Content is king!! But what does that mean, and how much, and how often? And how the hell do I find the time to make it???
Well we found the answer to all of these questions, it took 3 years, and it wasn't easy. Once we finally worked it out though we 15x our website and social traffic in ONE. MONTH.
The best bit? We kept it there with not one dollar spent on Adwords. So we thought why not tell everyone how we did it so they don't have to be like us!!
Our story begins three years ago with me (Mike) making one of the thousands of head hunt calls I made a year when it dawned on me how much I bloody hated getting calls myself. Any kind of call period, and I was that guy.
As much as I knew there was massive value for the people I helped (for free), I felt that there would surely be a better way to attract the right people for the right reasons. I mean, people should want the free help right? I shouldn't have to convince anyone. I had run every campaign at all the top firms for a decade, why weren't they getting in touch?
Now practically speaking head hunt calls work, people are generally receptive, and it's a numbers game. The problem is I got to the point where “meaning” started to trump “expediency”, and I had to find another way that worked for me.
I knew pretty quickly what the solution was. Make something people value and be seen as the person to go to by my target market. The problem I had was that I had no idea about how much content was “enough”, what the right content was, or how to get anyone to read it!
So we dipped our toe in the water. This was our first mistake.
We started to do one article a month, well every 6 weeks or so... It's pretty funny now when I think back, but we actually thought it would make a difference. The thing is it didn't.
You see although we were making solid content, we weren't making enough, and we weren't creating an audience to share it with. A lot of what we made we gave away for free was to the people who were already engaged with us. Yep, not that bright!
I also found myself struggling to find the time to even write that one article and I found it a chore. Over the next year it was apparent to me we weren't getting traction, and the more I read the more I knew why. Consistency.
I knew the only way it would really work was being consistent, but I couldn't deliver on that myself as I hadn't been able to no matter my intentions during the year before. It was hard enough doing one article every 6 weeks, let alone my goal of one a month. Or the content I thought we needed to be creating weekly.
So we hired two casuals to help us with content, and slowly but surely we updated our website, updated our guides, and started to make a bit more.
But it still wasn't enough! What we'd done (meet mistake number two) was create content for us in our corporate voice instead of the voice of the people we wanted to attract. On top of this we were still giving it all away in the wrong way. So while I felt I was doing the right thing the results were showing I wasn't. I still wasn't consistent, we weren't hitting our targets, and I was struggling to work out how the hell I could.
And then the idea of simply writing in our own voice and using an agency to help us create more content came along.
Both of these things changed our strategy massively. We started a podcast with Amplify which proved to be a content machine.
You can create 10 Insta posts, 2 articles, show notes, and the show ALL. AT. ONCE. Not only that, but podcasts give you the chance to be yourself.
We also changed our approach to writing. We dropped the old stuffy corporate voice, and started to write not only about our market but about what we had learned. We went from always creating, to documenting as well. This gave us the creative freedom and enjoyment that allowed me to write over 50,000 words in 6 months.
So prior to launching the Beyond Billables Podcast I'd already written about 25 articles, we'd produced 6 podcasts, and were ready to go. The year before we averaged 750 website visitors a month, with our biggest month being 1000 visitors (mostly driven through FB Ad spend).
We launched the BB Podcast and our new, CONSISTENT, marketing strategy in June 2017. In July we had over 15,000 website visits for the same FB ad spend that garnered 750 the year before. By August we had just under 20,000.
What had we actually done? One article a week, one podcast, and a focused strategy for all of our social media channels. We didn't even have a product! We had no reason but for the content itself for anyone to be interested, all we had was our message, and over 15,000 people were coming to our website every month.
We hadn't yet established “credibility” through longevity, but we'd completely changed how and who consumed our content, and changed the direction of our business.
So what does this mean to you?
As a business do you want to be known? Do you want to attract great people rather than fish for them? Do you have something to say but not enough time to say it? Are you running a business like me, and see the power of attraction and referrals but have no idea where to start?
If so, don't copy me and take the long road. Jump to the end!
Create great, consistent content in the right voice and get some help doing it. Make your employer brand stand out by giving people value for things they actually want (Note: Maybe that isn't dry regulatory or court decision updates).
Stop kidding yourself that if you do the same thing you'll get different results. Put in place a machine that takes it off your hands, or helps you free up your time to do more of it yourself. Whatever you do, understand that consistency and quality go together, but without the former you're not going to get any traction. Can your strategy grow as you do? Absolutely... as long as you have a strategy!!
If you want help crafting and delivering on an employer brand strategy that attracts the best people, creating great content or simply working out what all this can mean for your business, reach out and we'd be happy to chat.