Everything You Need to Know About Content Marketing in 7 Minutes


Shama TV: Episode 32

Shama sits down with Quinn Whissen, Marketing Manager at Vertical Measures to discuss tips on content marketing.


Click here for the full transcript!

Shama: Hey guys, welcome to Shama TV! We are shooting from the Dallas Digital Summit today. We’re bringing you lots of guests, lots of good juicy information on marketing and business overall. My guest right now is Quinn Whissen who spoke earlier on content marketing at the summit, and she is also marketing manager at Vertical Measures. Quinn, thanks so much for being with us.

Quinn: Thanks for having me.

Shama: Content marketing, one of my favorite topics.

Quinn: Me too!

Shama: Yours as well? The big question that we hear that I’m sure you hear, I’m very interested in your prospective: time. Content marketing is huge! How do I scale this? How do we make time as an organization to really tackle content marketing?

Quinn: Yeah I mean it’s tough because content marketing is so involved and comprehensive and has so many things that you have to think about. I have a couple of answers when people say “I just don’t have time” or “what I do?”. One’s a little bit more snarky…

Shama: Let’s go for the snarky one!

Quinn: I’ll give you both!

Shama: Our audience appreciates a little snark.

Quinn: Okay, perfect. So the first one is: Everyone has a lack of time. But what that really means is there’s really a lack of priorities. That’s kinda the snarky answer: you don’t have a lack of time you have a lack of priorities.

Shama: That’s a great Tweetable!

Quinn: Right, right. People love this in the workshops because it’s true. If you can figure out what your priority is in content marketing and understand that it works, because we’ve seen it time and time again that content marketing does work, then you actually need to shift your priorities, and then you can find time. Now that’s easier said than done, so the more helpful answer is really starting off with a strategy and thinking through exactly what it is you’re going for, what are you goals, both for your business and for the content, and then figure out how many ideas can I create pretty quickly so that when it comes time to create content and I can’t carve out time for myself I have an idea I can just pick out of my back pocket and go with.

Shama: So that leads to the next question: ideas. People say they’re a dime a dozen, but it seems like for content marketers it’s a constant struggle to say “What do we come up with very great keep coming up with good content?” I would love some of your ideas for when people say “I’m drawing a blank and how do you get ideas for content marketing?”

Quinn: I think every day you can make every moment a content opportunity. I mean the fact that we’re meeting here is a contact opportunity for me and for you. I think you gotta really research and you need to think what are people looking for and how can I be the best answer on someone’s search, on the end of the someone’s search. So you really need to actually look and research. A couple of things I always suggest, is actually go to Google, it’s your best friend, and start typing in things. We already know that there’s going to be suggestions that naturally pop down trying to predict what will they think we’re looking for. So if i’m looking for you know ‘content marketing’ and then I start typing in something else, it might fill in: template, checklist, it might fill in ‘how to do it’. You’ll start to get suggestions right there that are based on what people are already searching for, so you can start to get ideas that are you know well honed and based on data about what people are looking for. You can do it just on your daily basis, going to Google and researching and also scrolling down and seeing what the related searches are because these are based on real people searches and you can get ideas pretty quickly that way.

Shama: So writing for your audience… I actually keep a swipe file. It’s kinda an oldies term, but I keep a file of ideas that come to me and I jot them down with Evernote or Google Drive or Keep or whatever you use, and I find It truly helpful because it’s always in that moment when you need it, and you’re like….blank. Then when you don’t need it you’re having all these ideas. Do you think that’s a good strategy for people to keep a file of ideas whether you need them now for the future, just to keep that built?

Quinn: Yeah, and whatever you want to call it: idea bank, swipe file, whatever it is. I think that’s almost like an element of being a creative person. Especially being in the content field, you need to always looking for ideas. It can be a constant opportunity in the most random of places.

I know I went to Chipotle recently and I had some guacamole and I was like this is really good. Then it kind of inspired this idea because Chipotle had released their actual recipe for their guacamole and I was like that’s a great piece of content marketing on their part to release one of their secrets sauce ideas. I decided, okay well what can guacamole teach us about content marketing?

Shama: I like that.

Quinn: I think it is always looking for those random experiences in your day, or maybe not so random maybe it’s a brainstorming meeting, and always capturing all these little snippets into a file. Then like you said when it comes down to it you don’t have to sit there and struggle to come up with an idea, you already have it ready to go. All you need to do from there is write it, create it, promote it, and go from there.

Shama: Quinn, you mention something really important: to create it and then promote it.

Quinn: Yes.

Shama: A big part of content marketing is distribution. If you publish an article and nobody reads it, did you actually create it? I’m curious, do you have distribution tips for people who spend so much time and effort creating content, any ideas for how to increase distribution or views and making sure that people actually read and engage?

Quinn: Well I would actually separate them, I would say promotion and distribution are almost two different things.

Shama: Okay.

Quinn: I would say promotion is about promoting your content to get people back to your own website, to your own material. Then distribution would be having your content live outside of your own platform or your own website on, let’s say, YouTube or Vimeo, so you’re gathering a new audience that way rather than pushing people to your platform. With promotion you really need to put some money behind it nowadays.

You know Facebook it’s public now and they actually have to report back to their investors saying they’re making a profit. They are having to fine-tune their paid advertising platform. But you can, as a content marketer, really get a lot out of maybe putting 10, 50, 100 bucks behind a piece of content and get the momentum rolling because it’s just a little bit harder to gain a foothold with organic social promotion now so I totally recommend putting money behind it. Also with the distribution side, figure out you know where your content and where your audience is hanging out online so you can figure out where to publish that content and get a new kind of audience coming in.

Shama: So with content marketing really sort of being the organic but also the advertising, and you know how the two play together?

Quinn: Absolutely I think it’s a really holistic process and it has to be dynamically happening at all times.  You should be strategizing all the time, you should be coming up with new ideas all the time, but always promoting and also measuring everything all at once so that you know what your next effort could be and you’re actually putting a good investment of time into it.

Shama: So each thing parlays into the next, and that’s how you build momentum.

Quinn: Yeah, it’s a dynamic process.

Shama: I love it. Thank you so much, Quinn, I really appreciate it. Thank you for being with us.

Quinn: Thank you!
Shama: Guys, tune in and subscribe so you can catch all our awesome marketing and business content!


–Episode Links–
Vertical Measures


–Episode Tweetables–

You don’t have a lack of time, you have a lack of priorities. @Shama @QuinnCW Click To Tweet Every moment of every day could be made into a content opportunity. @Shama @QuinnCW Click To Tweet Keeping an idea bank is an element of being a #creative person. @Shama @QuinnCW Click To Tweet #ContentMarketing: write it, create it, promote it, and repeat. @Shama @QuinnCW Click To Tweet


–Connect with Shama–
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