🤔 So, what are we really speaking about when we say ‘content’?
To Ross, content is culture. It shapes how we learn and interact with one another. It’s big.
💼 What about content *in business*?
In business, we use the assets we create to also encourage people to a business based objective in whatever shape that may take: be it lead generation, to create a sale, or whatever else your business requires. Content has a purpose.
Content in business to Ross at least, heads into at least two buckets: B2B and B2C.
- B2C content will often go after the heart. It will appeal to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: satisfying
- B2B content will go after the head. It’s about status and progression and solving a more complex task.
This is important and simply serves as an example to a wider point: not everyone has to be producing the same content using the same channels.
The marketing gurus will espouse a requirement to be in a specific place or channel, but really, it’s down to you and your context.
You wouldn’t give the same investment advice to a 16 year old as you would a 70 year old because the variables are different, and the same applies in marketing content.
🔨 That caveat in mind… what about SEO?
To Ross, SEO is one of the most fascinating opportunities that exist for businesses today because most business transactions begin with a search of some description.
But how we search is very different for every person and each product. So, what can you do about that? How about a framework…? 🙂
🖼 Ross’ framework for content and SEO success is therefore…
- Research: Here Ross recommends some keyword research (we’d recommend Ahrefs).
- But here, it’s not just about understanding the volume of how people search, it’s also about taking the time to understand the psychology behind what people are searching.
- Someone searching for ‘affordable trainers’ is probably still looking for something with a good quality, whereas someone searching for ‘cheap trainers’ is 100% prioritising price.
- Take the time to really understand your customers, before launching into creating content to match their expectations.
- Create: When you know what people are searching for, you can begin to create off the back of your insight.
- Ross likened this process to investing. You’re investing in creating something so good that people will feel compelled to want to find out more about your company when the time is right.
- But there is a warning here. As marketers we’ve collectively become obsessed with hitting the ‘publish’ button. What would happen if we published less, but made sure the stuff we did publish was the best representation of our company and our standards?
- Distribute: Most marketers stop after research and creation. Ross suggests the best marketers are only just getting started at this stage. In fact, he recommended an 80/20 distribution of labour in the favour of distribution over creation.
- “Create once, distribute forever.” – One asset can work and work and work for you. Don’t just create and move on. Post it again and again, in different ways. Ross challenged many folks within the community with the thought that most of us could probably stop producing ‘more’ right now for the rest of the year and just repurpose what we have, and we’d probably be alright!
- Once you have your asset – now it’s time to make it work. This isn’t just about posting it wherever you can, it’s about understanding the nuances of the different platforms out there, and then adapting your content to suit that platform.
- The folks on Reddit, for example, will be very honest and call you out for flagrant self promotion because that’s not what the platform is about. Whereas a platform like Linkedin might find this more tolerable. Great content marketers aren’t just distributing everywhere, they’re distributing in a way that is native and respectful to the users of the platform.
- Optimise: And once you’ve researched, created, and distributed, now is the time to go back and re-optimise your content.
- Can you update the title tags to something that is more relevant? Change the year in the content? Update with new recommendations or up to date advice?
- Your content isn’t a static thing. You don’t need to create ‘new’ every day – updating your content is a great way to once again start the distribution cycle.
🍀 The 4 E test
Ross also prompted us with another framework for content success. Simply asking us the question, does your content pass the 4 E test?
Content should be, in Ross’ opinion, one of these four ‘E’s: Educational, Engaging, Empowering, or Entertaining.
The benefit here is that in the process of creation you can enter with a clear purpose for your content in mind. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can go about trying to achieve it.