Content is Currency

Developing Powerful Content
for Web and Mobile

by Jon Wuebben - Founder and CEO of Content Launch

Q & A with Jon Wuebben, author of Content is Currency and founder of ContentLaunch.com

Why did you decide to write Content is Currency?

I run a content development and strategy firm, Content Launch, and it was a perfect extension of my personal expertise in the subject. We are on the forefront of the content marketing revolution. My company lives and breathes it everyday and are helping many companies around the world with content development.

The second reason is that I love to write and am very passionate about content marketing. I love what I do and I want others to get motivated about this stuff too. It can make a huge difference in your marketing efforts…starting today!

Finally, there are other books on the topic, but none of them are as thorough and as easy to understand as Content is Currency. I cover the topic from every angle, discuss all types of content and communicate in a way that any business, small or large, can understand.

What is the “Content Lifecycle” and why is it useful?

It’s the ecosystem of online and mobile content. It’s critically important to understand that unlike traditional marketing pieces like direct mail and brochures, online content is a living, breathing thing. It’s truly evergreen and in many cases, stays online forever. In other words, this content stuff carries your reputation and your brand with it, in perpetuity. This can be a great thing, or a bad thing, depending on what that content is. But the main thing is to understand that this dynamic exists. When you do, you can take advantage of it and get a big leg up on your competitors.

The Content Lifecyle has four parts: content planning and strategy, content creation, content marketing/distribution and content management/curation. This cycle continues forever and as time goes by, you raise the quantity and hopefully, the quality of your content with the expectation of reaching more and more qualified prospects and building a relationship with them along the way.

What are some of the book’s key takeaways?

  • What types of content they need for their specific business, target market and industry, and type of website
  • How certain content tricks can influence search engine rankings and sales conversion
  • How the search engines rank content
  • How to write, distribute and leverage social media content to connect with the target market and grow market share
  • How to integrate the unique elements of your web presence: website, landing page, blog, article, email, newsletter, autoresponder, PPC ad and press release copywriting as well as online video and audio content.
  • Lessons from case studies featuring businesses from a wide variety of industries, showcasing how content development has impacted their online presence.
  • Content development and management strategies for Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Flickr and other social networking sites
  • Tricks for automating content creation, distribution and management
  • Everything you need to know about mobile content marketing – which is the hottest thing in marketing today

What’s the number one question you get asked the most?

There are really three biggies: “What is content marketing and how can I use it to help my business?”, “Why is my site not ranked higher in the search engines?” And third would be, “how can I convert more site traffic into sales?”

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?

First, is the adoption of a content strategy…thousands of firms will be doing this over the next year. Understanding content marketing, 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. And mobile marketing is super hot. 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.

When coming up with a content idea, where can companies go for inspiration?

Think about “hooks” to get people engaged. 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 inspired. 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.

You can also 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.

What team should own a brand’s content marketing and social media strategy? Should it be Marketing, PR, Customer Service, Legal, or other? Why?

Marketing, marketing, marketing. End of story. They all should be involved to some extent of course, but marketing owns it..really owns it.

Is there an applicable methodology to creating “viral” content, or does it just happen?

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.

How would you describe yourself?

Introspective and determined. Giving and kind. Creative. And very passionate about content marketing!

What do you want people to do as a result of buying your book?

I want them to number one, feel confident that they can get this stuff done and done right. Number two, get started as soon as possible. My book basically gives them the game plan they need. I discuss all the types of content to consider, how to develop them and then include some great case studies on how real companies are using content marketing techniques right now to great success.

I also want to motivate my readers and help them to see the great opportunity that content marketing holds for their companies. Its very exciting stuff and is making a big difference for a lot of businesses right now.

Other Questions For Jon

1. Why did you write Content is Currency?

2. Why should businesses buy this book, how can it make a difference in their marketing plans?

3. What is “Content Marketing”? What is “Search Engine Optimization”? What is “Social Media Optimization”?

4. What is the “Content Life Cycle”?

5. How are ad agencies and search marketing firms doing a disservice to their clients when it comes to content development and content marketing?

6. Why are the techniques you discuss perfect for companies facing shrinking budgets in a tough economy?

7. What would you tell a company that hasn’t produced much content or started down the path to content marketing excellence?

8. What are keywords and how do you perform keyword research?

9. What are “meta tags” and how do they play a role in SEO?

10. How do you perform competitive research online?

11. How does mobile fit into the content marketing plan?

12. How do you integrate mobile and social marketing?

13. How do you unleash a “Content Marketing Machine”?

14. Why is this content marketing book better than the rest out there? How is it different?

15. What are the hot trends and what does the future hold for content marketing?