketing landscape forces us to do better. Last year, we submitted work for awards consideration. We didn’t land the trophy, but we were excited by the competition and saw the potential to do more with our clients, based on the work of those who submitted and won.

Now we host weekly internal newsroom sessions, where each staff member is expected to come forward with new insights based on the global competitive landscape. We research. We admire and we work harder. We’re also supported by the information and work of those working at the CMA.

Our content marketing team has grown to approximately 50 talented employees and our roster of clients includes Nassau Paradise Island in The Bahamas, luxury resorts in Florida, Azamara Club Cruises and Pebble Beach in California, among others. We’ve stretched ourselves, pushing the editorial focus of our blogs, refining our influencer program and diving deep into voice and tone research and workshops. And not to brag, but last year we won six HSMAI Adrian Awards, nine Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, and nine Global Trend Marketing Awards. So far this year? Two Webbys and an IABC Gold Quill Award of Merit.

This year, we want to do more with what the CMA has to offer. We hope to travel to London to participate in learning opportunities (it’s a shorter flight for us than it is to many parts of the US, after all) and to meet more members online and in real life. We want to hear about your struggles and your triumphs. We want to get better. And being part of a powerful network is one of the ways we can make that happen.

By Stephanie McGrath

VP of Strategy, VERB Interactive

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