4 Steps to Build Your Content Marketing Processes

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez shares 4 s teps to building out a solid content marketing process.

Yeah, Hi everyone, welcome back to be to be growth. I'm Olivia Hurley with Sweet fish Media and today I'm joined by our very own dan Sanchez, Director of Audience Growth. How you doing dan? I'm doing well. Thanks Olivia. Oh, awesome. So today I wanted to peel back the curtain a little bit and look at sweet fish itself um and talk with you about content creation and how you are building the plane while flying it as the expression goes. So to jump right in, what are you currently doing to create content at Sweet Fish Media were certainly well known for podcasting. It's kind of our thing. We have this show that you're even listening to right now and we're also well known for are linked in content and that's where a lot of people discover BtB growth is because we are prolific creating content for linked in all the time. So those have been our primary two channels for years now. We're also slowly and surely building up our S E. O. Contents. We still think um that search engine optimization, that ranking on google is still a big part of B two B marketing. So while we're still improving BTB growth for podcasting linked in, we're also taking on extensive blogging. So why would you want to build an infrastructure for content? What would this allow you to do? Infrastructure is to me vital because otherwise you're just kind of winging it all the time and that just slows things down. I've just worked at so many different places agencies even that were like the experts, all the experts were in one room and it just took forever to get a single blog post done because there is no system or structure in order to get it done. No, like this is what a blog post should look like every time it was just kind of everything was starting from scratch um which made it so you can only publish a blog poster to a week and that's just not fast enough if everything has to be checked so closely because we're not even sure what we're checking for every time, then it just slows the whole process down. And that's what creating systems and processes are for is really speed. So you can do a much larger volume of content. There's a bit of a debate out there in the content marketing world and they say like, oh quality is more important than quantity and I'm like what? No, it's the other way around quantity before quality. I'm like, it's a debate, we go back and forth on it, on linkedin all the time. James and I, and most of the sweet, that's the rest of the sweet fish Media team are on the quantity side. We believe that doing more content is better because it will lead to better quality and that's a big part of why process and why building good infrastructure is so important so that you can deliver actually at a consistently high quality while still putting out the quantity. And that's why I get passionate about it because...

I'm not, I'm not okay with just a blog post a week. I'm not okay with just even a few Blinken posts today. I'm like, well, I'm a marketer if we want to grow more and want to grow faster than more content is the answer, as long as it has a certain quality standard that you're trying to hit. Yeah, so tell me a little bit more about the cadence of quantity, how often do you think you should be putting out content? Um, so it's a little bit different for every channel. Every channel has like a rhythm to it and what can be considered too little or too much um With podcasting like once a week is really the minimum. We certainly have customers that are doing every other week and I I'm always on their heels for that because it's like it's just too little, it's like the minimum. But honestly we do a daily show here at G. D. P. Growth and the reason why the be like our show is so large is because we have such a crazy volume of episodes. I mean we've been open for 66 years. We have over 2000 episodes and that's generated over four million downloads and then an average of 100 160,000 downloads a month. It's because of the volume or daily show often multiple times a day with podcasting. I'm assumed. I think once we probably hit like if we were consistently doing more than two a day, that would probably be too much. And if we were consistently doing that and still had more to push, I'd probably launch another podcast. Um, and still do more. Like I would just launch more channels and just segmented out more. If GDP growth couldn't handle all the content we could possibly put into it, which we've gotten to that point before and then we've had to scale back at some point to just be, to be growth. We've had up to five podcasts, but at a time, so you can always make more channels and more podcasts, you could essentially be wondering who has, like dozens of podcasts, right? And then let's see other channels, like twitter can handle a lot Lincoln, you can only do so much Lincoln, you could probably do max three max four posts a day, but really to is probably the right right amount. That's why I'm excited. I finally got stories, I was late to the game, everybody got in september and then a few people like James and I were on like for the black list, we are on the naughty list for some reason and only recently got it. I don't know what the heck happened linked in if you're listening to this come on. So stories, you can post a lot more as people used to consuming a lot more stories. So I'm excited. We have that with blogging. Some people argue with me on this, but I literally think you can, You could probably get away with 20-30 posts in one website a week. If you can do it, if you can get up to that point, I've gotten up to that point of getting just past 20 a week with one website and it makes a huge difference. Then there's ways to do it and scale it. But it's, it's a different kind of blogging model. You're essentially creating a library of content rather than a subscriber base that's kind of like you're shooting, otherwise you'd be hitting on with too many blog posts in a week. There is a way to do it and it does make a huge difference as far as bringing in a volume of content from google. Hi dan Sanchez here with a quick break from this episode, sponsor...

Vidyard. If you haven't started using personal video yet to enhance your marketing campaigns, you're missing out having the ability to quickly capture video and record my computer screen or both helps me not only create marketing assets faster, it makes them way more personable. I use personal videos and social media email blast landing pages and even on our website, Vidyard makes it easy to record host in bed and share videos to more deeply engaged with your ideal buyer's prospects. Have told me repeatedly that they are blown away every time they get one for me. So sign up for Vidyard free today by going to Vidyard dot com slash GDP growth. And just like you guys, the team at Vidyard can't keep up with all these promo codes on podcast, so they are making signing up as easy as possible. So no promo code needed. Just go to Vidyard dot com slash GDP growth. So start using vidyard completely free and as a bonus, get their 2021 B two B video trans guide. Oh, well, that's awesome. Well we could deep dive right into that. But for the sake of this, this episode, curious now, what do you think this infrastructure that would support all of this content creation look like? So infrastructure looks like a couple of different pieces for me and you have to roll it out in stages and there's actually a process for building processes that I like to follow. I used to I used to hunt for this and then finally like an old wise sage of business who used to work at Procter and Gamble for a long time as a high up executive. Um I was in a meeting with him when he was just there, like just blessing people with wisdom and I don't know what why I deserve to be in this meeting once with this dude who was just a wonderful and so so wise when it came to business and I wish I had thought of the question, but somebody else asked him like what's your process for building processes? And he like uh what he said, what came out of his mouth like like marked me for like the rest of my career because now this is my this is it's become my process for building process and I don't know where he got it from. I'm sure someone wrote this down along like someone published this a long time ago, Probably back in the 80s based on the kind of the language of it. But since then it's been my my blueprint for building processes And it's four steps, analyze, optimize, standardize and mechanize. So let's walk through that analyzes actually just figuring out what is your current process for executing whatever it was that if you are, are you making blog posts, analyze what what's the current process people are using to do it. It might be a complete chaos document the chaos kind of like bullet point out what's currently going on And then optimize step two. How do you make it better? What changes can be made? How do you make sure what's this, certain quality metrics you want to hit what is a good blog post? And how do we know we hit that every time? So...

...optimize it come up with a better process for doing it while you've documented what's currently going on and they're still executing according to that, right? A better version of it. And then you have to step three standardized like make sure that the people who are executing this day in and day out your your blogging team or maybe just one blogger. Maybe it's just you understands the new process and that comes with actually just writing down like step one. This is what we do. Step to like the more thoroughly you can document this and some kind of uh database or even um we use train you'll hear at sweet fish but I've used Microsoft one note you can use Evernote you can use notion any place where you can keep your documentation. I prefer to not keep it in google drive. I don't know why I just I find that things get lost in a cloud file storage like that but most places work well. Um so that standardized and then step for mechanize what parts can you automate what parts can you just make it so that human doesn't have to touch it anymore. But it's gonna get done relatively well. It's not always possible to automate everything. But if you can automate some parts it goes a long way right. Maybe you just focus on like when you publish a blog post for example, does it get sent to all the different social media sites and maybe sometimes you're customizing how you posted something like linkedin like we do. But in other sites maybe you just want to get it out there. So you just need an automation so that every time it publishes someone, a tool catches the rss feeds and then automatically just posted to twitter because you don't care about twitter, but at least it's being syndicated there. Right. Little things like that go a long way if you can automate it. So again, the four steps that I've used to do this or analyze, optimize standardized and recognize a few other elements that I make sure that I'm building along the way is making sure that I'm touching like a lot of communication is happening with the team because like you said like building the airplane while it's flying or like the metaphor I like to use is like changing the tires on the bus while it's running down the freeway. It's really difficult. You just don't have the luxury of just stopping production and then resetting it. So there's kind of like four major things that I try to look at and talk extensively with the team on at once and they kind of focus on. The process is essentially the step by steps, the training like how do we, if we get new people into this position, like how do we make sure they know everything they need to know. What are the targets? What are, what are we actually trying to shoot for? How many blog posts and how much traffic are we expected to get from these blog posts? If we're trying to rank on google and how much of that traffic are we trying to turn into leads and leads into pipeline? Like what are we generally trying to shoot for? And then kPI is like, what are those things, what now that we know what our targets are? What are we hoping to hit every week? Every month so that we can kind of measure to see if we're offer on target And those are. Again, I include the team on all of those early on. So that your making those incremental adjustments over time. So now how are you going to build this out or how have you been building this out? Well? And I think here's the key while continuing to make content...

...specifically at sweet fish. It's been a challenge that sweet fish because there's been so much change over the last couple of months. Two months ago I was a team of one. I was a marketing department of just me. I was the head of marketing. I was also the marketing specialist, the email guy, the ceo guy, the website guy. The web web development dude. I designed my own little ads and was doing a little bit of everything is fantastic. But now I have a team of four people, Uh five including me and we're starting to get things going. Um and I had to shift a lot of my priorities had to take a step back from some of the projects that I was working on. So some things have been going slow, like RBB podcasting courts, which just finally launched today. I just put it out. If you're listening to this, go check it out. Just go to sweet Fish Media dot com slash course and you can find it. Um That took a little while longer, like a delayed it a month because we had had to stop a lot of what I was doing to kind of on board the team again, because some processes had already been put in place, but I needed to make sure to get some done sooner. And again, I try to build out a picture of like what's ideal, like a snapshot of, like ideally, what is it, what is a great blogging strategy look like knowing that I can't get there now, but that's where we're going to. So now that I'm working with our blogger, I can be like, hey, this is what ideal looks like, Do you want to help me make this? Do you want do you want to work with me to build this amazing blogging engine that produces fantastic results and paint a picture of what success could really look like that we're working towards. So casting vision for what a lot of these things can look like now that I have people over individual aspects, uh some over branding, some over Arlington content, another guy over building communities, um and trying to pit what paint, what the best picture looks like. We'll also incrementally week by week, building a little bit more process, getting a little bit more clear in the KPI is like, we've only been working for Uh six weeks together now and slowly, like this week or maybe next week, I'll probably have an Excel sheet with some basic metrics that we want to track so slowly. I'm just adding infrastructure that at the end of the day, like, I want to try to have so much infrastructure in place that if, like I, like, God forbid I die like everybody knows what they need, what they need to do when they need to do it and for what reasons they need to do it and where we're all heading so that somebody who maybe replaces me understands what the plan was, that maybe they deviate from it. But uh they have something that's set up, they have an engine that's running and the reason why I like to be able to have that kind of infrastructure in places so it can run without me. It frees me up to go and build more systems for new projects. And it also just delivers predictable results. If you have a consistent way of doing things and it delivers consistent results, then you can kind of better forecast And make changes and maybe forecast is like, Oh, if we're growing 10% year over year, what what tweaks can we make to the system to get...

...us to 20%. It just makes it a lot better. And we're taking small baby steps to be able to do that here at sweet fish. Have there been any, I guess, downfalls or cons too? Taking time away from just building content to build out the infrastructure? Yes, there's definitely been small balls that have dropped like haven't we haven't been producing quite as many leads as we would have hoped for sweet fish media. And so that's kind of an awkward conversation at the lead team every week where it's kind of like they're looking at SQL s, we have enough like new business going on that. It's not a huge deal, but at the same time, we all know, like, hey, if we're not bringing, don't see a certain amount of people coming in and requesting information about podcasting, uh, that eventually, that will slow our growth. And so trying to take, it's always a balance of trying to deliver results now while also trying to build infrastructure so that you can go farther faster in the future. And I'm still having conversations with that now and it's mostly like our head of operations who is much more aware of like finances and stuff, who is more concerned about that James is the visionary is kind of like, it's just a slow spot once we hit all these infrastructure, things will be golden. You know, he's just kind of like, yeah, like it'll come when it will come. I don't want to, I don't want to do some short term things that just land as bad leads that will turn later anyway. So that's a conversation. I think sometimes you just have little things drop. Like we usually be to be growth is a daily podcast and there's been some days we've missed. We just haven't produced the content because well I honestly didn't record it or you didn't get our producer the thing that she needed on time. Like I have something due to her right now that I promised her it's Wednesday. I promised her on monday and I still haven't gotten it to her. So that's going to be an episode that got delayed because while I took more time to work on an infrastructure project instead. So it's a lot of juggling and sometimes balls balls drop hopefully nothing like Supercritical though. Yeah. Isn't there that like well well known plastic versus glass ball analogy. Yeah, sometimes you don't know which ones are which until it's too late. I'm trying really hard. Your best guess. Yeah, totally. So understanding that long term benefits are farther faster for building out infrastructure, what are some of the short term benefits of building our infrastructure while continuing to build your content? Short term benefits? I feel like it's just for me personally, i it feels really productive. Like I hate to be the person that's always focused on the tyranny of the urgent, the things that are just happening all the time. In fact, I'll give somewhat of a morbid story, but this story gets me, someone told me that once long ago and it's always stuck in my head, so now I'll tell it to you and you'll never be able to forget you already gave the analogy or I guess the example of, well if I died. So this is yeah, so let's just let's just start, let's do some more death, write the story went like this. If a man walked up to a river and noticed a dead body and it like the man naturally was alarmed and...

...went and did everything he could and pulled the body out of the river that was floating down and resuscitated the person and got, got him back and was like oh my gosh, I'm so glad I found you. I was so lucky that I happen to be walking by the river at that time. But then he noticed something else. There was another body floating down the river and he jumped in the river again and went to go find it and pull it out, resuscitate. And then there was another body and another body. And soon enough like the first person he had resuscitated started helping him pulling the bodies because body after body kept coming down the river to the point where the first person who was resuscitated like jumped up and said like I've had enough of this and goes up up the river or starts hiking up the trail that goes goes farther along the river. Meanwhile, the guy still like frantically pulling bodies out of the world, Why did you leave me things? Like, doesn't he see we have like we have we're saving lives, like I can't believe. And then all of a sudden the bodies just stopped coming and he's like, man, God, I don't know what, how, what happened there, I don't know what caused that. And the first person comes back down and so like the bridge was out, I fixed it, right? You're like, so it's all about context. So when I'm building infrastructure, I know I'm building a bridge to keep the things that are urgent, necessary and usually urgent necessary because we didn't have process in there before to help keep those things from happening right? Instead of chasing the tyranny of the urgent, I'm building infrastructure so that the urgent things just don't show up anymore. But at the same time it's like, well, bodies are coming down and like if I have a email from a customer that's really urgent, I have to get to it at some point. Hopefully those are the ones that I'm not like ignoring. But there's some things that while it might be urgent to other people, I'm like, I'm like, let that one go down the river, you know, I gotta get this bridge fixed and then it won't be a problem in the future, right? So it's again, it's a balance. Um but it's motivating to me knowing that I'm building things that keep the chaos from just flowing down the river all the time. Okay, so short term benefit is fewer dead bodies in the river, if you Yeah, and there's always some things you can do that honestly don't take that long. That save a lot of frustration later. So you try to build like little, you try to build it in phases, little pieces at a time, like what little tiny thing can I build and launch that start saving us time pretty quickly and then you do little pieces at a time ultimately getting to what you know is the long term benefit, but you don't want to work on something that takes a year if you can help it. Right? Some things you take a lot of time, like we switched project management systems, it literally took a year to roll out because we were so invested in Terrell. Oh, and moving to a sauna for our company was like, it took a year of planning and I'm glad we took a year to do it because it was, it was really difficult and it went fairly having some bumps, but it went fairly smoothly now where we work on a sauna, we don't touch trailer anymore. So some things do take time. But honestly, there's usually things you can do that save you time pretty quickly. So if somebody were just starting out and they said, oh gosh, we have all this...

...great content, but we need to build a structure for our company moving forward. Do you suggest starting looking at analyze optimize standardized mechanized? But you also suggest starting with some of those short term or I guess those quick winds, like doing those things that don't take a lot of time that make things better or longer term projects. That's a really great question. I would start 1st 1st, you just need to analyze what's going on, what's the current process and then it's in the optimize stage, you can write out all the things that you'd like to change and have an an ideal world, but you're going to know after building out your optimized plan which changes you want to make that are going to take a like are just gonna take a long time and you kind of have to like look at the optimize all of your, your optimization plan and think like, okay, which of all these plans, which little ones can we do now that have the biggest bang for our buck that save us the most time. Save us the most money, help us improve the most. Like what are the little things we can start changing now and work into the standardized phase faster? Yeah, totally. So biggest takeaway for somebody from this episode, what do you think? Definitely working through the analyze optimize standardized and mechanized process. The process for building process I found is tried and true. Um, A lot of people don't talk about it because it's just not a sexy topic. But let's be honest, we all hate being that person like dealing with the bodies coming down the river. That is never fun. Nobody likes it. So be be the hero that goes up river and starts fixing these things. I honestly, I promise if you're even if your entry level, this is how you get to like director level. This is the difference between even a manager and a director or manager is good at managing people and keeping those things running. But a director, this is how a director thinks. A director is always thinking about processes and systems beyond and of course leadership and teamwork to. But a director is directing the department by building these things. So if you're early in your career, you start thinking about these early, you will get way farther beyond you most of your peers because most people aren't thinking like this. If you're director, you're probably already somewhat familiar with these. Hopefully this four step process kind of like solidifies your own, you probably already have a process for this. If you're a VP you've already done this before or you're really lucky. That's right. That's awesome. Well dan, thank you so much for joining me today. Where can people go to connect with you and where can people go to connect to a sweet fish media? So sweet fish media is always sweet fish media dot com and linkedin. You can find me at linkedin dot com slash I. N slash digital marketing dan. Please shoot me A. D. M. With any questions you have from this episode or anything related to podcasting audience growth or don't know. Marketing is like my favorite thing. So I love talking shop with anybody who wants to talk about marketing. So come and find me there. That's awesome. Well thank you again...

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