Recently we chatted with Neil Patel, who is the brain behind notable companies such as Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. He has worked with companies like Amazon, NBC, and Viacom to help increase their profits, and he has been heralded by Forbes Magazine as being one of the top 10 online marketers of our day.
We asked him about what he sees as the issues facing companies in their marketing and content writing endeavors and what he thinks are the solutions to those issues. His answers were absolutely insightful, and we can’t wait to share them with you:
AW: I imagine you’ve seen the Forrester report, which discusses ongoing challenges with content marketing. One of the main takeaways is that many brands simply don’t know how to be effective in their content marketing efforts, as evidenced by 87 percent of marketers saying they don’t know how to produce content that truly engages their buyers. This is especially true of relatively “obscure” industries that don’t necessarily have global or even national reach. The big question for these businesses is, then: Can a well-optimized blog and careful social media management really help, say, a PVC pipe manufacturer or a garage door company?
NP: Definitely. I have actually consulted a company within that niche. It’s all about targeting your audience with content that is specific to their needs. Finding out who your buyer persona is can go a long way towards building out your social presence and capturing the right audience.
I have found with “obscure” industries it’s all about using very targeted/dynamic content. Infographics and videos really do the trick. You can’t focus on blogging alone. You really have to think creatively and outside of the box.
AW: What about industries that, in theory, have an easier time developing compelling content (for example, medical/dental, legal, technology, etc.). In huge, extremely saturated markets like that how do you determine what readers actually want to read?
NP: Great question. If you want to capture the attention of your audience, you really have to do some surveying and research. As mentioned above figuring out your buyer personas really go a long way. It will take time to figure out a right mix of content/distribution but in the end it will be worth it. An easy way to survey your audience is to use Qualaroo or Survey Monkey.
AW: So, we’re curious: What content marketing trends have emerged in 2014 that will likely keep gaining traction here in 2015?
NP: Definitely an expanded focus on quality/unique content. There has also been an emphasis on unique content pieces like infographics and videos. Relevancy has been a big thing for search marketing this year, and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon.
AW: So that leads us into the next question: Is the all-mighty dollar the biggest challenge facing content marketing? In other words, a midsized company might not have the budget to hire a full-time, on-staff SEO specialist or digital marketing expert. So, they either take care of it themselves, or they contract it out. But if they only have a budget of $500 per month, for example, they likely won’t get the gains they were hoping for (or at least as quickly as they’d want). If budget constrains aren’t the biggest challenge, then where does it rank?
NP: I think it’s fair to say budget is always a challenge facing search marketers. However, there is comfort in knowing there are scalable strategies that everyone can focus on. Expanding your blogger network and focusing on social channels (which are free) can go a long way towards content promotion.
With that in mind, capturing your audience at the right time and place is much more of a challenge than the issue of budget constraints. It’s all about timing when it comes to content marketing. You really have to know what consumers want and where they are at.
Once you have that under control, you just have to be patient and make do with the resources at your fingertips. As you grow and as budgets expand, you can expand, but at the beginning you have to put in your own time.
AW: We loved your recent blog post about KISSMetrics, especially the tip about using canonical tags for republished content. Can you give our readers a few other tips and tricks that are largely ignored or unknown?
NP: One of the often-overlooked tricks I always tell people about is the utilization of wiki pages. They can go a long way towards helping you rank higher for specific terms. Links from these pages drive a lot of traffic and many of these sites follow their links.
Video marketing is also a really overlooked tool. People should focus more on dynamic content that is catchy and will keep your visitors hungry for more.
Did you like Neil’s answers? Did they light some fires for you and give you ideas for your company’s content marketing strategy? If so, check back with us next week when we launch Part 2 of this awesome interview with Neil Patel.