What we cover in Episode 23
How would you like to be ahead of the curve on how you can rethink your content marketing strategy? You know early adopters generally win, right?
In episode 23 we talk to Jimmy Daly about how you should stop thinking of your blog as a publication.
Instead, you should think about how you can:
1. Win the minds of your audience by creating content that acquires 'silent traffic.'
2. Win the hearts of your audience by getting them excited by the mission and vision of your company.
We talk about how you can balance both of these approaches and how in the future companies may end up choosing one path over the other.
Enjoy the episode and happy growing.
1. Stop treating your blog as a publication and focus on winning the minds of your audience.
Most companies want their blog to be a known publication. They want people to remember their blog and return to it regularly because their content stands out.
But, what if I told you it's ok for people not to remember your blog? And that wanting your blog to stand out from the crowd is often the wrong goal for your content strategy.
"I'm going to challenge the notion that companies should want or care about their blog standing out. Part of the reason that I think blogs shouldn't be treated as publications is that there's a more efficient way to grow traffic and that traffic tends to be silent, it doesn't create a lot of buzz. It just brings traffic and gets the job done." - Jimmy Daly
An excellent goal for your blog is to generate 'silent' traffic. You create each post to attract traffic from the search engines. Every blog post is mapped to a group of keywords that have existing search traffic.Think about how efficient that approach to blogging is. It's not one where you create a bunch of posts hoping that one works out and generates some traffic.
Instead, you commit fully to every post you create. You commit to it ranking for a specific group of keywords. You commit fully to creating a blog post that provides searches with everything they're looking for and more. You commit to building a full promotion plan for each blog post that will be enough to rank it for the keywords your targeting.
That approach is about winning the minds of your audience. The content is tactical. It's based on what your audience is searching for. It usually teaches them something or helps them to answer a question they have.
2. Winning the hearts of your audience still matters
There is another bucket of content that's focused on winning the hearts of your audience. It aims to attract people who are passionate about the same mission and vision as your company.
It's the bucket of content that Jimmy calls "movement first."
"We have this idea internally that we call movement first, so the content is shaped around trying to build momentum around our philosophy on content marketing. And as a result of that, we'll spend a lot of time honing the ideas, trying to perfect the titles, not worrying so much about optimization and distribution but really just trying to figure out what it is that we stand for and what we want to be known for, hopefully, and keeping our focus on that."- Jimmy Daly
You create this content to speak with your tribe. It speaks to those people who share the same mission and vision as you.
It's more difficult to measure the positive effects of this content. For example, one of Jimmy's primary goals for this kind of content is to start a discussion among his target audience.
"One of the things that I try to do is, if the Animalz blog accomplishes one thing, I hope it's that it sparks a discussion in a meeting of a marketing team as they're planning out their content strategy. If someone said, "Hey, I read this thing, and it changed the way that I thought about strategy," if we're able to figure that out, and occasionally we are through sales calls or email or whatever, that's what we're going for."- Jimmy Daly
Here is the truth, as content marketing becomes more competitive, you may see more and more brands decide to invest in the bucket of content that fits their business best. They'll choose to invest more heavily in one area vs. another.
The skillsets needed to create these buckets of content are different. The people who are masterful at winning the minds of an audience, might not be so proficient in winning the hearts.
"I also think that we will continue to see a divergence between volume based content marketing and what I will loosely call idea-based content marketing, which is closer to blogging. So I think that some companies are still balancing the high-volume approach, trying to drive lots of search traffic, very traditional style of content marketing with some thought leadership or blogging style stuff, where you're just telling stories about the company and sharing thoughts. I think we'll see a divergence, where it's going to be harder and harder to balance those two things."- Jimmy Daly
3. Creating a winning content marketing strategy
There are a vast number of posts written on how to create a winning content marketing strategy. But, one of the most important is patience.
Most companies fail at content marketing because they're unwilling to invest in it long enough. They pull the plug too early. As Scott says:
"In a lot of cases when content marketing fails it comes down to impatience. Someone wanted an immediate win. They're used to running a bunch of Facebook ads or Adwords ads and seeing instant results.
Content marketing is different. You require a lot of patience. It's a longterm play."- Scott Tousley
In most cases when content marketing fails in a company, it's not because the people creating the content aren't good, or the content they're producing isn't good; it's because the company isn't fully committed to it.
"I feel so strongly that usually when content marketing goes wrong, there are institutional problems that prevent excellent content from being produced. And it's usually not that the people tasked with the content are bad at doing it."
Aside from patience one of the best things you can do to give your content marketing strategy a better chance for success is documenting it. It's something Jimmy as seen work time and again.
"One of the most important things to do is create an actual strategy, a documented strategy one that all your stakeholders agree on — one that includes budget, cadence, goals, roles, resources and who is making what decisions.
You should put that all in writing, so you can try it out, test it, and see what works. One thing that we seel all the time is that people are doing content marketing in a very ad-hoc way. It can be a very expensive and inefficient approach to content."- Jimmy Daly[/perfectpullquote]
The podcast provides a more in-depth look at these topics, so if you enjoyed reading the above, please do give it a listen.
And until next time,
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