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Q&A with Martin Butters: IT Content Creator Extraordinaire
Martin Butters is the CEO of markITwrite, a firm providing digital content and social media marketing services to large and small IT firms worldwide. While the firm provides design and development services now, its cornerstone is superior content that drives results.
IT writing is one of the fastest-growing industries. What separates mediocre IT content from superior IT content? What do you look for when you hire writers, and how do you coach them?
Superior content has to offer the reader something of value. Amateur bloggers tend to tick a few boxes. They rehash other’s content, stuff blogs with keywords and basically just regurgitate content that can be found all over the internet.
Professional writers, on the other hand, write engaging content packed with research and quality links, and offer an original take on the subject at hand. They make sure they have a deep understanding of the subject matter before diving in. This way, they can produce thought-provoking, high-authority content that gives readers something tangible and useful to take away.
Your tagline on your website says, “Boost Traffic. Generate Leads. Win Customers.” Can you give our readers some actionable advice on how to get started achieving these goals?
It all comes down to quality content. While there are a plethora of methods a business can adopt, there is no substitute for quality content — and here’s why.
AdWords campaigns, traditional marketing and black hat techniques like paying for backlinks are all fraught with issues. They can be expensive with little return, require ongoing investment, and if you’re not playing by the rules, certain techniques can easily end with a Google penalty.
By focusing on quality content, you can start driving targeted and engaged traffic to your website immediately — at a fraction of the cost. By establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry through the power of the written word, you gain the confidence of potential customers — and if what you’re writing is valuable, people will start linking to your content and sharing it widely. This creates a snowball effect without any additional expense.
You also need to have a strong social media presence. Writing a great blog that highlights your company’s products or services is all well and good, but it’s far too easy to disappear into the sea of content that hits the web each day.
Building a large audience of loyal readers takes time, so you must invest serious effort into your social media channels.
You offer several different services, from blog writing to campaign planning, social media marketing and more. If your potential client only has a limited amount of money to allocate to marketing, what do you recommend they spend it on; i.e., what is the most important part of marketing, and do you find it varies by industry?
Wow, there’s no one simple answer to that. When we bring a new client on board, we look carefully at their objectives and make informed recommendations. Some clients will have a wealth of content but need help putting that content before the eyes of their target audience — in which case; we’d look carefully at their social media strategy.
Other companies may be very light on content — but that’s just the beginning. Content can range from simple Instagram images to 10,000-word eBooks. Our job is to identify the most effective blend of content and social media promotion to make the largest impact at the most affordable price.
As for budgets — most companies have a limited budget in their eyes, and so it’s about ensuring good value for money.
You highlight that your product is superior, but your prices are competitive. How do you offer a better product for less than your competitors?
It’s straightforward — we charge a fair price for our services and only hire talented writers who can do the job right the first time, every time. Our writers are all educated to degree level, are able to work to the highest standard under pressure to produce excellent content that very often requires no editing whatsoever.
As such, we waste very little time, meaning we are able to provide better value for money than any of our competitors.
You tweeted an article last year about reputation management. Do you help manage your clients’ reputations? What do you tell your clients about reputation management, and what practices do you employ yourself?
We do help our clients with reputation management, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Reputation management is done by looking at each client on an individual basis and using our wealth of experience to advise.
What I would say is that prevention is better than the cure. As such, it often pays to have best practices in place from the outset and to ensure that all staff — especially those who use social media under the business name — understand the dos and don’ts.
A damaged reputation can be repaired, but it makes much more sense to avoid mistakes in the first place — and that means creating policies and educating staff.
There’s no better way to improve your reputation than through high-quality content that highlights your expertise. Quality content brands trust — the very thing that solid reputations are founded upon.
If you’re interested in learning more about online reputation management, download our free guide: What is Online Reputation Management?