If you are ready to scale and want to build your traffic channels and brand for the long term… then you need to advance to some of the following Marketing tactics, which can otherwise be referred to as Content Marketing Strategy.
Every business needs to grab the attention of the consumer. In today’s world, the consumer’s attention is on a media channel. From Facebook, Youtube, Instagram,Medium or on your own blog, and on the podcast platforms.
you have to create the content that captures that attention consistently. Essentially your content will work like ads, and can even be used for ads. It should be an integrated piece of the overall sales funnel and growth strategy.
From videos, podcasts and blogging, Pull tactics are how you build your own audience to generate traffic and sales through Content that you are creating. You are ‘pulling’ visitors into your world. You are in enticing them. Entertaining them.
Educating and Informing them. You’re winning them over and Influencing them. All for free.
Why Content Marketing?
It’s the organic way to build traffic into the top of your sales funnel and into your world. And it’s your own audience. It’s your own tribe. It isn’t somebody else’s on another platform. It’s yours!
Building a tribe and organic following through content marketing is a huge asset that you should own as a business.
It’s a long term and sustainable growth strategy and can drive exponential growth for your business. Especially when you combine this with a high converting sales funnel and paid ads.
So in summary.. You need to create content that will serve as a way to:
- Inform and educate users
- Build trust and credibility
- Retain current customers and converts new customers
- Build brand awareness
- Build backlinks, domain authority and search traffic
- Create the opportunity to rank for focused keywords
- Be a basis to build a social following and sales channel
- Be a long term sustainable traffic source and sales channel
Of course, with this, more work is required to get results and traction… These are the strategies to build a content marketing machine…
1) Pillar Content
The GaryVee Content Model
if you can create a piece of ‘Pillar Content’ which is long-form video or audio… then that piece of content can ultimately get repurposed into multiple forms to fuel the fire of your content strategy across multiple channels.
If you have a Vlog, a Q&A or other show… you can record that for audio, film it for Video, and transcribe it to create articles. Conversely, if you have a Podcast, you can also film that as a video and have transcribed into articles.
From one piece of content that might take you 15-30-60 minutes to record… you now have a months worth of content that you can send to each platform to build your brand.
You can then repurpose it and syndicate to other channels in different forms, for example…
- 1 Lead Magnet
- 1 Content Upgrade
- 5 Blog Posts
- 1 Infographics
- 5 Video Micro Videos (Youtube, IGTV, Facebook)
- 15 Video Micro Micro Videos (Snapchat, Instagram)
- 5 Video Ads
- 5 Nurture Automation Emails
- 10 Facebook Posts
- 20 Tweets
This is much easier than having to create content from scratch for each of your marketing channels. It also reduces your costs dramatically in content creation and production, while increasing your reach across all channels exponentially.
Examples of Pillar Content
- Q&A’s – Explainers – How To’s
- 85% of all internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly on any of their devices (Statista, 2018)
- 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support (HubSpot, 2018).
- 2019 report shows that 87% of marketing professionals use video as a marketing tool (Wyzowl, 2019).
- Videos are a consumers’ favorite type of content to see from a brand on social media (Animoto, 2018).
- 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media (Animoto, 2018)
- 76.8% of people listen to podcasts for more than 7 hours each week.
- 61.2% of respondents spend more time listening to podcasts than watching TV.
- 48.8% of respondents said they purchased an item after hearing it advertised on a podcast.
Where do people listen to podcasts?
- Home (82%), in the car/truck (58%), and walking around/on foot (41%) were reported as the most popular podcast listening areas. (Edison Research, 2018)
- Commuting (78.5%), doing housework (65.4%), and free time (55.2%) were the most reported activities when people listen to podcasts. (The Podcast Trends Report, 2018)
It’s no surprise that you should be creating video and audio content. You know yourself that these marketing channels are ubiquitous in our everyday lives. So it’s where you need to be.
2) Video Content
If you are comfortable with being on camera then there are numerous ways you can start creating video content.
If you don’t feel comfortable on camera (most people don’t), maybe a business partner or employee is a better fit? Influencers and brand ambassadors can also take this role on if you can work with somebody you feel is fit enough to represent your business.
Types of Video Content
- Daily/ Weekly Lifestyle Vlog
Vlogging is pretty much where you document your day into a camera to show a sequence of events in your life. The Vlogger will usually speak to the camera to engage the audience and communicate with them on a personal level… mixed with behind-the-scenes / fly-on-the-wall footage that lets people into their world.
Stick with the mantra ‘Document’ instead of create. You don’t need to be an actor so don’t let that put you off. Authenticity is what builds a connection with an audience.
A vlog is an easy way to document anything you are doing. From a day in the office, to meetings, photoshoots, arguments, trips, insights, learnings, teachings.
It can be educational, entertaining, instructional… it can be anything… People just like to watch real footage.
You’ll still need a Storytelling story framework to engage the audience. So make sure you have the core foundations of a well-told story in each vlog: ‘Beginning, Middle and End’… Or ‘Set up, Conflict and Resolution’.
Casey is one of the most successful creative and entrepreneurial vloggers in the world, explains the framework and tips in how to create a vlog:
GaryVee, a vlog is high in quality (because he’s invested in a production team) and is full of his straight-talking business advice from his day-to-day life as a CEO.
You get a behind-the-scenes look at his talks, his meetings, his wisdom and insights.
Question and Answer Show
Sticking with Gary Vaynerchuk, he built his following up with his ‘Ask Gary Vee’ show. People would call in and ask him questions about business.
It built his credibility and authority up. It would take 20 minutes to record and multiple pieces of content would be born out of each show.
You can do this for any industry that you are in. You can answer questions on fitness, business, e-commerce, fashion, design… whatever niche you are in, you can engage with the community by sharing your expertise.
You can invite guests from your industry onto the show too to switch up the content and theme and to leverage their audience.
- How to Shows
Another hugely popular and effective format is the classic ‘How to’ videos. You can teach people how to put on make-up, how to work out if you are in the fitness space, how to create Facebook ads, etc…
no matter what your niche is, this is a great way to provide a solution to your customer’s problems and pain points.
If you have any blogs then you can use them as scripts to generate how-to videos.
You can talk into the camera (you can use a teleprompter if you need), you can use share your screen to demonstrate demos, you can use graphics and images to make it more engaging.
You can even use animation if you really don’t want to get on camera, though this will be more costly and time-consuming.
She has a great show to educate her customers on how to build a Youtube channel and personal brand…
You might be thinking that these are all personal brands and individual people, but Gary Vaynerchuk, Sunny Lenarduzzi and every other vlogger and content creator are ultimately selling products on the back end.
Whether that’s agency services, info products or merchandise, they use video content to deliver value and engagement.
E-commerce fitness clothing brand Gymshark have used video marketing to explode their business into the fastest growing UK business over the last 5 years.
They grew 200% year on year by creating content around their business and influencer ambassadors.
Their Youtube channel has millions of subscribers and views because of the various show formats they have…
A ‘GymShark All Access’ video showing the company’s founder talk about their new offices or line of clothing, will be followed by a fly on the wall video showing their latest photo shoot, which is then followed by a ‘How to work out your Chest’ video.
They cover all formats and types. They do everything they can to build engagement. And they use ambassadors to create much of the content.
If you are just getting started and are on a low budget then you can use your mobile phone to start filming. You don’t have to overproduce and overthink things.
If you do have a budget and want higher quality, then you can invest in better cameras, lighting, and editing software or even outsource production completely.
Here are some guides and resources on how to get started…
- Be Authentic
- Be consistent, persistent, and patient
- Batch your content days to save time (unless you’re shooting a vlog)
- Script your videos. Have a plan
- Edit your videos – Video success can largely be down to awesome editing
- Choose a video format (Lifestyle vlog, Q&A, Reviews, How To’s)
- Create a content strategy and program
- Set Up a Youtube Channel
- Invest in a quality camera and lighting
- Invest in editing software or recruit a videographer & editor
- Casey Neistat – How to Vlog Like Casey Neistat
- Peter McKinnon – How to Vlog
- Gary Vee – Why You Should Vlog
As we showed with the above podcast stats, audio content is where people are putting their attention.
You’ll likely listen to a Podcast yourself and feel like you know the podcast hosts personally. You should create the same connection with your customers.
Through Q&As or classic conversation style with guests, Podcasts are powerful in engaging the listener and ‘pulling’ them into your brand. It’s intimate. It’s personal.
You find out what the person likes and dislikes. You hear their personality, their cadence, and tone of voice. That’s way more powerful than simply reading a blog post.
Podcasts can be any length too. You want them to be at least 30 minutes so you can get into some detail. If you want to go long-form to really go into depth, the likes of Tim Ferris and Joe Rogan often chat with their guests for 2 or 3 hours. That likely isn’t practical for your niche but still possible.
So… create a podcast to attract customers into the top of your funnel. Because the listeners feel connected to you and the relationship is warm… it’s easier to close them as paying customers with a trustworthy call to action.
It’s a natural and non-aggressive way to close them.
Here are some simple tips to create a podcast:
- Invite a guest for each new episode to keep conversations new, fresh and interesting rather than repeating the same conversations. It’s new ideas. New personality. New content and more ‘hooks’ to attract more customers.
- Create eye-catching cover art for your podcast to stand out in the app stores and podcast platforms. Use Canva or get a designer to create something for you. Sure it doesn’t matter, but we all judge a book by a cover. So make it stand out and try and get them hooked
- Buy a high-quality mic! Don’t have your audio sounds like you are in a tin can. People won’t listen to that.
- Have an idea of what you want to ask your guest and what you’d like to talk about
- Ask open-ended questions
- Follow up with new questions based on what they say
- Be a good listener
- Learn Something
- Talk about what excites you or what you are passionate about
- Ensure your production is simple and prepared so you can focus on your conversation
- Press the ‘Record’ button!
- All you’re doing is having a conversation with a really smart person (the “record” button just happens to be on)
- James Altucher Show
- Tim Ferris Show
- How to start a startup
- Rich Roll
- Smart Passive Income
- 16 Best Podcasts for Busy Entrepreneurs
Each of these podcasts are at a point where they can monetize their readership, so in itself, a podcast can be an additional revenue stream, but… James Altucher sold 45,000 self-published books in his first month on the back of his Podcast following.
Tim Ferris also uses his Podcast to sell his Books.
- Brainstorm podcast theme/topic ideas (this can be aligned with your other content ideas)
- Create a list of potential guests
- Create a podcast name
- Buy a mic!
If you are using Video or Audio as one of your Content Pillars, then you are likely going to have a lot of content that you can have transcribed and published onto your blog.
But… if you’re not in a position to create a podcast or video content, or you simply don’t want to, then blogging is the easiest way to start generating visitors into the top of the funnel.
Blogs can still be considered and used as Pillar Content! They can also serve as scripts for Video content, social posts, lead magnets, emails, etc.
They likely won’t drive the same engagement as Video and Audio, but they will still engage your audience.
Blogging will position you as a thought leader. You’re leaving an online trail of expertise that boosts your credibility and trust with potential customers.
Helps your SEO ranking… rank for those keywords and eventually increase your organic traffic without having to pay for ads.
- Create valuable content for the reader. Use your customer research document to hone in on pain points. (See next section for more)
- Spend a lot of time creating your titles. You have to hook people into reading your article. This can often be the most important part of any blog
- Be consistent in how often you publish a blog so people get into the habit of visiting your site
– “Mint launched in 2007 and sold in 2009 for $170M, … by the time of their launch, they had more traffic than all other personal finance sites combined. This was because of their blogging efforts.”
– Buffer.com went from $0-$5million in revenue between 2012 and 2015 on the back of their blogging strategy.
And while these are older success stories due to the recent focus on Video and Audio… blogging is still alive. And will still pull people into your funnel.
If you can add a video to your blogs in addition to the long form text, then you can double down on engagement.
- Set up a blog on your website. WordPress is the frontrunner in blogs due to its robustness, flexibility with plugins, etc.
- Squarespace is much simpler to set up and manage and easier on the eye in terms of design. And if you’re on Shopify, they also have a blog CMS that is easy to use.
- Brainstorm 10-20 blog posts titles that capture people’s attention & provide value.
- Use your customer pain points, and your competitive intelligence to see what your competitors content is looking like
- Write the blog posts yourself, have a team member write them, or outsource them to a freelancer on Upwork or PeoplePerHour
5) Guest Blogging
Leveraging other people’s established audiences is one of the biggest growth hacks for any business.
So while you should use the previous content strategies to create your own audience, you should now leverage other people’s audiences by guest blogging.
This will allow you to build your audience and ensure that people actually see your content.As we mentioned Buffer as a success story, they built their business on Guest Blogging, and so do thousands of other businesses.
Here’s why it works
- You are giving other Blogs valuable content that they need for their big audiences
- It’s mutually beneficial
- It increases your backlinks
- Improves your SEO and organic traffic
- Gives you credibility
- Drives traffic to your site
- Increases your brand awareness to a new audience
You should pitch publications with original content, to begin with, and then once you have built up a reputation with them, an efficient way to Guest Blog is to repurpose content you have already written.
If you have already taken the time to write a great article that you know your reader’s value, then you can use that to sync on another platform.
You should edit it so that it fits the tone and style of the blog you want to guest publish on, and you can use a canonical link to ensure the host blog doesn’t get penalized for duplicate content.
You can link to your site and add an ‘originally published on ____ ‘ note to ensure viewers this is repurposed content rather than stolen content.
The most important aspect of Guest Blogging is your outreach to the blog you want to feature on. You have to capture their attention and drive value.
Guest Blogging Tips
- Use your competitive intelligence to find out your competitor’s backlinks to see where they have guest posted
- Use SEMrush, or MOZ.com to find your competitors backlinks if they allowed your competitor to guest post then they will likely let you too
- Visit the publication’s website and read the publications editorial and guest blogging guidelines usually found in their ‘write for us’ or ‘contribute’ pages
- Match the style, tone, format and content type of the publication to get the best reception when you reach out to them.
- Send the owner or editor of the blog an email with ideas of articles you’d like to write for them, or articles you can repurpose for them. Introduce yourself and your business, and why you like them. Use this guest blogging outreach template.
- Pitch the right editor. You’ll often find this in the contact page of publications. Also, send it to the sites generic email just in case. And… try to connect with them on LinkedIn.
- Create a catchy headline. Publishers get sent lots of pitches, so you need to stand out
- Suggest the types of articles you can send them
- Follow up with them if you don’t get a reply. Send 3 or 4 emails to make sure you give them a chance to get back to you.
- If you get a ‘Yes’, make the article awesome. Spend time to ensure that your content meets the editorial guidelines of the site
- Give value to their audience. Don’t just pitch your business! Once you write it for them, include links to your website, but don’t overdo it. One or two is fine.
- Make sure your links are tracked with UTM codes so you can measure any traffic from that link
- Add clear all to actions if you want readers to take a specific action (i.e. email sign up or page visit etc)
- Add a Bio at the bottom of the article and inform the editor you have included it. Ask if it can stay in the article so readers can see who you are
- Be grateful to the publisher so you can build the relationship
6) Guest Podcasting
You should guest podcast for the same reasons as guest blogging. You are giving value to somebody else’s audience and increasing your brand awareness and following yourself.
Why Should you Guest Podcast?
- It’s a win-win… the podcast host gets content, you gain an audience.
- It builds your credibility and authority
- It’s much easier and less time consuming than blogging. You can talk for an hour without the need to really prepare, draft, write and edit an article. Guest Podcasting Tips
- Find the top Podcasts in your niche to make a list to reach out to
- Keep your outreach emails personable and to the point
- Share your experience and credibility to explain why you can bring value to their audience. Share examples if you have them
- If you have any call to actions and want to track the impact of the podcast, you can create a unique promo code for your product to share with viewers
Author Ryan Haliday is known to hack his growth by simply guest podcasting. He doesn’t even have his own podcast but is well known in the podcast world because he features on hundreds of the top podcasts.
Webinars will work great for those of you that have a higher priced info product. You are basically creating an environment of very qualified leads who have committed time in their schedule to see if they want to buy from you.
They have so far liked what you have shared with them and are using the webinar to go deeper.
Because of this, webinars can be hugely effective in generating sales. And, like most tactics in this strategy, a well-recorded webinar means you can generate sales in your sleep with an optimized funnel.
Used as a lead magnet, you can run ads to the webinar before sending access to the customer for a specific time.
It’s a sales environment where people can listen to your story, learn from you and then listen to your offer. You can apply the same principles in your sales copy and structure to address the customer’s pain points and solution to their problems.
To address how your solution can get them to their dream state while sharing your offer stack, scarcity and anything else that will entice the customer to buy from you.
How to get started with webinar?
- Use GoToWebinar or a similar webinar platform
- Give value to your viewers. They are here to learn
- Keep them engaged with stories rather than stats
- Run a live webinar so it’s authentic and real, and so the audience can engage with you through questions
- Close the webinar with your offer and urgency
- Follow up with an email sequence to close the deal
An Ebook is another popular tactic in content marketing and a great Lead Magnet to capture email addresses.
Using your content ideas and your customer’s pain points, you can write a short eBook to build your email list.
Why Ebooks are Effective?
- They are perceived as higher value. Even though you can simply turn a blog post into an ebook, people will feel there is more value to it
- It builds your email list. It captures new customers into your funnel
- It serves as an action point for your customer. It will likely be solving a problem that the customer wants to solve, so they will connect with the content and your brand more
- Make sure your eBook looks the part with a good front cover and design.
- You can use Canva and their range of templates and photos. Or hire somebody on Upwork or Fiverr
- You don’t have to write 300 pages! People don’t want to commit to so much time. 5-10 pages can be the sweet spot. Just provide value!
Your eBook should solve a pain point that your customer has. You can create multiple books as lead magnets to apply to your various customer demographics.
Check more Articles
Bonus: Generating Content Ideas
So if you are building a content machine, whether that’s video, audio, blogs, or hopefully all three, then you need a bank of ideas so you can be consistent in publishing timely and valuable content for your audience.
Here are some tips and hacks on how to create content that your audience will engage with…
- Write down the pain points, challenges, typical questions, information, benefits, features, and dreams your target customers have about your service, product or industry. You’ll likely have these from your customer research phase
- Use Buzzsumo.com to look up popular articles in your topic and subtopic categories. You can search by keywords, by publication/domain and find out which articles got the most shares, likes, and views, etc. Take note of the titles and types of content
- Sign up for Google Alerts for each of your subcategories so you can keep on top of the latest content
- Set up a Feedly account and track thought leaders in your industry
- Sign up for competitor emails to see what they’re up to
- Read industry-specific publications, reports, and books
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