Posted: 24 Apr 2019 06:42 PM PDT
Our favorite channel, by far, is content marketing.
We don’t have to push people to become our customers, all we have to do is release amazing content and great prospects will come to us.
For many us, getting into sales or paid marketing just as appealing as being able to help people while marketing our business. We get the best of both worlds. Not only do we grow our business, we provide a ton of value and solve problems for people along the way.
It’s not all roses though, content marketing does have some downsides. The main one being how long it takes. To build an audience that loves our content, we have to invest a ton of time.
To help you get results sooner rather than later, we’ve put together a huge collection of guides below that detail every step of content marketing.
Creating content is no joke.
The first few pieces are always fun and exciting, then it turns into a grind.
One of the most intelligent decisions you can make is how you approach content creation. Setting the right frequency, not getting burned out, using reliable templates, and getting the most from every piece of content makes it much more manageable over the long term.
Before jumping in and getting burned out, go through these guides and put some thought into your long term content plan.
We all want engaging content.
That’s the difference between a successful content marketing program and one that’s dragging along without getting results.
If you spend the time to get really good at making each piece of content highly engaging, your entire program will light on fire. You’ll get endless shares, tons of word-of-mouth, and more links than you know what to do with. Engaging content is the cornerstone of any great content marketing strategy.
Ideation / Topic Development
Another major sticking point for content marketing is the blank page. What happens when you completely run out of ideas?
And how do we ensure that our ideas will resonate with our audience?
Over the years, we’ve learned that it’s too expensive to simply produce a ton of content and hope for the best. These days, we use a number of processes and step-by-step formulas to quickly generate a ton of ideas that our audience loves.
Feel free to use all of them yourself:
Infographics got really hot around the 2012-2015 period. It seemed like every infographic went crazy viral as soon as it was released.
Granted, they don’t pop quite like they used to but a great infographic can still cut through all the other marketing clutter. Especially since most folks aren’t producing them anymore.
Also take the time to dial in your personal productivity. With the volume of content that needs to get produced, any small productivity win pays huge dividends over time.
One strategy has never failed me: when in doubt, improve quality.
If you ever find yourself stuck with a struggling content marketing program, push on quality. Find a way to make it better than anything else that your competitors are doing. If you improve quality enough and maintain it for a long enough period, you will win.
Once you’ve gotten a content marketing program to work, the next major hurdle is scaling it.
Don’t take this step lightly, lots of folks stumble here.
At this point, you’ve spent countless hours honing your content skills. You’ve gotten pretty darn good.
But when you start getting contractors or employees to help, they’re not nearly as good. They’re also not as motivated as you were in the early days. And the folks that are really good? They’re either working on their own business or are too expensive.
When you first start scaling your content team, go slow and perfect every part of your process. These guides will get you up to speed:
With every year, video gets bigger and bigger.
The best part is that it’s not nearly as competitive as other types of content for one simple reason: it takes a lot more effort to produce.
Yes, video costs have come down tremendously over the years. All you need is an iPhone for great quality video. But the editing
Blog posts, articles, PDFs, and emails all form the core of any content marketing strategy.
Get good at these and you’ll always have a way to grow your business.
Creating the content is one thing, spreading it is another.
Yes, if your content is unbelievably good, it will spread on its own. But I wouldn’t recommend depending on this. I’d much rather plan for the worst and hope for the best. I do that by marketing my content and helping it spread.
If I can kick start the content sharing process, then the quality of the content can carry it the rest of the way. Here’s all of our tips, ticks, and hacks to give content that little extra push.
What about the nitty gritty of where to publish and feature your content? Should you repost content? Reshare it? What about sponsored promotions?
We’ve broken down our recommendations on everything:
The best way to ensure results from your content marketing is by picking the right content strategy to begin with.
There are quite a few strategies for content marketing, many of them work in different situations too. So take the time to research all the options and then pick the best one depending on your exact situation.
Posted: 24 Apr 2019 02:32 PM PDT
Fundamentally, you need to make money, or you don’t have a business.
That’s actually the only true failure in business. No matter what happens, don’t run out of money.
Every other mistake can be fixed.
As simple as that sounds, there’s a reason why you can find over 90,000 business books on Amazon.
Most of what we focus on here at Quick Sprout, is helping you grow your business and make money with digital marketing. This section covers more of the general business advice and expertise that we’ve compiled over the years. Everything from how to start a business to how to control your emotions.
Regardless of your experience or role in business, there’s something here for you.
Looking back on previous businesses and jobs that we’ve had, the biggest failures all stem from the same lesson.
Get the fundamentals right and you can mess up just about everything else. Get the fundamentals wrong and it doesn’t really matter what you do.
Have you heard the business saying “a rising tide floats all boats”? That saying refers to this exact lesson. Pick the right tide and everything works out. Pick the wrong one and you won’t get very far.
Sounds obvious in theory but it takes a lot of experience and hard-won lessons to spot the subtle differences between a business with healthy fundamentals and a business that’s rotten to the core.
Instead of learning these lessons the hard way yourself, learn from our mistakes. The following guides will show you everything you need to build a healthy foundation for your business:
A great brand is like having a business super power. Everything gets easier.
Every step of your funnel has a higher conversion rate, you get more traffic, customers stick with you longer, and it’s easier to recruit people to your team. A brand is one of the few aspects of business that impacts everything at once.
Brands don’t just happen though, they need to be built deliberately. Then once you have a brand, you need to protect it.
These guides will show you exactly how to build a brand for your business:
Personal brands, like business brands, have an enormous impact on your success.
But the execution is a bit different for a personal brand. Some things matter much less (like logos) while other things matter a LOT more (like your wardrobe). We break down all the unique aspects of building a personal brand here:
We’ve worked with a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs and hired hundreds of people in our careers.
Do you want to know what separates those that succeed versus those that flounder for years on end?
Even if there’s an unlucky setback in the beginning, the folks with the right mindset always make it eventually. Sooner or later, they achieve their goals.
But no amount of luck can overcome a poor mindset. Year after year goes by and these folks are still struggling with the same problems, never growing into their true potential.
Any improvement that you put into your own mindset will have an immense impact on your goals.
Whether we’re entrepreneurs or working for someone else, it’s up to us to take control of our careers.
There are reliable steps that anyone can take in order to have an amazing career. Focusing on the right areas, building a network, and attending conferences without wasting time will push you way ahead of your peers.
These guides walk you through all of it:
Conferences can be a waste of time, they can also instantly uplevel your career. If you’re going to do them, do them right:
Also focus on building your network, it’ll increase the quality and quantity of opportunities that come your way:
The old saying that everything depends on sales may be a cliche but it’s true. Everything we do in our business is fundamentally a sales activity.
Sell your co-founder on a strategy that you want to pursue, sell your team to get behind it, sell a potential partner on co-promoting a marketing campaign, sell someone on joining your team, sell you boss on how you want to accomplish a goal, sell a teammate on helping you with your project, sell a customer.
Some of the selling is a monetary sale, a lot of it isn’t.
No matter what role you have, sharpening your sales skills will accelerate your business and career.
Posted: 24 Apr 2019 12:00 PM PDT
Google is still the place to find answers to questions.
Search engines have changed over the years, and the barrier to entry has gotten a lot higher. When we started, all it took was a ton of content in order to get search traffic.
The game has changed.
Not only do you need a ton of content, it needs to be incredibly high quality, your on-site SEO and architecture needs to be polished, and you need enough backlinks to compete. You really do need all of it.
But the rewards are still well-worth the effort.
Across all the sites that we’ve built and managed, no traffic source compares to SEO in quality, consistency, and volume. Once you have it, it’s a persistent flood of traffic for your business.
Our playbook is below.
We always start with an audit on every site we touch. Whenever we skip this step, we always regret it later. The last thing you want is to spin up an entire SEO program, poor a ton of time and money into it, and then lose a bunch of rankings later because of core site problems.
Complete your site audit first so there aren’t any problems lurking just out of sight.
Next, go through the foundational elements of SEO.
You’ll find a lot of SEO “experts” claiming quick hacks or tricks to get higher rankings. Be careful with that stuff. It might work today but it seldom works for long.
Whenever starting an SEO program, we spend the bulk of our time focusing on the foundations.
Definitely read up on the best SEO tools, these will save you countless hours and instantly uplevel your SEO game:
No matter how good your content is, sooner or later, you’re going to need to build links.
Links turn an “okay” SEO strategy into an “industry dominating” SEO strategy. All the most hardcore SEO teams have a very deliberate and focused effort on link building.
Once you’ve mastered the basics and have a healthy site, it’s time to start link building.
ONSITE / TECHNICAL
Lastly, you’ll want to get your onsite and technical SEO in tip-top shape. Most of these items are smaller details but they can make the difference when pursuing those last few rankings.
After you’re on top of all the other parts of SEO, work through all the technical details. That’ll keep you ahead of your competitors and give you that extra edge.
Posted: 24 Apr 2019 09:45 AM PDT
There is possibly nothing else in marketing more magical than getting a paid marketing funnel to work.
Think about it.
You put $1 in and you get $2 out.
At that point, you’re printing money for your business, getting bigger with every cycle of your paid marketing.
Now the bad news, paid marketing is really difficult to make work. There’s a lot of serious players that are all trying to convert the same prospects. So ads get bid up quickly. It’s still possible to win but you want to take paid marketing seriously.
First, go through our guide on PPC. That’ll give you a really strong foundation so you can compete with the paid marketing pros.
Once you’re ready to go through some of the core tactics for paid marketing, read through our post 7 Ways to Get High Quality Paid Traffic with Rock-Bottom CPCs.
For B2B marketers, definite go through our post on How to Generate Leads with PPC Campaigns for Your B2B Company. I’ve run B2B and B2C paid marketing campaigns and while there is a lot of overlap, there’s also some key differences that B2B companies need to watch out for.
These guides will also be helpful when learning the basics:
Google Ads (formally Google AdWords) should be part of every ad budget. The best part of AdWords is that as long as there’s a few keywords that people use to find your product or service, it’s really easy to get in front of your ideal prospects. Since they’re searching for those keywords, they’re already aware of the problem and have decided to take some action to solve it by looking for solutions. Those are the prospects that you want to be in front of.
For a small business, hopefully your niche isn’t too competitive. That means you’ll probably be able to run ads on Google Ads that aren’t too expensive. If you’re going after a really large market, keep in mind that other businesses have most likely bid up the ad placements really high. It could take some time before you’re able to compete with them directly on Google Ads.
We have a number of guides on different parts of Google Ads to help get you up to speed:
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