2 Red Chairs – Episode 1 – Content Marketing with Don Power

welcome to two red chairs I'm your host Frederick Robinson how many of you out there know exactly what to do to leverage your business on social media I made a guess not that many in fact I'm gonna surmise that the idea of needing to know what to do with social media still creates a lot of stress for you so let's try to shed some light on the issue shall we whether you own a business or are just interested in social media in general on today's show I'm honored to have with us Don power Don power is a social media consultant and the author of Twitter for skeptics but Don didn't just throw up a sign and call himself a social media expert from being the editor of sprout social in Chicago to working with brands like Ford and NASA on the how to best social media practices Don power is very much indeed a social media consultant so grab your MacBook Pro iPad air iPad iPad Mini iPhone tablet Kindle Galaxy blackberry raspberry and get ready to take some notes and if you still haven't made it out of the Stone Age don't worry just grab some paper in a pen so come on let's meet Don power daang awesome to have you on the on the show great to be here what's fascinating is how you and I actually ended up meeting in the first place yeah cuz it really was through Twitter wasn't winner that's right yeah I mean I remember I got a tweet well not from you but I saw to eat from you and it was a link to a video that you've done I think for maybe ABC pre-cast if I'm not mistaken maybe one a year your first video yes yeah and I heard of your name before in the context to some video production and acting things that you've done everybody I didn't really know you at all but I kind of knew a little bit about your reputation but then when I saw the video and the quality of the video that was produced I mean really I think I think I tweeted back to you immediately say I haven't seen such a high quality video north of the US parallel here in other words that it was really striking that the high quality and I was impressed and amazed that someone local here in Nanaimo was producing video of that nature that's right so Twitter Twitter made it very easy for me to reach out to you and to make that relationship and we've been done a number of projects since then and I don't even know when that that was but quite a while so it's a while ago now I mean I know that when when you and I first talked I had no real interest in Twitter I had tried it and I think I was telling you that it was really was about hey I just ate a piece of toast or something like that and I wasn't getting any followers hits but then after talking with you and you were giving me some pointers and trying to figure out what would be the best way to to approach Twitter yeah all of a sudden I was starting to see it change I was getting more followers I was being more interactive yeah and of course at the time I think you'd mentioned to me that you were in the middle of of writing Twitter for skeptics that's right I was yeah no it's a published book so this is this is fended fantastic so congratulations thank you yeah I published that in April of 2013 so really it was a quite an accomplishment took a lot of effort but I'm really really happy to have the the finished product and it's been it's been a great vehicle for me for sure awesome so let me ask you this question we're near the end of 2013 and we're moving into 2014 yeah where is social media going well as you know we talked about this before I'm a social media consultant of course but I also write and edit a social media blog for a social media company based in the United States sprout social so my job part of my job is to pay attention to emerging trends in social media marketing industries so what we see what I've seen in the industry has seen as a an emerging trend is content marketing and what that basically means is is that the traditional approach to advertising your business already with the advent of social media it makes the traditional sort of advertising mechanism passe people don't want to interact with ads they want to interact with people as businesses started to approach social media they weren't quite sure how to make that that leap and so for a long time it was still a little difficult for businesses to make that connection with their audience on social media so our recommendation is social media consultants as people who are in the industry is to converse and chat and share compelling information not just about what your business does but the things that are maybe around what your business can do for people so more lifestyle sort of activities and conversations and so really content marketing now is really about that it's about showing people the bigger picture about your business the people in it and not just your business but what your employees do what what your company represents what it can do for its clients and customers so so we see now a trend to really capitalize on things like images video and as I say lifestyle content is really becoming the trend for more and more businesses to post that type of information that's less directly linked with their business and more in general about the lifestyle around their business so it's really not about pushing you know products to sell you it's more just seeing what the business is about and how it operates and sort of almost like a behind-the-scenes look at everything that goes on and that's considered the content that you should be producing that's absolutely right and there's a wonderful example what's happening right now with coca-cola and their corporate website now is changed from from a repository of all their information about coke and advertising around coke what you would typically think of a corporate website and they've made it much more into a lifestyle branded page so if you go to coca-cola calm or you go to their their corporate website what you're gonna see is something that looks more like an entertainment magazine or a lifestyle magazine which which reiterates their brand they're all been about lifestyle you know forever but what you're seeing more of us now that's there they're just as likely to to have articles on on fashion or recreation as they are about you know buy coke or coke refreshes the interesting thing for small business or big business right well but I think I reiterate this for small businesses as well the same things that apply for coke will apply for small business the beauty is you don't need the budget of coke coke has done the grunt work for us all in this industry and for you as a small business owner they've pumped in the best marketing money best marketers that money can buy to determine that lifestyle marketing content marketing is really the wave of the future and trying to get people to buy your product by hammering them over the head with buy product advertising messages is is really not that effective anymore and so they're taking a much different approach and as I say they research this they don't do it they don't turn on a dime and say oh we'll try this they've researched this they've spent the money and they're just embarking upon it this is this is new so it's it's just as viable and accessible for a small business to get in content marketing as it as it is for coca-cola you just need to think more and more now about what type of content you're gonna post and and where do we post it and how do we make it approachable and accessible as opposed to just yet another advertising message well on that basis then here's a question for you because I know a friend of mine who has a business she'd been posting stuff on Facebook but recently she started posting somebody that she knew in social media or was somebody to do with LinkedIn right and she was saying I don't understand it I'm posting all these different things on my Facebook page but it's not showing up in feeds and she's wondering if she's doing something wrong right so if we're supposed to be posting more content where if her concern is that it's not being seen how are we supposed to be posting that contact well yeah that's that's an astute observation and you're quite right I mean some businesses and individuals have already approached approached the idea of content marketing and gone to Facebook to promote their business with pictures and images and that's great that's that's a great start and for a while that was working quite well but now Facebook really largely driven you know no surprise they went public and and they're on their pressure to monetize their business but now with an algorithm change on the content it's making it very difficult for anyone's content to actually be seen organically ie without paying a fee to promote your posts it's very unlikely that those posts are gonna be seen by anyone whether you're posting viable valuable interesting content or not so what do you mean by an algorithm change like what are so Facebook will actually limit what you see just because you post something doesn't mean that your people your friends are gonna see it in their feeds and as a business page just because you post information on your business page it actually doesn't mean that the people who've liked your page will see that content Facebook has a program an algorithm that will actually filter out the content and only show information that it deems to be newsworthy if you will view worthy and that tends to be content that has been shared commented on and basically where there's a lot of activity around those posts and most businesses and individuals too are having difficulty creating content that's compelling enough that will actually make it to the top of that algorithm and so Facebook really has done that by design because now they offer you they say well if you want your content that great picture of you and your staff on the ski vacation to be seen by your friends and followers then you need to pay us and if you do then your content will rise to the top so you know again no one can fault Facebook for for trying to make money it just makes it very difficult for a business particularly small businesses who don't necessarily have the the budgets or even the know-how of how to basically make their content into advertising they've made it really difficult I think for particularly for small businesses to really make the platform effective for their content so at this point then you know for a fact that if a business is wanting to promote stuff on Facebook they actually are eventually going to have to pay for that content is that what you're saying it's it's almost to that level now I mean no one's saying you have to pay it's just the latest statistics that I've seen from a major search engine company use statistics as one percent of your content that you post will be seen by your friends or fans without paying for it so if you're comfortable with your your efforts being seen by one and a hundred people will see a post that you make then you don't have to pay for but obviously that type of conversion is not going to be very effective in a business context for most businesses so really your sort of your hand is forced to pay for content pay for your content to be seen okay don't it won't for me I'm a I'm a business owner and of course I produce videos for business there's a lot of business owners out there that when it comes to paying for advertising specifically let's say Facebook at the moment you know that the rates that that might be might be charged are going to be generic for all but it's not going to take into account that you know if you're a small business or you're a large business you're all gonna have to end up paying the same thing now I know for me I think I would find it very difficult all of a sudden have to get into a market where I'm having to pay you know a large amount to advertise on Facebook when even now I'm not really sure it's been that beneficial for me as a business to post on Facebook that's right so what are the what are the alternatives what what should we as a business as business owners do for promoting our business you know if we're not going to be using Facebook well I think there are lots of other alternatives lots of other viable platforms that are attracting a lot of attention and eyeballs two of which that are immensely popular and growing in popularity are Twitter and and YouTube Twitter is immensely popular with with a subsection of people to 300 million users depending on on which numbers you know you look at certainly not the billion or more that Facebook has but you you can pay for advertising on options to have your content promoted on Twitter but it doesn't cost you to you to have your information seen basically when you post you know your followers that they're following you can see that information it's not filtered out by by Twitter they've just done an IPO as well so perhaps they all headed in the same direction but right now you know you post content it gets seen another interesting feature that Twitter's just enabled really recently is having the ability for pictures to show up right in the tweet stream without having to click through a link to see the picture somewhere else so now the content that perhaps you were posting your pictures of your ski vacation or your staff party or maybe something that your staff is doing and after hours or at a volunteer organization that you once used that on Facebook now you can put that in your Twitter stream and upload it as a picture and it'll show up as a picture right in your Twitter stream so it's it stands out it's very compelling and the numbers and statistics show that tweets with images in them get retweeted more they generate more click throughs on links to your website so that's that's one avenue that i think can be a viable means for content distribution or content marketing well I have to admit for Twitter I'm starting to put more photos into my posts because when you actually go to a stream anybody's stream on Twitter if it's just a list of just text-based content you don't you know you might read them but there's there it's not visual it's not it's not an experience whereas if you're seeing a lot more feeds of video or photos in that same stream you actually might start scrolling through it because you're kind of interested to see what they're what they're posting that's right if it's just text you're you tend to pass on it that's right and so again they're really embracing Twitter is really embracing this this trend towards content marketing and and that is the way to get people's attention not by advertising but by having compelling content that still reiterates your brand has something to do with your brand but believe it or not you know sometimes just just tweeting content or posting content somewhere on a platform social media platform that's just fun that's just you know as we all know the the cat's ride the remote-control cars or playing the piano not necessarily saying your business needs to do that but it's fun and funny content and people love to to push around that and and and share that type of content now maybe your business can be a little savvy and create some funny or humorous content of its own or compelling content interesting sometimes it can be content that tugs on the heartstrings and as we've seen the other mechanism now of course that's already popular but still growing in popularity is video and YouTube being the the distribution channel that's the most popular for video we watched just now the WestJet video where they you know basically had a campaign a viral campaign where they bought presents for people boarding a plane we just watched that and I mean literally I teared up yeah I mean I mean on the softy but that it tugs at the heartstrings it doesn't want say buy your ticket at WestJet or we're having a seat sale from Vancouver to Toronto it's not about that at all but man I can tell you that when you look at that I mean you almost want to go and buy a ticket even if you weren't going to fly just to support the company for being who they are and I mean that video allows that to be so plain and clear and yet it's not advertising right it's it's it's compelling content it's content marketing done well so yes we don't always even not all of us have the luxury of having the budgets of coca-cola or WestJet but again they're they're teaching us how to do it they're they're providing a template and a model that works yes and we know what works because we can look and see that that's been cheered now millions of times and how many people are talking about it now I'm talking about the brand and it works so a small business can take that as a template and take this as an opportunity to say you know what the money we used to pay pay to create traditional advertising maybe it works for us probably it's not working like it used to they can take some of those advertising marketing dollars now and create compelling content find people who can if they can't and that is now it is the way that business is done right now and so if you're in business I mean Gary Vaynerchuk not everyone will know who that is of course but in the in the marketing industry he's one of the top names now and he advises you know fortune 500 companies but he also does grassroots marketing and mul will advise small businesses that he sees on Twitter asking for help but his his stick is now and has been for a long time that businesses are now media companies we're all in competition not to sell our products but to attract eyeballs once you attract attention that's when people will pay attention to your message but first you have to get their attention and as we all know it's a competitive world out there right now in a noisy world to grab people's attention and you can imagine any given person who's on the internet right now are they gonna spend their couple of minutes watching a video clip of a heart wrenching feel-good video from WestJet prayin santa claus for their for their flyers or are they gonna watch an ad from your business that's telling them how great your widget is and you know they could buy it for $39.99 I mean it's it's it's just that it's it's not compelling enough to grab people's attention when there is so much other compelling intention on some of these other platforms so well I know like for me I know that the videos that I produce I'm trying to stay away from actually selling any of the products I I'm into the story and I think just like with on a much smaller scale but you know in comparison with Jett is Jeff definitely pulling on the heartstrings the idea is to really get behind the people that are doing these businesses and sort of find out more about their the philosophies and everything else so that you actually care about the people that you're working you know you're doing business absolutely yes yeah and I mean the video that you did for me as an example I mean I'm in my kitchen making tea and I got all my kids pictures posted to the fridge it looks like a mess but that that's me that's that's part of my life of what I do and yeah and I work from a home office and so I was happy to have that you know authentic sort of imagery but more to the point then you followed me with the camera pan and went into my living room where I'm sitting down and had a stack of business books that had happened to be to be reading yeah and one of the business books at the top of the stack how to blog a book was seen by the author and so when she saw that she was impressed and then I had happened to be reading her book and we we hit it off had a conversation happening on Twitter and now she's offered me to to write a blog on her blog and expose me and my process and writing the Twitter for skeptics book to a completely different and bigger audience than I would have had and all again from this idea of getting to know someone seeing someone's slice of life yeah and yet there's a tangible business element in there that goes with it but all done through this sort of lifestyle marketing as opposed to I'm down power social media consultant buy my stuff or I'm an author of a book buy my book wasn't that at all it was this lifestyle catch that you know two different entities had this personal connection that's now led to a business benefit for both of us and that's great yeah fantastic so I guess so as a sort of a final question then knowing about all of these social media channels and I know a lot of businesses they end up asking me as well what on earth do I do with it when it's done so in other words if they've if they have to be on all these social media channels if you've got a video created for for their business what do they do with it right overall what is like the the major piece of advice that you could give everyone to really explain to them or let them know what do they do with this content well I piece of advice succinct piece of advice that I give everyone on social media marketing is be interesting and it's one of those tenets that yeah it probably sounds a lot easier you know you say it a lot easier than actually implementing it but really you have to be interesting so your content has to be interesting and how you promote it and distribute it has to be interesting you can create the greatest content in the world but if you promote it in an advertising way that turns people off they're never gonna see your content or if you don't promote it at all people aren't gonna see your content so you really you know but but the wonderful part is is that social media now is probably among the best means to promote content and in large measure it's free I mean we talked about some of those venues where you have to pay or pay a premium to get your content seen but that's certainly not every channel I mean Twitter is still free YouTube is still free and video is a really compelling medium right now that's still growing and we looked at the statistic recently where it said over 50% of all the internet traffic in the world is going to be video in 2016 well I'd be surprised if it's gonna take that long quite honestly with the proliferation now of smartphone video as well I think that it'll be it'll be over 50% traffic before 2016 well even with video based even Google has changed in terms of how it searches for things before it which it was searching a lot more for text but in actual fact video comes up more than then text first searches does it not is now well I mean Google is always changing its algorithms it's a moving target by design they don't want people to try to figure it out in game it but they've gone on record recently and again one of these reputable search engine companies that we've talked about it and blogs have have written about it recently and they've said that the Google update it's called hummingbird it was in September of 2013 when they did a major change of how they index pages and how search results are found and Google itself says that the best search engine optimization the best way to get your content found is to have high quality content and some of the best quality content that we have as we've seen is compelling video because it's easy to digest it's very easy to get the point across and it's it can tug your heartstrings so Google definitely pays attention to to video and again there's there's myriad ways that you can format your video and and and tag it so that Google knows exactly what the content is and whether you're doing that for video or whether you're doing that for a blog post or even a tweet there are ways that you can sort of format that content to get it found and to get people sharing it and to get people interested in it and then that will ultimately translate an interest in you and your business it really it does work it's phenomenal well done thank you very much for coming on the show my pleasure I encourage everyone out there to pick up Don's book Twitter for skeptics again thanks very much nice

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