Jay Baer is one of the blogosphere’s best and brightest social media experts. He’s also a speaker, an author and a guy who gives awesomely concise answers. Here’s our interview with Jay.
Dave Choate: Jay, thanks for taking the time. Can you tell our audience a little bit more about how you wound up in the world of marketing?
Jay Baer: I started as a political consultant, managing campaigns. Back then, campaigns were shorter, not year-round. In-between campaigns, I started to do more conventional marketing, figuring that if I could get some guy elected, I could sell soap. From there, I was in traditional marketing on the client side for a few years, and then started in digital marketing pretty much accidentally in 1994.
Dave Choate: In your mind, what is 2011’s lasting legacy for social media and content marketing? Is there one?
Dave Choate: There’s a lot of talk about video eclipsing or in some cases entirely supplanting blogs and written word marketing. Do you think that’s truly inevitable, or are small businesses going to struggle to come up with the financing and expertise to get it done?
Jay Baer: I’m bullish on video, no doubt. But I think the first step is more photography. If you look at Pinterest, Instagram, and Path you see what’s coming. The “picture is worth 140 characters” phenomenon is here to stay.
Dave Choate: Your conversation with Joe Pulizzi at C.C.O. about Facebook and brevity in marketing really resonated with me. In the long run, do you think this is something businesses have to get on board with, or is there still room for wordier, more structured pages and writing on the landscape?
Jay Baer: There is definitely room for longer form, especially for content marketing. I typically look at it as one system, whereby you use your shorter, more socially-enabled formats to drive awareness and consumption of your longer content pieces.
Dave Choate: Is there a brilliant new technology or trend in business social media coming in 2012, or can we expect more work with the familiar platforms?
Jay Baer: As mentioned above, photography will be a huge trend in 2012. I’m paying a lot of attention to Instagram and Pinterest, and incorporating them into client strategies. Does that mean they’ll challenge Facebook? No. But sometimes a niche opportunity yields better results.
Dave Choate: Bring us home with one lesson from your book, The NOW Revolution.
Jay Baer: Companies need to focus on how to be social, not on doing social media. The tools come and go, and always will. If you understand what type of relationship you company wants to have with its customers and prospects, and you always keep that at the forefront, which channels you use to facilitate those relationships becomes a lot easier.
Many thanks to Jay for his time. We hope you enjoyed the interview.
All photos credited to Jay Baer.