The Academy provides practical advice to 16-18 year olds on creating digital products.
I covered the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of content.
Why I Create Content
The big players in insurance spend >£1 million per month on Google AdWords. ‘Insurance’ is the most expensive keyword, working out at a CPC of £20-£30 on AdWords.
I can’t afford that.
A small, bootstrapped business requires a marketing strategy that doesn’t cost the earth. Fortunately, there are resources we all have that, unlike Google AdWords, won’t leave us penniless.
What are they?
You have a team, you have a story, you have a market and you have time. With that, you can create content.
I co-hosted Working Out Podcast for 45 episodes over the course of a year. We accumulated over 100,000 total listens. Compare that to 100,000 click-throughs on an AdWords campaign and I’d be £2 million out of pocket.
Yet with a budget microphone, Simplecast subscription and a commitment to show up each week and tell our story, we reached that figure for around £100. And it converted. Several of Jack’s first customers were Working Out listeners.
That’s why I create content. You can reach a big audience without a big budget.
How I Create Content
I’m not an expert on content marketing, but I find it helps to condense it into four areas:
- Knowing your audience
- Defining business goals
- Producing quality content
- Showing up regularly
Knowing Your Audience
Defining your audience gives you clarity with the message you’re delivering—you know how to communicate with your audience and what language to use.
Knowing your audience means you’re aware of where to go to be in front of them. Twitter doesn’t perform well for my audience of property investors for Brokers Direct, but it’s great for reaching my audience of freelancers for Jack.
Failing to define an audience will cost time and money. You’ll market to the wrong people and in the wrong places. I speak from experience.
Defining Business Goals
It took me a while to realise the importance of defining a goal when creating content. Don’t just throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and hope something sticks. Know your end goal.
Are you creating content with the aim of growing your Twitter following? How about building your email list? Or do you simply want more eyeballs on your site? Be specific.
With a goal in mind, you can reverse engineer how to reach it.
Goal: Get 100 email subscribers in 30 days.
If your newsletter is converting at 10%, you know you have to reach a further 1000 people in 30 days to meet that 100 subscriber goal. The more specific you can be, the easier it is to engineer a strategy to meet your goal.
Producing Quality Content
Of course, none of this matters if you aren’t producing quality content. There’s so much good content online, I often get lost down the rabbit hole of content. In fact, my Pocket list has outgrown the time I have to read it.
There’s no room for subpar storytelling. I recommend reading a Gary Vaynerchuk book for tips on creating quality content. Yep, I’m a GaryVee fan.
Showing Up Regularly
Even with an audience in mind, a specific goal and quality content, it won’t make a difference if you’re not showing up consistently.
I didn’t get to 80,000 Instagram followers by posting every week and then disappearing for 6 months. I got to 80,000 Instagram followers by posting every week for four years.
Think about that. Not many people are willing to consistenly publish content when they think no one is paying attention, yet that’s what it takes.
On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve never comitted to a regular posting schedule with this blog. That’s why it’s failed in gaining any traction. It pays to show up regularly.
Or, you know, you could spend £1 million on an AdWords campaign.
Michael’s secured a second round of funding for The Academy. If you’re in the Glasgow area and know of any 16-18 year olds who’d be a good fit, encourage them to apply.