A bad movie and a beer with Goran Mirkovic, our Head of Content Marketing

At Content Insights, we’re a pretty colorful bunch. We have brilliant data minds, developers and researchers, people passionately committed to client success and forward-thinking product nurturers, among our ranks.

And, as of 2018, the marketing team have joined the fray.

Today, we invite you to meet Goran Mirkovic, our Head of Content Marketing.

Goran and I sat down over a couple of beers to discuss how he ended up at Content Insights, and more. The first thing he explained (and that’s before we even started with the questions), is that he doesn’t really understand the titles that include ‘head’ in their description. He said they remind him of the giant floating head from the ‘Rick and Morty’ show.

This could be the reason why he sends us these types of GIFs when he expects us to come up with new blog topics:

And why he reacts like this when he’s satisfied with our ideas:

So… There’s that. 

Now, moving on to the questions.

Goran, you first started writing when you launched a personal blog about movies. What was all that about?

It was basically a passion project. I’ve always really, really, enjoyed watching movies. Heck, if there was a prize for binge-watching, I’d certainly win it.

So, a lot of people knew this and they were constantly asking me for movie recommendations. Like, all the time. It got to the point where I got tired of repeating myself, so I decided to create a blog. That way, I reasoned, everyone who used to reach out to me could stay up to date with what I was watching. It was a very smart thing to do, when I think about it.

To my surprise, the project quickly became quite popular. Even though it was intended solely for my friends, the website managed to grab the attention of a much bigger audience. People from all over the country started reading my short movie reviews (which eventually morphed into massive analyses that go on forever). This interest came as a total shock to me.

The moment I understood someone actually valued my opinion about movies, I saw the potential in investing more time and effort into developing the project. I started taking my blog more seriously, and spending more time honing my content writing as well.

So, you’re a cinephile. Everyone also asks about the best movies, but frankly I’m more interested in the opposite. What are some of the worst movies you’ve seen? 

Oh man, that’s a tough one. I’ve seen a lot of bad movies. The most recent one is ‘Birdemic: Shock and Terror’. It’s a cheap knockoff of the famous Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, ‘The Birds’, and it’s probably the worst way to spend two hours. I found it on IMDB’s list of the top 100 worst movies ever. It’s at the very top. And for a reason.

Wait, you watched it intentionally? Why?

I don’t really know. I have a weird relationship with bad movies. Some movies have such bad ratings that I just have to see these disasters for myself. In most cases, it’s like watching an accident: you simply can’t look away. I’m pretty fascinated with the fact that a whole team of people (and sometimes, the number of individuals involved is really big) spent time and money  producing a magnificently bad movie, and yet at no point during this process did anyone ever say – “wait a minute, this is horseshit”. It’s like everything happens in some sort of a vacuum – the ultimate example of watching your deeds through rose-colored glasses. 

I must say that sometimes, the movies are so bad that I need to rewatch them. The fact they exist is amazing to me.

Right… So, can you tell us more about your career? How did you step into the world of content marketing?

Through film, actually. Once my blog started to generate a bigger audience, an international film festival called Cinema City noticed my work and they invited me to help them out with the content for the festival. I was one of the people in charge of writing articles for their website. I also helped them create a booklet and an entire catalog of all the movies that were being screened at that year’s festival. 

That went really well. It was fun to discover I have a sense for telling stories, and for writing in a unique and engaging way. From that point on, I started looking for similar jobs and found my place in the content marketing industry. The rest is history.

What would you say is a common misconception about content marketing, or something people don’t quite understand about this field of marketing?

From my experience, people tend to think content marketing equals blogging. That’s one of the most common misconceptions. They believe that content marketing professionals have just one job, and that’s to write random articles for the company blog.

In reality, it’s far more complex than that. Content is there to persuade and to intrigue. It should communicate the value of the product or service you offer, and help you build or reinforce relationships with both your existing and future customers. In addition, it’s the key piece of the puzzle for building credibility and it’s a foundation for quality SEO.

By deploying a well-thought-out content marketing strategy, you are actually ensuring each article you publish covers a certain phase of the sales funnel while also serving your short-term and long-term business goals. Plus, content marketing is not limited to publishing content on a company website. On the contrary, some of the biggest wins occur if you invest in guest posting and smart content distribution. 

The better content you create, the better the image you’ll have as a company.

So, in short, there’s a lot more to it than just writing something you think your audience might be interested in. Tracking results and measuring content performance helps you determine what works and what doesn’t. I know just how important this is, which is why accepting a job at Content Insights was a great step in my career. 

Here’s one cliché of a question for you: how do you see the future of content?

I see content evolving into cybernetic organisms that plan to enslave humanity. 

Kidding.

I think content is becoming more important than ever, especially for companies that operate in the digital economy and want to make the most of their online presence. And having a developed strategy that’s in line with your brand is essential, no matter the industry. Content is at the core of any inbound machinery for generating leads. In some niches, achieving results is more challenging, in others – the bar for success is not that high.

In the future, for most companies that do their business online, content will take center stage in the sales cycle. I believe we are going to see a lot more brands experiment with different content formats and technologies like VR and AR. Let’s not forget the creative use of videos, too.

I don’t think people will ever stop reading and I don’t believe that video and podcasts will kill the written word. However, the way we read and consume content will evolve. It’s already happening.. The only thing that can kill the written word are terminators from the future, of course.

Which niches did you work in before joining Content Insights? 

Basically, I worked in everything from software development to online dating. You name it. 

I tried to perfect my content marketing skills so I started taking jobs in various industries. This way, you can get to know many different audiences, explore what they expect, figure out how to serve them in the best possible way – and of course, trigger a certain action from them.  

I feel that, when you’re ‘forced’ to do a lot of industry research and switch between different styles and tones, you can find general formulas of what works and what doesn’t. Then you can tweak them when necessary and adjust them to specific cases that appear at your door. It’s all trial and error.

One thing’s for sure: I don’t think I would have all this knowledge about content marketing if I hadn’t stepped outside of my comfort zone and worked in so many niches – both independently and through agency work.

What do you find the most challenging about working as the Head of Content Marketing in Content Insights? What about the most rewarding thing?

Being the ‘head’ of anything is at the same time incredibly rewarding, challenging, and confusing. Especially the last part, if you think of yourself as a floating head. 

But, all the weirdness aside, the most challenging part is getting people on board with ideas that don’t seem logical or worth the effort at first glance. Of course, I also need to explain what is it that we actually do and prove the value of content marketing to those outside of the team.

The most rewarding part is definitely when my team and I execute ideas and drive real results, such as generating inbound leads or sales. Everyone feels great when our collective efforts pay off, it really brings us together and gives us motivation to move forward or just stuff our faces with complimentary sweets. If we become really fat, that means we made it! 

Can you tell us a bit more about the usual workflow in your team and how you ensure everything runs like a well-oiled machine?

Well, we’ve established a system in which each team member can see what everyone is doing. We practice full transparency and we have a lot of trust in each other. The marketing team has been handpicked by me so I’m fully confident in everyone’s expertise and motivation to do their work. So far, it’s been smooth as a baby’s bottom. No complaints. 

How would you describe Content Insights and its company culture?

Content Insights is definitely a one of a kind company that has a very specific company culture. In my whole career, I haven’t seen anything like it. You have this great, relaxed work environment and a lot of jaw-dropping benefits. This motivates me to do my job the best way that I can. The culture is based on trust between employees and the company. Although it is really simple, people outside the company find the concept very hard to comprehend.

Unlimited vacation days, flexible working hours, the freedom to organize your time and workload the way you like? It’s really something you can only hear about in fairy tales. 

What is the main reason you love working at Content Insights?

Content Insights is a revolutionary product which I actually believe in. Milos and I spoke about this on the blog not so long ago: it’s a lot easier to stand behind a product if you think it’s great and valuable for industry, and to advocate for it. It feels refreshing, really.

I feel like we’re making a difference. My job isn’t task-focused, but mission-focused. I have the ability to experiment with content and to be a part of something big and important.

Anything you would like to add?

Cheers and see you at the movies!

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