The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Interview with Newt Barrett, Author of “Get Content. Get Customers.” Part 1

According to the Domain Name Industry Brief by VeriSign, 24 million new domain names were added in 2008. A 16% increase over 2007’s numbers. In case you haven’t noticed, the web is getting crowded. Just imagine 24 million more websites out there all competing for a click-thru on Google. So how do you stand out from the crowd? While there are plenty of “get ranked quick” gimmicks out there, there’s only one true and sustainable way. To lead the pack you need content. Content that must be relevant, authentic, and on target with your customers needs. Now more than ever- Content is King.

No one knows this more than Newt Barrett. He is the co-author of the newly published book, Get Content. Get Customers. Newt is an industry insider with over 25 years of experience in the publishing industry. During those years he has seen what he refers to as a “Content Revolution”. A revolution that he believes “might be the greatest opportunity businesses have ever had to communicate directly with their customers.”

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Heather: What exactly is content marketing?

Newt: “Content marketing is all about thinking like a publisher. Publishers define groups of people with a common interest and then discover what issues and problems they are facing. They then write about solutions to those problems to encourage a dialog with their group. With content marketing you take the media out of the equation and businesses contact their group directly to solve their problems without the middleman.”

Heather: Why is the time right for entrepreneurs to take note of this “revolution”?

Newt: “The rules of marketing changed with the internet. Businesses must adjust their mindset if they want to succeed in this new era. They need to engage in a dialog with their customers. To be effective, businesses must first become trusted providers of information before they can become trusted providers of products and services. Additionally, traditional media such as magazines and newspapers are going under. Customers are going to the web first to get information. Marketers need to ensure   that they have that information waiting for them.”

Heather: Entrepreneurs are always short on time and may have a hard time getting a content marketing strategy started. What are some quick and effective ways to generate relevant content?

Newt: “One strategy is for businesses to simply re-purpose existing content materials such as meetings, workshops, and teleseminars and to use them in their newsletters, blogs, or white papers.

Also, I personally use online sources such as Google Alerts and Alltop.com to help keep me up to date and to generate ideas for content. To use Google Alerts, visit www.google.com/alerts and set an alert for keywords relevant to your industry. Google will then email you links to information on the web that may be relevant. This is helpful for brainstorming topics for your content. Alltop.com is similar. However, it gathers good blog based content on all topics. For example, I visit www.contentmarketing.alltop.com to keep me up to date with my industry on the web.”

Thanks so much for joining us for Part 1, on Thursday we’ll hear more from Newt Barrett and take a look at a case study showcasing techniques from the book.  Sign up for the RSS feed to make sure you receive Part 2.

About the Author: Heather Schuck

Heather Schuck is a passionate entrepreneur who lives up to her "Lil' Firecracker" nickname. While she may joke about her "fun sized" 5'1″ petite frame or her nationally celebrated 4th of July birthday, she's serious about bootstrapping, inspiring mom entrepreneurs, [...]

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