Think about your favorite writers and creators.
Chances are you love them on multiple levels:
And more generally…
All the books
Most of the phrases
Unless they achieved a complete one-hit wonder (and everything else they made really stinks), you probably think of their body of work.
ALL THE THINGS
All the moments of emotional response to their creations.
You are in relationship with them via the content they’ve created.
The collection of things to be consumed and enjoyed.
Example: My daughter has gobbled up almost every book written by David Walliams.
When you find a creator that clicks,
You seek them out,
Devour their work,
And recommend them to others.
Does your brand (personal or corporate) aim for this sort of love from your audience?
Do you seek to create a body of work they can be drawn into and binge?
Are you building a relationship with them that keeps them coming back and recommending you to others?
Today’s issue is heavy on the content marketing side, especially the challenge we all seem to face:
How do we create in ways that get results, breed die-hard fans, and scale?
And can we hire for or outsource parts of the creation process?
It starts with understanding who you are creating for.
And then strategizing your content to serve them in ways that feel like hand-delivered secret invitations to learn things they did not know.
Let me know what resonates.
An Organic Social Strategy Isn’t An Afterthought
Mary Keough breaks down the time (and therefore cost) of the successful organic marketing strategy the team at Gorilla 76 is running in this LinkedIn post.
How it breaks down:
- 8+ team members posting and engaging on LinkedIn daily
- 2 podcasts
- 1 live event
- 33-56 employee hours per week
Check out her advice on why you can’t just “hire somebody to do it.”
How Brands Can Leverage The Content Creator Movement
In this TikTok video, Todd Clouser encourages marketing teams to be forward-thinking as they hire content creators “to evangelize product users into die-hard fans and turn non-users into aspiring users.”
This feels almost contradictory to the Mary’s advice above, but it’s a realistic roadmap for brands who don’t currently have the hours and people available to build and execute an organic strategy.
- Hire full-time, elite creators who really understand and are able to connect with your buyers
- Establish creator manager roles that give creators a leader to guide them through creating good content
Survey Says: Outsourcing Content Pretty Much A Necessity
Interesting insight from Verblio’s 2022 Digital Content Survey:
71% of in-house marketers and 68% of agencies outsource their content needs to freelancers
Antoinette Siu covers the trend in this Digiday article, quoting Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studies:
“Content is the reason people visit websites... Clients eventually figure this out and moments later, discover the limits of an all in-house team. This research shows that all but the biggest companies need help.”
Other key stats in the story:
- Biggest successful content strategy bottlenecks: industry and audience knowledge (28%), managing client expectations (24%) and not enough resources (20%)
- 86% of agencies agree demand for content continues to increase
Psst: If you’re looking for a content creation partner, I can vouch for this amazing company.
SEO Insights Roundup
SEO can be a beast. These insights from pros knee-deep in the process might help:
Jonas Sickler argues that not only is intent crucial for SEO, but it is also tied to the user journey. In this Tweet (and linked article), he breaks down how user intent should drive your efforts.
A Proven Content Formula
Brian Bourque makes a bold claim in his LinkedIn post and attached 14-page slide deck: following his content formula can help you to “dominate SEO.” It involves avoiding amateur mistakes, establishing content hierarchy, capturing the full search journey, and more.
Effective But Ignored Strategies
Andrew Holland suggests 15 overlooked SEO strategies, starting with Goliath content and content promotion and ending with mapping and researching.
What Content Marketers Need In 2023
This year’s CMI survey offers insights into challenges, operations, and markers of content marketing success. Stephanie Stahl breaks down these 7 things marketers say they need:
- Executive-level awareness and support
- A content marketing strategy
- More budget and additional staff
- More access to subject matter experts (SMEs)
- Better technology
- Better measurement
- Greater alignment between content and sales
Align Marketing, Product, And Sales
This issue of Lenny’s newsletter introduces Emily Kramer’s framework for ensuring marketing drives more impact.
Learn what the GACCS framework (Goals, Audience, Creative, Channels, Stakeholders) is and how to make it work for your team here.
Discovered via Really Good Emails.
Let’s Get Phygital?
As marketers work to explore the metaverse, “phygital” marketing (or the blend of digital and real-life experiences) is emerging. Asa Hiken expands on the idea in this Ad Age article. Note: you might need to subscribe to read the full article.
Discovered via Smart Brief on Social Business.
Branding ≠ Brand Identity
Do you know the difference between branding and brand identity? In this Marketing Profs article, Tanhaz Kamaly explains the 5 key differences. Note: You may need a free subscription (worth it) to read this.
Is Your Copy Navigable?
“Reading other people’s copy is like driving in an unfamiliar city: maybe you know where you’re trying to go, but you have no idea how you’re gonna get there. Writing good copy is hard because, unlike navigating a city, people can quit reading (without penalty) the moment they get lost or lose interest.”
So what do you do? Establish good navigation through “roadmapping” and “signposting”.
Discovered via theCLIKK.
Write Like You Talk
These 14 writing tips from Marketing Examples can help you nail conversational copywriting. A few of my favorites:
- Don’t write AT the reader
- Load up on personal pronouns
- Tell stories
- Read it aloud at the kitchen table
Discovered via For the Interested.
Examples Of Content Curation At Work
Tomas Laurinavicius defines content curation (like all of the other curation articles we’ve linked to), but then he dissects 16 solid examples and explains why they work. Check them out here.
The Broken Promise Of The Creator Economy
In this article, Michael Mignano reports that the creator economy is struggling (startups have suffered 5 consecutive quarters of venture funding decreases, because, well, 99% of creators aren’t as successful as the elite 1%) and suggests that opportunity exists in what he calls The Creativity Supply Chain (aka creating stuff that helps creators create stuff).
Audience Ops Insights
Better Blogs Start With Quotable Conversations
I’m introducing a new newsletter section today to share insights from the team at Audience Ops, a new core focus for me within the Simple Focus Software portfolio. This first one is experimental, so reply and let me know what you think.
We’re piloting a creation process with ARPU where we’ve been strategizing blog content based on topics that came up during a live expert Q&A series we run, instead of running audio transcripts or recap-style articles.
Focus on the brilliant moments in these interviews that really resonate with the ARPU audience and build out articles on the most interesting / helpful ideas and topics. This allows us to bring in multiple, authoritative voices, and opinions, with direct quotes to round out the discussions.
Should Your Ecommerce Shop Default to Subscriptions?
This topic prompted some strong responses from a few of our guests, so we had the Audience Ops team evaluate those and create a pros and cons guide to making this decision if you’re the ARPU buyer (a subscription ecommerce merchant).
The workflow we use (in case you’re curious)
- Record episodes
- Publish a replay to YouTube with chapters (clearly labeled timestamps)
- Send a replay email with separate links to each timestamp (so we can see which ones resonate)
- Create social clips from the best timestamps and post (we watch activity on these to further inform which topics are most engaging)
- Strategize and create long-form articles that address the topics we’ve validated as important or interesting to the ARPU audience. They typically include references to multiple expert sessions or dive really deep into one topic from one session.
- Distribute through multiple channels where our ICP consumes content
What I’ve found
So far, these articles feel much more researched and less experimental than a typical blog post because we’ve already established that the topic resonates with the brand’s ICP.
Interested in something like this to turn your recorded sessions (podcast or live shows) into written content your audience will love? Get in touch with Audience Ops and mention Conversation-led Content.
Opt In Challenge
Improve Your Production Schedule
This week’s challenge: take a look at Simon Owens’ production schedule in this issue of his newsletter and see what you can borrow from it to improve your own.
Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.