Weekend Favs November 28

Weekend Favs November 28 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Experte– With the EXPERTE.com Bulk Mobile-Friendly Test you can check if all your (sub) pages are optimized for mobile devices. Instead of just checking the homepage, our tool crawls the whole website and checks up to 500 subpages.
  • Superpeer – Superpeer gives you the tools you need to have paid 1:1 video calls and livestreams with your audience and paid subscribers.
  • seotesting.com – Easily track the changes you make to pages and websites, to see if they have an effect on Google rankings and clicks.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

7 Super Simple Ways to Get More From the Content You’ve Already Written

7 Super Simple Ways to Get More From the Content You’ve Already Written written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Content marketing plays a critical role in pretty much every business in every industry even more so today. If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably have a stockpile of content that you’ve created over the years.

As content ages, it starts to collect dust — it’s out of date, tactics change, it’s buried deep in the archives, and it’s not doing anything for your business. Not only can repurposed content increase your traffic 300%, but it’s an easy way to get more ROI out of what you already have. 

If you want to save time on content creation and draw new traffic to your site, do these 7 things.

1. Add New Information to Evergreen Content

Some content never goes out of style. Many businesses have created foundational content that provides readers in-depth information on their industry, and this content can continue to be useful for years. But just like anything that’s getting up there in years, it sometimes needs a refresh to regain some of its old sparkle.

Take our content here, for example. We’ve written thousands of blog posts over the years on just about every digital marketing topic. Something like a foundational piece on SEO can remain relevant for a long time, but some of the specifics will need to be updated as search engines change their algorithms and best practices shift.

Refreshing content and republishing anew, with an acknowledgement that it’s been updated to reflect the latest on the given topic, is one of the quickest and easiest ways to repurpose your old content. This allows you to hang onto any goodwill that particular link has garnered in terms of ranking over the years, while introducing it to a whole new audience and allowing it to generate even better standing in search results.

2. Incorporate Media into Existing Posts

Blog posts can get boring after a while. Reading through one after the other demands a lot of focus from your audience, and today’s consumers are looking for new ways to engage with content.

Video has become hugely popular of late and can add a lot of visual interest to existing pages. Plus, if someone’s unable to read through an entire blog post, they may have the time to watch a quick video that provides a summary of the information in the post.

You can incorporate other forms of media, too. Infographics are a fun, eye-catching way to repurpose your content. Check out this article from Visme for some great tips on making an infographic

Podcasts are another popular medium, with 62 million Americans tuning into their favorite shows each week. For simple steps to get a podcast up and running, check out this post on our blog.

Because you’re creating dynamic media to accompany the existing content, it’s easier to script out what you need and get it done. You can quickly distill the blog post down to a handful of bullet points and from there create a video that riffs on those key elements.

Again, this saves you time in the content creation process and allows you to attract a new audience to this content. While someone might not have wanted to read 1,000 words on the topic, that infographic that hits all the highlights might be just what they were looking for.

3. Turn Video Content into a Blog Post

Creating content takes a lot of time. You need to put together a thoughtful strategy and build your content calendar around that. Then there’s the process of actually making the content itself. Blogging involves research and revision; video and podcasting means you need to adopt production skills and be able to edit video and audio.

If you go through all the trouble of creating content in the first place, why not get as much mileage out of it as possible? 

Let’s say you own a home remodeling business. A while back, you posted a video walking prospective clients through the ins and outs of the kitchen renovation process, from budgeting and planning to selecting materials to managing construction timelines. The video generates lots of views and drives traffic to your website. You know that the content is useful to your audience and helps win attention for your business.

Don’t just leave it at that video! Instead, get the video transcribed, so you can easily convert it into a blog post. (I love Rev for fast, accurate transcription services).

You can even take it a step further by using the audio from that video and transform it into a podcast episode. Suddenly, your one piece of content has multiplied into three. And that provides more opportunities for you to reach your audience through the medium that works best for them.

4. Create Social Media Friendly Content

Social media is a vital channel for businesses of all sizes. You can take content you already have, and repurpose it in different ways for social as long as it aligns with your overall social media strategy.

Your existing blog posts are packed with social media gold. Pulling snippets from your blog posts are a great way to quickly develop social media friendly content AND drive traffic back to your website. You can do things like: 

  • Make a twitter thread pulling important points from a blog post
  • Create micro-blogs on Instagram by sharing snippets from in-depth blog posts
  • Use insightful quotes from your podcast episode, videos, or blog posts to create eye catching graphics – here’s an article to help get you started on creating a quote graphic

5. Transcribe Your Podcast

Developing content, recording, and editing a podcast episode takes time.  Instead of only utilizing the audio, why not transcribe your podcast episode and turn it into a SEO-rich blog post. People consume content differently. By offering a written version of your show, you’ll reach more people because you offer content that can suit multiple people’s preferences.

6. Assemble Hub Pages

Most businesses have their content scattered here, there, and everywhere. There are videos and podcast episodes on various pages on their website and hosted on external platforms. Their blog posts are so numerous they could rival the National Archives. But the content is scattered, so it’s not actually serving a purpose.

If you want to get the most out of this content, you need to organize it around hub pages. I’ve described hub pages as your own mini-Wikipedia on your website. You start by identifying a broad topic that’s of interest to your readers. For example, we work with a lot of local businesses, so we’ve created the Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing hub page on our site.

From there, we walk local businesses through everything they need to know to supercharge their marketing efforts. We cover the basics of Google My Business, paid search, SEO for local businesses, and reviews and competitive analysis. Under these broad topics, we’ve gathered together relevant content.

For local business owners, this repository of information is a gold mine. Rather than having to search through our thousands of pieces of content, the most relevant ones are organized nicely for them in the hub page’s table of contents. Suddenly, this page becomes a go-to resource. Visitors return again and again to go deeper in depth on the topic, and share the posts with their colleagues. Search engines take note of this behavior. They realize that the content is useful, and suddenly our hub page moves up the SERPs.

When done correctly, hub pages can get your local business ranking on the first page of results for relevant search terms. And you achieve that strong ranking by repurposing and reorganizing existing content, rather than having to start from scratch.

7. Compile Blog Posts into an e-Book

 

If you have a series of blog posts around the same topic, you can create a new piece of content by compiling them into an e-Book to use as a lead magnet. You can use each blog post as a chapter of your e-Book, make the content in each blog post a little meatier, and write an introduction and conclusion. Then, you can use a free tool like Canva to compile these posts together. This e-Book is a great way to help you build your email list and reach more people with the content you already have.

Creating content takes a lot of time and work. Repurposing your existing content allows you to get the greatest benefit from that investment. Not only does repurposing give it a new life and introduce it to a new audience, it can also help you boost your SEO standing and grow your reach even further.

How to Pass on a Family Business Successfully

How to Pass on a Family Business Successfully written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Jonathan Goldhill 

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jonathan Goldhill, adviser, coach, consultant, trainer, facilitator, and business therapist with 30 years of experience in his craft.  He has been guiding closely-held and family-owned businesses since 1987.

Jonathan Goldhill is the author of Disruptive Successor: A Guide to Driving Growth in Your Family Business.

Jonathan Goldhill is also the founder of The Goldhill Group which provides strategic thinking, execution planning, and accountability coaching to businesses.

Questions I ask Jonathan Goldhill:

  • Why disrupt?
  • Is it hard for aging parents to open up the books of the business to the next generation?
  • How do you address the fact that some family members aren’t as qualified?
  • Do you run across instances where the two generations have different cultural points of view?
  • What’s the role for the older generation when it’s time for the younger generation to take over?
  • When you go into a project what’s the first thing you do?
  • How is it different working with family businesses than working with a traditional business?
  • How early is too early to start planning for this transistion?

More About Jonathan Goldhill:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

 

Zephyr logoThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Zephyr.

Zephyr is a modern, cloud-based CMS that’s licensed only to agencies. The system is lightweight, easy to use, and incredibly fast. And with an array of beautiful themes to choose from, you can get your clients’ websites up-and-running quickly and with less effort. Or, if you’d rather build a custom site, Zephyr includes agency services to be your plug-and-play dev shop.

Zephyr is passionate about helping agencies create great websites for their clients. To learn more, go to Zephyrcms.com.

Weekend Favs November 21

Weekend Favs November 21 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • eWebinar – eWebinar offers rich, engaging and automated webinars using a combination of pre-recorded video, real-time interactions and live chat. Scale your time today.
  • Glorify – Create free e-commerce images with Glorify app design editing tool.
  • Gmail Shared Contacts – Share your contacts and groups with any Gmail or Google Apps user, directly from the Google contacts manager with Shared Contacts for Gmail® !

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

What Personal Video Can Do for Your Business

What Personal Video Can Do for Your Business written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with David Jay

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview David Jay, who is the founder and CEO behind Warm Welcome, which helps businesses upgrade from boring text to personal video so they can build meaningful relationships that drive real revenue.

Questions I ask David Jay:

  • The way we communicate is on a 1000 year shift. Some businesses are getting left behind while others are taking off. What does every business need to adopt today?
  • How do you create raving fans?
  • Why do written testimonials not work?
  • Why are video testimonials better?
  • Scaling the Unscalable. Why doing unscalable work is the path to scaling your company.
  • Why should businesses be spending less time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and what should they be doing instead?

More about David Jay:

  • More about Warm Welcome – Don’t forget the code to get 3 months off: DTM

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

 

Gusto LogoThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Gusto.

Look paydays are great. Running payroll, calculating taxes, deductions, compliance that’s not easy. Unless you have Gusto! Gusto is simple online payroll and benefits build just for small business. Because you are a listener of this show you get 3 months free once you run your first payroll.

To learn more, go to Gusto.com/tape

The 8 Video Types That Every Business Must Master in 2021

The 8 Video Types That Every Business Must Master in 2021 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

What was once a complimentary, nice-to-have component of content marketing now plays an imperative role. Video has emerged front-and-center and is arguably one of the most effective types of content to connect with your audience.

Video consumption shows no signs of slowing down in the next few years. By 2021, the average person will spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos (a 19% increase from 2019).

If you still haven’t yet embraced video, now is the time to start.

Oftentimes when people think of video marketing, they think of social media content. While there’s certainly a great case to be made for using video on social platforms (and lots of ways to do it!), incorporating video across other marketing channels is just as essential.

Here are eight types of video content that can be added to any business’s marketing system. This will allow you to tell your brand story in a dynamic, engaging way, and influence people to take action. 

1. Brand Story

Every brand has a story. Lots of entrepreneurs have fascinating tales of how they got the idea to start their business and the journey that they went on to get that business off the ground. But when we talk about the core story, it’s not about where the brand has been, it’s really more about the customer’s story.

Every brand has a problem that they solve for their customers. It’s their own unique approach to solving the issue. This is what attracts customers to the business in the first place and keeps them coming back time and again.

Creating a video that tells your core story is a great way to establish trust immediately with prospects. A strong core story outlines a prospect’s problem, paints a picture of a world where the problem has been solved, and then offers up your business as the solution to the issue.

Putting a video like this front-and-center on your website sets you up for success with prospects. Not only do prospects feel seen and heard by what they’re seeing in the video—this is a brand that really gets my problem!—they also have a sense of connection with the people behind the brand.

When the business owner gets on camera and talks directly to their prospects about how they address their big concern, this wins their trust and builds a human-to-human connection from the get-go.

2. Service or Product Videos

You have gotten the attention of a prospect with your core story. Next, your prospect might want to learn more about the specifics of how your business can solve their problems. That’s where product or service videos come in.

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run. A video showcasing your offerings can help to dynamically demonstrate all the pros of purchasing your product or service.

For more complicated products, like a new software system or a tool or machinery that requires some set-up, product videos can help eliminate some of the fear that a prospect might feel about purchasing a complex product. When they see how easy it is to set up and use in the video, they’ll feel more confident in their ability to do it on their own.

The same is true of videos that feature services. Let’s say you are a car mechanic. People are often distrustful of car mechanics, thinking they’re able to rip people off because most of us don’t understand how a car actually works. A service video, where the mechanic walks viewers through the standard inspection process and points out potential red flags along the way can help to eliminate prospects’ fears that they’re a scam-artist mechanic.

Even for simple products, video can help to bring the item to life. A product video for a children’s construction toy that shows the features of the completed model might sell a parent on the purchase. Or a video on a clothing e-commerce site, showing a model walking back and forth in items of clothing can give viewers a sense of how the shirt or pants look and move on a real person.

Product Video Examples:

Service Video Example:

 

3. Client Testimonials

Testimonials, reviews, and case studies all play a similar role in the lead nurturing process. They offer social proof that your business is as good as you say it is. Of course, you have a vested interest in selling your business as the best business out there in your field. That is your job when you have your marketing hat on, after all! 

The most persuasive messages don’t come from email campaigns or sales reps, they come straight from the mouths of satisfied customers. Testimonial videos create a deeper and more emotional appeal from your brand. Social proof is a powerful decision-making factor. Video testimonials give regular customers the opportunity to be a brand advocate. 

By showing prospects an existing happy customer, you give them a taste of what their life could be like if they hired you. If you’re looking for tips on how to get the most out of your interview with one of your happy customers, check out these steps for putting together an effective case study.

Testimonial Video Example:

4. Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s face it, scrolling through dozens of questions in a standard FAQ page is boring. Why not create the most engaging FAQ page possible by incorporating video answers onto the page?

This is also a great opportunity to get a number of people from the company involved in the video creation process. Have someone from each department get in front of the camera. They can each record a handful of answers to the FAQs that are most relevant to their role at the company.

First, this is a fun activity for the team members who participate. Additionally, it provides you with the opportunity to introduce prospects to even more of the faces behind the business. And the greater the sense of familiarity and personal connection you can establish early on, the more you will stand out in terms of trust and likability.

5. Educational and ‘How To’ Videos

People love having their questions answered and learning new things – especially when they’re looking for more information about a specific topic.

Educational videos offer real value to your audience they can apply and use in their everyday lives. When people find the content you produce to be valuable and genuinely helpful, you begin to earn their trust.

When they trust you, they’re more likely to return to you for more help in the future thus building a stronger relationship with them. This encourages leads down the funnel.

Educational Video Example:

6. Event Videos

Planning and hosting an event takes a massive amount of work. Capturing your event on video is an easy way to extend its length and reach. Videos make events scalable. You’re able to spread brand awareness, engagement, and authority far beyond the event itself.

Events are about making new connections and networking with other people. Your event video should capture that. 

Event Video Example:

7. Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are often used to learn more about a product or service. They help you deliver important information in a short amount of time and leave a memorable impression. It’s a short informative video that explains something in a colorful, fun, and engaging way.

Adding an explainer video to your homepage is a great way to quickly explain your product or service to someone visiting your site. It effectively walks customers through a scenario where their problem would be solved by using your product. This way a user won’t have to click through and read multiple pages to understand what it is that your company does or what your offer is.

Explainer Video Example:

8. Personalized Sales Videos

Once you have won prospects over with great video content on your website, it’s time to take things to the next level. Encouraging your sales team to use one-to-one video in the sales process allows them to embrace personalization.

Using a tool like Loom makes it easy for even the least tech-savvy sales team in the room to record and send videos. Creating a personalized video, where they address the prospect by name and speak to their specific concerns and questions, makes that prospect feel special. They think, “If this business went through the trouble to record a video just for me, can you imagine the lengths they’ll go-to for me if I become a customer?”

Video content can play a role throughout all stages of the customer journey. Video can be critical to establishing trust, building a personal connection, and moving prospects down the hourglass towards their first purchase.

Weekend Favs November 14

Weekend Favs November 14 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Hunter.io – Directory of best-performing cold email templates. Filter hundreds of templates by category and start your email outreach in minutes.
  • Good Annotations. – Here’s the best PDF editor for your professional documents. Deliver product guides and better digital communication with stellar tools that are entirely online & completely free.
  • mywebaudit – Generate more leads and closing more deals faster with beautiful and actionable audit reports business owners will understand and love.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

6 Time-Saving Hacks for Content Creation

6 Time-Saving Hacks for Content Creation written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

When content creation is done the right way, it takes a lot of time. There’s topic planning, research, editing, revisions, the list goes on. 

As a busy entrepreneur who has a ton on your plate, it seems impossible to get it all done without investing a large chunk of your time. Surely, there’s a way to optimize the content creation process. 

The good news is: there is! There are ways to streamline the process and save time, while still creating meaningful content that will get you noticed by prospects and keep you top of mind with existing customers.

Here are my top six time-saving hacks for content creation so you can get back to the other tasks that come along with running a business.

1. Cut back on quantity

Remember: It’s about quality, not quantity. You don’t need to create mountains of content. You’re better off creating less, high-quality content than you are flooding your audience with lots of empty content. 

You might try writing fewer, longer-form content pieces. These pieces take longer to produce, but provide your audience with much more value and have a massive impact on authority.

Along with quality, consistency is just as important. When you set a cadence for your content, you want to stick to it. Releasing content every single day and then going radio silent for a week and a half is not the way to build an audience.

Most prospects need to see a brand a handful of times before they even begin to think about doing business with them. If you can be a consistent presence in their inbox and on their social media feeds, you’re far more likely to get their attention than if you spam them with meaningless content for one week and then disappear the next.

2. Plan it out and create an Editorial Calendar

How do you ensure that you’re creating high quality content on a regular basis? Put together an editorial calendar, and compile multiple ideas at one time.

Don’t make the mistake of forcing yourself to come up with a topic on the day you’re going to write it. Set a plan and stick to it. It’s a much more efficient use of your time to sit down and plan out the month’s content in one fell swoop, rather than scrambling to pull it together piecemeal each day. 

Set aside a few hours at the end of each month to plan your content approach for the following month. Centering your content around a particular theme can help you to create content that works well together and provides the depth of information that your audience craves. It also aligns with the strategy of creating hub pages for your content, which will empower you to continue to get use out of your content well after it’s been published.

3. Refresh Existing Content

Just because you’re sharing content on a regular basis doesn’t mean that it all needs to be brand new. Repurposed content is packed with value and can increase your traffic 300%. Refreshing old content is a great way to get additional life out of your content that remains relevant.

Some topics will never go out of style, but may need to be updated as the details change. Let’s say you own a business that handles home renovations. Perhaps you have a blog post about selecting the perfect kitchen countertop. While some of the principles of countertop selection will always be the same, some of the trends will change. You can refresh this content to reflect changes in consumer trends (acknowledging the shift from granite to quartz as the material of choice, for example). This keeps the content relevant, while allowing you to continue to benefit from the material meat of the original post.

4. Turn to Guest Posters

If you’re trying to create content on a regular basis, sometimes you know it will be difficult for you to keep pace. If there’s a week when you’ll be out of town at a conference, or a month when your business is launching a new product that will take up a lot of your time, this might be the time to tap a friend to create content as a guest.

Whether it’s a blog post, webinar, or podcast episode, guest content can serve a few important purposes. First, it frees you up to spend less of your time on content that week. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, it allows you to tap into the existing network of the guest poster.

Like with any strategic partnership, you want to seek out guests who are aligned with what you do and complement the work your business does. This not only adds value for your audience, but it also introduces you to guest posters’ fan base (and vice versa—it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement).

5. Create a Stockpile of Ideas as You Have Them

Don’t wait for a deadline to force your brain into being creative. Keep a running list or notebook for ideas. When things come to you, write it down. See an interesting article? Think of a catchy title? Add it to the list.

Even when you set aside dedicated time to brainstorm, you’re likely going to come up with new ideas on the fly. Take advantage of that by making a point to add it to your idea file. If you find yourself still struggling to come up with content ideas, doing these things will help you overcome writer’s block.

6. Consider Outsourcing

There are a lot of small businesses that aren’t quite big enough to build out their marketing department, but are a little too big for the owner or small team to handle marketing all on their own. This is when it might be time to outsource some of your marketing efforts and content creation.

Fortunately, in today’s highly connected world, it’s easy to find contractors who can work remotely to help you with content creation. Outsourcing allows you to put your marketing work in the hands of a professional, without having to worry about finding the resources to add to your permanent team.

Content Creation can eat up a lot of time and attention for small business owners. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you get smart about planning out your content and turn to others for help, you can continue to create meaningful, effective content without losing too much time in your day.

If you’re looking for help managing your content creation, check out our Certified Marketing Manager coaching program. We’ll train you or a member of your internal marketing team so you can get to growing, faster.

If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to SEO.