What if there was a way to cut through the noise, get noticed, and make a real connection with your audience?
For many businesses, on-demand audio content is the way to do just that.
Podcasting is gaining in popularity, as you may have noticed, but the medium is not oversaturated.
There’s still plenty of room in the market for you, so don’t worry that you’re too late to get started.
It could be argued that podcasting is not right for every business. It could also be argued that blogging is not right for all businesses.
Yet, if your business takes content marketing seriously, then podcasting can be a strong component of your content strategy.
Here are four reasons to embrace podcasting as an integral part of your strategy.
1. Expand your reach
2015 was the year podcasting made its way toward the mainstream.
Edison Research has reported that one-third of all Americans 12 years of age and older have listened to at least one podcast. If there are still two-thirds of the population remaining who haven’t explored podcasts yet, then there are lots of new ears to reach.
The best time to start a podcast was four years ago. The second best time is now.
The sheer number of people listening to podcasts — and the even greater number of people still to discover the medium — makes podcasting an essential part of any content strategy.
With new cars starting to roll off the assembly line with podcast players installed in them, and both
You’re probably familiar with “art imitating life” and “life imitating art.” I know I am.
We can apply this idea to content marketing, as well.
Your content may imitate life if it’s engaging, entertaining, and useful. You take recognizable, relatable elements from life and infuse them into your content to connect with your audience members’ worldviews.
But how can life imitate your content?
Well, winning content marketing is often the product of trying different experiments to see what works best for your message and your business. These experiments help you get to know your audience better and may help you uncover a new, more effective content strategy.
You see this in life when you try a new activity and broaden your outlook of what you thought was possible.
Today, we’re going to focus on techniques that could expand the types of content you offer your audience. This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:
How to use content marketing to sell your creative work
How to take your Pinterest marketing to the next level
How to determine if you should publish a curated email newsletter
As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini content creation course.
A Simple Content Marketing Strategy for Creative Folks
In A Simple Content Marketing Strategy for Creative Folks, Rafal Tomal admits that he promoted his business the wrong way for a long time.
Just like many designers and artists, he built a portfolio and posted his
“Don’t worry; she’s nice” is a phrase a friend might comfort you with before you contact someone you don’t know.
Once you hear those words, relief sets in.
If we know “nice” is the preferable way to behave toward others, why is it that we all encounter many people who are not “nice?”
It’s a complicated question. Perhaps everyone has his or her own idea of what “nice” is. Regardless, you have the power to choose your behavior in any given situation. You can be a considerate, respectful person to other people.
“Considerate” and “respectful” are more concrete and less subjective than “nice.”
And while “nice” is a reasonable starting place, effective content marketing has precisely defined characteristics. It’s sophisticated and goes way beyond “nice.”
This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you:
How to seduce blog readers and win clients
How to make winning infographics without risk
How to delegate content marketing tasks
As you work your way through the material below, think of the following lessons as a mini content marketing course for sophisticated content marketers.
No Blog Traffic? Here’s a Simple Strategy to Seduce Readers and Win Clients
Writing is hard work, so it can be quite disappointing if you’ve been writing content for your site for a while but it’s not attracting the right clients and customers to your business.
As Pamela Wilson said yesterday, “Content marketing results happen slowly, and they happen over time.” No one can speed up the process, but Henneke has
It’s no secret that creativity and innovation are two key ingredients in a highly effective content marketing strategy.
And yet, consistently coming up with new, imaginative content ideas for your business or brand can seem utterly vexing at times.
We all want to have better ideas, but it isn’t always as simple as just putting on our “better idea” caps.
That’s why successful content marketers often have methods that help them produce remarkable content on a regular basis.
Let’s look at one such method.
A little innovation can go a long way
In the book The Art of Innovation, author Tom Kelley describes the creative process of the global design and innovation firm IDEO (taken from the word ideology).
Over the years, he’s watched the company grow from a small group of fun-loving designers into a firm of more than 600 professionals.
David Kelley, his brother and IDEO founder, helped Steve Jobs develop the Lisa computer and worked on Apple’s famous mouse design.
IDEO is ranked number 10 on Fast Company’s list of the Top 25 Most Innovative Companies and is the winner of 38 Red Dot awards, 28 iF Hannover awards, and more IDEA awards than any other design firm.
Reinventing the wheel … every day
IDEO has redesigned everything from children’s toys to high-tech medical equipment.
In a vintage spot on ABC’s Nightline in 1999 called “The Deep Dive: One Company’s Secret Weapon for Innovation,” IDEO became well-known when a team at the company applied a modern redesign to the classic
Mickey Spillane did not suffer from delusions of grandeur.
He didn’t expect his novels — featuring private eye Mike Hammer — to be regarded as great works of literature.
What he wanted was for them to sell.
I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends. – Mickey Spillane
His books have sold more than 225 million copies, so this approach served him well.
As we build an online presence with our content marketing, we have to answer this essential question:
Should we develop fans or customers?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.
Why develop fans?
Your content marketing may have fans — people who love everything you write, contribute ideas in your comment section on a regular basis, and support your business by participating in any free offer you make.
Not all fans become customers, but some fans may become second customers.
Second customers are people who help you spread the word about your business. They faithfully share all the content you create.
They may not give you money, but they give you something equally valuable: referrals that bring you more customers over time.
Fans are important, and fans who become second customers are critical for your business.
Second customers help your business expand across the web. They do some of your promotional heavy lifting for you, so spend time cultivating them.
How to cultivate second customers
The most valuable second customers have large audiences — every share from them causes your traffic to spike.
To give your second customers the
In May 2013, a small company with fewer than 40 unusual employees made a historic lead generation move that resulted in stunning lead generation results. (I stress “unusual” in a good way.)
The company with those odd employees, of course, was Copyblogger Media (now known as Rainmaker Digital). The story of what happened follows.
The historic move:
Up until that point, Copyblogger had been offering an email newsletter to attract and capture email subscribers. Pretty standard in the online business world.
We wanted to up the ante.
So we launched My.Copyblogger.com — a free membership site, where people sign up to access (at the time) 15 free ebooks and a 20-part email course.
Think of a content library as a password-protected source of premium content that you can access once you register with your email address.
That’s essentially what a “content library” looks like. But how did it perform? Let’s look at the results to see.
The historic results:
According to the case study by Marketing Sherpa,
Through the first seven weeks, the free subscription page averaged a 67 percent conversion rate.
The first week’s growth was 300 percent bigger than the best week of growth for Internet Marketing for Smart People (a previous Copyblogger 20-part email course) — closer to 400 percent, if you include new paid subscribers.
The most visited page on Copyblogger at the time was behind the paywall — with almost a third of all traffic logging in after arrival.
Those are some substantial results, particularly in such a competitive space as content
Creating effective content is hard. I don’t want to deter you from crafting content for your business, but you need to set goals for everything you create.
Whether you produce content that is timely or evergreen, audio or text, knowing your goals will ensure you maximize the return on your time and resources invested in content marketing.
Each piece of content needs to be placed into one of two categories: wide or deep.
And each category has one specific goal:
Wide content attracts new audience members.
Deep content strengthens relationships with your existing audience members.
An effective content marketing strategy uses both wide and deep content, but an individual piece of content shouldn’t try to meet both goals.
Let’s explore each type of content goal.
Going wide with your content
When you create a piece of wide content, you attempt to reach the most readers, listeners, and customers as possible. In short, going wide is how to use content to find customers.
Wide content is not about immediate results. Instead, it positions your net to continually find new people who fill the top of your funnel.
You will notice a pattern with wide content: it’s perfect for repurposing. With a little planning and forethought, you will be able to repurpose wide content into different formats to reach a broader audience.
SEO helps you go wide
The foundation of all wide content is built upon SEO, and Google is a top source of new traffic and visitors to websites.
Because of this, we need
Do you need to spend a lot of money to create exceptional content?
In a word, no.
The barriers to entry for publishing on the Internet are extremely low. That’s why we see so much mediocre content everywhere we look.
But you’re here reading Copyblogger. That tells me that “mediocre content” is a phrase that’s not part of your vocabulary. You’re aiming to create content that’s remarkable. Content that attracts an audience and builds your business.
Today we’re going to cover how to produce winning content on a budget. A really small budget.
The fact is, you don’t need to outspend the competition.
You need to outthink them.
1. Gather ideas from all over
The first tip involves a mindset shift.
It’s about seeing the world around you — both your business world and your personal life — as a source for ideas. Because when you’re creating content on a regular basis, the world can inspire your writing if you let it.
Some of the most interesting content forms when you take a seemingly unrelated aspect of your life and apply it to your content marketing.
To explore this concept, read The Content Crossroads: Supernatural Success at the Intersection of Ideas.
Once you shift your mindset to one of always-on idea gathering, you’ll need a place to capture and save your ideas.
Look for something you’ll always have on hand, whether it’s a small notebook you carry around or an app on your computer or mobile phone. Make sure it’s easy and fast to use, and
Here at Rainmaker Digital, we’re riding an iterative loop. It’s how we do business.
We listen, we create, we offer, we improve, and the cycle goes on.
Approaching your content strategy as an iterative loop will help you create useful, in-demand information that serves your customers and builds your business.
Out in the business world, this approach is called design thinking. And design thinking is in the news right now. Harvard Business Review ran a cover story on it this past September. The New York Times featured it earlier this month.
Here at Copyblogger, we’ve been talking about design thinking since 2010.
Design thinking isn’t difficult — it’s just different. It requires a mindset shift that will change the way you create products, content, and customer experiences.
What is design thinking?
It might be easiest to answer this question by comparing design and design thinking.
Design is about making objects functional and pleasing to the eye. Traditionally, design has been a discipline that was practiced by the small percentage of people who’d studied it or those whose aesthetic sense made them especially qualified.
Design thinking is about developing products and services using a methodology that puts the customer’s needs and experience at the forefront. It’s a different way to approach the development process.
Design thinking is driven primarily by audience needs, and the fruit it bears is based on the challenges and problems they face. It’s about looking at how real people interact with your products and services, and adapting them so
If you’re a fan of one or more of our shows (or products), you can now follow the hosts, writers, and developers of Rainmaker Digital as they travel further out onto the Internet to be interviewed by other smart people.
Tune in as Brian Clark sits down with Zac Johnson to chat about creating powerful content that resonates with an audience.
In this 39-minute episode, Brian Clark and Zac Johnson discuss:
Brian’s total lack of interest in working 9-5
Using online marketing to build offline business
The creation of Copyblogger and how it grew over time
Solving problems and creating businesses along the way
The story of StudioPress and selling premium WordPress themes
Building the Rainmaker Platform and a podcast network
Recognizing opportunities and changing with the times
Click Here to Listen toRainmaker.FM Elsewhere on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand digital business and marketing advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.
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