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This week, to conclude the Content Marketing & Strategy series of interviews I had the pleasure of speaking with Jon Wuebben. Jon Wuebben is a veteran copywriter, speaker, entrepreneur and online marketing leader.
Seeing the exploding need for high quality, keyword rich web content, he founded the SEO copywriting house, Custom Copywriting in 2003. He is the President and CEO of Telegent Media, LLC, Encore Publishing and Custom Copywriting, one of the fastest growing online content providers in the industry, having written copy for the Fortune 100, small startups and dozens of mid-sized organizations. He understands the power that web content can have on a growing business and how it can transform unknown brands into industry-leaders. More recently, Jon wrote Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth to help businesses of all sizes write their own content and to learn all the tips and tricks of SEO copywriting and how it relates to online marketing.
Elise Redlin-Cook: As usual, I’d like to start with a general question. We have always heard that content is king, but content strategy and development are truly gaining traction now. What do you see happening over the next 2 or 3 years with respect to content strategies and content marketing?
Jon Wuebben: First, is the adoption of a content strategy…thousands of firms will be doing this over the next 2-3 years. Understanding SEO and SMO is the first priority. Really understanding your prospects/clients is the next step. Bringing efficiency to the time it takes to create, distribute and leverage the content will also be a major trend. There are short cuts and there will continue to be development in this area. Social networking will continue to grow in importance. Overall, content strategy development will see a renaissance and will encourage and influence the creation of thousands of new start-ups, which will ultimately be a big part of what will get us out of the current economic downturn.
Elise: When coming up with a content strategy, where do you go for inspiration?
Jon: You go to the editorial calendars of magazines in your industry, most of them have this page on their website under “advertising”. When people advertise in a magazine, they want to tailor their ad to the appropriate issue. Same goes for online content. Think in terms of advertisers – what would they want to see on your blog? Then think in terms of prospects – if you could get them to do business with you just by having them read something that you provided them, what would it be? If you are totally stumped, go to competitive blogs and see what they are talking about.
Elise: What team should own a brand’s content and social media strategy? Should it be Marketing, PR, Customer Service, Legal, or other? Why?
Jon: Marketing, marketing, marketing. End of story. They all should be involved to some extent of course, but marketing owns it..really owns it.
Elise: Do you feel that there is an applicable methodology to creating viral content, or does it just happen?
Jon: It usually just happens, but if you have a lot of subscribers, followers and fans, then it becomes much easier. Go with the classic link bait stuff: Linkbait is used to describe viral, linkable content designed to attract thousands of links and is recognized as one of the most effective ways to build links – and relevance for a site. So link baiting is really building link friendly content. It’s also a great way to approach social media content –because it gets people interested.
Elise: Here at Vertical Measures, being an SEO agency, we are primarily focused on building great links for clients, I’ve got to ask… what have you found to be the most successful content strategy for gaining backlinks? Why?
Jon: Gaining links can be easier than people realize. First, as all the experts will tell you, you need a good “hook” for your blog posts, Tweets or Facebook Status Updates. A hook is the angle or the way of grabbing attention from the reader. You do it by capitalizing on something that’s really important to most people – security, money, respect, gossip, new ideas, a secret, etc…and give it a little sizzle.
Types of Hooks:
• Tying in to what’s relevant – the News Hook
• Going against the grain – the Contrary Hook
• Taking the offensive position – the Attack Hook
• Providing something important – the Resource Hook
• Making people laugh – the Humor Hook
Using hooks like these will get you back links. Want a sure fire way? Come up with a “Top 100 Ways to Do Something” blog post and you will go into viral link nirvana…but you gotta make it good.
Elise: Great input, so who are the three people (or companies, organizations, etc.) that everyone should be following?
Jon: Steve Jobs, Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell.
Elise: Alright, let’s get just a bit more personal. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Jon: France. Love the lifestyle. Switzerland’s great too. 😉
Elise: What led you to create Telegent Media and Custom Copywriting?
Jon: There was a very obvious need for web copy when I started in 2003. Companies were begging for it practically. There were all these old school copywriters out there who still had one foot in the print world – and didn’t get it or have the vision thing. Fortunately, I…and a few others out there…Arnie Kuenn and Joe Pulizzi included…have the vision thing. 😉
Thanks so much for Jon for allowing us to interview him, and providing such great insights into the world of Content Strategy.
Do you have any of your own insights that you’d like to add about content marketing?