Marla Johnson is no stranger to marketing development and strategy. She’s the CEO and founder of Aristotle, Inc., an interactive marketing agency that has been a driver in the industry for more than 20 years. We are honored for her to be a part of SEJ Summit Silicon Valley, our San Francisco-area marketing conference being held on July 22nd in Mountain View.
Marla’s SEJ Summit topic is Message in a Digital Bottle: Finding the Right Audience, in which she will discuss “audience segmentation and content marketing strategies, giving you tools that help your message find the right people at the right time”.
If you’d like to learn from Marla and our other great speakers, we still have some FREE tickets available for our Silicon Valley event.
The SEJ Summit series is possible courtesy of our partner, Searchmetrics. Their “search experience optimization” makes digital marketing better, faster, and more profitable.
Here’s my interview with Marla:
1. With so much noise online, what is the number one thing a brand can take to get their content to stand out?
Relevance. Find your audience and make your messages relevant. If you can, also make your messages connect emotionally through video, music, engaging content, and photography; that’s when you’re going to win the day with the one-two punch. But first, the content has to be helpful and useful and have some connection to consumers.
The great news is because we have a global marketplace on the Internet, we can find those consumers and get our messages to them with segmentation technologies.
2. We hear a lot about using buyer personas to aid in targeting content during development. Do you think developing buyer personas are effective for most brands?
Yes, I do. Throwing your message in a bottle into the ocean is not going to guarantee you’ll find your true love. You’ll be better off if you know something about the people who will buy your product. And by focusing on the buyer persona, you focus on where the buyer is in the buying cycle, what they need at that point, how you can provide it, and what their user experience is. It’s really important in the long run, too, because whether or not it’s easy for consumers to get the information they need to buy your product online has an impact on your brand image.
3. In your presentation, you will cover the importance of CTAs. Can you give us one tip for developing an awesome CTA?
Big and buttony! Don’t be shy! Never assume people know what it is you want them to do. They don’t. Ask for the business.
4. There has been a huge shift toward developing quality content over quantity, which most brands have embraced. Where do you think most brands are still missing the mark in regard to content marketing?
Brands are challenged by the need to create new content over and over again. Consistently putting out quality content is labor intensive; it requires that the marketer plan ahead and calendar content so it is seasonally relevant, and assign accountability for content development. Having so many content channels, including search, social, email, video, ads, blogs, and web, adds to the demand. Creating the messages year round and making sure they’re appropriate in each of those channels is just a big job!
5. You hold a Master’s degree in Education from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. How has your background in education has informed your approach to digital marketing?
Because digital marketing is changing all the time, I am teaching all the time. I’m explaining how things work to people who aren’t accustomed to our digital marketing lexicon. Also, as a marketer, it’s been very beneficial for me to understand there are different styles of learning. Creating user experiences that work for people who learn differently and categorize information differently has been really helpful to me in overseeing content development.
Thanks so much Marla! As a writer, I love the emphasis on content in marketing these past few years.
Don’t forget, you can request your free ticket for our SEJ Summit Silicon Valley /San Francisco marketing conference, taking place July 22nd at The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. You can also come see us in NYC (where I’ll be acting as host) and Atlanta later this year.
Featured Image: StudioIcon via Shutterstock
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