Create a Content Waterwheel That Accelerates the Impact of Your Content Marketing

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez discusses (and practices) an idea of combining three content marketing disciplines in order to get the most leverage with each piece of content.

...mhm Welcome back to BBB growth. I'm dan Sanchez, my friends call me dan says, and I'm here to talk about the content waterwheel approach now in case you're like, wait, did he just say waterwheel dan, do you mean content? Flywheel? I'm mixing two metaphors for this one and one of them is the content waterfall and the other one is the content flywheel because I find that there's some concepts you can blend together to really help your content marketing just go farther and faster to kind of get more virology out of it and honestly kind of have a good mix of the, like the quantity play, we like to see it, sweet fish media and the quality play that so many people, you know, bang the table for so often. So here's the idea the content waterwheel again is a blend of the waterfall approach and the content flywheel approach and a little bit of what jim Collins calls the bullet approach. So let's kind of cover...

...each one and then talk about how we're gonna blend together to achieve maximum effectiveness with your content marketing. Starting backwards with the waterfall. Now, if you've heard us for very long, you know that we're a huge fan of the content waterfall. So the content waterfall works like this, it's like creating a solid piece of content, usually a long form piece, it could be a blog post, it can be a youtube video, it could be a podcast, like the one I'm recording right now and then taking it and breaking it up into all the smaller pieces to promote across all the other channels. So if I publish this podcast that's turning it into a blog post and then turning it into maybe a Youtube clip and then a micro video and some social posts or maybe multiple social post. Right? Taking that big piece of content and turn it into a lot of other pieces of content. All usually linking back to the bigger piece of content that is what you call the content waterfall. Now on the other side, there's a content flywheel where once you start doing it, it starts to build...

...momentum. It's some kind of content systematic content creation that once you do more and more of it, it builds momentum. Right? So that can often happen with search engine optimization, right? The more blog posts you get to rank, the easier it is for the next blog post too. Right? Because you're starting to build domain authority and the more that rank the faster it goes and it takes a while to get started. But once you have a good S. E. O uh flywheel going, it can really start to produce results. And so I'm blending that into it too. And then of course the little bullet approach from Jim Collins book, I think it's from good to great, but it might be great to last. I don't know, it's one of his books, the bullet approach which is takes instead of taking firing cannonballs at every new idea, like take a pistol and just shoot little tiny shots at it, be doing little experiments all the time trying out a little idea here. A little idea there. Another little idea over there and then seeing which ones actually connect before you aim the cannon of execution at it to do something to do something really drastic behind it,...

...right? You want to try and test little things. So here's how the content waterwheel approach works for content marketer. At least what I've been experimenting with between the channels of my linkedin profile and this very podcast. So what I'm doing is I'm creating multiple pieces of small content on linkedin anytime I have a whim, anytime I have a new idea, any time I've been even thinking about something and then posting, I'm posting it to linkedin, right? I'm posting to linkedin multiple times a day. But this would work even if you're not posting 1, 23 times a day, like I am just be posting all your ideas to social media, most of them will be okay, don't just be okay, get a few 100 views, few 1000 views whatever is the norm, but every once in a while you're gonna come across something for me, it's about once, twice a week where an idea really connects. It's not just the way you wrote, it's the idea itself and lots of people comment, it gets farther reach...

...than normal and you know, you have something really, really good, this podcast is actually a result of that. I posted this, my linkedin page and this post did really well. Hence I'm here now recording an episode about it to actually practice what I preach there again, that's kind of like taking the bullet approach to social media, trying out lots of different things in small little chunks and if it fails it fails, that's okay. But every once in a while you're gonna hit something good. And we as marketers as much as we like to think, we know what's gonna work, like we don't, we have to test things right and social media is a great place to test things out to see which ones work. Now the ones that connect, that's where you start to go back, the ones that connect you then take to your long form media and you know, it's good because people are already taking the little piece nugget you threw out there. So let's expand on the ones that work and flush them out to be a full blog post to be a full podcast episode. You flush it out and then you go and take that,...

...which is now pillar content and you? Re posted to social media again, not the same way you did before, which was really a teaser the main idea, but now you're going to flush it out because you have pillar content to go and break it up in a different chunks so you can come at it from all the different angles. So that way you create, what is the water wheel and it goes round and round and round and hopefully faster and faster and kind of almost think about it like a damn right, like a damn the waterfall like just produces so much momentum and gets the all the gears spinning to produce some significant electricity, right? So this is kind of like the water wheel and action because each time you get better and better at creating all those pieces of content and maybe one of those pieces you broke up for the waterfall do it exceptionally well, a specific example or a way of saying it, you're like you let's run it back through again because that particular angle resonated a bit more, maybe you can turn that back into a specific angle, you need to take back through the pillar or back through a long form content again. So again you need to channels for this, a short form and...

...long form, but between the two, you can really get this thing spinning and it becomes a little bit more viral each time now. Again you got to be always testing out new ideas to get it in there, but you should be able to find things that work in order to put them back into your long form content machine. So with that in mind, I think most people will understand like the testing the ideas phase, like all the social media marketers and content marketers are like, okay, we can do that, we can test more ideas. But what do you do when you want to take the idea and then flush it out into a bigger piece of content. So I wanted to kind of use like a very tried and true framework in order to flush it out, and that's just using the five Ws and how coming up with where did the idea come from, Is there an origin story? Where did you come up with this idea? Did it like occur to you while you were taking a shower on a run on a bike ride in the car? Were you listening to somebody else? Were you reading a book? Give us some context. How did you come up with this idea? What is the idea? Right? You gotta cover that probably first. Who is...

...the idea for? And why should they care about this idea? How would they implement it? Step by step? Right. So I'm just walking through the five Ws and how in order to flush out the idea and then just taking some more time to expand on it. So, let me give you some examples as I try to even practice again, What I'm talking about here. Walking through the W is like, what does this actually look like? Now? This model can lead to a lot of exciting, different types of content that you probably weren't even thinking about before, But as I've done this over and over again for the last year, here's some of the things I've seen other people do what it's led to for others and what it's led to even for myself or for sweet fish. So doing this method of testing out a bunch of little ideas can lead to larger thought leadership ideas or pieces, for example, Dave Gearhart tested a small idea, he's testing...

...little ideas all the time with his linkedin, but one stuck with him and now it has become a pillar of what he's known for and that's life is too short to work for a ceo that doesn't get marketing. It's literally become like his his main idea, the thing around his community rallies around it can also lead to stronger points of view. As you test out different ideas and stuff, you might find that some of your ideas have push back, have resistance and you'll find that some people love it. Some people hate it and sometimes you'll find out that well you're wrong, you get proven wrong and you're like, okay, hopefully your humble enough to admit it, but sometimes you're like, you know what, After having some good conversation about this, I only feel more confident in my stance on this and those become really strong points of view. This happened to me about a year ago and James really rallied with me at Sweet fish media around the idea that quantity is better than quality because quantity often leads to quality and we're always judging what quality is too much internally and we just need to throw out the idea rough in order to...

...test out to see even what resonates with people I think were too harsh and I don't want to dive too much into that idea. But you can kind of see where it's going. There's a lot of people that hated it. There's a lot of people that loved it. It became a strong point of view that I hold with James and Sweet fish media now, but it was first tested through a single link in post and then I posted lots of posts about it. Then it created a whole podcast episode about it and then it was flushed out more into more podcast episodes and now I'm here talking about it again using the water wheel model. You can create new campaigns around this, we started posting and talking about Arlington evangelists program that we use internally. Sweet fish. Now we've created whole podcast about it shoot, we've been invited to speak on other podcast about it and we're probably gonna turn it into a live webinar coming up soon. And then it probably into a video series on how to use a link to an evangelist program for your employees. But it all started with just posting about it because we were doing something, it was unique and a lot of people wanted to know more about it. So that post got traction, we turned it into the pillar content back and forth that went into the water...

...wheel and we're not even done with that, that water we'll still running and running, we keep finding new aspects of it because it's a bigger idea. It takes a lot of time to flush it out. We're still discovering new things about it so it can lead to a whole new content campaigns, it can lead to new products. I remember, gosh years ago, probably seven years ago, john O Nolan posted a blog post that went viral, I think on twitter about how Wordpress is flawed and what he would do to redesign wordpress from scratch, It went so viral that he ended up putting together like a go fund me not a go. Fund me like an Indiegogo, I can't remember the other one, but you know, like one of those crowdsourcing platforms to fund his idea and it was highly successful and he's built a whole alternative to Wordpress called Ghost, but it started with a small little bullet to see if there, if the idea even resonated, it could have got some traction, but not enough to show him that this needed to become a whole product and now it's changed his life forever more because...

...he's the Ceo and founder of that company, it could lead to a whole new brand element, you might and in fact I find the best brands or the ones that evolve over time using this. If you look at a lot of people like Gary V like he didn't start off as robust as he is. Like he's built it one piece at a time based on what's going, what's resonated with people as he's posted, he's posting ideas all the time and constantly keeping the ones and pulling them closer that really hit right for him. It's like the idea of documenting the journey, I think he just randomly said that Nicole once and that became thing that resonated that now he goes back to all the time that happened to me about a year ago. I was just coming up with a custom hashtag because it was kind of a cool thing that I saw a few other people do and it ended up becoming a core pillar of my personal brand because my hashtag became hashtag Danchev is right, that's a nickname. Some people used for me. I had other nicknames, but that became a core part of my don't know my, my personal brand. So people call me dan says all the time now. And of course I end every post with Sanchez, but I even renamed my home personal site around Sanchez dot...

...com instead of daniel Sanchez dot com shorter is better. And Dench is just way more memorable and interesting, right? It takes a two name word and puts it into 11 name, Sanchez summarizing my first, my last right and that's just work shoot I even started off this episode saying my friends call me dan says because they do. So you can see how this is a really powerful idea. Shoot little content experiments out there on a regular basis. Take the ones that are hits, turn them into bigger pieces of content, full pillar posts or episodes like this one and then take it and redistribute that pillar post into a bunch of smaller pieces to come at it from different angles or different segments. Right, So I'm going to hand over this episode, this full episode to my, my linkedin content writer who writes, I don't know, she writes about a third of my content from linkedin and she's gonna take and break this up into a bunch of other posts, two different angles. Some of it will cover like the why of this, Some of it will cover the how of this. Some of it will cover some...

...of the illustrations I gave like Dave gear hearts or my dance says, example, she's going to go and then break this up into a bunch of different pieces that will flood out over the next month or two and that's how this works. As I'm still testing out different ideas, I'm getting the most out of the ones that worked and round and round this content. Waterwheel flies right, so hopefully this has been helpful to you if it has then come and connect with me on, linked in my goodness. If you're not connected with me on linkedin, where have you been? Like come and find me, it's at linkedin dot com slash I. N slash digital marketing dan. We need to hang out, we need to connect, we need to talk and you can see some of the examples of this whole thing in action. You come see some of those posts and then watches posts get turned into episodes and then episodes get turned into more posts and see how this thing actually works. So come connect with me on linkedin, I love connecting, I love hearing from anybody listening to the show and then actually having conversations on linkedin, I reply to every D. M and I love to hear from all...

...of you. So come and find me there and if this show has blessed you, please give it a rating that you feel that it is worth on whatever podcast subscription platform that you're listening to right now, give it what you think it's worth and only you only need tap the rating, don't you don't have to leave a review if you don't want to, but if you can tap the three star of the four star, hopefully maybe the five star, that would be fantastic. It really helps the show out a ton. Thank you so much for listening is your buyer at BdP marketer. If so you should think about sponsoring this podcast Bdb Growth gets downloaded over 130,000 times each month and our listeners are marketing decision makers. If it sounds interesting, send Logan and email Logan at Sweet Fish Media dot com. Yeah, yeah.

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