In B2B Marketing: Tomorrow’s Best Practices Today, we feature expert interviews about the state of B2B Marketing and what the future holds. In this post, I interview Julia McCoy, Founder of Express Writers.
Note: We’re publishing this on February 10, 2020, the same day Julia’s personal memoir launches. Congrats, Julia!
Wow. The day is here. #WomanRising, my book writing journey of 2.5 years, is live. 2.10.20.
Thanks to all of you for the support. It means the world 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/4wNX4bWQnT
— Julia McCoy (@JuliaEMcCoy) February 10, 2020
February 10 also happens to be Julia’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Julia!
Tell us about yourself?
Hi, I’m Julia! I’m a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and author.
Way back in 2011, I dropped out of college to start my content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75. I was 19 years old.
Since then, it’s been quite the journey! Our team is 90 people today, and we’ve completed over 19,000 projects for clients around the globe.
I’ve published two books, and my third, Woman Rising: A True Story comes out 2/10/20.
And today, I have the honor of being named an industry thought leader in content marketing by Forbes! I’m an educator with two courses, and I run a personal brand as well on the side, called The Content Hacker, a resource for growth-focused content marketers.
Tell us about your background in B2B marketing?
I guess you could say I started in marketing when I was 13.
I create for both — most of my time is in creating content for both B2C/B2B audiences. Back when I was young, I remember when I could access the internet for the first time. Thankfully, although there were many things I was cut off from when I was growing up, the internet was not one of those things.
I learned how to make money online, how domain-buying and building worked, and began to write content then. I earned my first paycheck by completing online surveys when I was 13 — $350 in one month!
The rest of what I’ve learned to where I am today is simply trial-and-error, testing, rinse and repeat. I learn by hands-on practicing, and since I love writing and studying the data around content that works, it’s easy to spend my hours here every week.
Recently, Julia was a guest on the CMI Weekly Wrap podcast, hosted by Robert Rose. Learn more about Julia by listening to the episode:
.@robert_rose often talks about how his podcast guests are making meaning in content. This week’s guest is the living standard of that.
— Content Marketing Institute (@CMIContent) February 7, 2020
What’s a best practice that B2B marketers should move on from?
Jumping into new trends and platforms too soon.
You’ll see so many “2020 predictions” that suggest marketers jump on __ new platform, try __ trend. Move on from that distraction and hone in on mastery instead of FOMO (“fear of missing out”).
Mastery equals marketing success. Whether that’s blogging (I’ve blogged weekly for 8 years), podcasting, YouTubing — pick one channel and master it before moving on.
Tell us a best practice of tomorrow that B2B marketers should be doing today?
Content that is built to be comprehensive and answer every question for the end user is consumed more, shared more, enjoyed more.
Focus on value and have a user-centric focus in all the content created for your audience and human users.
This is the practice of today and tomorrow that will last and reap many rewards. Google rewards sites that value their user. Content that is built to be comprehensive and answer every question for the end user is consumed more, shared more, enjoyed more.
It’s a fact: make your human audience happy by giving them the best you can in terms of value in your marketing/content that pulls them in, and you’ll reap rewards long-term.
How does a B2B brand win at SEO in 2020?
I explored this in my recent Write Blog post on the January 2020 Core Update. It all comes down to the comprehensiveness of your content.
How deep you dive when you’re creating content for your brand/audience is important. Short, thin, “mediocre” content doesn’t win in SEO. It’s also really important to have SEO tools that you use on a regular basis, to help you uncover the right keywords to go after and write targeted content for. (I recommend Mangools’ KWFinder and SEMrush.)
You wrote an interesting piece for CMI titled “Content Creation Robots Are Here [Examples].” How should writers be thinking about AI and what the future holds?
So many experts in our industry have said “content will be AI-generated by 2020.” Well, it’s 2020, and in my team alone we have 90 writers writing for hundreds of B2Bs and B2Cs.
The shift I’ve seen, after testing and researching the AI that exists out there, is that general — mediocre — content can almost be created by the robots and AI software, but expert content? Well, we need humans more than ever. The creative element of content is sorely needed more than ever, in the sea of millions of content pieces going out per day.
So, we don’t need more “robotic” content. We actually need less of it. We need human expert copywriters and content creators, now more than ever.
I wrote that two-part series for CMI back in late 2017 (Part 1 was the one you reference, Content Creation Robots Are Here [Examples], and Part 2 was called How to Robot-Proof Your Job as a Content Creator), and back then, what I found when I researched and wrote those pieces for CMI, was that smart technology in content created by AI exists; but for B2Bs and B2Cs who don’t have $100k to sink into a content writing robotic program (that isn’t even guaranteed generated top-notch results), AI isn’t smart. It just isn’t. As much as we like to think technology is great… humans are always better.
Tell us about the memoir you’re working on?
Fun fact about me: I escaped a cult at age 21. True story!
For my third book, I’m publishing a narrative, non-fiction memoir of my life. I’m finally sharing my full story — how I grew up, escaped in the middle of the night, as I built my businesses with a wonderful husband I happened to accidentally meet through content, found joy and happiness after a childhood full of trauma.
All of this is detailed in my new book, Woman Rising: A True Story.
It launches February 10 and will be available in all formats on Amazon.
Note from Dennis: watch a short film about Woman Rising:
Also, visit the website for The Woman Rising Project, which Julia launched with the book release.
What inspired you to launch The Content Hacker™ community?
I started out in content marketing in 2011. It’s amazing how much the scene has changed in just a few short years. In 2019, my dream was to launch a community that supported and benefitted growth-minded content marketers (the community I wish I had when I started!).
I’ve been able to do that with The Content Hacker™, and it’s very exciting. My new brand is a “long-haul” approach, rather than quick gains and wins, so I will be growing this one for years to come.
What is a "content hacker"? What do growth-focused content marketers stand for, and why are they critical to the future of successful content marketing? 🔮 This video explains. ⬇️ // Written and narrated by: @JuliaEMcCoy pic.twitter.com/IXrJSKO6Hi
— The Content Hacker™ (@content_hackers) July 1, 2019
A visitor arrives in Austin for the first time. What three food joints are not to be missed?
Tacodeli for the best tacos in Austin [follow on Twitter: @tacodeli], True Food Kitchen for clean, anti-inflammatory chef-prepared dinners, and Picnik for brunch/breakfast. All amazing places! Must-try.