Jeff is a contributing author to the book Influencer Breakthroughs which is available on Amazon and promotes a flavor of marketing he refers to as “authority marketing.”
While authentic conversation comes harder these days on Twitter, it’s still possible. And that’s how I met Jeff and he’s my guest in this latest of the occasional interview services I call Off Script.
1) You advocate “authority marketing” as a concept. What is that – and how is it different from other forms of marketing?
“Authority marketing is building authority in a certain market through forms of content, connections and perceived value. Though some of the marketing methods align with other forms of marketing, authority marketing focus strictly on creating an image of expertise to a certain audience’s needs.”
2) We once had a Twitter discussion about a link exchange as a marketing strategy. I expressed concern about the risk of unnatural link building and search engine penalties. You indicated that was not the intent of the strategy. What is the intent and how can organizations use this technique ethically and while keeping in Google’s good graces?
“That was a good discussion. When I refer to link exchange, I do not advocate buying links, getting involved with link farms or setting up phantom profiles. All of those tactics are old and sketchy. Eventually, they will get you in some issues with Google as they look for this.
What I mean by link exchange would be looking for quality content collaborations with others that speak to your audience and offer a winning exchange of content with your links included. This is ethical and just good business in that you are providing value to the visitors via good content and not just a random link placed on a page.
Another thing to look at would be, so what if Google does not reward you for the link. If the sites that you exchange links from send you traffic, and that traffic converts to customers, isn’t that the goal rather than vainly looking for search positioning.”
3) What has changed the most about marketing over the course of your career?
“With the evolution of the Internet, people have more choices and their voices hold more weight. So, marketing is more of a listen first and then engage approach versus the old push marketing methods of the linear days.
Companies that can build relationships with their audience go further than those that spend massive blind advertisement budgets.
Also, marketing channels are intertwined in a way that you can be more strategic with your approach by studying the behaviors of your audience.
Though it may be complex at first, you now can engage and re-engage with the prospects until they not only become customers, but repeat customers.”
4) What hasn’t changed about marketing?
“Well, marketing still is about getting your message out in a way that adds value to those that need what you offer. The principles have not changed. Some methods have died, modified or birthed. But the principles are the same.”
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5) What value does marketing bring that you think generally goes under-recognized?
“Marketing brings an understanding of an audience’s needs and behaviors. It then provides opportunities to engage and build relationships. If we just look at advertising, which is a portion of marketing, we miss the big picture. Many companies do not look at the whole picture and only focus on small cogs in the marketing machine.”
6) What is the single most important skill marketing pros need to possess to thrive today?
“I would say it would be to have LUCK with your audience. That is Listen, Understand, Connect and Know your audience. If you can do that, you will know how to communicate your value to them and in the end, convert more.”
7) Quick hits and fill in the blank:
- One company you with marketing you admire is: “Amazon.”
- Your favorite marketing campaign of all time is: “the Nike Sneakerheads revolution.”
- One person you recommend following on Twitter is: “me, no I would say Patrick McFadden – @patmmarketing.”
- One publication or blog you read regularly is: “The Content Marketing Institute.”
- If you weren’t doing what you do now you’d be: “miserable working a dead-end 9 to 5 [job]. I really love the creativity and freedom of what I do now.”
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