Pearson Education reached out to me to read and make make notes on Mike Moran’s and James Mathewson’s upcoming book, Outside-In Marketing. I go through it, paragraph by paragraph, and write notes on what comes to mind. After three chapters, I am both excited and delighted by both how much I have learned and how much I already knew.
The Language of Business is Moving Faster Than You Are
Just a cursory search of Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner shows me that my own site, Gerr.is, shows how out of touch I am. When I started, what I did was called viral marketing, buzz marketing, and new media. Hell, I don’t even know if anyone refers to any of it as digital PR or social media marketing. Reputation management is much hotter than ever, search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer considered snake oil, and blogger PR and social marketing. It looks like social media strategy is evolving into social marketing strategy. And then there’s content marketing — we know it’s evolving into outside-in marketing.
Even Your Clients’ Names Change
I spend years working for Pete Snyder‘s New Media Strategies — it was sort of like my own personal online marketing PhD — and I am always very proud to be an alumnus of NMS; however, NMS is now MXM (Meredith Xcelerated Marketing). And so many of your clients and brands — the ones that fill the clients, case studies, and testimonials portions of your corporate and personal website — to say nothing of your LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook profile have changed.
Content Marketing is the New Website Content
I did a cursory search of blogger outreach, social media marketing, digital PR, content marketing, and social media strategy and in 2015, all the top results on Google were the result of selfless, generous, and branded content that was most obviously produced by a most excellent content marketing team intent on being perceived as giving more than you take.
And, creating excellent and consistent New York Times-quality editorial content that seeks to edumicate your dummer-n-dirt future clients is a reward in itself because the more you compel, edutain, and bemuse both the Google Searcher and the Social Network Curator, the more Google will prioritize your content.
In the world of social signals and corporate publishing teams that have search experts like myself who have insights into the heart of Google, creating diverse editorial content using the exact same language that has only hitherto previously been used by Big Corporate Agencies and Websites, the neutral, useful, entertaining, and compelling editorial content is spanking the pants off of even the largest, most respected corporate sites.
In many instances, developing compelling and info/enter/edutational — quasi-educational information with a quick take-away — that quickly answers the quick questions that occur to your potential clients while they’re just hanging out, tapping the web via mobile, Google Now, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, or Amazon Echo, and you might very well show up well above Wikipedia (how, you ask? Well, in most cases, it’s too much of a pain in the ass to even touch Wikipedia with a 10-foot pole so buzzwords don’t tend to infect the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit as quickly as people who search or people who write content explicitly for those people who search, hoping they’ll write something delicious enough to compel them to their products and services — you can truly write faster than the speed of Wikipedia).
Content Marketing is the Epitome of Catch-22
Intuitively, cat people are going to do way better at mastering content marketing than dog people. Why? Well, content marketing is tricky. Google’s a cat and the people you want to hire you are cats, too. They want you to work hard to woo them, but not too hard, because that’s desperate.
And, you can’t act like you want it too much or you’ll ruin it, and you can’t ever let anyone know that you end-game is anything besides contributing to the Internet’s corpus of knowledge gladly and without agenda, you also need to be able to afford to keep the lights on and your growing editorial team watered and fed. So, you always need to balance the giving with the taking. Believe it or not, in the world of social media and content marketing, there are more people who never lean in for the first tentative pet of that shy, distrustful, skeptical, and “I’ve been hurt-before” kitty than people who make the grave error of lurching forward.
Too many people in this game have been burnt themselves by the surprised cat named Google, Blogger, Influencer, Twitterati, ending up scratched, bitten, and shamed. So, don’t let yourself fall into the friend zone, either. Make sure no matter what you do with regards to your content marketing strategy, be sure to let your readers, researchers, friends, and fans know that what you’re writing about, what you’re expert in, and everything you know about this or that subject that you have been writing into existence in order to enrich the world-wide web is also something that you do as a paid service as well — and be sure to do the equivalent of giving out your card. It would be selfish not to since you and your agency are probably just the perfect solution to all that ails them in the first place.
In much the same way that I am just the right person to solve all that ails you here.
Good luck and go git ’em, Tiger!
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