Episode 29 – Why Content Marketing isn’t Getting the Results it Should – Common Mistakes Companies are Making

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All right, welcome to make the logo bigger. A marketing discussion for chief marketing officers and marketing directors from the inside of an agency and also shared experience from our client side. Um, we are talking today about content marketing specifically. We’re going to focus on,

um, kind of how to get results from it. Um, and probably we’ll spend most of our time kind of talking about, um, engagements, uh, for content marketing where we actually aren’t getting the results and kind of what are the common mistakes that are happening there and potentially how to get solutions to them. So today, um, uh, I have a Mike Carol from nutshell, uh, as always, how you doing Mike? I’m good. How are you buddy? I’m doing well. I’m doing well. And we also have Trisha winners, um, and uh, joining us again. Um, and uh, Trisha, how are you doing? I’m great. Thanks for having me, Bill. Awesome. So, uh, Trisha is a former SAS COO, if you hadn’t, um, if you weren’t on the last podcast with her, uh, she’s now running focused B2B, um, has a ton of experience, uh, in content marketing, uh, specifically in that B2B space, um, and also doing account based marketing.

So we’re kind of bringing her expertise in there. And then of course, Mike and I, uh, have been around this space, um, a lot, uh, one, uh, from Kaleida coast perspective of actually providing the service, uh, which Mike did with me, uh, back in the heyday. Um, and now he’s actually kind of on the receiving end on the client end of this. So before we kind of dive into the, you know, the problems and the mistakes and that sort of thing. Um, Trisha, maybe you want to lead us off, like why should, um, a company go to an outsider, an agency, um, and have them write content, uh, about their products, their services, their company, their culture, but why would you actually go outside for something that seems so personal?

Yeah, I think there’s, we talked about it in our podcast about the GIG economy. There’s a lot of economies to take advantage of with outsourcing content. You know, those, those folks, whether they be, you know, freelance contractors or an agency, they don’t have the meetings that bogged down your employees. So there’s a lot of great value you can get there, but the value comes to your point. Like, it sounds like, oh, why am I going to outsource something? So, um, important the messaging of our company. And fundamentally the company needs to set the messaging strategy at, you know, you can do it with an agency or with a contractor, but they need to have a huge hand in that. But really this is about execution. And if you have the right, um, you know, uh, concepts in place to be able to allow people to execute and to do it in a longterm partnership so that they are as intimate and familiar with your solution as you are, then really there’s huge value to that.

And the other thing is they’ve got that outside perspective that they’re not afraid to stop and take a look. Cause remember that their, their salary depends on them being completely honest with you and doing the best job possible so they can spot the common mistakes that are happening and stop them before they get published. And there’s huge value to that versus a lot of your employees, they’re rushing, they’re on a deadline and they make mistakes. It just happens. Uh, you know, so there’s, there’s a lot of value there. I’m sure you guys can add on to that as well. [inaudible]

yeah, I think I’ll go. I’d be, are you good? Oh, I was just going to, a couple of like real key points that I want to take to sort of bring out of there is that outside perspective. A lot of times it brings clarity when you’re, you know, when you’re actually creating content for an audience, you’re so deep in it. Um, sometimes you actually kind of miscommunicating uh, effectively and with clarity and then the quality is certainly an issue. Um, and I know this is Mike something you can definitely probably talk to being kind of on the client side of this thing and operating, there are so many other things that consume, uh, your day as a marketing director. Um, or even if you’re a content manager, right? Even in that context, the consumes your day, that just doesn’t allow you to give the time that you need to kind of construct, um, you know, well produced content and then make sure that the quality control, um, is, you know, is there, so jumping in there Mike.

Yeah, no, I mean I totally, I totally agree. I think that one of the fundamental things that people have to remember, we’re sitting in the marketing director like the COO chair. Um, even if you have internal marketing managers or even content directors or whatever else, there’s a fundamental difference between being like a subject matter expert and like a content marketing expert. Um, and so internally organization you have many subject matter experts would probably very few content marketing experts. And your point about the, the time I’m a content marketing expert or someone that you’re going to engage, whether it’s an agency or a freelancer, um, you know, is going to have the both the time focus and understanding to do all the things that actually make your content marketing program go, which I know Trisha mentioned in her top five like common mistakes. And it’s certainly in mind, which is like what comes after the actual piece of content has created.

It’s like not only do you get, I totally agree, like often a clearer and more digestible and more accessible piece of content from an outside source because you know you’re not, they’re not so close to it. They don’t assume the audience knows things that you might assume they know because you, you know, you, you deal with this every day, but more importantly is that you’re going to get the after effect of like, what is it? If they’re responsible for the results, it’s not enough for, it’s enough for your team to write a piece of content and publish it. It’s not enough for a content marketing consultant or agency to simply write a piece of content and give it to you and then you come back to them a month later and be like, Hey, I got no traffic for this, or we didn’t get any content downloads or, you know, we didn’t pick up any mqs or whatever the situation is. It makes them even more responsible for the results of that piece of content. Very often. So I think it’s a huge advantage, just like we talked about last time in the GIG economy to add this type of expertise to your team from the outset.

Yeah, totally. So before we kinda dive into, um, you know, why you might not be getting the results that you’re looking for, whether it’s it’s, you know, with an agency or even internally, we’ve got to want to dig through, um, a lot of kind of the common mistakes. But before you kind of dive into that, I want to define a little bit, well what we’re actually talking about when we say content marketing. And I’ll just share kind of from our experience as an agency. Um, you know, generally when we say content marketing or content creation, uh, we’re actually, uh, talking about, uh, creating, um, written articles, um, blogs, maybe some presentation, ebooks, those sorts of things. But we’re generally talking kind of about the written word, um, and maybe putting some, some design elements on that. Um, we probably aren’t, um, doing as much or talking as much about, um, video, um, which probably actually should be a higher element, but it’s kind of difficult.

It’s difficult for, for companies and organizations to kind of produce in a good way. Uh, it’s relatively expensive for an agency to do it a with you or on your behalf. Um, and so when we’re kind of having this discussion, um, unless you guys tell me something different, I would say, um, just for the audiences, you know, point of reference, we’re probably, I’m going to more than likely be talking about, um, you know, writing content. Um, and you know, we can kind of dive into some of those other aspects because you should be doing more of that other kind of content, images and, and video. But, but you probably aren’t. Um, so we’ll, we’ll probably tend to focus on the kind of the written content. Is that Kinda your guys’ perspective, Tricia? Mike?

Well, I’ll, I’ll be a little contrary in there and, and say, when I talk about content marketing, I absolutely include, um, webinars and videos and those types of elements because they’re still written content. You know, you have to write a script for a video, you have to plan your Webinar and create your slides. So the same, the same mistakes that happen in a blog post or a white paper can happen when you’re prepping for a video or a Webinar or two. So really when I think of it, I, you know, all these, all these mistakes and the advice that we’re going to give people today, it really does apply across the board to any asset that you could, you could create coming out of a content marketing engine.

Okay. Very cool. Yeah, I, and I, and unfortunately, uh, VR, I actually agree with Tricia in this sense is that, you know, w with the advance of technology and some other things, you know, one of my top five mistakes is contact diversity, uh, and also partnerships we can get into a little bit later. But yeah, so if you’re talking about content, whether it’s a Tricia’s point, like there’s always writing involved for one, um, but to you might find it easier, like the webinars really good example to me, right? Because you know, it doesn’t actually take that much prep. If you’re looking at things like zoom meetings, go to, you know, go to Webinar, uh, d’amico, which is like my favorite, um, you know, webinar platform, so to speak. It becomes very easy to create like high quality video content that does not require a ton of production value and then also engages like other influencers and creates partnerships and, and all that kind of stuff.

So I think often the narrow view of content marketing excludes some serious opportunities that people have to exploit different parts of the content marketing, um, universe. But, but that being said, to your point, you know, more often than not, the thing that people are going to be focused on is creating written content for the web. Um, and so, yeah. So I think all of these tips and this discussion applies to that specifically, but as we get further into the conversation, like I would want to leave behind those other types of contact because I think it makes any of the, your like your team’s life more interesting. It makes you, your gives more opportunity for you to engage people like that or agencies or partners to help you do that kind of thing. So there’s a cheap way to do it if you want to do it. Um, it doesn’t have, you don’t have to break the bank to do the video. I mean, this is content we’re creating right now, right. This is content for Kalinago, right. Five grand for my personal channel and like it all, all it takes is one Google doc that three of us and an hour on a Thursday. And like, it’s got a great piece of content.

Yeah. And so I don’t want to sidetrack us, but this is kind of a fascinating discussion and I think it’d be helpful to our audience. So, um, and this is, I’m good that this kinda exposed a blind spot, uh, in my case. But as far as, you know, a marketing director or a COO, if you’re thinking about kind of your content strategy, um, and, and this may depend on kind of the industry, so you can kind of identify the industry at least that you’re considering or thinking about when you, when you answer the question, but what should that mix be? Um, you know, what are the types of content that maybe should be being created, uh, and what is that mix? Um, and if you think there is a break point between what you do internally and what you would engage in agency for, I’m kind of curious as to that. So there’s kind of three questions there. Um, one, what types of content should you be creating? Um, and if there is a, a mix or percentage mix, uh, what is that? And then is there a break point between, uh, what you should do in house versus, um, potentially engage somebody else to do?

Great. I’ll let Trisha take that one first. She said point your go ahead.

I think that’s one of those questions that there’s no right answer to because it really depends on who your target audience is. You know, you have to know who you’re creating content for and you have to know what format those people want to absorb the content in. And you know, there are some, there’s going to be big difference between the way that someone in it absorbs content versus someone in finance. And you know, one might listen to podcasts and one doesn’t and one might appreciate a Webinar and one will never sit through one and just wants a blog posts written. And so you really need to understand what your, um, what formats appeal to your target audience. And then as far as the mix, um, you know, it’s, it’s really gonna um, you need to have some mix, right? There’s no one format type or one channel that’s gonna just reach everybody that you want to reach and you got to keep it interesting and you got to have a, you know, value that you’re providing to folks and you know, really you’re just going to have to come up with, um,

yeah.

What is the right way to do that that hits people in different formats. You know, I was talking, I work a lot with it folks as target audience being in B2B technology and I was talking to um, uh, a chief technology officer and I was asking him about what formats he absorbed and he says, well, I love to listen to podcasts but I don’t share podcasts with my team. So I need the content also in a blog because then I’ll share the link of the blog with my team. So you get a lot of that type of thing where you really need to think about making the most of every single asset. So if you can take a content idea and you can use it as, you know, a podcast, um, a blog posts, maybe an infographic, you know, bunch of social posts you need to think about getting the most out of every single idea. And that’s where your mix comes organically.

I couldn’t agree with that last part more. You know, the, I’ll, I’ll work my way backwards and simply say, I’ll even talk about a program we’re trying to put together here at nutshell. Like we just talked about it last week and we’re starting to flush out the outline for whatever else. One of the requests that we get from our customers, um, as a CRM company, you know, oddly enough is like not based on, and bill you’ll find this funny, so what you’ll Trisha, cause it’s like the most common question that any business asks ever. I don’t care what size they are. Um, you know, where they are in their growth trajectory or any that, um, is not like how to manage leads or like, you know, how to build a better, you know, sales process. I mean those are questions they should be asking often do.

But like the most common refrain that we hear is how do I get more leads? Um, so the, the program we’re putting together as like as a lead generation guide, but when we’re talking about putting together a lead generation guide as bill you and I’ve done any number of occasions for our clients at Kalydeco or Steven as ways to kind of like educate the marketplace. Um, I said the exact same thing that the Trisha suggesting. I was like, well, literally wait a minute. Let’s, let’s work our way up to, to a definitive guide on lead generation for any number of industries. And in the process of that, when we create a chapter, a chapter becomes, you know, a blog post that has a video that maybe we interview, um, you know, an influencer or our lead generation expert on a podcast style thing or on that Webinar and then create a piece of takeaway content.

And then we’ve had all 15 chapters or whatever the number is created. Then we roll all that up into the guide. And now you’ve got this like Galot of, of mixed, um, multichannel content to be shared in any number of different ways. And so yeah, maximizing the effect of your content. Like your best content ideas I think is super critical. Um, because once you’re in it and you’re making something like the more the different types of assets that the diversity of your assets are just gonna make the whole experience more rich and then you don’t have to worry about how people like to consume things cause you’ve given them away to consume at least some of what you’ve produced and enticed them to come, you know, to consume the rest and share the pieces that they find interesting. Um, that conversation with the, with the CTO at church was like super, not surprising to me at all, but it’s just a great little piece insight that like you pick up some, I love podcasts but like my team doesn’t sit there and listen to podcast.

So, um, I think that’s fantastic. I think the break point between in house and outsourced is all about, is all about capacity and the kind of partners that you find, you can outsource content at a, at a reasonable price and, or you’re getting a good product back. I think you should fundamentally do that. So for nutshell, for example, on the solar wind blog, sure we read around content on there, but I would say 80% of our content is, I don’t want to call it outsource, but is produced by sales influencers and other thought leaders and partners that we’ve cultivated over the years that enjoy contributing, you know, to our blog. And as a result they get access to a wider audience and our email list and all that kind of stuff. And so it’s a nice mutually beneficial relationship. So the break point is just about to me is like, well what’s your budget and what are you trying to achieve?

And then if you, once you grab onto a good content partner, you know, like never, never, ever, ever let them go. It was one of the things that we love doing the most at Kaleido bill just because a lot of agencies, and I know Trisha doesn’t do it this way, but a lot of agencies have like, oh you know, two or three writers or four writers that might across a whole variety of topics and [inaudible] we never did that like that. We went out and found subject matter experts, uh, industry thought leaders and or influencers in a space, hired them for a company and then had them write content on their behalf. So it always felt authentic and like not everybody functions like that. Um, so he definitely, that’s, that’s like a key indicator I think of like who you want to work with. Like are they sensitive to the fact that, you know, someone who writes about, you know, the auto industry is maybe not best suited to write about SAS are best suited to write about shoes or you know, whatever they do. Go to the content.

Yeah. So, um, that actually just brought something to mind that again, I think we should probably communicate because it’s something we’re running into a lot. Um, is the kind of this concept of, you know, that bullpen or writers versus kind of going after a writers and content creators that are experts. Um, just a note of caution. Um, when you do an agreement with an agency or content provider, make sure that you understand, um, the actual ownership of that content. Because one of the things where we’re running into, in the market, uh, is there a lot of clients that are coming over to us, um, because they didn’t realize that they have been, um, uh, engaged with someone who actually owns the content and they don’t have, so they, they literally have like websites that all of a sudden either are proprietary, um, in the content doesn’t belong to them.

And so it just instantly goes away, uh, if they don’t keep paying that person. Um, and then the other thing is that people are producing content and using it across the industry, potentially competitors is another scenario. So, so make sure that you, uh, that you asked that question. Um, and you’re comfortable with how that ownership lands generally. Uh, if it’s a work for hire and I’m not a lawyer, but for your protection, you should make sure that you own that content if you’ve paid for it. So anyway, that’s just a little PSA there. Um, because it’s just weird. We’ve run into a lot of people that are like, Hey, do we own the content? And we’re like, uh, you paid for it. Yeah, that’s weird. But I guess there’s a, especially in certain markets, um, believe it or not in the legal market, um, that seems to be these law firms are anyway, a total sidetrack.

So let’s Kinda dig in. So let’s assume that again, you’re doing content marketing, could be in house, could be out of house, uh, outside of your, um, your organization, um, but as you kind of engage in that program, um, what are, uh, in your guys’ experience, um, before we even get into kind of the common mistakes, um, what should our marketing directors and Cmos who might be just a little bit like a level up above, um, actually kind of managing the content program, um, what should be some kind of early signs or indicators or symptoms that starts to, um, get them to thinking like maybe something’s kind of not working right here. Are there any sort of symptoms that you guys would suggest, uh, that these folks look for, uh, to know that they, you know, potentially even have a problem?

Yeah, I mean, immediately important. Well, I mean leads is an indicator, but like to go earlier than that, I, I challenge everybody listening to this to answer this question honestly. When’s the last time that you audited a landing page? I’m guessing everybody is gonna say, um, no, haven’t, haven’t done that because it’s just something that you see as a, as a lower level task. But I guarantee, you know, leaders of marketing, if you look at like just a handful of landing pages, I can almost guarantee that one of them is going to be a, um, cut and paste of the intro of the asset dumped into a landing page with no clear value or reasons as why to why somebody should actually go the final mile and fill out a form and click submit. It is the biggest liken, most dangerous mistake and a really easy indicator to see if your content engine is actually functioning the way that it should. Um, so that would be my tip is just take a look at some landing pages. You’ll be probably horrified at what you see

or can you even find them, right? The, that you even know.

Oh God,

I couldn’t agree with that more. And it’s a painful process, right? I mean, look, I don’t like it any more than anybody else. And I just went through reviewing every single one of our, not only content landing pages, but like our ad words, landing pages and all that, you know, in the entire ecosystem we’re talking like 1530 landing pages. I can’t even remember. It was a week long exercise and all I did was on at landing pages all day long. And um, but, but the truth is point. Like it’s, it’s fundamentally critical. I mean obviously the, to me, the earliest sign and you have to vote you, I’d be curious to what you think about this, but like the earliest sign to me is obviously traffic growth. So if you’re running an active content marketing program, even if it’s, you know, you have to decide on like which part of the funnel it’s focused on.

Right? But I mean, an active content marketing program of any stripe should be addressing both the top of the funnel, adding more traffic and audience, and then also the middle and bottom of the funnel. Acquiring, you know, marketing qualified leads, email addresses essentially, and people interested in, in specific pieces of content leads to, to Trisha’s point, um, but if your traffic becomes stagnant, like you’ve got a problem, um, because the nature of the ever expanding Google universe and the way that, like, I think that marketplace still operates today, like it’s always adding to itself. Like it’s hard to hit, uh, hit a ceiling. So if you hit a ceiling and you’re not growing, you’re either, you know, you’re missing opportunities on whether it’s like long tail keywords or that type of thing. So the second year traffic becomes stagnant. Um, and now when I say stagnant, I mean like, it’s just not growing at all.

Like it’s dipping down and coming back up and dipping down and coming back up. It is, is at the mercy of the ebbs and flows of your search marketplace as opposed to you just steadily growing over time. I’m not talking explosive growth. Like if you’re, you’re not doubling up on your traffic every month. Like that’s okay, depending on, you know, depending what size. Of course we’re talking about. If you went from 500,000 visitors, we should fundamentally double up. If you’re talking about going from 20,000 to 40,000 unique monthly visitors, then like that’s a, that’s a harder crawl to make. Um, but if it’s not growing period, then like you’ve got an issue and need to readdress a strength. Awesome.

Awesome. Okay, so let’s, let’s dig into some of these specific mistakes. I know each of you got a top five. Uh, you can kinda choose who goes first, but I love to hear Kinda your top five, uh, common mistakes. Uh, and then hopefully, uh, you’ll give us some, uh, some anecdotes or antidotes to those, uh, those problems. So who wants to lead?

Yeah, I’m sure she can go first. She’s smarter than me.

Um, I, I will happily start cause ladies first, um, ignoring the target audience I already talked about. And I think it’s important to bring to the forefront because if you don’t know who you’re writing a piece of content for, you shouldn’t be writing it. Let alone, you know, ask yourself, will my target audience wants to weed it? You know, what value am I delivering to them? Those are important things to think about before you engage in spending the time and resources, whether it’s internal or externally outsourced. Those are things you have to address. And My, um, my antidote if you will, um, that’s tangible that everybody can take away. Think about adding this header in the draft copy of any asset that you produce, whether it’s a blog post or a white paper or Webinar or anything. It should have a couple things. First of all, of course you’re going to list what the topic is.

But next you should list target audience. After that, you should list out at least three key points that are going to peak their interest and you know, within that article, that white paper that you’re writing about. And then what is the value? What are they going to learn? What are they going to take away from that piece? And the last thing you should have in that header is the content stage. I’ll talk about that a little bit more. But fundamentally you have to know, um, am I creating this piece for awareness and initial engagement? Am I creating this piece to try and get somebody to, um, you know, fill out a form and, and, you know, enter my marketing pipeline and I tried to get somebody to, you know, move an opportunity through to sales. So you have to know, um, what, why you’re creating this piece, who you’re creating it for, the value that they’re going to add and you know, what type of piece it is. And that’s if you, if you have a framework like that, you’ll, you’ll just, you know, really accelerate, uh, the value of your piece and, um, you know what it can do for your, your content engine.

Yeah. I think that’s so important too. Cause I, I run into this all the time where I watched clients is we’re going to kind of go in through, you know, what we’re going to write about or talk about. And oftentimes they’re actually giving me content inputs that are essentially writing for themselves. And so often our audience is much different. Um, you know, if I were to sit down and write an article, um, you know about SEO and I was to write it for myself, it potentially get very technical, get very nuanced. But you know, if I’m writing it for my clients or for my audience, um, they don’t care, you know, necessarily about how it works. Maybe they want to know a little bit about your process, but they’re just trying to figure out like, why would I use this technique or why do I need this? Right? So, so that’s, that’s a critical, very common mistake where you just kind of start writing for yourself instead of writing for, uh, the audience that you’re trying to, to either acquire or educate or kind of whatever your goal is. That’s a big one. Alright. You wanna alternate. Mike, why don’t you give us your, your first of five. Oh, sure. Um, yeah, so my number one, the one

thing actually is just entertainment value or story is missing from your content. What I mean by that is like, look, we all know that in the world people, someone searching for your particular piece of content, it’s going to be competing with a other pieces of content and space. So if you’re the ones writing the dry, you know, sort of like lack of entertainment value type of piece of content, then it’s gonna, it’ll, it’ll sync from a, from an experience perspective. And when you’re sharing that content via social channels or anybody that’s going to share it, share it with your social channels. Now it’s in competition with like buzzfeed and all the other nonsense that exists in someone’s like digital stream, right? It’s like people, even today’s still seem to forget that like the, your content never exists in a silo unless it’s being shared via email to a very specific group of people more often than not, even in Linkedin by the way, it’s being shared, you know, against Ted talks and other things that are like fundamentally designed to be entertaining above all else.

If there’s value after that, great. But like they’re, they’re designed to to garner clicks and all that kind of stuff. So if you can’t, if you don’t recognize that, like that’s the competitive universe in which you’re operating, then you’re going to run into trouble really fast. No, you shouldn’t sacrifice value and utility for story, but there’s no reason why these things have to be mutually exclusive. You can write about what you want to write about in an interesting way. And this again to like return to our initial theme is why agencies and freelancers, um, are a great way to expand your capability here because finding professional writers real, when I say real writers, like people that do this for a living every day, all day are good at weaving and or value and utility into an entertaining and or inspiring or even alarming story of some kind.

They give it, you know, contacts, there’s a fed thread, there’s a theme and that’s what drives people to engage and consume any type of content. If it’s not interesting, like it’s just not indefinitely given that there’s literally the Internet’s littered with solace articles, right. Just manufactured by content to do you like to your point, we are only used to do this as well. I know Trisha has as well, like in the beginning of search engine optimization, which is what most people associate with a content marketing program, like the 500 world, 500 word keyword focused keyword stuff. Article was like the way to rank for things. And so it almost conditioned the writing mark like the digital writing market place, like follow that sort of bland approach. But now with the way that you know, the search algorithm is like so sophisticated, it has way more to do with like how fun and engaging entertaining your content is than it does with keywords. That’s more to do with back links and you know, engagement, all that kind of stuff. So yeah, I would stick to the story number two, Tricia.

Yeah. Oh, go ahead sir. Yeah, that’s actually, Mike’s is a great segue into my number two, um, because I think another thing that’s happened, um, in marketing departments, particularly where marketing and sales is trying to get better aligned and they begin to share the revenue objectives is whether it’s conscious or subconscious, marketers are starting to feel like they have to sell. And particularly you’ve got lots of people involved in a particular piece, um, you know, from product marketing or other areas like that. And, and all of a sudden if you forget who you’re writing it for and what stage you’re writing it, you know, for, you’ve got features everywhere. Like people, oh well, you know, we just wrote this great like 10 page thought leadership white paper, but we need a whole page that talks about our product benefits and you know, so, so there’s this like just urge to add features and benefits and to sell in content that is not made to do that.

And let me be clear, yes, there are content pieces that for later in the, in the sales cycle that should have those types of discussions. But we try and just throw everything into every piece. Particularly I see this with clients of mine all the time with a really, really great thought leadership asset. And then some reviewer comes in and says, oh, we need a whole section on, you know, our feature function, benefit, benefit. And it just kind of kills the piece. And you lose some of that story in that entertainment, you know, that you were talking about to Mike. Um, it just, it just kills the piece. And so this is where like back to my earlier discussion about that header, understand what stage you’re writing the piece for so that you can defend leaving out the feature functionality of your product or embrace it if it’s for later in the sales cycle. All right, Mike, what do you got?

Yeah, I agree with, I with, with Trisha they’re in like my number two thing like has it kicks off both of those, which is like promotion means more PR than it does caring. I know Trish is going to talk about, you know, I’ve got her notes here, like genetic generic promotions and maybe Trisha like you can skip down to four after I say this so we can like dovetail them together. But I think one of the biggest mistakes that people people make is that like, you know, a social media plan for publishing posts, you know, on this piece, this article, this white paper, this, you know, whatever. Even if European paper motion is like all you need to do to get it out into the universe. And you know, when you write a piece of marquee content, like to Tricia’s point, if you spent 10, like the time it takes to put a 10 page white paper together and those promotional assets and all that kind of stuff, then the second thing you need to do is go on a PR campaign about it. And it dovetails into my next one, which is about partnerships. But, but don’t think that social sharing is like the end of, you know, of content promotion at Church. I want, I’ll let you like expand on that a little bit cause

yeah, I’m promotion it again, it’s kind of like that last mile. Um, and so many people, there’s a disconnect because of the way that people have set up their process, their content creation process. So you’ve got, um, you know, someone in product or content marketing who creates an asset and then it goes to demand generation and demand generation. Um, folks, they write a landing page and uh, you know, maybe a little, maybe a blog post or something, and then it goes to the social media person and they take that asset and they try and write some social posts for it. And what you end up with, by the way, the, the demand generation folks in the social media person, they don’t actually have time to read the asset. So they’re just going off of what they see when they skim or you know, anything like that.

And you, you end up with a very generic, um, engine of promotion and a huge disconnect between the value that that author was trying to put in that asset and what actually gets out there into the marketplace. And again, you spend so much time and resource on creating an asset. You want to make sure that people are reading it, that they’re getting it, that it’s, that it’s hooking them. And so there’s a couple of different ways that I advise people to, to fix this problem. One is have the author take their, their message all the way down stream. So create the email copy to social post the landing page. Um, however most product marketers don’t like doing this, but there are some great tools out there that can help you to do that and feel free to message me. I’m on Twitter at Trisha winter if you guys want some advice on that. Um, but the other way to do it that’s more palatable to a lot of companies is remember that head or I talked about make sure your authors create value prop statements as part of the draft. Like what are the hooks like write them in bullet points, the key statistics, the, the key value props. Like what are the things that are really interesting from that asset that would hook people in and at least that that gives something to that social media person to write those posts or the demand generation person to write the landing page.

Hello.

All right, my number three thing which also kinda like dovetails into this is no partnerships. I think often marketing directors and Cmos make the mistake of assuming that like they have to own every aspect of that piece of content. And there’s so many opportunities. Um, I’ll give two examples. Like your, there’s so many different opportunities to create content partnerships that are going to amplify your ability to have that content shared out. The more partners you have invested in a piece of content, the more audiences you’re garnering, um, to get attention. The more incentive you’re creating for other people, you know, with already curated audiences that are relevant to you, um, to share that content and become a part of it. So, you know, finding,

you know, people that work adjacently in your space that aren’t direct competitors, um, you know, is a, is a great way to, to engage and then, and then to like to push out your content in a really significant way because then everybody involved with that as well, but their time in it and their effort into it and they’re going to want to share it. Furthermore, if you pursue the partnership angle where you’re garnering, you know, it’s a very popular way to do any type of post and everyone sees it on the web all the time, right? Which is like, well, hey, here’s the, you know, the, we just put it on a piece of content that was like, here’s the top 10 best sales follow up emails for these, you know, scenarios. Um, as brought to you by like the, you know, 10 sales influencers.

Well, as opposed to us just writing, we can write that piece of content here internally at nutshell. You know, I can teach people how to write a quality sales followup email or whatever, but then we’re the only ones that are sharing it now. Now we’ve got 10 influencers with their own audiences who we have highlighted and made a thought leader and congratulated or given them the, you know, the nice pat on the back for being good at their job and they’re going to want to equally share that out. It’s like old, you know, B r I know you leverage this quite a bit, or at least have in the past, which is like the Herro trick, right? The helper order out, you know, strategy where you’re just trying to put yourself in backlinks and all sorts of different places by, you know, displaying your thought leadership in other areas. So, so when I say partnerships too, it doesn’t necessarily mean you know, just publishing content on your own website. Um, it might be spending some of your time, you know, either guest posting or writing content for other people. Um, yeah, and just to be specific, I mean there’s a couple of different [inaudible] somebody else six

of that, but, um, there’s all kinds of kind of different ways to execute and depending on sort of where you sit or maybe the, um, uh, the maturity of the audience that you already have. So you can, you can actually be the one who sort of gathers together those influencers like you described, um, and building content, um, that they will find valuable, um, to contribute to such that they kind of get it out into your audience. But if you don’t have much of an audience, um, and you kind of, again, sort of talked to one of those strategies, if you, if you don’t have an audience right now, is to actually get yourself into a position to share the expertise that you have, but you just don’t have an audience to share it with. And so there’s all kinds of opportunities through help out a reporter, which is a free service.

Um, and, and you’re, you’re constantly kind of kind of getting a steady flow of bloggers and writers that need experts, um, to satisfy some sort of, um, writing assignment or content creation that they’re doing. And, and those are pretty low barriers, uh, to getting, uh, into those, those articles. And in fact, some of them have really systematized it, um, the ones that I’ve been involved with. And so you can build ongoing opportunities for yourself. And then the other thing, uh, that I think is kind of in a similar vein, uh, and we talked about it before, is just the ability to sort of get on the podcasting circuit or get on the Webinar circuit. Um, so that’s you’re kind of contributing, uh, again your expertise or potentially providing a platform for others to share their expertise, um, in kind of those formats. So, so don’t just think writing. Um, but when we’re talking about partnerships, there’s all kinds of different ways to do. Even speaking engagements kind fall into that same realm. Um, you know, I’ve done a couple of recent speaking engagements, you know, they take those presentations, they take those videos, they promote the heck out of them cause they want people attending and stuff like that. So you get some of these, um, these exponential effects. So a partnership, uh, is a huge one. And most people, probably 99% of the people who are doing content marketing don’t leverage that at all. So,

cool.

Yeah, it’s really the convergence of influencer marketing and content marketing and you know, to add value and to be thoughtful, it just makes sense that those two things would, would merge together and, you know, agree. Totally. It’s probably a topic for another, a podcast. But, uh, that’s definitely the way to go and think about it as a longterm strategy. Not A, not a campaign one.

Okay.

Yeah. Next one. All right. I’ll make this one short cause I’ve already talked about it. Rushing now landing page, I can’t stress that enough on the landing page here easily. It’s just the most common mistake I find. I do do um, content marketing audits for companies and just this is the biggest one I always find. Um, so how to fix this one. You know, it’s got to call out the key value for the target audience. And so either you have the author of the paper write the landing page or you make the landing page writer read the asset cover to cover. And you know, most people say, oh my demand Gen folks don’t have time to do this. Well make it, make it a double, um, value. Make the landing page writer the editor of the asset, it’ll force them to read it cover to cover and you know, it’ll force them to check point. Cause remember they’re the demand generation person. They care about the leads that are going to be generated from this piece. So they’re going to want to make sure, have they written it to the target audience, have they, you know, is there clear value to that target audience? So think about it that way in position it with your demand Gen, you know, team that way and you’ll get much better landing pages, ones that actually deliver on the promise and and you know, get people to actually engage in and click through.

I think that’s such a good piece of advice. I think that like the one thing I want to add to that or I’m curious what you think about it is be careful of using like landing page

generator software. Oh yeah. Like on Marquetto or unbounce or Eloqua or whatever that really constrain your ability to, you know, w we ran into this at Kaleido all the time and Trish, I’m sure you do as well, which is like enterprises in particular is the larger companies have this problem like more than anybody else, right? Because they sign onto these very large marketing automation platforms and then no matter what they do, writing aside, like that landing page just lacks a dynamism just because they’re constrained by the platform which they’re using. So if you’re going to spend all this time to like, you know, to invest particularly in like middle of the funnel to lower the funnel, like true content marketing from a demand Gen perspective, I totally agree with Tricia that like spend that landing page is it, that’s everything. Um, that’s, that’s where, that’s where the rubber meets the road. And if you don’t have the ability to either a test and then you know, um, or and try new things and all that kind of stuff and then you’re constrained from a design. And this maybe just this is tool

ability to do this, but if you do have the capability, one kind of a tip that I would suggest is these marketing automation platforms have some great power to what they do on the marketing automation, even the insights that they bring to what visitors are kind of doing and interacting with at certain parts of that automation cycle. But if you have the capability, um, all of these are now better about, uh, I know hubspot, Marketo, those about exposing the API so that you can natively, um, build as a part of your overall website, consistent experience and everything, those landing pages, um, and then, um, hook in via the API, the actual marketing automation system so that you can leverage the power of what it does on the back end, but you don’t have to be constrained by the limitations and the kind of the generalized nature of what they do on the front end.

So if you can do that or you’re willing to invest in that, um, I can’t recommend that enough to give people a consistent, um, you know, sort of controlled user experience on your website. Um, and at the point that they convert or at the point that you’re trying to gain some metrics around kind, they’re bouncing in and out of the funnel, then go ahead and leverage the hubspots and the marketos and that sort of thing. But I’m kind of use them where they are best instead of just, um, kinda phone it in with a quick landing page. Yeah, no, for sure. For sure. All right. So we’re kind of closing down to the fifth one for, I think we’ve kind of, um, traveled through most of these, but kind of what’s the, what’s that final mistake, um, that we should kind of be watching for and how can we fix them?

I can keep my fifth one pretty short. Um, it, cause we talked about already, but this diversity of content to expand your channels. So you know, for us very specifically at nutshell and for, uh, and you know, you guys know this, like we’re in a highly competitive search marketplace. It just is what it is that, you know, um, I think tech tech crunch writer called CRM, like the hunger games of software, which I’ve mentioned before for my favorite analogies ever. Um, but that being said is that if we’re just focused on Google search and written content, then we’re, we’re missing out on other opportunities and other pockets of, you know, of traffic that we could acquire. So the diversity of the content we create, whether it’s podcasts or videos, um, you know, or even images for that matter. You know, Bill, you had a super clever strategy, which I’ve actually noticed bearing fruit, which is creating stock photos for Unsplash. And I actually see Kalydeco stuff like showing up all over the place so you can get creative with the type of content you’re producing depending on where it was that strategy. My favorite kind of output is how many agency sites now have this beautiful custom Kalydeco branded conference table, uh, on their website. Um, so anyway, that’s a, we can talk about that strategy later, but I love that.

Yes.

But you know, I think that that blends into my faith. Um, you know, and really being thoughtful about content. And what I find, the mistake I see is where people focus on quantity versus quality. And you know, it’s probably one of the, the, uh, factors in all of these other mistakes that we talked about. You know, and, and I o say they, it’s not called a content marketing engine for nothing really. A lot of companies have created this assembly line type process where it’s more about the number of blog posts that we put out a month and the number of white papers, a a quarter and webinars and videos. And it’s focused on those, um, those numbers versus the quality of the piece and the value that it’s gonna add to the target audience. And, you know, we, we just kind of need to shift back our focus.

Yes, we can set, you know, goals for quantity, but we can’t lose sight of the quality and who we’re writing this PR piece for. And if you can’t figure it out, don’t write it. Don’t create it. Don’t spend the effort. And if you’re not giving that information to your contractors, to your agency, you know, don’t spend the money. You have to think about that up front so that every single piece of copy from a social posts to an asset is successful. And, you know, and if you’ve got gaps and you’re trying to fill quotas, that’s the perfect place to bring in those trusted, um, you know, content creators, the GIG economy. Um, so there’s opportunity there. You can get both. You can get quality.

Yeah. I was going to say, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the many years of doing this, um, and hopefully this can take some of the anxiety and urgency, um, out of, um, kind of these cmos and marketing directors, um, often they come to us and they are like, hey, we, you know, we need to do x number of articles, you know, every single week. Um, because they have this mindset that people are encountering them, um, much like they might encounter a magazine or they might be sus, you know, expecting something from them. Uh, that’s similar to kind of an ongoing sort of physical subscription. Um, but the, the way that content actually works on the web is that, um, you can create very high quality, potentially even expensive content, um, and then do a lot of work around kind of promoting it and creating that audience and only do a very few of those pieces.

So potentially, you know, do one or two pieces per month, um, and spend most of your budget on kind of doing it well, doing it different, doing it, um, and, and promoting and put the dollars into promoting it. Um, and a lot of people don’t do that because they’re like, oh, but you know, if I get somebody on the hook the next week, they’re gonna expect the same thing. And I, I W I won’t be sort of satisfying that demand. But the way content works on the web is by the time you get enough audience in order for them to detect kind of your frequency, um, then you will actually have so much content built up that there’ll be able to kind of experience that. Um, so just a very specific example of this. Um, there’s a, a youtube channel that I’ve just kinda gotten into. Um, and they do episodes and they do seasons and, and as you know, is the case with all of your visitors.

I kind of tripped into this and I’m like, wow, like I’m really interested in what they’re doing. And so like I’m, I’m eager to kind of hear their next thing. So I’m kinda going through this and I’m like, oh, I hope there’s another episode. And there was, I went through like four episodes and then I realized this content was from 2018. Right? And, and, and because I’m just now encountering them now, one, I was completely fulfilled. And then I had like, I’ve got like hundreds of videos that I can continue to watch, um, because it’s now 2019 and they’ve done this. So, so get out of this mentality, um, that somehow you have to kind of satisfy your audience immediately. Um, again, when you’re doing this initially, you’re not going to have an audience and by the time you build up an audience, you’re gonna have banked enough content that you’re going to keep them fully satisfied. Um, so this quality, um, I would hugely emphasize that and, and kind of relieve your anxiety that you gotta of like be on

this treadmill because it’s just doesn’t work that way. I don’t know if you guys want to add to that.

Okay.

Well, I think you’re fundamentally correct. I think the difference is sometimes the like, to expand on that mistake, there’s a difference between consistency and quantity. So yes, you want to consistently add content to your platform, right? But like if that’s, I’d rather add one amazing, you know, marquee piece of content a month, you know, whether that’s a blog post with a white paper, et cetera. Then having them do that once a month consistently then produce 10 of those, you know, a quarter or whatever. And they’re all of like mediocre value too to like illustrate your point, which, and Trish, I love the like challenge the challenge of the day. So I’m going to add a second, make the logo bigger challenge, which is go dig into your analytics and watch them for the next like 90 days. And watch as like the first, the top three pieces of content that generate traffic view never change.

So like, so you can, in that time, you may have published 10 more pieces of content and each of them that have garnered a little bit of traffic and that’s good. Um, but with content marketing like is the long con. Um, and so focusing your attention on Trisha’s point, your to point treasure the quality, you know, a bill to your point on, you know, I’m like steering away from the, from the excess quantity. Um, you know, and then, and then to my point earlier about like, okay, we gotta make sure this is, you know, are all of our points earlier about focusing on the value that this piece of content is providing. If you focus on those three things and just remain consistent that you’re going to have a much better operation, um, than if you’re just spitting out content. If you’re at a point where like the, like the, the frequency of your content needs to increase and like your audience is crying for more content.

I mean, you’ve got a different, much more excellent problem on your hands. Um, and then, and then you’re probably, you shouldn’t even need to listen to this, right? Like if you managed to build a content operation where people like, man, where’s the next article coming from? Blah, blah, Blah company or publication consistency. So you can really see. Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. If you just create content and you don’t have consistency or you don’t have the runway to kind of create enough consistency over time, um, then your traffic on your website will just kind of lumber along at that steady state. But if you create consistency, even if that frequency is not like every single week or there’s a lesser frequency in a higher quality, you’re going to see that kind of flat line for about six months and then all of a sudden you will see this hockey stick because of that consistency. But if in that six months you kind of lose your fortitude or you, you know, you, you haven’t kind of, um, uh, scheduled your budget in order to kind of go through that six months cycle, then you’re never to see that, that

hockey stick. But it’s, it’s, uh, it’s amazing how it works and that has everything to do with consistency.

[inaudible]

sorry, one more thing. Just to illustrate like that particular point, you also don’t have to publish all the content, like right as it happens. Right. So, okay. So if you’re concerned about the fact that like, well if they see this, they want to see the next one, I’ll give this example and they can be, or how many episodes we do before we released this to anybody before even published on the web, was it five? It was a 10.

Right? So we have like, yes, we had episodic, we had the episodic nature going already. We build ourselves a backlog. So that in case we didn’t get into the rhythm of doing it every week. Now we are for the most part. Um, and I think we’re up to episode like almost 30, but the, but that being said, it is like, yeah, just, okay. So if you want to make something happen Sadik if you want to do a series, well then don’t publish the first one, write the series and then you can, and now you’ve built a publisher. There’s a difference between editorial, like generation calendar, like this is the content we’re going to generate. So, and a public,

all right, man, that was packed. Uh, and we went a little bit long. Well, maybe not. I think people are kind of getting used to us doing the little over 45 minutes. So, um, but I appreciate you guys, uh, contributing to this. Uh, it’s neat, kind of all the different perspectives, um, because we all do content marketing and the three of us collectively, but we all kind of have a different, uh, approach to what we do. Um, and so, uh, I think the audience got, uh, several different, uh, kind of approach points as they’re thinking about their content marketing, figuring out what’s going right, um, and figuring out how to, to fix what potentially is not wrong. I learned a ton of stuff, um, that I’m going to actually use as well. So, uh, as always, thanks again Tricia. Uh, and thank you, Mike for being here, uh, to our audience. We appreciate you. We are on episode 29. So we’ve, we’ve kind of created some consistency. Like Mike said, we’re almost the episode 30. We would love for you to like us, uh, on the channels. Uh, we’re on iTunes and Spotify and all the regular, uh, places, and then leave comments and feedback that we will incorporate into our future episodes. So with that, uh, again, thanks for listening and we’ll see you on episode

About Kaleidico

Kaleidico is an award-winning, premier digital agency based in the Detroit-metro area of Michigan. In business for nearly 15 years, we have supported top brands in the US and Canada with digital strategy, web design, development, SEO, Content Marketing, PPC, and email marketing.

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