As 2015 ends and 2016 begins, it’s a great time to take stock of your digital marketing efforts and think about what’s working, what’s not, and what to do next. As we work with clients in a variety of industries at different stages of their growth, we commonly see a number of opportunities for growth and improvement.
We have summarized the list below and provided some background material from a recent talk I gave to an audience of marketing professionals. The slide deck is provided below as well as a raw transcript from the conversation. The slide deck and transcript will hopefully help to illuminate the key points. The simplified list is as follows:
- Develop and document your brand.
- Refine your website
- Define your audience
- Develop and implement a content strategy
- Establish a social cadence
- Engage audiences that have audiences
- Leverage and re-purpose
Here’s to a 2016 full of many new customers for your business!
Below is the edited transcript from a speech I delivered to the Legal Marketing Association.
Monica Smith: Well, we’re really excited today to have Matt Certo and also team members of his team with us today. Many of you know Matt. He’s been a friend of our group for several years and has spoken I think three or four times, probably. Today’s part two of what you did a year ago for us, I think. Matt’s worked with a lot of companies in the Orlando area across different industries, but he does have law firm experience and I think what’s so great about when Matt comes and talks to us, is he can tell us what’s happening outside of the industry and what’s working in corporate America and we can apply some of the strategies. He has an incredibly impressive resume that I could read out loud, but I’ll just let you all read it if you already haven’t and Matt, if you want to add anything, feel free.
Matt Certo: Thank you, Monica, for those kind words. Thank you all for having me. I’m really thrilled to be here and have been here a number of times. It’s always fun to revisit what we’ve talked about and then think about building on things that we’ve talked about over the years.
I would really like to thank Baker Hostetler for hosting us today. Very nice of you. I love this view. Just appreciate the opportunity also to include some of our team members so some training time for them as well, hopefully.
Actually, a lot of the things that we’ll talk about today, our team has played a role in so maybe as we move into discussion a little bit, we can all chime in and I hope that’ll be the case today.
I have a lot to cover that I want to try and get through quickly, some of which I could spend an entire hour on some of the topics themselves, but I would love for it to be discussion-based so if you want to ask a question, feel free to raise your hand. That actually gives me a little bit of a break as well so feel free to do that. We’ll have some Q & A at the end.
Monica and I were going back and forth on maybe what the topic might be and I had suggested this title today because we’re looking at the next year with clients and helping them think about what they’re going to be doing next year and what they might want to be focused on.
There are a number of things that pop out to us as we work with clients. Professional services, law firm marketing, business to business marketing and also consumer marketing so we are part of a laboratory in our organization that gets to see a lot of things happen. A lot of things work and not work and so my goal today is to share some of those with you and also share what we think the opportunities might be.
Just a couple things about me and also the agency so you can know where I come from. I’ve been doing this about 20 years, a little over 20 years. Started a company called WebSolvers when I was a student at Rollins and over the years …
We rebranded the firm about two years ago to Findsome & Winmore. It’s a digital marketing agency, not just a web builder so we had this tagline of finding and winning your customers and people really liked it because in essence, that’s what they come in to us to talk … Come to talk to us about, is how to use these digital tools to find customers.
Like a lot of agencies, we arrived at a unique name and developed what we think is a fun and inventive brand. Over those years, I’ve worked with a number of different companies in a number of different environments and so I try to bring some of that perspective today to you.
Key services we offer. Search marketing, social media, web design and content marketing. Also public relations, traditional advertising. Those things so a mix of things as an agency.
One of the key things that I come from and speak from is on a book I put together and I’ll pass this around, about 1.5 year ago called Found. Really, this is a guide to how we approach things as an agency. Some of the premises that we work from and operate from.
Last year we talked a lot about this and this was really the key of the speech or the talk last year was what this book says and what’s important in it. It was really borne out of some questions that I get commonly from clients and friends. Probably like you all do about your industry.
I really wanted to provide a concise answer to some of those key questions like why are people on social media, does a website really help. Does Facebook matter? How do I get traffic from Google? All those things.
What I found over the years is those answers aren’t simple and they’re not to be looked at in a vacuum so the approach of the book is to try and tie those things together and make it simple and make it a quick read.
A bit about our agency just so you know. You can go to our website and check out the types of work that we do and some of the examples of the work that we do. We have about 20 people. Have a really fun environment. Like to experiment a lot, do some really creative work and one thing that we’ve done recently that’s been a lot of fun is just wanted to show …
This is the showing off, is that our friend Jesse from O’Dang Hummus that we met two weeks ago and he came to us and said our website’s terrible and we were told that we needed to expect up to three million visitors to our website because we were about to be on Shark Tank so we had to quickly scramble and in two weeks, put together a site that handles all these transactions.
People have asked me today. He did get a deal from Shark Tank and he’s … Also has an order from Publix of 100,000 units so he’s in this entrepreneurial stretch of trying to find the money to fulfill that first order. It’s a fun story, but check him out. All the videos are on there, are on his website and Facebook page. He’s got a really cool product. That’s the type of thing that we do on an ongoing basis.
I am the son of an academic so I was taught to boil things down to a thesis and so today, without being too boring … This is essentially what I’m trying to do, is to present seven simple things that you can do and probably … Maybe you’ll go through here and say I’ve done those and I feel pretty good about those so maybe there’s six of these that might apply to you or maybe even one of them.
The goal here is to help you find some practical things that might make sense for your firm or your group so that you can have a really good 2016 and maybe build on some things you’re already doing well.
The first one is just the idea of developing and documenting your brand. This is a step that we find a lot of clients haven’t taken or they’ve kind of taken, but they haven’t really sat down to understand their position in the marketplace and as a brand and if you define a brand as a promise. There are lots of different ways to define it, but I like to think of a brand as a promise to the marketplace.
What does that promise look like and how do we want to visually convey that? It’s not just visually, but how do we do it in video, how do we do it in audio, how do we do it in the written format? How do we do it in signage, even signage in a conference room or a marquee?
One of the tools that we encourage clients to think about is a brand identity guide and so this is really … Many of your agencies or firms might have these already, but basically a 10-page document that says this is how things are going to look in our agency. Also, here’s … This is the brand essence that we’re going to try and communicate.
For a restaurant, we might say a current mix of American fare made with fresh combinations of unexpected flavors. We just had a catering company tell her brand essence and we think that every organization should really sit down and come to that conclusion in a couple of different sentences and even go to think about brand experience statements.
When they walk into your firm or they interact with one of your professionals, what should that experience be like? This is a lot of hard work to do, but it’s a great team-building opportunity and a great way to really, from a marketing perspective, hone in on who you are and who you’re not.
It also just goes into things like color palettes. Specific identities of what colors we’re going to use from a primary perspective and a secondary perspective. Typefaces. What would our typefaces look like in a title of a document and a newsletter? Ultimately how do we want to display photography on social media?
We find a lot of times that clients … Their photography styles are all over the place and it’s a missed opportunity to get their brand together visually.
Then visually, how do we want to use our typefaces and our colors and our photography to do things like a menu or a brochure or our letterhead, even? We really encourage clients to think that through and get the brand very, very concise and you can often do that in a brand standards document or a brand identity guide.
Just out of a show of hands, do you all have those? Most of you. Some of you. Working on it. Okay.
One of the hidden things about that is it ultimately people just start using typefaces they want to and they get really, really creative and ultimately your documents start to look pretty scattered so it’s a really simple step that you can take and then if you enforce it right, you can get everything on the same page.
By trade I’m a website builder so this is always a key and this is one that never stops. It’s every year you can refine your website. The biggest thing we run into now is that clients need to take the step to make their sites mobile-friendly.
The biggest trend the past couple years is been responsive web design so 10 years ago, you’d have to design a special mobile site for each mobile device that visited your site. Now sites are being built in a responsive fashion so that one site will automatically adapt to all these types of different screens.
If you’re curious about whether or not yours does that, you can grab the lower right-hand corner of your web browser and drag it back and forth and it’ll show you whether or not it adapts to the screens. Google also has a mobile-friendly test and so … I put in my alma mater here and they’re doing well. It’s a free little test you can run on your site and it’ll show you what the site looks like and if it is mobile-friendly.
This has been a big deal the past year because you may have read about mobilegeddon. Google, about a year ago, said if your site’s not mobile-friendly, you’ll be punished in rankings so you want to be sure that you’re mobile-friendly.
That’s a technical aspect of this. From a strategic perspective, which is really what I love about webdesign and web development, we also encourage you to think really about what … How to make your website “good” and if you asked different people what websites they like, oftentimes they’ll say I really like this one because it’s … The photography’s great or I like the colors. They’ll always say that it’s clean so they really like that term.
We encourage clients to go deeper and think about, with our website, what makes it good and I define good as one … As a website that accomplishes the purpose for which it is intended. That’s not really an answer, but it’s a way to get you thinking about what the purpose of your site is.
I talk about this in a blog post. Don’t have time to go too much into it, but to me, good is something that accomplishes the purposes that it’s intended for. How do you figure out what it’s intended for? How do you figure that out for your organization?
We encourage you and this is another blog post on website performance measurement that boils everything down to a three-step process. What are the goals of the organization so what is the organization trying to accomplish? What are the website goals that we could basically build underneath those organizational goals? Then the third, the third issue is, what are the website outcomes that we’d ultimately want to have based upon this process? Does it mean I’ll have direct sales?
If I’m a humus company selling a product online that has a two-year shelf life for their salad dressings, they want to sell those online, but if I’m a humus company, I have a tub of humus that’s refrigerated that people are going to buy at Publix.
How do I build website outcomes that would get them to the stores and/or help them approach their own store managers? The store managers would order the product in the first place. It’s really thinking through what’s the organization trying to accomplish and then how do you build the website to support those things.
Then ultimately if you really, really fall in love with this, create a scorecard out of it. Most people just stop at Google analytics statistics and think about traffic and traffic’s important, but if you really establish a scorecard based upon these metrics back here and you report to yourself or your marketing committee about how these things are actually working, you really get to a place where you’re super laser-focused on what your website’s actually for.
That’s all online. If you’re interested in the scorecard, there’s a simple free one that we have online that you can look at.
The third one is to define your audience. This is an easy one. It’s not a new one, but it’s not a very fun one. There’s no design associated with it. There are no colors. There’s nothing that gets printed, really. This is really just hard work of understanding who your audience is.
I’m a big believer in the more that we understand the audience, the more our product is going to fit the audience and with the more we can tailor, not just the product itself, but the communications.
How do we do that? This is touched on in the book so this might be old from last year, but I’ll just be brief about it. The first thing is to start with demographics. What do our customers look like from a demographic standpoint? These are very simple to think through.
We also then say, let’s on top of the demographics, overlay a motivational lens. What do these people actually care about outside or irrespective of our product and services? Things like what keeps them up at night, what does a vacation look like, what generational issues do they face, how do they respond to certain messages and ads. Really thinking through what matters to them.
This is a little diagram I … A little model I created in the book that just looks at what ultimately do these customers care about, these different segments. What matters to them? This is just a grid that you can around and I’ll publish these slides. You don’t have to buy the book for it, but you can go around and think about these items of concern and how they relate to your audience.
Once you’ve done that and you’ve done that hard work, then we encourage you to actually identify segments of your audience and develop personas. This is an example that I used from a health and fitness club. If you think about LA Fitness and they’ve got that tent out on Colonial Drive and they’re trying to get people in.
One of our clients is RDV MVP Sports and we’ve been working with their health clubs for years and so I think about them in a situation like this. You have one gym or a series of gyms and you don’t just have one audience. You have segments of that audience. You might have three, you might have five, but what I do here is identify.
Here’s Herb, who’s a 64 year old male, who’s concerned about cholesterol, high blood pressure and wants to avoid diabetes. You have Nancy, who’s a 29 year old female and she’s really more concerned about getting in shape for her wedding. Then you have Timmy, who’s a 16 year old male. He’s really more concerned about making his varsity team. He’s training to be an athlete.
You can’t just have one blanket shotgun approach to your audience. What you want to do is figure out who they are, develop personas for them. It’s going to make some of the rest of this pretty easy.
That leads into a content strategy. Huge, huge believer and probably the thing I’m most passionate about in all of marketing is content and creating and developing content strategies.
Content marketing is a newer term, but really, it’s the idea of how do we connect with customers by generating content that matters to them, thinking about who these audience profiles are. Generating content that matters to them, that informs and influences, but dhttps://findsomewinmore.com/conquer-linkedin-just-10-minutes-day/oesn’t advertise or sell.
Again, content that we publish on a blog, for example, that informs and influences, but does not advertise or sell. That’s a careful distinction because as marketers we really want to sell. We have that instinct that we want to sell. Buy our product.
More and more, I’m a believer that our society is moving to a place where content and customer relationships happen over time, more through those relationships and exchanges on social media than they do in advertising. While this is a new concept that you’re hearing more about, it’s not new and I just bring these always along to show people.
This is something Jello did and the date on this is 1920. Jello would go door-to-door, not advertising anything, but giving homeowners recipes and ideas about serving meals at home. This is designed in the old style of a recipe box and these don’t … Recipe boxes don’t really exist anymore, I don’t think.
It was designed to be able to fit right inside a recipe box and they’d give these away for free. Oh, by the way, all these recipes have one product in them. I’ll pass that around just to show you.
This is another one that the John Deere company put out and I think the date on this one …
Monica: How did you get those, Matt?
Matt Certo: No one’s ever asked me that, but I got these on eBay. That’s what nerds that like content marketing do. I really wanted to see what these looked like and I’d read about these.
Matt Certo: The Furrow is one … Oh, this is 1945. This is one that John Deere published for a long time and basically, the Furrow, they still publish it, which is interesting, is all about life on a farm. It’s not just about when to plant, but it’s humor. It’s insights about raising family on a farm. I’ll pass this one around, too.
This, interestingly enough, is still published. John Deere still publishes this. What you won’t see in there is really much advertising by John Deere. It’s just a … It’s just a magazine designed to bring them closer to the brand.
Couple more examples real quick. Sure?
Speaker 6: What did you call content marketing before we called it content marketing because this has been around since 1920 or probably long before that.
Matt Certo: I don’t … Content marketing is a newer term. You’ve also heard … Some people call it inbound marketing. Probably the closest thing that you could think of in, let’s say, the past 20 or 25 years is thought leadership pieces. Really, a lot of it is thought leadership, but as I’ll show you in a minute, it’s not just about mechanics of how to do something. A lot of times it’s about humor. A lot of times it’s about being closer to a celebrity and them opening up their lives to the audience. Content marketing is what we’ve arrived at recently.
I’ll pass a couple more around. This is a newer one that I got in the mail. This is a management consulting firm. This is very close to law firms, I would think, and there’s no advertising in here. It’s just really helpful articles. They’ve identified me as a prospect as an owner of a business and they’re just sending me information about how to grow a better business. Very interesting.
The other one I wanted to pass around is from Brooks Brothers and Brooks Brothers … This is an example of them not doing it right because they have things on here about their history and they have things on here about dressing for a particular occasion, but they also have their products and how much they cost and how to order.
It’s also a ton about them and not about the customer so, to me, they call this Our Lifestyle Magazine, but to me it’s a catalog in disguise.
I show that at distinctive example because we have this instinct as marketers to want to advertise and to want to put our product in people’s faces and have them buy it, but over time, if you think about you and how you buy other products and services, you grow proximity to brands by your relationships with those brands and how you interact with them, not by people shouting at you and demanding that you buy.
One example, and these are just some examples of content marketing vehicles you can use. Blog posts, diagrams, videos, but one example I always like to use is American Express in the open forum.
American Express for small business owners has what they call the Open Forum and it’s all sorts of articles, concepts. They send out books to business owners about how to grow your business. Very little advertising. Obviously their brand is present, but over the years, I’ve really depended on this. They have a LinkedIn group. They email you things. It’s really, really helpful stuff.
Contrast that with Capital One, who has vikings on television yelling at you and they’re putting statements or offers in your mailbox every other day. Think about who you would feel closer to as a brand. To me, it’s an obvious answer that American Express and their approach to deliver content is … You’re more likely, as a consumer, to share this on social media, an article you found than an ad that you got in your mailbox.
That’s what we’re trying to tap into from a social media perspective, is what would you be willing to share. What would people increase in likes or in shares based upon how good the content is and how important it is?
Target does a great job with this. One way to think about it. They say let’s put content around the product that we’re trying to sell. If their target is parents that are worried about flu season ahead, they have a post here called Seven Top Tips to Fight Flu Season.
They don’t have a 50 cent off coupon to get you into the store. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the approach is how do you use content to drive the relationship and how do you get more people to follow you on social media in that way.
This is a free online 40-minute documentary from The Content Marketing Institute about what content marketing is and how it really works. This is another thing, other than eBay that nerds do that really love this stuff, but there are some cool examples in here, including Blendtec. How many have you heard of of Blendtec?
Blendtec is this blender company. They’re kind of like a Vitamix type operation. Made by an engineer. He says how am I going to market this great blender that … You can blend anything. About 10 years ago, he goes onto YouTube and starts putting different things into his blender and the title of the series of these videos is called Will It Blend?
He put in marbles, light bulbs, an iPod. All these different things one a week and people just went crazy over these videos and the blender blends marbles into sand and grinds everything into a fine grain and the blade’s still sharp so it’s really an interesting series of examples so I’d encourage you to watch it if you … Clients or your professionals are asking you for help here. This would be a great way to frame what it is that you do.
Establishing a social cadence. This will be a quick one, but we really encourage clients to think about being routine with their social media and we get that question a lot. How do we do this, how do we get started, how do we get our arms around it?
One of the first things that we encourage you to do is think about all these available social networks. Think back to that hard work you did about your audience and think about where those people are actually hanging out online.
For a lot of you, if you’re doing corporate law, for example, your biggest place is going to be LinkedIn. If you’re selling a more consumer-driven legal service or promoting that, a lot of those might be more on Facebook than they would be on LinkedIn. You really have to think through the hard work of that audience and then decide which networks you want to be a part of.
Then getting into a cadence and these are just a few of our examples. Getting into a cadence thinks about how do we, on a regular basis, create content that aligns with what’s going on with the rest of the world. Again, what is our audience care about? To our decision-makers, we’re talking about how to promote our idea of creating content so we use a statistic to do that here on the bottom.
The statistic talks about 80 percent of business decision-makers prefer company information a series of articles instead of an ad so that goes back to our idea of content. Content is more powerful than an ad is when it comes to reaching a business decision-maker.
Adept is one of our clients and we have a series that we do. Christa is in charge of the series. What are we calling this series?
Christa: It’s Manage Monday and Time-Saver Tuesdays.
Matt Certo: Manage Monday and Time-Saver Tuesday so there are five days of the week. Pick out a day and come up with some concept around it and then think about sharing a tip. This group does management training and they’re talking about deficiency so they encourage you to get the most out of your day by drinking in the mid-morning instead of the first thing in the morning and I choose both.
This is another example of something we’ve done. Holding up one of your clients or one of your employees if they’ve accomplished something and you’ll notice all these are done visually.
The research tells us that people are more likely to respond to something visual than they are written. It gets your attention, you know we’re all scrolling and so this gets back to our brand identity guide we talked about in the beginning.
Notice that these photos have a style to them so that as we’re consuming this information as followers on social media, the brand identity is communicated to us without us thinking about it. I don’t realize or think about this border that we’re putting around it on a regular basis around our photos, but we’re used to it and we associate it with the brand without thinking about it.
That’s why those little details are important. As I go around and encourage people to do that, they think we’re a little nuts for figuring out borders on photographs and why they’re so important. I know that’s overly picky and you’ll be known as somebody who’s overly picky if you choose to create identity standards and enforce them across your enterprise, but you’ll see why those important. Plus, it just looks better. It looks more organized.
Another thing is engaging audiences that have audiences. This is once we’ve gotten our … We’ve thought about who our customer is and we’ve created content for them and we figured out what their social networks are so we’re distributing that information to them. Then we think about how do we get exposure to these things.
We’ve all heard this quote and it’s stated in different ways. Does anybody without me saying it?
Speaker 8: Yeah.
Matt Certo: What’s the quote?
Monica: If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s there to hear it, does it make noise? Or something like that.
Matt Certo: Yes, that’s exactly it. If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to see it, does it actually make a sound? Or does anyone care or does anyone notice or will anyone ever realize that tree made a sound?
The first way I learned about this is my older brother said you should always send flowers to a girl’s office so that it’s in front of people as opposed to sending it to somewhere where no one else would see. It’ll make a bigger impact and he was right.
It’s the same concept with your content. I’ll give you a quick example. We think that when you’re creating content and sharing it, you should associate other people in your content that have big audiences so you can use and leverage their audience in a fair and honest way to get exposure to their people.
This is a quick example. I read this book couple years ago called Age of Context and the book is very relevant to our customers and it’s the future of how marketing is going from just imagery and what we communicate, brochures, websites to context. In other words, your refrigerator if it doesn’t already is going to know when you’re out of milk. We’ve all heard that one.
Your mobile device, let’s say your smart watch or your phone is going to know when you’re near a Publix and that oh, by the way your refrigerator says you’re out of milk and I can give you an alert on your wrist and tell you to go buy that milk.
It talks about sensors, about how sensors are aware of where you are because it detects that you’re … Let’s say you’re in Brooks Brothers. We use that example and that you follow them on social media. It will be able to give you an alert, hey, you’re our friend on social media. We want to show you something in the store that you’ve already liked.
It’s pretty cool stuff. Emily’s back there and she’s going wow, that’s … It kind of blew my mind. I thought well, I really want to write about this so I wrote a blog post about it, a book review on Age of Context, thinking about my audience and what they might care about. They might care about something like this.
I wrote the book review and we put it on the blog and then I engaged the authors and said I wrote this book review and it happened to be positive because I like the book and oh, by the way, these authors on Twitter … Robert Scoble has 470,000 followers on Twitter and Shel Israel has 29,000 followers on Twitter so both big audiences that are widely read.
These authors to write that kind of book, they’re very aware of these facts and their audiences are aware of these facts so when I wrote the review, they both retweeted it to their audiences and it was one of the largest blog post traffic spikes we ever had and brought in their audiences along with our audience.
That’s what we’re encouraging you to think about. You can remember that flowers example. Bring in another audience. It makes a bigger impact. This is just a picture of the tweet.
Monica: Firms that have maybe client alerts or newsletters that go out, would you then encourage them to invite … If it’s a law firm, maybe invite an accountant to talk about … To do a guest column and talk about something.
Matt Certo: Absolutely.
Monica: Then they can promote it to their audience as well.
Matt Certo: Absolutely. It could be a social media audience. It could be a blog audience, which you can consider that social media, but they already have a widely-read blog or email newsletter and you all are, let’s say, partners and you do a lot of work together, then absolutely, I would encourage it.
It’s like co-hosting an event. We’ve all done that, where you bring 10 people, I’ll bring 10 people and maybe we’ll each be able to develop business, where they’ll be able to develop business and it’s just an opportunity to build a relationship. So absolutely. It’s a good example.
[inaudible 00:37:52] last thing and I want to come to that. What’s the title of that presentation about the efficiency, doing more with less? This is along those lines because you’re all busy. You are all doing things all the time and your professionals are doing things all the time. We encourage you to think about taking that work you’ve already done and leveraging it for the good.
First thing is SlideShare. I bet your professionals are already sharing presentations to groups, conferences, clients like this. Put them on SlideShare. SlideShare is a way for you to share your slide back and get exposure when it’s appropriate.
I’ll put a SlideDeck up on SlideShare and you can embed that on your blog post. It’s work that’s already been done and to actually embed it on SlideShare takes a couple minutes and you can share it on LinkedIn. You can have other professionals share it on their social networks. Just a way to leverage work you’ve already done in a SlideDeck, in a presentation.
If you take a blog post that you published on your blog and we all know that’s not easy. Takes time. People have to edit it, publish it. Find the imagery, get it approved. Then who’s going to see? Well, take that blog post and also you can have your professionals put it on their LinkedIn and share it as posts and you’re going to get …
If you have 50 professionals in your firm, you have 10 professionals in your firm, they all have networks on LinkedIn and when they share a post like this, it has immediate access and exposure to their LinkedIn network so repurpose that content in that place.
Monica: Matt, I have a question about that.
Matt Certo: Yes.
Monica: Because not everybody in the networks are on LinkedIn at the moment that you share that. They don’t necessarily go looking for it. Would you recommend doing it multiple times and if so, how would that look?
Matt Certo: I would. I wouldn’t go crazy. I’d do that selectively, but if you have … Number one, I would encourage you all to have all your professionals get on LinkedIn as quickly as possible. It’s a great, great opportunity, especially in the legal field.
I have seen how more … People will interact more with their colleagues on LinkedIn than they will with the brand so if we publish something on our brand page, we might get X number of interactions. If one of our professionals publishes it on their personal page, we get two or three or four X.
I don’t know if that answers your question, but primarily I …
Monica: Well, if I did it … Say something came out and I posted on behalf of an attorney or something like it’s our 100th anniversary, for example …
Matt Certo: Mm-hmm.
Monica: Coming up in 2016.
Matt Certo: Wow.
Monica: That being said, I’m going to say … Maybe January 1st I’m going to put that on there. Well, nobody’s going to see it that day so I make it a policy then to send out something once a month, once a week, that kind of thing about this event. I do want … I don’t really want anybody to do anything. I just want to make it an awareness.
Matt Certo: Sure. Well, anniversaries are fantastic opportunities. We had 20 last year. Or this year. We’ve used 20 and you have 100. That’s a really big deal. We actually created a secondary logo, which I can show you that has a 20 in it.
Monica: Yeah, but to [inaudible 00:41:16] logo for it.
Matt Certo: So use that logo and I would set a schedule for the year. We talked about social cadence. I would set a calendar for the year and say how are we going to, over time, layer in this anniversary into what we’re going and I would even tie it in to maybe other companies celebrating their 100 year anniversary around the country. I would tie it into great firms that have made it to 100. What was going on in 1915?
Speaker 10: Right.
Matt Certo: I would just schedule that out and then it takes the guesswork out of an ongoing basis. It’s easier on you.
Speaker 9: I have a comment, too, because we [inaudible 00:41:59] and then I with LinkedIn. All of the people that are in LinkedIn, I have control. I have their passwords so we’re friend with most of the same people and I would go in as them. I posted it and just say I’m so glad to be a part of this company or congratulations just so it would re-post and so those people would see it again. Does that make sense? You know what I mean?
Matt Certo: Because we are all busy and it’s very easy for these posts to go past people.
Speaker 10: Yeah, you miss … Miss the greater percentage of them.
Matt Certo: Absolutely and that’s why I’m still … I’ll talk about it in a minute. Huge, huge fan of email because email newsletters and regular emails are making a comeback. I think it’s still one of the most powerful things and you know … Not everyone’s going to open everything, but it’s a way to get to that person who might just not have ever seen your post.
A few more slides and then we can open up to questions and you all have to get back to your offices. This is just a continuation of the previous because once you, again, going back to the tree in the forest, once you have the post, you have the opportunity for this post to show up in the LinkedIn Pulse network.
If it’s good content that reaches the right audience, going back to our steps before, then more people look at it and more people share it, then LinkedIn can actually highlight you so this came to me … One of the other principles in our agency, it came to her because she subscribes to marketing content and this post actually went to her inbox as something that she should read.
That was a cool thing to have happen, but it shows you how that network works. If you have content that’s good, hopefully this was good, seen that way, then people will get more exposure to it.
This is another example, a couple quick examples. We wrote a blog post and Lauren in our office pitched it. There’s Lauren. Lauren pitched it to Business Insider. Business Insider has a great audience of people and they picked it up so you can take, again, back to re-purposing what you’ve already done, pitch your blog post to journalists and they can bring you their audience.
They’ll re-purpose, they’ll publish it. They might edit it, tweak it. We had the same thing happen at Inc. Magazine, where we took the concept of Found and pitched the book and it ended up, again, Found, there’s no selling in that book. It’s all an instruction guide for how to do what it is that we do, but our gamble is that you’re not going to want to do it because that’s not what you wake up passionate about. You have your jobs to do, but it shows people how to do things on their own.
They re-purposed this book. They summarized how to turn blog posts into killer sales tools and that’s essentially what we’re trying to do. How do you take content into selling? You’ve already had this great content. Pitch it.
Then … This is a couple additions of our email newsletter. Our email newsletter and people think what are we going to put in our email newsletter because we’ve done social media and we’ve done the blog posts and we’ve done the posts on LinkedIn.
We look at your email newsletter as an opportunity to recap the best work that you’ve done in a given period of time and just re-purpose it, just show it here. Hang it on your email newsletter and for the person who didn’t see it on LinkedIn because they weren’t in the office that day, this is the way to get it to their inbox so big fans of email newsletters and we encourage clients to be thinking that way.
That’s the seven. Hopefully my thesis held true and that you enjoyed or you thought of one or two things that might be practically helpful to you and what you’re trying to do from a marketing perspective. I don’t know how much time we have, Monica, but I can field any questions that you all have. Happy to do it.
Speaker 14: Instead of … If I’m scrolling through on the bus or waiting for a meeting or anything like that, I’ll see that and learn something where as if it’s an article, I won’t always click it, open it until I have some downtime at night or something to read an article.
Matt Certo: Right.
Speaker 14: Depends, again, on the audience and how you can … Maybe the best answer is to do it both ways. Have a post with an infographic one day and then couple weeks later, have the same information in an article. I don’t know.
Matt Certo: Right and to make them interesting, too, because that’s … I think about audiences and what really is interesting to them. Oftentimes that has nothing to do with your business or very little to do. It may just be the fact that you’re a member of the same community.
If I think about the Amway Center, if you were to do an infographic on how many tons of concrete were used, how many square feet are in there, how many concession stands … There are things like that of interest to the community and you’re a member of this community so if you’re putting something out there that people …
It’s going to get their attention more so than something very technical or very, very endemic to what it is you offer as a service and I think you have a better opportunity of those people sharing that. That’s ultimately the goal. It’s content within your audience that people would share.
Speaker 15: Do you have a rule of thumb that you follow on word count for your blog posts? Do you know what’s too long and what’s not long enough?
Matt Certo: Christa, I’ll turn to Christa for that answer. I’m glad you’re here.
Christa: I wouldn’t say there’s an exact number.
Speaker 15: Right.
Christa: There’s not a magic number that is going to put it at the top ratings in Google, but I would say should probably be anywhere between 400 and 800 words.
Speaker 15: Yeah.
Christa: So that it’s enough content and then if it goes beyond that 800, you can start a series and break it up that way so that it’s not becoming this long, long, long article.
Speaker 15: Yeah. Just curious because I know if they’re too long where it just goes into that, if it’s too long, [inaudible 00:56:57] oh. The person to look at is [inaudible 00:56:59]
Matt Certo: Right.
Speaker 15: [crosstalk 00:57:00] are like okay, I don’t want to read it. It’s too long. That’s what I do.
Matt Certo: Right.
Speaker 15: I was just curious if there’s been any [crosstalk 00:57:07]
Matt Certo: You’ll notice on some of these networks now like Medium, it was started by the folks that started Twitter and Medium is all about long form content and what they do is based on number of words, they give you a number, about how long it will take you to read this.
Speaker 15: I’ve seen that, yeah.
Matt Certo: You’ll see that more now. This will take me four minutes to read so you can make that decision and that’s very interesting because we’re all doing that. [inaudible 00:57:28] look at something, am I going to make the investment in this or am I going to save it for later. Yeah.
Speaker 15: If I save something for late, I almost never come back to it.
Matt Certo: Right.
Speaker 15: It’s like you have … If you don’t get [inaudible 00:57:40] instant, you’re not going to get them at all.
Matt Certo: I was listening to a podcast the other day and she was talking about a blog post that she had written. I’m like I’m on the treadmill, I’m not going to be able to … Then she gave out if you want this emailed to you, text this to that. I did it and … Just to see if it would work. They’re thinking about people on podcasts, they’re probably not going to be …
Speaker 15: Mm-hmm.
Matt Certo: They might be driving, they might be … There are all sorts of ways that people are going now to the next level with trying to capture their reader based upon this. How many of you use Pocket? Pocket’s an app that lets you save things you find online. I love it. To your account and then …
It’s free. You can go back and if you’re on a plane in a month and your Pocket has been synced, all these articles appear that you wanted to … So you can use it from Twitter or from Facebook, even from your web browser. You can just save to Pocket and it’ll be there later.
Speaker 15: It’s like Pinterest for [inaudible 00:58:45]
Matt Certo: Does Pinterest do that?
Speaker 15: It’s what Pinterest [inaudible 00:58:47]
Matt Certo: It is? Okay.
Speaker 15: Same thing, yeah.
Matt Certo: More for visuals, right?
Speaker 15: Well, no. It all links to anything.
Matt Certo: Oh, really? Okay. I’m on Pinterest, too. I don’t use it that often, though. It’s cool to search. I like to search it.
Speaker 17: I guess I have kind of a weird question, things that I think about when I can’t sleep in the middle of the night. We talk about in marketing, design brand, imagery, pictures, how are you building your websites and then you look at websites like Craigslist.
Matt Certo: Mm-hmm.
Speaker 17: It’s like this is enormously popular and it’s the simplest …
Matt Certo: Right.
Speaker 17: Basically text-based website that hasn’t changed in 15 years.
Matt Certo: Right.
Speaker 17: There’s now a map on the listing. Oh, my gosh, this is revolutionary that Craigslist is doing this and just had so few advancements. How do you explain its popularity? Is it just because everyone knows about Craigslist?
Matt Certo: Sure.
Speaker 17: How do they do it?
Matt Certo: Well, it’s interesting and I’ve used that example before in presentations and I’ve also used the example of the Drudge Report, which is a … It’s a basically a political blog and it’s a terrible design.
Speaker 17: Yeah.
Matt Certo: That we would decide is a terrible design, but it goes back to this idea of what a good website is and figuring out what the purpose is. That’s really what’s important and we find so often that clients, marketers are so focused on photo selection and can my headline be there instead of there. Not that those things aren’t important because they are, but the essence of what makes a good website is something that accomplishes its purpose.
It’s obviously doing that, although we would all probably agree that the design is not good. Now I think part of the success is the fact that the design is bad, that people have this affinity for it because it’s an organization that’s been around for 25 years, I think, and they haven’t changed the design and that’s part of their culture, back to our brand.
Speaker 17: Right.
Matt Certo: If they were to come up with a new website tomorrow that was of the highest graphical quality, people would probably not like it, but that’s a good thing to think about and ask. That’s how I think about it.
Monica: Thank you so much.
Matt Certo: Thank you for having me and thank you for having us.
Monica: Thank you.
Matt Certo: Really enjoyed it so hopefully you got something from it because I enjoyed being with you.