January 25, 2019
This is the first post, in a bi-monthly series, where I ask industry professionals to give us the down and dirty of what they do, and how small business owners can apply working strategies to their own marketing.
What is your definition of content marketing?
A lot of people define content marketing as posting information to get people interested in your service. I don’t identify it that way. I focus solely on adding value and sharing it. So things like video, text, blogs, interviews are what I’d recommend. And the return on your content will be directly proportional to how much value you provide to your audience.
What is the biggest benefit of content marketing over paid ads?
I love both. So I wouldn’t suggest entirely one or the other. But I’ve built a 6 figure run rate business on the back of content solely because I couldn’t afford ads. With that said, the largest benefit is owning an audience and being able to help that audience without the need for a credit card and budget. That is huge for small businesses. Lots are hustling to make payroll and 1-2 extra deals as a result from content will make a big difference.
How do you determine what kind of content will be relevant, engaging and valuable for your potential customers?
So I made an entire training on this. You can find it on my website (www.kameronkales.com) for free. The high level is figure out what is working in your industry and then figure out what a beginner would want to know. If you can soak up all the beginners you will be growing an audience daily for years to come.
What is good content? Follow up, what is bad content?
Good content transitions curious to trusting. I see very few people doing this well and it shows up in all aspects of their biz. Good content helps someone who is curious about things like:
What free tools can I use to grow my business. How to use content to generate extra sales. How to insert whatever industry you’re in here.
Anyone who clicks on, reads or watches that content is telling you with their mouse they’re curious. And then your sole mission after that is to establish trust, by actually helping them. If you can do that you can set your sales function up for success.
Bad content is out of order. Your content should solely be the lever between curious and trust. Sales should solely be trust and enrollment/purchasing whatever you do. Bad content mixes these two up and starts to sell before trust is established.
How long does it take to build an audience, and start seeing a return on the time you’ve invested in creating content?
This is a common limiting belief and it prevents a lot of business owners or potential business owners from taking action. Building an audience is a lifelong task.
The time it takes you to build an audience is directly proportional to how much value you add. If you find your audience isn’t engaging or caring about your stuff, it’s a signal you are not providing much value. You should see a return on the first day you make content. The first like, the first comment, the first share. That is the ROI. If you do this daily, which is what I suggest, that snowball will cascade and grow. Too many people make content with the sole reason to sell and your audience can smell the bullshit from miles away. If you make content solely to help, the audience will pay you back down the road.
Will content marketing work for any type of business? And what if someone isn’t a great writer, or an “expert” on everything in their industry?
I can’t say for certain it would work for every type of business. In theory in would. But I haven’t tried it for every avenue. But, the reality is people consume content 24/7. So if you make content that is valuable and helpful you have a chance at grabbing some of that audience for your content. You don’t need to be an expert or a great writer. You just share what you’re doing and be helpful. And someone who is curious will see it and decide whether or not he/she trusts you. If they do they usually opt in or buy something.
If you could offer one simple piece of advice for someone dipping their toes into content marketing what would it be?
Content needs to be like you’d approach an R&D budget. Tesla for example has been spending $1 billion dollars a quarter on R&D. You should expect to produce content and not directly track or get a return from it. The minute you start thinking a blog post will turn into $5,000 is how you lose your audience. Solely focus on adding value. Expect to not see a monetary return and anything you do get will be great. When you do this, you won’t have a pretty KPI to track and say hell yeah we’re killing it. But you’ll look back over the course of a year and your organic search results, your views, your friends list or email list will have grown. Not only in size but also in quality. And that compounds because content is shared organically. So you can wake up one day, have a blog post or podcast gone viral and have 5,000 new email subscribers.
You are stranded on a deserted marketing island, you can only use one tool to help you achieve your marketing goals – what is that tool?
Iphone. The reality of today is you don’t need a podcasting studio, a fancy camera or any of that crap. If you have a modern smartphone you can build an audience and convert them down the road. I actually think getting all of that stuff sets you up for failure because you think of the $4,000 you spent on everything and are attached to the return on investment. Content is a long game and brand exercise. You don’t buy Nikes because you got retargeted. You buy them because they’re cool and you trust them to make a good shoe. That’s who you want to be. And you’re going to get there through consistent content over time.