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What is Content Marketing?
Sean: Hey guys, how’s it going? Sean here. I hope you’ve been well. And today we are going to talk about something that is pretty dear to my heart, because it’s what I used to build my businesses. And that is content marketing.
Sean: So what’s content marketing? Basically, content marketing is something that you use so that you can attract people who are going to be interested in what you have to say. Maybe it’s your business, maybe it’s a service that you provide, maybe it’s a certain product that you want to sell. They flocked you because what you have to say is important and valuable to them.
Sean: Now I’m not saying that content marketing is a build-it-and-then-they-will-come kind of strategy, although that may be the case when your website has a very powerful SEO authority behind it.
Sean: But content marketing has also that marketing aspect that you have to do. That’s why we call it content marketing, because the content has to be fantastic, valuable and great and speaks to the audience.
Sean: And then there’s the marketing part, where you have to go out of your way to make sure that the content that you’ve so beautifully invested in is read by the people who you want to read it and who you want to share it to their friends and families, and who you want to engage and interact with that piece of content that you have created.
Sean: So now that we’ve tackled what content marketing is, how do you do it and how do you stand out against the sea of content that is just the internet, right? The videos out there on YouTube, Tiktok, Facebook, all of the written word content that you have. There’s so many aggregators now. There’s wikiHow. There’s wikipedia.
Sean: How do you compete with all these pieces of content that seem like they’re the most complete pieces out there? That is what we’re going to be tackling today.
Sean: So first you have to choose which platform you are going to be using for your content. Are you going to be publishing a video? Or are you going to be publishing written word? Or are you going to be publishing podcasts?
Sean: Based on these platforms that you’re going to be choosing, you also have to optimize your content in such a way that it would have maximum engagement and retention.
Sean: So if it’s written word, you’re going to want a piece of content that really addresses the concerns of your potential readers. You want it to be complete, you want it to be comprehensive, you want it to be cohesive and you want it to be easy to understand and learn from.
Sean: You want your target readers to be able to resonate and feel like that person that this piece of content is talking about is me. I have that problem. I’m looking for that product. That’s the perfect solution that I’m looking for.
Sean: You want them to react and you want their emotion to be tugged by your content. If your content is not able to do that, whether it’s written word, video or a podcast that they can listen to, then it’s not going to fly. That piece of content, even if you try to market it by putting a colossal amount of effort into marketing it, will not fly.
Sean: People will not engage with that piece of content. People will not share it to their friends and it’s going to remain in Davy Jones’ locker somewhere. Now you got to say goodbye to all that time, effort, money and energy that you put into creating that content, which beats the purpose of creating that content in the first place. And if you have a bad piece of content, then you cannot do good content marketing with that piece of content.
Sean: Now, if you’re going to do video as a platform, what you need is for the video to be engaging, to have good energy, exciting, valuable, where people can learn something new out of it. Or if you’re making videos for entertainment, of course you have to make people laugh because if they’re not laughing then you are not really succeeding, right?
Sean: So you have to make sure that your video is successful for what you purposed it for, and you have to make sure that users are retained in the sense that if they started watching your video, they are going to be watching it all the way till the end. You’ve got to hit these factors depending on the platform that you’re trying to enter into.
Sean: For listeners or if you’re going to do podcasting as the platform for your content, then what you want to happen is for people to be able to listen to your podcast in such a way where the audio is clear, it’s crisp, there’s no noise, there’s no sudden screams, shouts or unnecessary audio happening in the background or sudden audio that’s going to happen within the talk of the podcast, within the show.
Sean: You’re going to want to make sure it’s clean and you’re going to want to make sure that you splice out all of the unnecessary details, all of the stutters. So again, to wrap it up, it will depend on the platform that you’re going to want to go into on how you’re going to optimize your content for content marketing.
Sean: Now let’s talk about the content itself. How are you going to be standing out with the sea of different pieces of content? How is your content even going to stand out? How is it going to be original? Why would people want to interact and engage and consume your content? And there are so many ways that you can still do it.
Sean: Number one would be, you are you, and no one else can be like you. No one else, in fact, is like you. Your fingerprint is unique to yourself and that means you have a unique identity. Put that into your content, and that is what is going to make your contents special.
Sean: Another thing that would make your contents stand out is if your content really speaks to your audience. Meaning they feel like you’re trying to tell them something important, something valuable that you want to impart to them. You make things simple for them to understand. And you make sure that you put out all of the fluff. You take out all of the high falutin words that they don’t really care about.
Sean: If you care about your content, really speaking to your audience, that will make your content stand out, because so much of the contents published out there honestly are still not good. They don’t care about the audience. They’re writing for a certain specific machine. Maybe they’re writing too much for Google’s algorithm.
Sean: Make your content human. At the same time, of course, with SEO best practices. You can read our guides on SEO copywriting. I also have a course with Nas Academy coming out. You might want to check that out.
Sean: I do have the landing page and we can link it in this video so you can sign up for that and I’ll be teaching SEO copywriting there, where you can write both for search engines and journalistically sound and well for human beings.
Sean: Another thing that would help your content really stand out is if you put your own analysis into it, your own theories, your own predictions. Now that might be a little risky, or it may be really risky depending on what you’re going to be putting in there. But that’s also saying that this content is something that you care about, and that you really did,and you put the thought into it and you’re willing to roll the dice and risk being wrong.
Sean: But if you’re right and people see that you really know what you’re talking about because you were able to actually predict something or theorize something that came true, then that would make your content stand out. And people do follow people who are experts in their fields, thought leaders.
Sean: In fact that is how SEO Hacker began. You see, when I started SEO Hacker, I think that was somewhere in April of 2010. I was already blogging for another blog called God and You, in which I started late 2009.
Sean: And in that God and You blog I would just write articles that I really care about. I’m a Born Again Christian. During that time I was single, so I would write about my single Christian journey. That is really it and it would be for me and a lot of people would read and share my stuff.
Sean: The blogs are still around. If you want to check them out, go to sean.si/ideas. All my blogs are there up to way back 2009. With SEO Hacker, when I started it already had a lot of experience from the God and You blog.
Sean: And when I started the SEO Hacker blog all I was thinking about was I can’t write these things in the God and You blog because that’s a blog for my spiritual journey as a single Christian guy. So I need another blog where I can write everything I was learning about SEO.
Sean: And during that time I was using SEO to improve my readers for the God and You blog. That is it. I wasn’t using SEO for SEO Hacker to rank it higher. I wasn’t doing it as a business yet. I was using SEO, and what little I knew back then to make sure my God and You blog ranked high, got good readers and traffic and subscribers which it did.
Sean: And I would journal everything I was learning in the SEO Hacker blog and I would write at least once a week. So the SEO Hacker articles were journal entries for the largest part, but I would write them well in the hopes that someone would be able to read them and find them and feel like it has added value to them.
Sean: I was also trying to teach people in the SEO community or digital marketing community who wanted to learn more about SEO by sharing my own experiments, my own experiences with them, and by also predicting and theorizing what it would be like five, six months, maybe a year from now.
Sean: People love that about SEO Hacker and they started sharing my articles, often without me knowing. A lot of them started translating my articles to different languages, mostly German. I don’t know why. We got a lot of Indian readers as well. They would share the articles and we’d get a lot more traffic and then I got a lot more inquiries and then more clients started to come in. And then I got to close more deals.
Sean: You see, the magic of content marketing is that it’s actually marketing. It is something that will help you get the word out for your business, for your product, for your service, whatever it is you’re trying to sell.
Sean: I was writing in SEO Hacker as a journal. That’s it. But that piece of content was marketed and I would share it on social media of course, but other people would share it more and more. And they would share it via email. They would share it via LinkedIn. They would share it via Facebook.
Sean: So during that time Facebook was a lot more generous for linking out to other articles. So I got a lot of traffic in SEO Hacker, not by my own shares but from a lot of other people’s effort in sharing our articles and they marketed it. I marketed it. And that is the beauty of content marketing.
Sean: Those pieces of content that I wrote. If you have the chance to check out some of them, you will see I wasn’t trying to sell SEO. I was trying to teach people how to do SEO in my opinion and in my experience. And I was trying to teach people what I think would happen to the industry at large and what I think would happen to digital marketing and how all of the other businesses that aren’t doing it would adopt some day.
Sean: SEO Hacker now, if you check out the blog today we got tons of readers. We got a lot of clients. I was freelancing during that time. I was just writing about SEO and every client that came in, I was just freelancing for them. It was a side gig.
Sean: And I started hiring, outsourcing people for a lot of the processes that I invented for SEO during that time. And then more clients would come in because we started ranking higher with our keywords.
Sean: And right now, if you check SEO Philippines, that keyword in and of itself, which is arguably the most difficult keyword in the country, SEO Hacker is ranking number one and we get a lot of clients from there. We get a lot of inquiries from that and SEO Hacker is now pretty much the most well known company here in the country.
Sean: We’ve got a lot of clients here, the biggest names. You could just check out our website. I’m not going to say the names of our clients, but we’ve got clients that are very well known, they are very big today. And it started because of simple content marketing.
Sean: I was just journaling everything that I was learning. Things started picking up because people love the value I bring to the table for free. They shared that for me and I started consequently ranking higher as well, because people would link to SEO Hacker. They would make me their reference. They would share my stuff in their blogs, in their websites as well. That helps your organic search rankings.
Sean: If you’re looking for content marketing, how to do it, where to start for your business, send me an email. My email address is email@example.com. I read and respond to every email I get. I am swamped sometimes, so please be patient with me if I’m not able to respond to you within 24 hours, but we can work it out.
Sean: We can set an exploratory zoom meeting, no commitments. I’m just going to give you ideas on what we can improve in your business’ content and how we can make sure that your content marketing efforts are maximized.
Sean: So I hope you learned a lot from this episode and if you did, you found value from this episode, please make sure to hit the subscribe button, hit that like button and make sure that you hit that bell notification icon so that if we publish more and new episodes, you get notified as well.
Sean: Again, this is Sean Si. I’m the founder and CEO of SEO Hacker. I’m the host of the Leadership Stack Podcast as well. We are also on Spotify. If you also listen to podcasts on Spotify, please do follow us there. Thank you so much and I will see you in the next episode.