I am very happy to post the first in our series of interviews with featured speakers at the upcoming Authority Rainmaker conference (May 13-15 in Denver) with none other than Sonia Simone of Copyblogger Media.
Sonia is the co-founder and Chief Content Officer at Copyblogger, where she writes about marketing, entrepreneurship, and how to create better relationships with customers. At the Authority Rainmaker conference, you’ll be able to see her presentation, “Dr. Evil’s Guide to Landing Page Design”.
In this interview, Sonia shares what authority means to her, examples of authoritative brands and advice for marketers and business owners on how to create their own authority.
As Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media you are clearly an authority on content and content strategy. Was that a conscious decision or is it a consequence of your professional interests and career?
It really came about somewhat by accident I was doing “content marketing” back when we just called it “making something interesting for customers to read.” I’ve also been online since the paleolithic, so I have a pretty good idea of what people actually want to pay attention to on the web.
When I found Brian Clark’s site, some time around 2006 I think, the way he thought about web marketing just made so much sense to me. But we didn’t start using that term content marketing until some years later.
Recently I read a quote that we’re all in the customer experience business. What do you think are the major contributors to delivering a great marketing experience for customers?
I’m a big believer in the idea that your marketing goes beyond your web page copy or the ads you create. It’s everything you communicate to prospects and customers. I’ve found that people who identify as “marketers” can get tunnel vision. Every interaction with your company is marketing, every little piece of the customer or prospect experience, from your support team to fulfillment to your supply chain.
I think it really benefits marketers to put their nose into every corner of the business. Ask questions about everything, be curious about everything. And when you see something that’s not awesome, roll up your sleeves and find out how you can help make it better.
You mentioned that authority means being good at what you do and also being good at getting the word out. What do you think are the most effective content distribution channels?
The most effective channel is the one where your prospects and customers hang out. For one business it might be LinkedIn, for another, Pinterest is going to be the heavy hitter. Facebook is brilliant for some and a dud for others.
The social sites are fluid you need to keep paying attention, and stay light on your feet.
Are there a few business or consumer brands you admire as being an authority in their respective industries? What makes them so?
I really love what the folks do over at Goulet Pens it’s a niche, family owned business, and they have a terrific combination of educational content with a stellar customer service experience.
Another terrific little niche brand is Nancy Boy, who have some of the most entertaining email marketing I’ve seen. Sharp, funny, very targeted to their audience and they sell an awful lot of fancy soap with that.
Both of those companies educate with personality and fun and they form a real sense of community, an alternative to the anonymous giant retailers.
If a small business owner or entrepreneur won a few minutes of your consulting time, what fundamental marketing advice would you give them?
Know your audience. Really know them, and care about them. Learn anything you can how they think, what they believe, how they speak, their daydreams and nightmares. If you lose your way or aren’t sure what to focus on next, turn back to the audience. Everything good comes from the audience.
If you were creating a playlist for the Authority conference, what would that one “must-have” song be?
For me personally it has to be Dick Dale’s Misirlou to give me that first three minutes of Pulp Fiction ferocity to go tear something up and burn it back down. 🙂
Let’s play social network word association. How would you describe each network below?
- Facebook – time suck
- LinkedIn – drama free social media
- Twitter – my favorite party
- Google+ – feel I should go; don’t
- Vine – adorable
- Tumblr – confusing
- Snapchat – for people much younger than me
- YouTube – awesome content, scary comments
- Instagram – please, view my breakfast
- Pinterest – copyright nightmare
- MySpace – sadface
Thank you Sonia, we’re looking forward to seeing you at Authority Rainmaker in May!
The Authority Rainmaker conference in Denver May 13-15 features (literally) a rock star cast of authoritative marketers and business leaders presenting on how to integrate content, search and social media marketing.
Speakers include: best-selling author and TV show host Daniel Pink, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs Ann Handley, CEO of Content Marketing Institute Joe Pulizzi, The Definitive Expert on Search Marketing Danny Sullivan, Best-Selling Author and Speaker Hall of Fame inductee Sally Hogshead, CEO of Owner Media Group Chris Brogan, CEO of Copyblogger Brian Clark and of course, musician, actor, activist Henry Rollins. Pretty impressive!
There are even more speakers with deep expertise and excellent presentation skills that you can learn more about on the Authority Rainmaker website where early bird rates are still in effect.
Disclosure: Copyblogger Media is a TopRank Marketing client.