Nate Turner: Optimizing Content Marketing Strategy

Welcome to the show today, I'm glad you 
could join us today we are talking about   content optimization we're really talking about 
how you can really create a lot of content   optimize it so it's seen by a lot of people look 
if you really want to scale a seven and eight   figure business you really need to be seen as 
an authority in what you do and it really comes   down to your ability to cultivate and create 
content but it also most important comes down   to your ability to deliver that content to as many 
eyeballs as you can get on it and that's exactly   what we're diving into today. So with us today is 
Nate Turner now Nate is a marketing expert with   over 12 years in the trenches his sole purpose 
is to help companies acquire more customers   now Nate is the Co-Founder of 10 speed a tech 
enabled content optimization company focused   on helping companies get more results from the 
content that they already have on their current   website and Nate was the first marketer at sprout 
social where he spent years building and scaling   the inbound engine helping grow the company from 
zero to a hundred million plus in revenue and   IPO and he is and has been the growth marketing 
consultant to several SAS companies like Help   Scout, Xylo, and Hologram as well and he's 
passionate about working with marketing and sales   leader and early stage founders and solves the 
hard problems and helps them scale revenue growth   Nate thanks for joining us today, Yeah thanks Ty, 
glad to be here, well I love what you do I mean I   commonly say over again and again and 
again that if you really want to build   a seven and a figure business it comes down 
to your ability to cultivate and distribute   content and so I love that that's what you do 
but a lot of people don't understand that so   let's start there when we talk about content 
what kind of things are we referring to?   Yeah I mean I think a lot of times people can kind 
of put content into a box and really think about   uh really just like written blog content 
when content can be webinars video podcasts   um the written content case studies uh you know 
sales enablement content in some cases email   there's a lot of a lot of different forms that it 
can take and a lot of different ways that it can   be distributed social media content as well 
like it's a it's a very broad term and a   very uh large umbrella that encompasses a lot of different tactics and types of content.

So when we   talk about content optimization what what kind of 
things are involved there to optimize that content?   Yeah the approach that we take with, with 10 speed 
is is highly focused on SEO and organic traffic   um and the written the written content component 
of that so we're really focused on how do   we look at a company that already has a lot of 
existing written content um that has declined in   performance over time or more content within their 
own web property that's competing with itself   some various forms there as well 
as looking at search intent and   some of the things within the actual top rankings 
and helping people figure out how to optimize that   content to better compete and get on page one 
or get it back to where it was performing before   so that's the the main thing there's 
other things like understanding how   your open graph stuff is coded so that it is 
getting shared and it looks better on social   when it's shared and posted there to get 
more click-throughs more traffic that way   helping give recommendations on um pulling 
together different types of content different   formats a lot of companies will have uh you know 
a great video somewhere off in one corner of their   website uh that really has a lot of value to add 
to a blog post they already have so helping them   see that combine those things into one and 
really pull it together to create a rich   and valuable experience for 
anyone searching and finding that   and then lastly just kind of looking through 
and seeing where we can help on the sort of the   code and structured content side to help 
whether that's rich snippets or any other type   of structured data we're helping on that front 
as well so a lot of different aspects that we're   looking at to really optimize existing content 
because so many companies have um tens    hundreds  even thousands of of blog posts and when you have that many um you're not really   understanding  on a post level month by month what's what's actually declining uh and and not performing as well so helping people discover that figure out how to uh optimize it and and get growth and  traffic back and really get uh uh compounding results that they they would like to   see. Make sense why do you think this is important I mean like why did you get into this space what   happens when people don't do this and what happens when people do do this? yeah um I mean    the first exposure to this was really um you know 6 or 7 years ago we started doing this as a tactic   at uh sprout social and it is like a very widely 
known thing at this point refreshing content some   people call it um content optimization 
and it's uh it's just something that has   become known that there are so many people 
competing for search terms and in different um   in different terms that they they know that 
you have to continue to refresh content you   have to optimize um to to stay competitive to 
stay relevant and knowing that your competitors   are doing the same thing.

Sometimes it's the 
algorithms uh that are actually changing and   sort of redefining that or search intent itself   is changing and so what Google is prioritizing 
their uh you kind of have to shift to really   understand what to be presenting to rank, so 
there's a lot of things there but that it was   really several years ago starting um to see that 
as an opportunity and then um as I continue to   to do that at sprout and then eventually moving 
on to consulting um and realizing that that was   something that was working well not just at a 
you know happened to work at sprout but really   something that worked well for a lot of companies 
in a lot of different ways that was um really   when we started to see the opportunity to to take 
that and figure out how to make it something that   we could bring to a lot of companies that don't 
necessarily have that skillset in-house but can   still have the potential and would like to to 
get those results and so figuring out how to   bring that to them um in a way that that 
will help them see those results as well.   Nate what are some of the ways that you guys 
go about doing what you do like what are   some of the ways that you somebody can go about 
actually optimizing their content.

Yeah so the um   I think that a lot of the content that's out there 
um you know content about content uh is is telling   people um some of the older tactics that used to 
work well which is like um just simply changing   the publish date and republishing a post um 
used to work like you could kind of put it   in front of Google again and get it to jump back 
up um but there's now so many people doing that   that's not really a factor so um what we're 
what we're doing is really looking at all of   the content across the entire website um so you 
may have uh three or four blog posts and a guide   page and a home page and a solutions page that 
all are sort of competing with each other for   um you know a couple of the similar terms and 
so kind of helping people understand how to   consolidate that content we're looking at some 
of the the same stuff that Google looks at for   like natural natural language processing 
um and understanding the the search intent   um and what we're doing is kind of pulling all 
that together as well as looking at their you   know search console data google analytics data 
kind of all that stuff together um and then what   we do specifically is we don't do any writing but 
we uh put together extremely detailed briefs on   um changing some of the metadata uh how to 
structure the post, so every like you know h2 h3 um   all of that sort of detail within there is is laid 
out for companies and and helping them see exactly   what to do.

If they're supposed to combine we're 
actually specifically saying pull this content out   of this one into this new post and redirect the 
old one um you know a lot of that and so that's   that's the way we really work is in that brief 
model which is something that a lot of companies   are familiar with and and kind of creating briefs 
for freelancers or internal writers to give them   the right guidance but not necessarily an 
extremely um uh detailed way that they have   like they don't feel like they have the freedom to 
write about the topic it's it's enough structure   but it leaves it open for the their expertise 
to come through and write about it the subject   so what you guys do with with content optimization 
how does it really help when it comes to SEO? Yeah so the I think the the main thing is that 
we're um we're structuring the post and including   the right data to give all the right signals to 
Google that and all search engines really that   um you know this is the the content these are the 
sections this is how we want to format it some   of the the coded anchor links help Google to see 
the passages or like specific sections of content   that they can sort of code and identify and then 
better match those to longer tail queries to   expand the number of keywords that your content 
is ranking for and and gain more traffic.   When we talk about content optimization 
and then we talk about content marketing   same thing different and how are they related? Yeah I would say the content optimization is one part   of the the broader content marketing aspect so I 
think there's a lot of like I said a lot of the   um you know sort of mediums uh that can be 
used the video and podcasts and all that I   I would say really goes into to content marketing 
um and then within content marketing even if   you're just talking about a blog there's sort 
of content strategy content planning um content   distribution content measurement like content 
optimization is I would say one of those pillars   within there so it's a our approach has become 
like pretty specialized pretty focused um versus   being uh you know one of of many services in a 
you know large agency or something like that so   uh we we really have a lot of experience 
there and uh it's it's a fun thing because   for companies that already exist already have the 
content um it's much different it's a much shorter   um play usually it's not like let's produce this 
and I think a lot of things I hear from people are   you know well anything we do with SEO will take 9 to 12 months and when you already have a better   domain authority you have the backlinks you 
have the existing content and optimizing that to   to focus on um the right things and be structured 
in the right way um sometimes people are seeing   it jump up in in you know traffic and leads 
in a matter of days um so it's a really fun   and rewarding thing too to um to just see the 
customer's reaction to something that was doing   whatever you know 10 20 30 visits a day jump up to 100 200 visits a day something like that um can   be  pretty cool so um so that's uh yeah that's that's 
how I would say it's like it's, it's really just   a one what part of of the the overall um sort of content marketing function.

What do you think in a   business business's life cycle it should really 
start focusing on you know content marketing I   mean since content you know when we look at this 
is part of kind of content marketing overall when   should somebody really engage in content marketing 
like when is your customer becoming your customer   a year into business startup like what time frame? 
Yeah so there's um I, I get asked this question a   lot just um through um you know conversations 
with Founders or you know early-stage marketing   folks and I think um as soon like as early as you 
can do you know content well I think that's um   that's really when you should start um I think 
that we're we're past the days of like just   cranking out 4 or 500-word blog posts 
for the sake of uh having a blog and   pushing stuff out and um or doing stuff 
at a really high volume, it's I think um   I often tell people if you could do 10 you know 
low-quality posts or one high-quality post per   month I would I would tell them to put all their 
energy into one high-quality piece of content so   um same thing goes with with webinars or videos 
or anything like um it really is about bandwidth   and and focusing on being able to do stuff well 
and not necessarily uh at a high volume or high   capacity and so um with us like we uh I say 
primarily work with companies that are um   yeah have like you know maybe one to five 
people in marketing it's like if there's   there's a marketing function there there's proof that there's um some um some value to the organic   traffic like that the company sees the value there and understands how that impacts um    revenue and in the pipeline and stuff but um you know there are a larger companies uh sprout   social  g2 hub spot like when you get to be a big company there are people in-house uh that are are   doing what we're doing um so I think we're we're really focused on some of the like smaller and   mid-sized companies that can't have that expertise in-house don't have the ability to hire for they have   more higher priority roles but in a fractional sense can work with us and sort of accomplish that   same feat so anyone that's got existing content and then we do also work with some earlier stage   companies that are creating content but just want to do it um you know optimized from the start so   really let's let's figure out the right posts to be writing the right content let's let's figure out how to   structure it correctly um so we're just giving 
that guidance um for new content that they're   creating not just uh not just uh re-optimizing the existing stuff.

When it comes to marketing overall   for content where do you think which pillar or 
which part is where people struggle the most? Uh just with like um I mean tell me is it really 
about the optimization part do you find working   with organizations, they struggle to create the 
content is it getting the content seen I mean   where is it there were people struggling and 
get stuck because you know something that one   of my writers said to me is that look I write 
really good content but nobody ever sees it   and I think that's a pretty common problem 
that a lot of business owners have but I'm   trying to figure out where in this process you 
see that most business owners struggle and get   stuck or the content that they create that's good isn't being seen. Yeah I, I mean I would say that's   that's probably one of the top ones um SEM rush 
does a great survey every year and that's um   you two of the the top um struggles listed by a 
lot of professional content marketers and uh and   content creators is not being able to get enough 
uh traffic and leads from from the content that   they're creating um and so I do think that's 
um that's common it's you know it's a number   of factors like an an early stage company with 
a low domain authority not a lot of links like   um it's not just going to be let's throw some some 
content on the blog that one of our employees   felt like writing and all of a sudden we're going to  
have like sustainable traffic um you know so I   think there's there's some challenges there like 
if if you're earlier stage you really have to be   very focused know what you're what you're going 
after structure things correctly um and I think   distribution you know is a huge um part of it too 
and just a thing that uh you know a lot of people   will publish content or put up a video or you know 
a registration page for a webinar any of that and   um and just sort of assume that people are going to find it and they're going to get it and read it or   register or whatever and there's a lot of 
opportunities to be publishing that stuff   in a higher cadence on social to get more reach 
there um to be doing more with email distribution   uh to be creating partnerships and doing 
stuff with other companies where they're also   hitting up their email database and 
and promoting some of your content um   you know different different things there 
that I think can can really help but   um it's uh it's definitely one 
of the biggest challenges for   for a lot of companies is that that getting seen and getting more um more traffic and leads from it.   You know another question I have is 
that it seems to me like Google's drunk   and what I mean by Google's drunk is that like for us for example we create more content on business   credit that's high-quality content we have writers 
etc than anybody else in the world by far but you   know we can't just create that content and then 
just be seen by Google we can't like we have to   work with someone like you we have to work with 
SEO companies to do all these things to get the   content to be seen that seems kind of crazy to me 
because then it's kind of a matter of who can pay   for the services for the content to be seen it's 
not necessarily the quality of the content so it   just seems like a conundrum to me because you can produce the best content on a topic and more   of it than everybody else in your space combined but the reality is you have to do all this kind of   stuff you're describing for it to get any kind of 
ranking why is that why can't Google just realize   that the quality of content volume of content is 
so significant with a company and then give them   the ranking without doing all these other crazy things that are needed to get that rank.

Yeah I   mean I think it's it's certainly first of all like 
there's uh so many aspects to the algorithm and   ranking that as much as as practitioners 
have been able to reverse engineer and   and figure out how how to rank and what matters 
and what the strongest signals are and a lot of   data science that's been applied to that there's 
still so many variables that are unknown or edge   cases um I would say like a lot of it is it comes 
kind of comes back to that structure aspect and   um it I think there are companies that can 
produce less or be a lesser-known company   but they're really nailing the the structure 
of the content and highlighting the right   aspects that it just makes it easier for 
the the crawlers to identify and prioritize   I would also say Google is getting better at that 
um the Bert updates rolling out in early 2020   with some significant advancement 
in natural language processing so   that's Google doing an even better job of uh when 
they're crawling and analyzing pages and content   they're having a much better sense of 
what what content actually matches what   someone's searching for, um so it gets even 
more into like just really producing good   quality content that's informative and not trying 
to stuff uh keywords into uh you know certain H2s   and H3s like it's it's about um creating that so 
I think that's like um such a big factor and um   and I and I think it's it just kind of comes down 
to like how all those weigh versus um the volume   of that and I think you're certainly benefiting from you know some of the higher domain authority   uh more you know referring domains and backlinks 
that you have for your company but um we'll we'll   certainly, always have more of those algorithms 
factors that are playing a part of it as well.   What is um what's an effective content marketing 
strategy you know and why I asked that is you   mentioned something earlier about uh you know one piece of content you know sometimes it's   better to produce one really good long-form than than not so good multiple but man I think that's a   strategy  we adopt I think so many of us get so frustrated because the content's not seen that we just start   mass-producing content to solve the problem but 
what's really a more effective solution uh you   know a good effective content marketing strategy 
yeah I, I think um you know companies that that   do it well kind of um I think you're right 
like the the adoption of that or sort of um   operating in like a scarcity mentality or or 
something that's people are really kind of   just scrambling to put something up or you 
know they have uh perhaps been tasked with   um goals that are quantitative uh in nature versus 
results-based I think there's a lot of different   factors for why but I think companies that are 
doing it well understand that if they can stop   and like really think about what they're trying to 
accomplish and what's the best way to accomplish   that um then it's really about sort of having 
sort of your core content or messaging or   you know whatever that may be creating a really 
solid piece if that's a just an open guide online   just to get as much you know traffic and backlinks 
as possible um but I think it's also repurposing   um like like you do on your podcast to not only 
do the audio but doing the video as well and then   posting it on uh Youtube so you're you're doing 
the same thing but getting double the benefit   and then you know a lot of companies also then 
take that transcribe it put it into the blog post   and um and get three for one and then when you 
can also you know go ahead and create a guide   uh based on that to promote in the 
video or webinar or whatever it may be   um promoting that across social like taking 
as as uh much time to create something good   and then the rest of the energy goes into how do 
you take that and and replicate it across more   channels for greater distribution um versus how do we take that same amount energy and create   as many  pieces of of content or unique things as possible well I think that's that's that's what I   would say like a lot of the the um and it's not necessarily just for big teams I think just people   that have um the right expectations put around them on what should come out of content  marketing what its role is uh people that are given space uh to do that can really create that and um   and be more efficient with with one or one or 
two good pieces of content than they could with   10 or 15.

What do you think people mess this up 
what are the biggest mistakes that you see people   make when it comes to content marketing content optimization? Yeah I mean I would say like um content marketing and I guess all that 
really like their inconsistency or like um   really no strategy at all is something that I 
think is still fairly common um where the the   latest blog post is something that the head 
of sales felt like writing about um and then   there's a you know long drought and there's nearly 
nothing being created and then someone had an idea   for this guide, and so now we're making that 
and uh you know just not a good cadence um   not really any specific strategy and then um you 
know another would just be like giving up too soon.   Like I think there's um things that pay off from 
doing this uh sort of repeatedly obviously um   you've been doing the podcast for a while I'm sure 
you've seen the number of views on each one in on   YouTube or listens and downloads and things like 
that um yeah are probably just steadily growing um   are at least much higher now than they were in 
your first year of doing it.

So I think there's   some things that do pay off when you just continue 
to to do it and not give up too soon and I would   say the the one that's probably the biggest 
is um it's just a natural tendency for folks   um thinking about investing in content content 
marketing content optimization is they really want   to just like the the tendency is to measure it 
the dollar's going in to like dollars coming out   and like the bottom of funnel impact, um and 
I think when you step back and realize what   content can do what I said before in terms of like 
the number of channels the amount of distribution   um like content can have a huge impact on reach.   Brand awareness um a lot of these other things 
that may not be directly contributing to sales   or you know revenue and um and that's probably 
one of the other things that I've seen   a lot is just that companies just have a hard time 
thinking about investing in something that they   don't squarely see 100% of the ROI 

Nate where can everybody go to learn more.   Great uh it to learn more about ten speed you can 
visit that has some information on you   know what we do how we approach everything 
and and also how to get in touch with us um   and um my personal website is, okay cool Nate thanks for coming all of us today. Yeah   thanks a lot appreciate it. So everybody make sure you check out that's ten    spell out, t-e-n content optimization 
is extremely important because like I said   I think that seven, eight figures success really 
comes down though a good content strategy which   means you have to write really good content as 
Nate's talked about multiple times but it's got   to be seen by people and you can't get it seen 
as we discussed today unless it's optimized.

So   if you want to actually learn how to optimize your 
content to produce less but get a lot more people   to see that as Nate described during today's show 
be able to go see the numbers of people seeing   your website and seeing those posts increase 
steadily then you really should visit   talk to these guys and see how they can help you 
basically not only just develop a content strategy   but actually get your content seen by more people 
optimize that content and have a good chance   of getting seen by the world because if you're producing good content it deserves to be seen. So   make sure you visit to adopt an awesome content optimization strategy for your company..

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