As content proliferates, search engines are giving more weight to the basics of how everything works. Things like title tags, headings structure, keyword consistency and all the other on page SEO stuff are becoming even more important.Read More
For the Americans on the list who might not be familiar, that’s a Tardis, it’s a time machine (and yes, it’s bigger on the inside!)
So today, let’s go back in time to, oh I don’t know - let’s say - July 2nd, 2015. In that mornings It’s Friday, you read the following text:
Create a new text document and save it where you keep your KPI spreadsheet.
Write down the one or two things you want to achieve in Quarter 3, then write down the behaviors you will need to implement in order to deliver.
I’ll remind you to revisit that document on Thursday 1st of October."
Did you do it?
Did you? Did you write anything down? If you did, did you follow through? Did anything change in your business over the last 3 months that you actually planned for and executed on?
Change Is Super Hard
If there’s anything I’ve learned in working with business owners is that change comes slowly, and sometimes not at all, but the sure fire way to make nothing happen is to not set any intent.
Every business on this list would grow faster if the human being got better at marketing. Getting better is a euphemism for change.
What are you going to change in these next three months?
Create a new text document and save it where you keep your KPI spreadsheet.
Write down the one or two things you want to achieve in Quarter 4, then write down the behaviors you will need to implement in order to deliver.
I’ll remind you to revisit that document on Thursday 7th of January.
If you can show instead of tell, your customers get a better understanding of what you have to sell.
I Get It
Your customers and clients are not on Periscope, but that’s not the point.
- Writing is hard and takes forever to produce something good.
- Video is grade A content but a short YouTube video can take just as long
- Periscope is video, is Grade A content and it’s easy to do
The Even Better Point
- You shoot a quick 2 minute “Scope” and use Katch.me to create an embeddable iframe.
- Takes 2 minutes.
- Take the iFrame code, add a title and a call to action and you have a Grade A content blog post
- Takes 5 minutes
- Share that post out to your networks with Buffer
- Takes 1 minute
Change How You Think About Streaming Video
As far as you’re concerned right now, Periscope is not about live streaming video.
Periscope is about capturing Grade A video content that you can quickly and easily publish as blog posts.
More quality content equals greater visibility!
Yes It Can Work For You
Yes this is initially easier for those who sell products rather than services but I bet you, if we put our heads together, we could come up with a content narrative that would work for your business.
More data on how to get people to look at your content, this time focusing on the headline ( the title of your video, post or email subject line.)
Use Negative Superlatives to Drive Clicks
Apparently if your headline evokes something people can’t, shouldn’t or wouldn’t do, they get curious and tend to click through more often. Be aware though, while negative emotions drive clicks, they don’t drive shares.
If you want someone to share your content it’s best to make it positive and energizing. People like to share things that make them feel good so they can pass that feeling onto others.
People Still Like Lists
Personally if I never see a list post again it’ll be too soon, but they’re still super popular. Whether it’s the whole “bite size chunks” of information thing, people just dig having things broken out for them.
Just promise me that if you use a list you won’t write some banal nonsense just to flesh out the points. Me, I say less is more, 5 is good, 9 is pushing it and if you’re into double figures then “Woah Nelly!” are you sure you need that many?
Use Title Case in Your Headlines
Lot’s of back and forth on this with people having their own preferences but apparently the data’s pretty clear. When it comes to headlines and titles, don’t use all caps or sentence case, capitalize each word and your opening rate goes up.
If you’re interested here’s a great article from Belle Beth Cooper that digs deeper into the science behind headlines.
Written while listening to: The Bench Dev 5 by music2work2 - good music to work to!
Image credit: Three Sages by Michael Summers on Flickr
Burbn was a fairly popular app - a location based social network with an option that allowed people to upload a photo with a filter. When growth slowed the founders took a hard look at the data and saw that the only part of the app that people really used was in fact the photo and filters.
They got rid of the social element, re-tooled the app as a way to post mobile pics with filters, called it Instagram and 18 months later sold to Facebook for $1billion
Not quite instant success
Back in ‘07 a couple of guys created airbedandbreakfast.com, they reckoned they could build a social network around people who wanted to crash on a sofa and get breakfast for cheap.
8 years later airbnb.com has a $10billion valuation, offers appartments for a kings ransom and nobody really talks about breakfast.
Takeaways for content marketers
- Startups don’t know what is going to resonate with the public until they take it to market.
- You don’t know what content is going to resonate with the public until you publish
- Startups focus on data to tell them what is working and what isn’t
- Your KPIs are essential if you want to be successful in the future
- Startups ruthlessly cut that which isn’t working and focus on what is
- If you’re not seeing traction with one type of content or on one network, do something else
- Startups focus all day everyday to iterate, yet success still takes years
- No matter how fast you produce content, it can take years before you see results
Your big advantage
Unlike startups, you aren’t depending on revenue from your “content product.” This means you don’t have to move and iterate as quickly as they do in order to survive.
If however you apply the startup mindset to your content production, you will find the quality of your output improves more rapidly. This is turn drives the visibility of your business in search, which is where the new customers are.
Just like you - she can’t see them, but she knows they’re there!
Beautiful, tasty, high quality pieces of deliciousness - the more you have, the better life is!
Look at that guy on the right, he’s got bags of the things, how fair is that!?!?!?
Links are given to those that deserve them.
Digital marketers share a lot with Beagles in this regard. While they have to learn specific behaviors like sit, outside, walk, get off the couch!, our behaviors are more concerned with learning how to consistently produce content so good that people might throw us a metaphorical bone.
A smart puppy can suss this in a few weeks. It can take a smart business owner years.
The thing about links
They’re not just lying around. You can be the best trained Beagle on the planet but someone’s gotta notice you and have a link to give in the first place.
Once you’ve mastered “quality content production” the next step is to find those people who have links to give (and quality ones at that - not those lame ass Farmer John’s breakfast things) and ask for one.
Here’s the bad news
Link building, it’s not easy
Getting good links is almost as challenging as creating the content in the first place. It isn’t as hard in terms of bare brained creativity, but it takes time to do it right, and you really don’t want to do it wrong.
You could of course go off and spend a grand a month (for a minimum of 4 months) and have an agency generate 2 (yes, that’s right, two) quality links back to your site.
Or you could learn how to do it yourself.
But who has time for that?
Links are everything
The biggest factor in determining whether you appear in search is the number of quality links you have coming into your website.
If you feel you’ve got to the point where your content is worthy, maybe it’s time to start looking outward. If you’d like to learn more about link building and how it would work for your business, drop me a line.
Written while listening to: Breathe by music2work2