What Is Basic Content and Why Do Your Customers Want It?

What is Basic Content and Why Do Your Customers Want it?

Note: New Initiatives Marketing is part of The Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast of which this is one episode. The podcasts are produced and recorded for the ear and they were designed to be either watched live on video or listened to via audio. If you are able to, we strongly recommend listening to this episode which will include emotion and emphasis that isn’t obvious when reading a transcript. Our transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and humans. They may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print. This is not meant to be marketing advice.

Welcome to the Marketing Guides for Small Business Podcast. In this podcast, you’ll get discussions and interviews 100% dedicated to helping small business owners tackle their marketing challenges. The Marketing Guides for Small Business podcast is produced by the marketing guides for small business, a collection of five small business marketing consultants with dozens of years of combined experience in helping small business owners plan execute, measure their marketing plans and strategies in order to grow their business at a rapid pace. 


Your host and panelists include:

  • Ken Tucker, Owner and Chief Marketing Strategist at Change Scape Web in St. Louis
  • Paul Barthel, Chief Technical Officer at Change Scape Web
  • Dan Gershenson, CEO of Caliber Brand Strategy in Chicago
  • Ian Cantle, President and Chief Marketing Strategist at Outsourced Marketing in Bradford, Ontario, 
  • Jen Kelly, Founder and CEO of New Initiatives Marketing in Toronto.


Well, welcome to this episode of the marketing guys for Small Business Podcast. I’m Jen. I’m joined by Ian Paul can and Jan. Today we’re talking about basic content. So basic content, what does that even mean? If you’re not living and breathing marketing, you might not understand what we’re talking about when we say content content means anything that is either informing or educating your audience about your product, your service, your ideas, it’s meant to educate, it’s meant to have people come along from either not knowing to knowing about your product or service or having a few questions about them, and then getting those questions answered. So when we talk about basic content, we’re talking about the introductory kind of the one on one level kind of information on your company’s products or services. So for those of us in marketing, we’re going to think about basic information about how to shop for a website about how to choose a social media scheduling tool about how you get started with email marketing, just the very, very basic stuff. But here’s the problem. Most of us and most of our clients and potential clients want to talk about their products and services at a high level at an advanced level as of what’s coming down the path now, what’s next, what’s new. But that really leaves a disconnect between the potential clients that are shopping for your products or services. And you have those one on one kind of level questions and the questions and the things that you want to talk about. So a super disconnect. So that’s the topic today. And having a disconnect between your product and service and your potential client is typically not good. So we’re going to tackle that today. First of all, Ken, basic content, am I making a problem where there’s no problem at all? Why do we really need this stuff?



Well, if you want to be found, you need it. If you want your customers to know the problems that you solve, you need it, if you don’t really care about that, you don’t need it. And if you’re a business where you’re fortunate enough to where you get a lot of referrals, people send traffic to your website based on a relationship that they have. And you just need to have a professional looking website that can people can come and check you out, make sure you’re a real business. I don’t eat a lot of it. But if you’re trying to rank for search, it’s critical. One of the things that we’ve implemented over the last eight months or so is a web chat widget, which really starts a two way SMS conversation. What we see in there is a lot of people are posing really simple questions. And we get feedback from our clients saying, I don’t want to be a help desk. I don’t want to answer all these questions. And it’s like, actually, you do because it’s a great relationship building process. And it also gives us tremendous ideas on content that we need to be writing and putting on their websites. Because if somebody asked this question, once I guarantee and more people have this question, it also gives you the opportunity to maybe leverage that and kind of seed the Question and Answer information on your Google My Business page, which is going to be really valuable. I’m a big fan of atomic content. And that 101 content is really that it is the foundation to building a strong SEO strategy, you got to have that in place. And then you evolve into the longtail keyword phrase stuff. People tend to go one extreme or the other. They either have a single service page and they bullet point, every service that they do on a single page, or they do the right thing, in my opinion, what’s the right thing and they they create a page for each and every service that you should have. And it just really depends on what you need your website to do. But if you’re expecting it to generate leads by people finding your business online, you got to create it.



That’s a good point. And I want to kind of turn the tables here a little bit so we as marketers say, Oh, you need this content you really need it needs to be the basic stuff. I want you to put on your consumer hat for a moment. And has there been a time? And oh, no, oh, he’s running to get a hat for those. Okay, there we go. There we go on. Tell us about a time in a recent history where you as a consumer have been searching for a product or service. And you were asking, actually, the basic questions, I just want to see, does this have any application in real life



absolutely does have application in real life. I have a few examples. I think we all have examples of this. But let me tell you about I have a it’s not a huge property. But I have a ride on lawn mower. My ride on lawn mower was inherited with my property. A few years ago, I noticed that it had no gas in it when I went to take it out of the shed in the spring. And that was because the gas tank had leaked. And I could go out and get a new lawnmower. But instead I wanted to see is there a way to replace this gas tank. So I did a Google search and started looking around, I came across a resource that said, of course you can replace this gas tank, you just need some rudimentary skills, here is how you would do it. First of all, they were findable. I found the the resource and it was very basic. They had a video that explained how to replace the gas tank and that any layman could do it as long as they have some rudimentary skills and some tools. And here is the link to where to buy it. Of course, the company that created the video was actually the one that had the e commerce Store as well. When you went to the e commerce Store, it had the description, it made sure it was compatible with the lawnmower that I had, it talked about why it was better than even the previous manufactured one because it was made out of better materials, the seams were welded better, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So of course, I went ahead, I clicked and bought it, and then waited a couple of weeks till it arrived. And then I went back to that tutorial video, how to install it had my phone out while I was actually installing it on my lawn Mar. So I thought that was a pretty good example. I had a need. I searched for the need on Google, the company that came up highest was actually the one that had the best resources available, and was also selling the product I needed at the time



focusing on problems you solve.



Yeah, and I think the only the thing that I like about what you said there in is that there was a video because I think sometimes we forget that people have different ways of wanting to get help. And sometimes video can be the very best way. I’m going to be controversial here. But for customer service, I really don’t want to go to your FAQ page, I get it, you want to do FA Q’s because it’s for search engines and whatever else. But when I am stressing, I don’t want to go to your FAQ page, I want to watch your video. And then maybe in two or three minutes, I’ll get a good clear example. Now that’s just me. Other people want to read that stuff. So the point is, as Ken was saying, with atomizing content, I think you have to think about the different ways that your people are going to possibly want to interact with the very same question. So to us, as creators, or as marketers, will be like, well, I already wrote something on that. Yeah. And maybe they don’t want to read like, maybe they want to watch the answer instead of read the answer. And you’re gonna have to think about those different ways to atomize. That



that’s a great point, Dan, you’ve got to think about how people learn. There’s a place and a time for written content, there’s absolutely a place in time for video content, could be audio content, you really have to think this all through.



And I think the most important kind of concept in this whole discussion is that it’s audience focused. It’s not the company focus. It’s not about the manufacturer of the gas tank. It’s not about you, as a business, struggling like a peacock to say, I’m better than everyone else, because of this highly technical thing that we do, you might want to talk about that. But the audience you’re trying to attract unless they’re of a particular ilk that most of the audience you’re trying to attract are people that are asking the basic questions and want to know the benefit to them at that time. And basic content is brilliant at that.



Absolutely. No damn with basic content. So you’ve got your client to to actually write so does it ever need to be updated? I mean, did the basics and the fundamentals ever ever really changed? Do we have to be concerned about that?



Well, I wouldn’t get them to write it. That’s okay. I’m just gonna be honest about I don’t think they should be writing their own content. As a friend of mine says brain surgeons should not be doing their own brain surgery. I get that they want to do their own content. I don’t think they should. because they’re too close to it, and I will say something else here, sometimes we are too close to it, we are too close to our own stuff. So sometimes you have to step out of your own skin and say, I’m going to talk about this stuff, I’m going to just take 1520 minutes, half an hour talking about some different topics to somebody who isn’t doing what I’m doing didn’t go to school for what I’m doing. And sometimes I think you need that for this one on one level stuff, because they can’t break it down, because they’re too close to it. And honestly, that’s a big part of what we do in my business is that, I absolutely say you shouldn’t be writing it. Because first of all, you don’t have the time, you don’t have the time to write it, you’re not going to get to it, you’re going to mess around with it forever. And then finally, you’re going to get something out the door, it’s not going to be conversational, it’s gonna be industry jargon, and it’s going to not be done in a timely fashion. And even when you give it to another associate, the same things gonna happen, and you’re still gonna have to look at it. So why not talk about these things to somebody else, have them recorded, get it down, have them re write it, reflow it, put it back in front of you, because that’s written for the customer. Most of these people can not write for the customer period, full stop, I’ve seen it, you can go to a seminar, you can go to a class for an hour, it ain’t gonna make you into a marketer, it ain’t gonna make you into a writer, trust me from a marketer and writer, you ain’t got it. So why not, instead of trying to make that weakness into a strength, which it’s not going to be, give it to somebody who’s already got that as a strength so that you can focus on what you do best, which is serving your customers. And that’s what these people need to know, is what they do is their strength. And new being new business. That’s a half that they often have to where nobody else can do that for them. So why become a writer when you’re not one? To me? That’s where I think teaching them to be a writer. I know that this is a little outside of the question, but it’s just the way I feel. I think I will teach them certain concepts, but very, very bite sized. Because trying to give them the whole of marketing, as far as a writing perspective is a very hard thing to do. It takes two years to to understand that. I think that’s that’s where they have to land on that. That’s maybe



the answer the question or not, I



was like, how do you really feel down? Right?



Yeah. That said, I think can have a lot of thought on the blue sky. What’s the theme that we’re trying to go for this particular month, or quarter or a year. And that is something that you as a as a business owner can absolutely have input on. But we had that happen? I’ll say it a couple weeks ago, or maybe in the last week, we had a in our marketing community, we had somebody talking all about percentages, and how to calculate ROI and all this other stuff. And hell, I was even talking about content. Do you know that sometimes when I talk about content, I still get the question of does that mean you can write? Like, that’s how we have to think I have a graphic design friend who sat in the networking group for a year. And they thought, does anybody know someone who designs things? And like, Well, I’m a graphic designer, I’ve been sitting here the whole time. We are like no brainer, why wouldn’t you get it? You have to think about it in those terms of your customer, conversational multi touch, and really breaking it down for them. And when you do you open the door? I think that’s a that’s a really key thing. Absolutely. I hope that answers your question. A little off, but I really feel that way about writing. And



I like your passion there. So it’s all good. It’s all good. Paul, talk to me about some pushback that you might probably have heard from clients, the one on one, the basic content is fine, but they’re afraid that it’s gonna make their company look basic, or make their company look like they don’t deal with the more sophisticated or more advanced types of problems that a client might come to them about.



Well, you need different levels of content. I mean, unless you live in the world of academia, your website and your content isn’t for you. It’s for your customers or prospects. Maybe they don’t know you exist. Maybe they’re at the top of that funnel that we always talk about. Maybe they’re just starting their search, and they don’t know. And they need that one on one content. They need that basic content. But you do have to have the basic content and the more advanced content as people move through this sales funnel that we always talk about. So if they’re afraid that They’re not going to look sophisticated enough, you have to remember that it’s not for you. And it’s not for other people in your industry, it’s for your customers. As everyone has already talked about that content is needed. Your customers are probably looking for that. Maybe it’s a fact maybe it’s a video. But that content is absolutely needed.



Yeah. And, Paul, you, you alluded to it, you were talking about the buyers journey. But one way I look at this content too, is that we as marketers, we talk a lot about the marketing, hourglass of the people need to know you like you trust you, try you in order to buy from you. And I think even talking about the complexity of content fits really well into that structure, where most searches most of that no phase is actually related to basic content. And then it’s about maybe there are deeper questions that require more complex content. Or maybe it’s just part of the sales process that once somebody picks up the phone or fills in a form and you get in a conversation with them, then they ask you those deeper, harder questions that may have a place in content, maybe they don’t maybe it’s more about you express that deeper level of expertise in a conversation rather than in the content. But I think that structure that hourglass really helps us understand basic content has a place and you can you can start to tighten up the content, make it more complex as you go through that process. Because people have deeper questions as they go through that process. No



internal linking, you can link from a basic piece of content to a more advanced piece of content to a more advanced piece of content. Yeah. And you guide people through your website.



Why would you want to do that all



the time on site, which helps



your internal which is like the hidden gold of SEO for a lot of businesses to write.



Yeah, and just to piggyback on this, the inconvenient truth for a lot of people is they need a lot of touches, in order for them not only to see you as a thought leader, but also as somebody that I want to buy from, I was thinking about this this morning, the best investment I’ve ever made for my business, it took me about 20 touches for that to feel like, okay, I’m reading someone’s blog posts as one on one level things. I feel like I’m on the same level. I’m watching two or three videos, I attended a webinar, I signed up for an E newsletter. And then that was all before I even got any kind of direct appeal from that source that said, Hey, do you want to belong to this community. So all together, though, that’s how long it took. And we’re talking quite a long time. But I was in and I’m was moving, as Ian said, through the funnel through the the hourglass. But I think a lot of folks, quite frankly, it’s like, we want them to spend 1000s of dollars with us. But we don’t want to do the work of the understanding of the touches that are involved. The one on one level explanations are amazing ways to sort of beat that path from no and like to that trust in amazing way. Because you’re going to need that many touches. It’s just a fact you’re going to often need at least 567 touches for someone to say okay, I get it. Like I really am on board. I’m moving you from getting to know you to a shortlist to. Why should we work together? And that’s just this one on one stuff is a key role in that.



Yeah, you know those number of touch points that you talked about it we like to think of things as a funnel, because it’s linear. And it’s easy to conceptualize. But the reality is, the buyer journey is not linear. It goes all over the map. Like you just said me, I’ll go sign up for a news. I’m going to go watch a video, I’m going to check out your Facebook page. Maybe I’ll read a fact maybe I’ll send you an email asking question. I’m not ready to buy, but I have questions that I want to answer. I’ll send you a web chat. It’s a convoluted mess. And that’s the reality of the buyers journey is not linear. So yes, you you do need all of these things.



And then Paul, you hit them with some retargeting ads. So once they leave you, they can’t get away from you. Right? There’s, they’re like, well, there’s also guys again,



our ability to stalk them, but I need to retarget them.



Well, the reality is 4% of people when they first land on your website are going to convert and take the call to action, whether it’s call or fill out a form. So you should be remarketing to them.



Absolutely that’s



that’s a cool way to look at it. I didn’t even realize it. We do often look at it that way with the straight line, but maybe it’s more like rocks in a jar that we’re building up for every little touch that we’re getting. It’s more and more getting a mountain more than one way to look at it. Yeah, for



sure. Yeah. Can you mentioned before how every single service should have its own web page on your site? Does every single service that you offer need sort of a one on one level content? No,



I think we all have a tendency to fall into a trap, that we’re talking about it all businesses have long sales cycles. If you don’t have a long sales cycle, you may not need it, you may be able to get by with a strong reputation from a ton of Google reviews, or TripAdvisor or Yelp reviews. As an example, if you’re a restaurant, do you need to have a page for every thing that you offer on your restaurant? No, no way. That’s a waste of time and money, make sure that your menu is available. But that’s one page that and maybe that’s even a download and it’s not even a page on your website. So we can’t overgeneralize things. And I think it’s really important. Every business we have to look at and understand. What is the return on investment? What is the customer lifetime value? What is the buying cycle house, how quickly do people act that dictates the content that you have to have, or the strategy you have to have or the places online that you have to be in for a restaurant. There are plenty of times the first time I’ve gone to a restaurant and I found them on a Google map result, I read a couple of reviews on their Google My Business page, I was close to the area said you know what, that’s good enough. I’m going single touch. And that’s all it takes. So I think it’s really important for us to realize and make sure our listeners and watchers realize you really should be working with somebody that helps you understand the dynamics of what it takes to be found online in the right way. Sometimes it’s creating the atomized content, like we’ve talked about with multiple touch strategies and the chaotic customer journey that Paul alluded to. In other cases, maybe your best weapon is just a super strong reputation, and so that you show up really well on Google Maps.



Fair point. Absolutely. Fair, fair point. Yeah, nobody’s downloading a white paper decided they’re buying a bag of Doritos, right? Like, you, you’d



nutritionist, maybe you know, and then you want to get into all the nuances about,



there’s got to be something good in here. But having said that,



if you do offer very nutritional food, and your appeal is to a customer who is looking for that specific kind of a solution, then maybe you do need to have a little bit more than just the regular content. Right? So I mean, that’s where you start to get into understanding the buyers journey, the ideal client persona, at what problems do they have? What are they? What information are they looking for to help them make decisions?



The nutritional impact of Doritos can be summed up in? None?



There’s corn.



What about your salt intake? What about that? Oh, that’s good. So Ian, we’ve been talking more about businesses, having them be a little resistant to the one on one content. What about as an executive or as somebody that wants to become a thought leader in their industry? These types of people usually want to come up with a, you know, a big idea or something that’s so far out there. That should they also start with basic content in order to sort of gain some trust that they really know what’s happening in their industry or your recommendation to be in that situation? Yeah,



I would say it depends on the audience, it always starts with the audience who you’re trying to attract who you’re trying to resonate with. But in most cases, a big idea, a point of view, should always be boiled down, like if you want it boiled down to the simplest basic idea possible that you can express very easily to people and then continue to build on that right. And you might get into complex later. But I think you have to start at the basic high level, when you watch a TED talk, some of those TED talks can be super deep getting into some very technical stuff. But if a good TED talk is actually very accessible to pretty much anyone, and it’s because they bring their big idea down to a level that we can all associate with. And they use examples and content within that presentation. So that it does resonate with us. And of course, an example of a TED Talk. Certain people are attracted to certain TED Talks. So they’ve chosen their audience who they’re presenting it to, but then they’re attracting more of that audience once it’s online. But I think with executives, the question I would even ask an executive who is trying to become an authority in their space, and they think they only have to talk about complex stuff, is let’s walk that path. Let’s whiteboard this out. Who are you trying to attract with this content? Are those big technical things gonna resonate with those people? Let’s dig into it a little bit and wear that hat a little bit before we actually invest in it because it is all about that target audience and Of course, you can go deeper as time goes on and build upon that point of view and your expertise. But the one example I would use is, I was in a large corporation, in marketing for years, our CEO wanted to become an authority in relation to big data, we had an analytic side to our business for retailers, and he wanted to write a book and become an authority in that space. And he did. One of the interesting things, though, is that part of becoming an authority is being picked up by an audience. And so in order to get picked up by an audience, he had to do press releases, press junkets interviews, and all of those things were on a very high level, about talking about how big data impacted the businesses and the consumers, and how it helped the businesses reach those consumers, right. So that was kind of the point of view and the big, the big idea behind it, but all of the technical stuff that goes into the big data discussion, you could have spent weeks down that path, but there was an understanding that you have to start basic. Absolutely.



And he did achieve it and he did achieve a level he was after. So



correct, once you get some people further along, and you’d kind of build that community, I certainly think that, then you can kind of go in from the one on one to sort of the 201 or 301. I’ve seen that with a couple of products that I’ve used. And I’ve definitely as you get into it, that’s kind of the cool part that happens is that you get smarter about it as a customer, you get a little more technical. And then you’re like, who else can I talk to about this besides the end? Brand, maybe some other customers, and that’s where I think the community, part of this should absolutely be considered too, is that the very next thing that’s going to happen is yeah, you can have a one to one relationship from brand to customer. But then what about this other entity that can really help build your brand, which is the community part,



a really good example of that, Dan, like, I can’t agree more. I mean, that is a great example, a recent example I went through in relation to that, that supports what you just said, is a very complex piece of software that I wanted to use in order to help my clients and actually, my visibility to it began with Ken, he talked about it, but he didn’t talk about it at highly technical levels, he was like this software can do X for you to help your clients, right that that was kind of the first step into there. But now that I’ve been in the software, like I’m digging into tutorial videos that go so deep down the rabbit hole, they’re ridiculous. But they’re necessary, because now I’m in the tool, and I need to raise my understanding of how to use that tool to its greatest effect from this.



Yeah, some of these almost take it to the point of gamifying it a little bit where it’s like an academy for learning. When you’re doing, let’s say, some of these products that I’ve used, like you said, you watch a certain video, and then you just keep going and then just keep going. And there’s a feeling of accomplishment, when you get through the academy of the one on one stuff, the one on one content, the 201 content, 301 content. And then you kind of feel like you’re living and breathing it at a different level. I don’t know if it’s you guys have had that experience. But I’ve seen this with a couple of products like pipe drive or lead feeder, things like that, that have these things besides the community itself. When you enter that community, you feel like now I really belonged. And then they give you a badge. Beginning with sem Rush is ridiculously good at this. For marketers out there, you’ve seen this, if you’re an SEM rush customer, they are absolutely phenomenal at adding that kind of content for whatever level you’re at. And oh, by the way, at the end, you get your little certification badge. And it means something I get teased about it was all about the badges with you. But it is it means



the jean jacket with all the badges, you know, brings back memories of



it still works. Still work. That’s funny.



Dan, if you could walk us through the most recent piece of basic content you’ve developed either for your own businesses or a client’s business.



I’m thinking about actually, there’s a company right now that we’re working with that is talking all about some augmented reality stuff, which is really, really cool. And it’s one of those things that when you see it, you’re like, Okay, I get it, but to explain it is kind of a different animal, like the text part of it. Okay, how do I take what I just saw, that’s cool, and then actually break this down. And one of the things that they said is can we use augmented reality to explain what that is and explain this whole calculator that we’ve got going on? And I was like, okay, so long story short, the calculator crossed test that they had probably had about eight different parts to it. One of the best ways that it worked was to sit down with a customer, take them through all the calculations. And then it worked fine, because you were one to one with that person. Well, how does it work when you have a website, and you can’t do that, when you can’t necessarily walk somebody through the calculations or your process, so I said, Why not use some of that augmented reality stuff where you’re walking across the screen, but you’re doing it piece by piece by piece, and breaking that down, so that you’re like, Okay, now you’re going to go here, now you’re gonna go here, now you’re gonna go here, just like spoon feed it to them. And I am fully confident that that has been and will be a better way to explain what they do and how they can absolutely calculate a return on investment for everything they do. But without that, you would probably have a visitor to your website being like, Oh, my God, what is this algebra, like? It just really, you need that kind of stuff. And so I believe that kind of 101 field by field kind of thing sometimes has to happen. And you have to break that down in their language, not yours. But again, like all of us, they were probably a little too close to it. And just assuming that, well, they’ll go from step one to step eight. Well, text loan is okay for that. But it’s a combination of having the text, and then perhaps having some video or even somebody walking across the screen like that. Take all of those versions, and then make it as clear as possible. The worst thing in the world is not for somebody to be like, Oh, geez, they were so clear. And I can’t believe they had to tell me three different ways. Better to do that, and err on that side, then to be like, well, we wrote the text. Don’t they get it? Yeah. That’s that’s the example of lately that’s come to mind.



That reminds me when you just said that about like, Oh, is it so obvious? I have a funny story. Well, funny. So I can poke in front of myself. So recently, I was in the market for a mop and a bucket. probably your most basic household items. And so I was on Amazon Kate mop and bucket, and up came one with some kind of automatic spinner in the bucket. Yeah. Yes, it had a video on it, too. And I remember looking at it going do we really need a video for a mop and bucket? I mean, come on. Like this is kind of like I’m embarrassed for my discipline of marketing. We take it too far. Right? No, yours truly clicks on the video is 90 seconds. And I was like, well, that’s really convenient. ended up buying it. So yeah,



then mob owner over here to



talk about this. I mean, there are things that you can feel like you’re even not in the market for and I joked about this once I said, you know, have you ever gone on QVC and you’ve ever like or home shopping network, and those guys break it down like crazy about bit by bit one on one. And you’re just like, Oh, I



think now, it’s all about the benefit, right, Dan? Benefit, or Janet was you don’t want that mop to have too much water on it. Do you like that’s horrible for your hardware.



I don’t know if you’ve ever had an experience like this as well. But I used to live in Florida, and I am not a boater I don’t know anything about boats. And I went into a Bass Pro Shops and I swear, I almost walked out with a boat. They were that good at taking the sell. And it wouldn’t matter if it was a website or in person and take and they said what would it be like if you could entertain a client on one of these? And I’m like, yeah, yeah, I know. But no, no Hear me out. They just kind of took it bit by bit. And they were in my skin. They weren’t trying to say, well, this is the Road Runner, XL 5000 Bubba, nothing about it was about like me as an expert, it was all about let me get to know you. Let me get to know your business and why you would have something like this and why you’d want to have something like this. And none of it was Sally. And those guys, they were so good that my business partner and I are we buying a boat today. That’s how good they are. So it can be done even for people who may not be in the market looking for that product.



Absolutely. Well, Paul, just to round us out here. So we’ve talked about some very basic things that need one on one guns and apparently, what if we go on the flip side of something highly, highly technical, like your that your audience perhaps doesn’t even know how to ask the first question about this technical thing. How do you start there with the 101 content?



Maybe they don’t need to know. You’re probably gonna have to initiate that conversation but I guess I can kind of give you an example, I had a while back, we had a customer, I had to set up an SMTP relay for what the hell’s that? Well, so basically, I told you’re sending emails out of a CRM. And you do not want to use your email address for that. You want a domain based email address, and you want to keep everything separate. And basically all this does is it uses a third party to send these emails on your behalf. And that’s how I explained it to them. They said they understood it, they probably didn’t. They probably just saying that, but I know you’re looking for yes, everything technical can be explained easily. And a lot of times, it can be to some point. But if you’re talking about something that is really technical, all you can do is break it down the best you can. But sometimes things that are really technical. They are what they are. Yeah, that’s



fair. And okay. Yes, I was looking for you to say yes. However, what I think is so special about that conversation that you just demonstrated back to us. It was like you took the time, it sounded like you really cared, right? He cared about client end result you cared about protecting their email address, you cared about how their business was seen email from them landed in somebody’s inbox, it just like that extra care in the explanation is probably I’m saying what, what probably made them go Yeah, okay. Paul knows what he’s doing. Thank goodness, he’s looking out for my business. Let’s go with whatever he says that human part of it matters so much as well, in the explanation.



It’s definitely good for me, because you’re probably right, they probably really on a technical level, didn’t understand what I was saying. Yeah. But the fact that I knew what I was talking about, and I’ve done this 1000 times before, that wasn’t good enough for them.



When you know what’s interesting, too, on that Paul, day, your examples brilliant, because I just recently had to do some research on SMTP stuff. What I found interesting, just because what you were saying. But it’s interesting, because if anybody on this podcast, Google’s SMTP, the things that come up are those highly technical businesses serving up that software, do not talk about SMTP. They talk about email deliverability. Like you want your emails to get where they’re going 100% of the time. And then they offer kind of the the technical stuff of why they can do that well, but they do serve up basic content, because most people if their web guy said, hey, you need an SMTP server, they’re like, Okay, you go do it. Or if they have to do it themselves, they’ll google it. And those companies understand that, right? So they bring it down another level,



I think the thing that sometimes, no matter what business you’re in, the thing that may be your strength may not be what you do, as the number one strength. I’m going to do a little inadvertent chest beating here. But I think this is just to illustrate a point is that hold on? Yeah. So this is



the lights.



They’re coming. This is what is my number one strength right here. This is my number two, strengthen this is my number three, empathy, adaptability. And everybody has a different set. Like every top five is different. But the point is, is that my strength is empathy, and adaptability. And it’s not writing. It’s not strategy. It’s not anything to do with marketing. It’s empathy and understanding, like, I get where you’re coming from, how do I then adapt that to the outside world? Now maybe? Sure, writing is the vehicle for that. But I think sometimes all of us have to sort of look at this as what’s our personal part of this that can break down into the one on one content, so that we can say, I get what they’re trying to say, I get what the cut, let me figure out what the customer is trying to get to empathize with their situation with their pains, there’s probably five of them. And how do we adapt to that versus just saying, This is what we know, this is what we do. And hopefully you will like us, because we’ve been around a long time. That is just going to go right over. That’s where the one on one stuff is, I think really an awesome opportunity. Absolutely.



Hey, Paul, I have a question for you. And Ian, you probably can jump in on this too. But how do you guys see this one on one content helping out and like Google’s knowledge panel? Or does it? I think



it does, but you have to write the content. I was actually read an article on this a couple weeks ago. To get the knowledge panel Google likes lists To take posts, they like bullet points, they like numbered points. Especially like, if you look at YouTube, the most searched for videos on YouTube are how do I do something? And that was specific to YouTube. But Google owns YouTube, they influence one another. And I’m sure a lot of searches on Google about how do I do that? Or what is this? What is that? How do I do something? And that’s where that knowledge panel pops up.



So we ought to explain to our viewers and listeners what the manaan knowledge panel is to right. So it’s like the prime territory you can get for certain questions that people are typing in, in regard to a search engine, where Google is going to take the answer that you’ve provided through content you have on your website, and feature it starting to answer the question based on the information you’ve provided, before you even go scroll down and look at the search. Right. So



it’s certainly it’s also referred to as position zero. Yeah, it’s,



it’s fantastic. And sometimes it requires the advanced content to be able to get there depending on how competitive that search phrase or that question, this is really coming along, around where people are asking questions. Jim, you you mentioned, sometimes a lot like, I always come back to tuckpointing. I still don’t know what tuckpointing is, I’ve looked it up a dozen times or more. I think it has to do with repairing cracks and bricks and stuff like that. I’m not 100%? Sure. So I’m going to put in a question in a search engine, I’m not going to look for tuckpointing. Because I don’t even know what it is. I’m going to type in I’ve got cracks in my fireplace, that I think need to be repaired. And that’s what I’m going to probably type in in regard to search. And if you’re the local company that can provide that position zero information to help me solve that problem. Guess what, if it’s something that I feel like I really need to get fixed? Who am I gonna contact?



It’s speaking of the, the knowledge panel, this comes also a little off topic here. But it comes back to your online presence, because one of the things that influences whether you get that is what we refer to as eat experience authority trust, Google has to see your business your website as an authority on that subject before you will get that. And that comes back to content.



Yeah, the cool thing is, is I think you hit on a great thing there, Paul, is that if you go to a site, like let’s say, answer the public, or SEM Rush is great at this too. And maybe there’s some others, there’s probably a good 20 to 30 questions on just about anything, whatever your industry is, and then some. So if you can find a way to combine all those questions with a particular narrow and deep area of expertise that you have, you can own that pretty darn good. That’s like for this particular area, not as you know, I’m going to put out, let’s say, your law firm, and you’re going to do every video that could ever be done about lawyers and the law under the sun. Why not say Okay, on my estate planning attorney, I’m going to look at every single question that could ever be done about estate planning. And I’m going to answer them in a series of two minute videos. Now, you may not be the first person who ever did that. But guaranteed you’re going to be one of the first people in your particular town, or only that does that. Because let’s face it, people don’t want to do the work. So if you do the work, and you get some help to do the work, you can own that. And you can get to where you’re wanting to go and position zero, I think,



what’s estate planning?



It’s kind of like,



that’s a topic for another podcast. Come on. It’s kind of like



I’ve always been fascinated because it’s similar to my last name, right? So it’s like tuck. Oh, I wonder what that was that part of how my name was derived from somebody? This really I have no idea. Because I don’t know what it is. I still don’t know.



There’s a lot of things. I don’t know what it is. Yeah.



Yeah. We can go on all afternoon. But this sounds like a good place to to wrap up. Thanks for joining us today. And we’ll see you guys next week.



We want to thank you all for taking the time to listen to today’s podcast. Please be sure and subscribe to the marketing guides for small business podcast in your podcast software. We’d love for you to rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. And please don’t forget to visit marketing guides for small businesses.com For more episodes, free resources and links to set up free consultation calls with any of the hosts of this podcast. 


Jen Kelly runs New Initiatives Marketing (NIM), the marketing team for businesses who don’t have a marketing team. With implementation and execution as NIM’s focus, we’ve been working world-wide remotely since 2009. NIM has supported marketing strategy execution in companies as large as the Fortune 50 and those as small (but growing) as $2M in annual revenue. 


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