How did you get to become an expert in content marketing?
It took years of study and practice, working in the industry. I started blogging around 2009 to support a different web business and discovered that I really enjoyed writing. But I also discovered that what I was writing about wasn’t helping that business.
I started The Social Media Hat in 2012 as place where I could write about blogging & social media, and experiment with content marketing overall.
And everything I do is an experiment.
I often tell readers and clients not to pay too close attention to what I’m doing since I’m not running a normal business like they are. For instance, most people shouldn’t have 3 or 4 popups on their site at the same time! But if I want to know what does and does not work, I have to be willing to try new things and monitor the results.
What areas of content marketing are you most passionate about?
My #1 passion is for writing. My favorite hobby really is to write on the weekends and share whatever knowledge or experience I’ve accumulated on a topic.
The second aspect I like to cover is tools – specifically, tools that will help businesses save time and be more effective in their marketing endeavors.
One other theme that I return to regularly, whether I’m talking about content or social or email, is the idea of a Buyer’s Journey, and what one can do to help that buyer proceed. Sometimes that might entail email automation or sales funnels, where other times we might talk about stacking tweets or other social activities.
In the end, the hope is that I will have educated the reader sufficiently to be able to implement some of the techniques themselves and begin to see success in their marketing efforts.
Which content marketing influencers influence you?
Because I pay close attention to what’s being written and taught in my space, a complete answer to this question would be too long! But I’ll name a few key influencers:
- Writing: Ann Handley
- Facebook: Mari Smith
- Instagram: Jenn Herman
- Twitter: Ian Anderson Gray
- Pinterest: Peg Fitzpatrick
- Branding: Rebekah Radice
- Visual Marketing: Jeff Sieh
- Live Video: Stephanie Liu
Outside of content marketing who else influences you?
- Customer Service: Jay Baer
- Christian Business: John Maxwell
- Masterminds and Improvement: Aaron Walker
- Design: Dustin W. Stout
- Internet Law: Mitch Jackson
How would you describe your offline influence?
While I attend conferences and do speaking engagements, my greatest influence is likely through my blog content. That’s where I do the bulk of my education and communication.
What are going to be the key developments in the industry in the next 12 months?
While there’s a tremendous amount of hype right now regarding chat bots and artificial intelligence, that hype will be quickly replaced with the reality of the need for human connection. Finding new and better ways for humans to connect with other humans will become increasingly important.
If a brand wanted to work with you, what activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
I thoroughly enjoy brand collaboration and am open to most opportunities. Live video interviews or webinars, and podcasts, are two ways that have worked extremely well in the past.
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?
I can be reached easily through my site The Social Media Hat and am always happy to explore how we can help each other.