Creating a Content Marketing Plan | Matt Vojacek | Skillshare

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Creating a Content Marketing Plan

teacher avatar Matt Vojacek, Motion Design & Video Marketing

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

21 Lessons (2h 38m)
    • 1. Content Marketing Course Intro

      1:09
    • 2. What is Content Marketing?

      9:57
    • 3. The Basics Of Business

      11:23
    • 4. Understand Sales Funnels

      7:28
    • 5. Understanding Audiences

      8:19
    • 6. Making a Creative Brief

      8:18
    • 7. Developing Stories

      7:47
    • 8. Making An Editorial Calendar

      8:02
    • 9. Using Social Media

      8:36
    • 10. Building A Platform

      2:11
    • 11. Blogs and Vlogs

      9:00
    • 12. Writing and SEO

      6:16
    • 13. Creating Video Content

      10:10
    • 14. Creating Audio Content

      4:08
    • 15. Creating Offline Content

      5:23
    • 16. Creating Paid Ads

      3:41
    • 17. Email Marketing

      9:14
    • 18. Influencer Marketing

      8:55
    • 19. Writing a Press Release

      8:13
    • 20. The Value of Content

      16:38
    • 21. Recap

      2:46
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About This Class

In this course, you'll learn the basics of Content Marketing and dive into many of the little elements that make up a great content marketing plan!

We'll start by learning the connection between business and content creation and move through the many opportunities when it comes to different types of content and how you can use them for a brand.

Meet Your Teacher

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Matt Vojacek

Motion Design & Video Marketing

Teacher

Matt is the Founder and Creative Director of Made By Things, a video and animation studio located in Columbus Ohio. Matt is a graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He traveled the country to learn from the best in several industries including science, technology, film and advertising. He now takes those skills and uses them to help others grow their companies creatively.

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Transcripts

1. Content Marketing Course Intro: Hey there, welcome to my course on how to create a content marketing plans. I wanna help you answer one question. How do you develop effective in engaging content for a brand? Now, there's a bunch of people out there that'll tell you that you need to be everywhere and you need to post ten times per day and that's how it's done. And while that might work, this course is designed for people with limited time and resources. My name is Matt vote Jack. I'm the founder and creative director of a studio in Columbus, Ohio called Made by things. Over the last 13 years, I've been learning a bunch about how to create engaging and effective and valuable content for brands. And now I want to pass off. I've learned with you in this course. You will start by picking a brand. It could be your own, and then we'll learn how to create an in-depth content strategy for that brand. Now, we're gonna do this by essentially connecting business with content creation and how, and learn how to spot those opportunities and different types of content to create, to make the most effective plan that we can for that brand. So get a computer or a stack of paper and something to write with. And let's get started. 2. What is Content Marketing?: So let's start with this. What is content marketing? Well, essentially at its basics, content marketing is the act of giving content with the expectation of receiving attention or even sales for your product. Now, there's a big difference between content and advertising. That difference is in advertising, we are trying to push our product and trying to make sales. We are telling the world about how cheap we can sell our product for a big sales that we have going on. Now, content marketing is content that we give to our audiences, things that they actually enjoy watching, things that they would actually search for themselves to consume at a later date because they enjoyed it so much. So advertising is the thing that stands between a person and their content. And content is content marketing is giving them directly or giving them content directly so that they can consume and with the expectation that it delights them to the point where it forms a good relationship with your audience. To the point where eventually you can ask them to purchase something. And it's not as big of a jump as forcing banner ads and commercials in their face all the time. Essentially it is give and you shall receive. With content marketing, we are training. We're training content for a person's awareness. And that it really is that simple is that we are just trying to get their awareness sometimes. And later on in this course, we'll talk about the sales funnel and how it just starts with awareness. And then we kind of work our way down through the funnel. But we'll get to that in just a moment. If done right, content marketing does not ask for very much. Now, I like to say that there is an 80 20 rule on this, where 80 percent of the time you are giving with no expectation. But then 20% of the time you might say, Hey, come on by our store and check out what we have. There needs to be a balance of giving and asking. And just like real people and real relationships, we like to talk to people that don't ask for too much. We don't. The people that we know in our lives is that just ask for things constantly. They're exhausting and we don't like them very much, probably anyway. So the idea is that we want to form this relationship with people with content marketing. We want to give, give, give, give, give, and then occasionally ask. But they're, there has to be balanced there. 78% of consumers believe that any company that is trying to provide content is actually interested in building a good relationship with them. And again, I've already said it a bunch of times, but that's what content marketing is about, is building good relationships with people. And it's incredibly noisy out there in the world. It's estimated that we are advertised to over 5000 times per day. So we have to find a way to cut through the noise and delight people. You're gonna hear me say that word, the light a lot in this course. Because that nothing right There is something that's so uncommon when it comes to the relationship that brands and consumers have with each other. So that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna learn how to, in this course, we're going to learn how to delight people and deliver content that is interested in building good relationships with people. The other thing is that people are skipping ads and they are have ad blockers up. So a lot of the times that you're spending money on things like paid advertising and certain banner ads. And it's not even getting through to people. People do not want banner ads, they do not want commercials. So why would you produce that type of content? Now, I will say that paid advertising isn't always a bad thing. It can be done really well, but it has to be done with your audience in mind. And it has to be done in a way that helps build the relationship. Not again, just asking them for things constantly. And what we wanna do with content marketing is we want to engage people by creating a feeling of some sort. And that feeling can be anything. It doesn't necessarily have to be super emotional story that we're telling people. It could be that we're making them laugh. It could be that we're making them fearful. That may not be the best tactic, but it's a possibility. Basically, most ads that we see, they don't make us feel anything. And by not making us feel anything, we don't really take any sort of action. We don't feel inclined to do anything. We kinda just forget about it immediately after. It's that idea that people don't remember what you said. They remember how you made them feel, and that's what we're gonna do with content marketing. So some examples of what content marketing could be, could range anywhere from a blog, of log, a book, a podcast, a magazine, an infographic. There are big and little ways. To create content marketing. But again, our goal with content marketing is to delight people. So especially things like YouTube content, social media content in general, as long as you are focused on your audience and not just pushing product, then you are likely creating content already. Content marketing takes time, it takes patients. It's estimated that it takes between 12 and 24 months of consistent content marketing to really see big results in your company right? Now. That's why a lot of people don't like to do content marketing is because it takes time and it's much harder to get some of the timelines and budgets needed to do something like content marketing. However, with content marketing efforts, you are building an audience as opposed to paid advertising where you are just paying for their attention just for a moment. And, you know, people that do paid advertising are looking for more immediate results than people that choose to do content marketing. And again, paid advertising has its place. But content marketing is what you can use to help you build an audience in the long-term, a lot of what we talk about is very much a marathon and not a sprint. And the value of content marketing, again, if the, if that consistent effort is there, you will all of a sudden do better with search engine optimization without actually trying to just focus on that, you will do better in search results. You'll do better in gaining more engagement with your, with your audience on social media, there are tons of, of benefits to doing content marketing. And again, the reason that we do it is to build that audience over the long-term. Perhaps my favorite example of content marketing is actually a movie, a movie that people paid to go see. And that's Lego Movie. All right, so when Lego decided to have the Lego movie made and using some of these big names as some of the voices in there. What they're trying to do is provide content for people, right? The provided content for children with crazy imaginations and told an amazing story that kids could relate to. And again, inspired them to use their legos to tell their own stories. Well, this one thing are here, not including what the movie actually sold. So they made a bunch of money on the movie itself. But lego sales shortly after the Lego movie was released, rose about 15 percent. And what they were the previous year. And for, uh, you know, billions of dollars that a company like Lego makes 15% is a very large amount. So that's one of my favorite examples of content marketing. And there is also another example that I like to talk about that BMW did some, somewhere in the early 2000s. They decided to make a series of films. And in these films was action star Clive Owen starring in each of them. And they got eight different Hollywood directors to make eight parts of this sort of movie, right? I believe it's called the higher or the cheese or I can't remember off the top my head. But the point is that they provide all this content. And at this time, I think it was like 2000 to 2004, somewhere on there. At this time, nobody else was doing this kind of content. And what they would do is in the movies there have a lot of car chase scenes and stuff like that, of course, featuring BMW cars, but not at any point did they ask people to buy something. And just by doing this alone, they saw their sales right rise about 12 percent. So this is perfect examples of how content marketing can help companies. So what I want you to do next is go around search online, wherever you want, and try to find some examples of content marketing that you like specifically. Now everyone's different, so everyone's going to like something a little bit different. But that's why it's really important that before we start creating any sort of content or a content marketing strategy, we tried to figure out what we like or what works with us. Now, there are certain things. Again, we see certain types of content and maybe it doesn't work for us, but it works for other people. You always want to try to push strategies that work for you because you should be more confident that they would work. So that's what I want you to do first is go around trying to find some, some, some content that you like and get a list going and stuff that you may be able to reference later on. 3. The Basics Of Business: So next we're going to talk about some business basics. Now, it's important to understand some of the basics about business because when we are making our content marketing strategies, we are trying to impact a person's business, right? We're not just trying to make things that look pretty. We're going much deeper and understanding some of the things about someone's business and then be able to create, to effect change to certain aspects of someone's business. So the first thing we need to understand is the seven Ps of marketing, right? There are seven things that make up marketing and they are product, right? Every company business needs some kind of product that they're selling to. They need some kind of price point that they are selling it at a price point that ideally is more valuable than the money that people have. Essentially. Then we have place. Place is a very, very important element in a story because where something happens can sometimes help tell the story just as well as additional character. Could. We have promotion? There are, you know, every product needs to be promoted in some way to get in front of people. And then we have people write every product, every business needs an audience of some kind, a target person that they are trying to aim at to sell their product, to positioning, they need to position themselves in the market in a way that's not super close to any of their competitors, right? If a brand is selling, let's say silverware. And you know, you have your budget brands that are low quality but low price. And then you have your silverware that is super high-quality and super high price, what you wanna do is position yourself in the market. That's not exactly right in the same area as another competitor would be. So that would be positioning. And then the last thing is packaging. Now, this is kind of a weird one because if you are selling a digital product can be a little bit fuzzy. But when you are selling something, it needs to be packaged in some way that reflects everything that we just talked about. Basically, that reflects the price, that reflects the product itself, that reflects the person that would be buying it. So that is the seven Ps of marketing. There's essentially two types of business, B to C and B to B. B to C is business-to-consumer. This means that the business sells a product directly to the consumer, the end consumer, right? And then you have B2B, which is business to business. Now, this could be selling a product to another business and that business may sell to another business and that business makes L2 directly to the consumer. But there's always a consumer somewhere down the line. But sometimes it's one step and sometimes it's many. Now, whatever your product is, whatever business you're in, your, you're either in one of these two things, right? It gets really complicated whenever a business tries to be both of these things. So it's really important to, for a business to try to specify one or the other and that you can do both, but you need to essentially have two different marketing efforts because when you're talking to somebody that it's their money, you're talking to them differently than when you're talking to somebody and it's the company's money, right? So there's two different ways of thinking about a business and understanding how they operate. Kpi. So key performance indicators, this is a really, really important thing to know about any business that you create, any sort of content marketing strategy for. So every company, every not so super small company anyway, has a KPI and they have a key performance indicator that a metric that they look at that directly correlates with the success for the company. So for some companies, this might be leads generated. That could be a KPI, it could be attendance for a webinar. That could be a KPI. And basically what you can do is with these KPIs, you can make a direct correlation of, okay, Whenever we get a 100 people attending a webinar, we know that one of them always buys, or at least one of them always buys. So a key performance indicator could be that idea of attendance of we want to push that above a 100, right? If that's what the goal is, that's what we do. So every, every company's KPI is different. Some of them have many, some of them just have one. So either way, it's really important question to make sure that you understand what it is in their company that they are looking to change. A big one here is ROI or return on investment. Now, it's really important that everyone understands if you are making a content marketing strategy for another person. Then even if you're making it for yourself, there needs to be some kind of return on investment. There needs to be a greater return than what they paid for your service. It's really about simple. As creators. As strategists, we are investments for companies and there is an expected ROI for the work that we provide, right? And different products, different projects, different ideas, they all have different ROI potentially. But it's really important to also be able to prove that later on down the road. So if you can prove, if you end up creating some content for somebody and you can prove later on down the road how what their return on investment was. And then if it's much greater than what they paid for you, you will have a client for life. Is that simple? But it's also very difficult. Next up is budget. Every company has an available budget for investing into different aspects of their company. So the idea of marketing, you know, some companies spend up to 10% of their revenue just on marketing. Some of them spend more, some of them don't spend anything at all. But every company that does approach you or that you work with has a specific budget that they are willing to invest to either make the problem go away or increased success in a different area. Then we have goals. Now, if the company that you are working for or with making this content marketing strategy doesn't have any specific goal than then it's not worth doing. Honestly. That's one of the most important things here. A goal isn't, well, we just want to see what happens. Part of the great part about doing a content marketing strategy is that we are able to understand some things like their budget and like their goal, and then determine what type of content we can create to help them reach that goal. If the goal isn't clear enough, then we don't know what we're trying to do. So having a goal is super crucial and every project then we have conversion rate. So this is the amount of people that to convert to the next step of maybe pieces of content that they were on or maybe it is a webinar of the people that attended. Let's say we go back to the number of a 105 of them ended up buying. Well then that is a 5% conversion rate. We always want to know these conversion rates because if we know what we have to increase, that percentage usually stays the same. So if we say, Okay, we're going to help create content that takes your a 100 webinar attendees that you normally get. And we're going to try to get a 150. Well, then we just help them add 2.5 sales to their goal, right? So it's really important to understand these conversion rates and knowing how to essentially scale them up to be able to use creativity and content marketing to help those numbers increase. Someone else you'll hear often is this word margin. So this is essentially the amount paid for something compared to the amount made for something. So if you had will go back to silverware, let's say the silverware costs $10 to make for from, from the manufacturer. And then they sell that for $15. Well, that's a $5 margin. Now, afford this course. What I want you to do is think of a brand. It could be your own, it could be a local company, it could be a big company. But what I want you to do is think of one brand that you're gonna work on for everything throughout this entire course. I realized that that can be a daunting task because you may decide later on that you want to do something else. But what I want you to do is pick something that you can take your time making this decision, but choose a business that you would like to work with, maybe. Yeah, this doesn't you don't necessarily need their permission to do this. This is something that we're just doing as a school project will say. And what I want you to do is dive deep into that brand. Try to figure out different things about them. Try to see what they do with their marketing right now. See what you think works. See what doesn't work. What I want you to do is, is also understand where, where are their efforts currently? Do they spend a lot of time on Instagram, pinterest, Facebook. Where are they not spending very much time? Maybe it's YouTube. Or maybe if Snapchat or TikTok, it could be anything. But what I want you to do is examine those kinds of things and do some research into the company and, and understand as much about there. Their their current and past marketing and and be the judge for yourself of what you believe worked and what didn't work. And then what you could also do is do a swat analysis. So at that point you can identify some of the strengths that they have, then identify some of the weaknesses that you believe that their marketing has. You can also do the opportunities. So where do you think that there's a big opportunity in their business? As, as far as their marketing and content creation goes, maybe you see something in their social media metrics. So that's a little concerning. Maybe it's o, you have a lot of followers on YouTube, but you're not posting anything. That would be an opportunity. And then you have threats. So maybe they have a lot of really bad content that makes them look unprofessional. That could be a threat, right? A lot of the things in weaknesses and threats can also be turned into an opportunity. So keep that in mind too as you're going through this first part of what I like to call the planning phase of our content marketing strategy. 4. Understand Sales Funnels: Next up we're going to talk about sales funnels. This is one of my favorite things to talk about and it sounds incredibly boring and makes me sound like a really boring personally. But sales funnels are really exciting because they kind of give you a formula in how to progress with business, right? So going through the sales funnel, it's essentially think of it like a funnel. At the top. We have strangers. They're not in your funnel at all, but they are essentially everyone that's unaware of your product or business. And then they go down into the funnel. And as they go farther down into the funnel, a lot of people drop off. So it kinda forms this. But then once they get to a certain point, That's where people end up buying your product or service. And then at the end there, we kinda add one more thing to help retain current customers. So now let's go through this one step at a time. So starting with awareness, this would be things like, how do we introduce ourself to other people? How do we make it so that people know who we are, right? And why we're going through this. I want you to think about different content ideas for each of these things and I'll give a couple of my own. But starting again with awareness, sometimes that is a paid ad. Again, what we're not doing with these paid ads is trying to ask them for money because they don't even know who we are. So that's a really bad way to build a relationship. So again, we're at that top level of awareness. We might do some paid ads or we might do some sort of collaboration or maybe even use some help with influencers. From there we go down one step to interaction. What we wanna do at this step is create content that gets people to take some kind of action. They need to show their interests. And whenever they do that, they need to decide for themselves that they want to learn more or engage with the company or the brand, right? So it's stuff like this could be following on social media. It could be subscribing to an e-mail list. It could be asking to learn more information, can be a learn more button even. But whatever it is, it needs to be the audience member that decides that they want to take action, right? So we got awareness, then we go down to interaction, and then we have trust. Trust is the most important one right here that is less like a step in the funnel and more like a tipping point because nobody will ever buy from you if they do not trust, trust you, right? But there are certain types of content that you can use to help people be able to trust you. A lot of that might be behind the scenes kinda stuff. This might be a good company culture video on an About page. There's a lot of different examples of trust. I mean, every single piece of content that you make should help people be able to trust you more. So there needs to be a level of professionalism absolutely instilled in this stuff. But then after trust, only then after they trust again, can they go down to buy. So this would be people that trust, people that have taken action to learn more and people that are very aware of your brand, only then can you ask them by whatever it is that you're selling. And to do this, that content could be in the form of a video. It could be a live stream, it could be a one-on-one call. There's a lot of different ways to have content that, again, provide some kind of value and ask them to buy whatever it is. And it could add its simplest form, it could be a coupon. But what I tried to say when I try to do is push people away from using discounts because that might form a habit that you don't really want your brand associated with. So, so then we're down to buy and then after by now That's where most people sales funnels end. But there's this one key thing right at the bottom here, rewarding loyalty. Now, basically what that means is providing some kind of content that helps them feel like, again, their loyalty is rewarded, right? So something that shows that you care and appreciate them as a customer, this could be something like exclusive content or this could also be a discount kinda thing. One example that I really like of this is after people buy, you ask them to go on Instagram, take a photo of the ice cream with them, with their family maybe. And if they do that, you give a prize to a family. So by doing that, you're kind of doing this really cool thing where you you, you ask them, you know, they have purchased so they are already a customer. And then you ask them to help you with your marketing essentially. And then whenever they start submitting photos, are posting stuff. And all of a sudden their family now or their family and friends may see that and also start gaining that trust and that awareness. And maybe they even choose to take action. So there are ways to kind of not always, necessarily have to create your own content in your funnel, but actually have other people help you in a, in a weird way. But it's really important though, that we do something for that returning audience for those current customers that we have because it's always cheaper to keep customers rather than trying to find new ones. And it's because we don't have to go through those first three levels of the funnel anymore with current customers, right? We just have to keep building that trust and keep making those offers to sell occasionally. But again, you still need the balance. And by doing that, you are able to retain a customer. So that's essentially how the sales funnel works and we are going to use that in this course. And what I want you to do next as the next part of our plan assignment is try to think of for the company that you decided on. Now, don't change it. Think about how or what pieces of content would work for each of those levels. Just what I want you to refer right now, think of one piece of content that you could create for your company that helps fulfill each level of that funnel. Right now we're just trying to get ideas were kinda brainstorming a little bit. So it's okay if you don't know just yet because we'll get much further into that when we go to the Create portion of this course. But yeah, so think about that and get it down on paper. And yeah, one thing that's always good is to organize all this information that we are gathering. Especially after you have found a good chunk of information about your company. And you want to sort of put this together in a presentation like thing to be able to, you know, if this was a real client that you're working with, you want to be able to show them how much you understand their brand and how you came to some of the conclusions that you came to. So go ahead and do that and I'll see you next lesson. 5. Understanding Audiences: So one of the first steps in creating a plan needs to be to really understand the audience of your product or business. Now it's really important to know who you're talking to before you tried to say anything. So what we're gonna do in this lesson is go through how to either find or create a target audience that you will create for this entire course. So for the basics, we want to know a name and we want an image for this person that we are looking to create for this business. So the next thing that we want to know about them is demographics. So things like their age, their income level, their education level, things about them that may be outside of their control. Then we have geographics. So where do they live, what country, what state, what city, what region do they live in? Now, even try and narrow this down as much as you can. Now, it's really important. Let me take a step back here for a sec. It's really important to understand that the audience member that you decide on here when we're making these personas. This isn't, you know, we're not trying to shun everyone except for this person. We're just trying to get a face and an idea for the person that we are talking to. Because the more that we know about them, the better the communication that we're going to be able to make with our content is going to be. So next up is psychographics. So in psychographics, what we want to understand about our target person as some of the things like their activities or interests, the things that are more about their personality. Try to understand as much as we can about some of the stuff. What things do they like? What things do they not like? As much as you can, again, about that personality. And then we have behaviors. We want to understand some of the behaviors and patterns that they make when it especially when it comes to your industry or product. If you have a shampoo product, then we want to understand what their behaviors are and patterns when it comes to shampoo. What are their general feelings about different shampoos that maybe they use as much as you can again, because we're trying to formulate, trying to basically think of them as a person. And we need a lot more than just, okay, we're just trying to focus on people ages 25 to 60. Now. That's something that I hear a lot. Is that, okay? Well, our product has a really wide range of audience and I think that's fine. But when you're creating content, you should be narrow. You should be thinking of individual people. Rather than just this large audience. It's, it's one of the references or I guess analogies that I like to make here, would be if you walked onto a stage and in the crowd there's 1000 people, all randomly selected. And you tried to give a speech that's going to connect with all of them, you won't be able to do it because everyone is so different that you just wouldn't be able to. However, if you narrow that audience a little bit and you decide, okay, there's 1000 people in this audience, but I really just want to connect with 20th them. Well, again, narrow down what you're talking about and it's much better to connect at a high level with a few people than it is to connect at a low level with a lot of people. So keep that in mind whenever you are selecting your, your, your, your person here for your persona. Something else we want understand as some of their challenges personally and some of their goals. Now this may not exactly have to do with your product. 6. Making a Creative Brief: And now the final part of our plan is going to be that creative brief. So this is when we start to gather everything that we already have researched and we start putting together in a document that's meant for someone to create based upon this information, right? So in this plan phase where essentially playing the role of strategist, we are learning as much as we can. We are doing the research, we are finding out everything that we can. And then in this creative brief, we're going to start taking little parts of everything and be able to put it into this one document that tells a designer, filmmaker, creator of some sort what they need to make and maybe even how they should make it. But it should be very descriptive with in this one document alone should give this person everything that they need to know. What we don't want to do is tell them everything that we've done because we did that research. So we can try to pull the parts out that are going to be important, right? So this final part of the plan is to create some kind of creative brief. So let me talk. I'm going to just about creativity. Now. Creativity isn't like a lot of people think where it's okay, we remove the barriers and we are able to just think about whatever. No, that's not how creativity works. Real creativity works when you narrow the guidelines on what you have to work with basically. So that's what our goal is for this creative brief is to narrow the guidelines, narrow the walls, narrow the queue however you want to say, we're narrowing in to a focus area where somebody else can bounce around these creative barriers and try to figure it out. That's what the creator should do. But what your goal is to get this creative brief is to find the walls of this box that they can't, they have to create within? So perhaps one of the most important things that your creative brief should have is a goal. What is the goal for whatever this person is going to make? Now, I understand that in a lot of cases you might be the person that ends up making the stuff. But what I want you to do is think about this in a way that works in sort of a design agency. So again, we're still just strategists right now. So in this creative brief, real big on there. It should be what is the goal of what we're trying to do? Now, sometimes this could be a sentence, sometimes this might be a paragraph, but we want to understand what area of someone's business are we trying to impact? Then we want to share a little bit about the brand. What are some things that somebody would need to know about the brand in order to create sort of on their behalf. We want to know things like, okay, you should use these general colors. Maybe here's a couple images that are, you know, similar things that the brand has created. We want understand some of the, the, the tone of the brand. We want to understand really as much as we can without it becoming a giant book, right? In lot of cases you're given us creative brief as well as a brand guidelines. So this shouldn't have all that information, but it should definitely include a good chunk of it. It should include information about the audience or about the target person. So we want to talk a little bit about some of their behaviors and talk about some other patterns. Talk about some of the stuff that's irrelevant to this specific project right? Now, I guess I also probably want to take another step back here where the creative brief should only be trying to solve one problem. Creative brief isn't for just content in general, a content, the creative brief should be about one piece of content. So also at some point in here, it should list specifically what we need to make. So this isn't necessarily our goal, but this is our, what should this be, right? It shouldn't be a video, should have be an image, a podcast like What is this that we are making? So that information absolutely needs to be in there somewhere too. Then this creative brief, we should also talk about where this piece of content will be seen. Because sometimes that plays a role in these things. If, you know, if this is a mobile app kinda thing, is that a billboard? Is it a party in-person sort of event? Where will this content be shown at? And sometimes this has multiple locations. But when you can narrow down these locations, like if you know that its contents gonna be showing in Time Square, well, then you know that it's going to be shown to people in Time Square and you know how large it's going to be seen, You know, I'll, you know, you get a lot from that information when you know where something will be seen. And then the last thing you should include as some kind of references. Now, this is something that some people think of this more like a mood board, I guess. Some people go really crazy with their mood boards and have just tons and tons of images. And some people can just show a couple. Now, one of the things I want to challenge you with here is not necessarily just showing people exactly what it is that they are that you, that you need to make. So if you're saying Okay, we need to make a billboard, not just showing a picture of Billboard. That's doesn't really help with creativity because again, we're trying to create a document that helps somebody else be creative, right? So. One of the things that I say is think of different industries that might help people be inspired to make something. So if, if the goal of your project IRR, if what we're making is a YouTube video, we're not necessarily going to show references of other YouTube videos. You might, but I think you might actually get more out of it is maybe you even show like a documentary and say, Okay, we want this documentary type style, something that feels a lot more authentic than some of this other stuff. You may show photography of saying, okay, and then we want to do some of this photography that has this really shallow depth of field. Obviously for every brand and every product that's going to be different. But what I want you to do is when you show references, try to think a little outside of the obvious for this part, the final part of your plan, what I want you to do is I want you to make a Creative Brief. Now, with this included with the previous four lessons, you should have five pages. Basically, what I want you to do is try to put those things together and make something that looks nice. Put something together as like a final plan report. And this would essentially be something that you could hand to a client and say, okay, here is what I'm thinking. And it would overwhelm somebody that works at this company so much with so much awe and gratitude because they didn't have to go through and tell you all of these different things. Some of the stuff might be assumptions, but a lot of what this plan is about is having a great conversation with people. And having a deep conversation with people. If you walk in with a client, you say, Okay, so what do you want to make? That doesn't really do anything. They might have some good ideas. But a good starting point is for you to do the research, to essentially treat yourself as if you worked at that company. Like what are some things that you would take the time to learn? And only from there once you understand a company, you can you then, you know, it's thinking of this like a doctor, right? We want to diagnose before we prescribe. So by diagnosing, we're doing these observations, we are understanding their audience. We dive deep into all of these things. So then we can prescribe whenever it comes to our sales funnels and whenever it comes to our creative briefs, at that point, we then able to prescribe a solution. And if we have these conversations with people and we say, Okay, we are trying to solve this problem. And we think that by doing this and attacking some of the weaknesses, we are finding some good opportunities to do these types of things. We'd like to do something that looks a little bit like this. And by understanding where the person is, who the person is, we then can make something that is very, that connects with them at a much higher level than just something random would be. 7. Developing Stories: For years and years and decades and centuries for as long as humans have been around. One of the most important tools for learning has been story. So that's what we wanna do is we want to bring in story into our content. Because we want to help people feel something, right. We want them to have some kind of emotion. We want, we want to focus on that emotion because that's what creates memories a little bit more so than just something that looks cool, right? People hate commercials, as I talked about in the very first lesson, our goal is not to just create something that is showed in front of people and they're forced to consume it, right? We want people to, want to be a part of the content that we are creating. We want to create something so useful and valuable to them that creates a certain kind of emotion. But they end up searching for it themselves on YouTube. That's kind of the ultimate, you know, you look at brands like Nike, who they tell amazing stories with their advertisements. And it's really important to know that because, well, in, in, in some cases they are asking you to buy a product, but in most of them, they are simply building trust. They might just tell a story about a certain athlete and they probably don't even have a shoe to even sell potentially. So suddenly something to think about whenever it comes to story and brands. So just like marketing that had seven, the seven Ps of marketing, while story has the four P's, right? So we have the purpose. Every story should have a clear purpose. What do we want people to do or feel whenever they are participating in the story? There should be a plot, there should be something that actually happens. And then there's people, there needs to be a person involved, there needs to be a hero of some kind. And then the last one is place. Every story should happen in a specific place. A lot of times the place can almost act as a character in the story. So it's really important to identify those four things when you're telling any sort of story. So we have three things whenever it comes to telling stories about products. Sometimes we talk about their features. Features being things like it operates at a super high-speed or it shines brighter than anything else, right? Those things are features. But then there's benefits. Benefits are better to explain and stories than features are because Benefits talk about, okay, what are those things in the product that actually does something? So it's bright. It's bright. It was the feature as far as the benefit is. You can see far, right. That's the benefit of having wanted to say was I'm a flashlight here, a bright flashlight. And then the third and most important thing is the value. What is the value of the things that your product does? At its basics, we have a flashlight that is bright. Then we have the flashlight is bright so we can see far. And then the value is, it's a bright flashlight that makes you see far so you don't get lost or so you can see where you're going. That is the value of a flashlight, right? So you always want to think about those three things and how that can kind of go into the story that you're telling. And then whenever we are creating content, we should always have some kind of call to action. Now, I know I said earlier that we shouldn't always ask for something. But there's kind of two different kinds of asks. There's asks. There's a small ask which would be things like follow us on Instagram or maybe subscribed to us and get more information. This is basically things that don't involve money as much. And then we go over to the big ask. That would be things like go ahead and purchase now. But no matter what our content is, we should be asking for something. And it could be that we're just asking them to participate in a good cause that we believe in. Again, whether it's big or small, there should be at least a little bit of something involved. So then we have Joseph Campbell, who he basically figured out the hero's journey. Basically, this sort of story format that every hero story seems to have. So anything like Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Harry Potter, every big Hollywood movie has essentially use the hero's journey. Now without getting too into all the different steps and stops along the hero's journey. I'll kind of give a basic overview of how that works. And what I want you to do is think about how the hero of your story, which should be your audience. How they navigate the hero's journey when it comes to your product or industry. So at the start, we've see our hero basically in a normal world, right? A normal world to them. This could be any realm or anything like that, but it should always start out with them in their normal plays, day-to-day normal life, right? And then what happens is they get some sort of call to adventure. Write something happens that takes, that starts to kind of bring them out of the normal world a little bit. Something every day is the same, but then all sudden this thing happens and starts to kind of direct them down a different path. Right? After that happens, then they, they meet their mentor of some kind. This could be Dumbledore, this could be hand-off. There's always somebody that kinda helps take them from the normal world and bring them into the extraordinary world. And then once they get into this extraordinary world, they face a lot of trials and tribulations. And over time they grow, they get smarter, they get stronger most of the time because they need to face some kind of evil or darkness. Basically, there needs to be some kind of ordeal that they are looking to face. So they have to learn and grow and get stronger so they are able to do that. So then after they face the ordeal, they essentially get some kind of reward, right? For all of their troubles, for their victory that you are given something. In the case of Neo, he's given these crazy superpowers in adults from matrix. In the case of Harry Potter, he gets a wand and from there they start making their weights back to the normal world, which often isn't the exact same world that they came from. But it's a new normal world that they then make their way back to. Another way to tell the story would be to tell the story of your hero going through your sales funnel. Now, again, we want to understand where, where things normal, where were they unaware of a solution for their problem? How did they make their way through the funnel? Now, I'm not saying that you necessarily need to do both. It could be a one or the other kind of thing, but what you should be doing and what I want you to do after this lesson is formulate a brand story with your hero. They should be the hero of the story and tell the story of how they make their way through. And by doing that, you can then identify some areas that that again, you may be able to tell a really good story when it comes to these certain areas. 8. Making An Editorial Calendar: So the next thing we're going to talk about is editorial calendars. Basically what this is is a calendar almost like a playbook of what content will be posted and when will it be posted? What is the purpose of that content? Similar to a creative brief, this is much more condensed into just a brief form of what the creator of the content should be, should be doing, right? This will include things like a published date. It will also include a goal. Or what I like to say here is for goal, it's really where at in the sales funnel does this content fall and this is really good. So you can get a bird's eye view of the content plan that you have and understanding where at on the sales funnel you are falling most of the time. Now when you create an editorial calendar, you should, you should be creating content That's all around the sales funnel, right? You don't want to just focused on entire month to gaining awareness or getting interaction or gaining trust. Well, you should always be gaining trust, but what you need to do is you need to no specific pattern. You need to have all the elements in the sales funnel for people at whatever stage they're at. And this can be used, this editorial calendar can be used for social media, could be used for a blog, it could be used for a number of different things, even in-person events, kind of related things anyway. So the important part of an editorial calendar again, is to, to have this big picture and to have a clear idea of what you are going to make or what somebody else is going to make to help reach this goal that you have. Again, each, each element should have a goal. It should be very clear whenever someone looks at this editorial calendar, what should be posted on each specific day? These editorial calendars are often made in spreadsheet. Kind of thing. Could be using Google Sheets. That's my favorite to use Google Sheets because it's a live document that other people can also collaborate on at the same moment. So so again, you'll have the published date, you'll have the goal or whenever I say go, I mean, where out in the sales fall as this content, you will have a call to action, right? This, this content needs some sort of call to action. You want to drive people one step down the sales funnel. You don't want to introduce yourself and try to sell something in the same sentence, right? So what we're gonna do is with these editorial calendars, with each line in here, we'll say, okay, what will be the call to action here? If we are gaining awareness, then we want to, we want to deliver this content that gains awareness. And then at the end we want to basically ask for them to go one step farther. So what you may do is if it's an awareness piece of content, you may, you know, this, this could be something like using paid ads. So you may deliver the piece of content again, something that delights them, not something that tries to push them into sales. And then after the end of that content, you may say something like follow us on social media. It's a very small ask, right? We don't want to try to push a sale at this point. So from there, we need that call to action. And I call to action being follow us on social media or follow us on Instagram, or sign up for our free something or another. There's tons of different ways to do that, but from there, but you also should have is the copy, the copy of the content. So if this is going to be posted on Instagram will say all the content should be posted on there. It should be as simple as Going to this editorial calendar and copying and pasting the content whenever they remember that day rolls around or even whenever they go to schedule this content to be released. Now if it's a blog, obviously, don't try to write an entire blog in a spreadsheet because that's just going to be crazy. But even posting a link to where that content can be found for somebody to be able to format it and do kind of everything they need to do to be able to publish it. So we need to copy in there. We need to we need to include links to or even include the images or the video that is going to be posted. Now, not all content, it has images or video, but in this case we, if it does, we should absolutely be doing those kinds of things. There should also be a column for where this will be posted. So specifically it should say Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, the blog, you know, tell this person who's making it where exactly this is supposed to be posted at. And if it's an in-person kind of thing, say in person or Billboard or the sidewalk. I guess one of the big things that I want you to take away from this class is going to be that idea that not all content delivered on a screen. Sometimes the best content is delivered outside of those parameters, right? It could be a set of stairs that people turn into some sort of campaign that raises awareness for a company's product right? Now, there's a number of different ways to go about creating content. But again, what I want you to do is expand your thinking to know that it's not content marketing is not just writing a blog or posting to Instagram, right? It's more than that, or can be more than that anyway. So definitely keep that in mind. And then the last thing that we should do with editorial calendars is we should have a column just for hashtags. Now, I'm not gonna go too far into how hashtags work. We should all pretty much get it at this point. But basically it is a way for people to find relevant content to what they are searching for, right? So pretty much all of that is what makes up an editorial calendar. Now, when you, again, Let's zoom back out here. Basically what we wanna do in this editorial calendar is we want to have more of a singular goal. Right now. You can have a couple of different goals for different things like, okay, well, we wanna do more in-person events over here. So we're going to have one thing for this. We may have another product that we're doing somethings that we have another calendar for this, you may have separate calendars and maybe it's not every single day of the week. But, you know, when you look at that bird's eye view, there should be one clear mission behind this editorial calendar. It shouldn't be just random things, right? Everything should kind of work together to help tell some kind of story. Right? Now, that story can be a little bit abstract, but it should be a story nonetheless. So now before creating your editorial calendar, one of the things that you should do is you should challenge yourself with trying to come up with as many different kinds of content that you can possibly think of. Try to come up with a list of a 100. I think that's a good amount right there. It could be filling up a couple of pages in a sketch book or in a notebook with just ideas, right? That's another important thing here is let's get the bad ideas out. And let's start trying to find some of these really good ideas that take a little bit more thinking than just, let's post Instagram, right? What else could we do? How could we tell a story that relates to this product, that relates to our audience and helps us with our company's goal at the same time, right? Those are very important things to keep in mind for your editorial calendar. 9. Using Social Media: Now we're gonna talk about social media content specifically. Now, our goal for social media is always going to be to stand out in a crowd of billions of other posts, right? And as a brand, what we should be doing is, is aiming for a sort of 80, 20 rule where around 80 percent of the time we are giving, right? We're making content for somebody else. And then maybe 20, I say 80, 20 button, sometimes it can be 910. I definitely wouldn't go over 20% of the time actually asking someone to buy, right? Because whenever you start asking someone to buy too much on a single platform, it, you know, it kind of takes away the trust that you may have had. So that's why we give, give, give, give, give, and then ask. I don't know how many times I just said give, so I can't really confirm that that was 80% of the time, but you get the idea. So again, our goal here with social media is to be noticed. Now, it is incredibly difficult to do that because as I said, there's just so many other people posting. So one of the ways that we get through to people is instead of just trying to make things that look pretty, what we do is we try to make them feel something, right? That's the most important thing that story does. Story makes people feel things. A cool design just might be, oh cool, it's a nice design. They will, they'll click like and then there'll be on their way. When you make people feel something, it triggers, triggers memory to happen, right? People remember how you made them feel. So that's why I talk so much about story when it comes to content marketing. Not only do we want to create content that's still tells a story, we want to delight people, right? We want to surprise them. We want to deliver something in a format that maybe they've never seen before. That's, that's what gets people to stop and actually pay attention. When we see another image with just some basic text on it that doesn't really do anything for people. You know, whenever we see a photo of a person drinking coffee, no, that doesn't really do it either. If it looks like stock photography, that's not going to work as well for people as to, you know, tell a little bit more of a story with that design content. So instead of just seeing somebody drinking another cup of coffee at a coffee shop, maybe we're seeing that person in their workplace and we're telling a story about how they enjoyed coffee that morning and it helps them be better now, right? That maybe that's a bad example, but it's an example to again get you thinking outside of where you might have already been thinking whenever it comes to creating content. Let's say in this example it was for a coffee shop. So we need to surprise and delight people. And again, follow through with telling a story. And when we can do that, then we can connect with somebody on, on an emotional level and not whenever I say emotional, I don't mean that it needs to be this tear jerking or every single time, you know, there's a range of emotions, right? And they all help people remember. But obviously, you know, what I tried to do is stick to the good emotions. So I tried to stay away from things like fear and sadness occasionally. But you know, in, in favor for content that may be inspiring or laughter. You get the idea. So like we want to try to hit the right emotions and we wanna try to hit the right emotions that match the brand. All right, so that's again, we want to create content that makes people stop what they're doing to pay attention. Another way that you can connect with people is by being vulnerable. Now, brands have a really hard time of this because they want to speak like a brand and they don't really focus so much on speaking like a person because there's so many people that make up this company, it makes it difficult for them to decide on a single voice. So voice is an incredibly important part of communication, right? If you speak like a robot and you start using these big words that people don't actually use, you're not going to connect with anybody. So that idea of vulnerability is one that I've, me personally, I've leaned into quite a bit. It's this idea of telling people about your life and how something reflex or how something that you made reflects how you personally believe something. And by being vulnerable, you then open yourself up to trust and just better connection with people overall. And brands can do that. So I did this on an individual level, but brands can also do this by again talking about some of the stuff that they believe, talking about some of the failures that they may have had, and talking about some of the triumphs as well. And maybe you want to talk about the owners and how they came to doing this. Or just maybe difficult times in general. Now, I'm recording this at the time of COVID and one of the things that really stands out to me is hearing about so many businesses closing down. And they're now while that is terrible, they're just now at the very end of their business realizing that. They should have been speaking in a different voice this whole time to be able to connect with people. And I think it's incredibly interesting that that is the case. And so one of the things that I do for brands is try to help them formulate that, that tone of voice that they want to tell and to be able to speak it. So that's what I tell other people to try to do as well, is speak in a more vulnerable way now, no, we don't want to hear about all your baggage and just airing all your dirty laundry. We don't necessarily want that. But having that right amount of openness is something that absolutely creates a good connection with people. So again, on social media, we want to stay on brand. We do not want to create content that goes completely in a different direction. That's some of the other brand content. And now there's a lot of conservative brands out there, things in finance or health care. And maybe you don't go the funny route whenever it comes to social media. Now some people choose to do that, but I think that whenever you speak as a company, you need a unified voice for every single platform. And that voice should be compelling, right? If it's not compelling, then you need to choose a different voice. So every single time that you post anything on social media, whether that's Twitter, Instagram, facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, anything. It should all be in a similar voice, but it should be, it should be, you should be telling some sort of story and every single one of those and a story that again matches some of the brand attitudes that the company as a whole has. So what I want you to do now is take a few minutes and look around on social media for some of the, some of your personal favorite brands and see some of the stuff that they post and how you relate to it, how or why you like that content. Tried to analyze that stuff and to be able to identify the things that work for you. Now one of the things that I talk about a lot in this course is this idea that everybody is different. Everybody has different likes, wants, needs, desires, whatever. Everybody has a different background. So to lean into those things and to understand your background and be able to combine it with other things. That's what creativity is. So that's what I am strongly encouraging everyone to do, is to lean into the things that you personally like. Don't just make something because you think it's going to be successful, lean in to you who you are and make something again based on the beliefs and background that you personally have. Because if you are starting to make things that you don't think is going to work anyway, or things that don't make you stop and think, then it's not going to work for somebody else. So you have to sort of practice what you preach here and create the kind of content that would make you personally stop and really connect with the brand. 10. Building A Platform: Now we're going to talk about this idea of owning your own platform. Now, here's the thing. So social media is great. And the reason why I say that content marketing isn't just social media, is because you do not own those platforms. There's nothing stopping any of these kind of social media companies from just either going under selling, deciding that they no longer want to promote your material. There's too many things that can change there. So one of the things that I like to say is that you should have your own platform. Now, you should use things like social media to get people to come to your platform. But your platform being things like your website, could be a blog, that could be a series of images or videos, anything that you have, again in your own, basically on your own server, something that you control. We want to create material that drives people to, let's say our website is the example. So what you might do on social media is you may say things like, you know, maybe, maybe you have like the first couple of sentences or the headline of your blog post and you say, head over to our site to read the rest. So you're, you're, basically what you're doing is you are giving people a sample of this content that again is for them and giving them a way to get from there to your own platform. And hopefully to the point where they just show up on your platform pretty consistently. Now this is a pretty difficult thing to do. I'm not going to say that it's incredibly easy, but it should be something that is balanced where if you post something to any social media platforms, try to find a way to get that on your site to as sort of like a central hub of content right? Now, media companies do really, really good job of this. Where they may have just a single image from a news story and then they'll say, Hey, come over to our site to learn more. 11. Blogs and Vlogs: Next I want to talk about two pieces of content that should be sort of in everyone's kind of content marketing toolbox at this point. And that would be blogs and vlogs, right? Everybody knows it. A blog is, a blog is where you go and you read content. A vlog, which can be done in a number of different ways, would be a primarily video focused blog, right? So it could have a person speaking, it could just be a certain theme for a video series. And I tried to use that term a little bit loosely. Vlog because we don't necessarily want just person holding a camera in front of their face and going to do things like play at the beach. That doesn't really do much for brands. It can, but has to be done, right? But the important thing of blogs and vlogs is that we again set a, at least a 100 times right now. Alright, we are delivering value to people in the form of content, right? There should be something in it for them. We want to create an emotional experience. Now, one of the things that I like to tell people is this idea of, of a paid advertisement versus content marketing. Now, paid ads, you know, you can provide value of value to people in the form of like coupons and stuff like that. But with content marketing, we want to provide emotional value, right? Not maybe we are also giving a discount code and stuff like that, but we want to make people feel something and we want them to feel like that thing is a value to them basically. So here's the special thing about blogs and vlogs. They can essentially be used anywhere in your sales funnel and be effective. However, whenever you are creating this material, it should be targeted for a single level, right? So if your idea is to gain awareness, you need to assume that people don't know who you are or what you do. Your goal in this awareness blog is two, write about something more industry-related rather than your, your business or product specific related. Same thing goes with the vlogs where if, you know, if we are aiming to create content at the awareness level, we want to introduce ourself. And again, not ask for very much, if anything at all, right? A good amount of blogs don't actually ask for anything and there's a reason why. And I'll get to that kinda in the next lesson when we talk about SEO a little bit. But these two things can absolutely be used very well at the building trust level. Then again, perhaps one of the most important levels of the funnel because it is that tipping point where again, we're creating good blogs that show expertise and tell a good story. They're much more inclined to want to work with you than if it was just something that's just filled with keywords and whatever nonsense. If you are writing a blog and you are trying to sell, that's more like copyrighting than it is blog, right? What you wanna do is aim to either entertain or inform people whenever it comes to both blogs and vlogs, you want to try to stay away from sales as much as you can. Because again, this is a really good trust-building piece of content. So by creating that, you're building this trust. But if you're asking for something quite a bit, again, if you're, if you're going over 20 percent of the time of asking and your content, then you're going to start losing that trust. Now some people probably won't mind. Especially if the content that you're creating is very valuable to them. And that's kind of another thing is that how long people stick around is really based in that idea. Now, there's some blogs and vlogs that I can see myself where at the end of every single blog or belong, they, they do ask for something like, okay, here's all my knowledge and this thing. Now why don't you come take this course or come by this thing that we made to help solve this problem. And whenever that is the case, and it's not as bad. So if if you're if you're watching a ten minute video and then the only time they're asking for something is maybe for 20 thirty-seconds in the middle there. I think that that 80 20 rule can also be applied to individual piece of content as well. And here's the thing. Quality absolutely matters. Now, while it is subjective, it does matter in how people perceive your brand, your product, your company. If you create really subpar content, that just doesn't look very good. It was just just shot with an iPhone with a bouncy hand or something like that. People will take notice of that and that quality will reflect on your brand. So you always want to make sure that whatever you're doing, you're you're decent at it, the practice enough at it. And you know, to, to push the abilities to be on par, if not beyond par, which you want to do is, is make sure that whatever you are creating is of a higher quality. Tried to stick with certain things that you know that you can produce at a higher quality level, right? If you have never made a video before, maybe it would be good idea to stay away or seek some assistance from somebody that does do those things. And same thing with audio. If you don't know anything about it, then it's gonna be tough to create a podcast. So either take the time to learn those things before you make it or consult with somebody that doesn't know those things. Otherwise, it's best to stick to the areas that you know that you are pretty good at really. So here's the thing about blogs and vlogs. More so about blogs though, because there is a written content in there, right? And that is just one of the most important things you can do whenever it comes to search engine optimization or SEO. And basically what we do is every time that we produce a piece of content, we are making a new sort of connection point for somebody to be able to enter into our platform, right? Or it could be that we're driving people to social media. But really what we wanna do is I want to drive people to our website if we are a business, how do we drive people to the actual site that are all of our information is on or even them being able to buy whatever. Sometimes that's the hardest part is getting them to get on the platform. So then at that point then you can ask them to buy something. When you're asking someone to buy something from a faraway platform like Instagram or Facebook, they have to do a little bit more and it's not as reasonable for them. So by creating yeah, I guess what I want to say here is, yeah, we want to have good quality, but we also want to have a good quantity as well. Because the more quantity we have a great quality content, the more of these sort of entry points we are making into our website from these outside platforms. So quality and quantity. So some examples of what a good vlog or blog would be, would be things like tasty videos, unboxing videos. It could be a recipe that you're sharing. It could be a tutorial. It could be a step-by-step guide into how your product works or how the industry works. It could be simply posting something of inspiration to people. It could be reviews of a product. Now, I want to take a step back here and kinda think about this idea that if you are a company that doesn't have the capacity or resources to do these kinds of things. This is a good time to bring an influencers, and I'll talk about that a little bit more when we start talking about promotion. But having somebody else create content for your brand or product is a really, really good way to make sure that while one, it gets to the right audience. And two, it's created by somebody that has experience doing that specific thing. Something else would be things like travel videos. Again, if, if you have a travel agency, well, showing real experiences from people might go a long way when it comes to, when it comes to content that people are consuming. So the last one that I mentioned is an FAQ or frequently asked question. Now this is a really great way of answering the question that people are most likely going to have and just being upfront and answering that question and as soon as you can. And this is also a good way to get seen on search results to buy. By answering a question that a lot of people seem to have about your industry or your product. And then the last thing that I'll say is that story matters and I know I've said it a thousand times already, but it absolutely does. If you can tell a great story and a blog or a vlog, people are much more likely to stick around and be able to connect with the brand or the product that is involved in that, in that piece of content. 12. Writing and SEO: Now we're going to talk a little bit about writing and SEM. And I was talking about SEO a little bit in the last lesson, but I want to dive a little bit deeper in this one. So again, the main goal with SEO is to drive traffic to your platform. And again, whenever I say platform, I mean your website or where basically people can buy your product, right? The final step that they have to take before they are able to buy the product that you are selling. It should be located on your platform, your website. So basically, I'm not going to go super far into what SEO actually is. But basically take this from an SEO is a way for people to essentially get to your site. It is creating content that makes it searchable so that whenever people do search for certain thing, the problem that they have or a product that they are coming to you as opposed to a competitor. So you're probably wondering, why does all of that matter? Why does SEO matter? Well, here's the thing. On Google alone. Every single day, there's 5.8 billion searches, right? People are searching for everything just constantly. So being able to be one of the top results for a certain search term or phrase is really crucial for people to be able to find you and get to your platform specifically. And it's important to show up on the top of that results, of those results because 89% of people don't even click on page two. So you basically need to, if you want to be seen by people as far as search results go, you need to be on that first page. You want to be one of the first 10 results or, or so to show up for these certain keywords or phrases. And how we do that is through content and writing specifically. And SEO is super crucial for gaining awareness because it's significantly cheaper than using paid ads to gain awareness. And it's a lot more effective whenever people do find you through search results as opposed to, again, with paid ads, we don't want to be the thing that's between them and their content. Because when we are, we automatically lose trust pretty much immediately. Now, there's a ton of tools that you can use to do keyword planning or finding keywords. But one of the things that I actually want to tell you here is to focus on making great content rather than just trying to find the certain search titles and terms that you're supposed to be using to show first, then the results. Certainly that stuff would help. But if you make something that's extremely useful to somebody, the rest will take care of itself. Okay, so we don't need to sit there and write all of our keywords and make sure that we're saying certain things over and over and over again. We just want to create something that's extremely useful and valuable to your audience. So here's the thing you're going to try to show in top of the results for something that is probably going to be really competitive. Maybe there's brands had been around for decades longer than you, or just articles that have been around for a lot longer or just are better written. If that's the case, then what you should be doing is playing a different game, right? You can still play the search results game but write something different, right? Some content that doesn't, isn't as competitive, right? Or phrase it in a different way. You know, if, if somebody already has this really great article for, you know, how to, how to produce or how to write a book, right? There's probably, the result that's on how to write a book is probably not really realistic to try to overthrow with some content that you're writing. Or maybe it's just a really, really well-written where you're like, I wouldn't add anything to that. If that's the case, don't write about it, write about something else. And then that's how content should be seen again because we're trying to delight people and we're trying to show them something that they've never seen before. So what we should be doing is aiming to create things that don't already exist in the world. We're not trying to add more noise with content marketing. We're trying to provide more value to people. So now when it comes to length of the content that you are writing, you should aim for about 2000 words. And I know that seems like a lot because it kind of is, but here's the thing. Google rewards longer written content more so than the shorter fluff pieces because everybody's writing those now. So between 400 to 700 words isn't going to have nearly as much impact as writing something about 2000 words long wood. And you don't want to just write fluff for this to 1000 words. You want to get really, really in depth with that piece of content that you are writing. To. Again, prove your expertise in a certain area or a product and deliver something of very high-quality to people. And whenever you do that, they will share it. And it all of a sudden gains traction and becomes a more searched, more source piece of content. While this course isn't really about some of the specifics or some of the technical stuff. I will say that with SEO there are a couple other things that matter. Things like link building and linking to outside sites and having them link to your site, clean website code, the age of the domain that you are posting too, and social signals. So things like, again, like I was just saying, are they are people sharing this post is, does anyone else like this? If they do, then Google and other search engines will recognize that and they will bump it up in the rankings. So that's all for the written portion of this course. And again, what I want to say is, even though we talked pretty heavily about SEO, I need you to understand that it is significantly more important to just write good-quality content that gives value more so than just writing for the sake of writing and trying to use certain keywords, that stuff isn't going to work anymore. Maybe about ten years ago it would have. But right now, the thing that is key is to just provide something great. So just focus on that one thing. And if you can do that at a high-quality and consistently, you will absolutely see results when it comes to search engines. 13. Creating Video Content: Up next we are going to talk about video content. And now this is one of my favorite areas because video is one of the areas that I personally believe is one of the most effective pieces of content for people. And that's for a few different reasons. I think the biggest one is that I believe that video, it's a very emotional medium where you can not easily, but you can, you can get a very wide range of emotions from people when it comes to video. And I believe you can do that with the other things, but I believe that I believe with video we can get to those emotions a lot faster. And, you know, kind of on this idea of quickness and information. It's, there's been studies done that basically show that video, single minute of video has the same retention as 1.8 billion words at that people read. So it's this idea that that video is emotional and it's easier to retain information for people, which makes it an incredibly effective piece of content for brands. And not only that, but you can also tell great stories when it comes to video. And story is this element that you probably heard me say it a bunch of times already in this course. But story is one of the most important things that we do as artists, as creators. We can make things look beautiful. We can design things really well. But if we're not telling stories, those things are not retained with people. You know, it's, it's this idea of going to seeing an action movie at the theater as opposed to seeing the drama, right? We remember the drama much longer than we would the action moving, especially the story. And it's something that connects with us. So whenever we do make video content for brands are for products, It's important that we are doing more than just showing a pretty product that we are actually telling some kinda, kinda story. Ideally a story that is kind of puts our audience as the hero of the story. Audiences is another very important part of what we do with video. We need to understand who our audience is so we know how to communicate with them. So it's really important to, to tell these stories and tell these stories that actually relate to your target person. Now here's the thing. Quality is important. While it is subjective, it is still very important, especially if you are creating video content with a brand in mind. Especially if it's a higher end luxury brand, you definitely don't want to be using a webcam footage too. Tell any of these kinds of stories because that's going to reflect onto your company. So you absolutely need to make sure that whenever you do things like video, that the quality is higher and the quality matches the brand that you are trying to sell or the product that you are trying to sell. And if you cannot make things at a certain level, then it might actually do more harm than good. Especially like I said, if you have one of these luxury brands and you're producing content that is of low quality. Well, your audience is going to start believing that your product is also low quality. Now, audience, I believe, audiences, I believe, are very forgiving. But if you run several pieces of content and back to back to back, that's just a low quality or low meaning, then that's that it will absolutely reflect on the brand. So we want to make sure that we stick with a higher-quality whenever we are creating this video content, one of the most asked question that I get is, what's the ideal length for a video, or how long should my video B? Now I think that a lot of people, when it comes to, when it comes to brand content, we generally try to stick between one to two minutes. And I think that while that might be a good starting point, I don't think it's necessarily always correct. Here's the thing people will watch for as long as they are entertained or informed or informed at an entertaining level basically. So we go into movie theaters and we watch movies for an hour and a 2.5 hours, sometimes, sometimes even longer with previews. And we sit there and we pay attention. So attention spans really have nothing to do with it. It's, our attention for bad content is extremely low. And we need to make content that's actually interesting to people. So if we can have 30-second length of video and if it's not interesting enough, people won't sit there and watch it. So the important thing is that we're making something that's actually of higher-quality. And it's something that people would actually want to stick around and watch. So otherwise, the answer is make it as short as it needs to be. Right? If you can tell your story, if you can make good content in five seconds, 10 seconds, then do that. Because people are more likely to stick around that long. But at the same time, there's, there's some video content out there that I've seen that's 20-plus minutes and like a documentary style kind of thing. And you can do that as long as it's entertaining or interesting enough. And also on the right platforms because you're going to have a hard time getting people to watch for 20 minutes on Instagram, I believe. But that could change if you can make content, that's interesting enough. I bet you people would stick around. So these are the things that we need to think about. But ultimately, again, what I said is make it as short as it needs to be, to be able to tell the story effectively. And going back to audience, we want to tell stories that they actually would enjoy. And we want to put this video content in front of them in a place where they're actually going to see it. So if you're targeting seniors, well, maybe your video content isn't really meant to be on social media or, or on YouTube. It maybe it needs to be a commercial. Maybe it needs to be seen in some other kind of way. So we have to consider our audience and every single piece of content that we develop, especially when we tell certain stories, we need to make sure that we are putting our audience as the hero of our stories. Now, some examples of video content that we could create. One would be paid ads, and this would be great for gaining awareness. We can create explainers. This would be great for also creating awareness. We can make company culture videos. Now, these are one of my favorite ones because this really helps grow trust in business. People can watch this and see sort of behind the scenes that the people that are actually doing the work here. And there's nothing that grows trust more than being face-to-face with another person. And then we have social media content or looping GIFS. And this can help with interaction. And then we have thank you videos. And this can be kind of thing. Were you personally make a video thanking somebody for buying your product or service and doing something like this. Do wonders for rewarding loyalty. And we can also show product features and we're pretty used to this with stuff from, with content from Apple and seeing all their iPhone and iPad and Mac content. They mostly just show the product features in some of these videos because they've already grown to be very trustful brand. You're already aware, you've already likely taken action to see these videos. So what they do is at this bi-level of the funnel, they've focused on just giving you those final details that you need before you finally BY. And then there's also webinars, which in times of COVID, which is currently happening outside my window. Webinars are huge right now, and I believe that they will be big for a long time to come. And this idea of having people show up for sort of presentation where you talk to a few people at the same time and be able to make strong video content of a presentation and being able to use that to again, gain trust with people. And then the final type of video, and there's tons more. But the final type of video that I really like is testimonial videos. Or I guess you can call in case study videos as well, where we actually create video content on how we helped somebody else. Whether again, that's a product or service showcasing, letting, letting the hero do the talking in a video and, and again, doing it really well at a high-quality and doing it for as long as that kinda needs to be, but stuff like that does wonders for those last minute. Or am I sure I trust them? You've already by kinda thing. So video can be used at every single level of the sales funnel and it absolutely should be used at every single level because it is a very strong and versatile and emotional medium. And we can tell stories much, much quicker and more effectively. So again, little bias when it comes to video, but when creating content, any sort of content marketing, video should absolutely be part of the plans at this point. What I'd like you to do next is to create a short video for your brand. This can be done with motion graphics, can be done with live action, video. It could be done in a number of different ways. But what I want you to do is just try to make something that actually fits their brand and fits the general message that you believe that they should go with. Again, everyone has different skill sets here. So think about the skill sets that you have or things that you want to learn and make a video for your company. 14. Creating Audio Content: Now we're going to talk about audio content and similar to video content and in many ways. But audio content is sort of having this kind of resurgence. Where in the mid 1800s and early radio was a very popular source of content. And with, especially with things like podcasts and things like music and general. Audio content is absolutely a very important piece of content that we all need to consider when it comes to brands. Now, it's estimated that 90 million people now listen to podcasts. So podcasts are an extremely great source of content, both for the user or the viewer or listener and as a brand to be able to create that kinda content. Because people are listening to podcasts and other kinds of audio content while they're exercising, running, working, while they're driving. It's a great medium where people don't need to give their full attention to be able to consume it. So that's why it's become quite popular. And especially at the length that we can then create this content, it opens up the door for this ability, especially of gaining trust with people when we can spend some serious time with them, we can build that relationship. And that's what content is really about, is creating content that builds the relationship that you have with them in an honest way. And then the other thing is that audio content, especially podcasts, is incredibly cheap to produce, which makes it again, really ideal for brands. Because really to make a good podcast, I mean, I'm not saying that it's easy to do these things, but I'm saying it can be done for relatively cheap because, you know, you can get a microphone and just a closet. And you can then start a podcast basically. I mean, obviously you need things like hosting and, and maybe some music and maybe somebody to help you edit these things. But even still with all the bells and whistles, you're still looking at something much cheaper than a continent that would require an entire crew of people to be able to produce. Now, some examples of audio content, again, podcasts as I've been talking about most of the time in this lesson. Music, music can also be created by brands. I'm not gonna get too much into that, but basically anything that's enjoyable can be created by brand for their audience. Especially things like Spotify. Whether that's things like playlists where, you know, you're not actually creating the content, you're just curating it. Things like voice search is also an incredibly quick growing field right now where you could theoretically say Alexa by whatever and those listening right now. So I'm not gonna say anything because she's going to buy stuff. Anyway. We have to start being more creative with how we use something, especially that's so new. But there is this ability now, as with Voice Search and smart homes, where we can communicate directly with brands sort of in a way. And the quicker we can give this feedback or give this information or provide a useful tool. The better it is for consumers, better it is for your audience and thus builds that relationship that we, that we focus on when it comes to creating content. What I'd like you to do now is to create your own piece of audio content. And I want you to do this with just using your phone. If you, if you're not familiar with audio recording software or hardware, just use your phone, go into a closet and quiet place, write a script, try to keep it under thirty-seconds. Think of this as the intro for a podcast, right? Put some music in there and do a little bit of editing with it. And I think it'll be really cool to see what you're thinking when it comes to what kind of audio content would work for your brand. 15. Creating Offline Content: Now we're going to talk about offline content. That's right. Not all content needs to live online or in a digital space. All right? I think that by creating content that's offline or in a physical space, we are able to quite easily delight people at a different level than we've ever been able to do before. Now, I'm not saying that all of this needs to be this big guerilla campaigns of posters and graffiti all over a city or anything like that. But what I am saying is that breaking down that communication wall of a screen can do really, really wonderful things when it comes to delighting people. As I keep saying, one of the most important things that we do is tell stories and we tell stories to create emotions. And one of the best ways that we can do that is by delighting or surprising people. Now I'm not saying that we hide behind trash cans and we jump out and scare people whenever they walk past yelling what your brand name as it might work, but I doubt it. But at the same time we want to take things that are ordinary and make them extraordinary, right? There's a bunch of examples out there when it comes to offline content. Of one of the examples that stand out in my head is a campaign by IBM where they made things around a city that helped people understand what kind of problems IBM solves. So one of the examples was a, a, a park bench where the ad actually curled up on top and provided an umbrella. Another one was they basically created a ramp where there was stairs. So help people that were in wheelchairs can be able to get up or down. And so they were actually like solving problems in a city to be able to talk about their brand, which again is one of them, one of my favorite examples when it comes to offline content. But I don't think that it's definitely limited at, at doing just those kinds of things. I think that the possibilities are really endless. But if you can tell a story offline that again relates to your brand in some way. And you can surprise people, you will delight them, and they will have these very strong emotions and be able to think of your brand as a contributor to society rather than just somebody that's trying to get all their money. And again, I keep saying this, but the important part of content is that we create this content with the only goal of gaining trust to build a relationship with people. And offline content is an incredibly effective way of building those relationships. So there's a ton of other examples of what offline content is. But let me give you a few here. Things like conferences, events or concerts, things like pop-up shops. You can set up a shop that selling just one new item that you have. You can set it up in another story that started up on a street corner. The possibilities again, even they're quite endless. It could be things like Griffey da, could be things like written books. It could be things like workshops or, or guerilla campaigns. And it could be things like, you know, and I say these things because I know they're a little controversial here, but things like direct mail, right? Now we all have said that print is dead and direct mail doesn't work. But sort of like what we're talking about with video. And everyone says, Oh, we can't make videos too long anymore. Well, that's kind of a general rule and those rules are absolutely made to be broken. Just as these ones are too. People don't like direct mail because it's all doing the same thing. Now what if you, if you write a handwritten letter thanking somebody for something rather than again, sending them a coupon for what else they could do with their money. If we use direct mail with the intention of building that relationship, not dead, it would still work. And I hope that you think about that with with everything. And at the time of recording this, we're in 2020. Things will change, right? So over time, there's going to be new things that people say no longer work. And it might be, you know, what, Facebook no longer work or Instagram no longer works. And we'll stop work. Anything will stop working if you do the same thing long enough on it. So it's up to you as the creator to creatively think of new ideas, new ways to use certain mediums to be able to communicate a story effectively to your audience. And again, with that intention of building that trust and building that relationship. What I'd like you to do now is to mock up a piece of offline content that you can create for your brand. This can be anything if it's environmental, try to find some stock video or a stock footage photography and be able to kind of put your idea in it using something like Photoshop or just whatever you have to do to somehow mockup how this offline content would work. And the more, the closer it looks too real, the more effective it's going to be whenever you present these ideas to a potential client. 16. Creating Paid Ads: Another way that we can promote our content is with paid advertising. And I know I said it earlier that I'm not as big of a fan of paid advertising, but whenever we have that difference between content and advertising, and advertising where generally pushing and what we wanna do with content is pull people in. We can promote content that is in fact actually content, right? So if we had a documentary or a video or a really cool piece of design that again, is of value to people that's either informational or an informational or entertaining, preferably bolt. If it does meet those things, then sponsoring a post or promoting a post with paid advertising through social media or even television, honestly, for that matter, isn't such a bad idea. Now, you always have to you have to realize that there isn't necessarily a direct sale that can always happen with this paid content because that's not necessarily our goal. Sometimes our goal is we want to gain more followers. So if we're trying to gain awareness using paid ads, just again, awareness is a fantastic idea. The problem becomes whenever we rely on paid advertising for every single step of the sales funnel. So we need to make sure that whenever we do put money behind a post that we understand we have the expectations that we are just trying to give one level lower and the sales funnel. So again, like I said, for awareness and gaining awareness is probably one of the most difficult things to do. And it can be very, very expensive, especially if you do that in the wrong places. So having the right target audience whenever you do, paid advertising is extremely essential. And again, even with this initial post, if we're not asking them for something directly or have a big ask, like if we're just asking them to follow us, that's much more likely to happen. Then you saying, Hey, here's what do we do? Username also, please buy something from us so we wanna make sure that we are not asking for too much too early. Whenever it comes to paid advertising. And whatever we do get to a certain point. If somebody is a repeat customer or they are already far down in the funnel, you can then ask to purchase something, but you need to be able to identify those people and to be able to target them specifically when it comes to paid advertising. So things like remarketing work really well whenever it comes to paid advertising. And that means basically somebody's already been to a certain page on your site. And you have, let's say a Facebook pixel is what they call it. And you're able to capture that data that they've been to this page. So a couple of days later I want to send them this ad that says, Hey, come on back or hey, did you know this about our company? Like it could be more trust-building content, maybe that's why they didn't purchase before. But it could be that they just forgot to press the Checkout button. So being in front of them, whenever it comes to remarketing can be extremely valuable for people. And that's just something we need to keep in mind whenever it comes to paid advertising. So what I'd like you to do now is think of a sort of what do you believe would work as far as paid advertising goes for each level of the sales funnel. And just, you know, I don't want you to actually make all this content, but even just to write it out in a sentence or two, what do you believe? What platforms you should be targeting and what type of content do you think would work at each level of the sales funnel? 17. Email Marketing: Now going from what we just talked about when it comes to things like print and it no longer works. And one of the things that I always loved to talk about is things like email marketing. Now, email has had these waves of effectiveness over the last 20 or 30 years. And right now I believe we are actually on an upswing when it comes to how well email works. Because people are being much more creative with how they use e-mail when it comes to communicating with their audience. So as of right now, I believe that e-mail is incredibly effective. And it is a great way to be able to communicate directly with somebody in a more, I guess, personalized kind of way. About 40 percent of marketers say that email is their best tool for gaining trust and building a relationship with their audience and getting people to ultimately by whatever it is they're selling. So 40 percent of all the different ways that we can market people, if 40 percent of people are saying this is their best, there is absolutely something to it. But what I will say is that we have to draw a line between spam and content, right? Just because we have the ability to push content out to somebody doesn't mean that it's wanted, right? It doesn't mean that It's a value to them and that's what we always need to focus on. We always need to focus first on creating great content that is valuable to people. And then we figure out how to get it in front of them because promoting is definitely a big part of that content creation. So what I would say here is, is when we use email to try to use it in the most personalized way that we possibly can, right? We've all seen the emails where it's just crazy bunch of images, looks like a catalog. Most of us just unsubscribe or just delete it. We don't we don't read those things anymore. So email, while it is effective, it is very difficult still to actually get through to people. And so again, I talked about this idea of, of personalization depending on what your product is and the price point of it. There's different ways that you'd go about communicating with people. If you are selling a $10 product, you'd communicate much differently than if you're selling a $100 thousand service. So, but no matter where you are in that spectrum, the more personal that you can be in your e-mails, the more effective that they're going to be whenever people, whenever you take the time to actually not just send all just batch e-mail to everyone. Yeah, It's easier to do it that way. But it's probably not nearly as effective as if you go one by one. And you, you work to understand what kind of content that is that they're looking for. Obviously, again, in most cases that's probably not super realistic, but that's why I said we want to be as personal as we possibly can. Again, without sitting there and if you have a 100 thousand customers and be like All right, I'm going to talk to one person today. But think about how effective that would be if you could do that, right? And that's the balance that we always need to make. But ultimately, come down to this idea that whenever we send an email out, it's meant to that trust. It's meant to be something of value to your audience. And the other thing is that even if you can't make a personalized message, you still need to come off as a person. Try to stay away from robot speak or business speak, because nobody really talks that way in real life. This one of the things that I've never really understand why people do, but it's like resume writing and cover letters. Those are just a big jumbled mess of big words that nobody ever uses. And with any concept that we actually make, if it's a value for other people, That's not how people talk. We want to create a human relationship, not a weird relationship based on how big a words, you know. So it's really important whenever you write these emails that they are using words that you would use, right? Even if you're speaking as a brand, you should still humanize that brand in any way that you can when it comes to the different things that you talk about or how you talk about those things. And as I was saying just a little bit ago, we do not want to spam people. I would say probably 75 to 80% of emails that I get from brands are just spam e-mails that I never wanted or never even signed up for. So it's really important one that you try to get people to agree to the content that they're going to receive. So, yeah, this could be a little subscription box on your website. Say, Hey, would you like to receive updates occasionally from us and being very clear with what they're going to give and how often they're going to get it. If you can stay true to your word, when someone signs up, you will have a very loyal audience member. And that's, that's what we're trying to do here, right? So going into this idea of spam, if we are just trying to send out four to eight emails a month to as many people as we can. That's not going to really do it. That's not going to be effective because you're. If you focus on just trying to make the sale, you're going to lose so much trust. And yeah, this is another one, these ideas where I go with 80 20 rule where it's 80 percent of the time I'm just giving and then 20 percent of the time maybe I'll ask for something in return. Right. But if we just focus mostly on giving and occasionally ask for something, people are going to unsubscribe. They'll say, Oh, you know, this is a value to me and I understand that they are trying to make money and I'm okay with it. That's the kind of relationship that we want with people. What we don't want is again, every week we're getting just a new coupon and just, you know, and it's a new holiday that somebody needs you to go to the store to buy something. That's not gonna do it after a while, people will unsubscribe or they'll just pretty much just ignore anything you sell them or sent to them at that point. So we definitely don't want to sort of cry wolf here by whenever you flip that around 80 percent of the time we're asking you for something and 20 percent of the time you're giving something, they're probably not going to even stick around long enough to receive whatever it is that you're trying to give to them. So the other thing is that if you, if you spam long enough and people unsubscribe enough, you'll, your account will get banned and you run into a whole lot of issues both legally and ethically. And you don't wanna do that. And again, you've heard me say too much times already, but we should again, even in emails, we should focus on storytelling. One of the things that I personally like to do is the first paragraph or so is me telling a story of some kind. And this is for my business, which is a service-based business. So maybe it works, maybe it doesn't for you. But I still like to start with a story and then go into an offer of some kind. And offer again doesn't have to be them. You asking them to buy something. It could be like, hey, come to the website and check out the rest of this blog post. Or Hey, we made this new video that I think you'd be into and you tell them about it in the e-mail and then you give them a link. So really important part of email marketing is that there's only one link and you can have a couple other small ones there. But just know that the more links you have, the less likely they are to do exactly what it is that you want them to do. So it's really important to go into every single piece of content, every single piece of marketing with this idea of what is it that you want them to do after they consume this piece of content and having some sort of call to action that helps them get there. And again, sometimes maybe 20 percent of the time, maybe it's hey, we're offering 10 percent off today only on this cup, mug or something, whatever it is that you sell. And that can that can very well be the case. But if most of the time that was, hey, listen to our podcasts on this topic that you might be really interested in. Asking them to do something where they don't need to give you money is something that's going to help build trust. Because again, you're creating things like podcasts. You creating things like any sort of content to create value, to hand over to them in exchange for a better relationship. What I'd like you to do now for e-mail content, I want you to actually make a piece of e-mail content for your company. So again, this should be something relatively simple. It should have some sort of key visual in it. Usually write it near the top. There's one kind of banner image, something that really grabs people's attention. There should be some written content in there and then there should be one link right at the end there. And it'd be really great also to mock this up on a laptop or a computer screen or even phone. And, and to be able to show how this is going to look or work in the end. 18. Influencer Marketing: So when it comes to content marketing, I like to think of it in four different pillars. We have our plan, which we've talked about. We have our create portion, creation portion of our plan, the things that we actually make. Once we have that. Our third thing and we're gonna start time on now is promotion. The things that we make, we need to be able to push in front of the people that are part of our audience, right? And it's not as simple as just making something in the world and then people show up and they consume it, and it just doesn't work like that. So you need a creation strategy, or you need a plan, you need a creation strategy, and then you need a promotion strategy to be able to get these things in front of people. So the first thing that we're gonna talk about is influencer marketing. Now, this is crazy talked about kind of idea here. And you have people that are either really against it or really for it. And I'm going to tell you that what I believe is that influencer marketing can absolutely work, but it takes time to figure out who the influencer is going to be. All right, Let's start with this. What is influencer marketing? So essentially, an influencer is a person that is a thought leader or somebody that a lot of people in an audience similar to yours looks up to. So basically let's say that you are a camera maker. What you might do is find somebody that a lot of camera maker, people that use cameras follow. And being able to kinda have a relationship with them that basically has them promoting your product for them or promoting some of the content that you've created to an audience that is similar to yours, but maybe not people that you can directly talk to yourself. So this does a couple of different things. One, it creates a sort of social proof where if people look up to this person and they trust their opinion, and if they are saying, Hey, I got this new camera and it's really cool. They're going to take that as, as proof that this product works and all of a sudden that is trust-building content. So influencers can also, they can share content that you've already created, but they can also create content of their own. And that's pretty typical of how influencer marketing relationships work. Is they will take this product of that you have, you will pay them money and they will then create content. It could be a video review, it could be unboxing. It could just be placing it in a photo, placing your product in the photo. It can be done a lot of different ways, but influencer marketing can be really, really helpful, but it could also be not so helpful at the same time because it can be not so helpful in the way that you don't get to control the content that they're making all the time. And you can say yes or no often, but you can't say, okay, we want you to create this content, but we want you to do it exactly like this. Because if they're not being authentic to their audience, then it totally shows. And then all of a sudden they have a problem and their audience starts to trust them less, which means they start to trust what they are trying to sell less. And it doesn't help brands to work with these people. So influencers, I really like influencers, but I also really hate them to, right? So the ones that I hate are the ones that are so focused on just getting likes and follows. And a lot of times these could be just bots and just completely spam accounts. So you might come across somebody on Instagram that has 11 million followers, but every time they post, they only get a 100 likes. That's the hard part about influencer marketing is you have to do your research into these people to find out what their audiences actually like. And if they are actually real or not. I would say more often than not. These are spam accounts that follow people. And so it's really, you know, you can't just look at how many followers somebody has and be like, All right, well that's, that's the number we're looking for. It has to be a lot more about engagement as well. So some of the, some of the best influencers have these really high level of engagement. Some of the best influencers don't often promote products because if they're just promoting products all the time, then again, we lose that trust that we're looking for. So in some cases, what I look for is people that have that don't necessarily have like a crazy high following, but just a moderately high following that don't usually do influencer type relationships. And I would rather have several people that are at a low or mid level followers then a couple people at really high level. Because it's this idea of the micro influencer where they have a smaller audience, but there The people that they're reaching, that connection that's made is a lot greater. And the engagement is a lot greater than some of these people to have a crazy amount of followers. So here's the thing, the partnership between a brand and an influencer should make sense, right? So like I was saying that the camera example, if you are a camera maker, then it should be somebody relevant that can reach your specific audience. It shouldn't be that if you are a lotion company, you reach out to an influencer that is a car enthusiasts. That doesn't usually make sense, right? So you want to stick to relationships when it comes to influencer marketing that makes sense. And that their audience is your audience, right? And whenever I say your audience, maybe they're not aware of your product just yet and that's fine. But they should be people that are very similar to the people that are interested in your product. And lastly, there should be value in it for their audience, right? Like whenever it is that this influencer is trying to talk about or unbox or give a review on. It should be something that helps that audience to do something better, right? Just like any product in the world, there should be a clear value of how this product or service helps them do something better. And that should absolutely be stated by the influencer when it comes to any content that they make or any Any suggestions that the brand makes for the influencer to create. So as far as platforms go, influencers use all the different platforms can be done anywhere. That's been done mostly on blogs in the past anyway. But now we are shifting towards seeing people on social media like Instagram and Facebook. People influencers being able to create and share content and especially things like YouTube. If we're if we're seeing four minute long unboxing videos. Yeah. A good amount of the videos that you see that our unboxing videos or reviews are actually requested by the company to help, again, help them gain that social proof of, Hey, other people have this, maybe you should do. And other people have had a good experience with this, maybe you will too. Yeah, that's that's something that people look for it just like Yelp reviews, whenever you go to a restaurant, you check out what it's going to be like and you check out what to expect or if you should even go to that restaurant. And that's, that's kinda the idea with influencer marketing. But instead of an anonymous name put on a Yelp review, these are people that others know and trust so that the platform is kind of irrelevant because what really matters is, where do people follow this person at? What? Even if that's a social media thing or even if it's an in-person event kinda thing, like it doesn't matter where it is. So again, what really matters is, is this person a leader in their community. And if they are, and they have the right amount of following and get the right amount of engagement than they would absolutely make a great influencer to help market and help promote your product. What I'd like you to do now is to try to find one to three potential influencers for a specific for your company, right? What people out there exists, that would be really great partners as far as content creation and content distribution. So distribution, meaning we've already created content, we need you to sort of push it out there. And content creation, meaning that you trust and influencer to make their own content revolving around your product. So think about one to three different influencers and then come up with little ideas for each of them. Just maybe a sentence or two of how they could help promote your product or service. 19. Writing a Press Release: So the next thing we're gonna talk about is press releases. Now this is something that a press release is obviously really traditional way of promoting a product or service, or even content for that matter. But it still works. Maybe not like it technically used to work, but it still works, right? It's this idea of being able to push or promote to media outlets or potentially even influencers. What we wanna do is write, written content that can get people interested in what it is that you have to say. And it should be something that is interesting enough for their audience to actually find value in it, right? And this is something that I've done before. And, you know, I've I've tried long pieces of long press releases and sometimes those work with people. And I've also written emails that are just a sentence or two, and that's also worked with people. And I also have done both and I haven't worked with with people. So it's something that you, you know, it's really a piece of written content in general that it doesn't necessary have to be written to a press release can also be a video, but I can go on and on about that. But for this case, we'll say press releases, a written piece of content. But mostly what it should do is be a piece of content that inspires people or educates people or entertains people on what it is that you do or what it is that you are selling. And again, it should be of extreme value to their audience. One of the most important parts of a press release is that main title that you use or even subject line if it's just an e-mail, this should be something that by itself is enough to inspire someone to be curious, enough to read more about it. And there's tons of examples on how you can do this, but it shouldn't just be like, I have a new product and I want you to look at it. That's not really going to do it and needs to be something really, really catch it. It could be. This problem that we've been dealing with forever is now over. Like something like that. Now can make people curious enough to keep reading. Because what we've all learned from blogs and other kinds of written content is that we mostly just look at the subject or title line before we decide kinda some of our opinions or what we're going to, if we're going to consume that piece of content or not. And then after the headline, we should have the body content right? In the body content should be the main purpose of what it is that you want to tell these people something that should inspire them to and essentially write their own article or make their own video about your product or service. So if this is an e-mail or if it is a press release, we want to make it as short as possible, as few words as possible. Only putting the essential kind of content in there, probably some images, some things that people can kinda quickly see what it is that you're talking about. For example, if you are writing to a tech blog about a new piece of tech that you've created. Then you want to show them why their audience is going to be interested in this thing that you are doing. And again, it shouldn't be for the purpose of blatantly trying to sell it. Because then they're going to just ask you to buy an ad. And sometimes that might be what you wanna do. But sometimes you just want them to legitimately write an article about your product because it's a value to their audience. So you have to keep all those things in mind whenever you're writing your body content. And again, making sure that there are some visuals, very few visuals to just gain that interests for their interests and they want to know more. They'll ask you, and then you can then do an interview you can do provide any sort of visuals or content that they are looking for. Some of the things that should be included in your press release. One, there absolutely needs to be the value. What is the value for their audience in what you are, or want them to write in the press release should be a link to more information. Again, we want to just inspire with the initial piece that we either e-mail or right? And we want to provide them with a link. So if you want to know more, here's how you can do that. And you also want to provide them with a link to how to contact you for more information or an interview. You know, I bring it up in each of these lessons, but you should also try to use storytelling when it comes to these press releases to stay away from robot speak and business speak and tell a story of how whatever it is that you're doing, whatever it is you've created, are made, are selling. How does it help people tell a story of how it's helped somebody in the past try to stay away from things like, this is the best product ever. Doesn't do anything. We want to see, oh, you know, last year we help this person save a bunch of money on their car insurance. Those kinds of stories are more relevant than just saying in general terms, but how amazing your product is. And then the last thing that you need in your press release is some kind of call to action. What is it that you want them to do? If you're sending it to a media outlet, say, we would love it if you were to write an audience or write an email to your audience, we think that they would find a lot of benefit from it. It could be I don't know. It could be many things most likely with a press release. That's what you're trying to do is you're trying to get them to talk more about it, but talk specifically on how you'd like them to talk about it. Like, oh, we would love it if you were to do a new segment on at nine o'clock on this day. Something like that. If people know exactly what it is that you want them to do, you're more likely to get a yes if they have to figure it out for themselves on how they want to promote you, it's going to be less likely. And then the last thing I wanna talk about is making sure that the people that you are sending your press release to actually make sense. Alright, so you want to send it to people that are, and in news outlets. Or again, thought leaders to an audience that's, that fits, that fits your product, that makes sense. And you, whenever you form this list of people, you need to keep that in mind is what source are they to their audience? And if it doesn't make sense, if you are a lotion company, will go back to this idea and you are trying to be in Popular Mechanics, unless there's a reason why it's not really going to make sense. So you wouldn't really reach out through press whenever it comes to or that press source anyway, when it comes to that, however, when you're talking about men's health or women's health, really know them in magazines. But if you have a lotion and you're talking about stuff like that, well, now that makes a little bit more sense. So you just need to make sure that you keep in mind who you are talking to and if you can't speak to these organizations, these groups, these media sources individually, then do that. Writing personalized e-mail. Hey Jill, I love what you write about in the tech blog. I think that we really something, or we're going to release something pretty soon that I think would be really beneficial to your audience. And it makes sense with some of the other stuff that you write about. If you have any other questions, let me know. Otherwise, here's here's a press release where you can find a lot of information about our product and some images. And if you'd like to do and it sort of interview, let me know. That alone can be a pretty simple example of how to write an email that's sort of a press release at the same time. What I'd like you to do now is with your company in mind, tried to write a 250 words or less press release. Again, we're not trying to make something super lengthy. Try to make something pretty short and concise about a single product or single service that they offer. 20. The Value of Content: So now we've talked about our plan, we've talked about content creation, and we've talked about promotion. The next thing we're going to talk about, and the very last part of our content marketing strategy is going to be prove. So proving the value of the things that we are going to make or have already made, right? Proving value of what you do is an extremely underrated and very rarely talked about element to content creation. Because a lot of people want to just make cool stuff and that's all fine and well. But if we can measure the results that these things have four people or kinda have really highly educated guesses of what we believe that it's going to do. And it becomes much more effective and the return on investment for the company becomes much, much higher. And that is our goal, right? We are going back to the beginning, what we're talking about. We're trying to impact people's businesses, not just trying to make cool stuff for them. So if that's the case, then we want to, we want to be able to say, Hey, we think that if we make all this content, we're going to increase sales, increase sign-ups, increase whatever by this percentage. And you can even say it's going to be of this value two. So if you know that it's going to increase sign-ups, 66, 6% means that they get an extra $200 thousand of sign-ups in a year for a course or whatever. Then you start to understand what the value is that you are creating for somebody. And that can also go play a role in, in pricing and how much you price for something. Because if you know that it creates $200 thousand worth of value, if you were to say charged ten to 30 percent, even, possibly even 40 percent based on your confidence level. And this is, this is an advanced concept or here. So I'm not, don't expect to just fully understand this right away is something that depends on the industry and depends on a lot of different factors. But theoretically, if you are not super confident, but you're pretty sure, then you can charge 10% of what that value is. If you are very confident that what you're gonna do is going to be a game changer for this company that you're working with, then charging 40%. Not super crazy. If we were 100% competent in what we did and we basically put a guarantee on what we do, then we would charge 100% of what the value is. But we never are right? Because we are an investment and all investments carry some risks with them, right? And if a company is hiring you to make a content marketing strategy and just creating content in general, they're aware of that risk there. They are aware that there is the potential for this to not work. But your job is to put as many things in places you can to reduce risk, right? That's part one of the most important things I hope you get from this course is how do you reduce risk so that you can create stuff for people that is of value to them. And for them to agree to anything, you have to reduce that risk. They have to realize that you are, that you are there for them and that you care about their financial well-being. And if you can do that, then you become a partner. So now let's, let's kinda start here and we're gonna kinda take us a little bit of a step back to the planning stage here. Often in these content and conversations that I have with people, the first thing I say or I ask is, what is your goal? What is it that you want to change in your business? Once I know that it's well, by how much do you want that to change? How many more sales that you tried to make? Again, by understanding these things, you start to understand what the value is of the work that you do. And before you start making recommendations or suggestions into all the different kinds of content you can make. What you need to understand the kind of value you can help them create. Because what you don't want to do is tell them that it's going to cost $50 thousand for all this content to be made. But you think that it's only going to help them make about $6 thousand a year. That doesn't really help. So the other thing that you need to understand is how quickly do they want to make that money? So how quickly do they want to make that change? How quickly do they want to reach that goal? Is it over the course of a month, a week ago, or a year, a decade. You need to understand this stuff so you can understand what the expectations are of you. If they're not super clear on that stuff, then you can say, oh, so, so you know what an acceptable change be reaching this goal by this date. And they'll tell you like, Oh, that's a little fast or they tell you, okay. Yeah, that sounds about right. Or maybe it's too long for them. If their expectations don't match, what you can do, then it is your responsibility to say, I cannot do that. I do not think of that as realistic with the time or the budget that we have. And it's okay for you to say those kinds of things. And then like I said before, another part of this is how much of this success or how much of the percentage of goal that they have, how much of that can you guarantee? With what it is that you do whatever kind of content is that you create. So if you are, again, if, if they say that their goal is to will say make a $100 thousand extra in a year. And you say to yourself, You know, I'm pretty sure I can guarantee that we can make them $50 thousand. Then that needs to be something that is also considered, right? If you're, if you're very confident and you can guarantee actually a million dollars as opposed to a 100 thousand. That also should play a factor. Now, as the creator here, we'll say like there's also a risk that you can take on to make more money. This gets into a whole other conversation honestly, but real quick, I'll just say like the more risk that you want to take on, the higher you can charge. To me. That's the difference between an amateur and the professional. They amateur says, I don't want to take on too much risk because I got a family this board. I'm a small business. I don't really want to take on too much risk, so they don't charge as much. So the professional, they are competent and seeing what they do and they've seen it work. So they know, Hey, I know that we can reach that number. So yeah, I'll have more of a guarantee placed on what it is that I can do. And by doing that, I get the charge more. That's how it goes, right? And it's kinda the same thing with the client. The more risk that they have to take on, the less they're going to want to pay. There's always that trade-off. If they are saying, Hey, we don't want to take a risk. And let's think about this now. This is why people shop at giant companies, especially giant content companies, big agencies, because they're reducing their own risk. They say, Okay, well, I'm very confident that this company could do it. They are very expensive, but I don't want to take any risks, so I'm gonna go with them because they know what they're doing. So we always need to balance that of risk and reward kind of mentality whenever it comes to Understanding the value of our content and how much we can charge for it. So how to kind of estimate, estimate the value of what it is that you're going to make it, you haven't made anything before. There's a couple different ways to write about three or four strategies that I have here of how do you find the value of what it is that you're doing if you haven't really done it for them just yet. The first thing that you can do is make preliminary content to get results quickly. So this could be a phased relationship that you have where you can say you know what? At first we want to make this video because we want to see some of the results that we're getting. And then based on that, we want to jump into a larger portion of content creation. And by testing it out at first, we want to measure some of the results before we jump into any of that other stuff. That's pretty classic way of not just guessing, right? We want to try to remove assumption and guessing from everything and try to use hard data whenever it comes to estimating value and, and figuring out how much we're going to charge for things. Something else that you can do is reference other peoples case studies. You can say, Oh, hey, this company started using content marketing and they grew their company by 10 percent and they are in a similar industry to you. And I believe that we can do that same thing. Now, you've gotta take that with a grain of salt. Because it's not always that easy, right? It's different teams, different companies, different people. It might be a similar industry, but there's so many variables that you can't possibly just say, Oh, okay, well they did it so we're going to do the same thing. But if you gathered a few different case studies or examples or references of how other companies have changed with content or specific kinds of content. Then you can be pretty sure that you can use something close, close to that. In general, I guess completely generally speaking here, if I'm gathering data like this, then I take the minimums of what I'm finding. So if I see 12 companies that have all grown 20%, but then there's one company that I read grew like 12%. I'm going to take that 12 percent number just to be safe because I don't want to ever create expectations that are beyond what I, what are possible. You always want to exceed expectations. So if you go with that high number year, making a little bit more difficult for yourself. So you always have to be kinda a little bit cautious yourself in, in what you, what you can't guarantee if you can guarantee anything at all honestly, you can also look at the experiences that you've had in the past. So maybe you say, okay, we've done this for this company, of this for this company, and they've all grown 25 percent over the course of a year. If you were the one that's done that work and they are similar industry, it's not that crazy for you to say, hey, here's what you should expect. We're going to grow your company 25 percent. You gotta back that claim up. But, you know, you have that ability to say those things if you've actually done those results in the past. And to me, this is one of the best ways of measuring value because it's your experience, it's you that I've actually done this before. It's not just telling stories about what somebody else has done. So going back to this idea again of pricing, whenever you know that value or whenever you have a pretty good idea on a value that you are creating for somebody. And I'm just gonna talk about value-based pricing for just a moment. Yeah, this is kind of the ultimate way to be able to price your work. Stay away from things like hourly, right? You want to stay away from things that, you know. People want to know one price. They don't want to say, you don't want to say, Okay, my reads a $100 an hour. And because you know what the next question is going to be is how many hours is it going to take? And then you said somewhere between here and here. And now all of a sudden they are incentivized to make you work as fast as possible and just kinda be done quicker, right? By pricing based on value, then you can start putting resources in play that are going to help that result even more. You can say, Okay, it's going to be, okay. I think the value of this project's going to be a $100 thousand. So again, what I was saying is charging somewhere between 5, 10 to 40 percent based on your competence level of that value. So if you, you know, okay, we're going to create a $100 thousand of value for you, and we're fairly confident, so we're going to have 25 percent, okay, we're gonna charge $25 thousand for this, this content. And you know, in your head you're like that's a lot more money than I normally charge. So what you might do is say, okay, well, I can help. And then I want to have my friend that does video help. I want to have this other friend that I have does your poster design or something like that, whatever, then you can start gathering more resources to be able to put together a plan that's beyond just yourself and what you can do. You know, you're helping people in many different ways at that point and that becomes extremely valuable for accompany. All right, so I wanna go into an example here to basically just explain how this process would work of, again, understanding some of the value of what you are creating. So let's say I'm having a conversation with a retail store. I might ask something like, okay, well, what is your average sale? And maybe they tell me something like $20. And then I might ask something like, okay, well, what percentage of people that walk into your store are actually customers? And maybe they say something like 50 percent, then I might say something like okay, well, if we can get is just six additional people in the store every day, that's about $60 worth of sales every single day. That all of a sudden starts to form into a goal, right? It's okay, they want to increase sales. We want to try to be realistic with how many people we can try to drive to their business. And again, so in this case we're here, we'll just say six, it's pretty reasonable number. So then the one-year value four, that becomes something around $21 thousand. Now if I said, okay, I'm never done this before. I don't really know if we can get six people in their store every day, then I might say, uh, you know, let's just say like $1100 or so. And I'm going to put some content together for that. And then on the other end of the spectrum, if I'm really confident that we'd get six people in their door every single day. Then I might try to charge something closer to 40% or about like $8,700 or so. I know you're thinking, How did you do that math on top of his head, like he doesn't have a script or something on his lap right now. I don't know. He just does. Anyway. So our difference of $1100 to $8,700 is quite a big gap. But again, based on our confidence, we can say, okay, if I had that $8,700, I can put these certain things in place to make sure that we are getting those six people through the door every day. So That's just one example. And this could work with websites, they could work with social media. I can work with a lot of different things, but by understanding some of the goal of what people are trying to do, then we can put the right content marketing strategy in place. So the last thing that I want you to do in this course, for this idea of proving value, what I want you to do is make a before and after kind of KPI chart. So key performance indicators. What are they right now? What are their current sales? How many people do they see in the store? How many, how much web traffic? Asking these questions to find out where things stand in their business right now. Now, on the other side, it's what do you believe that you could do with content for each of those numbers? Now, if you were to do that, then I want you to and then I want you to say, Okay, this is what I believe I can do with the content that I create. Here is what I believe that I can do. And being able to put a dollar amount on on the work that you're going to do. And again, this is an advanced level concept, but if you can get to this, if you can't get to this point of talking about these dollar amounts, then you can start putting together content that is extremely effective for people now. And that's completely different from somebody that comes to you. They might come to you with a budget. They might say, Hey, we have $5 thousand, we need to get some content mate. You know, you can reverse engineer that and say, okay, well, you clearly see the value of what I do at $5 thousand. So here's what I believe I can do for that. I'm much bigger fan of having these conversations early on of what your goal I tried to keep things goal-oriented rather than just what's your budget. You know, if they do offer up that budget, you do have to keep that in mind. But at the same time, if you can put together ideas that go beyond what they even asked for that, that they can see the value in. Then that's a really good way to do this. And again, I realize this lesson is a little bit more weird because we kind of shifted the tables here. We've been talking about content this entire time. And now we're talking about, okay, well, you are a content creator yourself. And I think a lot of you that are watching are going to be more of that person. So that's why I wanted to make sure we have this talk about value and pricing, at least just a little bit. And again, this just scratches the surface. And if this is something that interests you, you should absolutely keep, keep looking down this direction here. So yeah, so that's proving value. 21. Recap: Well, that was the course. I hope you've got a lot from this. Just wanna do a quick recap here, because we talked about a lot of different things and a lot of different ways to create content for people. But we started again with the idea of a plan, figuring out what we're going to do before we do anything. Alright? In this plan, what we wanna do is diagnose. We want to understand everything about the company. And then we want to prescribe. We want to say, okay, based on all of this, I know here's what I believe the solutions are. And getting sign-off on. That first step alone is huge because then you get the dive into the creation port of portion of things or the creation phase. And right here, this is where we get to be creative and make things that do look beautiful, but also serve a very important purpose for a person's company and their plan. And then three was once we create that content, we need to promote it. We want to get it out into the world so people can actually see it. And then the last step there is proving that value is this is a very much a cyclical process where we do all these things and then we find that value. And then we sometimes start back at planning again, like okay, based on what we just learned, Let's keep going around and around and around this loop. Knowing that we're getting better and better and more efficient and making more money for this company every single time we go through this loop. So it definitely do not think of this as a linear process where you do all of this once and then you're good forever. In some cases that could very well be what you do and it worked out really great. But I think that it should always be thought about as a process where we wanna get to the data as soon as we can so that we can make decisions based on the data rather than assumptions. The less assumptions we have, the better. You just keep in mind that when we're creating content, we are providing value to people. We are not pushing or pulling, right? We want people to see the contact with they weren't making. We want them to actually enjoy it. We want them to search for it later because they liked it so much. If we can do those things as a company, we will gain so much trust that whenever we do ask for something, it's much more likely to actually happen. So that's all I have. I hope you enjoyed this course. If you have any questions, you can send me a message at hello AT made by things.com. And I'd love to, I'd love to take a look at if you've been following along and actually going along with these assignments, please send them over. I would love to take a look and I'd love to give you some feedback if you'd like. All right. Thank you. Bye.