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Content Marketing & Ads: Where Should You Focus Your Time?

Jan 9, 2017
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Time is the most important asset we have. If we misuse it, it’s gone. Those who learn to use time in their favor yield amazing results. As a marketing agency, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in marketing your clients that you forget to market yourself. This was one of my biggest mistakes when I first started my agency. When I decided to treat my agency like a client and dedicate time and energy into marketing my brand, I started to see amazing growth.  For more on how to create better content, check out this post.

In this week's video, I was asked a question about time. Dave Marquardt, from RealBrickRoad.com asked:
"How much time should I spend creating marketable content vs advertising? What have you seen along these lines that 'works'?"

While I can’t give an exact recommendation on how much time anyone should spend, I can share a little about my approach to content marketing and advertising. I’ll also share some of what has worked for me. So check out the video below to learn more. 

 

 

Video Transcript

Now, creating good content is really a hard thing to determine because it's going to be different if you're a marketing agency, or you're a local business, or if you're a pet shop. The different niches you're in is going to really determine what people want to look at, and read, and engage with. Then your customers are going to be unique. It's going to differ between cities, it's going to differ between geographic regions, and beliefs, and their emotional temperament. Really getting to know your audience is important for you to create good content because marketable content doesn't happen by accident. You have to really know who you're targeting, provide value, and give them that value time and time again.

For me, I suggest that at least once a week you should block out at least an hour to two hours of your time to really plan out your content, to understand your audience, and create videos, or graphics, or blogs, or website pages that your customers, that your niche, that your industry, that people looking for answers that you're providing really want to know more about.

What forms of content and ads have worked for me? Video has been a really great form of content and it's been really powerful on the advertising side as well. Video is awesome because it's more personal. It's more of a one-to-one connection. People can see me. They can hear my voice. They can watch me move and get to know me. They can say, "Hey, I like this guy," or, "I don't like this guy," and move on. Video is awesome just because it gives us a little bit more of that connection that we're all looking for. It's a great way for me to share my thoughts about marketing and really to answer people's questions. That's the whole purpose of the SMA Marketing Minute is to answer your questions about online marketing.

Now, what's really great is I can use YouTube to boost my videos. I can spend a little bit in advertising. I can write good ad copy and I can get more viewers. I can get more subscribers, and I can get more people in my tribe who want to watch my videos and follow along as I continue to do this. That's a really good example of taking time to create valuable marketable content that works on its own, but then also using ads to supplement that content. You can do the same with your blog posts or landing pages, whatever kind of content you're creating, but just make sure that it really benefits each other. Like landing pages, you need to have one core focus. You need to be really succinct. You need to have really good copy.

Now, while on the landing page you might not have as much copy as you would on a site page or a blog, but copy is still extremely important. It's got to make sense and it's got to really be validated by the ad. Making sure that your quality score is high, that you get more clicks, and you get more conversions. Really content marketing and spending time on content is going to help you on the ad side as well because the more focused your content is, the more user-driven your content is, the more your ads are going to rank higher, and the more they're going to convert in the long run, because once you drive a user to your page, the end goal is to have them engaged with you and follow along.

Before we wrap this video up, I just want to make one more comment about time. Time is our most important resource. When it comes to growing our business, when it comes to generating the life that we want, and living the life that we've always wanted with our family and our loved ones, it comes down to how we use our time. A lot of people ask me how do you have time to create videos and do blog posts. The reality is, I have just as much time as anybody else. What I've learned is that I chunk my time. I block time on my calendar every single day and dedicate that to building content, to researching content, to making videos, because I know that if I want my business to grow, if I want my agency to be seen and heard, that I need to create content that speaks, content that engages people.

I made an important part of the business to put my time and energy into doing this and marketing myself. Also, what really came down to it for me was batching that time. I'm not the most organized guy in the world. In fact, I've been a procrastinator most of my life. Doing this wasn't natural to me, but what made it more of a habit was doing it over and over and over. Now, I didn't see results right away. When I re-launched the agency full time in 2014, I quit my other job and I said, "I'm going to do this full time." I was nervous. I didn't really know what was going to happen but one thing I did was that I'm going to market myself. I'm going to take the time to do it right and I'm going to block off time every day to write and create content.

Now we're here two years later and we've seen amazing results. We're continually growing and it's awesome. No longer am I just a one-man team. We've got other people working with us, alongside us, and helping me grow the agency. Honestly, we wouldn't be where we are without them today. It started with me blocking time off and saying, "I'm going to post three times a week no matter what it takes." I would stay up a little bit later. I'd get up a little bit early in the morning, but I'd make time to create that good content. Then, with that good content, we can market ourselves and we've been able to grow. You can do that too.

I just want to encourage you that anybody can do this. You just got to put your action behind those words and start shipping your stuff every day. Well, this was the SMA Marketing Minute. Hope you guys learned something today, and I really hope that I answered today's question. Stay tuned for another episode next week.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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