Are you Content with Your Content?October 13, 2022
The struggle is real for companies in our space. It’s tough to get time and attention. It’s tough to be creative. It’s tough to even measure the value of your marketing efforts. I want to give you a framework for being successful with your content marketing strategy.
The 3 “E’s” of Content
We can break down our content into three different themes, lovingly referred to here as “the 3 E’s” which are: empathy, education, and entertainment. In our industry, we tend to focus a lot on education. Education is great, there’s plenty of it to go around, but you also risk becoming white noise. I’d like to suggest that we add the other 2 “E’s” of empathy and entertainment because if done well, you can create such a positive sentiment around your company. We’re in a weird time, we all know that. Your customers and clients are scared. The sweet spot for empathy content is that middle ground of what your audience cares about coupled with your area of expertise. Connect with their feelings. Entertainment is the hardest bucket to get correct because while we think we might be entertaining, others may have different opinions. But what entertainment content can do is humanize and make your people lovable. The last point I’ll make about the 3 “E’s” is that education doesn’t need to feel like education. Education can be entertaining, informational, and engaging.
3 Strategies for Successful Content Distribution
Your marketing success as a company is predicated on having a proper strategy when it comes to distribution. We are going to talk about the three categories of content User Generated, Pillar, and Evergreen, and look at how you can be successful in each.
User Generated or UGC content is original, brand-specific content created by customers and employees. TicToc, Instagram, FB, Snapchat are where you see UGC every day. The point of UGC is that it’s created by people rather than brands.
User Generated Content is all around you. It shows the value and story behind your brand but it’s often misunderstood or discouraged at the corporate level for a number of different reasons. I’m here to tell you that you need to embrace it.
Pillar content is substantive and informative usually created on a specific topic or theme. But where the strategy of pillar becomes powerful is that it can be broken up into many derivatives, pieces, and materials.
A great example of this is the CRM company Hubspot. Hubspot wrote a piece of pillar content which is the ultimate guide to the best productivity apps. The piece lives on their website which is where they ultimately want traffic to go in order to sell CRM accounts. But they went a step further by creating smaller derivative content, 13 of the best portable apps, the 7-minute guide to getting started with Google tasks, and 36 commuting apps. These shorter articles are used to drive traffic back to their pillar content and sales pages.
Here’s an example of how this looks in practice. Last December the Title Nerds hosted a Very Nerdy Holiday special. We recorded the webinar, which became our pillar content. From that pillar, we spun off a secondary webinar, an interview with Ethan Beute who was a guest on the holiday special. We created and posted special quotes from the interviews, we cut out 1 to 3 min clips of video from the holiday special linked back to the webinar replay hosted on our website, TheModerndayTitleAgent.com which is ultimately where we wanted people to go. So, with an extra hour of work, we were able to turn our pillar content into multiple derivatives that drove traffic and conversations for weeks.
Evergreen content simply means that it has no shelf life. It remains relevant long after it’s produced. In addition to other benefits, evergreen content allows your company to plant its flag in the ground around topics that separate you from other competitors. For WFG one of those topics is wire fraud. We took an unfortunate situation of a customer who fell victim to wire fraud and turned it into an opportunity to educate the community about what wire fraud is and how to avoid it.
The content was well produced and has become one of the pieces of content that drive conversations with sales, escrow, real estate agents, and consumers. But we didn’t stop there. What we realized is that we could take our original video which was 6 minutes long and cut it into smaller videos to leverage in other places. We have a 1-minute version that we give out to our agents that they can use with their clients. We have a 3 min version that escrow and sales can leverage with their clients and customers. And then of course the full-length video that is on our site. The worst thing we can do is spend a substantial amount of time, money, and energy producing really great evergreen content only to post it once and never revisit it.
Focus leads to success
Producing content with no regard for the outcome is severely lowering your ceiling. Potential clients unsubscribing, or tuning you out reduces your net every month. Success in your content strategy becomes about focus. By focusing on user-generated, pillar, and evergreen content your marketing has a purpose and will enable your sales efforts.