Chris Raines: All right. Welcome to the Dodgeball Marketing Podcast. We've been told that we need to-
Michael Utley: Whoo!
Chris Raines: We've been told that we need to use a frame by the people that do our thumbnails. Here's my idea, [inaudible 00:00:10]
... There we go.
Chris Raines: There we go. There's your frame. [Ariana 00:00:13], there's you're frame as you can use that for a fun thumbnail to get that sweet click-through rate.
Michael Utley: That's right.
Chris Raines: All right. Well, welcome. Michael, what are we talking about? This is episode number...
Michael Utley: It's number six.
Chris Raines: Six. What are we talking about today?
Michael Utley: Yeah, Happy Friday. Welcome to the podcast. This is [The] Dodgeball Marketing Podcast. I'm Michael. This is Chris Raines.
Chris Raines: Or whatever day it is where you are.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Yeah. That's right.
Chris Raines: It's Friday here.
Michael Utley: [crosstalk 00:00:33].
Chris Raines: We always record on Fridays.
Michael Utley: Yeah. And then we're going to just talk about how everyone became a publisher, content's role in SEO. I'll get us started off. Yeah. Back in the day, products like laundry detergent had the radio hour and then that turned into the TV hour and so, there-
Chris Raines: [crosstalk 00:00:53] response. That's where soap opera came from, right?
Michael Utley: Yeah, “soap opera” came from that.
Chris Raines: The soap company would literally own the show.
Michael Utley: Yeah, they owned the show. There weren't like these big networks that were sort of content departments the way that Netflix has been a very similar sort of echo historically of this. But the broadcast networks were more technology companies. They were really more like, hey, we own this platform. We own this capability.
Chris Raines: [crosstalk 00:01:23]
Michael Utley: And the brands would say, "Hey, we're going to come up with a show. We've got an idea for a show, and we want to buy this broadcast time and space at a certain time." And this goes back to kind of the radio model of content production, but you only had major markets in the Northeast that had some of these shows. But where this use of content to attract people, it was essentially a way of using storytelling to get people around the fire.
So you could also make a few announcements and be in charge of the village or whatever. So it's really sort of primal in my opinion. And so, these screens that we all sort of huddle around individually, they're really no different than the old campfire. Content storytelling is still at the heart of any kind of getting people together.
Fireworks are limited. You can only attract a crowd in certain weather conditions and outdoors with fireworks. Some sort of spectacle like a circus, you really can't travel with that. But media and storytelling, anything that's helpful that kind of solves problems, fiction or nonfiction, it's really the role of content in the human experience.
Chris Raines: And the difference now is that you don't have to be a giant consumer packaged goods company to put content out there. Everybody is a content producer now, which is exciting. So this is just like it was in the 1950s, I guess, is when that was except now the actual production of the content is totally democratized. Anyone can write a blog, do a video, do an audio piece, so it's a [crosstalk 00:03:00] time to live.
Michael Utley: Yeah, and I think of it as like a magazine, I think of the different formats of content. There are different ways that content can be formatted. If you're a company, any kind of organization... If you're a nonprofit, you're trying to attract members and donors. If you're a healthcare delivery company, you're trying to attract patients.
If you offer a service in your market locally or regionally, and you're trying to attract sales leads, or if you're a university and you're trying to get students to enroll at your university versus somewhere else. There's any number of different formats of content that people can use.
So the way a magazine is kind of messy, a novel is pretty clean and a novel is the same long-form narrative start to finish. But a magazine is kind of chunky. So I think of magazines as being sort of the reference point for a website. Every website that any company or organization is running essentially has this magazine publisher role that they've backed into, whether they know it or not. They may have a blog and a few social media channels, but not realize just how much work and effort goes in just to producing that level of variety of material, variety of formats, and material.
And then, other formats that are popular, especially in a lot of the big-ticket B2B complex sale type industries, that we do a lot of work in blogs, white papers, infographics, podcasts, videos, video podcast, interactive tools, and things like business directories. It's very common for a company like say, HomeAdvisor to sell leads because they've essentially positioned themselves as a business directory. Well, a business directory is just another form of content.
Chris Raines: Yep. It's just organized content. Yeah. And I'll say one thing about these different modalities of content, and we've said this before, but the really cool thing about where we are now with the democratization of technology. I mean, look at what we're doing now. This is a camera. This camera is probably on the nicer side of a DSLR camera, so we might have around a thousand dollars or under a thousand dollars.
Michael Utley: At the most, yeah.
Chris Raines: But this could very, very well easily be a cell phone, something like that and we would probably get a very similar result. And so, it's all about the content itself. You already have the production pieces available to you to use, so there's really not an excuse to not become a video content publisher or not become audio content publisher because it's so easy.
Michael Utley: Yeah. And video is really great because video has an explosively high level of popularity in recent years. I often will describe YouTube as the second largest search engine after Google. Video content since broadband has exploded in popularity and the variety of formats for content in video has really changed. Shorter videos are very popular with social media, medium lengths, I would say two to 20 minutes on YouTube. But then people are consuming multiple hours of video in the form of video podcasts that are very popular.
Chris Raines: And again, I can't stress enough that it's all about the quality of the content itself and how valuable the content is versus production value. So don't get into the scenario where you're like, "Oh, I got to get a camera," or, "I got to save up money to hire a crew." Here's an example. If you go to YouTube right now and type in something like, how to change a radiator on a Honda Civic. I mean, I haven't done this, but similar searches like that... auto repair.
I bet one of the top videos is some yahoo that's like, "All right, here we go. We're going to [inaudible 00:06:55]," and it's going to be literally somebody's cell phone video holding it. Nut the content, the value of it is he's actually showing someone how to do something that's going to save them money and it's going to save them time or whatever.
So all that to say, don't let what type of camera you're using, the mode of production be something to say. If you're a business, if you sell a product or a service, you have something valuable to offer people that can either save them time or money or enhance their life. And as long as that comes through, you don't need to wait to hire a crew or to save up and get a nice camera or lights or any of this stuff. We're not using any of... This is literally just a camera, a little cheap microphone...
Michael Utley: Yeah, we do have a shotgun mic on top. Yeah, today.
Chris Raines: And so we upped the production value, but this is all about the content we're doing and it's not about production value.
Michael Utley: Yeah. Video is great for all those reasons and it's really good for creating a presence on YouTube as essentially an additional lead generation engine. So we have found that we can drive leads directly from YouTube for campaigns that we do, where we produce video for campaigns, because you can have a phone number and a call to action in the description and generate leads directly from that content.
So think about your website as the hub of your marketing, but you can even have video content out there working either in social media or in YouTube and generating lead activity, without people even coming to the website. And then Chris Raines, what would you say is your sort of opinion on how... Let's talk about a little bit more about all these different formats. I'll just interview you for a second.
Blogs are sort of the go-to form of content for SEO, for search engine optimization for showing up higher in search results, by having a lot of good subject matter on your website. But white papers, infographics, and then multimedia stuff, and then even interactive tools and directories. What's been your opinion on kind of what's the most effective and what do you think of when you think of sort of content production and strategy for gaining new business?
Chris Raines: I think text is always good because it marries directly with search engine optimization, but I think those higher-level forms of content, I like to look at it as downstream. So if you do a blog post, that's a collection of texts and maybe a few images, that's pretty much the format, but let's say you do a video. Well, that video can then also become a blog post through transcript and reorganizing that and it can also-
Michael Utley: Which we do that quite a bit. Yep.
Chris Raines: And it can also be an audio podcast and it can also become an image if you take a quote, kind of a Gary V approach [crosstalk 00:00:09:56]. It can also be an image with a quote on it that you put on social media. So when I think of content modalities, the more you can ascend from text to audio, to image, to video, the more it can work downstream and it can populate all those other areas.
So if you can, and I've heard Gary Vaynerchuk and other people talk about this, go to the highest one that you can. Video's not for a lot of people. A lot of people freak out when they get on camera and they're self-conscious and it's not for [crosstalk 00:10:30]
Michael Utley: It's hard. It takes time to produce video. Yeah.
Chris Raines: If that's not for you, then don't do it. If you're really good at writing, just sitting down and banging out texts, then do that. But if you can do video, do video, because you can knock out video and then suddenly you get audio and text and all these other formats too. So when it comes to best bang for your buck in terms of getting your content thumbprint out there, I think the higher you can ascend, audio, video, the better.
Michael Utley: That's great. That's a great way to think about it. And thank you, Gary V for that great set of ideas that Chris Raines was referencing. Yeah. And so, we've done that quite a bit. We'll use, even...
Chris Raines: This will be a video.
Michael Utley: This will be video. So we'll have a YouTube page and yeah, I can speak to this because I just saw how this was all published because we just started publishing this one. But this will have its own YouTube page. It will be added to a YouTube playlist, which generates us a second set of URLs and pages that can be indexed. The full transcript, title, tags, and description will all be loaded and audited and optimized in the YouTube listing for SEO purposes.
Then we'll have it published on the Dodgeball Marketing Podcast section of DodgeballSEO.com. We'll have a podcast landing page and we'll have podcasts in the top nav, which is good for SEO, so if anybody's looking for podcasts on online marketing. . . And then we'll have individual pages for the podcast where the video will be embedded. And then we'll have an audio version embedded and then a full transcript on the page below those embedded players.
And then we'll have the audio version [that will] will go out to hundreds of different podcasting platforms. So not only are we using YouTube as a posting platform and our own website, but the audio version will go out to all these different varieties of different players and those all generate inbound links back to the website. So yeah, that's just using video as a starting point.
Chris Raines: Exactly. I got an idea. We have about three minutes left here. Let's contextualize all this for a real-life, “boring” business.
Michael Utley: Okay. So I'm a tax accountant in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Chris Raines: Great, perfectly “boring” business. I have local clientele, but I can do business elsewhere too. How would you take this kind of philosophy and start producing content?
Michael Utley: Yeah. So the first thing I would do, we always start with the editorial schedule. Okay, so here's what I do. We do have three minutes. So we'll do this. Number one, what are the pain points that your customers have? What is their pain? You should be able to produce a one to two-page document that outlines all the reasons anybody would ever reach out to you. So that's step one, pain points. Step two, keywords. What are the keywords that your customers use? Not what you call it. Not the inside-
Chris Raines: And a lot of these come in the form of questions.
Michael Utley: Yeah. A lot of them are questions now, especially with...
Chris Raines: Can I write off my ex for taxes in 2020?
Michael Utley: Yeah, a very specific question. You're not offering that as a standalone service. That's not your service. So don't get so far in your own head about your jargon of what you call things. What are the pain points? What are the ways that customers are articulating things?
So number two is keyword research, just knowing, how do my users search for things? Number three, put together an editorial schedule, say, "Hey, during this time of the year, I need to talk about this. This time of year, I need to talk about this." Just kind of rough it out by month. Just say every month.
And then on that editorial schedule, go left to right with the different channels that you can populate. Well, I can put it on my website. If I make something, some content I can put on my website, I can put it on Facebook. I can put it on LinkedIn. I can send it out as an email newsletter. So then you've got an editorial schedule.
Next, start to populate it. Say, "I'm going to make a three-minute video and answer this question."
Chris Raines: And it can be as simple as something [crosstalk 00:14:21].
Michael Utley: It could be just a one-take, no editing iPhone video, prop it up on some books, do whatever you need to do. Glue it to the wall, whatever you need to do to capture audio and video together. Turn that camera sideways to get that nice landscape view, or even set yourself up to record a square. That's fine because that works pretty well for a lot of different formats.
Then just start to take that content and push it out to... Column number one should probably always be your website, but then all of these other different placements that you have access to.
Chris Raines: If you're a tax accountant, maybe you want to focus on LinkedIn a little bit. Try that out.
Michael Utley: Yeah. If you're just going to do one social media channel, make it LinkedIn. Yeah.
Chris Raines: Do videos and then publish LinkedIn articles that you could link to. Populate that article section. Okay. I just wanted to throw something out because we're talking about what we do.
Michael Utley: Yeah, that's a great example.
Chris Raines: Any business, no matter how boring and how normal it is can kind of use this same kind of framework, the same framework we're using.
Michael Utley: Really, what we've just done in a matter of three minutes is articulate a content development strategy that you could engage a consultant for $5,000 to produce for you. Or you could just follow what we just said, literally what we just said.
Chris Raines: Yeah, and just get out there.
Michael Utley: You'd have to learn how to do the keyword research by getting online and figuring out, or just check some of our other podcast episodes for that. And of course, like anything that we cover on the podcast, if you have questions, want to talk about it, talk about your unique situation, what you're doing in your organization or your business, check-in with us. We love talking to new people, making new friends, and this was episode six, How Everyone Became a Publisher: Content's Role in SEO. I hope this has been helpful and thank you, we'll see you on the next one. Thanks, Chris Raines.