Ruthie Bowles, Founder Defy the Status Quo, B2B Content Strategist
Ruthie is an 8-year US Army Veteran. Originally from California, her military service took her all over the United States, and even to Afghanistan. It was during her time in the Army that she realized how much she loved professional development and helping people. Her work as a Persian Farsi translator helped hone her writing skills, while intelligence analysis sharpened her analytical abilities. Once she separated from the Army, she decided to take her professional writing experience and start her content marketing firm, Defy The Status Quo. DTSQ works with companies to design and execute their content marketing strategies. DTSQ provides website content, blog articles, ebooks, customer success stories, and white papers, as well as audio and video content. It's Ruthie's goal for DTSQ to be the content partner that businesses can count on, no matter what the future holds for content marketing.
Tell me about your content learning process?
Started out with content creation side of things – best place for anyone to start. The tactics for content strategy – how you implement it - are the easiest to learn – how to write a blog post, how to write a case study, how to create a great marketing video. Those pieces are the easiest to learn – that’s where most freelance writers start.
Noticed clients were wanting more strategy. So where I was able to find great content creation information. Mentions Hubspot being a great platform for managing content. They have a lot of ‘how to’ information and one of her favorite places to go when looking for that type of information. They provide great information, thorough, downloadable,
Julia McCoy’s content marketing book – course as well. Got a lot of great info from her book.
We don’t always pay attention to the steps and experiences as the actual audience or search user. We need to put that hat on and pay attention to understand.
She was adding value to clients when they didn’t know what they need on their website or blog post.
You mentioned intelligence data and incorporating into data process – tell me about that?
Data influenced but more about picking out patterns and see possibilities where other people may not. Those hidden possibilities helped tremendously in filling in the gaps.
You can take the data and weave it into your content. Once its setup and Google Console is setup and you can see all the data – that’s a step in the right direction for using real data for your content.
Content and Target audience – do you incorporate personas into your content creation process?
If client has already done the work on the personas and match up with what she can find, she’s comofrotnle using their personas.
It can be a serious hard stop if they think they have personas but really don’t.
You need to present your content to the person who has the buying power and it could be two separate audiences so they need to know that so the best content can be created for each.
Personas are great but not always set in stone – need to watch so if it changes, the content strategy may need to change as well.
How do you use that information to create content?
We’ve developed our buyer personas and what we have as a good ideal of our ICA. Also will talk to sales and customer service. Finding out what the issues are that they are experiencing are a great resource for finding what content needs to be created.
Who’s coming to our website (demographics match up with what we have as our buyer personas – if not, find out why the wrong people are coming to the site or why the persona doesn’t match).
Looking at issues identified by sales and CS – engage in listening campaign. If you know where your personas are spending time – you need to be there to find and listen. Find out what they are talking about, hot button issues and if it’s something you offer. That’s where the data and listening is when you get the best content creation ideas.
Not enough companies invest time to listen. That means spending time where their customers are spending time, seeing what they are saying, complaining about, google searches, hashtags, etc.
User generated content – tell us about how you go about developing UGC.
UGC is content created by your customers or clients or just people in your audience – about your company. It could be text, video, photos, social media post, blog post, YT video review – but it’s content they created, unsolicited, unpaid for – and it works out really well for you (positive and negative).
People create it all the time – the reason it’s so valuable to companies is because. Measurement of a 2015 Nielsen report (R&D company) 66% of consumers trust user generated content more than company branded content.
That’s reviews, testimonials, endorsements of people saying you’re awesome – the different between you saying you’re awesome and other people saying you’re awesome. Big perception difference!
Not to be confused with influencer content – that’s paid for and there’s some confusion there. Some times influencer content can look like user generated content but they are definitely not the same.
Some ways you can use UGC in your marketing strategy – some of it is topics. They are saying something super great using your product or service and talk about it in a whole new in a way you hadn’t even thought of. That could create a whole series of content that you didn’t even know could exist depending on how clever that use is.
An example: turn your pillow case inside out like she never thought about before. Your product is really boring like sheets and someone talks about a great way to fold your mattress sheets easily.
It can inspire all sorts of things. You can take any testimonials, endorsements or reviews and use them in your marketing efforts. Take a screen shot and share it on your channels. You can even tag the customer or client and use your relevant hashtag. If you use the screenshot it carries over some of the authenticity – like we are seeing that person’s review directly.
You can use the screen shots in your website content as well. Then you have that feedback all in one place from multiple sources.
This type of content – should you get approval?
It’s recommended that you ask for permission. Depending on your product or service may determine the level of importance, i.e. selling something like children’s clothes.
When you ask it presents two opportunities. From a customer service perspective, you’re starting a two way private conversation. When you ask , they see that you respect their content. It also opens the door to additional conversations especially market research. They are likely to believe you now because you started the conversation with asking their permission to use something of theirs.
On some social channels, you can get the embed code from LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. and incorporate it into your blog post. Embed your LinkedIn content into you blog post – similar effect as a screen shot. It’s real content that you’ve taken from one platform and use it someplace else.
You can also create stylized content and use it as relevant content months later.
Is there something about your business that your ideal clients may not know about you?
Formally developing a methodology for service companies and consulting firms in regards to content marketing and account based marketing and PR.
Putting more emphasis on content marketing strategy side of her business. With a solid strategy, it’s a lot harder to build wrong. But if you have the best designer and the best writer if you’re strategy is steering them wrong, it doesn’t matter how good they are. It’s still wrong.
If they are going in the right direction, you’re going to make a lot more progress than good talent going in the wrong direction.
Anything else in your business?
Been working on a freelance content creators book. She tells her journey through freelance writer – making and finding clients and avoiding mistakes. She did things a lot faster than some of her peers. Speed isn’t the most important but it did mean she ran into more mistakes in a shorter amount of time. That’s what she’s offering.
Talking about Upwork, LinkedIn, networking events. And sharing her insights and ‘aha’ moments and through business development type perspectives. Available? Q1 2020
Where to connect with Ruthie online:
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