Trekk Talk: Michela Duggan, Content Developer

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At Trekk, it’s no secret we’re passionate and dedicated to the design, marketing, strategy, and production work we do for our clients locally, nationally, and around the world. The drive to be a best-in-class marketing agency stems in large part from the talented people behind Trekk, from our designers and developers to content creators and account managers. 

With Trekk Talk, we’ll sit down each month with a different member of our team to learn about what they do for our clients and organization, share in their expertise and knowledge, and get a little glimpse of who they are outside of the office. 

This month we’re excited to chat with Content Developer Michela Duggan. Michela joined Trekk in November of last year and has already established herself as a critical player in the development and execution of content for a number of clients.

Content Strategist Michela Duggan

An avid video game enthusiast, Michela experienced a diverse professional background before joining the Trekk family. 

You’re a member of our content team as a Content Developer — can you tell us what that entails and what you do as a member of the content team?

As a Content Developer, I strategize and write engaging content for both Trekk and our clients. This can range from blog posts and emails to website content and more.

For you, what are the elements that make quality content? 

For me, the best content is a helpful piece that your audience would want to read. Answering questions like, “What value does this have for your reader?” is always important when brainstorming and writing. And when you go back and read the piece yourself, it should be engaging enough that you would see yourself stopping for a moment to read if you were in their position.

A great piece of content acts as a resource that someone can find and benefit from whether or not they even know about your brand. Strategically, when you create enough helpful content, your audience will eventually learn more about — and grow to trust — your business.

How did you get into the content development and creation game? Tell us a bit about your background.

My background is full of twists and turns. I attended art school, but my first full-time job afterward was as a Client Services Coordinator (and later the Office Lead) with a funeral home consulting company. That’s where I began to understand that the direction I wanted to move toward in my career was writing and editing — my favorite projects were when I could spend hours poring over training materials and editing them for a better flow.

From there, I spent many years working in different positions from sales to customer service, then finally to a hybrid position where I got my foot in the door by writing SEO-friendly website content for an event booking website. That’s where I learned how important it is to understand your target audience and your customer — the best marketers always have both groups in mind while respecting their needs.

After a few more years writing content for a tech agency and healthcare privacy and cybersecurity solution, I found my way to Trekk.

In today’s world, anyone can start a blog, a website, a video series, a podcast, etc. So what steps can a business take to make sure their content stands out or doesn’t get lost amidst the noise out there?

Even when there may be hundreds of similar businesses to yours, find what makes your work unique and always ask yourself how you can provide value to your customers and prospects. What problems can you help them solve? How can you do it in a way that nobody else can offer?

Answering those questions and adding a human touch to the work that you do helps you maintain integrity and a competitive advantage at the same time.

Can you identify 1 or 2 common pitfalls or stumbling blocks companies encounter when getting into content marketing? How can they combat these? 

One challenging pitfall a company can encounter is getting executive or shareholder buy-in for content marketing. Because it’s a creative position, it can be difficult to quantify the value that it has. Luckily, there are many KPIs you can track, from visibility on search engines to an increase in recognizability and trust among consumers.

Think of brands you can identify off the top of your head. Think of ads that stayed with you or made you laugh. A content person (or team) was behind that and it’s the reason why that brand is one that their audience turns to when they need a product or service.

What advice would you give to companies who are exploring the idea of content marketing and weighing whether it’s right for them?

Content marketing is incredibly valuable. If you’re looking to explain why to a numbers-oriented CFO, consider talking to the point of how it increases the visibility of your brand. By including strategic content on your website, blog, social media, and other spaces, you’re making it easier from an SEO perspective to be found on search engines. 

What advice would you give to those looking to break into the content marketing field as a profession?

Don’t give up! It can be hard to get into and admittedly, it took me years. Even if you’re working in a different department, like customer service or sales, ask around and see if your marketing department needs a hand with content. Does your marketing department have overflow tasks (or ones they dread) that you can help with? That can absolutely help you get your foot in the door (and is how I got started with developing my portfolio!).

What’s essential is your curiosity, love of writing, and passion for contributing to business growth. If you’re interested, try starting your own blog, helping out with marketing tasks at your current company, or developing a portfolio on your own. That way, you can elevate your skills while developing work that you can show to either your own marketing department when an opportunity opens up or another company down the road if you’re job searching.

Alright, we’ve reached our Speed Round questions. Let’s let ‘em rip! 

Coke or Pepsi?

Regular Pepsi, Diet Coke.
 

Cake or pie? 

Both. Both is good. 

Favorite season of the year and why?

I’m from Massachusetts and currently live in Florida, so for both areas, I’ll offer two different answers. 

In Massachusetts, it would easily be fall for the beautiful colors and events. In Florida, spring is my favorite season. The flowers and trees are blooming while it’s beginning to warm up before the heat becomes unbearable.

Favorite video game right now? Of all-time?

My favorite game to play at the moment is Hades. I've officially beaten it, but I've found there's constantly more to do and I can put it down even if I tried. My favorite game of all time is Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. 

Last TV show you binge-watched?

Sadly, I don’t have much time to binge-watch anymore, so I watch shows in slow stints. The latest one that I absolutely loved was The Queen’s Gambit. Did it take me two months to watch it all? Indeed it did. Did I adore it? Also yes.

What’s one guilty pleasure you have?  

To be honest, I’m working on NOT feeling guilty about what I like, so the answer now is nothing.

We’re so envious of this answer…

Many thanks to Michela for taking the time to talk with us. Check back next month for another edition of Trekk Talk! 

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