Content marketing is getting a lot of buzz in the lead generation space of late, but what it is exactly? Arnie Kuenn, CEO of Vertical Measures, defines it as “producing useful content that customers will discover most likely through search (but probably more via search or social media) whereby you are producing content without selling or interrupting the client or the prospect.”
Traditional media’s main intent is to interrupt whatever you are doing — whether it’s reading a magazine, watching television or listening to music — to get your attention. Here’s the difference about real pure content marketing: It’s designed to be available to you when you are in the mood to find it.
Kuenn will be speaking on this very topic, "Business to Consumer: Optimizing Your Content: The Best Path to Conversions," at the upcoming Path2Conversion Summit at The New York Hilton Midtown on August 24 as part of LeadsCon New York. Kuenn emphasizes that it takes fine-tuned skill to create the content consumers are looking for when they are conducting a search.
How did he become a go-to guru in this arena? Kuenn explains that five years ago he met Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute. Collaborating, Kuenn invited him to speak at a conference. After hearing Pulizzi’s talk, he was sold to the point that he made the decision to shift Vertical Measure’s focus to include content marketing. Four years ago, he wrote his first book, Accelerate, about this very transformation from SEO agency to content marketing. And just this past January, Kuenn’s second book hit the market, Content Marketing Works. “That’s really based on everything we’ve learned by actually trying to do this with a client and ourselves during the following four years,” says Kuenn. “We learned what mistakes we had made and what it takes to actually make this work — hence the title.”
"Mistakes" will be a bit of a theme for Kuenn’s discussion. One high point of his talk will focus on mistakes his agency sees in the marketplace as Vertical Measures serves as an auditor of many websites from an SEO perspective. An example of this is the unintentional duplication of content, which Kuenn says is rampant in the marketplace. Other mistakes include the bad use of title tags in meta descriptions and bad back-links pointing to a company’s site.
Kuenn will also provide tips on how to optimize three different types of content: regular written Web page content, images and videos. Following that, he intends to school LeadsCon attendees on how to protect their future.
The big tip is optimizing the content so it gets found to begin with. “What I keep saying is: Wherever ‘I’ go is to create content people are actually searching for, which may sound obvious — but it’s not,” he says. “There’s some tips and tricks you can do to research and find out what it is your market is actually looking for online, and then you create that content that meets that need. That is one of the keys right there — not to guess at what people are searching for — but where you could actually learn and discover what those searches are.”
The biggest challenge, says, Kuenn, is having enough patience to do content marketing correctly. With pay-per-click or television marketing, whenever you are running ads, you decide on an ad campaign, fund it and almost immediately start to see results. “The difference between that and real content marketing is content marketing takes generally a few months before you actually start to see the results,” Kuenn points out. “It takes patience — and it’s definitely an investment. Once you’ve made this investment, over the course of a year or two, you create a great deal of content on your website and it’s going to take forever to keep generating traffic and leads for you well on into the future if you do it right. But, that’s a hard thing for owners or executives to wrap their heads around and trust.”
Kuenn is on his second tour of LeadsCon duty; he conducted a workshop at LeadsCon Las Vegas last March. He expects this upcoming discussion to be somewhat of an eye-opener. Kuenn anticipates LeadCon participants will be surprised at what may be wrong with their current websites — things that would never occur to them and things that may be somewhat easy to fix, instantly resulting in greater traffic. “I know that we are talking about conversions and leads, but if people aren’t coming to your website to begin with, you can’t even begin to try to convert them.” Kuenn will also discuss what kind of content you should produce in the future that gives you the highest chance to convert a person once they are on the website.
Click here to register for Path2Conversion, a full-day pre-event summit at LeadsCon New York that will explore engaging insights, best practices and case studies, as well as look where technology is taking digital marketers and consumers.