Category Archives: content creation

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The Role of Content Has Changed – Here’s How You Can Adapt

The Role of Content Has Changed – Here’s How You Can Adapt written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

It wasn’t too long ago that you could follow the formula below to attract and generate leads for your business:

  • Develop a content upgrade, like an ebook
  • Gate it behind a form on a landing page
  • Drive people to your landing pages through blog posts, social media, advertising, and email campaigns
  • People see the offer on the landing page, are interested, and give their contact information in exchange for the content
  • Voila, you have a new lead that you can nurture to a sale

While content upgrades still work well as a lead capture tool, you need to now get creative with how to get eyes on it. The market is so saturated these days and so many businesses are now following this approach that it can be easy to get lost in all the noise.

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and began testing an approach that I had seen to start to emerge that I want to share with you. While my results have been significant, it may take time for business who are just getting started to see the same results, but in my opinion, it’ll be well worth it in the long run.

The key is to continue to position yourself as the expert in your field, and the best way to do this is to create and aggregate content into one place to show not only your visitors that you know what you’re talking about, but search engines as well.

Have I lost you? I hope not! To understand what I’m talking about, take a look at the details below.

Creating content – An evolved approach

As content continues to grow in importance for your business, it now must take on an elevated position in your strategy and planning.

The use of high-quality, education-based content has become a necessary ingredient in creating awareness, building trust, converting leads, serving customers and generating referrals.

Marketers these days have a lot in common with the traditional role of publishers. The good news is that the days of creating an infinite amount of thin content are over. You can create content less frequently, provided you structure it correctly and include a ton of value within it.

Today we have evolved into the “less is more” approach. Big content projects, even if there are only three per year, is better than writing a blog post every week, just because you think you should.

I’m currently experiencing great results with something that I’m calling Hub Pages. This is something many have already started doing and I understand why.

Content planning has really risen to the strategic level. It’s no longer an SEO tactic or simply content marketing. While we should certainly use it for those things, we must plan it at a foundational level.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, content really is now air for your business as it impacts every channel, which elevates how we have to think about it.

Content becomes an asset over time

Content is no longer created for today or tomorrow. It is created as an asset that can be used throughout every stage of the Marketing Hourglass. Because of this, you need to think about the time and energy you need to invest to get it right.

Hub themes

local marketing

I’ve talked about the Total Content System for years and it’s really driven by what I’m starting to call “hub themes.” These themes can be monthly, quarterly, or whichever timeframe you think is best.

Let’s say the theme for the month is “local marketing.” You’d want to drive all the attention you have to this idea of local marketing, so one of the main tabs on your website may become “The Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing.

Instead of it just being a page that talks about local marketing services, it becomes a foundational page that has a tremendous amount of value about what local marketing is, with tons of resources and links that people can click through to for further information (it may even end up looking like a course).

All of the content you have pointing to it are like the sub-chapters of the hub theme. I not only have all of these internal pages driving back to this one hub page, I also include links to external, high-quality content on the page that can also be linked back to the hub page.

Hub pages are also a great way to organize existing content and get more use out of it. Driving it to, and including in, these hub pages is a great way to give old content new life.

With so many pages driving to one another, you’ll start to gain a lot of trust and authority from Google, which will eventually help to increase your rank in search engine results pages over time.

The role of content upgrades

Content upgrades are still the new free. When you put these hub pages together, still include content upgrades, like an ebook or webinar signup, on these pages. People will now see these content upgrades because you are driving more traffic to these pages and they are easier to rank for instead of individual posts.

So, what do you think about this approach? Have you started to implement these types of efforts in your business?

If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Building a Small Business Marketing Consulting Practice…see what I did there?

The Ins and Outs of Getting The Most Out of Video

The Ins and Outs of Getting The Most Out of Video written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

If you’re looking for advice on how to shoot or edit video, this is not the post for you (well, it could be, but not for that reason). If, however, you want to know why you should use video and the various ways you can use it, you’ve come to the right place.

Video today should absolutely be a part of your marketing mix and in some cases, it should be a core part of it.

Let’s dive in.

Guiding a journey

Marketing today is about guiding a journey. People are going out and conducting their own research and deciding whether or not they want to buy from companies. In many cases, companies aren’t even aware that these people are looking at them. Content can help to guide the stages of the customer journey, while also providing insight for the companies themselves. Video can be a great tool for this.

Websites today can no longer just serve as digital brochures. They must serve many roles for your business and should help you:

  • Get found online
  • Educate and inform visitors
  • Nurture visitors to a conversion

On top of all that, your website needs to build trust with your audience, and in my experience, this is where video shines. Short of a live, in-person presentation, I’m going to say video is the most important tool to do just that.

Why video?

Video is not only effective, it’s practical. Video is:

  • Portable (thank you technology)
  • Chunkable – For example, you can take a 30-minute presentation and repurpose it into numerous impactful videos.
  • Emotional – This is key for getting the attention of your audience.
  • Flexible in terms of where you can put it and the various mediums you can publish it on

What I don’t hear people talk about enough though, are the benefits of repurposing video into other forms of content rather than the other way around. You can actually get a ton of leverage out of video that will help your content generation skyrocket.

For example, what if you shot a video and then stripped the audio from it and turn it into a podcast episode? From there, you could get the transcript from it and with very little editing, turn that into a blog post or multiple posts. See how that works? If you come from a video-first standpoint, you’ll find it’s easier to create more content overall.

Benefits of using video

It’s undeniable that videos provide many benefits, but did you know that 80% of online visitors will watch a video? In fact, website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video. A few of the reason behind this include:

  • Video is engaging and easy to consume
  • It can be highly effective at influencing buying decisions
  • It’s easier to grab your audience’s attention with video than a text-based message

Where to use video

Now that I’ve mentioned some of the many benefits, let’s dive into where you can use this form of content, starting with the optimal areas of your website.

  • Homepage – An overview video is great for an introduction and helps to keep your audience on your website.
  • Product pages/How-tos – Placing videos on these pages provide full transparency for your audience and allows them to better understand what it is that you’re selling.
  • Demos – Once you get near the purchase, walking potential prospects through demos via video can really help to build their trust with you.
  • Testimonials – You want people to see positive reviews others give you, and using video testimonials is a great way to do it.
  • Contact Us page – Placing a video here is great for increasing conversions at a critical point in the customer journey.
  • FAQs – Rather than responding to questions with text, use a video!
  • Blog posts – Mix up your written posts with video posts to mix up the format and keep your audience engaged.

The value of video in social media

Perhaps the place that we see video the most these days is social media, and this is because:

  • It’s visually impactful – Videos stand out much more than a text-based post in your newsfeed
  • It’s engaging – People want to watch videos
  • It’s low-cost – Video ads are one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise

What’s great about video is that you can use them across the board. You don’t have to create new videos for social. You can repurpose the ones on your site and promote it across various platforms.

Using live video

Something I’m seeing more and more of is the use of live video (especially with Facebook Live), which is great if you use it correctly. Don’t use live video to just take footage of the sky or of you making pancakes. Use it with a purpose to make it valuable. Some of the ways I find it helpful include:

  • Training – Live video is great for internal purposes, especially for recordings if people miss the class
  • Events – Live video allows people to witness an event even if they can’t make it in person
  • Announce – Live video is great for announcements and to generate buzz

YouTube video ads

It’s nearly impossible for people to watch YouTube videos without an ad being played. When it comes to these types of ads, it’s easy to come off as annoying rather than engaging. People just want to watch their videos! But if you are engaging in this space, the rewards can be infinite. It’s a great tool for targeting and expanding your reach. To give you the best chance for success, be engaging and entertaining, and get your point across within the first 3-5 seconds of the video.

Equipment for creating videos

A decade ago, video was kind of hard to come by. Today that is not the case and it doesn’t need to be expensive. You really don’t need a lot to get something off the ground.

Basic setup

  • iPhone
  • Lav mic – Plugin to the iPhone jack
  • Tripod – For stability and more professional looking shows
  • Hosting
    • YouTube – Great for immediate uploads and search potential
    • Wistia – Good player that is:
      • Flexible
      • Easy to edit
      • Provides control of who sees it

Advanced equipment

As you can see, it doesn’t take a whole lot to get up and running to create great video content.

Editing videos

Once the footage is shot, you need to be able to edit it to what you want. Consider using the following tools to get this done:

  • iMovie (Mac) – Comes with Macs
  • Final Cut Pro (PC)
  • YouTube
  • Animoto

Final tips

Last but not least, consider these recommendations to get an ideal final product:

  • Pay attention to the sound. If the quality is poor, you’ll risk losing your audience.
  • Keep videos short to stay in line with the average consumer’s attention span.
  • Get to the main point early on in the video in case your audience drops off further in.

The most important point I want to drive home is at the core of every great video is a strategy. Before you do anything, identify the objective of the video and the action you’d like your audience to take by watching it. Knowing the “why” is invaluable.

So there you have it! What tips would you add to this post?

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