Last night I went to a Meet Up that was addressed by Michael Flores on Content Marketing.
He told his story of things that have worked and not worked as he has evolved his business marketing.
He now gets 60-80% of his converting leads from content marketing. I outline below how he does it.
Itâ€™s worth noting that Mike started out in direct selling, mainly by phone, and then moved into online marketing.Â He did this so he could build up passive income.
He noted that in the early days of finding out what worked, he lost money on his marketing experiments.Â He mentioned the adage: â€œIf you havenâ€™t lost money, then you are not an entrepreneurâ€.Â One could add that the positive mind set he demonstrates is also a key part of being successful.Â Plus the persistence he clearly has!
From his various experiments in marketing, content marketing got him the best results.
He now pursues so-called â€œOrganic leadsâ€ via Search Engine Marketing (SEO), and â€œSocial Leadsâ€ (see below).
In passing, he noted that he has done and still does paid online advertising, such as pay per click (PPC) on Facebook and via Google Adsense.Â However, his tests have shown that content marketing has the best conversion of marketing leads into actual sales.
Michael started by outlining what he means by â€œContentâ€.Â It is any type of useful or interesting information, usually in some combination of these forms: video, audio, articles, press releases, and emails.Â Michael puts this material on his blog, and comments on it, using key words.Â Key words are words that people are likely to be searching for through the key search engines.Â For example, right at the moment, things related to Christmas are drawing traffic for Michael.
Michael creates content on his blog that then gets traffic to his site by either organic (search) or social means.
The organic traffic is driven by Michael using key words in his blogging.
Michaelâ€™s social traffic is driven from his participation on Facebook, Twitter, Meet Up, You Tube, and Google +. Â He says that social traffic is underutilised.Â He also says that for social traffic to work well, it needs to be written using the normal copying writing principles that apply for any blogging, as discussed further below.Â For example, using the AIDA principles (attention, interest, desire, action).Â Itâ€™s no accident that Twitter is described as a mini-blogging program.
Michael went on to present his approach to copy writing on blogs.Â Another way to summarise his approach is attention, problem, solution, and call to action.Â He explained these four principles in this way.
First principle - Attention
The first principle it to get attention. Â The headline is of course the key to this.Â All normal principles of writing great headlines apply.Â In particular, Michael uses controversial, topical and / or edgy headlines.
Michael describes the process of getting attention as â€œbreaking stateâ€.Â In other words, breaking through the state of mind that someone is in before they are paying attention to you...due to your headline.
I mention in passing that I find all normal headline principles also apply to writing great tweets.Â In one sense, a tweet is simply a headline, especially where it links to an article on the topic you are headlining about.
Michael made the point that great headlines use key emotions, such as fear, loss, and love.Â In particular, people fear more what they may lose more than what they may gain.Â We all know the power of the â€œSave the koalaâ€ approaches.
Other things that work for Michael include putting specific numbers in headlines, such as â€œSeven ways to cut XYZâ€.
Given the news headlines every day, we are also reminded that bad news (sadly) always sells better than good news.
Michael uses humour wherever he can... and funny tweets are probably one of the best ongoing examples of the power of humour.
Second principle â€“ Story!
Michaelâ€™s second principle is to include a story... preferably a personal story. Â Testimonials are also good.
In particular, Michaels finds that people always have time for stories that make you not look so good... or look silly!Â This of course mixes both story and humour... a good mix.
â€œHow I made it...â€ is another potent mix! Â This is a variation of the usual formula â€œI was lost, and now I'm found...â€ stories! Â It reminded me of the endless stream of fundraising direct mail and advertisements which always start with a story.
Michael mentioned the example of a friend who sells income protection, and who often tells stories of people who did not have it. Â Painful stories cause people to connect.
Third principle - Add value.
The third part of Michaelâ€™s formula for blogging is to add value, in the sense of giving solutions, and plenty of them. Â It includes his opinion and views, but of course should be evidence based for credibility and veracity.
Over deliver on value, says Michael. Â For example, if I promised 5 principles in a solution, then give one more as well. Â This approach often includes incorporating big discounts, including if people respond by a certain time.
Fourth principle - Call to action. Â
There is of course no point in doing any of the above unless you close, via a call to action.Â This must be specific, urgent, and time related.
There you have it... Michaelâ€™s blogging formula of attention, story, value-add, and call to action.Â Traffic is then driven to his new blog content via organic and social search.