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The "Secret" Behind Really Great Content

Jul 31, 2017
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Marketing is 10% what you say and 90% how you say it. There are many companies who have great content yet continue to underperform because of their execution and delivery. With so much content and so many conversations online, it's not hard to get lost in the shuffle. The brands and businesses that manage to rise above the noise do not do so by accident, but it’s because they understand the "secret" to really great content. 

In this episode of Hack My Growth, I share the not so secret, "secret," on how to create really great content. Here's a hint, it has nothing to do with keywords, backlinks or any of that stuff. All great pieces of content, from Books to Blog posts, from telegrams to tweets, all share one thing. Ready to learn more?  Check out the video below!

 

Video Transcript: 

Hey! What's up, everybody? Welcome to Hack My Growth. I'm Ryan Shelley, and I'm stoked that you're here today. We're going to be talking about one of my favorite subjects, and it's context. Context is the key to successful marketing online. We've all heard the phrase, "Content is king. We need to have more content." What's happened because of that is content farms have kind of blown up, and there's just all of this junk content online. Now we really have to sift through to find things that are actually valuable, and that's what Google's trying to do with their rank algorithm to make sure that the good stuff shows up on top. That's what Facebook is trying to do with their ranking algorithm and Twitter. Everybody's trying to sift through all of this content to make sure that when we're delivering it to the viewer, it's in the right context. That's really what they're trying to do is put your content into context.

You can make this easier on social media, on the search platforms, but more importantly on your users by making sure that your content is contextually appropriate. I know there's a lot of C's in there, and it's kind of hard to say, but it's true because the context is how your content is being framed. You can say something, and it may be a really good thing. You may have a really great piece of content, but if you deliver it at the wrong time and in the wrong way, it's either going to miss the mark, or it's going to come off as awkward. That's really the difference between wisdom and foolishness. You can say the same thing but you say it at the wrong time, and it could be a great statement, or it could be a foolish statement. The same thing goes for social media or a blog, or it goes into creating a video, it goes for creating web pages. All of these things need to have the appropriate context to actually deliver the message effectively.

We live in a noisy world. There's so much for us to pay attention to. Maybe you've seen those statistics where people's average attention span is eight seconds, and it's not that we don't know how to pay attention, it's that we have so much going on around us that we have to choose within eight seconds what we're going to pay attention to. They're looking at posts, they're looking at pictures, they're looking at things that are just coming up in their day, whether it be emails or social threads, and they're trying to understand: What speaks to me? What's going to hit me right now? What's the most important thing for me to spend my time on or enjoy or engage with at this moment? They're making those decisions very, very quickly.

Context will help you frame your content in a way that allows them to engage more naturally and authentically. Brands that do this the right way are the brands that are building a relationship. Our economy today is really built on relationships more than anything else. If you can generate a large following, you're going to generate a large group of people and build a community that feeds off of each other and grows with one another and adds value to one another. You're more powerful, and you have more behind you than some of these massive corporations. That's how a lot of these bootstrap companies have started, they've built communities, and people who love their product and love what's kind of going on around it and a whole community has sprung up around this.

We've seen this with a number of different social platforms. The one I can think of is WordPress; it's this open source web platform that now more than 70% of the world's websites are built on. (I was wrong on this, it's acutally about 25%. But that still a lot of sites.)  It's because of the community that was built and content that was contextually appropriate to people looking for a solution at that time that spoke to them and created this massive wave of just web developers and people wanting to get together. I think WordPress is a really great example of that. Small businesses can look at this, and large businesses can look at this and understand what they need to do is slow down and take the time to listen, to really understand their users' wants, needs, and desires. This is using social tools like Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and wherever your audience is online and listening to the things that they're doing. This is looking at our Google analytics and understanding the pieces of content that have performed well versus the ones that aren't performing well and how that's impacting our search visibility and how people are engaging with us.

It's just taking the time to maybe craft a short questionnaire to get to know people or even maybe pick up the phone and call the customer to understand their wants, their needs, and their desires so then we can build messaging, then we can build content that's going to add value to them and it's going to be contextually appropriate. Context is the key to success when digital marketing, with inbound marketing, with any sort of online marketing or even just face-to-face marketing, context is the key to successful communication. That's what helps you deliver your message at the right place to the right person at the right time.

I am obsessive lately about context, and I'm not great at it, I miss the mark plenty of times. I've been guilty of just posting stuff and putting stuff out there because I want to meet a schedule, but lately I've just really felt this weight and understanding that just because you can post something or you can say something doesn't mean it's the right thing to say and sometimes it's better just to step back, wait a minute, think about the context of the situation and then deliver a much better offer, a much better piece of content, a much better Tweet that's actually going to lead to a conversation and connection.

I kind of want to challenge you guys this week, anybody watching this video, to slow down with their marketing, slow down with your sales, slow down with all the craziness for a minute and just pause, understand what's going on, the context of what's going on, and then think about how you can add value to that area. How can you add value to the people in the community that's actually going to allow you to come across as a more natural human being? We can have brands, but our brands can still be human, and that's really important. It doesn't matter how much AI is involved or how much planning is involved; we have to have a human element to what we're doing because we're dealing with people. At the end of the day, we're making connections with people and context is what allows us to do that more effectively.

Until next week, happy marketing. If you've got any questions, please comment below. Share this video if you like it. Post it on Facebook, post it on Twitter if you think it's contextually appropriate please make sure that you hit the subscribe button as well. We put out videos every week trying to help marketers and small business owners do better with what they have and excel and grow even more.

Thanks for watching Hack My Growth and we'll see you next time.

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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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