When Should I Use PowerPoint Audio?
BEING THAT MOST PowerPoint presentations are created as a visual aid to accompany a speech — although there is just so much more you can do with PowerPoint — you may find yourself wondering when it’s ever appropriate to use audio in your PowerPoint presentation, and if it is appropriate, what kind of audio?
First off, there are two kinds of audio you can use in a PowerPoint presentation: pre-recorded audio and audio you record yourself. You’ll learn how to record and insert your own audio files into PowerPoint in our PowerPoint Training Course.
When you might use pre-recorded audio
If you’ve ever fiddled around with PowerPoint, you’d notice there are a few audio sounds you can use insert into your slides. They’re mostly generic sound effects, like the sound of waves or a bird chirping. To be honest with you, none of these are ever appropriate in a PowerPoint presentation, except in some really obscure instances. Or less obscure ones, like a training course teaching you how to insert pre-recorded audio into PowerPoint!
You can also add pre-recorded audio that you have on your computer, like a song from your music library. Again, there are few instances when this is necessary, but it’s another option nonetheless.
Adding audio you record yourself
And here is where the answer to using audio in PowerPoint really lies. You can record your own audio, using QuickTime if you’re an Apple user, or Sounds Recorder if you’re using an older version of Windows; otherwise you can also record it on your mobile or digital recorder and import it onto your computer.
You would use this audio if you were going to upload your presentation to your website for a webinar, or for people to watch online afterwards. EzyLearn uses it in some of of online training courses. You could use audio in your induction training courses, too.
At EzyLearn we offer an abundance of online training courses to help you up-skill and find employment.
Choose from our wide range of:
- cloud-based online accounting software courses
- business start up and small business management courses
- marketing and sales courses OR
- update and further your skills in a range of Microsoft Office programs: Excel, PowerPoint, Word or social/digital media training courses and WordPress web design.
Facebook – Great for Local Marketing
In its decade of existence, Facebook has built up a wealth of data about its users, data that it likes to sell back to those who need it, in the form of targeted advertising. Facebook advertising, though similar in its approach, is very different to Google Adwords in what it delivers. Real estate agents discovered the value of Facebook advertising early, and have used a combination of images and videos to successfully deliver their marketing messages and sale pitches directly to their target market and in order to set their prices.
Be Local, Not Global
Real estate agents specialise in knowing their local area. It’s how they get listings and it’s how they find buyers for those listings. In a former post, when we talked about setting your prices, we suggested getting to know your market and who your customer are. As a contract bookkeeper, you can, in theory, work for any business, based anywhere in the world, but you should still specialise in your local area, the reasons for which are twofold:
- Fewer to compete with: This isn’t about being the biggest fish in the smallest pond. It’s about getting clients, and that’s what you want. If you’re based in Sydney, specialise in Sydney. Don’t try and compete with everyone in Australia, if you can just complete with Sydneysiders.
- Convenience: The truth is, lots of businesses still like to meet their contractors in person. If you’re happy to fly all over the country to earn your regular bookkeeping rate, then by all means. If you’d rather not, then look for clients that are nearby — in the same state, at least.
When you’re setting up your Facebook advertising campaign, instead of trying to target everyone interested in bookkeeping services in Australia, stick to your state or local area, depending on the size of the market for your services in your local area. Sure, this reduces the pool of potential people seeing your advertisement, but it also reduces the pool of potential competitors.
When Local is Appealing to Global Clients Too
And just a note on getting international clients: Try to land international clients who are looking for an Australian, because you have skills they need — you’re in the same country as their Australian clients, you understand Australian tax, and so forth. Remember also that Australian wages are higher than anywhere else in the world, so international businesses need to be willing to pay that because you provide a service or possess skills they can’t get elsewhere.
Our EzyStartUp Course covers researching the market, setting prices, and an introduction to marketing and business planning, plus much more. If you’re starting a bookkeeping business or you already have started on, enrol in our EzyStartUp course to ensure you’re not selling yourself short.
Alternatively, learn all about marketing your business online with our Marketing, Advertising and Sales courses.
Our Facebook Marketing Course which not only teaches you how to set up a Facebook Page, but how to use Facebook for business, how to advertise on Facebook; it also features our own real life case study.
Knowing How to Make Your Blogs Puhretty, Like
So you want to digitise your business? Until I’m blue in the face, I keep telling anyone in business that content marketing is one of the most important online Digital marketing activities for businesses in operation today — particularly those with a website. Successful content marketing is about creating original, high quality content that’s relevant to your “potential” customers. It also needs to be high quality in every way (relevancy is integral to quality) and this involves every aspect of the content you’re creating — copy, layout and design. This ain’t always easy!
I’ve mentioned this elsewhere on this blog before, but I stand by my geeky analogy that great content is like an equilateral triangle, in that all parts must be equal. Copy, layout and design are the three sides of your content, and if you prioritise one aspect over one of the others, your content will be unbalanced, just as your triangle would be.
Blogging: The Staple of Content Marketing
How best to content market to your audience? Well, I’d go so far as to say that you can’t have effective content marketing without maintaining a blog. Setting up a blog is actually pretty easy, especially if you use a content management system like WordPress for your website and blog. With WordPress the the layout is pretty much taken care of for you — just choose a theme and away you go.
Many businesses outsource copywriting to a contractor or freelancer, which in our view, is a wise move. Unless you’re a clear writer who can articulate your point accurately and economically (a good writer will know that I’m talking about word count), then you should outsource it. You also have to rather enjoy doing it and be fast at it — otherwise, despite your best intentions, little will ever get published.
A Word on Google Images
So, to design. In the case of blogging, you usually select an image to illustrate your blog posts, which brings us to the subject of this blog post: understanding image rights. Unless you intend to use your own photos and images that you’ve taken or created yourself (hands down, one of the best ways to drive search engine rankings and increase reader engagement, just sayin’) and therefore own the copyright to, then you need to understand image rights first.
As a general rule, never ever use Google Images to find an image for your blog. That’s not to say that Google Images isn’t a great starting off point if you’re creatively spent and in need of some inspiration. I frequently punch a few keywords or phrases into Google Images to see if the results turn up, and then go back to my image library, which categorises images in a more literal sense than Google Images does.
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We showcase what we did at EzyLearn in 2008 and what we did for Derek Farmer (Cammeray Real Estate Agent) in 2015 to get onto page 1 of Google and in front of his entire database every day on Facebook
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This has a lot to do with indexing and keyword usage; put simply, think of Google Images as your own personal brainstorming team. Traditionally, brainstorming has always worked best when there was more one person, but if you’re on your lonesome, then this is where Google Images comes in handy.
You punch in a few key phrases or concepts and you can see how other people have illustrated their websites and blogs, based on those same phrases.
What makes the images from Google Images dicey is that, as a search engine, it’s not beholden to the laws of copyright usage and image licensing; it’s up to you to do your due diligence and find out what the terms of the image’s license are.
Generally speaking, to use an image that you haven’t created, you must track down the creator and ask for permission to use it. Obviously, this would be a lengthy and arduous process if you had to do this for every image you found on the internet, so, thankfully, there are plenty of ways to find images where the copyright holder has already released the image with a license that allows specific uses.
Using an image in a way that isn’t allowed under the terms of its license is still considered copyright infringement, so make sure you’re certain you understand each image’s license before you use it on your blog or website.
Most online image libraries offer images with license terms that deal with:
- Type of use: Commercial or non-commercial use, with the first being any use of an image to sell or promote a product, service, or idea.
- Attribution: Credit may need to be given to the original creator of the image and required format (e.g. a link) specified.
- Modification: The image may have to be used unchanged, or you may allowed to modify it and create new images or materials from it.
- Number of uses: Some licenses may restrict the number of times an image can be used.
Of course, one way to avoid having to deal with image rights is to take your own pictures. As I said earlier, this not only gives your content its own personalised stamp of authenticity, but it also helps drive search engine rankings and reader engagement. This is very important in content marketing.
If you’re not able to take your own pictures, for whatever reason, then using an online image library is the best way to ensure that your content is not only looking great and will engage your customers, but that you’re also not contravening any copyright or licensing terms.
To learn more about content marketing, subscribe to our blog or register your interest in our forthcoming content marketing training course. If you’re a bookkeeper looking to start out on your own, or start a small business, find out more about our bookkeepers’ directory, where we do the content marketing for you to help you find work.
FINDING PROSPECTS AND converting them into clients involves selling and most of us hate doing it, but wait…
For those of us in small business, be it as a bookkeeper, real estate agent, sales rep or the like, most of us are selling every day of our lives.
This means we get pretty good at it. We develop techniques that we can replicate and that become part of our daily lives.
The process of selling is really no longer about selling per se; it becomes about a systemised process of:
- sourcing new leads (using content marketing, networking and advertising)
- educating those leads about their services (using websites, social media, white papers, property reports)
- understanding whether the lead would in fact be a good buyer or potential client (using face-to-face meetings, phone conversations and emails)
- closing the sale (via offer and acceptance, funds transfer, receipts and after sales support).
With the growing power of modern cloud-based technologies, more people are taking the plunge to start their own businesses, but people who do so must constantly:
- stand out from their competitors (say, other bookkeepers) to get discovered by people needing help with their books, either remotely or in their home/office
- do an efficient job in managing their schedule and dealing with clients, and
- market their services effectively.
Content Marketing takes the “salesy” out of selling
I’ve written a lot about content marketing lately because content marketing is simply imperative for anybody looking to sell their products and services and source new clients.
The beauty of content marketing is that, as a system to source new leads, you can cover all the steps of the selling process without it seeming like a chore and, best of all, without feeling “salesy”, cheesy or inauthentic. It’s focus is about the potential client — it’s about providing them with relevant information that will benefit them — not ramming a sales pitch down their throat.
Good sales people realise that sales and the very process of selling is not about just “closing” a sale. Rather, it’s about understanding what the customer needs, seeing if your product is a good fit and then offering a solution to a customer’s problem.
How much of sales is Content Marketing?
To this end, content marketing is about 80% of the selling process or 80% of the sales funnel (as corporate sales people like to call it).
This is because content marketing involves information gathering; it involves seeing if your product and YOU are a good fit for your client.
These are the content marketing stages:
- creating relevant and interest website content
- ‘call to action’ that results in email or mobile number capture
- email or SMS marketing
- social media profiles to engage with your prospects
- CRM’s to manage the final parts of the selling process.
When you implement these systems you can sit back and watch it work and then focus on your conversion rate or what industry experts call CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation.
Do you really want to be an online marketing professional? Let us manage it for you
Most of our students are looking for bookkeeping work, or want to start a bookkeeping service business — that’s why they use our services for MYOB Training Courses, Excel Training Courses, Xero Courses and Small Business Management Training.
Our recently updated bookkeeping directory is matching small business people to bookkeepers for a fair rate (for instance, if you want a level 3 bookkeeper, you pay for a level 3 bookkeeper). The National Bookkeeping directory is aimed at helping people (our students primarily) find bookkeeping work or start a bookkeeping business, but it’s also a great way for small businesses to find bookkeepers located close by, or who have the skills they require but who don’t necessarily need to come into the office and can assist them in the cloud.
To find out how you can be more than just a bookkeeper, and start your own bookkeeping business and promote your valuable bookkeeping services to a wider circle of potential clients via content marketing, read about listing yourself on National Bookkeeping or becoming a licensee.
I’d like your opinion!
I was reviewing some of the content we’ve created this year and I was actually astounded at the number of blogs we’d written that mention content marketing. Even so, when I mention content marketing to many business people, they’re still not really sure what I’m talking about. So I asked Angela in our office to put something together — just for fun. Better still, I recorded an audio commentary to go with it; I hope you find it of use.
All the content marketing talk
Want a recap of all the times I’ve written about content marketing? I did a whole lot of posts about real estate agents and how important content marketing is for them. Here are some of the blog headlines in our content marketing category:
- Free tips for real estate agents who want to use video in their social media with WordPress websites
Maybe I’m a bit more passionate about content marketing than I even realised (which is saying something!) Watch the video below and let me know your thoughts.
Video presentation with annotations and a call to action
Want to know more?
If you’re interest in learning about the contents of our Content Marketing, Facebook and Social Media course which is currently being uploaded to our LMS read about it here and follow the links to pre register for alerts. When we release it we’d have a great offer for early students. 🙂
Thought you may like to know that we are going to reveal everything we did for Derek Farmer’s real estate site for property sales in Cammeray – even Facebook advertising and re-targeting to stay front of mind with his client database.
The Value of Content Marketing
January, February and March of a new year, which is typically the quietest as people take a while to adjust to the work and school routine, is when a lot of businesses spend time setting goals for the year ahead.
Just as individuals set their own personal new year’s resolutions, many businesses use January and February to set some new year’s resolutions for their business’s marketing activities.
Business Blogs vs Paid Advertising
In 2016, there was an unprecedented uptick in the number of Australian businesses using content marketing to help drive their search engine rankings, increase customer engagement, and position themselves as opinion leaders in their industry. If the last 12 months is anything to go by, then, it’s fair to say 2017 will continue the content marketing trend.
Yes, I’ve been talking about content marketing a lot on this blog lately, as it’s a marketing strategy EzyLearn has been using, almost exclusively, for many years now, with much success — you are reading this blog post, after all!
EzyLearn and our partners continue to help many businesses establish their brand and build credibility online using content marketing — something we continue to do to great effect for real estate agents, to name but a few. Whether you are an agent, bookkeeper, small business owner, or just have dreams to start working for yourself, why not register your interest in our up and coming content marketing course.
Great Content is Like an Equilateral Triangle – All the Sides are Equal
As popular as content marketing has become in the last few years, many people still don’t quite understand that great content marketing requires you to pay equal emphasis on each component. This includes the word content itself in an ebook or enewsletter for instance, but also the layout and design, the SEO etc. It also needs to be free of typos!
I know, in the past, I’ve probably been guilty of rushing to publish content on our website because I’m so eager to share what we’ve created with you. But for content marketing to be successful in the long term, it needs to be approached holistically. In other words, the copy is equally as important as the design and the layout; the messages need to be consistent and you need to keep communicating with your customers — it can’t be hit and miss.
Just as every side in an equilateral triangle must be created equal, so too do you have to consider all components equally when content marketing.
Outsourcing is Okay
As a small business, you probably have at least one person in your team who is either a) design inclined; or b) a good, strong writer. If you’re really lucky, you may have both, but it’s not uncommon for a business to need to outsource part of this work to a professional, usually on a contract or freelance basis.
Take stock of the talent you have in-house already. If you have a competent designer, utilise them and outsource the writing to a professional. It’s unwise to try and do everything yourself. Producing high quality content is a time-consuming process, made even more so if there’s a particular aspect of it — the writing, say — that you’re not proficient at.
I would say that most business owners do most of what I would loosely term ‘designing’, themselves, which in the case of blogging is choosing an image that accurately reflects the message you’re trying to communicate in the main copy.
Think Outside the Stock Box When it Comes to Photos for Your Blogs
There is a certain art to selecting images for your blog. You want to avoid using ones that every other blogger is using, which means ditching your regular Google Images haunt and using a stock library instead. But this is where you need to do your research.
Many free stock libraries serve up the same images that you find in Google Images, which brings you back to square one. They’re also incredibly boring. At this point, next logical option probably seems like paying for a membership to a stock library.
Again, research is required here. Not all stock libraries, even paid ones, are created equally. Well known libraries — iStock Photo, for example — are expensive, while the other, lesser known ones are still boring. So what’s a content marketer to do? Get creative.
Take Your Own Digital Marketing Images With Your Smartphone
Remember, content marketing is about creating original, high quality content that’s relevant both to your customers and to your business. With this in mind, rather than paying for expensive stock photography and images, why don’t you take your own? There’s nothing more original and relevant to you and your customers than your own photography.
Publishing original content on your blog and website, whether it’s in the form of images, copy or videos (or all of the above), the harder it will work at driving your search engine rankings, while, at the same time, the personalised approach will have a longer lasting impression on your readers and customers.
Prioritise Content Marketing in 2017
Bookkeepers especially — take note!
If you’re a bookkeeper looking to start your own bookkeeping business and find yourself clients, or grow you list of clients, and content marketing isn’t already on your agenda for 2017 — it should be.
In terms of having the experience and know-how to content market to people we know what our students need to be successful to this end, after all, most EzyLearn students use our services for MYOB Training Courses, Excel Training Courses, Xero Courses and Small Business Management Training because they’re looking for bookkeeping work or want to start a bookkeeping business. Very early in the piece we started finding out why our students did our courses because it enables us to develop targeted products (and write content about) what they need.
Join our Bookkeeping Directory TODAY
We’ve launched a new bookkeeping directory which is aimed at helping people (our students primarily) find bookkeeping work or start a bookkeeping business, but it’s also a great way for small businesses to find bookkeepers who are close to them. We’re also taking registrations for our content marketing online course.
To find out more about how you can be more than just a bookkeeper, and start a bookkeeping business, including promoting your bookkeeping services to a much wider circle of people and engaging in content marketing, read more about listing yourself on National Bookkeeping.
If you’re interested in content marketing, either for your business or because you’d like to become an independent contractor offering content marketing services to other business, you can learn more by subscribing to our blog.
6 Weeks from Zero to Hero in Google Organic Search
I HAD A GOOD, long think before writing this blog post. However, I’ve decided it’s OK to write this blog — because the blog should be about helping business people reach Page One in Google’s organic search results (that’s the FREE ones!)
You should see the number of emails I get each week from overseas companies in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and even the US and UK.
All of these emails are telling me the same thing: How they will get my company onto Page 1 in Google!
You might be thinking, “Yeah, so what? I already know how to do that!” or let me see your list of companies. Point is, there are lots of these self-professed experts around — and I’m probably no exception!
I last wrote about real estate agent, Derek Farmer, before Christmas when we had already created his new website. The aim of this was to help property owners find him when they’re ready to explore selling their property.
We’d already begun the process of creating relevant content but ramped it up in the last 6 weeks and the results were amazing as you can see from the chart!
The work we did to help Derek get onto Page 1 of Google WITHOUT spending a cent on advertising, involved all the tools we use at EzyLearn just to run our business. The thing with this is that we practise what we preach.
That’s the beauty of running an online business: You get pretty good at all the technical and content stuff, particularly when you have to compete with the marketing muscle of billion dollar organisations like MYOB and Sydney University!
Of course, Derek was a good real estate to begin with. He had a great existing reputation in Sydney’s Lower North Shore and over 170 property sales under his belt. Quality speaks volumes.
Give something away
Derek had also spent a lot of time, considerable money and brainpower coming up with an educational series of videos. These helped his vendors (people selling their homes) and prospective customers better understand the various stages of the sales process.
This reflects the need for businesses to generate great quality content that people will find valuable — it’s something everyone needs do in the “Google information era” we all now live in.
See what Derek has done and learn more about Automated Response Marketing
virion: A brand I am proud to work with
Virion is the arm of the business that helped Derek achieve such tremendous online success.
Check out the Blog and Subscribe
Whereas the EzyLearn blog is chiefly about what we teach, the virion blog covers more of what we do. I’d love to share the work we do with you. Who knows if you see something you like, you can even join us and get involved!
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What’s all this about content marketing?
We’re busy developing a new content marketing course because as a form of online marketing, content marketing is finally starting to come into its own. Content marketing has actually been around for many years – it’s been known as custom publishing, branded content, branded journalism, and custom media – but as it became more popular, marketers began referring to it as content marketing to make it easier to for their clients to understand.
Content marketing is basically the process of creating valuable, informative content – blog posts, email newsletters, ebooks, etc – and sharing it online to help attract and retain customers. But because it requires a lot of content to be produced and regularly, many small businesses are outsourcing their content marketing needs.
Your content marketing needs to have a purpose
To make the most out your content marketing, you need to have goals and a strategy in place to achieve them so you’re not just wasting your time. This is the same as traditional marketing activities, which we cover in our Small Business Management Course. You also need to be able monitor how each piece of content is going at achieving those goals.
If you’re also hiring a content writer or strategist to help you with your content marketing, you also need a way to easily collaborate. Now, if only there was a way to monitor and analyse your content marketing AND schedule and set content marketing tasks for those people you’re working with…
A tool for schedule and managing content marketing
Well, as we’ve recently discovered, there is! It’s a cloud-based content marketing and editorial calendar called CoSchedule and it allows you to schedule and create content marketing tasks, assign those tasks to your team, create and publish blog posts, share links to content via social media, and monitor the success of your content and the social media platform all within the CoSchedule app.
It’s a very powerful, very useful tool for small businesses that work with a number of remote workers who are based around the country, as it allows complete collaboration with your team and also integrates seamlessly with WordPress. It also helps you to optimise your blog titles and your social media sharing to help drive your web traffic.
By providing you with detail stats – and also integrating with most web analytics software, including Google Analytics – you can see what content performs well and what doesn’t, so you can improve you content in the future.
You need to know your readers to succeed
Because content marketing is about creating engaging and interesting content, whether it’s blog posts or ebooks or something else, it’s vital that you know what content your customers like and what the don’t, so you can ensure you’re always keeping them engaged.
In a post I wrote about content marketing not so long ago, I mentioned how important it is to know and understand your reader, because that’s what’ll help you to engage and interest them with your content. If you have highly engaged people consuming your content, they’re more like to share it with their friends, family and other people in their social networks.
This helps to spread the word about your business, which will bring you more customers and make you more money. But better than that, it’ll also help you to see new opportunities and areas into which you can expand your business.
Content marketing can help expand your business too
We used the feedback we received from our content marketing activities when we decided to develop the Xero training courses and the currently in-development content marketing course; it also guided us in our decision to partner with National Bookkeeping who are taking on licensees and helping them to start their own bookkeeping business.
Yes, we got all that from content marketing! Because through our content marketing, we got to know you, our readers, and what you were interested in and that allowed us to look for the types of courses and business opportunities that would interest you. You can do the same for your business too.
Learn about content marketing from the experts
If you’d like to learn about content marketing, our new content marketing course is currently in development. We’re working with an Australian journalist, a successful small business owner, and a digital marketing specialist to create a relevant, easy-to-follow course that’ll guide you through the process step-by-step. In the meantime, you can subscribe to our blog to continue reading our posts, where we’ll keep you updated on how it’s progressing.
If you’re looking for the opportunity to start your own home-based bookkeeping business, we recommend you get in touch with National Bookkeeping, who is taking on licensees. We’ve made all of our courses available to them, which will include our content marketing course when it becomes available so their licensees can learn all about starting and operating their own bookkeeping business.
What about content marketing for real estate agents
We’ve recently become aware of the need for real estate agents to build their own personal profile and credibility online. Property vendors who want to sell their property are (like the rest of us) increasing looking online for selling agents who have good experience and great reputation to sell their properties at the highest possible price and as quickly as possible. Watch this space as we learn more.
Will customers like you according to Google?
Inbound marketing is the focus on creating quality content that attracts and draws people toward your company and product. In the last few years, it’s come to replace the outbound marketing methods of old, which involved buying ads and email lists and paying for leads, making it one of the most effective online marketing methods. If this sounds a lot like content marketing that’s because it is, or at least, it’s a subset of it.
Content marketing is the process of consistently creating valuable, relevant content that you share online to attract more customers to your business. Inbound marketing is about being found online, through search engines, social media, and the like. See the difference? No, well allow me to elaborate.
But first, a little history lesson
Content marketing has been around for ages – it’s thought to have started with John Deere, the agricultural machinery manufacturer, which started it’s own magazine in 1895 called The Furrow – but it’s only recently gained more traction as businesses and marketers alike try to find new ways to engage customers online. Despite that, content marketing is just one cog in the greater online/inbound marketing machine.
Inbound marketing, though now very intimately linked to content marketing, is actually a far newer incarnation of the more traditional marketing activities. Inbound marketing is maybe only a decade old, and grew out of the shift in the way consumers interact and respond to advertising. Where consumers were once passive observers of advertising, the Internet made them powerful advocates or critics of a brand, aided greatly by social media.
Which side of that fence a company’s customers fell on was entirely up to what they did with their marketing. Increasingly, though, it became clear that consumers weren’t interested in straight advertisements, especially not on the Internet; they want content and they want content that’s informative or engaging – or both.
If you’ve been following this blog, then you know that EzyLearn is busy developing a new content marketing course, which we hope will complement our existing small business management course that currently covers traditional marketing – buying ads, telemarketing, letterbox drops; basically, what’s now known as outbound marketing.
If you’ve been following this blog, then you’ve also been following our own content marketing strategy: to share valuable, informative content with our students and prospective students, to form a community of individuals who are as passionate about learning and development in their professional lives as we are.
Can content marketing exist without inbound marketing?
Before I talk about whether content marketing can exist in isolation to inbound marketing and vice versa, I’d just like to summarise exactly what content marketing is and what inbound marketing is.
Content marketing is the strategic creation of informative, engaging, and valuable content. It’s the blog posts, newsletters, web pages, and – yes – print advertisements, flyers and brochures.
Inbound marketing is the overarching marketing plan or approach to attracting customers. It’s the distribution methods and channels of your blog posts and newsletters; it’s opt-in email lists; online community building (social media management); search engine optimisation; pay-per-click advertising; and so forth.
Because content is such a big part of marketing, whether it’s outbound or inbound marketing, I believe that, while you can use content marketing on its own, it’s not really possible to use inbound marketing without any content. Besides, there is some overlap between content marketing and inbound marketing, anyway.
Is there a career or business opportunity in Inbound Marketing?
In content marketing, you may decide to regularly write and publish blog posts, promote them on social media, and encourage people to subscribe to your blog using an opt-in widget on your web page. That single content marketing activity – blogging – involves, by default, some components of inbound marketing. No one writes a blog post, after all, and leaves it in their content management system without publishing it and then linking to it on social media.
That’s why we decided to develop a content marketing course, rather than an inbound marketing course because, by convention now, many elements of inbound marketing are carried out as part of the regular content marketing process. Content marketing also integrates better with other marketing activities, like networking or outbound marketing, which means you can create content for to be used on your blog and repurpose it for a letterbox drop.
When I started my blog more than 5 years ago, I felt a bit like a computer nerd. I mean, who wanted to read about how to do bookkeeping and accounting using MYOB?
Then cloud accounting became a thing and software once more became exciting.
Incidently, the big fight to become the most successful Cloud Accounting Software is now well underway with MYOB having just been relisted on the ASX and its share pricing diving very quickly.
They’re competing with Xero and we wrote about the fierce competition looming against MYOB in 2010 when Craig Winkler (the man who build MYOB into the success it become now being a significant shareholder in Xero).
What made bookkeeping exciting to so many more people?
Bookkeeping became exciting, in large part, because of the flexibility it offered busy people wanting more control over their working lives, and busy parents trying to juggle priorities.
We could create a content marketing strategy about how cloud accounting makes bookkeeping faster and easier for small business, while also making it possible for parents to work closer to home (or at the family home), performing bookkeeping tasks and avoiding traffic, congestion and time you never get back commuting.
I should also confess that, at the time, I didn’t realise how important AND time consuming content marketing would be. Every blog post takes at least an hour!
You may ask how what appears to be a relatively simple blog post can take that long? In reality, a well researched blog post, including topic research, finding images, finding the right page(s) to link to can take several hours and that’s what we’re going to share in our soon-to-be-launched Content Marketing Course & Services.
Why does it take so long to write a blog post?
If it were the case of just writing some sentences, it wouldn’t take that long at all. But what’s the point of that?
I’m not going to insult people, particularly people who have proven that they take the time to read my blogs on a regular basis, with poor quality, rushed content.
Furthermore, everything I write relates to something else we do and it involves:
- Carrying out research to back up what I write about (like the above information about MYOB shares and a previous blog about both MYOB and Xero getting smashed by a huge US based competitor)
- Referencing our own landing pages for the services we provide, and
- Linking to relevant blogs that I’ve written.
Getting found: Optimising your blog posts for Google
I haven’t even mentioned the time and effort in optimising each and EVERY blog post for the keywords that are important to us. That involves:
- Keyword density
- Relevant landing pages
- Keywords in headings
Outsourcing blog writing to the Philippines, India or the Ukraine?
Tempting isn’t it? The thought that you can get someone to write a great blog post for your business for $2-3 per hour!
I mean in one day you could get all your writing done and then just schedule the blog posts to be published in something like your WordPress Blog over the next month or two. But it’s not that easy it is?
We are in an age where just stringing some words and sentences together isn’t going to get any one to pay much attention, particularly if there is a hint of broken English or disconnect with the topic. And anyway, if you’re going to write content you need to be an expert don’t you? Who wants to read some words that have just been sprayed onto a page because they have relevant keywords?
Content Marketing Strategy — who is the reader?
Like many tasks involved in small business, the most important part of the work is creating the Content Marketing Strategy; the plan for:
- Topics that will interest your readers and potential customers
- The keywords to be used in those articles (blogs)
- The landing pages that will convert potential customers into customers
Some of these components have nothing to do with the intended reader, but if your content marketing is going to be effective you’ll have to have a clear description of your reader in your head — I like to give them a name, imagine how many children they have, where they live, why they’re using my products/services, who their friends are, how they are going to talk about our company etc.
A wise old business owner I use to speak with regularly kept asking me the question, “Who is your customer, Steve?” This relates to everything. It relates to content marketing, but it also relates to when our courses are available, how we combine several features into one offer, how we try to do more for that market, like find other ways for them to benefit by using our service, hence National Bookkeeping!
What are you doing for your reader?
For most people it’s because they’re looking for bookkeeping work or want to start a bookkeeping business. Finding out as much as possible about why our students do our courses enables us to develop products (and write content about) what they need.
Join our Bookkeeping Directory TODAY
We partner with a bookkeeping directory which is aimed at helping people (our students primarily) find bookkeeping work or start a bookkeeping business. It’s also a great way for small businesses to find bookkeepers who are close to them.