Let's Get Social
Social media is ever changing and can sometimes be hard to keep track of. However, you must hop on this ever-changing wave if you want to stay relevant. Social media guru Jeff Bullas recently shared insights on how to better leverage social media to harness true sales power.
Jeff's digital content strategy has benefitted thousands of marketers who work to engage the billions of people who are on social media. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses how the ever-changing digital content landscape and how brands should learn to evolve with it!
A Little More About Jeff
Jeff is a master of social media and digital marketing. He is the founder of jeffbullas.com and the host of the Jeff Bullas Show podcast and YouTube channel. As a blogger, speaker, and strategist, he inspires and helps educate entrepreneurs on how to leverage the digital world to transform their businesses to become even more successful, and he's incredibly good at it. Forbes calls him a top influencer of chief marketing officers and the world's top social marketing talent. Entrepreneur lists him among 50 online marketing influencers to watch. Inc. has him on the list of 20 digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. He is, without a doubt, one of the world's top business content marketers.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: What I'd love to have us start off by is sharing your journey. How did you get here today where you are this mastermind for so many people?
Answer: It came out of a hard time in my life, so that's how we started. I think what I've learned from that is that you learn from pain, not pleasure. You learn from discomfort rather than comfort. If we're sitting in a comfortable spot, there is no momentum, or I suppose motivation, to actually change your life. I had a business which I had to close down, so I was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Marriage broke up, the family home was taken by the bank, and we were back to zero, in fact, negative. I sort of decided, I was not living near Sydney, I went back to Sydney and started applying for jobs. Because I had plenty of time, I read a lot. I read Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Workweek, which sort of inspired me about being a digital entrepreneur, the digital world. I already knew about it. I'd been living in tech since the mid-'80s when Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were duking it out with their PC wars, but the digital entrepreneur world where you created content line was fascinating.
I read Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Workweek... almost everyone has that I know of.... and then David Meerman Scott's book, New Rules of Marketing & PR, which talked about, it didn't say content marketing back then, because content marketing really didn't exist as a word in 2008. It was called inbound marketing, which HubSpot uses today, but today it's known ubiquitously as content marketing. It sort of said, "If you create content online, you can attract an audience and attract customers. As an ex-salesman that had done, literally, cold calling, door knocking, to actually get customers, this was something that sounded rather attractive, in other words, attract the customer rather than chase a customer. Outbound marketing, we call it...I basically said, "Okay, I'll start a blog on social media," because I thought there was something really going on. That hunch was right, because today we have nearly three billion people on Facebook, and everyone's obsessed with social media, and it's used for business everywhere. We started the blog and that's how it all started.
Question: Besides automation, and that being like a number one people need to figure out so that you're not just sitting there typing, tweeting, all your live-long day, what are the steps that if someone has not started content marketing, or maybe they're doing it, but not to a high degree, how do you tell people to start their journey?
Answer: I think you've got to be clear on who your audience is. Then you've got to create content that talks to their pain points, and then answers those and comes up to solutions. I think that's really where you've got to start. I think the other thing people have got to realize with the content marketing is you got to play the long game. A lot of people go, "Well, I want to rank on the first page of Google next week." I said, "Well, good luck with that." The reality is that content marketing is a long game. It can take years to rank, build authority, and then Google can change the rules and the algorithms. We're in the middle of an algorithm battle, as well. That's what I'd recommend to people, understand your audience, create content that solves, that talks to their pain points, and then come with solutions that answers those pain points. Whether you're doing B2B or B2C, I think that's really where you've got to start.
Question: I know you've said that you need to have ownership over your own content. Certainly, Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and all the social platforms, they're emails, they're blogs, they're podcasts. What do you think are the go-to building blocks that everyone really should be building from?
Answer: Okay. This comes down a little bit about the theme of your podcast, marketing mistakes. I think number one from day one, start building an email list, because you own that list. It's a list that follows you. It's not pay-to-play, but it's still controlled by algorithms these days, as we know that a genuine email, even from Google itself, will go to spam or trash. In other words, Google hasn't even worked out its own algorithms to make sure email is delivered, but never the less, it has algorithms. Number one, build your email list.
Number two, for your blog and for your website, you need to be working on from day one a building block, very essential, is to start building your search engine optimization authority. In other words, the key phrases that customers signified you like, how to start a blog, or how to write great content, or 10 tips, whatever, but your headline and also meta tags, which is the key phrases you're trying to target that Google can find easily. Build your search engine authority right from day one. It's going to take your time and relentlessly create content around that, that can be ranked. This is a long journey. It's getting harder as more and more content is created, but it's still possible and still needs to be done. That is a fundamental.
Question: Are there any preferred platforms you like working with or that you suggest that can help someone?
Answer: Agorapulse is a very good social media marketing platform that you can automate and schedule. Emeric Ernoult, who is a good friend of mine who lives in Paris, built this machine. It took him 10 years. There's one of many, but there's Agorapulse, which is your social media marketing automation platform. I think you need to use email platforms. We've been using Infusionsoft and looking at using some more up-to-date email marketing platforms, that are important. I think the other thing that entrepreneurs need to understand is, it's a boring word, it's called process. I think if you create process and systems, it will set you free and allow you to scale. But to most entrepreneurs who are a bit freewheeling, a bit Wild West, creatives, process, attention to detail, is like an evil word or phrase. I think you need to then start working out how you can create and document what your business does and how to do it. I think that will set you free as an entrepreneur and help you scale, and that can be done through Google Docs.
Question: Where do you think some other mistakes are that entrepreneurs make with content marketing in general?
Answer: I think they sometimes forget to create what I call long-form content. I think that's really important, where you take a deep dive. I think as humans we've been attracted by the shiny toy of social media where it's content is 140 or 250 characters, 15, 30-second, 60-second videos. They're great, and I think they're important as part of the tactics. I think then, but producing, especially in the B2B space, if you're selling, you need to create long-form content. I was writing three or 400-word blog posts in 2009. Today we're writing up to two-and-a-half thousand, 3,000-word articles. It's a bigger commitment, but the reality is that you need to be looking at long-form content that adds real value and dives deep into the solutions that people are looking for.
Check Out The Podcast!
Jeff shared so much insight about all things social media and entrepreneurship. We learned from Jeff's perspective what works and what should be avoided. Listen below for the full conversation between Stacy and Jeff.
Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year:
- Let's Talk Streaming
- Tracking and Achieving Your Clients' Goals
- Increase Your Revenue By Leveraging Data
- What To Know About Influencer Marketing
- The Great Resignation
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