Create The Movement Podcast Episode #12
Brad Post, Create the Movement: Welcome to Create the Movement podcast. My name is Brad Post. And I’m sitting here with Josh Rich.
Josh Rich, Create the Movement: Hello Brad, how are you?
B: I’m doing well. How are you doing, sir?
J: Doing great, Brad.
B: Well, we are talking marketing tips today. We’ve gone through some social media things. We’ve gone through quite a few other, you know, paid advertising, analytics. We’re going to be talking about content today?
J: Yeah. Content as a whole. Then, kind of, taking a closer look at blogging today, as well.
J: So, just to get into it. Content, when we say content it’s a very broad term. It can be anything. It’s not just written content. It could be videos. It could be quizzes. It could be infographics. It could be anything.
J: Just anything that people see, and ingest, as information.
B: Could be audio podcast?
J: Could be audio. Yeah. It could be anything.
J: And so, whenever you’re creating content for your online presence, whether that be website, social media, whatever, there’s two, kind of, things you want to consider. Two goals you want to keep in mind. Generally speaking, content could, and should, fall into these two categories.
J: So, the first is to drive traffic to your website.
J: The second one is going to be to sell.
J: Okay, to kind of break those down a little bit more. So, the traffic one, that’s commonly referred to as clickbait. Just things that people click on, go to the website, see it. So, it’s not necessarily something like a hard sell that you’re doing. It’s just for people to, like, get to know the brand and what not. It’s also, kind of, to rank well, as well, for SEO purposes. To get people to drive traffic to the website. That’ll in turn, kind of, increase your SEO. And so, that’s kind of where you can put some of your key words, as well.
And the second one, like I said, is just to sell. So, that’s where you’re going to be really conversion focused. And making sure that once they’re there, they know what you’re selling, or what you’re doing, so that way they have a clear path to the buying process.
J: So, make sure, like, generally speaking, it should fall into one of those two categories. If it’s outside one of those, you might need to take a look at it, and reconsider the strategies there.
B: You called it clickbait?
J: Clickbait, yeah. So, just a little topic, like “5 Things You’re Doing Wrong in Your Marriage.” Or, whatever?
B: Post that through social media?
J: Yeah, exactly. People are like, “Oh, my gosh! What am I doing wrong in my marriage? I need to figure this out.”
J: And so, it’s somewhat of, like, reactionary. Somewhat, kind of, fear mongering. But it works really well. Sadly.
J: And, so, one of the first things you’re going to need to decide whenever you’re creating content is, first of all, your topic.
J: It seems pretty basic, but there’s some strategy behind topic. The biggest thing you want to consider is, “What do your customers need?” You know? You need to figure out what their needs are. You don’t want to just, like, make things they already know, or they don’t care about. So, make sure it’s geared toward your customer. One easy way to do this, if you have a big sales team, of have any sort of information from sales, is to ask them.
B: “What kind of questions are you getting?”
J: Exactly. Frequently asked questions that your sales team get is always the best way to get good content.
J: Because that’s what people care about. Because they’re asking it. The other way is you can check forums on the industry. You can check social media and just see what people are asking. See what people are confused about. If you can find something that your customers are frequently confused about, that’s a great way to fill that hole and fill that information you recognize as the source of good information.
B: Going to forums, seeing what questions are being asked within these forums, and what not.
J: Exactly. And then creating content to answer those, then going back into those forums, and posting saying, “Hey, here’s a great blog on this. Read it.” And that’ll drive traffic.
J: That’s a really good way to do it. And, just in general, if there’s one thing that you should know about content, topics in general, is that it should be educational, not promotional.
J: So, that’s kind of like one of the biggest things that we see is people, like, oh, they’re going to spend time and money to invest in creating content, whether they’re doing it, or paying somebody to it, they want it to sell something. They want to have, like, a direct return off that.
J: Which isn’t necessarily the best strategy because people see through that. And so, whenever you’re thing about inbound marketing in general, it’s not really sales focused. It’s not really, like, promotional. It’s not just like, “Hey! Hire us here! Buy this!” You want to educate the consumer because they are way more likely to buy from you if you can educate them, as opposed to just sell to them.
B: You’re letting them know why they need your product.
J: Exactly. Without telling them why they need your product.
J: It’s kind of backwards, but it works really well. So, stop selling so much, and you’ll do a lot better.
J: And it’s ok, and I would recommend still having a very small sales pitch at the end. You kind of just need to build up to that.
J: You don’t want to just, come out and say, “Hey! Here’s the product. Buy it!” The only time I’d really recommend, like, writing content about a specific product, is if you’re, like having a sale. “Okay. Here’s somethings that’s on sale this week, or whatever. Here’s a quick little snippet on it.” Because no one’s going to want to read a blog just about your widget, unless it’s just a really cool widget.
J: And even then, if you’re going to do that, I’d recommend talking about features, and how it can help them, and still being solution based, as opposed to selling based.
B: I’m kind of a weird reader sometimes. I’ll go and look at the blog, because I like the topic, and I’ll scroll to the very bottom, and look at the sales pitch to see how much it costs, or whatnot.
J: Oh yeah. I’ll do that. You don’t want to be deceptive. And you don’t want to be just overtly selling to them.
B: Right. Right.
J: And so, that’s kind of just an overview of content creation and topic selection. And there’s been some really interesting research on topic selection, as far as like, your title and the way you phrase that. Asking questions is always good. Putting numbers is really good. Like, “5 Things You’re Doing Wrong”, “3 Things You Need to Know About X,Y,Z” For whatever reason, people love clicking on that stuff.
J: As opposed to just like a very generic, like, you know, “Car Advice.” Like, no one’s going to click on that.
J: But, if you let them know there are 5 points to this article, it’s not going to take that long of your time, then people are going to click on it.
J: It’s kind of weird how that works. But, I do it.
B: Yeah, I do too. You just look at the bold 1,2,3,4,5.
J: We’ll kind of get into structure strategy here.
B: So, rather than “Car Advice”, it would be “The Top 3 Things You Need to Know”
J: Exactly. So, that’s a good transition into blogging.
J: Because that’s really where you’re going to get into title selection and topic selection. It’s really crucial to that. And so, there’s a lot of crossovers in blogging as content. So, you still want to be educational. You still want to write for the reader. You want to write about your industry. You don’t want to write about yourself.
J: Because, you know, if it seems like, again, if it seems like you’re just selling your services, or it seems like you’re just writing about yourself, no one’s going to read it. But, if you’re giving general industry advice that anyone can take advantage of, regardless if they use your services, or not, people are going to come to your website.
J: In turn, eventually, they’ll hopefully, a conversion will happen, and they’ll buy from you.
B: And that’s where, too, you can, like, we’ve on our podcast, before, mentioned, like, different companies that we follow.
B: Like SEO Moz, Raven Tools, different things, just kind of giving those other companies a promotion.
J: Yeah. So, when you’re blogging, you know, blogging used to be just this kind of weird thing that, like, introverts used to do for themselves. Now, it’s really, like, a whole industry, and, like, almost every major business has some sort of a blog, just as a way to keep their customers informed about things, and try to attract new customers. The great thing about blogging is that it’s free. You can quickly do it if you’re a business owner. It takes, like 30 minutes of your time to write a 300 word blog about whatever the hot topic in your industry is for that week. And so, it’s really easy to do. It’s a great inbound marketing trick.
So, we’re just going to talk about some really quick bullet points of, like, structure whenever you’re writing a blog. We kind of touched on this a little bit. So, good blogs will typically involve some sort of a list. If you have, like, just big chunks of paragraph, you know, block texts, people kind of will just look at it in general. They won’t read it. They’ll just look at the structure and say, “Wow. That’s going to take way too long to read.”
J: Which is dumb, because if you structure it right, it’s still the same amount of words, but people just get intimidated by that. They just go, “Aww, I can’t get what I need fast. I’ll move on an find something else.”
J: So, whereas, if you put, like, bullet points, or lists, then people will know, “Okay. I can just skim those bullet points, get what I need to get, and get out.”
J: And that way they can, and so, people are just more likely, your bounce rates will go down if you do that.
J: Another good thing to use is a whitespace. Sometimes people get freaked out. They’re like, “All this whitespace.” It kind of puts the reader at ease. It’s not this big time investment. It’s not this big, like, intimidating thing to read. You can have some whitespace, you know, space between paragraph, or space between image. It will help. Just put them at ease a little bit.
B: Whitespace? So, it’s just space between
J: Yeah, where there’s nothing.
J: Yeah. Another good thing to do is if you have some two or three line paragraphs, bold some keywords in there. So, like, people will see that, know that’s the information about this, and will kind of read that sentence, and what not. It’s a weird thing to write about – blogging for content. You almost assume that people are not going to read 50% of what’s on the page.
J: Because they’re going to read the bullet points. They’re going to read the bold words. And then they’ll probably move on.
J: Unless, you’re like really enticing with them, with some cool story, they’re probably just going to skim it. Which is kind of weird, but, for whatever reason, that’s how it works.
Some other good things to do is link internally. So, if you have a blog, you know, about something, link it to another blog you wrote last week. You know? If it’s still kind of referencing that, or some other pages, to keep the on-site time really good. Which again, helps with SEO.
Another thing that people, kind of, shy away from, that they shouldn’t, is external linking. You know, link to another source. Obviously, you don’t want to link to a competitor. But if there’s like some generic, you know, site, some government agency site you’re quoting, then go ahead and quote it. Because that shows that you did your research. And it also helps you with your SEO because Google webmaster likes to see that you did your research, and you know what you’re talking about. And it’s credible.
J: So, it helps with your SEO, and it really doesn’t take away from your page that much. As long as you’re not linking to a competitor.
B: Right. Right.
J: And then, obviously, anytime, whenever you’re writing, if you can use pictures, or video, or any sort of multi-media, to kind of spice it up, where it’s not just a blank, you know, page of text – it helps. It helps way more. I forget the numbers, but I think click-through rates, on even just social media with pictures is like, I think, 60% higher, than without. I mean, it’s crazy.
B: You just want to make sure that it’s non-copyrighted pictures, or you pay for the image, or whatever.
J: Yeah, right. Make sure that you’re not committing copyright
J: There’s great, like LIbreStock. There’s Unsplash. There’s like freeimages.com.
J: So, just look around, poke around, and you’ll find some stuff that is no copyright, and you can use it. And there’s a lot of really high quality stuff that will look great, and will really help your blogs out.
B: Don’t use Getty Images.
J: Right. Getty Images will email you so fast!
B: Sue you in a heartbeat!
J: They don’t care at all. So, that’s kind of some quick bullet points on structure. Obviously, once you write your blog, you’re goin g to want to get the word out. So, share it on social media. Try to get a subscription-based blog, if you can. You can have people sign up, so that way they know whenever you publish one, they’ll get an email, go back and read it. Make sure to do that as much as possible. And try to get into, like, a habit. You know? Like every Wednesday you’re going to write a blog and put it out. So, people know to expect that. And that way it’s frequent in Google. And Google will kind of catch on to that too, “All right, it’s Wednesday. Maybe I should go and see if there’s new information to index.”
B: Okay. Perfect.
J: Another thing to do, when you’re promoting blogs, is don’t be afraid to, almost, recycle content. You know? If you wrote a blog three months ago, and you think it’s still relevant to what you’re customers want, go ahead and repost it. Just because you wrote it three months ago doesn’t mean it’s not relevant.
J: You know? It’s good, sound advice that people still need – promote it again. It saves you time, and it’ll still attract people to you’re website. And still convert them.
B: We see a lot of websites, kind of a question is, that people aren’t blogging. They aren’t adding new content. What would you say to them?
J: So, it’s going to be hard, for one, to promote your website. Hard to drive traffic to that when there’s nothing fresh on that. Because there’s only a few, fifteen landing pages on there. And even that’s going to get pretty stale.
B: So, just add new content.
J: Yeah, for driving traffic, and for SEO purposes. Google does not like stale content. Does not like stale sites.
J: Unless, you just have a ton of backlinks, and have people quoting you as a source, which very few of the sites out there, especially for small business. You know? You’re going to need to put some fresh content on there.
B: So, if you haven’t started a blog – start a blog?
J: Yes. Absolutely.
B: And if you don’t have time to write a blog
J: Then find someone who will.
B: A company like us.
J: Yeah, yeah.
B: That’s our sales pitch?
J: We built up to it nicely! We’ll call that good.
B: All right. Anything else Josh?
J: I think that’s it.
B: Okay. We’ll, you’ve been listening to Create the Movement podcast. Join us for our next edition.