Links to the episode where you can listen on your favorite platform:Spotify
Here is a summary of this episode:Importance of consistent, engaging content: Nicholas stresses the need for businesses to consistently develop content that aligns with their overall goals and engages their audience effectively. Consistency, he posits, significantly contributes to improved marketing and sales outcomes.
ROI-focused approach of content-driven businesses: Businesses that prioritize content are generally more ROI-focused. They see the value of consistent content creation in engaging audiences, building trust, maintaining market presence, and ultimately driving marketing and sales success.
High customer acquisition costs for businesses not prioritizing content: Businesses that don't focus on content face high customer acquisition costs and may struggle to build credibility. Alternatively, content-focused businesses, though they may see slower immediate results, benefit from a decreasing acquisition cost over time and an increasing perception of expertise.
Need for a blended approach to marketing and sales: Nicholas suggests that while content is a critical part of a marketing strategy, businesses should not rely solely on it. Diversification in marketing strategies is necessary to buffer against sudden changes in search engine algorithms or ad platform policies.
Importance of a comprehensive content strategy: Businesses should not merely post content but develop a comprehensive content strategy that includes creating multiple content silos around related topics. Such an approach enhances search engine understanding of their websites and ultimately drives traffic and engagement.
Leveraging existing content to drive traffic: For businesses with an established content strategy, Nicholas recommends creating link magnets or valuable pieces of content that attract backlinks and generate organic traffic. He also highlights the importance of building an email list to directly market to an already interested audience.
Emphasis on capturing a client's unique voice: To produce resonant content, a strong collaborative relationship between the client and the content provider is necessary. It involves understanding the client's business, thoughts, desired voice, and creating content that accurately reflects their brand.
Importance of measuring content strategy performance: Nicholas highlights the necessity of having metrics in place from the start to monitor content strategy performance. If certain aspects are not performing well, adjustments can be made to ensure the desired results. This measure-track-adjust approach is key to content strategy success.
Here is a full transcript of this episode:Brad: Welcome to the first episode of "The Scalezilla Podcast," where we help businesses scale their content and increase profitability. I'm Brad, and I'm joined by my co-founder and co-host, Nicholas. He's the content brain behind our operations, so if you work with us, you'll likely be working with Nicholas in some capacity. Nicholas, could you tell us about your experience as a content lead strategist?
Nicholas: Of course! I have been writing for many years, specializing in various industries. I started in the music magazine industry a long time ago, but I later shifted to professional fields like training and development, HR, software, telecommunications, banking, and insurance. These are the types of businesses we typically assist, especially in software, tech, HR, and e-learning.
Brad: It seems you have quite a bit of experience with e-learning. Could you elaborate on that?
Nicholas: Yes, before I ventured into content strategy, I was the head of training for a company, focusing on quality e-learning and learning in general. Developing training materials, guides, and resources for businesses is a significant aspect of what we offer. It sets businesses apart in terms of the content they provide.
Brad: Absolutely. Creating consistent and impactful content is crucial. It can be the difference between businesses that succeed and those that struggle. What are your thoughts on this, Nicholas?
Nicholas: Consistency is essential. Businesses should strive to develop content that supports their overall goals and engages their audience effectively. It's crucial for businesses to see the value of investing in content creation and how it contributes to their marketing and sales results. Return on investment (ROI) is a key focus, and businesses that prioritize content often reap the benefits in terms of improved marketing and sales outcomes.
Brad: Thanks for sharing your insights, Nicholas. As for my background, I bring around 10 years of sales and marketing experience, primarily within similar industries. However, enough about us. We'll share more about ourselves in future episodes. Today, we want to focus on helping you learn more about content strategy. To kick things off, Nicholas, what are some notable differences you've observed between businesses that prioritize content and those that don't?
Nicholas: In my experience, businesses that prioritize content tend to be more ROI-focused. They understand the importance of creating and delivering valuable content consistently. This approach sets them apart from businesses that don't prioritize content and often struggle to achieve the same level of marketing and sales success. Content-focused businesses are able to engage their audience, build trust, and maintain a consistent presence in the market.
Brad: That's valuable insight, Nicholas. Prioritizing content truly makes a difference. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how businesses benefit from focusing on content in their marketing strategies.
Brad: Businesses that don't focus on content often struggle with high customer acquisition costs. Advertising through platforms like LinkedIn or other channels can be quite expensive. On the other hand, businesses that prioritize content may take longer to see immediate results. It could take six to nine months before consistent traffic is generated. However, if you were to stop creating content abruptly, you would still continue acquiring customers from the content put out in previous months, and over time, your cost of customer acquisition would significantly decrease. Moreover, investing in content helps build credibility. The more content you have, the more your audience can see your expertise and credibility, which is crucial for business growth. On that note, Nicholas, I wanted to delve deeper into a couple of points you mentioned. Firstly, cost of customer acquisition is a significant expense for many businesses, and investing in content can lower that cost. However, you also mentioned that content alone is not a silver bullet for sales and marketing. It needs to be combined with other activities. Could you elaborate on that?
Nicholas: Absolutely. Content should be part of a blended approach to marketing and sales. While generating a consistent flow of content leads to cost savings in the long run, it's essential to have multiple marketing strategies in place. Relying solely on content may not be wise because unexpected changes, like shifts in search engine algorithms or sudden ad platform policy updates, can impact your business. It's crucial to diversify your marketing efforts while leveraging the reliability and effectiveness of content over time. A prudent allocation of resources would include a substantial budget for content because of its reliability and lower cost of customer acquisition.
Brad: That's an excellent point, Nicholas. Having a blended approach to marketing ensures a level of stability and mitigates risks associated with relying solely on one strategy. Now, let's discuss practical steps for businesses that have not yet focused on content. Where would you recommend they start?
Nicholas: If your business hasn't emphasized content and has only a few blog posts or sporadic posts here and there, it's important to develop a comprehensive content strategy. Simply posting content without a plan is not effective. One key aspect is building multiple content silos or categories that revolve around related topics. This enables search engines like Google to understand what your website is about. For example, if you have software products, start by creating in-depth content around one particular product and gradually expand to cover other products as you see positive results. To achieve results, it's crucial to focus on both on-page search engine optimization and off-page activities, such as link building, guest posting, and making your content shareable to attract backlinks.
Brad: It's interesting. So for businesses that are just getting started or have tried content but haven't found success, you advise them to focus on one core aspect of their business, such as a specific product or industry vertical. Then, they can expand from there and supplement their content with activities like link building and press coverage. Is that correct?
Nicholas: Exactly. By focusing on one core aspect and developing in-depth content around it, businesses can establish their expertise and target specific audiences. It's also essential to supplement content with off-page activities like link building and press coverage to increase visibility and credibility.
Brad: That makes sense. Now, for businesses that have already implemented a content strategy and are seeing success in their core aspect, what are some additional steps they can take to add value and maximize their return on investment? For example, how can they leverage their existing content to drive traffic and engagement?
Nicholas: Once a business has achieved success in one area, there are several steps they can take. First, they need to create link magnets or highly valuable pieces of content that attract backlinks and generate organic traffic. Additionally, building an email list is crucial. By capturing visitors' contact information and directly marketing to them, businesses can tap into an audience that has already shown interest. This is where the focus shifts to marketing to the current list or building a list as the next step in the content strategy.
Brad: Interesting. So building an email list and leveraging it for direct marketing becomes an important part of the content strategy. It allows businesses to reach their audience more effectively and cost-efficiently. Now, one common concern I've heard from business owners is that some agencies or content writers they've worked with in the past didn't have a good understanding of their business or struggled to capture their voice and technical aspects. How do we do things differently in that regard?
Nicholas: It's essential for there to be close collaboration between the client and the content provider. Initially, we need to have in-depth conversations to understand the client's business, their thoughts, and their desired voice. We aim to capture their unique perspective and industry understanding. This involves spending time with the client, having regular interviews, and collecting information to shape the content strategy. Our goal is to create content that reflects the client's brand and voice accurately. We invest a significant amount of time in this process, as it's an integral part of our white glove service.
Brad: Absolutely. The client's active involvement and open communication are crucial. We want to ensure we capture their voice, expertise, and goals accurately. Our process includes strategy sessions and interviews to gather the necessary information. It's important for clients to be engaged and provide input, whether through phone conversations or email exchanges. This collaborative approach allows us to create content that resonates with their brand identity. We understand that the client's voice is not just an arbitrary factor but a reflection of their unique value proposition.
Nicholas: Precisely. The expectations should include an open dialogue and involvement from the client. By sharing their thoughts, goals, and desired communication style, we can craft content that aligns with their brand identity. In some cases, it may require ongoing conversations, while in others, the initial interview sets the foundation, and periodic check-ins ensure the content remains consistent. It's a spectrum, and we tailor our services to meet the specific needs of each client.
Brad: Exactly. We strive to provide a personalized approach that caters to the individual requirements of our clients. Our experience ranges from extensive collaboration on in-depth pieces to capturing the voice and making adjustments over time. Our ultimate goal is to deliver content that reflects the client's brand and resonates with their target audience. I’m kind of curious, as you’ve worked with clients and with all that we’ve said so far, what are some of the challenges you’ve seen in this whole process? Because this is not always a piece of cake. Sometimes challenges are going to come up. I’m just curious about your experience. What are some of the things that you’ve encountered and how were you able to resolve them?
Nicholas: I think the most important thing to do is to measure from the start. To have metrics in place and to be looking at the performance against those metrics. And then, after three or four months down the line, you review and say: “Okay, maybe this silo we picked is not one that Google is ranking well. Maybe we need to adjust that silo or try a slightly different one. And then come back later when there’s more authority on the site.” But it’s actually quite easy to recover these things as long as you’re watching for them in the first place. You can’t have a low confidence level and rely on the Google ranking process for a couple of years without seeing the results you want. You should be able to see some progress over time. And if not, you need to take remedial action and move things around to ensure that the client gets the results they want.
Brad: Yeah, okay. So, one of the big parts is measuring from the start, which I think is good best practice and something that we highly encourage with people. And I think you’re kind of referring to the SEO aspect in terms of traffic that’s being generated, right?
Brad: But then there’s another part of it too, which is like content on the site, especially if it’s informative and the idea is to convert customers or educate them or bring them along the sales cycle if it’s a service that needs that. The content also needs to work with the existing traffic that the client has, right?
Nicholas: Yes. Some of it is going to be sales-focused. The educational content should build some brand rapport, if you like. And you should see people signing up for your list or saying: “Hey, I’m really interested. Please send me more content.” And once you get to the sales content, of course you should be looking for conversions. And conversions will come from existing traffic as much as they should come from new traffic.
Brad: Right, right. So yeah, that’s awesome. Well, tell you what, I think this was a good first episode with you. Any other thoughts you wanted to communicate to whoever is listening at this point? Anything else that you have in mind?
Nicholas: Well, from my point of view, it’s always about having a real discussion. Clients are not one-size-fits-all or here’s a solution off-the-shelf kind of thing. If they want to work with us, I’d be happy to have conversations with them and listen to their needs and goals and ensure that they get the service they need for the results they want.
Brad: Awesome. Well, thank you for that. I agree with that 100 percent. We had a good initial episode. I think the goal I have with this podcast is to number one, lay out what we do and how we help address common things that businesses face that we encounter when working with clients in regards to content and strategy. And number two, to add value and give good advice and tips and tricks along the way to specific businesses. So the next time you hear from us, we’ll have a more specific episode on valuable ways that you can improve your business with content and scale. But I think this was a good first introductory episode.
Nicholas: Yeah, me too. See you next time and thank you for listening.