In today’s episode, Matt talks to Siddharth Bharath, a content marketer and a fantastic writer. He is also the VP of Growth at Thinkific, a platform used by Matt for the past several months.
Thinkific is an online platform for courses. It hosts courses for about 50,000 which include entrepreneurs and big companies. They’ve grown it massively over the past 1 ½ years. Sid identifies channels for growth, hires people for that, and pushes the team’s needle for that channel. Thinkific has done partnerships, an affiliate base, paid advertising, content marketing, and other growth experiments.
The first thing people need to do in order to build a strong content marketing campaign, is identify the target audience. They need to do the research around who is going to read the content. Is it going to help those people with their problems? Is it offering them the right solutions? You need to do customer research and find out what are the problems in the industry.
What you want to do is survey your ideal customers and ask them what kind of information they need to solve the problem. Do they read books, blogs, listen to podcasts, or watch videos? Where do they go to find the information? You also ask them to give examples like those. With all this information, you then are able to figure out what kind of content to create for them and where you can go to guest in a podcast or video show.
The next step is to look at your funnels. After you’ve created your content, you want to be able to capture their email address. If you don’t get their email address, you can retarget, so you can get them to get back to their site. Once you have their email address, you have email flows going to your audience. From there, you offer them solutions to their problems. You can also invite them to a webinar for a live product demo. It’s a good idea to lead up to it. It can be your selling point with additional bonuses for fast action.
You have the top-level surveys, then, you have the content based on that. Then you have the emails. In parallel, you have a retargeting flow. You’re hitting them from multiple angles until you get to the sale. That’s the overall structure of that.
You can do that if your audience is relatively new. If you have around 100 data points, you will start to see trends and that’s good enough as a starting point. You can also find other people to link to your site where you can have a Quora, Forums online, and Facebook groups.
Siddharth also gives important insight on how to entice more people. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Try to understand their style and pitch it to them. Think of catchy titles, establish contacts with editors and show them that you read their blog and give your opinions on their blog. If you’re aiming bigger blogs, be familiar with how social proofs work.
In 2016, Thinkific did a ‘female entrepreneur summit’ and had about 25 top women entrepreneurs. To promote it, they did a guest post on Huffington post where they compiled top women for 2016. These list posts do really well. They made the list and got them to share as well. It grew thousands of people who read the article. It had lots of shares and they were able to get hundreds of registrations there. For those who didn’t have time to read the posts, they had the option of allowing readers to download a cheat sheet, checklist, or summary of the post.
He estimates that his upgrades on his pillow posts are that 105 will sign up on the email. For those who don’t, they target them other ways. When guest posting, you create a link back to your lead magnet. Or when you share a link to another website, there will be a popup to get them back to your website. It’s a good way if you do a lot of these articles and want to retarget.
The funnel is the final piece of the puzzle. You have to understand that everyone has a pace when reading your blogs. They may be at different stages in their customer journey with some being and ready and others not being ready right now. As a marketer, you need to put them into the right funnel. With the right marketing automation, you can categorize your customers based on what kind of content they’re looking at. Figuring out how hot or cold your customers are. You can then make assumptions about where your customers are in the journey and sending them to the right flow. You can also give them options and build an email list. Categorizing your customers based on where they are is helpful. It’s about giving the right information about the right time. You can get the customers through a variety of methods.
The first thing you should do to create your guest post that aligns with your bigger pitch is start with the research. Get the survey out to your existing networks and with a hundred data points, you can get some great information where you can start creating content. Go to the front line and speak to your audience. Share your content at the right place and at the right time.