October 11

Episode 105 – Content Creation Ideas

Paul: Hello everyone and welcome to Marketing Guides for Small Business Podcast. I’m Paul, and today I’m joined by Ken, Ian and Jen, we’re gonna talk about content creation ideas and we’re told the content is king and we should be producing quality content on a regular basis. But how do you come up with all these ideas and do you really have to create brand new content every time? Before we get into all that let’s start by talking a little bit about the different types of content.

So Ken I’ll start with you. A lot of times we use content and people assume we’re talking about blog posts, but that’s just one type of content. What are some of the other types of content used for inbound marketing? 

Ken: I think that’s a great question because I do think a lot of people just automatically assume they write a couple of webpages, and then beyond that content is largely gonna be done by blog posts if they decide to do that.

If you’re talking about helping you rank for search engine optimization, especially for local SEO, location pages are really important still. So you need to write those, you need to create those. You should have a page for every service, product, solution that you offer. You should have pages for each of your core team members.

You should have an about page, and about page is frequently one of the top two or three most visited pages on your website, so that’s important. Beyond website content, you wanna look at video, wherever you put. Creating content is social media content. It’s the social media posts that you’re doing, whether it’s video based, Facebook Live, you name it.

Podcasts are fantastic. Lead magnets, which we talked about in the last couple of weeks, that’s all content. You wanna create content where people who are your ideal customers are naturally gonna go look for that content. One of the things we probably haven’t really talked a whole lot about in this episode, but I think Jen’s mentioned it in the past, maybe Dan when he was on, is LinkedIn articles.

If you’re a professional and your customers are on LinkedIn doing LinkedIn articles, that may be one of the best things that you could do. I’m a big fan of, I wanna own and control the content if it’s me, so I wanna publish it on some place that I actually own and control ultimately, but that doesn’t mean that I might not wanna put that content or strategically take some of my content and put it on rented sites, even if they’re free.

Social media sites are still rented because you don’t control and own what they do. Yeah. There are so many different ways. I even think email content. Writing email newsletters is a critical piece of content that may or may not get on your website. There are pros and cons about whether or not it should or could.

It’s really literally the communications that you’re doing that are publicly visible to the world. 

Paul: Yeah, there are tons of different types [of content out there. It’s not just blog posts and it’s not just on your website like you said, but. Jen, we hear the term content repurposing. What is that and why would someone do that?

Jen: Content repurposing. I call it, my favorite phrase about it is getting more mileage out of your content. So the content repurposing at its basic form. Let’s talk about a blog. I know that’s not the only piece of content. Let’s start there. So you have a blog that you publish under your website. Then a week later or so, you could turn it into a LinkedIn article, as Ken was talking about.

As soon as it’s published, it can go into little snippets and bite sized pieces for the different social media channels that you’re on. It can go into your newsletter. With that example, you can see that one piece of content has been either sliced and diced and formulated up to serve the purpose of several other channels.

And what’s important about that is, it’s a very efficient way to se the time and the money that you have spent on that blog post, getting more mileage out of it. That’s where that phrase comes from. And as well the repurposing just doesn’t necessarily mean a straight copy and paste. Those other channels that I mentioned, your newsletters, so different social channels LinkedIn articles. They are going out to a different audience than would be on your website and on your blog and by different audience. For example, folks are going to interact with your email newsletter a little differently than they do on your website. Folks are gonna act a little differently on Twitter where it’s faster paced than some of the other social networks.

So the content, when it is repurposed, it has to be formulated for that type of channel. So for example, you take the blog post for Twitter, it’s going to be very short snippets in there. For the LinkedIn article, you could probably repurpose the whole entire thing, or you could add to it and go a little bit longer depending on who in your audience on your LinkedIn network is going to see it.

Someone would do that for cost reasons and efficiency reasons, and really getting the most mileage out of your content. I was gonna say it works best for content that is evergreen, so think about evergreen content as the type of information that is applicable today, tomorrow, next week, next month. It’s a little faster paced if you were, say, promoting an event or a special that actually has an end date.

So you could do all those repurposing explanations that I gave examples of, but you just have to do it much faster. It’s probably one of the best practices because if you think about it on the other side, why on earth would you create a blog post and then create something different yet similar from scratch for your newsletter and so on and so forth. It’s a very efficient, very effective, and smart way to, to get the most outta your content. 

Paul: Ian, speaking of content repurposing, I have a bunch of content out there. How do I decide what I’m gonna repurpose or what I’m not? And can all of it be repurposed or should some of it not be? 

Ian: Yeah, good question.

What I would say is you just roll some dice and whatever it comes up with, or you put all the little content names in a hat and you, no, I’m just kidding of course. 

Jen: I have to tell you, Ian, you have got such a good poker face that when you speak, you start speaking. I’m like, Okay, what? Oh wait, he’s joking. He’s joking . Anyways, go on. 

Ian: I’m not a good poker player, by the way. I get too happy when I see good cards but there are better ways than rolling dice and picking names out of the hat. There’s lots of ways to do it. Some of it is, by popularity, do you have particular content that you know, or your sales team or your reception staff or whoever, customer service, you know that it’s being effective.

So there’s opportunity to take something that’s very effective and it’s proven effective, and bringing it over into another type of content, right? Website traffic. I love this. I love looking at what blog posts, what lead magnets are generating the most traffic. It’s such an easy thing because all things being equal on my website, this particular content piece is actually generating way more traffic to my website than other things.

And of course there’s a host of things that could be affecting that traffic, driving it there, but that’s a great way to do it as well. Even duration. If people are getting to a blog post or an article or some piece of content on your website and they’re consuming it by staying on that page a long time, or if you have a YouTube channel, you can see the stats.

People are not just viewing my videos, but it will tell you the duration of those watches. So those things are, to me, are super analytical and super easy because the data tells you a story. But even things like you do regular keyword research for your business, even if it’s only once a year and that more and more people are actually searching for certain types of content and you have that content regardless of how much traffic is being driven to your website that is a great opportunity for you to take that content and repurpose it in a new way.

I mentioned this before, but insights from your own team I think can be very powerful and super quick. So if you have a sales team, you talk to them, you say, Hey, what seems to have the most impact with clients, each stage of their buying journey? Because you need different content, as Ken was saying, throughout the journey.

So understanding that, first of all is really important, but then trying to determine what’s working and what’s not. But some super easy things. If you have a case study and it’s in print and it’s effective, why wouldn’t you just make a video case study outta that? It’s super easy. You’ve actually just brought your potential impact of it, and you’ve put it on a whole different channel in a way that a certain group of people like to actually consume information.

So those are some things I’ve noticed, and you, of course, you can go the opposite direction as well from video to print. I think you guys have already covered a bunch of other options, but that’s the thing I would look at. You also asked what content shouldn’t you repurpose? And I would say don’t repurpose everything.

Look at what’s working. Don’t blow your brains out on, Oh, we’ve got 152 blog posts we have to convert all of them into videos. That’s probably not a good use of your resources. Look at the top ones. Put some effort into it. See what the results are. Always use a hypothesis. That’s what marketing is. Best practices, you have a hypothesis, you do an activity.

Using a strategy, you test the hypothesis, what happened, and then you expand on that over time. 

Paul: Ken, evergreen content, Jen mentioned this, can talk about a little bit about what that is and can that be used across different channels? Evergreen, wouldn’t that get stale after a while?

Ken: Well possibly, but you’re gonna be able to get a pretty good lifetime out of a lot of evergreen content if it is really, truly evergreen content.

And one of the things Jen mentioned was, if it’s an event based kind of a thing that’s not gonna be evergreen because it has a defined timeframe, when that event is done and over, then that probably doesn’t make sense in most cases. Evergreen content. I think the key to me is it’s probably foundational too.

It’s stuff that’s just core to how you solve problems for your customers. Many of those things are not gonna change over time. You may swap out tools, you may use different products, but the whole objective of what you’re trying to accomplish in terms of a benefit is probably gonna remain the same. Now if you do swap out tools or products, then you might need to go back and revisit that content.

But that content isn’t necessarily bad and you don’t wanna throw it away. You just may need to update it. So it’s that content that I think your go-to thing, it’s not the kind of thing where you can write it. And then just forget about it. As we’ve talked about already, I think there’s this force multiplier, amplification effect of when you repurpose content, especially evergreen content that you know is always gonna be right for your business, but also focuses on solving the right problems, your ideal customers have, you need to put that out in different channels where it’s gonna be most valuable for people. Just because you write a blog post or just because you record a video, doesn’t mean that people are gonna go see it. Now, I think I talked about Field of Dreams. Just because you build it doesn’t mean people are gonna come, right? No matter how good your SEO might even be, you need to give it a nudge, and so you give it a nudge, like a blog post or a video.

Perfect example. Create social media posts that drive traffic back to that core piece of content. That’s where you’re gonna make your investments most of the time I think is around driving interest and visibility of that evergreen type of content. So does it get outdated? Yes. But it’s the type of content you wanna go in and periodically update and maintain.

But the core concepts are gonna still probably be there.

Ian: And Ken, in our newsletter podcast where we were talking about how to leverage newsletters, enewsletters, and that kind of stuff, we talked about how businesses often think everybody knows what they do. Oh, if we have existing clients, they know what we do, they understand our full portfolio of services that we offer.

And during that discussion, I remember we were all talking about how that’s not true. Prospects of course, don’t. But even clients do not know a business’s full breadth of services. So it’s up to you as the business in order to continuously inform and engage people with, this is another way we can serve you, we can help you with this other service or product.

And I think that’s where evergreen content can be super powerful cuz we often overlook it as businesses because we’re, everybody knows that, but they don’t. So let’s hit them again with some information about another service we offer. 

Ken: Yeah, frequently asked questions are great sources potentially of evergreen content.

Go through your emails, see what common questions, prospects or customers are asking. Ask your customer service team, if they’re asking common questions. Probably either you need to change your product or service and or you need to create evergreen content because it’s a common concern or a common question that people have.

You definitely wanna think about all that kind of stuff. Frequently ask questions or questions that people should ask, but maybe don’t, is also a really important consideration. 

Ian: We haven’t really broached the idea of strategy or using a strategic reason for building or repurposing content in this discussion.

But I think just something you said there can tweak that in my mind when Paul was asking that question about what content shouldn’t you repurpose? You should have a reason and a plan for what you’re going to do with the content after you repurpose it because it’s an investment, right? So you need to think about that ahead of time and not just do an inventory and go, Okay, let’s repurpose all our content.

Ken: I actually recommend building content repurposing in as a core part of the process of creating that initial piece of content. For example, when we write blog posts, we frequently also will write complimentary social media posts. And it’s natural. If you’re gonna talk about seven reasons why a lot of blog posts really lend themselves to this.

Tips, tricks, insider ideas, things like that. Each one of those is a social media post. And each one of those posts might be the problem that somebody’s having to say, they need to go check out this article. And it might get a lot more visibility there. I think when you’re thinking content, also think about repurposing.

If you’re not, you’re leaving a lot on the table.

Jen: One thing I wanna jump in there actually with you, Ken. Is that when you talk about frequently asked questions and whatnot, we’ve had some pushback. We actually have a podcast on this called Basic Content. Why Create Basic Content? We had all talked about some of our clients pushing back and saying we’re much more sophisticated. We’re able to answer the deeper, the harder questions than just what does this product do? What does this service do? And they got apprehensive about sounding too one-on-one level, too entry level, too basic with some of their content. But the thing is, it’s important to remember that your clients and your potential clients are not thinking about, nor do they know your business and your expertise as well as you do every single day. So if you could answer some of the basic questions very well, it just starts to build trust. So when you get up to the more complicated questions, there’s trust developed there that you’re able to handle the more difficult situations that your clients may find themselves in.

So don’t think of frequently asked questions or basic questions or one-on-one level questions any less valuable than the more sophisticated information that you know. 

Ian: Yeah. Why would you ignore what people are asking? That just seems silly, right? Yeah. There’s a reason we frequently asked, they’re not answering them.

Jen: But, and real frequently asked, cause I don’t know about y’all, but when I was in corporate, sometimes we’d be asked, frequently asked questions, but they would be leading questions, right? Yes. Who’s really gonna answer this? It just shows us in a good light, legit frequently asked questions to build the trust.

Ken: Yeah. But when you leave a communication gap, you’re frequently gonna be disappointed. And whether or not that’s getting online reviews, if you’re not getting online reviews on a regular basis, it’s still speaking volumes to people. If they’re checking out your business and you have no reviews or you don’t have any recent reviews, some people are gonna think, why is that?

Do people not think that this business is review worthy? Does the business just not even care how people perceive them? If you don’t fill that void, it will be filled and it’s usually not filled with the way you want it to. So I think your content strategy in part, needs to include that kind of thinking as well.

And you can’t look, you can’t tackle everything. And I’m not saying that you should, and you absolutely need to prioritize, but if you’re seeing that there, commonly asked questions or even questions that maybe aren’t asked very often, but really set you apart and differentiate you in the way that you handle that.

Take advantage of that. Don’t just assume. 

Paul: One of the things that you mentioned, Ken, and when I ask that question, I knew you’d mentioned this as updating content, and you should do that with all of your content, not just evergreen content. Sometimes you have to go through and sometimes content needs to be eliminated.

Sometimes it needs to be updated, but it’s something that should be part of your content strategy. 

Ken: That’s a great point, Paul. One of the things I know you’re very diligent about is as we’re writing new content for our client’s, frequently blog posts, but could be other content you go in, as part of the SEO and do internal linking, cuz there’s a new article on their website that naturally fits into the context of an article that was written six months ago or two weeks ago.

But that internal linking again, just provides that interconnectivity that Google wants to see when it’s calling your website to understand what your website’s all about. And so that kind of stuff is absolutely critical as well. So yeah, you absolutely have to update your content. 

Paul: And update. That takes a lot of different forms, like internal linking or maybe adding to a piece of content or removing certain things from a piece of content.

Ken: Yeah. 

Paul: Jen, I think infographics are one of the most underused types of content. What do you think about infographics and is that something that can be used across different platforms? 

Jen: Absolutely. It can be. First of all, infographics. I like infographics. I think they’re wonderful. So this is where we should pull up a slideshow or something.

We have to get our version two of our podcast going so we can display more things. But I’m sure everybody has seen an infographic out there. It’s typically has some graphic depiction, a few to several points that the business is trying to make about their product or their service. So there’s usually a sentence or so with a graphic depicting what it is it.

It could be population flow, it could be how to put this product together. It could be a compare and contrasting two different things. Ian, the one that you sent through today was amazing. It was very good. It was comparing and contrasting hiring in-house marketing help compared to an agency. Obviously that was applicable to us.

Infographics are very good as well. If you have, let’s call it boring information that you really wanna make a point about. You can really use the visuals to jazz up and drive a point home. Most people can comprehend and are attracted to visuals as opposed to a wall of text, right?

There are some folks that do prefer to read it in depth on a topic. But most will be attracted to the visuals. Sometimes it’s hard to explain information can benefit greatly from in infographics as well as maybe some run of the mill information. Also too, if you’re trying to really drive a point home, showing it visually, showing it again, if you take another step to a gif or another step further to a video, sometimes adding a different elements into how you’re displaying the messaging and the message that you wanna get across can resonate a lot differently or a lot better.

And then this content as well can be on your website, it can be cut. Typically an infographic is talking about several different points in one story and bringing them together so you could chop up the infographic and make it social media friendly. So you’re really talking about one point per post.

It’s a fabulous piece of content. What you would have to do in order to have a infographic be pretty successful is in order to get it created, it really does start with what is it that you’re trying to say? What are the let’s call it five points. What are the five points you’re really trying to convey?

And then working with either a graphic designer or an illustrator, depending on what the look and feel is that’s appropriate for your brand, and really making sure that they can visualize the concept or create the visual. For the point that you’re trying to get a across, because infographic should be really easy for someone to get what the point is without having to spend too much time like reading about it and trying to figure out that’s one of the points about infographic.

Once it’s designed, it would put it out online and on the social networks as you would any other piece of content. Also would be a great thing if you had it, say, on a PDF letter size one pager. It could be the type of thing that you would send out after a sales call or after a conversation with a potential client, right?

It could wrap up some of the main points you were making in your sales presentation in a one pager, really easy way for the person to remember and think about it too, depending on what it is that you’re selling in. Oftentimes, and I know this because we work a lot with business to business companies. Oftentimes, I guess your contact has to internally sell into the organization, so making it really easy for that person to come in and be your internal salesperson with the one pager infographic summarizing what’s great about your offer can really help with that sales process.

In short, infographics are amazing and done well they can be really effective. 

Ian: I think they lend themselves really well to videos too, if you create a print or a digital version of an infographic because it’s so graphically oriented and compelling. I’ve done it a few times for clients.

I’ve seen it done really well. Especially if you can animate some of the charts and the graphics, whatever it is, illustrations, because it’s so punchy, you’ve distilled it down to very simple, here’s this and this five points, whatever it is, makes a really nice compelling short video. 

Paul: They’re a great visual and a lot of people are visual learners.

So Ian, user generated content. That sounds great. That sounds like, hey, I can have users generate content and I don’t have to put any effort into it. And there it is. There’s all this great content. Does it really work like that or is it good, bad? What do you think? 

Ian: If you’re okay with relinquishing control?

Which basically social media is relinquishing control. Everybody knows that now I think even reviews are relinquishing control to some level. 

Paul: Now Facebook sensors all kinds of stuff. 

Ian: I’m not even going there, Paul, but what I would say is user generated content is fantastic. It is absolutely fantastic and you need, you as a business, should be trying to figure out how can we leverage the relationships we have with our customer. In order to have them share their experience. That’s a beautiful thing when you can get people to do that at its base, you have review the, everybody should understand the value of reviews now. They’re super powerful in so many ways, not just for helping you get found on Google, but also when somebody’s in the buyer’s journey, when they see review, when they consume reviews, it helps them have immediate trust and understand that you’re authentic in what you say you’ll deliver. That’s what I would call the ground floor of user generated content. There’s lots of systems to help you generate more reviews. Elevator of user generated content, it gets harder and harder to actually generate it. So is it easy? Is it free? Absolutely not. It is one of the hardest types of content to generate on the planet because you have almost zero control over the people producing it.

If we, as a business or an agency, say our marketing plan says we have to create an infographic, we will create an infographic. We will do it on time. We’ll do an excellent job. We will hire the right people to get it done, and boom, it’s done. User generated content. You are basically asking people or trying to compel them or incentivize them to create content on behalf of your business or in an altruistic sense on behalf of others who may be interested in a product or service, or have a particular problem that needs to be solved in order to share that information out. 

So types of incentives I’ve seen that work well are contests. Those seem to work really well. Even things that are fun. If you’re a veterinarian and you know that every single customer you have loves animals, They are more than happy to share their animal pictures on your social posts, tag you with a hashtag.

You can run a contest, you can be free to post those things on your own social media, stuff like that is pretty easy user generated content. Where it gets much harder, especially from a business to business standpoint, is there’s all these levels of inhibition about sharing things for legal reasons and that kind of stuff.

So I stand by what I said earlier, that it’s one of the hardest forms of content to generate. But it’s also super powerful. 

Ken: Yeah. One of the things too is certain types of businesses lend themselves much more easily to user generated content, but it’s all about the customer’s experience.

If you deliver an experience worthy benefit to them, many times they’re gonna reciprocate and add content to post to your Google profile page or to your Yelp page, or Trip Advisor, or a lot of these other sites. Certainly improves your visibility, and ultimately, probably more substantially than a lot of people realize influence search engine optimization.

Ian: But you have to ask. The statistics are ridiculous about people actually doing activities like that on behalf of a company, unless it’s a dramatic experience that somehow you save them on their trip to Acapulco and they’re under duress and somehow you save them and they’re gonna glowingly tell about the story.

Most people like the stats, even for reviews only 6% of people leave reviews unsolicited. So you have to have a plan. You have to have a desire to make this happen, and somehow you have to ask appropriately and maybe even incentivize them to do it.

Ken: For reviews you don’t want to incentivize, but you do need to ask.

Yeah, absolutely. Certain businesses, I’m thinking clothing, boutiques, restaurants, gyms, lifestyle related businesses, it’s a whole lot easier to get user generated content. People are gonna snap pictures of them working out in the gym. They’re gonna take a picture and post it on Instagram of a great dish that they’re eating, partly because they wanna make other people jealous.

Partly because it’s ,Hey, cool, look. Look how cool I am. Look what I’m doing.

Ian: And living the life. 

Ken: Yeah, so if your business delivers those types of experiences, that’s fantastic. If you’re a plumber and you deal with clog toilets all the time, user generated content is gonna be a real challenge. The best you could probably hope for is having a really great review strategy.

So it really just depends on the nature of your business. Some businesses much more than others lend themselves, but if you’re a plumber, then maybe the way that you overcome people don’t want to post pictures of their clogged toilet is, which is probably not a bad thing, right? 

Paul: Before and after. 

Ken: Then you might wanna look at the contest, an idea that Ian talked about, or gamification you. Maybe you provide some kind of incentive to get people to refer you out. You never want to provide anything tied back to encouraging people to leave a review, that’s just wrong.

That’s not the right way to do it. Don’t buy reviews, but you can incentivize people to refer your business and make it super easy to do that. 

Ian: Yeah. I’m always amazed when you were talking about the restaurants and the boutiques. We have remodeling companies. Fair number of them as our clients and the one thing I’m always stunned at is the remodeling businesses will go in, they’ll professional photographer, do all the lighting, take beautiful pictures because potentially they can win awards and they look incredible on the website, which helps move buyers through their journey. But I’m always amazed at when customers, real customers leave real reviews.

Almost none of them will post pictures, but some will. And the power of those pictures, they’re not great. They’re not beautifully lit. But here’s what my kitchen looked like before. And here’s what it looks like after, and this has radically changed my life. Here’s a picture of my smiling face in front of my kitchen. Like those things are powerful. 

Ken: Absolutely. 

Paul: So it’s not simple, user generated content is not simple. 

Ian: Unless somebody else has had a different experience than me. I’ve talked to lots of people about how to generate it cuz we’ve hit some hurdles. One of the things we really wanted to do for our clients was generate customer video reviews.

And I could not believe how hard, we actually had a system whereby we would say, Okay, if they left a great Google review for our client, we would follow up with them and ask them to do a video testimonial. A minute or less. And we had a system that was super easy. You basically on your phone or on your computer, you click one little round record button, you do it, you could even watch it and then rerecord or just submit it.

So easy. And yet the pickup of it was brutal. And it’s, again, you’re the inhibition level. I think you’ve just raised the inhibition level. People are less anonymous when they do video than they are with text. That might be changing. We’ll keep at it because these things are important. But I don’t know if anybody else has had a really great user generated content experience.

Paul: I’m pretty anonymous now.

Jen: Yeah, you are. 

Paul: Good segue into my question for Ken. Video I think everyone knows, or at least is aware that video is a very important content that they should be doing, but there’s a perception that it’s complicated. So does a small local business really need to spend thousands of dollars on professionally creative videos?

Ken: It depends. You have to think about who your ideal client is. Are they expecting to see high produced, high quality video? Is that something that’s really important for them? If you’re talking about something that’s aspirational, like buying a hundred thousand dollar vehicle, yeah, maybe you need to focus more on the professional side there.

But, I think a lot of businesses can get a tremendous amount of mileage just by doing their own smart video content. Whether it’s being on Facebook Live or whether it’s using your smartphone to record video, look, there are a lot of easy ways to get that done. You carry this thing around with you almost 24/ 7, and it’s one of the best video cameras that you can get for the price.

Phenomenal quality, and that’s your smartphone. Do you need to think about some other things? Absolutely. You always wanna think about the lighting. You always want to think about your background. You always want to think about the audio quality. So if you’re a home remodeling contractor, you just put a deck on the back of somebody’s house or siding on their house. And it’s a super windy day. Your video’s probably gonna be pretty crappy, and it may become more distracting than beneficial. So you absolutely need to think about those things. But having said that, the raw content creation, the raw video creation, nine times outta ten, I think for most businesses is probably all that they need to do.

You need to give it forethought. You need to think about lighting, audio, and background. Absolutely. But then we don’t shoot video, but we do a lot of video editing from clients that provide us with content, and then we take that and we turn that into a finished product. We coach clients all the time on how to set up a good, easy setup if you’ve got a smartphone, you’ve got your video camera. If you’ve got an iPad or a tablet or even a laptop, you’ve got a teleprompter. Now you’ve already got the two hardest pieces that you need to have in place to create your own video. When it comes to backgrounds, our video guy tells me, green screen something that maybe you guys hear about all the time.

You know you wanna have a green screen because that allows you to swap out imagery behind the person talking and stuff like that. But if you don’t have a green screen, have a clean white sheet with no wrinkles or a clean white wall with no texture, and that’s probably still gonna give you the ability to put imagery behind the person speaking in a pretty clean way.

You don’t have to create all of the content yourself. You pan away from the person talking and maybe you show pictures of projects that they’ve done or products that they have to sell, things like that, or people experiencing the benefits of your solutions. And there are so many different things that you can do.

It might need to be coached, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be the highest, most impeccable filmed type video that, that you could possibly get. Now again, I’m always gonna caveat that based on what is the nature of your  business and who are your ideal clients and what are they expecting to see?

But I think overproduced video can also be an enemy of yours. People want to feel like they’re talking to somebody in a real situation, and sometimes you lose that personal touch with an overproduced video. A good videographer probably can figure out how to overcome that, but in my opinion, you don’t really need to spend a whole lot of money on getting quality video produced.

Ian: Ken, can I tell you about an example I saw this week? I thought it was absolutely brilliant. We’re quoting on a strategy and a website for a kitchen room modeling business, new prospect of ours. And so as part of that, I research, Okay, what are they doing? And he said they’re doing a lot on social media, so I want to see what they’re doing.

And I saw it as one of the best forms of authentic video I’ve ever actually seen in that industry in kitchen remodeling. And, they posted almost on a daily basis because they’re doing a job on, they have multiple crews, and each of those crews were tasked with taking a video at the job site. I’m just gonna use the name John.

John the installer, the lead installer, and Luke, his junior installer. Luke was holding the camera. He gets introduced. Hey, I’m John from the Kitchen Company. This is Luke. He’s taking this video. I just wanted to show you what we’re setting up for our client today. They had it all staged out on the patio.

He’s, and he’s going through each item. Here’s the pop out recycling drawers we’re gonna be putting in. Here’s the custom range hood that we’re gonna be putting in. This is awesome. And he was so excited and it was so authentic. It was one of the best I’ve ever seen because he knew every single part. It wasn’t long, but he was just so pumped up.

You could tell he was passionate about the job and he shared the quality. That’s what came across was this is custom stuff for this particular kitchen and we’ll show you videos later of the end product and you’re just like, Wow, how did they get the guy to do that? Cause it was brilliant. They’ve trained their guys to do that and I was so impressed.

Ken: Yeah and maybe you incentivize your employees to do that. We’ve talked to some of our clients, have a contest. If you’ve got five crews working simultaneously, make it a team contest and say whoever provides the best quality. And the greatest number of project pictures will buy the team dinner or some things like that.

Think about incentivizing every person who works in your business as a natural content creator and take advantage of that. And in some cases you may need to extend their capabilities, but like you said, Ian, these people are already creating content. It’s the finished products if you just don’t capture the work in progress you’re missing the opportunity. 

Ian: Yeah. And we haven’t even talked about hiring videos, using your own employees to share the culture of your company out to the world. Hiring marketing is now a huge part of most businesses or most businesses are at least thinking about that because of great resignation in our world about hires and all that kind of stuff.

Paul: Yeah. And Ken, something you mentioned about things to think about, it’s ironic, but the audio quality in a video is actually more important than the video quality. People will stop watching a video due to poor audio quality before they’ll stop watching because of poor video qualities. That’s something to think about.

Ian: Look at our talking P. That’s right. The image is not compelling, but the audio is. 

Jen: Audio is there. 

Paul: The audio is awesome. That’s all it matters. 

Ian: He’s actually artificial intelligence. There is no call. This is all AI right here. 

Jen: That’s right.

Paul: Jen, this is probably gonna come as a shock coming from me, but not every piece of content has to have SEO is its primary objective. Like I know you love contests. 

Jen: Yes, I do love contests. 

Paul: But what are some of those types of content and how can they be used? 

Jen: Just so you know, I don’t love contests at all for myself, that’s, Paul’s just given me a hard time contest for your brand may be totally applicable.

Personally, I won’t be entering. But that’s that’s another thing. 

Ian: I’m Jen, I don’t like contests.

Jen: I don’t like contests. Winning or not. That’s it. No way. Anyways, okay, So some other types of content. Okay. So first of all, the whole content thing with with SEO. Yes. Because we have to remember, even though SEO is very important, the whole point of creating all this content and getting all this content out there is for your clients, your potential customers, in order to grow your business, in order to bring them in as a potential customer, as a real customer, as a subscriber, as a client. 

So everything that you’re doing needs to either be building the trust, the knowledge, the likability, the information, empowering your client or your customer to make a better decision, empowering them to understand what to choose. So some of this other types of content that could be out there could be things like any kind of surveys. I know there’s some surveys that can pop up on social media. I know there’s Twitter polls and things like that you can just create very easily that way. And of course that’s gonna live on the social media network that you start that poll on. But that’s a really quick and easy way to get some engagement.

Usually they’re quite simple surveys. This isn’t like a survey monkey that you can send out. This is very quick content. There could be some checklists, although checklists you could have linked back to your website, so that could, you could be able to track that. But checklists to make sure that folks understand what they need to do next. You could have that at the bottom of a blog post after you’re explaining information about what to do next or what to check for before you’re doing A, B, or C, have them have a downloadable checklist so they can have that one pager with them, so they can make sure that they’re not forgetting any of the items they have to do or the things they have to make sure they know about.

There is also calculators. If you are selling any kind of course, I’m sure all of us have seen like a mortgage calculator or a calculator this is probably something you may do, Ian and calculators for how much the painting of the house is gonna cost. Calculators for how much the remodeling of my kitchen is gonna cost.

Some areas like that can start to help your customer make a decision on what package do they buy from you? How much is this project really gonna cost? Those are some examples of pieces of content that can still be very helpful for your potential clients. But yeah, don’t always have to be so linked in to SEO.

You gotta think about it more. How does it help someone know and trust your business in order to start to do business with you? 

Ken: I’m gonna add how does it help them convert to become a customer? A classic example of what I’m thinking about is a landing page. If you’re running Google Ads, you’re probably sending people at least in my opinion is you should be sending people probably to a page that’s maybe even no indexed, because it’s all about conversion. You want people to take a call to action. It’s not about the SEO. You don’t necessarily want that page to even be found by the search engines, and so that’s why you would set it as a no index.

It could even largely be a copy of a page that is already SEOed on your website. You tweak it, so that you remove distractions, so you might remove navigation on the top and the bottom, and you might strengthen the call to actions. But it may largely, can be the same content it may be completely written. But landing pages I think are a great examples of that, and it’s all about conversion.

Ian: If I can add to that, I cringe at the question, even the framing of a question that says, does the content need to have SEO as its primary objective? As a marketer and as an SEO company, I don’t think the primary objective is ever the SEO, ever. I don’t think a company should be looking at, should we be doing this for SEO?

No. Your end goal is beyond that. Your end goal is just what you were talking about, Ken. It’s, yes, SEO  is so important from an attraction of your prospects standpoint, but your end goal is never the attraction. It’s to attract, engage, convert, and then deliver. The only time I’ve seen companies set SEO as their primary objective is in a siloed organization where somebody’s responsibility is SEO.

Or, when you hire a strictly SEO company to deliver SEO, that’s all they’re being measured on. I think that’s a big problem in the industry. You need to have a much bigger picture of what your marketing strategy is and how SEO fits into that, and how the objective isn’t SEO. Do you guys agree with that or am I on my own little soapbox here?

Jen: No, I would agree.

Paul: People will tell you to write content for the users. 

Ian: Yeah. 

Ken: You can have all the website traffic in the world, but if nobody’s ever buying, booking, clicking, taking that next step, what good does it do you? And it probably ultimately is gonna hurt you.

Ian: Traffic is the first part of your funnel, right? It’s not the end goal. It’s not the objective. And maybe it’s a micro objective. 

Ken: Yeah. 

Paul: SEO was just part of your content strategy, but it’s, you’re right it is not the sole object. 

Jen: Maybe that could have been a blip in our AI? Yeah. It’s about 80% there.

Paul: The AI is ever evolving. 

Ian: We’ll reprogram The Paul later.

Paul: It’s constantly learning. Look at Google ads. Look at Google reviews. Recently they did something to their own algorithm that really screwed things up. 

Ian: All I can think of is 2001 Space Odyssey. And I’m glad your name’s not Dave. 

Jen: Oh, that’s so good. 

Paul: When we look at content and we look at the marketing funnel, sales funnel, whatever you wanna call it, I think one part of the content picture that’s overlooked is the awareness stage. If people don’t know you exist, then you’re not gonna get any business from them.

What are some types of content that can help a business in that awareness stage of the funnel? 

Ian: First of all, I wanna say again, I don’t like this question. 

Paul: I figured you probably wouldn’t. That’s why I asked you.

Ian: Because the AI has misread the, I actually think that, at least in my experience, the amount of content for each stage of the funnel, I would say the glut of it is at the buy stage, right?

Cause everybody’s saying, Yeah, I gotta get them to buy. But the other big one is at the attraction, people spend tons of money on eBooks, to get people to put in their ads, to get people to act. They do videos for their ads. I see a lot of money being spent on creating content at the attraction stage. So that’s just me.

But I think there needs to be more leveling out. And I think part of this is because people don’t understand the buyer’s journey very well as businesses. They don’t understand that somebody needs to know you, like you, trust you, try, buy, repeat and refer, right to make it work. And there’s different kind of frameworks to talk about that.

But that’s the marketing hour glass. And you need content at every single one of those phases. 

Paul: That was actually be my original. 

Ian: Oh, okay, sure it was.

He’s learning and it’s almost like the content is what draws people through the hourglass. What can we as a business do to entice them from the no stage to the like stage? What’s going to effectively do that? So yeah, things like videos, informational videos. Answers to frequently ask questions we’ve talked a lot about because people are searching for those, so those are great

attractors. How to videos, how to documents, checklists, e-books, how to choose a dentist, how to choose a roofer. All of those things are super powerful. Attractor type, level content. We talk about blogs, podcasts, webinars, email outreach, depending on where you are in the world and how you can do that legally.

Some businesses do that. Advertising. That is a form of content because you usually have to do some sort of value exchange with people. And then, yeah, at each stage you want to be determining what is it that people need at that stage in order to make an informed decision. And we’ve talked about this before, Ken uses the example of restaurants a lot.

Sometimes they’re jumping from, I just want to eat pizza tonight, the best pizza in my town. What’s gonna get me to the buy stage as quickly as possible because that’s all they care about. But they will look at reviews, they might look at user generated content about some beautiful pizzas somebody had just yesterday.

All of that is content that helps people through that process. So I don’t know if I really answered the question cuz I got my hackles up about the way it was asked, but. 

Paul: You’re all hackled. 

Ian: Yeah. My hackles.

Paul: I actually was gonna ask about the different stages, I figured that would be like a stacked question, long involved. Cause we could probably have an entire episode on the content for the different stages. 

Ken: Yeah. 

Jen: Yes. 

Ian: I think we might have already. 

Ken: Another really important type of content we haven’t talked much about. Unboxing videos. 

Ian: Yeah, man, those are awesome. So if you have a solution that lends itself to that, take advantage of that.

Paul: I think this is probably a good place to wrap. We don’t want Ian to get his hackles up anymore. 

Ian: No, no more hackles.

Paul: Thanks everyone for listening and we will see you next week. 


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