Content is NOT the king anymore!
You are consuming content by the minute. You read a word on the internet written by someone miles away from you, years before this time, and about things happening on a daily basis. With so much information being regurgitated, it is a challenge to find good value-laden and unique content. For years, the concept of “Content is King”, has been hard wired into our brains and the marketing departments have done a great job at plastering this all over their campaigns. To this day, content gurus and experts claim content to be the king.
BUT, I disagree! This disagreement is sparked by the interesting conversation between Sayyed Ahmed Masud and Neil Patel on the Guru Talks Podcast Series, Episode 4.
Your Brand is the King, and Content is the Queen.
Now, hold your thought and allow me to untangle and re-wire the settings. For YOU to understand why content is the Queen, we need to understand what exactly is the role of the king?
Take a game of chess for an example. For anyone who has played the game would know that you have to think multiple moves ahead and the King has to be protected at all costs! Because if the King dies, the whole game finishes! Despite the other pieces on the chessboard sacrificing their lives to protect the King, the King has barely any movement on the entire board. The Queen on the other hand has the maximum movement and leverage to make decisions. It is the Queen that makes sure that the King is still standing by the end of the game. Secretly, I believe a lot of the players protect the Queen in the game rather than the King!
Despite this that the King has more value and if you lose the King, you lose the game BUT it is the Queen that works in the shadows. The Queen uses tactful moves and in various forms to create the subtle importance for the King in order to make sure that it stays alive till the very end.
Now replace King with brand and Queen with content in the above sentences. Makes sense, right?
Since, we have established that content is the backbone for the brand, it is safe to say that marketing and Search Engine Optimization [SEO] is like its back support.
In the exclusive Podcast with Neil Patel, the SEO Guru and Marketing Expert highlighted exactly this!
Here are some chunks from the exclusive Podcast with Neil Patel. SEE if you are following any of his tips and tricks like we are?
Who is Neil Patel anyway?
A man from a middle-class background and true reflection of a self-made success, Neil Patel is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital.
His journey began from a 16-years-old high schooler, looking for a high paying job to becoming one of the New York Times best-selling author and Top influencer on the web by The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, he is accredited to owning one of the 100 most brilliant companies according to Entrepreneur Magazine, which earned him a place among the top 10 marketers by Forbes, while Former U.S. President Barack Obama recognized him as the top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 and United Nations recognized him as the top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35.
Despite all of these achievements, Neil started off with meager resources and limited opportunities.
Was it his pursuit of excellence that made him a global expert or was it his need of a job that made him an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship: A choice for money!
Most entrepreneurs, like you and I, talk about their passion to work with technology or their vision of saving humanity, but Neil had other reasons to become an entrepreneur. It is an after thought that chasing money is not the reason to become an entrepreneur and profitability should be secondary to only sustainability, however, Neil’s motivation to become an entrepreneur was solely based on finding a high paying job.
Fresh out of high school but without a college degree, Neil saw entrepreneurship as his only solution to generating more income. But with no experience, zero idea, and very little to start from, how was Neil able to become the maestro of marketing?
Key Takeaway: There is no shame and guilt in starting a business for money, as long as you start doing it!
Neil Patel’s Starter Pack: Learning, Credibility, and Scaling!
A certain amount of privilege and a sense of outside entitlement can make or break the success for any founder of a startup. Some have to start from scratch while others get a slight push to kickstart their journey. If anything, Neil Patel had to work extra hard and struggle more for every slice of success. Accessing and acting upon the advice he received or the understanding he had, was able to get him through to the point where he is today.
Neil’s initial resources included reading books, searching the internet, and browsing You Tube videos. He would occasionally go to conferences and network with industry experts to learn more but he “did not have anyone hand holding” him throughout the way. And when you are starting off at a young age, with not a proper mentor, establishing credibility in the market is not only tough but seems like a far-fetched idea!
Interestingly, Neil Patel did not think about establishing credibility at that time. All he thought about was growing a business and trying to do okay- survive in the jungle, in a way!
“You see credibility happens over time, whether you’re 30 or 50 or 16 years, credibility doesn’t happen overnight, so, either way your work will speak for itself, your knowledge will speak for itself.”
So, all that matters is that how good are you at what you are claiming that you can do and whether people find a solution or service in your work and you! This will eventually make you credible and successful.
So, are you doing what you claim to do?
Neil believes that one should always value feedback from people around them and the customers and go ahead and execute it. If you keep thinking about perfection, there will be less implementation and more procrastination. Entrepreneurs should develop a mentality to get the work out there but adapt to the changing times too.
Key Takeaway: Provide value and deliver what you promise! But don’t forget to adapt and change with time.
Helping Out and Traction In!
Millions of people follow Neil Patel not only because of his valuable content but also because it is absolutely FREE. From his starter SEO courses to his tips and tools to rank high on Google, everything is available, accessible, and completely free!
So, how can a free resource help a business grow, you ask?
Well, Neil doesn’t think of this as a business strategy because he simply enjoys helping out others. Coming from a place where he did not have tons of money or resources to start with, he understands how difficult and challenging it can be so, why not help others succeed?
But how does that benefit him?
Apart from his passion for marketing, helping out others brings traction in for his business. If people can afford his services, they will become customers, but if they can’t then they will take away something valuable and keep coming back for more!
As vague as it may sound, it has actually helped Neil Patel scale his business because not only does he get customers and readers but people are willing to volunteer their time when he needs it and even help out for free. This is one of the reasons why he takes out the time to respond to his emails despite the numerous queries he receives!
Key Takeaway: Help out others as much as you can, provide genuine content to people, and not everything should come with a price tag!
Distraction and Diversions
These two are Satan’s secret weapons and a digital marketer’s worst fear. There is absolutely no one alive on this planet who can say that they have never wasted time because of distractions, including Neil Patel! Where conventionally you could avoid wasting time by being more focused and conscious of the tasks at hand, thanks to technology, there are digital tools like “Rescue Time” that can help manage your time, focus your efforts, and overcome distractions.
One thing Neil believes distracts a lot of people including content writers and digital marketers is that they read too much! Although reading is not a bad thing, you are constantly learning new things however, it is pointless if you never implement anything from learning.
Key Takeaway: If you can’t consciously focus on the task, then use digital tools like Rescue Time to avoid distractions. Also, start ‘Acting’ rather than just ‘Absorbing’.
A-Team makes the Dream Team!
Team building and management are the 2 essential aspects and challenges for any business especially for startups where the initial team of 3 to 4 employees and the founders have to work together and build a company. No matter how great your idea is and no matter how huge the impact will be, if you don’t have the right team to execute this, then it’s all pointless.
Neil believes that rather than training people, it is convenient, effective, and easier to find people who are already experts in that particular task or job. He believes in building a team with people who are not as good as him but better than him. People who have significant experience in the field of work that he needs and can in return teach him too.
But how does he do that?
LinkedIn, Conferences, and Networks! He actively searches for the people who don’t need to be trained and have had the specific responsibilities and skills in the past which have proved to be successful too.
Key Takeaway: Build a team of people who have skills and responsibilities in the past for the job you want. Start networking and remember: A- Team with All stars!
SEO Magic and Marketing!
Search Engine Optimization [SEO] has become a natural part of content strategies and marketing for any business. Despite churning out SEO laden content, measuring the success of these SEO campaigns is still difficult. Moreover, trying to find the right balance of strategy between having paid and/or organic reach for a business especially when you are a startup with very limited resources is confusing and risk-taking as well.
However, startups are commonly advised to avoid paid options for marketing and reaching out due to limited finances. They are encouraged to try to do multiple tasks and manage their own campaigns. This is not only time-consuming but also draining.
But Neil thinks slightly differently.
- Essentially, go for paid campaigns because they help in growth with the social profiles, and audience engagements.
- But there is no exact formula for the balance. Do any of this as long as it is profitable.
- If you can keep scaling up by either paid or organic campaigns, then do it.
- If you have resources– hire full-time people or outsource to consulting agencies.
- If you don’t have resources, then try to find interns and learn from them.
- Traction is also a sign of growth. No matter how small a number is, if you rank from 100th page to 50th, it is still growth.
But before any of this, the first thing to do is to analyse your website and find out what is wrong with it. Only then will you be able to identify a better option. Bigger and smaller companies have no fundamental difference in their SEO approach. The only difference is that bigger companies have well-established back-links which the smaller companies have to focus more on. Again, thanks to technology for giving us digital tools, such as, Uber Suggest, SEM Rush, etc. that help us understand and solve this problem.
“Uber suggest is free. You just put in your URL website and it starts giving you feedback on what is wrong, and it will help you prioritize the issue. And then you can go from there.” –Neil Patel.
Key Takeaway: There is no right formula to measure SEO success of campaigns through paid or organic reach. You need to first analyse your website and solve the issue before you go to the next step. Use free digital tools like Uber Suggest and SEM Rush to help strategize better. Hire full-time people or outsource if you have the resources otherwise look for interns to help you out. Small numbers are also a sign of growth as long as there is progress!
Voice Searches and Talking Fridges!
With evolving technology and expanding digital space, SEO strategies are changing as well. Voice searches have become a new thing and are coming out big! But does your voice have the power to reiterate the algorithms?
Neil thinks that it already is creating ripples on the smooth water surface of SEO strategies. People will have to start answering questions and will be looking for solutions on your website maybe in the form of a blog post or an article. Typically, when you go on a website, you’re looking for a solution to a problem and you type it in but if that website is going to leverage voice search technology then it will change the form of solution that is given.
So, rather than a 2000-word blog post, the person would want a quick sentence. Hence, the website will have to learn to answer the questions and problems in a concise manner from within your content. Bonus is that if you have both voice search and type in, then you get twice the traffic.
Intriguingly, it doesn’t have a visual difference on the results that google will provide, since voice searches are done from devices like Alexa, Google home, Cell phones, etc. This also gives us an insight to the future trends in digital marketing within the 2-year span. So, there will be a combination of online and offline advertising to an extent that your fridge will have advertisements in there.
“Your fridge will tell you what kind of foods you should order or are similar tasting or cheaper in price.”-Neil Patel.
Technically advertising will chase you throughout the house!
Key Takeaway: No matter what the technology evolves into or how much the digital space expands, you need to think of ways to solve problems and answer questions.
Millennial & Gen Z: Focus and SEO
Over stimulation, excessive use of technology, and bombardment of information are common reasons for millennial and gen-Z to develop shorter attention spans and loose focus quickly. For you to retain their attention and at the same time provide value and quality content, it is pertinent that you come up with new forms to deliver that solution.
There are no hard and fast rules to grabbing attention and hooking them to your content, but Neil outlines a few ways that can prove useful:
- The length doesn’t matter as long as the point gets across. If you can do that in 5 words, or 500 words or even 5000 words- get the message out.
- Don’t regurgitate information– there’s already to much out there!
- Produce unique and new content if you’re going to use SEO and content marketing.
- Engagement is the Key. Leverage people to write comments or share on their socials or even spending more than 3 minutes on the website.
- Future is videos– so create visual content and videos to add to the pool.
But is this also the kind of content the SEO King likes to follow?
As technical and challenging as these tips may sound, Neil Patel follows very simple and to the point content:
- Content that has complete message in it.
- Use Catchy and AMAZING headlines.
- Create a conversation through your content.
- Respond to comments and share the content [So, leave a comment down below and rate the article!].
- Keep the paragraphs short and concise.
- Use sub-headings and break the content in chunks.
- Use images, audios, and videos to get the message across [Check out the Podcast of the interview].
Key Takeaway: Don’t jump on the bandwagon to follow trends instead think out of the box. Simple tips and tricks can effectively communicate the message and give valuable solutions to others.
Making Mistakes and Words of Wisdom for Pakistani Startups
Living your life in general and running a business in particular definitely have its ups and downs. For Neil, being in business and living the entrepreneur life for almost 17 years was not an easy feat. He has made numerous mistakes and learned from them every-time but the two things he has done are: to quickly realize the mistake and to never make the same mistake twice.
It not only has shaped him into a more focused and productive person but with time has also led him on a path of what he should be doing.
“I have always tried to do too many things at once, so instead of doing that, now I just focus. I learned that there is not enough time in the day to do all of these businesses at once, so, just focus on one at a time. You know I am no Elon Musk. I can’t run multiple businesses.” – Neil Patel.
Key Takeaway: Realize your mistakes, don’t repeat them, and be consistent and persistent!
Nothing happens without hard-work and neither can you build a business overnight. These are some of the fruitful and interesting bits from the exclusive podcast with Neil Patel on Guru Talks Series, Episode 4.
- There is no shame and guilt in starting a business for money, as long as you start doing it!
- Provide value and deliver what you promise! But don’t forget to adapt and change with time.
- Help out others as much as you can, provide genuine content to people, and not everything should come with a price tag!
- If you can’t consciously focus on the task, then use digital tools like Rescue Time to avoid distractions. Also, start ‘Acting’ rather than just ‘Absorbing’.
- There is no right formula to measure SEO success of campaigns through paid or organic reach.
- You need to first analyse your website and solve the issue before you go to the next step. Use free digital tools like Uber Suggest and SEM Rush to help strategize better.
- Hire full-time people or outsource if you have the resources otherwise look for interns to help you out. Small numbers are also a sign of growth as long as there is progress!
- No matter what the technology evolves into or how much the digital space expands, you need to think of ways to solve problems and answer questions.
- Don’t jump on the bandwagon to follow trends instead think out of the box. Simple tips and tricks can effectively communicate the message and give valuable solutions to others.
- Realize your mistakes, don’t repeat them, and be consistent and persistent!
We tried some of his tips and tricks and they worked great. So, will you too?