By 2020, there will be roughly six internets worth of content online. Six hundred percent more blog posts, more websites, more cat photos. If you're having trouble getting traction with your online marketing now, how much harder will it be by then?
Scary, isn't it? Almost makes you want to just pull the covers up over your head, doesn't it? Well, please don't despair. Brooke Ballard is here to save the day as this week's Superhero of Marketing. We'll cover how to stand out in today's crowded marketplace and how to position yourself and your content to rise to the top for years to come. Tune in now.
Oh, and we think we've finally worked out the kinks so you can watch us and hear us and our guests live as we record. If you want to be notified when we schedule and broadcast via Meerkat, follow me on Twitter. I'm @alisammeredith. You'll notice my phone takes a dive at about 15 minutes in causing a minor disturbance. Technology keeps us on our toes!
The Reality of Content Shock
Our good friend Mark Schaefer coined the term "Content Shock" in early 2014 and the premise is simple. We are consuming, on average, ten hours of content per day. If we have six times the content to choose from in five years, does that mean we will spend sixty hours a day consuming it? Even Brooke and I know that math doesn't work!
Content As King - and the Truth About Epic Content
We've been saying that content is king for years. And for a while, it was true. Consumers were starved for information, so if you could provide it, you were golden. Now, in most industries, there is more content than anyone needs or wants. So, if your content isn't epic, no one is going to see it.
The truth is, much of what is out there is NOT epic. With the price of admission to content marketing going down to approximately zero, everyone is now a publisher. Not everyone is good at it.
Should We Still Bother?
Yes, yes - a million times yes! Says Brooke. Consumers are going on line to help make purchasing decisions. We need to provide the content they are looking for. And for starters, we need to make it epic onfleek.
Can Everyone Create Epic OnFleek Content?
We decided the word "epic" has had its day. Millennial Kelly has chosen "OnFleek - the quality of being perfect" as the replacement. Aye, aye, aye...
Here's how you do it. Figure out who your audience is:
- who are they?
- what problems are your solving?
- where are they consuming content?
- what content do they love (long posts, infographics, video?)?
Once you know what they want, you get in touch with your alpha audience by giving them what they want.
What Is Content Distribution?
It's getting content to move. We can move it by putting a social share feature on our blog, we might use Triberr to help move it, we can share to social ourselves, and send out via email. Brooke lists a number of channels that work well, including LinkedIn Pulse.
Key is figuring out where your audience is (see the step above), trying things, and looking at what is working. Don't feel compelled to keep at it if after several months of doing it right, it just isn't working.
We have a chat about Facebook custom audiences and lookalike audiences. These are extremely effective and cost-effective methods of distributing content.
What Can You Cross off Your Content Distribution To-Do List?
Stop writing about something that has been done to death! If you're trying to get found for "digital marketing," you are competing with 31 million other articles. Find a niche instead. Brooke illustrates how to find one. Then find one that you love - because you are going to be writing about it forever and ever.
Stop focusing on SEO. No arguments from me here. Write with your alpha audience in mind. Use good SEO basic practices, sure, but remember this - all of the changes Google makes reward conversation. Write quality content for YOUR people and you are going to do well in search engine rankings without worrying about SEO.
Kelly puts on her flack jacket just to bust our chops, but SEO is NOT the answer to content shock. It sounds like a nice easy fix, but don't be taken in. Learn to ignite your content instead.
What is Working?
Go to Google Analytics. See where your referrals are coming from. Look at what is working for keywords. Yes, Google took away much of the keyword data we all used to rely on, but you can extrapolate from what is working in your existing content. Then focus on those referral channels and those keywords (topics).
Look at what is working for your competitors. Shoutout to BuzzSumo for amazing intelligence about what is working for others in your niche. Find what they have done that has gotten people sharing - and then do it better.
Brooke goes all country on us and admits she keeps an eye on competitors by subscribing to newsletters using a psuedonym. Ooooh, sneaky... We love it. Watch what people are doing and do it different or better.
Content Distribution Channels to Try:
- Groups - LinkedIn and Facebook reward your alpha audience
What Part Do Visuals Play in Content Distribution?
Visuals CAN help ignite content distribution, but only if that is what your audience wants.
If You Have Time for ONE Content Ignition Task
Find your audience.
- Who are you talking to?
- These are the problems - write about them.
- What are their objections to your product and service - overcome them.
- Give a nice call to action to join my list and become part of my alpha audience.
Brooke's Latest Project
Brooke, Mark Schaefer, and others are working on a new project to create workshops for clients based on Mark's book, 'The Content Code' (check it out - buy it!). Brooke is consequently knee-deep in content analytics - looking at how to find your alpha audience, how to score your Content Saturation Index. Basically, it's a customized Content Code for a client.
Researching content, analytics, using proprietary softward, coming up with a score, here are the suggestions for moving forward. Here is your alpha audience. You see your keywords as _____, the data says you should be talking about _______. It's all about getting content to move.
You CAN do it. If you have the time, if you get the strategy and a roadmap, you can ignite your content!!!
Note: Stay tuned after the closing music to hear Brooke give me and Kelly a lesson in the hidden meaning behind common southern expressions. Oh my. Oh, and that squeaking noise you hear throughout? That would be my adorable dog Spike. In the apartment next door. He always has something to say.
About Brooke Ballard
We don't have to tell you she's also fun, sassy, and super smart.