Marketers have an ever-increasingly difficult job. Cutting through the noise (relevant and irrelevant) to gain the attention of those they desire to help is painfully slow and difficult. 2022 promises more of the same. What is happening behind the scenes of your marketing efforts is the key to getting your voice heard and my guest today provides three insights about how to do that, that could change the game for you.
Brad Smith is CEO at Wordable, Founder and CEO at Codeless Interactive, and Co-founder of uSERP, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this subject. In this episode, you’ll hear three clear, actionable insights you can put to work immediately.
- More marketers need to be Ops-focused
- Create specialized roles within your teams
- Expect your content payback period to be 12 to 24 months (not 6 to 12)
Join me, this is such a good conversation that I know you’ll benefit from if you take the time to apply the wisdom Brad shares.
Outline of This Episode
- [5:20] More marketers need to be Ops-focused
- [8:25] Content’s payback period: 12 to 24 months
- [11:40] How PPC can help you accelerate your content payback period
- [13:42] How enterprise endeavors offset the impact of cumbersome Ops
- [16:22] Why should small business marketers even bother?
- [20:27] You move the needle by focusing on one or two things at a time
Become more “Ops-focused” to empower your Content Marketing
When Brad looks at the difficulty of Content Marketing, he sees a handful of things that handicap or limit the effectiveness of most smaller teams. One of the foundational issues is that the team is not Ops-focused enough. The reason this is important in 2022 and beyond is that we have more options, tools, and approaches to marketing at our disposal than ever before. To avoid being drawn into every new gadget and approach, we have to train our teams to be laser-focused on a few key things.
This requires a well-defined brand voice that everyone understands and the systems that enable your team to do what you do at scale, better than everyone else. That’s the only hope you have of overcoming the juggernauts in your industry.
And don’t miss that part about “brand voice” — in most cases you’ll run into problems in the areas that are intangible and undefined. You’ve got to pinpoint the following for the sake of those who are tasked with creating your content: “Here’s how we write, say things, don’t say things.” You must effectively train your content creation team on how you do what you do. This helps with hiring so that you can zero in on the people who fit your mold.
The real content marketing payback is 12 to 24 months, not 6 to 12 months
There is a perception that 6 to 12 months is the amount of time you should expect to pass before you see your content marketing efforts paying you back. Brad says this is simply not true, and it handicaps many Content Marketing efforts. A more realistic expectation is 12 to 24 months, and what is more, the success you do see will not happen in a linear fashion.
This is the case because of a number of factors:
- The competition is loud and varied
- Established brands have an advantage
- Google’s Instant Answers rob you of traffic you’ve worked hard to earn
- The SERPs results are a winner-take-all game.
To overcome these hurdles, Brad suggests a deliberate, phased Content Marketing approach that begins with a focus on high-traffic but less-competitive topics that can fill the top of your funnel. Once you’re established there, you can move on to more competitive terms.
Even for small businesses, Content Marketing is still the most effective game in town
If what Brad shares about the payback time frame of Content Marketing is true, then why should a small business with no credibility or following even try to play the Content Marketing game? Overcoming the obstacles is going to require specific focus and a huge volume of content, so how can smaller organizations even begin?
Brad says there is a good news/bad news dynamic here. The good news is that Content Marketing and SEO is still the best game in town. Despite the challenges, it’s a much better bet long-term (3 to 5 years) than anything else. So focus on top-of-the-funnel marketing — education-based, information-based, less commercial content — then stair-step your way up to more competitive areas. All along the way, you will need to accept that it’s going to take a bit of time to get where you want to go.
And don’t forget that as a smaller team, you are agile. You can work faster because your team’s communication and collaboration are not encumbered by the silos that exist in larger enterprises. Be scrappy and innovative to create content better and faster.
Brad’s points in this episode are right on. I learned so much from my time with him. Take the time to listen and apply what he shares here. Your efforts will see greater success as a result.
Connect with Brad Smith
- Codeless (Brad’s content production company)
- Wordable (a company Brad’s organization just purchased)
- USERP (the digital marketing and PR agency)
- Follow Brad on LinkedIn