5 Facts You Need to Know About The Content Marketing Evolution

There’s no doubt that content marketing isn’t what it used to be – it’s actually better. The content marketing evolution has been happening for sometime now. Gone are the days when simply flooding the internet with spun content backlinks to your site would rank you on Google. Do that today and Google will at the very least penalize you. At worst you could get blacklisted.

I’m glad to see this evolution impacting content creators.

Recently the staff at BuzzSumo released a report on the trends in content marketing and what that means going forward in the industry.

When asked if content marketing was dying BuzzSumo says:

Heck no! Content marketing isn’t dying; it’s evolving. We can evolve our tactics and strategy to recapture our audience’s attention. Those who hear the alarm and take action will thrive, while those who keep snoozing will go down with the ship. As Rayson told us:

“The lesson for content marketers is that you must have a content promotion or amplification strategy. You can no longer expect to publish content, share it on social and expect people to find it.” via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report

So what are those 5 alarms that we must be paying attention to if we are to survive this shift?

You Won’t Get the Shares You Once Got

Influencer marketing makes sure your content gets in front of the right people, and more than 8 of them at a time. Brand amplification of content isn’t enough to earn shares now — the content needs to come from people your audience already knows and trusts. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report

Influencers are vital to your amplification strategy. The magic of viral content is influencers. An influencer is anyone recognized by large number of people as an authority in the niche. They come with a huge following that looks to them as an authority and they respond to what they share. Influencer marketing is piggy backing on that “popularity”.

If you’re depending your social media channels to amplify your content you’re going to miss out. Facebook is limiting your content based upon engagement factors in much the same way that engaging content is required to rank on Google. Engaging content is required and your content must engage your influencer’s audience as well. Learn to write for that broader audience.

Facebook is Blowing You Off

Start thinking of Facebook as a pay-to-play platform and adjust budget and expectations accordingly. This is also a good time to evaluate how much of your audience is actually on Facebook and actively engaging with content. The report also shows that LinkedIn* likes and shares are up more than 60% from last year — which means LinkedIn may be a better place to focus your attention. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report

Facebook is simply another PPC platform and should be seen as such. You can do some amazing things with Facebook, but you can’t do them for free as many were once taught. The new Facebook algorithm focuses on “meaningful engagement”.  Maybe that’s where it should always have been. This is another move in that direction of quality content vs. quantity of content. Quality is winning. Figure this out and you’ll win as well.

Google is Still The Search Giant

Facebook is steadily trending down as Google continues to rise. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report

Google love is always going to be good for your content marketing. The frustrations with Facebook actually content marketing evolution work to your advantage. As Google returns to the top to its rightful place as the search engine giant you can capitalize on this by serving up quality content.

Google is a tough code to crack (I say that tongue in cheek because you don’t crack their code), but quality content on blogs and in videos is still the best policy.

Backlinks Ain’t What They Used To Be

The majority of content that attracts backlinks is high-quality research or reference content from authoritative sources. Work on building your library of stellar content, optimize it for SEO, and you can begin earning backlinks. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report

Look carefully at that quote: “High-quality research or referenced content from authoritative sources.” That’s called curated content. Curation is the process of finding authoritative content, organizing that content in a manner best for your audience, providing value to that content by give your view/interpretation/commentary. Build a library of that and you will earn backlinks.

Your Content Must Count or You Don’t

Publish higher-value content at a slower cadence. Take time to deliver authoritative research or reference works rather than lighter, more shallow content. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report

According to Dan Norris in the book Content Machine, “Great content is something you provide your audience that captures their attention and encourages them to share.” In other words, the things you share must make a difference to people. They must engage with the content  It must contain careful research (accurate truth is the basis for all quality content). Shallow content only contributes to the noise.

The delivery method for the content doesn’t really matter. It can be written in a blog, delivered as a video, micro blogged on Twitter or other social media channels but the fact remains it must provide value to the intended audience.

The BuzzSumo Report offers the following conclusion for content marketers:

Interestingly, the “new” most effective tactics are those that have been steadily working the whole time, while some of us went chasing shiny objects: Create high-quality, best-answer content, leverage influencers for amplification & credibility, capture your audience and serve them engaging emails. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report

Hummm.

Isn’t that really what we should have been doing all along? Engaging an audience with quality content. Providing the best answers to important questions. Collaborating with influencers on meeting the needs of the audience. Staying in contact through email. It worked 15 years ago and it still works today.

Stop looking for the magic bullet and start doing the right things.

Are you convinced that a content marketing strategy might be needed for your business? I’m offering a 20 minute consult to determine your next move. Just click on the button below…

 

 

Plan Your Year in Three Words

Plan your year in three simple words. It’s more challenging than it seems yet there is magic in its simplicity. Join me as I apply this process to my year.

The Model

“There is nothing new under the sun.” So it would make good sense to see if you can find a model to follow. Someone who has experienced some success doing the thing that you want to do. Because success leaves clues. I want to find the clues and see what I can pick up to incorporate into my experience. Maybe avoiding a few hiccups along the way.

I looked back at 2017 and I knew I didn’t exactly want to reproduce those results. (I’m going to save the ugly details for later.) I also learned some very valuable lessons that I knew would benefit me this year. However, I struggled with achieving some goals that left me committed to doing better this year. In my quest I found  an article by Chris Brogan that would change everything for me… My 3 Words for 2018

I found a model that I could use and make my own.  The two essential requirements for success – it’s simple and it works!

Trigger Words

I’m fully aware of the power that a single word can produce. I know that there is magic in a word when it is anchored to an emotion or memory. I’ve experienced complete transformation, both positive and negative, by hearing one simple word.

 

Neurologically, we have an instinctual reaction to words and language. Researchers have found that we are hardwired to associate sounds with images, even in words we do not comprehend. via 189 Powerful Words That Convert

The thought of anchoring my whole plans for the year on 3 words seemed simple enough. I already had an idea of where I wanted to focus my attention. Now, just pick three words and write them on the wall.

Just one problem…

 

What 3 Words…To Plan Your Year?

The concept is simple enough, but hanging my daily plans for 365 days on 3 words? That is quite another thing. Could I pick three words that would properly reflect everything I wanted to accomplish for the year? They had to be broad enough that I would be inspired to accomplish them without getting bored and jumping ship. They had to be deep enough that I would never feel as if I had arrived. I had to select three words that were in alignment with my core values. Three words that help me accomplish my Vision Statement. Suddenly the choice held new significance.

Plan your year using three words is very different than setting three goals. Goals are something you work toward. They are measured by certain milestones. They occupy a certain amount of your schedule. You check them off when you’re finished. Not so with these planning words. You don’t work towards them 6 hours a day…you’re always working on them. Every single activity must be connected to one of these three words.

Here are my three words for 2018:

 

Content

Content was going to be my passion for the year so this one was easy. The more I thought about it the deeper that thought went. I have always had a content focus. Instead of setting a goal for volume of content I’m focusing on the deeper aspects of creating quality content that not only converts but transforms. 

Creating high quality, valuable content is my legacy to the world. To connect with an audience as Milton Gregory stated in the 7 Laws of Teaching, the UNKNOWN must be explained by means of the KNOWN. My mantra has always been – Simple Makes Awesome Easy! A quality content focus takes complex topics and renders them as simple as possible, but not simpler

Build

I’m using build as in body building. I’m going to build some new skills. Skills driven by last years experiences. Speaking, doing webinars, providing customer service assistance, communicating internationally, interpreting challenges and creating strategies has been the first step in creating a “body” that is prepared for the task.  I’m going to pursue and approach each of those task as a bodybuilder approaches a workout.

The bodybuilding analogy is appropriate given the lessons from the previous year. I jumped into 2017 going down a particular path only to get knocked off that path about midyear. I learned much, but I didn’t have much I could build upon. This year if it doesn’t build it doesn’t happen.

Community

Devote my time and efforts to communities of people committed with common interests and shared responsibilities. Provide as much value in those communities as possible focusing on how I can help them “get what they want so I can get what I want.”

I’ve learned much about building communities in the digital age. Committing to providing value in communities is the best way to demonstrate expertise and build communication skills. I’ve already found some communities where I will be a part and I looking for more. While at the same time creating my own.

It’s going to be an interesting year. I now have something I can remember (even if it is 3:00 am) stone cold. Three words that when I wake I already know what I’m going to do. When I have completed a task I know immediately what to do next. Three simple words that will be my litmus test for my entire year as they formulate my thoughts moment by moment.


What Are your Three words?

Maybe you need a coach that can help you find your focus.

The Content Marketing Creation Machine

Content Marketing in a Digital Age

Content marketing is a very hot topic. Unlike many marketing trends that catch fire and die quickly, content marketing is here to stay. It’s a proven way to interest customers and convert them into buyers.

The magnitude of information thrown at customers every day causes them to guard their attention closely. If you want to grab your customers’ attention, you need to produce content that solves real problems of higher quality than that of your competitors. That’s a tall order.

“The reality is that while website content can be a great marketing tool, it can also be a trap for the unwary who miss some key opportunities to really develop their marketing efforts online successfully.

“You can read a great guide to creating great content marketing by content marketing guru Neil Patel right here.” via 3 Ways To Destroy Your Website Authority With Bad Content Marketing (And How to Change That For Good)

Write for a Community NOT for an Avatar

Popular marketing says, Create an avatar, spell out all of the demographics and psychographics of that individual. Then write specifically with that person in mind. Visualize them. Speak directly to them. Meet their needs.

Let’s challenge that thinking for a bit.  What if you wrote for a specific community? What if you focused on meeting the needs of a community instead of an individual?

Some examples of a community:

  • Senior citizens
  • Millennials
  • Parents of teenagers
  • Veterans
  • Spouses of soldiers
  • Living in Rural America
  • Teachers of preschoolers
  • Recovering disco fans

You get the idea. The community interest is the glue that binds the community not the demographics or psychographics. Each member of the community may drive a range of vehicles, shop in a diversity of locations, or have different spending habits. but they’re loyal to the community. Address the community and you reach a broader base in a more targeted manner. Address the behaviors and spending habits and you’ll be chasing forever.

Writing for the community sets you apart as the expert. When you speak to the needs of the community you’re talking to their loyalties. Try to address each individual and you risk missing them all.

Example:

Your business is recycled Japanese car parts. Who should your avatar include? Doctors? Retired School Teachers? Yuppies? Car enthusiasts?

How would you know for sure? You could take a look at your current client list. Or you could consider Miata owners community. Would it be easier to target the community or target individuals in that community?

This is a diverse group of people as you can imagine. Targeting a specific demographic you very well could miss your target. By meeting the needs of the Miata Owners Community you speak to the loyalty of the group.

 

Community focus flies in the face of traditional marketing

Traditional marketing says, “create an avatar (your ideal client), give him/her a name, know everything you can about that person, then speak specifically to them.”

Let’s go back to your business. Your business is selling recycled imported car parts. It’s not, to sell to a retired school teacher who likes to cruise around with the top down. Who makes $64,000 a year and invests heavily in the stock market. This school teacher has 7 grandkids and reads the Wall Street Journal daily. 

You sell recycled imported car parts…

Who is in the market for your business? Focus on the avatar and you’ll struggle trying to hit the target. Focus on the community and hit it with deadeye accuracy.

What if you frequently contributed quality content to the Miata Owners Community about: “The care of imported cars.” “Where to source quality parts.” “Ten really cool places to take a road trip in your amazing Miata on days when you can ride with your top down.” “The Top Twelve Best Brokers in America to Buy a Vintage Miata.” “Tips for insuring a vintage import.” 

You get the idea. When you’re contributing to the community you stand out from the crowd. Your contribution increases the value of the community. You’re demonstrating that you care about people who own Miata’s.

Studying the community allows you to focus your Content Marketing…

  • Read what they write. Listen to their questions. Tap into feelings and emotions in your writing. Once you understand how your buyers want to feel when they use your product, you can evoke those feelings with your content.
  • Know your communities’ buying triggers. Then send your emails and messages at the right time to interest buyers. You can also make sure that the same content is on your website and anywhere else your buyers find you.
  • Directly address problems the community experiences. Solving problems in the community helps you stand out as the expert. Your content, however you deliver it, should focus on problem solving. The result is revenue.
  • Invite influencers to persuade them. Knowing who your customers listen to (you’ll discover this by listening to and participating in the community) and respect is an important piece of the content puzzle. You want to include influencer endorsements/attributions in your content whenever possible.
  • Let the community set the tone of your voice. Listening will help you determine whether you need a formal voice or something more conversational.

What about Google and SEO?

Organic search results are important, but familiarity with an author carries weight as well. What if they began their Google search looking for you?

If potential buyers are finding you in the communities they love, they will start looking for you when they need what you sell. Build your brand around the value you bring. Content marketing puts you in multiple places all of the time, building your brand (demonstrating your value).

Quality content marketing is the secret to ranking well, but more important is building buyer confidence. You build buyer confidence by creating quality content consistently with authority and supported by market influencers.

Measure Quality by Engagement

Do you get the picture? Quality content is king because it helps you stand out in a noisy crowd. Content that doesn’t engage the audience is just noise. Standing out is essential to getting found.

 

Not just interesting, but useful

It’s not enough to create quality content. You must create useful content as well. Write something that creates an actionable item for your reader. Something that they can immediately put to work. What impact do you think your content would have if you began, “Before the Spring weather hits here are 5 things to post on the wall in your garage. Simple things you can do to extend the life of your roof. None of them require you to leave your mower.”

Become a resource and people will get to know, like, and trust you. When they’re ready to buy, they will also buy from you. A resource of useful information is invaluable in the world of many noises.

 

Don’t just care, listen

It’s not enough to say you care. You must provide a feedback mechanism…it’s called listening! The skill of listening is the most powerful content creation tool you possess. Image the impact that your content would have if you began, “I was reading in the group yesterday and 12 people mentioned that they ________ so I’ve created this ________ to help you find a local solution to __________.”  Then speak to them in their terms, exactly the way they describe the issue.

This is demonstrated listening. A skill that few possess, but an expert has mastered. An expert knows how to listen so that the question behind the question becomes obvious. Having understood the real question, the expert then formulates the response in such a way that the audience embraces the answer.

 

Not just facts, but relatable stories

The art of storytelling is getting lost in our 140 (now 280 characters) character limit world. A story that is meaningful and related to the topic at hand, is more valuable than any other form of communication. Our brains are wired for stories, perfect this skill and your content will stand out!

Create Engaging, Curated Content Like a Machine

Creating high quality content is work! Unless you want cookie cutter results it will always be work. BUT we have a process that can reduce the work and allow you to focus on your unique voice. Let’s talk about it…

The Ultimate Guide to Attention Grabbing Headlines from The Experts

Attention grabbing headlines are the key to capturing the interest of your readers. The headline stops their glace and focuses it on your content. A lame headline will never accomplish that. The sole purpose is headline is to get attention.

The Very Best From Across the Web

Everything you ever wanted to know about creating killer headlines compiled into one place. The best copywriters on the web give their advice for writing headlines that grab attention, convert scanners into readers, and get more traffic to your site. When you have a strong headline, it is unlikely you lose out on a visitor as they will stop to learn more. More sales and profits will be from more people stopping by. 

Insiders Secrets Revealed

We’ve pulled articles from Jeff Bullas, Jeff Goins, Brian Clark, David Garfinkle, and many more. You’ll sit at the feet of the masters and learn their secrets to writing headline copy that has built empires.

In this Ultimate Guide you’ll get…

  • Eight Headline Strategies That Are Backed By Psychology
  • The Ultimate Headline Formula
  • 30 Ultimate Headlines for Posts, Tweets and Email
  • Zen Habits Headlines
  • The Niel Patel Short, Sweet, Numbered, and Interesting Formula
  • 10 Article Headlines That Got 10,000,000 Readers
  • 10 Surefire Headline Formulas That Work

There is nothing as powerful as learning from the Masters. In this guide you will hear from the best as they share their best secrets. Take your time as you read the tips here. Don’t try to read the whole thing at once. Find a section you can use immediately to write a headline. Practice that skill by writing several headlines (inside you’ll discover the power of writing 25 headlines for one article). Save your headlines. A Great tool for that is Headlinr.

 

Creating great content can get lost if you don’t grab attention with the headline. Grab the guide below and start using amazing headlines with your high quality content.

Enjoy Your Ultimate Guide to Attention Grabbing Headlines From The Experts

 

 

10 Helpful Tips For Surviving Holidays as an Entrepreneur

Family get togethers at the holidays can be stressful for entrepreneurs. Few families understand the entrepreneur mindset. They don’t know the dynamics involved in business startups. So they may offer such helpful advice as, “Why don’t do you get a haircut and get a real job?”

Surviving Holidays

 

They don’t get it and that’s ok! But you need to guard yourself from the negativity that comes from such occasions. Here are 10 things that you can do when you are in an uncomfortable situation involving family.

  1. Learn to ask really good questions. People love to talk about themselves. Take the initive and ask them about their world. Be proactive. (I call it the alpha-approach.) You ask the questions first. It takes them out of their game.
  2. Be the story-teller. Come with a few great stories of your interests, your industry, your passion, and your wins. Stories are specific and relatable. There are a lot of things in the startup world that are conceptual. Stories add a concrete element.
  3. Just the facts. Always have a few indisputable facts that you can quote. You know, like when uncle Fred is moaning about the use of smartphones and how it is going to ruin the world. Remind him that 97% of your market can be reached on their phone in an instant.
  4. Hang with your peeps. You have someone in your family that “gets” you. Find them. Find things you can do with them. Engage in conversation with them. This isn’t a networking event its a ritual. Create your own.
  5. Get a wingman. If you have someone in the family that can bail you out of a situation talk to them before the gig.
  6. Do your own thing. If you are there to eat then eat. Be focused and purposeful. That’s how you run your business. That’s how you should run your get togethers.
  7. Pitch in. Get busy doing the crap no one else wants to do and the busy bodies will leave you alone.
  8. We aren’t going there. Set some boundaries. This isn’t group therapy. You don’t have to tell everything.
  9. Share some love. You know there is someone there you would like to have a deeper relationship. Focus on the relationship. You’ll be too busy to be bothered by busy bodies.
  10. Power nap time. Make it clear that a holiday isn’t an occasion to break your normal routine. Go to bed.

This post was inspired by the article below. I thought the Eric version might give a better insight. If you want a more professional approach you can find it here…

Family time during the holidays can be even harder when your family is skeptical of your startup. Here are 10 tips to use to be better prepared.  via How to Answer Your Family’s Questions About Your Startup This Holiday Season

Need a Coach for Surviving Holidays?

To connect with Eric Click Here.