Last week on Friday, I had the honor of speaking at Jessica Campos’ event, a Social Media Bootcamp right here in Austin, Texas.
It was exciting for two reasons: for one, it was at The Capital Factory, a dream speaking venue in downtown Austin. For another, I had a fantastic host: Jessica is the founder of Marketing for Greatness and a well-known local marketer here in Austin, Texas. She worked hard at putting together a memorable event, and invited me to come and speak personally. Jessica hosts many networking events locally, and is a great person in real life just as much as she is in marketing. I love being around her.
I said yes to Jessica’s invitation, and the rest is history! This amazing lady worked her network marketing magic and sold out the room – we had 50 seats, and more than 50 in attendance! It was my largest live audience yet.
I’ve had the idea for a session on how to build authority online using the five foundational types of content for a while, and I decided to explore that for Jessica’s bootcamp. It was the perfect complement session to her opening talk on holistic social media marketing practices.
This talk was born: Building Authority Online & Where it Begins: 5 Types of Content You Should Be Publishing to Grow Your Brand.
After my talk, it was exciting to hear terrific real-time feedback from attendees.
Two senior-level marketing executives that worked in Austin came and found me to tell me how much my talk resonated with them.
“Everything you were saying about content made SO MUCH SENSE! Our ads aren’t working, nothing has been working, and we know we’ve needed a new channel for a while.”
It was clear they were excited to find a way out from old practices that weren’t working. That was a thrill to me to hear! I loved knowing I’d been able to make a difference for someone.
In today’s blog, I’m recapping the talk I gave, including the most important takeaways and lessons. Buckle in!Check out @JuliaEMcCoy's recap of her talk on building #authority online through #content, live at @capitalfactory in #ATX for @jessicamcampos' #socialmediabootcamp 🔥 Click To Tweet
Social Media Bootcamp LIVE in Austin, Texas (Hosted by Jessica Campos)
Here’s a look at our fun day in Austin at Jessica’s bootcamp, put together by my designer in a collage. Keep scrolling for top takeaways, a recap of Jessica’s and my session, and some special shoutouts!
Jessica Campos: Social Media Practices That Bring Real Results in Your Business
Jessica Campos started off Friday’s Social Media Bootcamp with a fantastic, action-packed session.
She talked about the reality of “marketing” on social media, and how it’s not okay to just “turn to the person next to you, and ask, Would you like to lose ten pounds?” — and she had the whole room nodding and laughing. If it’s not okay to do in a waiting room, why do it on social media? She shared with us the typical journey of one of her warm leads: the person left her website open in their tab for days, closed it, came back through a Facebook ad and then clicked over to the blog, left the site again and came back to the contact page in another few days. And repeat.
I relate! We cannot predict our buyer’s journey. Jessica shared how the marketing funnel is dead, and what’s replaced it: the loyalty loop. (As most of you already know by now, I completely agree that the funnel is dead. I’ve written about that here.)
Jessica also shared how to discover your audience using tools like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics’ user behavior, two great tools for finding out real information about your audience.
Using the whiteboard to write out the frameworks she shared, Jessica covered several areas that made up a “sandwich,” or “burger” to help us remember how to build a solid social media marketing strategy:
- The importance of data and knowing what your leads and ideal audience is actually doing and thinking of
- Building avatars to represent and get to know your ideal audience
- Creating a culture to attract your tribe and people
- Writing a manifesto to represent who you are with a brand voice to differentiate yourself from the masses
- Focusing on growing your influence online to attract people to you and your brand
Jessica also did a real-life marketing analysis with one of the attendees, Lori Stinson, an agent and owner for logistics and supply chain company DSV. It was awesome!
With Lori next to her, Jessica built avatars to represent Lori’s ideal audience, an experienced, established company out in California. One method I loved was when Jessica told Lori that LinkedIn was going to be her best bet to earn social media leads from. Several members of the audience also shared terrific ways Lori could create fun marketing campaigns to pull in the eyes and ears of her ideal people.
Around noon, Jessica wrapped up her session, and we all had a lunch break. Then, it was time for my session.
Special Shoutout to Jeff at Chubby Diaries & @YoungMommy (Christine Young) on Twitter
I want to take a quick moment to give some well-deserved shoutouts.
Jessica asked Jeffrey Jenkins, a local entrepreneur, travel influencer, speaker, and the founder of ChubbyDiaries.com, to attend and record media for us (as content creators, Jessica and I are all about maximizing our event presence). He took our photos and the raw video (coming soon to my YouTube channel!). Special shoutout to Jeff, who was a fantastic help!
Another shoutout to Christine Young, supermom to 7 and blogger at FromDatestoDiapers.com, for live-tweeting during our event! She captured some fantastic takeaways live during our bootcamp.
Great ideas = great content. Take time to brainstorm ideas, research topics, gather data, and formulate topics for posts. #socialmediabootcamp
— Christine Young (@YoungMommy) April 26, 2019
Building Authority Online & Where it Begins: 5 Types of Content to Grow Your Brand (Recap of My Live Talk)
I started my session with these important facts about today’s buyer:
- 81% of U.S. consumers trust information and advice from blogs. (BlogHer)
- Email remains an incredibly effective channel at driving purchases. In 2018, 17.75% of clicked-through emails resulted in a purchase. This stat has been increasing every year. (Barilliance.com study)
- 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (DemandGen)
- Good content is becoming the foundation of good marketing.
I also shared the astounding results from Amanda Bond’s recent Facebook ads study, which I’ve blogged about before.
Bond studied the results from over $10,000,000+ in Facebook ad spend across seven and eight-figure brands for months, and discovered that from 2016 to late 2018, the ROA (return on advertising) for a traditional ad funnel plummeted from 11.8x all the way to .6x. On average, marketers are now losing money on ads. Crazy!
Then, I went into the five types of content to build to see real results online, starting with the important foundational overview:
Build consistent content on your website (your online house), AND: start list-building, getting visible on social media, and be intimately familiar with the what and how of creating content that works.
5 Types of Content to Build
The five types of content I recommended to attendees for a strong online presence are these:
- Site Content (Web Pages)
- Social Media
- List-Builders (Downloadables: Lead Magnets, Free Ebooks)
I talked about these two goal areas for your blogs (which I explain more in this blog):
- Goal of SEO rankings in Google, inbound traffic, and list-building: Create long-form (1000w-3000w) blogs
- Goal of brand awareness, event sharing, news/launch: Short-form (500-800w) blogs
I also shared the importance of scannable content over readable content. Scannable content goes a step further. It’s when you focus on crafting content that contains zero fluff. When you format properly, with H2s, H3s, and strong sectioned-out content. I shared the structure of a good blog, taking inspiration from one of the world’s best bloggers: Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger.
Specifically, I shared one of his top-shared blogs, which is also top #10 in Google for ‘how to become a freelance writer.’ This is an example of a terrific blog for these reasons:
- It starts with a story that ‘hooks’ the ideal reader into a situation they dream of or wish to be in one day.
- Then, Jon tells them the story can come true with statistical proof as to how big the industry is, and how much freelance writers are needed.
- Then, he adds tons and tons of value to the reader’s life, in a 3,000-word monster blog.
I also shared a few methods on how to create great headlines. A study by BuzzSumo spanning over 50,000 pieces of content found that these top headline phrases worked the best:
I also “spilled the secrets” about one of my all-time favorite headline tools, the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. This tool is amazing — and it’s free!
Next, I covered the three stages of how to craft great blog content.
Blogging is best done in stages:
Great ideas are the key to great blogs, and that’s why leaving time and space just for ideas and research. I spend a day JUST for ideation, called Brainstorming Day, and validate each idea by researching with the right tools (BuzzSumo, KWFinder, SEMrush are some go-tos). I teach the how of content ideation in my Content Strategy & Marketing Course.'I spend a day just for content ideation, and I call it Brainstorming Day.' More on #contentcreation methods that build your #authority online from @JuliaEMcCoy's live talk in #ATX Click To Tweet
Next, I covered web pages, email content, and list-builders. (Blogs are very often the meat of your consistent online presence, so I spent the most time there.)
Good web pages are:
- Focused: Created around one clear keyword or page topic to focus around (one topic per page).
- Word Count: The majority of clear, well-crafted web pages are 400-1200w, depending on topic & product features.
- Clear Formatting: Well-formatted with clear headline, body introduction, H2s, H3s.
I shared a few critical “must-dos” for web page copy:
- Clarity over cleverness in the copy. Be CLEAR on what the page is about.
- YOU/YOUR vs. WE/OUR: Less “our”, more “you!” Be customer-focused.
Next, for email content, I talked about sending consistent campaigns. Marketers, send emails for almost every new thing you do or publish on your site. Here are a few reasons to send an email to your list:
- New content (blogs) that you post on your site
- Events (online or in-person) you’re hosting or guesting at
- Product/service launches or updates
- Less often: sales emails (courses, services)
The rule of thumb to not tick anyone off accidentally in your free vs. pitch-focused content is this:
For every pitch, send a minimum of three value-focused emails.3:1 -- For every one pitch, send a minimum of three value-focused emails. More on #contentcreation methods via @JuliaEMcCoy's recap of her live talk in #ATX Click To Tweet
I also talked about email headlines and how important it is to optimize them without click-baiting. Clarity and specific statements work best in email headlines.
Then, I merged into social media, and kept my tips focused to copywriting, with a few other relatable key takeaways.
A few important reminders I shared when writing social media copy:
- Brevity in copy
- Be visual-heavy, copy-light
- Use emojis in your copy
- Use hashtags (don’t overload – less can be more esp. on Twitter/LinkedIn)
- Go live or upload short videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
I also shared that authenticity matters in social media. Your audience WANTS you to speak what you think on social media, and share the REAL YOU. It’s true — we have examples from leading marketers of patterns of virility from posting real, original thoughts that focus on an audience pain point that everyone in that audience can relate to. For example, this tweet from Chris Kubby that turned into another viral Instagram post:
Marketers don’t ruin everything.
Bad, no-talent, un-creative marketers trying to sell things too quickly to the wrong audience ruin everything.
— Chris ‘Kubby’ Kubbernus (@ChrisKubby) March 31, 2019
I talked about the importance of giving yourself time, space, and knowledge (getting to know your real audience) to have these original, genuine thoughts. Without time and space, you aren’t giving your mind permission to come up with these thoughts; and without knowledge, you won’t know what kind of pain points your audience actually has that you need to speak and relate to.
Finally, I wrapped up with a segment on list-building, and covered how to write and put together these three types of list-builders:
- Case Studies/Whitepapers
- Lead Magnets & Ebooks
- Cheat Sheets (Content Upgrades, Templates)
One of our most popular case studies is this one, where we partnered with our client at Nfusion Solutions to uncover SEO keywords and craft SEO content that built their presence online. They were a fantastic client to work with, and we were able to build a great case study based on their story and what we were able to do together.
I also shared another authority-building “secret:” content upgrades, a term first coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko back in 2016.
A content upgrade is when you create a blog and a PDF summary or cheat-sheet, and combine the two. The PDF you’re giving away inside your blog offers that extra tidbit of value for your list, and they’re already going to be interested in downloading it because it’s 100% relevant to the blog they’re reading. HUGE opportunity for list building!
I shared an example of how we’ve done this in a blog on How to Write SEO Content: The Essential Guide.
For the past few years, we’ve been growing by 9-12 subscribers on average daily, autopilot, just through all the content upgrades I’ve built over the years. It is a ton of work to set up, but completely worth it!
Special Announcement! Content Hacker Coming Soon
Towards the end of the bootcamp, I shared a fun announcement. (This will be new for many of you Write Blog readers, too, unless you frequent Twitter or Facebook – the cat is out of the bag on most of my social media platforms!)
Everyone attending and watching my presentation had been getting a sneak peek of the new branding for my all-new brand launching in June, Content Hacker. The colors, style, everything was a sneak peek into the branding that will be a part of my new site and brand when it launches. I think I had the biggest smile on my face when I was talking about this. I’m so excited to reveal Content Hacker! Content Hacker will be a #1 resource for every growth-focused content marketer on the planet: a tribe, a community, a resource hub, a place where I interview Content Hackers making a difference, a blog for productivity and life improvements alongside best content practices, bespoke content marketing consulting, and more.
Join me when we launch – sign up to the launch list to get notified (and when you sign up, you’ll get a special letter from me explaining part of the mission behind the launch!). Click below to go to Content Hacker and sign up to learn about my new brand launching in June.
Wrapping Up #SocialMediaBootcamp With a Panel
To wrap up our bootcamp at The Capital Factory, Jessica had a great idea: invite former newscaster Kim Zook Barnes, award-winning newscaster and the brains behind Barnes Team Media, an on-camera and media/video training consulting agency, to a panel with both of us afterwards.
Together, the three of us took Q&As that the audience was asked to write down during our session. It was a fantastic idea on Jessica’s part and turned out well! We were able to answer some great questions live. Kim added some great insights from her experience in on-camera communications. See Jessica’s recap for the full Q&A list.
Video Recap of My Session
That’s a Wrap: How to Use 5 Types of Content to Grow Your Authority Online for Jessica’s #SocialMediaBootcamp in Austin, Texas
Thanks for hanging for my recap of Friday’s live talk!
It was an amazing event by Jessica Campos, and I was truly honored to be a part of it. Anything Jessica does is fabulous, so it was a no-brainer “yes.”
I hope you enjoyed it — in some way, either being there live or reading this recap — and were able to take away a new idea or two to use in your business.
Psst… If you don’t have them yet, don’t forget to grab your copy of my (93+!) slides:
Have questions? Anything to add to the conversation? Were you there? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Happy content marketing,