Exploring Content Creation and Marketing, and Global Work Cultures with Chris Meabe | GlaspTalk #15

Exploring Content Creation and Marketing, and Global Work Cultures with Chris Meabe | GlaspTalk #15

This is the fifteenth session of Glasp Talk!

Glasp Talk delves deep into intimate interviews with luminaries from various fields, unraveling their genuine emotions, experiences, and the stories behind them.

Today's guest is Chris Meabe, a senior content specialist at Foundation Marketing, a renowned marketing agency known for its innovative content strategies and digital campaigns. With a rich background in content creation and digital marketing, Chris has been instrumental in crafting compelling narratives that resonate across diverse audiences.

In this interview, Chris Meabe shares his journey from teaching English in Japan to becoming a content writer, emphasizing the importance of words in shaping culture, a philosophy central to his work at Foundation Marketing. He discusses the differences in work cultures across the US, Japan, and Spain and their impact on his content marketing approach. Chris explores the role of AI tools like ChatGPT in content creation and the balance between AI and human creativity. He offers practical advice for aspiring writers on building a portfolio, specializing in a niche, and mastering content distribution strategies. Join us for insights from Chris Meabe on his journey, writing process, and content marketing philosophy.

Read the summary:

Exploring Content Creation and Marketing, and Global Work Cultures with Chris Meabe | GlaspTalk #15 | Video Summary and Q&A | Glasp
- Chris M introduces himself as a marketer at Foundation Marketing, emphasizing the importance of content and its impact on culture. - He shares his journey from being an English teacher in Japan to becoming a content writer and marketer, highlighting his skills in simplifying complex topics and eff


Glasp: Welcome back to Glasp Talk. Today we are excited to have Chris M. with us. Chris is a senior content specialist at Foundation Marketing, a renowned marketing agency known for its innovative content strategies and digital campaigns. With a rich background in content creation and digital marketing, Chris has been instrumental in crafting compelling narratives that resonate across diverse audiences. Today, we will dive into the evolving landscape of content marketing, explore Chris's approach to storytelling, and uncover insights that can help any creator make a more significant impact. So, let's get started and welcome Chris M.

Chris: Thank you for joining.

Glasp: Thanks so much for having me. I'm really excited to get started. Thank you. First of all, I introduced you briefly, but could you introduce yourself a bit to people who don't know you yet?

Chris: Yeah, totally. My name is Chris Meabe. I'm a marketer with Foundation, just like you said. I think one thing that I want everyone to know about me is I care a lot about the words I write. We have a saying at Foundation that content is culture, and it's true. Our culture is made up of the things we read around us. Every day, I try to affect that culture a little bit in a positive way.

Glasp: Beautiful. It seems like your career started with a background in sales and finance. I'm curious, how did you become a writer or content writer?

Chris: My first job out of college was as an English teacher in Japan. I loved that experience, but I knew it wasn't going to be what I did forever. I got great skills from that, like how to break down complex topics into simpler terms and how to speak confidently in front of others. I thought those were skills a salesperson would need, so I went into sales. I was eager and excited but found out that I was really bad at it. Cold calling made me anxious, and I would stutter on the phone, but I was pretty good at writing sales emails. When the COVID pandemic happened and I was laid off, I decided to find a job focused on writing. Since then, I've been writing sales and marketing email sequences for ZoomInfo, freelanced when I moved to Spain, and then joined Foundation, where I get to do all kinds of different writing for various companies.

Glasp: Thank you for talking about how you became a writer. What made you decide to go to Japan and teach English?

Chris: I never knew much about Japan. I didn't watch anime as a kid, other than Pokémon. Before I arrived in Japan, I didn't even know what "Dune" or "One Piece" were. I hadn't even watched "Dragon Ball." I really didn't know anything and thought it would be great to learn about Japan on a budget. I found out that the Japanese government would pay me to go there if I promised to work as an English teacher. I thought it sounded like a good deal and tried it out for a year, which turned out to be a great time.

Glasp: Interesting. Many people go to Japan because they are interested in the culture, but you weren't interested initially. Did experiencing teaching English in Japan help your sales writing?

Chris: Yes, exactly. Teaching English helped me learn to break down complex topics and communicate confidently, which are skills that translated well to writing sales emails.

Glasp: You mentioned you weren't good at sales in person but were good at writing sales emails. What made you better at writing sales emails?

Chris: There were two things. One, I got in my head and wanted everything I said to be perfect, which made me nervous. Two, I could ask for help when writing emails. On the phone, you can't turn to a colleague for advice, but with emails, you can take your time and learn from your peers.

Glasp: Interesting. That resonates with me. I'm not good at in-person sales, but I organize my thoughts better in emails. You mentioned you're in Spain. What made you decide to move there?

Chris: My fiancée, who is now my wife as we just got married this past Saturday, is from Spain. She had been living in the US, but American visas can be tough to get. I had studied abroad in Spain, spoke some Spanish, and knew the city where she's from. We decided to move there because the cost of living is lower, and it made starting as a freelancer easier.

Glasp: Congratulations on your marriage! How long have you been in Spain?

Chris: Thank you! I've been in Spain for almost three years now, and I'm loving it. I'm in the south, in a city called Granada. It's a beautiful place, and I recommend visiting if you ever go to Spain.

Glasp: Thanks. You have worked in the US, Japan, and now Spain. Do you see any differences in work culture or content marketing between these countries?

Chris: There are quite a lot of differences. In Japan, there were strict office hours, and you had to at least look like you were working the whole time. In the US, it was more results-oriented. In Spain, people care deeply about work-life balance. For example, my former boss in Spain would close his tourism agency from 2 pm to 5 pm for a long lunch with his family, even though it might cost him customers. Different values and schedules impact how organizations run.

Glasp: Interesting differences. Do you see any differences in content marketing between the US and Europe?

Chris: Yes, there are differences. When targeting European audiences in English, you have to consider whether they are native speakers or learned English as a second language. You might need to avoid industry jargon or regional terminology. Also, different cultures value different things. For example, selling to a business owner in the US is different from selling to one in Spain. Priorities, regulations, and infrastructure vary.

Glasp: Do you have any examples where your expectations were different from reality in a good or bad way?

Chris: One thing that surprised me was that many content marketers don't have a formal marketing background, so methodologies can vary widely. This creates interesting innovation. At Foundation, we do breakdowns of other companies' marketing strategies, which is tough because there's no single recipe everyone follows.

Glasp: What makes good or great content?

Chris: Great content is defined by its goal. If the goal is to attract people to your website (top of the funnel), the aim is to get clicks. Thought leadership content should have original research, expert citations, and in-depth coverage. Bottom-of-funnel content should compel people to buy with clarity and concise reasons. The goal determines what makes content great.

Glasp: Do you read other companies' blog posts and articles to analyze their strategies?

Chris: Yes, especially since ChatGPT came out. It's obvious when companies rely too heavily on ChatGPT. Great content stands out, and I share it with my co-workers to learn from it.

Glasp: Do you use AI in your writing process?

Chris: It depends on the content and client preferences. Some clients want every word written by a person. I do use AI sometimes, but prompt engineering can be so complex that it's sometimes easier to write it myself. Our CEO, Ross, is excited about AI and invests in training us on prompt engineering to use AI effectively and responsibly.

Glasp: Have you found any useful prompt or strategy for prompting?

Chris: There's a lot. One useful strategy is writing a simulated conversation. Write a prompt and the desired response back and forth. This helps establish a brand voice with AI.

Glasp: Do you use ChatGPT, Gemini, or Claude?

Chris: I mostly use ChatGPT. I've used Jasper, which is great in certain situations. I haven't used Claude much and only tried Gemini a little. We look at hallucination rates, and ChatGPT generally has the lowest, which is important for accuracy.

Glasp: Interesting. Besides AI, what tools do you use for writing?

Chris: I use Google Docs. It's basic but effective for writing. Most of the work is done there.

Glasp: How do you organize your research?

Chris: I organize research beforehand by making an outline and putting sources in it. Ideally, the client reviews the outline to ensure we're on the same page. This makes the writing process smoother.

Glasp: How do you decide on content ideas?

Chris: Our strategy team handles that. They use various tools to determine content topics and provide an Excel sheet with the topics I'll be writing about.

Glasp: How does the review process work?

Chris: We have an internal review stage with our editors and an external review stage with the client. The editor reviews the content from the client's perspective, and then the client reviews it. There may be multiple cycles to ensure the content is perfect.

Glasp: Do you ever have conflicts with clients over changes?

Chris: There can be conflicts, but we have to be humble. Clients know more about their industries than we do, so we follow their guidance. Our job is to serve them and make their content the best it can be.

Glasp: How do you start the process when a client wants to increase brand awareness or conversion rates?

Chris: Clients come to us with a problem or goal. Our strategists then formulate a strategy to achieve that goal, and it turns into a conversation with the client to refine the approach.

Glasp: You wrote an article about the importance of content distribution. Can you explain your thoughts on that?

Chris: Many companies create amazing content that no one sees because they don't distribute it well. Distribution is a value multiplier. You can get more mileage out of one piece of content by distributing it across different channels, repurposing it into various formats, and reaching a wider audience. For example, a webinar can be recorded, turned into YouTube clips, and shared on social media.

Glasp: Some influencers suggest focusing on one channel, like YouTube. What's your take on that?

Chris: It depends on your time, budget, and goals. If you want people to see your face, TikTok might be great. If you target different audience segments, multiple channels might be necessary. I recommend experimenting with a few channels first, see where you succeed, and then expand from there. Look at what your competitors are doing and find opportunities they might be missing.

Glasp: Do you have any advice for increasing views and awareness?

Chris: Look closely at what works for others. Copy strategies that are successful, experiment, and find your voice. Be aware of the norms of each platform. For example, Redditors appreciate genuine help without overt advertising. Understand the subcultural norms and replicate successful strategies while adapting them to your content.

Glasp: You mentioned different content types like thought leadership and bottom-funnel content. How do companies balance these?

Chris: It varies based on the company's strategy and goals. For example, a university might focus more on thought leadership to build authority, while a consumer-facing company might focus on high-volume top-of-funnel content. The balance depends on what drives revenue, brand perception, and strengths.

Glasp: How do you keep up with recent updates in marketing and content distribution?

Chris: All of the above – following influencers, learning by doing, and attending conferences. At Foundation, we have a blog called Foundation Lab where we break down other companies' marketing strategies. This research helps us learn and create original insights.

Glasp: Any advice for aspiring writers and content marketers?

Chris: Start by building a portfolio. Specialized knowledge can help you stand out, especially with AI becoming more prevalent. Lean on your unique experiences and background to create content that goes above and beyond what AI can produce.

Glasp: Lastly, what kind of legacy or impact do you want to leave for future generations?

Chris: I want to be helpful and make other people's lives a little easier. If I can do that through the content I create and positively affect culture in small ways, I think that's a pretty good impact to have.

Glasp: Thank you, Chris, for joining today's talk.

Chris: Thanks so much for chatting. I had a wonderful time and hope it all goes viral. Thank you!

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