Alan has introduced there how content is central to so many different aspects of your digital marketing. It is, critical.
But it is a challenging space. So myself and Kenia want to talk about 2 particular content types that will help you to stand out from that competition and get you big results. Kenia will talk about video in a little bit but first, I want to talk a little about 10x content or big content.
There are some specific reasons why you can’t afford to ignore 10x content.
All the research consistently shows that more and more of your competitors are using content marketing and not only that but they’re spending more on it. Therefore, it’s no surprise that we’ve reached this point where our audience is just completely overloaded with content.
The second reason is to do with SEO. If I could wave a magic wand right now and be able to instantly multiply one of your traffic sources I think every one of you would probably point to your organic traffic from search. Those of you who do have high levels of organic traffic will know that it is your most profitable marketing channel. And it’s SEO that helps that to happen. Well, Google recently told us something about SEO, which was exciting because they’ve gone very quiet on this topic in recent years. In a Q&A, one of their Senior guys revealed straight up, what Google’s Top 3 ranking factors are.
He said RankBrain is the third top ranking factor, and in positions 1 and 2 are content and links (he didn’t say which order).
So that’s pretty explicit – if you want to increase your organic traffic, make sure your focusing on content.
But of course, the days of just bashing out content and getting results, are long gone. Google is constantly improving its ability to tell good content from bad with only the best making its way into its top search results.
It does that with the Google Panda algorithm which is Google’s ‘Quality Content’ algorithm. This was released in 2011 and it freaked out a lot of webmasters who maybe were trying to game Google a little bit with poor quality content. So Google Panda came along to stop this.
Just some of the factors it looks at to do this are;
So in the climate of Content overload and Google’s rising standards for what it regards ‘Quality Content’, we’ve been left with two simple sounding, but quite complex challenges for our content. And it’s turning our focus to 10x content that will help us to overcome them. The 2 challenges are
How do we ensure that our content is easily found? There’s a lot of competition out there, and only 10 slots on Google’s top page and being visible on Google has to be a priority in order to get found.
The second challenge is winning engagement. Even if your content is easily found, winning that engagement from users is still not a given. Not only are Google’s expectations of our content higher than ever, so are users’. And that’s what’s driving 10x content because it is this that gives us the best shot of nailing both of these.
So what is this 10x content and how can you start creating it? It begins with just a simple thought process. Decide on the topic you want to create content about, check what exists already and then ask yourself one question,
Could I create something that’s 10 times better. This is really useful coz we’re starting to get an idea of the kind of level that we should be reaching for with our content. but we need a bit more direction than that.
What does better mean?
Well you could be better on any of these criteria. You could make something that’s higher quality by being more trust-worthy, more useful, more remarkable than what’s already there. You could create something that’s different in scope and detail than what already exists Try to draw some emotional response such as awe, shock, joy… Can you do a better job of solving a problem that your audience has. Or you could provide a better user experience through great use of creative assets and just be generally a more pleasant experience to look at or read.
And let’s be clear also what 10x does not mean. It doesn’t mean creating MORE content, in and it doesn’t mean needing a bigger budget. As some of you will know already, the way we incorporate this into a content strategy is that you might continue your routine content, regular, high quality blog posts or whatever, but every so often, maybe once a month of once a quarter, you’ll pool those resources to invest in one big piece of 10x content. And any of you who have gone this route will know well that it’s often the 10x pieces, those pieces that go beyond the routine, that tend to deliver the bigger returns in terms of traffic, engagement, SEO results and also longevity of those – they tend to deliver over a much longer period of time etc.
But ok, the only way to really show how this works is with case studies. One from Zurich Life and one from Virgin Media Business.
Our content strategy for Zurich is very much focused on achieving SEO results. And in this case we were focused on how we could use content to give a lift to the savings and investment section of the site. We wanted to strengthen the authority of this section by creating a 10x piece of content, that drew high user engagement, that was link worthy with the end result being greater visibility in the search results and organic traffic to the savings and investments section of the site.
So we were looking to August, and we were thinking what’s important to our target audience for savings and investments at this time of year. No-one wants to read about savings and investments really. They don’t care about savings and investments, but they do care about what savings allow them to do. They do care about providing the best for their family, such as an education. So we thought, back to school – that’s a big financial stress for parents. We can definitely produce content around that, something around the cost of education perhaps.
So that was our topic, but the next step is, can we 10x it? Well, this is the point that you go straight to Google and see what the competition looks like.
And we felt that yes, we absolutely could because this extent of the creative that went into the piece that was already ranking number one for the search term, ‘cost of education’. We’d spotted our opportunity to 10x.
This is what we created. Good text, well optimised for search but what immediately jumps out is the use of creative, almost like three separate mini infographics complementing the piece throughout, taking the reader on the journey of the various costs at each level.
Of course, we made sure to promote it on paid social media to drive highly targeted traffic to it, with Facebook as ever, offering the most powerful targeting out there to reach our target audience. For just a couple weeks, around the back to school time, we also had a competition element to this.
At the bottom of the page there was a question (which was answered in the article) and users would submit their answer and details to be in with a chance of winning their back to school shopping list. Bringing the competition element in to the page itself is an interesting one to keep in mind – because you remember I said earlier that since Google Panda, Google is increasingly considering the level of engagement on the page as a signal of it’s quality. So we were sending this high quality traffic to the page and giving them something there, encouraging them to take further action
So the results Over the couple of weeks around back to school time, we got 500 competition entries on the page and this translates into very high value contacts for Zurich’s database – people who are at a stage of their lives where they are thinking about education costs and potentially a long-term savings option. The average time on page was over 6 minutes Being an SEO focused project, we were very active about searching out backlinks to the piece and got backlinks from really strong, domains including hr.com and finfacts.ie. And ultimately, our 10x content, the engagement with it and the backlinks earned was recognised by Google, and if you have your phones handy, I’ll ask you to take them out and do a quick google for me, for ‘cost of education’
…and what you should see, I hope….
…is that Zurich is ranking number one for the cost of education.
What I should also ask you to do is to click the link and spend a nice chunk of time engaging with it to send those positive engagement signals to Google to keep it sitting there at number 1, and honestly, if we had time I would love that, but for now I need to move on. I know you’ll all promise to do it over the weekend.
This is a great result particularly when you consider that previous to this, Zurich Life was not ranking anywhere in the top 50 for this keyword before.
So the end end end result this piece had exactly the effect we were aiming for. This shows organic traffic landing on the savings and investments section of the website and the arrow shows when we went live with the content. We can see a lift in overall organic traffic to the savings and investments section of the site and it has remained up every month since that last August.
Next up, Virgin Media Business. This is a really nice case study about identifying a problem that your audience has, and committing to helping them to solve it with content.
Virgin Media Business were running a survey of SMEs about various topics, one of which was social media use and it was brilliant because they were able to hand us that data to create some content. And we did, we created a really nice infographic based on the results.
However. All the while when we were creating this infographic, there was one stat from the survey that I just couldn’t get out of my head and it was to do with social media. We could see that while SMEs were really enthusiastic about using social media, of those who were using it, a massive 40% feel that they get 0% business growth from it. Of course, we knew that it didn’t have to be that way because we’d seen the results that were possible from working with you guys every day
so we knew this is absolutely a problem we can solve for our audience through content.
So we decided to create an ebook. Now, if you decide to create content on a topic like social media for business – you’d better make absolutely sure you 10x it because there is sooooo much out there already. And this is something I went back and forth with for a while. Yes there was a great opportunity but how could we create something more remarkable than what already exists? How could I 10x it. So we decided to place a big emphasis on design, we’d focus on case studies, and specifically Irish case studies and we focus drill right in to focus on solving the problem – how to achieving business growth
Now, it’s at this stage you could be quite entitled to start to feel a bit nervous. Let’s be honest, committing to a piece of 10x content can be a big deal. What if it doesn’t work? And yes, of course, it doesn’t always work. However,
When you’re starting from a position where you’ve actually spoken to your audience, and identified a real problem that you can solve, it very much helps to relieve those nerves. In this case, we made sure to focus only on the actual problem which was achieving business growth so we focused on how to generate enquiries, leads, sales and advocacy.
Our end result was a 30 page ebook which looked like this packed with case studies – some of you were only too happy to feature as a case study in it so massive thanks to you guys and I think you can see the attention that was given to the design as well.
This went live a few months ago and so far, we’ve seen 1200 downloads of the ebook, which again translates into contacts that Virgin could add to their database as this was a behind a lead generation form. Unlike the Zurich case study the primary objective here wasn’t SEO, but it’s proving an asset in that regard anyway, attracting backlinks such as this one in BizPlus.ie. And we can also see it assisting offline PR efforts too as it was also picked up in the print version of Business Plus magazine, getting 2 pages dedicated to it and this is something we see time and time again from our 10x content – it’s often the case that it doesn’t just live online, it very often reaches right into the offline as well. They are true content assets.
Safe to say when we start to see this bridge into offline start, that’s always a good sign and the nerves are well and truly wiped out.
Content overload and Google Panda have raised the bar in terms of the quality we need to produce. Use the 10x thought process to overcome this. Consider ways to keep your audience engaged with your content. You’ll remember the Zurich example where there was a competition on the page. Take user experience and creative very seriously. Feeling nervous about going 10x? Ask your audience. The absolute best content is the content that identifies a problem or a question that they have, and helps to solve it.
And as a bonus takeaway, I’ll just leave you with some ideas on how you can get these nuggets from your audience.
Like Virgin did, you can run a customer survey. It’s not available in Ireland yet, but if you have a target audience in the UK or the US, Google Consumer Survey is a brilliant tool that allows you to carry out a survey of specific demographics. Comments on your blog or on social media are also a goldmine for this as well and we often use these to inspire our next pieces of content.
So I hope that’s given you plenty to take away and I’ll hand over to Kenia now who’s going to talk about another specific type of content and that’s video.
The use of video has grown really fast in the last 2 years and it seems that it will keep growing. So, before we jump into the video formats and their promotion. I’ve like to show you some video predictions for the following years.
According to Cisco video will represent…
What’s the magic recipe for video success?
Well, you need 2 ingredients…. So let’s get started with video content.
You video content can be delivered in many different formats….
All video formats are beautiful but we know that the big concern is always the price! No worries! I will be giving you an estimated cost of all of them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwEKDDbESHE With Sound & Full Screen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwEKDDbESHE With Sound & Full Screen
We got lovely drawing for our fridge and we almost lost Al in a mini Wolves Attack!
The next video format is banner-ads but before we get to that let me tell you a quick story. As you know, innovation is the core of the Wolfgang promise.
Let me tell you a secret…
Maybe I looked more like this in my desk….Sometimes innovation comes from Frustration
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqgHTh8EnlA (Ad GIF)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqgHTh8EnlA (Ad GIF)
Well, I will let you know before we go.
Wolfgang Essentials 2016 - Critical Content & Video
What Makes 10x Content?
• Higher quality, more trust-worthy, useful, remarkable.
• Bedifferent in scopeor detail to what already exists.
• Draw an emotional response –awe, shock, joy…
• Solves a problem or answer a question.
• Better userexperience& better looking!
What 10x Does NOT Mean
• It doesn’t mean MORE content
• It doesn’t mean BIGGER budget
• Content overload and Google Panda haveraised the bar.
• Use the 10x thought process. Topic What exists? Can I 10x?
• Consider ways tokeepyour audience engagedwith yourcontent.
• Take user experienceand creative veryseriously.
• Feeling nervous about going 10x? Ask your audience.
• Conduct a survey
• Google ConsumerSurvey
• Comments on blog andsocial media
& Whereto promote them