Heidi Cohen Interviews Arnie Kuenn
What’s your best piece of advice for readers looking to improve their marketing and why is it so important?
Well of course I have to recommend they focus on content marketing. And the approach I recommend they follow is to start by creating a really useful, core piece of content like a free guide, whitepaper or case study.
Put it behind a lead capture form and promote it via social media, blogs posts on their site, and maybe even a press release announcing it.
Get really good at that by doing it 3 or 4 times over the course of a year. Once you have mastered that aspect of content marketing, you can start looking at other types of content like video, motion graphics, interactive content and so on.
What was the inspiration for Content Marketing Works?
I wrote my first content marketing book called Accelerate in 2011. A lot has happened since then. The biggest of which is that we finally have enough data and case studies to understand how to reliably make content marketing work for any business. So I felt it was time to write my second book to explain the process.
But I have to admit it took some pushing and prodding from the team at Vertical Measures and my son Brad. Finally Brad offered to help write it, and that was all it took.
What is the key concept behind your book? How did you come up with it? If you have one or more visuals that encapsulate the idea, would you please share them and give us permission to use them?
The key concept is that content marketing really works – thus the title. In the book, we cover in great detail the 8 Step process that we have developed over the last few years. We conclude with a chapter teaching the readers how to convince their boss to invest in content marketing.
What do you want readers to take away from your book or be different as a result of reading it?
I think the difference between my book and some of the others I have seen out there is that Content Marketing Works is literally a step by step explanation on how to achieve content marketing success, based on four years of real world experience. We now clearly understand what it takes, and this book explains it in detail.
From developing a content strategy to ideation to optimization to promotion and measurement, each chapter is a deep dive into a process that can actually transform any business.
How do you describe yourself professionally? What is your elevator pitch?
That’s a tough one. I rarely describe myself. I guess if I had to I would say I am a serial entrepreneur who loves the art of business. I love building something that is providing value to society through the products and service we offer and thus providing the means to support our employees and their families.
What are 1-3 books that inspired your work/career? How did they influence you? Your selections can cover any topic.
The first one that comes to mind is A Passion for Excellence by Tom Peters. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. But it taught me the art of measuring your internal quality and having a passion for what you do.
Next would be Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore. This book taught me the various phases almost every business goes through.
And most recently Youtility by Jay Baer. The book is an excellent, fast read and allowed me to come away with one term: useful content. At Vertical Measures, we no longer say engaging, amazing, viral or anything else when it comes to content. We judge it based on if it is truly useful.
What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your life or career?
At this point my career is a pretty long one. But I have been fortunate not to have too many gigantic challenges. With every business (and in life), it is a roller coaster ride filled with ups and downs. Thrills and chills. Challenges and successes.
If I had to name one big challenge it was launching an Internet startup in 1999, raising VC capital, getting the technology patented, and then fighting our way through the Internet bubble bursting and 9/11. We held on until 2005, when we finally sold the (small) business to Neilson who still uses the technology today.
What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?
Most people do not know that I would like to eventually buy a boat that my wife and I can live on part time. What might make it unusual is that we have never owned a boat before and we live in the middle of the Sonoran desert. But we do love being on the water – oceans in particular, so are hoping it will be fun.
Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of? Please feel free to include links and/or screenshots.
That’s a great question. And this will definitely sound like bragging, but our team has created so many amazingly successful pieces of content that it would be hard to pick one. I really cannot choose one over any other.
If forced to pick one, and one that I had a lot of involvement in, I would say it has to be Content Marketing Works. I think it is a big improvement over my first book and will be a very valuable resource to anyone who embraces it. Including any school that might adopt if as part of their curriculum. And having my son as co-author is definitely an experience I will cherish forever.
Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you’d like to share?
Nothing that I can think of.
Arnie Kuenn is the CEO of Vertical Measures, a full-service Internet marketing agency dedicated to helping clients drive profitable growth through content marketing. Arnie has held executive positions in the world of new technologies and marketing for more than 25 years.
Arnie served on the 2008 Arizona Super Bowl Marketing Committee and is the founder of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA). In 2014, he was honored as the Interactive Person of the Year in Arizona.
Where to find Arnie Kuenn:
- Blog: http://www.verticalmeasures.com/blog/
- Book(s); Accelerate & Content Marketing Works
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/verticalmeasures
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/ArnieK
- LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/arniekuenn
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/+ArnieKuenn/about?rel=author
Content is highly important, but widely ineffective. What does that mean for the modern marketer?
Experience matters more than ever before, and what enables experience is content–the content your buyer engages with can make or break a sale. Are you prepared to give them what they want?
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