An Interview with Content Marketing Pro Heidi Cohen

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As president of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an actionable marketing consultancy, Heidi Cohen has over 20 years of experience simplifying the complex concepts behind evolving marketing challenges. Her blog, Actionable Marketing Guide, is a top ranked social media and content marketing resource.

Entrepreneur Magazine recently named Heidi as one of the 50 Favorite Online-Marketing Influencers of 2014 and LinkedIn selected Heidi as one of the Top 25 Social Media Experts you need to know.

1. What it is you do at Actionable Marketing Guide?

We do everything except the tech stuff (and the dishes!!!)

At Actionable Marketing Guide, we provide our audience with easy-to-follow information grounded in marketing principles to improve their business.

Beyond our award winning blog, we provide strategic marketing support and advice for our clients. Additionally, we create premium quality content and training.

This year, we’ve been fortunate to travel around the US, South America and Europe giving keynotes, talks and workshops.

2. What are your top 5 tools that every marketer should always have to hand?

The word tools can be interpreted in a variety of different ways. Here’s what I put on my must-have list:

Idea Catcher. It can be as simple as paper and pencil, smartphone or other electronic version.

Light weight computer. My tool of choice is a MacBook Air. It’s fast and light. I prefer it to my iPad.

Smartphone. Communications and more.

Email. It’s the original social media platform. You need to be able to get in touch with people, employees, customers and others.

Marketing calendar. You’ve got to plan out your marketing promotions and content. This means thinking yearly, quarterly and monthly.

3. And what about mistakes, I know we learn from them but what are the 3 major mistakes people make when it comes to venturing into the world of online marketing?

Regardless of the form of marketing you practice, here are 3 major mistakes that most businesses make.

Not defining your key goals. These goals must be as specific as possible because they set the parameters for the metrics you need to track your results.

Not providing the 5 basic forms of content marketing. Customers are at least 58% of the way through the purchase process before they contact your firm. To remain in the consideration set you must give them the information they seek: product information, answers to questions, show them how to use your products, help them style your products, and offer customer ratings and reviews.

Not including a call-to-action. You must guide your prospects to take the next step towards purchase.

4. As a marketer, would you say it’s becoming more and more important to focus on social media marketing over SEO as Google continues to update their algorithm or do you think SEO will always be a huge part of online marketing?

From a marketing perspective, provide your key audiences including your prospects, customers, influencers, employees and fans, the ability to find your information regardless of which method they choose to use.

Marketers must use a mix of owned, social media and third party (including search) platforms. Forrester Research found that more people used Amazon as their first stop in the buying process in 2011.

5. I think it’s safe to say, regardless of what Google gets up to, content is the key to any successful blog but what are the best ways of getting it out there?

Quality content is key to attracting customers because they’re doing their pre-purchase research before they contact your firm. If you don’t offer the information they want and need, they’ll find it elsewhere.

6. And finally, what does the remainder of 2014 have in store for you?

For the rest of 2014, I’ve got a packed schedule …

I’m on the road speaking and presenting workshops. Among my stops are:

Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio (Content Curation Workshop)

Content 14 in Copenhagen, Denmark (Keynote)

Content Jam in Chicago, Illinois (Sessions)

MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2014 in Boston, Mass (Session)

Internet Summit in Raleigh, North Carolina (Advanced Social Media Workshop)

Digital Summit in Dallas, Texas (Advanced Social Media Workshop)

I’m also rolling out an hourly consulting product mainly targeted at small businesses that don’t have big budgets to hire the outside help they need to get them to the next level.

Lastly, I’m creating some mega content offerings focused on the topic of content curation.

Thanks again to Heidi for taking her time to answer the questions I put forward to her. Check here out on Facebook and Google+ to hear the latest from her blog and life.

About the Author: Lewis Crutch

As the administrator of Marketing Bees, Lewis Crutch manages all of the free advice and tips available here on the Marketing Bees blog as well as spending time putting together in-depth marketing related courses covering a wide range of topics including email, content and social media marketing.

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