What is Content Marketing?
How fitting that my 100th blog on EricHersey.com is also the start of Content Marketing month?
I published my first set of articles on July 15th, 2019. I stayed true to my goal and 15 months later, I have over 100 articles highlighting 100 keywords and topics.
Let’s take a look at this using some simple math:
- Over 6 new articles posted per month
- Posted a new blog (on average) every 4 and a half days
- Most articles averaged 750-1000 words – that’s 75,000 (or the length of a book)
With the exception of two guest blogs, every post has come out of Eric Hersey’s brain. Much like my mantra, there is a little right brain (creative blogs) and left brain (blogs focused on earning rank). As it turns out, content marketing is all about the right brain-left brain partnership.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a non-intrusive way to get customers into a purchasing funnel. Businesses and brands create online content in the form of videos, articles, infographics, social posts, and images to attract users through search and display. Content should answer a question or entertain. Once a user is engaged, the business or brand attempts to convert the user into a customer – usually through email or social following.
Content marketing is great during the discovery phase of the buyers journey. Someone knows they have a problem but not aware of what to do. They search and find an answer. That answer might be a blog.
I’ve created 100 blogs, hoping to solve people’s problems.
Content is Not Created Equal
Not every piece of content you put out is going to be a winner. More importantly, not every piece should be graded on the same scale.
When I was helping my wife with her blog, I explained that some articles serve different purposes. She would post two articles on social and one would generate double the page views. The post dealing with a local Wheeling shop would kill the mindfulness blog. Why?
Her Facebook audience is 90% locals. Some are friends and family. Maybe 5% is interested in Mindfulness.
But, her audience for mindfulness gets a lot bigger when she opens it up to search. She might not get a huge influx of visitors the day she posts, but in time her mindfulness article will earn more page views than her local shop article.
Entertain or Educate?
Much like the previous example, some blogs take months to create, filled with details and research. Others take an hour and are filled with GIFS and Twitter embeds.
Entire websites are created based on listsicles and quick blurbs. BuzzFeed always comes to mind.
You might not find a ton of answers for an upcoming school project, but you sure can spend a few hours scrolling and taking quizzes.
On the other hand, if you want to answer a medical question you will likely land on Mayo Clinic or WebMD. You won’t do much laughing and you will likely find your answer and leave.
BuzzFeed and Mayo Clinic did their job. They generated clicks and ad revenue from your page view. Their content marketing strategy was quite different.
Eric Hersey’s Content Marketing Goals
I found out early that I would rather write about something I know and enjoy than spend weeks developing an article solely based on a keyword I want to rank for. I’m not saying that I go the quantity over quality route, but I tend to give you more articles at bite sized chunks. There are human elements in almost every post, which keeps everything on brand. It’s a pure mix of personal stories and technical advice.
Let’s turn this blog into a Listicle.
Right Brain – Eric’s Best Creative Blogs
This was a fun blog where I outline all of the Eric Hersey’s on the internet. I do explain how search engines gather user intent – but it’s really just me trying to grab as many featured snippets for my name.
If there was an emotional post, this would be it. I take a look at my father’s life and work hard to make sure he shows up on search when someone searches his name.
A lot of people like to review restaurant food. I like to review their websites. I make a true listicle for Wheeling based local restaurants – and even attached a nice lead generation white-paper.
I love tormenting my friend Justin Benline. He hates being on the internet, so I made sure that I purchased JustinBenline.com and made an exclusive apparel store selling Justin merch.
One of my first loves was pro wrestling. In this blog, I document my struggles with pro wrestling and the difficulty supporting multiple brands.
Left Brain – Eric’s Most Strategic Blogs
I am a web designer that wants to have his name show up in the largest Ohio Valley Metro – Wheeling. I accomplished my goal by creating a list of all of the possible web designers in Wheeling. Yes, I might give the names of my competition, but I also have users clicking on my URL and not theirs.
Was it a goal of mine in December 2020 to rank for the #1 pro wrestling podcaster? No. Will I take the monthly impressions and clicks? Absolutely. This article, on the backend, shows you the power of a featured snippet on Google.
There is a very fun backstory to this post. But some things need to stay behind a paywall. If you want the backstory, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Wheeling Advertising Agencies”.
Unlike Conrad Thompson, I knew I would get Adam the Woo clicks with this post. Sometimes you can spot an opportunity (even if it doesn’t translate to money). I like web clicks and I like helping people. I help Adam the Woo fans learn about how he earns money.
If you are going to do any research, you should repurpose it and turn it into a blog. I always wondered if people type Ohio Valley as a location. Turns out – they really don’t.
Does Content Marketing Work?
I can say that I’ve received leads and website jobs directly from a blog I wrote. This might not always be the case (where you can pinpoint the exact blog that gave you a lead). In most cases, it takes several touch points before a user determines they need your service.
By actively posting and give away information for free, you gain trust. The more knowledgeable you are, you gain authority. If you can show some personality, you become likable.
People like to buy from people they know, trust, and like. You can accomplish all of this through some powerful content.
The Podcast: “What is Content Marketing”
The name of the Podcast Show and the Name of the Podcast Episode do the trick. There is some house cleaning at the top, but the majority of the podcast is all quality content.