Exclusive Interview w/ Maureen Jann!

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If you are involved in niche-specific marketing Twitter chats, you’ve probably had the pleasure of engaging with Maureen Jann! She always has her own unique voice and ideas which is how/why we started interacting with her and become good friends! We were lucky based on our relationship and trust to conduct and interview with her and wanted to share her insights, story, and everything in between to get the marketer behind the influential Twitter profile :)!  Thanks again for the time and interview Maureen, please re-share this if you find it as fun and interesting as we did!

Just to break the ice a bit, let’s get a couple non-niche specific questions going to help our audience get to know the real you a little better! What are your favorite:

o    Kind of pizza?

I’m sure to be considered a pizza blasphemer with this: BBQ Chicken Pizza, no green peppers

o     TV show?

I’m a die-hard Gilmore Girls fan.  I ❤ Lorelai.

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o    Rock band?

I say without hesitation: Queen, followed closely by David Bowie with a touch of Bjork and a hint of Cake.

o    Place to travel?

Most recently, I went to Morocco. It was amazing.

o    Piece of clothing?

Skinny jeans.  They look good with all of my favorite tunics and crazy shoes. I wear all the colors of the rainbow without apology.

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o    Favorite texture?

The smooth cool of a high-thread count bed sheet.

o    Least favorite smell?

Cigarettes, followed closely by vomit.

Q: We know you’ve been to various marketing conferences and events, what have been some of your favorite and why? Any you’re excited for?? 

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When I worked in the learning and development space, the ATD conference was a ton of fun.  They let us do some really cool stuff like build a screen printing booth right on the show floor. Earlier this year, I went to Martech.  That was a huge learning experience for me.  I got to deep dive into a side of marketing I hadn’t had much visibility to.

The conference I’m really excited about is Content Marketing World.  I get to go this year (a bucket list item for me) and I’m delighted to learn from so many people I’ve admired over the years.  Oh, and I’m throwing a meetup for those folks who participate in the twitter chat #cmworld and I can’t wait to meet everyone!

Q: The big buzz in marketing is #contentmarketing. What is content marketing to you?

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Content marketing, for me, is a way to shake off the negative connotations that come with marketing by giving me an outlet to really help people do their jobs better.  By providing genuinely valuable resources, my marketing department goes beyond “driving leads for sales” and Point It Digital Marketing goes beyond “company trying to get new business” and we focus on building a relationship that touches into the realm of “becoming a trusted adviser by providing content that helps marketers tackle their toughest  challenges”.

Q: How do you stay up-to-date in the digital marketing world? It seems like things are always changing. PokemonGO is huge now, snapchat is redefining photo sharing and engagement, how do you keep up??

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I’m in the unique position where my whole job is to market to marketers about marketing.  It’s literally my job to help other people keep up with shifts in the marketing trends.  I try to submerge myself in new platforms, use them regularly and apply them to the topics we cover in the Point It blog, in our marketing materials, and the way we go to market.  Staying fresh is key to make sure that we’re practicing what we preach as a digital marketing agency.

Q: Do you remember where you were at and what you were doing when the Google Panda update occurred? How did it affect your content marketing efforts?

I *DO* remember.  This was the same day I learned I was pregnant with our little girl! Ha!  I wasn’t as well tuned with how it might impact our site at the time (I’ve since been well educated by our in-house SEO expert, Sean Van Guilder) but I do remember thinking that I’m glad that we’ve been trying to build relationship with complimentary high-quality sites so we didn’t have a lot of back pedaling to do.

Q: How long have you worked at Point It? Tell us about that experience. What’s your fit in the company?

I’ve been at Point It Digital Marketing for about 1 year and 9 months.  Our company is truly a breath of fresh air.  Do we have challenges?  Sure!  But it really is a company that is committed to taking care of it’s employees and clients.  Between the collection of incredibly bright client managers, directors that are leaders in their field and the executive team who are committed to making change where it’s needed, it’s been one of the best experiences of my professional life.  Plus, it’s a major bonus to work for a company that markets for a living… as long as I can show to metrics to back up my hypothesis, I can really try whatever I want because I don’t have to explain how marketing works.

  1. We’re hiring for an SEO Manager and Senior Paid Search Managers. =D

Q: Do you think link building belongs in content marketing? Why or why not?

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I think that content marketing has a role in link building.  If you have valuable, sharable content it’s also going to be far more likely that you’ll end up with people linking to that high quality content.  That’s why your content should do two things: answer questions that your searchers are asking for and offer a truly helpful answer to that question.  And it doesn’t hurt to share that content with the thought leaders in your field.  Having someone high-profile link to your content can create a snowball effect of backlinks.

Q: Also, with social media’s growth, what kinds of impacts have you seen in your content campaigns?

Social media has been key to our content campaign success.  We have an evergreen content sharing program across the relevant social media platforms that we’ve seen increase our overall content consumption by 30%.  Not to mention it gives us a real-time platform to have real discussions about the content we’re sharing, when we share it. Social is one of my favorite developments in marketing.  It’s truly changed the way I think about marketers and customers.

Q: What do you feel are the strongest and weakest social media platforms for millennials? Why?

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First, I think it’s time to start thinking beyond the millennial generation and make sure to consider the next generation.  Generation Z (or some people are calling them the “iGen”) and millennials are gravitating towards the extremes with content length.  As Snapchat matures and video content builds followers, we’re seeing the rise of that instant, visual, short form content exchanges.  But then we’re also seeing the popularity of writing platforms like Medium gain readers.  With the fast pace that they’ve inherited from Generation Y business leaders, there’s a true focus on the value a social media platform brings to these generations.  So, my advice to people trying to find their place with their millennial and iGen consumers, is make sure you’re adding the value they’re looking for, WHERE they’re looking for it, when they start searching.  Bottom line:  know where you audience is.  Do the homework.

Q: Do you feel like there’s a later adoption of new social media platforms for brands using it for business purposes vs personal purposes?

Sure.  Business resources are limited, you don’t want to jump on every Segway that rides by.  I know that for me, I use my personal projects to test out a social media platform will apply to the business model I’m trying to support.

Q: Has living in the PNW helped you become a better marketer? Being located in a city with such big organizations like Moz and Amazon? Do you ever run into Rand at Dick’s or Veggie Grill? 

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Being in the Pacific Northwest has been awesome in a lot of ways.  It’s where I spent my impressionable twenties and have had the opportunity to find grace and audacity in my thirties!  I do get a chance to run into some pretty amazing people and I can’t throw a rock without hitting someone who works at Amazon.  You can’t help but be inspired by all of this upstart energy and expertise.  When you have the world’s biggest consumers search engine and some of the smartest SEO peeps in your backyard, it’s hard not to have your world view expanded.

Also: I have seen Moz’s CEO, Sarah Bird speak several times and she’s a total rockstar.  I want to be like her when I grow up.

Q: What hashtags do you like to utilize to uncover the most success within your social campaigns?

We see the chat hashtags create the most interaction.  Our people love to participate in them, it helps build their personal brand and share the Point It expertise across our services!

Q: Did you see our top 50 Twitter influencers list? That was exciting!

So exciting!  It was a pleasure to be included! *see the post here*

Q: Last question, any plugs? Shout outs? Places you want our readers to check out?

Plugs:

Point It Digital Marketing is really an outstanding group of experts that can help you get results. We’re focused on retail holiday marketing strategy in the coming weeks!  If you’d like to try out our soon-to-be-released customized holiday strategy wizard, email me at maureenj@pointit.com.

Shout Outs:

Big ups to the crew over at Content Marketing Institute for all of the work they do.  The events and content they produce to help educate marketers like me truly make my life a better place.

Places your readers should check out:

Point It Blog (https://www.pointit.com/blog/) – Written by the people who do the work in digital marketing

Moz (https://moz.com/blog) – One of the best SEO resources on the web

MarketingLand.com (http://marketingland.com/) – A one-stop shop for digital marketing expertise

MediaPost (http://www.mediapost.com/) – Keep up with the quickly changing world of programmatic ad buying and more

Thanks for reading everyone! Be sure to share this on your social circles, comment ask questions, we’d be happy to answer as well as Maureen! If you enjoyed this content and would like to stay connected, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter!

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