I don’t think most people know what content marketing really is or means. And then if they think they do, I don’t think they know really how to leverage it, or to use it to build their brand, to build their income, to build reach, to build their lead, incoming lead flow, incoming as in organically coming towards you rather than you having to push out and sell.
I want to just talk through how content marketing benefits you, how to do it properly, why it’s worthy of your time, how to sort of merge it into your life, without having to feel like you have to do so much extra work.
I don’t believe content marketing really is marketing. I think that’s the first thing that probably most people don’t understand. I always used to think it’s pretty clear. But I’ve been reading a lot of business and marketing plans. I’ve launched a brand, new marketing Mastermind. I’ve probably read 20 business and marketing plans over the last 5 days. I think it’s quite shocking to me, how many business owners aren’t putting themselves out there enough, have fear of putting themselves out there, don’t really understand why giving information and value out, is, beneficial to them in their business. There are plenty of people getting word-of-mouth recommendation. There’s plenty of people doing telemarketing, which costs a lot more, and it’s quite pushy. Yet, they’re not leveraging this magic in marketing that isn’t really marketing, which is called content marketing.
I think the first thing, is, if we get out of our head that it’s marketing, it’s not really marketing. That’s the result. But actually, what you’re doing, is, you’re adding value to your followers, your fans, your ideal clients and your market. You are sharing information that has helped you become successfully in your business, that positions you in your brand and your marketplace, and that solves the problems, inspires, motivates and educates your market. That’s really what content marketing is.
I think a lot of people don’t do that for a few reasons.
Reason no. 1 – They feel they don’t have time, which is not true. We all have time. It’s just what do you prioritise.
Reason no. 2 – they sometimes, perceived that they don’t know enough, or they feel it’s quite difficult to come up with all these ideas for content, which actually is not true either. It’s very easy. I’ll give you one example. What do you do in your day, in your own business journey that could also be valuable to your followers, fans, customers and clients? Well, my guess is a lot. Maybe, you’re having discussions with clients. Maybe, you’re solving problems. Maybe, you’re dealing with staff issues. Maybe, you’re trying to outsource, to leverage, to grow, to scale. All of these things that happened in your business day-to-day, those things are valuable to your clients, leads, followers and fans.
I must admit in the early days when I used to see these big American influencers having a video guy following them around and go, wow, look at me. The English reservedness came out at me and I thought, ah, I’ll never going to do that. I’m not showy and flashy enough. That will make me uncomfortable. Look at them. Who do they think they are? Some kind of influencer?
But actually, if you just have a little audio recording device like this. This is Zoom H1. This is a really good little piece of kit. It’s only 80 quid with a Lavalier mic that you clip on. you can just record the valuable discussions that you’re having. That can become content for podcasts. If you just do a live video straight after you’ve solved something, or you had a revelation, your own revelations are great content for your market, because they’re likely to have similar revelations.
Certainly more and more I’ve been trying to embrace in getting a film crew come around me. I mean I’ve got a film crew that work in my office. I’m still a bit, uh, don’t come near me. Uh, don’t film me. Uh, it’ll all be unnatural. I’m still trying to grow to my next level and get over that a little bit more.
People feel like they don’t have the time when they do. I’ll talk about that in a minute. People feel like they don’t have something to say when they do.
Reason no. 3 – I think the next thing that people think, is, it’s not really going to generate the business that they want. Well, okay, one today, you can do Facebook Ads, and Google Ads, and various direct response marketing today. That may generate results today. That also may burn a lot of money, by the way, if you’ve not tested it properly. It’s definitely true to say that your content marketing, that you’re putting your value out to the world.
Rashmin has made a good point. He said value is the new marketing. Very much so. There is a delayed response. But I mean there is a delayed response in anything, if you want to go to the gym and work out, there’s a delayed response in losing the weight or gaining the muscle. If you want to visualise, there’s a delayed response in getting the manifested reality that you want. There’s a delayed response in everything.
You don’t plant a seed today, and come back tomorrow and say, where’s my tree? I’ve been scammed by the seed seller. There is no tree today. I planted it yesterday. I think that sometimes, in fact, oftentimes, the things that yield the best results, are, those that take longer to mature, to develop, to flourish.
It does take a little bit of faith to go, you know what? I’m going to commit to doing one good piece of content a week, or one good piece of content a day. You may have seen recently I’ve really upped my game. And I’m trying to put 3 good pieces of content out per day, per platform. That’s for me, probably 21 or 24 pieces of content. It’s a lot. Of course, I can repurpose across many media, which helps. But there’s certainly for me, I’ve noticed that the more I put out, the more I get back. I get more private messages on LinkedIn. I get more private messages on Facebook.
Of course, that does attract some extra work, of which not all of that is people saying, hey, here’s a load of money, Rob. Have it. But it’s hard to put a figure on it. But I would say, certainly my podcasts have generated more than £3 million in trickled down revenue. I would say maybe, 250 messages a day I get incoming on my social media platforms now, all of them collated together roughly speaking. I would 10 to 20 percent of them are probably really good leads for my business. Maybe, 10 to 20 percent of them are just messages of gratitude or sharing stories of success. Thanks to my books and podcasts and everything else.
I would say, a third of them are probably people just asking questions. I don’t mind having a lot of incoming, where people ask questions. Because the question that you answer, which is the second stage, because stage 1, is that, they see your content. They get value from it. They reach out to you to answer a question. Well, that could become a lifetime client. How do you not know that, that’s the case?
Of course you have the faith when you plant a seed, that there’s going to be a tree one day. By the same token, you have to have faith that when you put good value out to the world, you get it back. I think a lot of people do it a couple of times don’t see any immediate results, they’re like, ugh, well, that didn’t work. Where’s my f**king tree?
When in reality, you’ve got to do it consistently. I mean, if you’re going to lend money to someone, you won’t lend money to one person who’s done one video on a Facebook Live, or go to one networking event that you met once, and never came back. There’s a certain amount of consistency that’s required.
Let’s go back now to the time element. A great way to leverage your time, is, to compartmentalise in your day, anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes for content creation. That could be both the creation and the idea, you know, the planning of it, the making the notes. Notice from me watching this, if you’re watching the video version of this, I don’t have any notes. But I know that, if I just conversationally talk about content marketing, I’ve got faith in myself that I’ve got information out there. But other times, you’ll notice I’ve got my laptop to the side, and I’m slightly looking to the right. And I’m reading through 5 or 7 or 9 ways to do something.
Something that you feel like you know really well, just express yourself naturally like this. You may have got off tangents. It might be conversational. But hopefully, there will be some good stuff in it. But then other stuff that maybe, the bullets need to be specific, or the content needs to be really clear. You know, just have some notes behind your phone. Just deliver that content in video or audio format.
If you put aside 5 to 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week, to both create and record your content, then you’re going to have 5 pieces of content a week. But actually, you’re not. Because, if you do a video like this, if you’re watching the video, I’m doing this live, I’ve got a researcher outsourcer generally, he’s been working with me for 12 years. He will take this, and he will put this onto LinkedIn. If he goes over 10 minutes, which my 2-minute videos often go over 10 minutes, he will take the best 10 minutes, and he’ll put that onto LinkedIn. Then he’ll take a little one-minute excerpt, and he’ll put that onto Instagram. He’ll take this, and he’ll put it onto YouTube. I’m also recording the audio. This audio goes on The Disruptive Entrepreneur Podcast, if you’re listening to the audio.
Actually, it’s taken me 5 or 10 minutes to plan. Let’s say 15 minutes to deliver. That’s 25 minutes. And I always do this between 8:30 and 9 o’clock, because it’s a good time for me. My energy is good. I’ve already done some good work, because I get up nice and early. I don’t feel like, it’s encroaching on high value tasks.
Of course, over the years, when I’ve done this, I’ve realised the great benefit that it’s got. This 15-minute becomes the live feed. I can share it in a couple of my groups. That’s 3 pieces of content. Let’s say, I get 3 one-minute excerpts for Instagram, and that’s 6 pieces of content.
I could use that once a year, by the way, because you can sort of just schedule it in when sort of people have forgotten about it. That becomes say, 9 pieces of content. The YouTube video, 10 pieces of content. The podcast, 11 pieces of content. The LinkedIn video, 12 pieces of content. It could become a blog for SEO on LinkedIn. That’s one piece of time, 14 pieces of content.
If you think smart and strategically about it, then it’s actually a really good use of time. Where else can you spend one unit of time, and get a 14-times unit of time return? You can’t get that leveraged even in property. You just can’t get that leverage anywhere else. Then you’re reaching 14 different potential sets of customers.
Benefits of repurposing content
When I talk about this, a lot people worry that, well, if I’m repurposing it across multiple platforms, that will be a duplication. A lot of people will see all the same content, and they might get frustrated or complain about that. Well, there’s a few things I can share with you, which I think will hopefully get you over that.
The first thing is most of the social media platforms will not give you reach to even 10 percent of your followers or your fans. On Facebook, my videos will normally get between 3, 000 and 5,000 views. There’s 134,000 that follow me. That’s pretty low. Like, that’s actually annoying. I know I’ve got to do what? 20, 30, 40, I don’t know more videos for prorated for my video to reach every person.
Of course, what’s going to happen, is, some is never going to reach, and some, they’re going to see more than one. Your top fans will usually consume all of your content, and that’s great. If you put your content across all the media, and each media lets you reach 10 percent, then you’ve got to do 10 pieces of content on that one media platform, just for in theory, everyone to see it once, or that like I said, some will see it. Some won’t see it. And some will see it more than once.
Those that sort of see it more than once, will want to see it more than once, or more than one piece of content, sorry, because the algorithm knows that they favour watching your content, because it’s got its intuitive. It’s just continually, this is like, machine learns people’s habits. The people that see your content a lot, want to see your content a lot. And the people that don’t, don’t so much. You’ve got to put a lot more content out there, just to get it seen once per person.
Different audience and social media platforms
The next thing, is, you’ve got a very different audience on Instagram versus LinkedIn, versus Facebook, versus in a Facebook Group, versus Twitter, versus on your podcast. Because people prefer to consume different media. The MD at Progressive Property, she says she doesn’t really use Facebook at all. She uses Instagram. She uses that a lot. Of course, there are people vice versa. I use Facebook a lot more than I use Instagram. I’m a great listener of and I have a podcast. I have two podcasts. But of course, only what, I think it’s about 12 to 15 percent of the UK, have listened to a podcast. That’s quite small. Other people prefer YouTube.
Yes, you’ve got your top fans who subscribe to you across all the platforms, and they want to see your content. This is the point. I went from one piece a week to 3 pieces a week to one piece a day. I said I’m going for 3 pieces of content per day per platform. I do notice that the reach per piece of content slightly goes down. But the overall reach, the overall views, watches, shares, comments have gone up.
The more content you put out there, the more people you reach. It’s just a numbers game. The goodwill you’ve built remotely, therefore, the more incoming leads you’ll have. When it comes to content marketing, like I said, don’t think of it as marketing, think it as adding value. It’s important to express for maybe 80 percent of the time, the things that you do, that are in your niche and market, that your ideal clients are going got relate to, and are going to most make them likely to understand the business that you do, and be a potential client.
I see a lot of people out there putting lots of random pieces of content out there. That sends a mixed message. I have this 80/10/5/5 Rule for content posting, which I think you’ll get a lot of benefit from. 80 percent, is, you talking about your market, your model, your niche, the business that you’re in that attracts your ideal clients. 10 percent of the time, is, it’s good to talk about yourself. You know, some of the things you like to do. Some of the credibility that you have. Because people don’t care what you know till they know that you care. People want to relate to you as a person, not as a cold corporate machine.
I always have this sort of phobia, I guess, not major. But I’ve always thought, people don’t care about me. They’re all will know about all the things I’m doing. What they want to get is good content. For quite a long time, probably 2 or 3 years, it was just content, content, content, content, content, content. But I’d realise that people want to be inspired, motivated, educated and entertained. They want to connect with you as an individual. They don’t just want to know about your business model and your information. They want to know a bit about you, the human being, that you care, that you’re interesting, that you’re like them.
Of course, if you do that, 90 percent of the time, it’s just, hey, look at me. Look at what I do. If you’re Kim Kardashian or some kind of massive celebrity, then people who follow you just want to know what you’re up to. They want to get behind the curtain, if you like. I suggest you do that about 10 percent of the time.
Then 5 percent of the time, you do, what I called, engagement jacking or newsjacking. That is just leveraging certain posts and certain things that happen in the media, and certain sort of world events, that there’s a lot of energy around for you to get more reach and more engagement.
I did just a simple post about Bill Gates. It was modelled on someone else’s post. I wrote it into my own words. It’s sort of linked to my brand. But really, it doesn’t have the same educational, or sort of information value as my usual posts. And that got what? I think so far, it’s about 800,000 views. I think it’s got 250,000 views in the first day. I have nearly 36,000 followers on LinkedIn. Yet that LinkedIn allowed me to reach nearly 800,000 people. That’s another podcast for another time about LinkedIn, by the way, because it’s pretty much the only platform that will give you vast reach beyond your own connections.
That content was intentionally put there to get that extra reach. Because that means that 800,000 people had viewed that piece of content. I’ve had hundreds and hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of comments, and thousands of likes, which means that there will be a trickled down effect. But let’s say, 10 percent of them will view my profile. And let’s say, 20 percent of those who viewed my profile, will follow me. That’s going to get me a few hundred organic followers. There’s this trickled down effect of followers as well as this trickled down effect of generating leads and business and interest.
Then the other 5 percent, is, for you to do your pitching and your selling. You shouldn’t be scared to do your pitching and selling. But if you do it all the time, there’s a lot of people that use social media very infrequently, and when they do, is, always a pitch. And you’re not going to build any goodwill. And people probably aren’t going to, you know, and this is why they don’t work a lot of the time. This is why a lot of people don’t use social media, because they haven’t done it the right way.
Let me remind you:
- 80 percent content value, information, inspiration, education, motivation.
- 10 percent of the time about you, what you’re up to. Maybe, you do some charity stuff. Maybe, pictures of your cars, or your books, or your kids, or where you’re going, or whatever.
- Then 5 percent of the time, engagement and newsjacking.
- Then 5 percent of the time, you do your pitch. Let’s say, you want to do 5 pitches a month. You know, you might deem that’s quite a lot. Well, then you need to do 100 pieces of content a month to earn the right to do 5 pitches a month.
By the way, I’m a bit soft. It could quite easily be 60/10/15/15. You could do 15 out of 100 pitches. 15 pitches out of 100 pieces of content, wouldn’t be too much at all. If you use that model, you’re going to get a lot of more leverage out of your content marketing, which isn’t content marketing. You could call it, value attraction. Because really, what it is, is putting value out there, and it’s attracting your clients.
No one likes to be sold to, but everyone loves to buy
The next thing, is, no one likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to buy. There’s plenty of people out in the world, thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions who are potential clients of yours. And they love to buy. They want the product or service that you’ve got. But they don’t really want to be hard pitched to.
Really, if you think about it, the best way to build them as a client, is, to allow them to make their own decision in their own time, in their own space, in their own environment. Build this goodwill and trust with you, which usually takes about 10 hours. Then come to you ready to buy.
The great thing about writing books, of which I’ve written now 14. I think 7 have my name on the title. 7 are co-authored or ghostwritten by me. I’ve got now 340 episodes of The Disruptive Entrepreneur. I think we’re nearly 50 of the podcast Money. If I’m doing now 2 to 3 pieces of content per platform, there’s probably 8,000 to 10,000 pieces of content out there that has reached millions of people.
I don’t have millions of followers. I do have hundreds of thousands. I’m in that middle bracket between start-up and the massive American influencer. But because of the amount of content I have put out there, I’ve probably reached 10 or 100 times more people than I’ve got followers. These people have been able to scroll down on my Facebook Page, and watch hundreds of videos, and listened to my podcasts, or listened to hundreds of episodes, you know, go on YouTube and watched hundreds of videos, et cetera. they’ve got a chance in their own environment, in their car, in the gym, when they’re walking, on the train, on the plane to listen to the content and learn from me.
Of course, some people are going to be like, ah, I hate Rob’s voice. I hate Rob’s face. This is pretty common, actually. They’re going to leave. And that’s fine. That’s a good way to disqualify. At least they don’t come to me, and start critiquing, and trolling. They’ve tried and hated it, off. By the way, it’s usually the 99p Kindle buyers. There’s a lesson in that.
But of course, it’s likely only 5 percent of the people that ever hear about you, or see you, or follow you, are going to end up being really big critics. It’s quite a myth. There’s a lot less than you think that there are. Of course, if you’re Donald Trump, it’s probably 50-50. He’s probably quite divisive. But of course, he’s got billions of people who know him.
Someone is able to consume all this content. They come to you when they choose on their terms. They probably consume 10, 20, 30 hours of your great content. They’re educated, motivated, inspired, and they’re ready to buy. Then there’s way less friction to buy. Then those 5 percent of the time, or 15 percent, if you want to be a little bit more forthright than I am, because I’m soft, then you’re just literally collecting in the built-up sales and goodwill.
I think I’ve talked enough about content marketing or what it is. If I could summarise for you:
- Content marketing isn’t really marketing. It’s creating value to the world.
- Like, when you plant a seed, you don’t expect the tree the next day. You should think about this as planting various seeds, that will mature into saplings and trees. Then it will bear fruit. And then it will bear fruit every year.
- It’s easier than you think. It’s quicker than you think. You just have to put a bit of time in your diary between 5 and 30 minutes a day to plan and create the content.
- Then you repurpose the content across all media by making sure you record the audio and the video. You record the audio on many different platforms and the video on many different platforms. Then you transcribe and put on many different platforms. You can turn one piece of content into up to 14 like, I said.
- It’s important that you keep doing it, because consistency breeds familiarity and trust. If you do it every now and again and randomly, people won’t naturally trust you. Of course, if you do it all the time, some people are going, bloody hell, Rob is all over Facebook and social media. He’s annoying me. Block! But that person was never going to be your client, anyway. You can’t sort of not put your work out there in fear of the few people that aren’t going to like it.
- Once you’ve built that consistency, people can then build this goodwill, and education, and information, and entertainment, and inspiration on their own terms rather than you interrupting them with ads. Because I’m not against ads. I spend what? Nearly £200,000 a month on marketing. But those ads are interrupting people that were doing something else to then try and get them to come to an event or listen to a podcast. That’s going to be some attrition and some resistance there.
- But if you’ve got these people all over the world, listening to your podcast, watching your videos, reading your books, getting content from you on Facebook, and LinkedIn, and Twitter, and Instagram, and all these different media, then there’s all this goodwill built all over the world. And then when you make your pitch, it doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be heavy. You don’t have to worry about it failing, because all this build up revenue, and goodwill, and lifetime clients ready to then exchange business with you. The friction and their resistance and objections are way reduced.
- The next thing, just to finish it, is that, your personal brand is really the only asset you own. I’m big into properties. Some people find it weird when I say that, because I have hundreds of properties. You know, I earn millions of pounds a year from my property portfolio. But the reality, is, I have still got some lending on that. Okay, it’s not massive amount. It might be 55, 60 percent. But I’ve still got some lending on that.
If I didn’t pay mortgage for 2 months, I would find out who owns my properties. Because the banks would be on my door. In the end, they would repossess me and take them back even though they’ve only got 60 percent ownership of them.
Unless I’m completely incumbent, I don’t have any mortgages, I don’t even have full control of my assets. My books are mostly controlled by my publishers or Amazon. If Amazon decides to sell my Kindle books for 99p, which attracts the lowest quality of buyers. And most of the one-stars are from the 99p Kindle buyers. There’s some irony there. Then I’m not in control of that. Whereas my social media, my podcasts, my videos. All the content I put out there, the followers, the fans that I have, I own those. They are me. If something happens to my companies, if I want to sell it, if there’s a reputational issue, if there’s some kind of market crash in the properties, and they go down, and the banks call in the money. There’s a hostile takeover the company, I might now own any of that or control it. But I own and control all my personal brand, my social media, and that as an asset.
If you look at a lot of the celebrities now, they’re actually using their Instagram accounts themselves, and that they realised the power of social media. Of course, they’re renting out posts and shout-outs. They’re getting a lot of income from that.
This is the thing that keeps the fire burning inside of me, that it’s worth my time to develop my social media and personal brand. Sometimes, I’ll do post, and I’ll think, well, the reach, and the comments, and the likes that wasn’t that great. I could have done something different or better with my time. Today, when I did this post, I didn’t get 250 messages like I normally do.
But every time you do it, you’re going to pick up a natural amount of organic followers and fans. You’re going to get a natural amount of comments and shares. Bit by bit you’re building your reach. And if you think about how things sort of connect like a neuron network, it grows, and it grows, and it grows.
I think it’s the lily patch, you know, I think they’re lilies that grow on the top of a pond. Basically, they double in size every day. There might be one lily on this massive pond, and it might take 2,000 days for the lilies to cover the whole pond. But it only takes one day from it to go half covered to fully covered, because it’s one, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048. How long can I do this for? 4,096. I’ll stop there.
You’ll get this compounded leverage of all the content and the content marketing, the value that you put out in the world. But you can’t see it. If you could see all the connections you’re making all across the world, you do more of it. That’s why I like to look at the YouTube and the Facebook analytics, and I like to look at the podcast downloads. I’ve got 192 countries worth of people who subscribe to me. We should hit 10 million downloads this year. I think it took us nearly a year to hit one million. Then you get to 3 million in less than in another year. it compounds up. Hopefully, that gives you some sort of faith and confidence to keep at it, because it’s your own brand. It’s the only thing you own. Keep at it.
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