Content Marketing All-Stars Q&A: Monica Carbone of Chevron

By NativeAI / March 31, 2017

Chevron makes difficult
content look easy.

The energy corporation
consistently tells stories related to its complex, multi-faceted business in a
clear and effective way. Moreover, these pieces feel human: they are engaging,
smart, and inspire emotion.

Recently we chatted with Monica
P. Carbone, Lead Content Strategist,
Digital Communications, at Chevron to find out how the firm tackles its content
strategy and development.

Check out the Q&A below:

Q: What role does digital content play for Chevron?

A: Overall,
we’re simply trying to tell our story in a way that engages our audience.

The energy industry is a
very complex business and we want to convey in a relatable way what Chevron
does and the value we bring to people’s everyday lives. We want to show the
full breadth of what we do and what sets us apart from our competitors. But
it’s a lot of ground to cover, so, we take a micro-storytelling approach –
exemplified through our Stories
pieces and the way in which they are woven into different parts of the site –
to deliver that message in a digestible way.


Q: How do you create all that content?

A: It’s
mainly created in-house.

Our content creators work in
partnership with communications advisors embedded throughout the business.
These folks help identify valuable stories and we help them figure out the best
way to bring it to life – through a visual piece, or a podcast, or a 360 video.

Over the past few years
we’ve been sharpening our internal digital skills. We are becoming braver in
our approaches and have started creating more complex content in-house or
sometimes in partnership with external specialists.

Q: How do you ensure that your content reaches the right audiences? Which
distribution methods work well for you?

A: With
any piece, the first thing we do is identify the right audience so we can
create targeted content and deliver it to the right people.

We’ve put a lot of thought
into building our digital ecosystem. From a distribution perspective, we have a
hub and spoke model: is our content hub and then we use things like
social media and third-party articles to deliver our message.


Q: Are you doing both paid and unpaid distribution?

A: We do
both paid and organic.

Our paid media is narrowly
targeted to valuable audiences that we have identified. We work hard with our
media and distribution partners to ensure that the right messages are delivered
to the right people.

Q: How do you measure the success of a piece of

A: We’re all trying to find that easy, magic formula which
tells us what’s great and what’s successful. But of course it’s complex. Our
current method is still evolving as data quality gets better.

Right now we look at
engagement metrics like time spent, interactions, video views, shares,
retweets, etc.

But, ultimately, what we’re
looking most closely at is outcome-focused: Are we connecting with our target
audiences? Are we enhancing our reputation? Are we helping people understand
what Chevron stands for?

That’s what we’re working
hardest to measure so that we can determine success.

Q: Do you have a few pieces of favorite
Chevron content?

A: There
are so many.

One favorite is our Wild
Files infographic series. It’s a new type of storytelling for us, which is
really effective in demonstrating our commitment to environmental protection.


Another is our “I Am…” video series, which focuses on “human energy” by showing what a day in the life is like for different people in our business.


I also love our “Bones, Bombs
and Buried Treasure
” piece – it’s more traditional long-form, and shows how
our work in the field has led to archeological discoveries. The piece talks
about how we respect and protect those artifacts and cultural treasures, in
coordination with local communities.

Finally, there’s a
virtual reality (VR) campaign
we created to help folks understand the value
of energy. We produced VR videos – and shorter versions for mobile – that show
life out on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Coupled with infographics,
project data, and employee testimonials about working on the platform, the VR
experience delivered an important story to our audience in a high-impact way.
It was an exciting project to be part of.


Q: Finally, are there any content marketing
trends you’re following closely right now?

A: Virtual
reality is definitely one of them. But more broadly, just the idea of being
able to better reach your audience at the right time in the right place, and
with the right, high-quality content. 

As optimization techniques become more
sophisticated, how do we better engage people where they are? And as the amount
of content out there competing for attention increases, marketers will need to
reach their audiences in more targeted ways with better pieces. That context
and connection will matter more and more.

Written by NativeAI / March 31, 2017