I met Jon Wuebben, CEO and founder of Content Launch, at Content Marketing World 2012. Along with the discovery that we have small-town Minnesota-farming roots in common, what struck me about Jon was his passion. In this interview, Jon’s enthusiasm for content marketing and his desire to help his clients grow their businesses shines brightly.
Listen to Pamela’s full interview with Jon here:
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What’s new, what’s now, what’s next
Jon isn’t the first expert to share that the biggest change for our industry is in the technology available to do our jobs. What is new for Jon and his team at Content Launch, however, is recognizing a gap in the technology available for the small to medium-size business (SMB) market and developing a product to fill it. Small and medium-size businesses are the fastest-growing segment of content marketing adopters, so the need for such technology is truly there.
Jon believes that, as the SMB mindset evolves from seeing marketing as an expense to recognizing its connection to ROI, content marketing provides a big opportunity for these businesses to tackle their marketing initiatives.
He shares how Content Launch created a technology platform for the SMB market that anyone could use. It is a content marketing workflow, management, and distribution application. Content Launch builds in the concepts of community and consultation. Users have direct access to content marketing experts who can answer questions and offer advice. They also can access the community, based on key words or phrases, which is great for co-creation and co-promotion of content.
The collaborative content model continues to be a driving force in content creation. According to Jon, we need to move beyond the simple idea of competition and find ways to work collaboratively with those in our industry. He sees more opportunities for businesses to align with other companies that work in the same space but perhaps target different audiences. This allows for more creativity, ideas, and access to each other’s audience and clients.
Content Launch has employed content creators for the past 11 years, which gives Jon a unique perspective on the skills today’s content marketing professionals need. A lot of writers are available, but those who make an impact are writers who bring a hybrid knowledge base to content projects.
Content creators who have great writing skills, but also have a working understanding of SEO, content strategy, and inbound marketing, move above the noise more quickly. It’s also imperative that content creators continue to learn and engage with content experts, whether through blogs, social media networks, or in-person conferences.
Jon also reminds us that content creators who have strong soft skills – including hitting deadlines, excellent communication skills, and the ability to network – are in high demand.
As Jon looks to the next three to five years, he believes we all will need to understand and embrace the sharing economy. Regardless of our industry, Jon challenges us to look at companies such as Airbnb and Uber to realize the potential of how this sharing form of economics is not only here but will continue to grow.
How can you tap into the sharing dynamic with your content? Jon encourages you to see your users not just as customers, but as equals in promoting and evangelizing your company – then put your ideas and strategy around this sharing-economy concept.
Blast the buzzword
Jon’s buzzword: Corporate communication speak
Jon’s buzzword is not one word, but a rant on how many companies create content that is old-school, traditional corporate speak. He’s talking about the corporate language often used on websites and even in conversations. It’s time to stop using big, important-sounding words to describe your company.
Take a different approach to your content creation. Sit down and talk to your customers. Find out their pain points and what is hurting them right now. How do your customers speak to you? What’s important to them? Talk to people at their level: conversational, relevant, and contextual.
In the hot seat
Here’s a recap of Jon’s hot-seat Q&A:
What innovation in the last five years has made your life as a content marketer better?
Marketing automation. This technology changed everything for Jon and his team. For a small business to have social media, landing pages, and email marketing all in one place created greater efficiency in an affordable way. We are all very busy and we have to use tools to make things easier. Balance the automation with the personal message. Automate where you can and personalize where it makes the most sense.
What is the most valuable advice you have been given personally or professionally?
Over 10 years ago, I purchased the audio version of Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins. I was working a corporate job at the time, so on every lunch break for two weeks I sat in my car and listened. Tony’s advice and motivation left a big impact. A month later, I listened to the entire audio series again. Three months later … again. I think that repetition is the key to learning. Find a great teacher and allow him or her to make an impact.
If you weren’t doing what you are doing today as a marketing professional, what other career would you have pursued?
- Teacher. I taught entrepreneurship and a 100-level business course at the college level and loved it. It’s also why I love presenting and speaking at conferences. My mom and aunt are also teachers, so it runs in the family.
- Songwriter. I have written about 300 songs over the past 10 years. In another life, I would be a songwriter.
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Cover image courtesy of Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute