In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob and Mike talk about content promotion tactics. Breaking the tactics down in three categories (Social Media, SEO, and E-mail Marketing), the guys share thoughts and expand based on some previously written articles on the topic.
Items mentioned in this episode:
Welcome to Startups For The Rest Of Us. The podcast that helps developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at building, launching, and growing software products whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Mike.
Rob: I’m Rob. You know, I’ve been thinking about my next act for a while.
Mike: Have you now?
Rob: I have.
Mike: Is this where people start cashing in on the pool?
Rob: Totally, yeah. What is Rob’s next startup going to be, right? This has been a question for a while.
Mike: I think it was my timing, actually. Not just what it was going to be.
Rob: Oh, was it?
Rob: Because Rob said I’m never going to do this again. Who put money on never? I think…
Mike: Probably nobody.
Rob: …no one. My wife definitely did not put money on never. Well, my next act is not a startup. It is an accelerator for bootstrappers. It’s actually a small fund and an accelerator for bootstrappers. It’s called TinySeed. You can check more info at tinyseedfund.com. But it’s really the first startup accelerator designed for bootstrappers, so startup accelerators is something like Y Combinator, TechStars, and as you and I have talked many times, those are geared around people who have these unicorn ideas, who are going to move to a location for three months, work the 80 hours for little pay and little sleep, and that doesn’t necessarily fit with the rest of us. I mean, the name of our podcast is Startups For The Rest of Us, right? You did this after Y Combinator came out.
Rob: That’s what this accelerator is. It’s designed for folks like you, me, listeners of the podcast, attendees of MicroConf–kind of the people in our ecosystem and our community where building $1 million SaaS app, $5 million, $10 million annual SaaS app, is actually quite lucrative and there are so few funding sources for folks like us. The idea is, to put more money where my mouth has been for the past several years.
I’ve made a dozen angel investments, half of those have been in these businesses that only want to raise a single round of funding. Often $100,000, $250,000, maybe $400,000, whatever some small-ish amount, and then they want to get to profitability and never do that institutional money. The idea is, we know a lot of founders, I know a lot of founders, who are somewhere between idea and $10k a month MRR–is the sweet spot. Because most of these folks are unable to work full-time on their business and that’s kind of the value prop of TinySeed is it gives you runway for a year.
It basically provides you with a small amount of capital but it’s going to be enough capital to basically live on for a year and keep you from having the nights and weekends stuff, to be able to focus full-time, and you don’t have to relocate so it’s remote. It’s going to be in a cohort model […] maybe it’s 10 in the first cohort, and weekly Zoom calls, and I’m assuming like a Slack or chat group, and then weekly office hours. Basically, all the things you hear about in an accelerator except that it’s designed for us, by us; it is remote and it’s just another option.
I think the other thing is, it’s longer term. You and I both know, I don’t think we could’ve built and launched Drip or Bluetick in three months. It’s just not long enough. The idea is to get longer runway to get more traction and since people are remote, it winds up being easier. Because Y Combinator couldn’t be a one-year thing because you’re not going to relocate to a place for a year. There’re different elements to it but that’s the basic gist.
Mike: We’ll have to talk about it. I almost think that we might want to talk about it for either longer period of time and it’s part of a direct episode on funding. I think there’s different ways that it could work. Obviously, you guys have to talk internally about what you are going to publicly disclose now versus things that you’re just talking about or ruminated on for ideas. But I do think we should definitely revisit it as a part of a longer discussion topic as part of Startups For The Rest Of Us.
Rob: Yeah, that sounds like fun. I would say, at this point, we’re about probably 80% locked down on terms and ideas, and curriculum and thoughts, and all that. But definitely more than happy to talk about it. The wee of it is, myself and Einar Volsett, who has been at MicroConf many times, he’s a YC Y Combinator alum, he’s had a couple of exits, and right now, he’s a Micro-Cap M&A advisor, which I think, he’s like a scout for private equities; he works with private equity companies. But you know him. I think you’ve talked a bunch of times.
Mike: Yeah. I’ve had dinner with him a couple of times at MicroConf. He’s a super sharp guy. He used to teach at Cornell, I think.
Rob: Yeah, he was a CS Professor at Cornell for a couple of years.
Mike: Right. He’s got a Ph.D. in computer science but he also knows a lot about the business side of things. What was the startup that he ran? It was inbox spelled backwards, it’s xobni, something like that?
Rob: It wasn’t xobni, it was something else. There was one called AppAftercare which he exited in 2016.
Mike: Oh, ReMail
Rob: Yep, ReMail, that was it. Y Combinator and it was acquired by Google in 2010. He has some experience and that’s where he has more of the fundraising and the private equity venture capital, more knowledge of that and the terms, so he’s good at figuring out models and running IRR calculations. If you don’t know what those are, you don’t need to unless you’re going to run a fund but that’s one of the reasons that I’ve never wanted to get into this is I didn’t want to do all that side of things.
Mike: Well, like I said, it will definitely be interesting to see how this plays out. I think that you guys are the first ones that are doing this in this particular space. We used to talk about why Y Combinator was aimed at people who are just going straight for funding versus like, “Hey, let me build a product. Let me get a little bit of traction for it and then go out for some funding, but I still want to not have to grow it into his giant thing.”
Rob: That’s right. I, of course, did a bunch of market research on accelerators and incubators and remote accelerators, they’re really–you can find a list of remote accelerators, but almost of them, they’re rather defunct now or it’s like a remote accelerator tied to like a city government launch or a university and it just kind of feels like a ghost town. No one has nailed this model. That of course could be a risk if you have no competition. Are you first or is it not going to work? Are you going down a wrong path? That’s always the question but I personally believe I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think that it was going to work.
Mike: I think every single entrepreneur […] of doing business. If I’m first, it’s like I’m seeing things that other people aren’t seeing. But it’s one of those things that you have to let it play out to find out whether history will remember you for being right or wrong.
Rob: Absolutely. That’s the game of being a founder, I think. If you’re listening to this and you’re just interested in hearing more whether it’s from the founder side, whether you are experienced, interested in being a mentor, somehow being involved, or just wanting to hear more about it, tinyseedfund.com. There, of course, is an email opt-in form in there. We’ll be communicating with that list as more details come out.
Mike: Awesome. On my end, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to schedule a personal retreat in the very near future just to straighten out where my marketing efforts are going to go for Bluetick. Because I’ve had things all over the place for several months now and I haven’t really had a solid thought on what the direction should be and where, strategically, I should be going with the marketing efforts.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to take that time right now just because my wife teaches on Saturdays, and my son has soccer games on Saturdays. For the next three or four weeks, he’s got those games. It’s just like she can’t be in both places at the same time, so I kind of have to wait, push off on that a little bit, but that is on my short-term road map, I’ll say.
Rob: That’s always a good idea. Frankly, since I started doing retreats, there always comes this time where you just don’t know what to do next, you don’t know what to try next, and you need some distance in order to do that. Because if you sit around at your laptop, at your home office, you’re just going to write code, you’re going to respond to fires and support requests and all that stuff and getting away for a couple of days–super valuable.
Do you have Sherry’s retreat guide, The Zen Founder Guide to Founder Retreats?
Mike: I’m not sure. I think I might. I’m not sure if I have it or not.
Rob: It’s just a very good guide to revisit. Every time I go on a retreat, I’d pull it up. If you’re listening to this, haven’t heard of it, go to zenfounder.com. I think there’s a products link in there. It’s $19 or something and it’s 30, 40-page e-book, in essence, but it’s kind of everything. Because Sherry introduced me to Founder Retreats and I talked about it on this podcast and it’s kind of spread from there which I think is a great thing. I’ve always found them so valuable. Sherry put together the guide and had me add as much as fill-in-the-gaps basically on it, and so it’s really, in my opinion, kind of the definitive guide for things you should think about as you go into your retreat.
I hope you’re able to do that soon. It’s a bummer to have schedule be the issue. Is there a way—just to throw out ideas—like he has soccer game on Saturday, could you leave Saturday evening and come back, basically 48 hours, come back Monday evening or Monday afternoon before the kids get home from school?
Mike: Probably. Last week was a holiday so I could not have done it that week. Then this coming week, I can’t leave on Saturday night because we’re basically going out to dinner for our wedding anniversary to celebrate that. Then the following week I leave for MicroConf.
Rob: You just cancel.
Mike: Oh, yeah. Sure. I’ll just cancel that.
Rob: Oh, for Pete’s sake.
Mike: I’ll cancel either our anniversary dinner or MicroConf. One or the other. It’s going to be several weeks no matter what at this point. There’s no way around it, I think.
Rob: I have a great idea. Do your retreat in Croatia. Just extend your trip a couple of extra days. Be like, “Hey, Ally, I’ll be back. Peace out. Have fun with the kids. I’ll be back.”
Mike: If I were leaving early, I can’t though. Just because she teaches during the week […] like Sundays.
Rob: I’m joking.
Mike: I know.
Rob: Yeah, man. It’s hard. I totally get it.
Mike: Oh, well, moving on. I guess we’re going to move on to our actual topic for today. We’re going to talk about content promotion tactics.
Rob: I am digging it. We’re revisiting a topic that we covered in 2010.
Mike: Yes. This is a little bit from episode six. In episode six, it was all about how to get traffic to your website. I went back, and I took a look at that, some of the links that we had in there like seobuilding.com just totally defunct at this point. You can buy that domain if you’re really interested for like $3500. If anyone’s interested…
Rob: You’ll at least be getting graphic from us at this point. No, not some of the links, Mike. I think, 40% of the links that we listed, and the approaches are just completely, they either don’t work anymore, they’re just gone, but this was eight years ago. It’s an eternity.
Mike: Yes. But I went back, and I looked at it. I was kind of inspired by, I was reading the SaaS mag article that’s put out by FE International. They launched it at MicroConf. You can go to saasmag.com, we’ll link that up in the show notes, and sign-up, and start getting issues of that. It’s aimed at SaaS founders. It talks about various things that are related to the industry and they interview experts from different fields on what they’re doing and kind of what the future looks like, and how they got to where they are, etc.
Most recent one I saw has interviews from Patrick Campbell from Price Intelligently, Brennan Dunn from Double Your Freelancing and RightMessage, also David Cancel from Drip. There’s a bunch of different people they’ve interviewed. But on one of the pages they had, it was kind of a poll that they have taken inside of a Facebook group called SaaS Growth Hacks. They asked the question, “What are the best marketing channels for SaaS companies?” and people voted on different things. Content, by far, was the highest voted thing. Below that you have forums, and Quora posts–answering questions there, and then cold email, and paid ads ranks about the same. Then below that was partnerships, word-of-mouth. Below that, free tools, and then the last couple of ones on the list were Twitter, conferences, and LinkedIn messaging.
The way that that shook out does not necessarily surprise me, but the fact the content was still so far up above, I felt like that was a little surprising.
Rob: I find that really interesting too, actually. I think, as you mentioned, it’s from basically marketers, so whether it’s founders or growth marketers or whatever, it’s what they are doing these days. I wonder if they’re doing these because they’re measuring, and it works or they’re doing it because this is kind of the current wave. The current mindset is, content is king, and it’s the thing that you should start with.
I don’t know that that’s worth even diving into, going down that rabbit trail. But it is something that comes to mind is, is there a group thing going on and zigging when everyone else is zagging, is the best way to go or is this really right now with social and the fact email marketing is so powerful in with the SEO benefits of content that content really is where it’s at and that’s why everyone’s there.
Mike: I think it’s partially because of the fact that with content, you can create an article through your website and it’s going to continue drawing traffic in versus if you do cold calling or a joint venture with somebody, I call them one-off activities even though you can do them repeatedly, but you don’t continue to reap rewards if you’re not picking-up the phone and cold calling, for example. You have to keep doing it versus if you go through the effort to creating an article, put it on your site, and you do well enough with the SEO, you will continue to get traffic much further down the road. You can also promote that piece of content multiple times.
It’s not about that content is king so much as this that content is reusable and it allows you to put it in front of people, not just multiple times, but put it in front of new people because you’re creating this asset of some kind that other people could find useful. You can’t really point somebody to an empty page on your website and expect that it’s going to continue to drive clicks.
Rob: Right. That’s the thing. We’ve talked in the past about how if you’re in super early stage, you’ve pre-product market fit or pre-product then content’s probably not the right play for you because content is a long game. But once you’ve found your audience, your product is something people want, and you’re scaling, that’s when I think, in general, content is going to be a really good play for you to get you that 5K or 10K MRR that you’ve just scratched and clawed and manually done maybe cold email, whatever it is to get your first 100 customers. But once you want to go from there, I think you need more scalable things and content is one of those avenues, and that’s why we’re talking about it today.
Mike: I think what we’re going to focus on is, we have a couple of resources that we’ll link to in the show notes. One if from orbitmedia.com and the other one is from neilpattel.com. one of the things that this really points to is the fact that when you are promoting content there are three essential pieces or channels you can look at. There’s SEO, then there’s sending out emails to drive people on your mailing list back to your site, and there’s social sharing. Where those intersect is you can promote your content into each of those places but depending on what your needs are, you’re going to put more effort into one versus the other.
The whole idea of this is, if you do it through social media, you’re going to try and get additional shares or followers. If you’re trying to get additional subscriptions to your mailing list, it’s going to help you grow your list for email marketing. If a visitor comes in and they link to your content from someplace else, you’re going to rank higher in search engines. The idea is to create this feedback loop, of you doing all of those three things in order to amplify your traffic and from that, you essentially end up with leads on the other side of it. It’s really just an engine that you’re creating.
If you have a ton of people on your mailing list, you can start asking them in trying to help promote on other things. You can say, “Hey, can you promote this on social media?” You can leverage them back and forth between each other to amplify the entire system.
Rob: Content does have this unique advantage which is one of the reasons that marketers like it so much is, it really has this trifecta of value that it brings, these three uses. I’ll step to another example; let’s say I’m running Facebook ads and I’m getting that to work. Facebook ads send typically cold traffic to a page, you might get trial sign-ups, you might have to retarget them, you might have to get them on an email list, but those ads you’re paying for—and they really have one purpose—and it’s to drive some traffic one time.
Content on the other hand has three uses, maybe it has more, but the three main ones that I’ve seen, and I’ve used, and it worked really well. The first one is social media. It’s getting that buzz because you put out a new article or essay or e-book or video or whatever, but you get people to talk about you on Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook or wherever else your folks reside, and you can get that quick social media bump of, “Hey, everyone’s talking about this cool new thing that came out.” Then it dies down and that would be one use.
But another use for this exact same content is you email your whole list. That can help with the social media aspect. It helps if more people know about it then more people talk about. But it gives you an excuse to contact your email list. Every time you contact your email list, you’re probably going to get more trials, more interests in your product.
The third use is this long play of SEO. If you put out good content and it hits the right keywords, and you do have links back or you have social shares that are pointing back, it rises in the ranks. Long-term, people searching for these terms in Google, come back to it.
I haven’t given it a ton of thought, but I don’t know, off hand, of another marketing approach that has that many solid benefits, this super short-term bump, the email list bump, and then the long-term paly of SEO. I believe it’s pretty unique in that respect.
Mike: Let’s dive into the first section which is social media. What we’re going to do is we’re going to throw in, just very briefly, highlight some of the different tactics that are listed on a couple of these reference articles that we pointed to earlier.
The first one is to mention people who are going to like your article, they liked the content of it or directly reference people who are quoted in the article. One example of how well this would work is if you’ve interviewed somebody and they are relatively high-profile in the industry that you serve, for example. If you’ve mentioned them in the social media posts, they are more likely to share it than if you were to email them directly and then say, “Hey, can you tweet this out for me?” Because then you’re asking them, “Hey, can you create a tweet and then post this?” versus they see it in their social media feed and they can just literally hit retweet and they don’t have to do any work. It’s just a matter of what your ask is of them.
If I see something where it has referenced me for example and I’ve commented on an article or was on a podcast, I’m almost certain to retweet that and like it just to give it more of a visibility.
Rob: That’s a nice tactic. I’ve definitely seen that. At a minimum, I’m going to like something if I click through and it’s like, “Oh, yeah. That was that quote I gave you two months ago.” Then like you said, if it’s a legit post, because sometimes you’ll get asked for a quote or a comment on, what’s the hardest thing about validating product or what are the market approaches that are working today or whatever, and they’re doing an expert roundup and I’m just cool to participate in those. Some of them are really, really good and really well put together and others are kind of someone doing a halfway job or maybe they’re new or whatever. But the best ones, when I get a mention like that, it’s pretty certain I’m going to click through and then based on the quality of it, decent likelihood that I will retweet that.
Mike: Another one is to tweet quotes from the content. The nice things about this is you can create multiple tweets and schedule them using Buffer, a variety of other tools, and get them out there in such a way that you’re not repeating yourself. Different quotes are going to attract different types of people. There’s a quote about, I don’t know, a search engine marketing for example, you could put that in there, and then there could be something else which is optimizing search engine marketing. One is very broad and then the other one is a little bit more specific, depending on the person who sees it, if they’re more interested in one or the other, they’re going to click on it.
Rob: Another approach is you’re not just going to tweet this once especially if it’s a big piece of content because the longer form, frankly, more expensive, whether it’s time-expense or actual cost in paying someone to build it. The longer form more expensive pieces of content are the ones that are winning today and the ones that are getting the tweets. You’re not just going to tweet this once and be done. A good strategy is to tweet it once and then schedule some near future and distant future tweets because, if you think about it, in three months, the buzz from this e-book or audio piece or whatever, blog post, will have died off but it’s probably still relevant and valuable. It’s something not to bother people with but to bring back up and remind them, “Hey, this is still is valuable and legitimate.” Obviously, even within the first week, I forgot what the number is, but isn’t it like 5% of your followers see any of your individual tweets?
Mike: That’s not a per day basis, I think.
Rob: Yeah. One approach is to, as we’ve said in the past, kind of have a once a day tweet this out for the first three, four, five days, so that people more people see it especially if it’s a really big piece of content. It can be worth it. You can also irritate people and they’ll unfollow you if you’re just spamming them with the same links over and over. You have to use your head here, like any other strategy, but this is definitely something I’ve seen marketers are doing.
Mike: It’s offshoot is that is to share a short video on Twitter, Facebook, whether it’s Facebook groups or one of your Facebook page or inside of LinkedIn. The idea of the short video is to more or less give a very quick overview or summary of what the piece of content you have is not to talk about the entire content. It’s not that you’re trying to drive people to watch the video. What you’re really just trying to do is help get those people who prefer a different medium. Some people like to skim things and read it, and then there’s people out there who like to watch a video. But you also don’t want to overwhelm them with, “Oh, I just popped on to Twitter and I’m expecting to be here for a couple of minutes.” They’re not going to have time for a 30-minute video. But they may sit down and watch a 30-second video or a 15-second video that just talks about like, “Hey, if you’re interested in this, come over and check it out.” You just want to be sensitive to the fact that some people like to consume that information in different formats. The other nice benefit of sharing it like that is that you tend to get the videos will be shared on Twitter, on Facebook, and LinkedIn as your face and there’s a very different type of algorithms that those companies use in order to highlight those types of posts.
Rob: Another approach is to syndicate your content on LinkedIn, Medium, and other avenues. Syndication is just a fancy word for either reposted there or taking excerpt from it and repost there. You can imagine if you’ve written this 100-page e-book, the definitive guide to social media marketing or email marketing or whatever, you don’t post that whole thing on LinkedIn. But maybe you take, because you can put LinkedIn kind of blog post-ish, you take a really great 1000-words from that, and you post it on LinkedIn and then you link out the book.
You can do same with Medium although you can go longer form there. You can post an entire chapter from that book, so maybe you do 5000, 3000, 5000-words on Medium. Again, say, “This is an excerpt from this book.” Or if it’s a video, maybe you’d do a transcript part of.
These are ways that if you have built a following, or if you think that those networks with be intrigued by the title and the content and stuff, then reusing this content is a nice way to reuse that effort because if you spent a month or two writing this e-book or making this amazing tutorial video or whatever, you want to get it out in as many forms as possible. That’s what syndication is.
Mike: The next section we’re going to talk about is email marketing. Many of these, I think, are probably going to be pretty familiar to most people listening to this, but we’re going to go through them anyway because this is kind of a major section of the, as Rob talked about the trifecta here of content marketing.
The first one is sending out the links to it through your email list. One thing you definitely want to make sure that you’re doing here is you’re putting calls to action in there. I have mixed feeling on whether or not you should post the entire piece of content in the email versus having it on your website. Because there’s advantages and disadvantages to both. I think you just need to make a judgement call about whether you want it on your website where people can go to it versus, you’re just trying to make sure that you get it in front of people on your email list. If it’s something that you want exclusively for people on your mailing list, obviously, you’d put it in there. But people also have a somewhat limited attention span if it comes to something in their email. I do think it’s worth being cautious and making some measurements around, “Are people actually reading that and then taking action on it?” But again, that’s a judgement call.
Rob: Yeah. My default rule of thumb for this is if you’re doing personal brand stuff, if it’s Patrick Mackenzie or Brennan Dunn or Rob Walling blogging, and then sending it to their list, it’s probably fine if you post the entire article in the email. Because people are engaged with you and the content is really gripping and they tend to want to—or hopefully, it’s really gripping—and they tend to want to read the whole thing and they could read it on their phone or whatever. That’s my general rule.
If you’re doing it as a business, when Dripping was sending it out or if Bluetick were sending out a post, I would probably do a teaser and a really snazzy excerpt with an image, and then say, “Click through to read the full thing.” Some people will click, and some people won’t, but it will get you traffic. The end goal there is to get traffic to your site. Hopefully, get people to share it from there, and sign-up for a trial or whatever.
Again, that’s my general rule, how I link. But I think you can certainly break those rules if you know your audience better or as you said, if you look at the numbers, it’s telling you that that’s not the best way to do it.
Mike: If you had an email course for example, a lot of times you’re going to put the course directly in the email, and you may not want that course directly on your website. You may want to reserve it just for people on your mailing list, and maybe that’s because they don’t get to the mailing list until there’s certain amount of trust gained, or maybe the purpose of that email sequence is to establish trust, and then you send them shorter emails later on with the links back to the articles. But again, as you said, there’s lots of different ways to do it.
Rob: Right. This particular point, of whether to include all the content in an email, is really only relevant for probably blog posts because if you’re putting out an e-book it’s going to be too long. If you’re putting out a video course or one video, you can’t embed that in email, you can certainly embed an image that links out somewhere. If you create any kind of downloadable content, you’re not going to be able to put that in email anyways. It’s only if you’re doing kind of the blog content engine or short essays.
Mike: As kind of an addendum to this, you can send out, “In case you missed it,” follow-up emails. Obviously, you can put those directly into the email campaigns and it works really well because I’ve seen Drip actually put this in their directive and specifically for that reason. But you get anywhere from 20%-40% lift in opens just by resending an email with a different subject line for the exact same emails. If somebody didn’t open it, you basically resend them that email.
Rob: We did that. It’s quite successful. Another tactic you can do is, let’s say you’ve put out three blog posts a week, you can recap either at the end of the week or at the end of the month, and just have a separate email that you pull up, “Hey, in case you missed it, here are all the posts from the past week or the month,” or, “Here are our top picks or the most popular five from the past month.” and it’s just one more way to reach out to the audience, provide them with additional content, and you didn’t have to produce that content. It’s just linking back to stuff that they’ve probably missed because they probably didn’t read every article.
Mike: Next on the list is you can also send those notifications directly to some of your high-value contacts. You can either do this as personal emails instead of broadcast emails or you can find people that are on your list, who may not necessarily be subscribed to a particular campaign or they’re tagged in a certain way or segmented somehow and you say, “Hey, I think that these people would be really great candidate to receive this particular piece of content.” Maybe it they opted-in to a particular lead magnet, then you would send the content to them. But it’s really about being a lot more targeted about who you’re sending it to.
Again, this is where personal emails to people can really shine just because if they do see an email coming in and it’s from your company versus from you personally, they’re probably a little less likely to treat it as, “Hey, this person took the time to really reach out to me, so I’m going to pay a little bit more attention to it.” But sometimes the emails that are coming in from a general newsletter email address, sometimes people have rules or filters set-up so that they go into a certain place. By sending it directly, a lot of times, it will bypass those defaults because they just didn’t think to set them up.
Rob: There are 50 content promotion ideas in the Orbit Media post alone, but another one that you pulled out is to notify your source of a new post. I think this is similar to doing it on social media but emailing people directly, “Hey, do you remember the article where I interviewed you for? That’s live. If you’d like to share it, it’d be great. Here’s a link.” Or, if there’s 10 people because it’s a roundup, you do the same thing. You notify them all and certainly a few people will likely help promote that for you.
Mike: If you give them a short snippet or a summary, you can also ask them to promote it to their own email list, and then you’re essentially amplifying the efforts there.
Rob: Let’s dive into SEO.
Mike: When you’re looking at SEO, obviously, what you want to do is you want to align the content of those posts with key phrases that you have pulled out after doing some keyword research. There’s a lot of different tools that you can use for that. We’ve talked about them in the past. But the other thing that you can do is when you take that phrase and you plug it into Google, scroll all the way to the bottom, and there’s a place where it says, “Related phrases.” Those are things that Google also recognizes that people are searching for. It doesn’t tell you numbers or how many people are searching for them but there’s a good chance that if you were to take those and put them into the article and sprinkle them around, you’re also going to pick up additional SEO benefit and additional traffic by using those phrases and it’s going to end up in front of more people.
Rob: SEO is such a–it’s a large and ever more complex subject than eight years ago, we could probably give you the five things you have to do to rank. These days, the list is just longer and longer and it’s more complicated. I don’t think we can do a full treatment of, “How to SEO your blog post or your e-books.” It’s probably, not only an entire podcast, but at this point, probably an entire e-book or book. You need a way to get it down.
But another tactic is to crosslink from other posts you have or other resources or other websites you have because obviously, while links are slightly less valuable than they used to be, you could just build links in the old days and rank for everything, links are still very valuable especially from authority sites. If you have control of an authority site or authority sites, you can crosslink from relevant posts or relevant sites and help that new content rank higher in Google.
Mike: Previously, you had mentioned that you can create a short video and post it on various social media sites, you can also use the video there to embed into the website itself just to give people the top of a brief intro to what they’re going to be reading about. The nice benefit is that when people are doing searches inside of Google, they have a tendency to show videos very, very high up in the list because most people aren’t creating videos that they’re using directly for content. They’re really trying to push people in that direction. I do see a lot of videos get posted or show up in the search results even though I’m not personally looking specifically for videos, but there is a significant benefit that I’ve seen for posts that included video in them.
Rob: Of course, they’re submitting to the–there are social platforms, there is Reddit, Hacker News, Product Hunt, even Digg, although I’m not sure that’s worth doing at this point. You and I were just looking at it before this episode, but those are the things and that whole list shifts based on what your content is and who your content is. You can also do paid promotion on StumbleUpon, Outbrain, LinkWithin, Tabula, they’re often lower quality and they’re more consumer-oriented and its people just kind of skipping from one thing to the next, so if you’re a true B2B enterprise SaaS, it’s probably not worth doing any of these. I would look more at LinkedIn paid promotion or something like that. But there’s this whole world of both these social new platform, social discovery platforms, and these kinds of paid ways to get in front of them. Getting on those, if you can get a backlink, if you can get voted up, it will help in the short-term with the social media bump because more people know about it, but then in the longer term, it’s going to link back to you.
With that, I think we’re wrapped up for the day.
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