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Nov. 13, 2020

186: Content Marketing: Why It is Now a Business Strategy [Mariah MacInnes Interview]

186: Content Marketing: Why It is Now a Business Strategy [Mariah MacInnes Interview]

Join me in this interview with "Content Queen" Mariah MacInnes as we go deep into the value that content has for your business. Among other things, Mariah provides a refreshing perspective on:

  • the four pillars you can implement into your content strategy so you never run out of content ideas
  • how to be more consistent with content creation without it consuming your time
  • the actions you need to take to ensure you get more engagement with your content online.

Key Highlights

[00:59] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Mariah MacInnes

[04:41] How Mariah Got Into Content Marketing

[08:55] Implementing Content Strategy with Four Different Pillars

[12:40] Educating Through Storytelling

[13:25] The Importance of Listening to Your Audience

[14:49] Why You Need to Share

[17:25] How 4 Pillars Work Differently

[22:22] How to Be Consistent in Content Creation

[23:20] Repurposing Content

[24:38] Create Content Strategy Based On Your Personality

[29:52] Actions To Do To Ensure Engagement from Content

[31:00] Look At Your Statistics!

[31:38] Why Two-Way Communication Matters

[37:22] Connect With Mariah

[38:16] Final Thoughts

Notable Quotes

  • Marketing is not just content marketing. It is now a business strategy of its own.
  • A really key driver to one of those pillars you mentioned was, which is the website, our main objective, from our content, especially as a business is to get people to our website so that we can, you know, convert.
  • So to inform is to promote, to educate is to of course educate, to engage, is to have that two-way communication, and really bring your audience into your content through questions through storytelling.
  • Continue to share because even if you're not directly saying, hey, buy this, you know, do this do that you're actually building up these fans rather than just followers.
  • It comes down to being really honest with yourself and not having those really high expectations.
  • I think the one thing we forget about consistency with content is you know your topic.
  • I always recommend I don't think people do enough at it is look at what the stats are telling you. 
  • It's all about, you know, really harnessing on that social part of social media, or even with content, it is a very social thing. And as humans, we are designed for connection.
  • It's not a matter of having more content, it's a matter of having the right content.
  • When it comes to content creation, you really do have to love it.                   

Guest Links:

Reference Links for Neal Schaffer:



Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

If you think about it, content creation is not just about content creation. Content Marketing is not just content marketing. It is now a business strategy of its own. And you're gonna learn more about what you might be missing. If you don't take content marketing to be a business strategy, in this next episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their businesses using innovative marketing techniques, leveraging the concept of digital influence throughout digital and social media. Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer. And thank you for tuning in to episode number 186 of the maximize your social influence podcast. Today we're going to take a refreshing view of content marketing, and really the role of content in our business. Today, I have a very, very special guest, Mariah McInnes, who is calling in from down under and you'll notice that from her accent, I was honored to be a guest on Maria's own podcast very recently, and was really impressed with this refreshing take that she had on content. So I know that you're gonna learn a lot from this interview, we talked about a lot of things. Mariah is a big proponent of certain ways of looking at your content so that you never run out of content ideas, how to become more consistent with content creation without consuming your time. And really, how to get more engagement with your content online. So it's really a great place to start. Whether you are rethinking your content marketing strategy, or you're just getting started, I think you're gonna learn a lot from this episode with him, Ryan. So without any further ado, let's move on to today's interview. All right, Maria McInnes, welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast.

Mariah MacInnes:

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.

Neal Schaffer:

Well, I'm honored to have you as well. Mariah is tuning in from Melbourne, Australia. And I know Mariah. This is a great example of the fact that digital influences everywhere I know Mariah first and foremost, from her podcast, right? She has a website and a blog, very active on Instagram, we did an Instagram live together. But I was interviewed on rise life as a freelance writer podcast. And she and I'm gonna let him right Introduce yourself in her own words, but she is really you can imagine that title being a freelance writer, her her content creation, superpower is the written word. And she helps as a content creator. She helps other influencers, marketers and entrepreneurs, with their content marketing. That's what we're going to talk about today. So right, that was my introduction. Did I miss anything? Anything else you wanted to add? Go for it.

Mariah MacInnes:

Yeah, and I thank you so much. So yeah, I earn a business code content queen. And I really do help, you know, those entrepreneurs and content creators, really, I guess, utilize content marketing as a strategy in their business to attract the line audience that they want, and of course, you know, make money for their business. So on the other side of content Queen apart from creating content for people, I also do coaching and group programs to really sort of educate people so that if they don't have the resources to outsource, will, they really just love creating content, but want to get more traction on it? Then, of course, you know, group programs, coaching is definitely something that I offer. I do love educating. So that's why I really fell naturally into that coaching space as well. But yeah, that's pretty much me in a nutshell, as a content marketing agency. And Coach, I just really love chatting all things content. So I'm excited to be on the podcast to chat about it.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. Now, for those of you that have seen me present or hear me talk about this, when I talk about digital marketing, with the digital first consumer digital first buyer, six major elements, you have your website, your SEO, your email marketing, your content marketing, your social and your influencer marketing. So I see content marketers being one of those six pillars. That is essentially a marketing strategy. Mariah takes it one step further, and says it's more than a marketing strategy. It's really an entire business strategy. So we're going to get into that and she's going to teach us a lot about the subject today we're going to get a refreshing perspective. Before we do that, Maria, how did you get involved in in what you do now?

Mariah MacInnes:

Yeah, so when I go back when I started at uni, I loved writing and did journalism as a degree in public relations and naturally fell into PR because journalism is very tough. And you know, quite a heavy industry. So I fell into in house PR and did a lot of writing Like a lot, a lot of internal communications for a corporate company, and then fell naturally into social media marketing as part of that team, we had quite a big following on Facebook. And so I, I really loved learning about why people resonate with what you create. And I obviously love writing. So I fell into freelancing just to earn a little bit of money so I could travel, because I do love traveling and you know, use Fiverr and stuff to create press releases for businesses, because I wanted to have that media background. And then I remember really wanting to start a side hustle because I wanted to travel and work and be a digital nomad. And a guy at work said, Why don't you write for people? Oh, yeah, okay, so I, you know, created the the Instagram and started to name content Queen, and naturally just fell into more content creation, rather than just obviously, writing is my my strong point. But just found naturally into helping businesses, not just by writing content, but really see it as a strategy to work for their business. As you know, a really key driver to one of those pillars you mentioned was, which is the website, our main objective, from our content, especially as business is to get people to our website so that we can, you know, convert. So I really saw content marketing as a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs. Although Yes, there is a lot of content out there. But with a really refined strategy and really clear direction on who your audience is, there is a big piece of the pie for us to all take, which I know you mentioned on my podcast. So I think it's just, you know, having that, that consistency, and that confidence that what you are creating is is of relevance and is important to your target audience. So I just started to fall, you know, deeper and deeper into content marketing. And now I thought, well, I can also teach people that can't maybe afford to hire me. And I can't write for everyone. So that's sort of how I progressed in my business.

Neal Schaffer:

And I think so when I look at content marketers, those that do the best are those that actually have that journalism, slash PR background, because they understand the need for storytelling for quality. There are others in content marketing, who who come at it from a marketing perspective. And I think they may miss those really, really critical points, right? Especially in a day and age where we're inundated, inundated with content, I think of it's funny, because I've yet to read the book and I plan to are you familiar with the content fuel framework with by Melanie de ziele? No, but I need to read that. Yeah. But she is a former journalist from Time Magazine, if I'm that, if I'm not mistaken. And she was supposed to be she was supposed to speak at an event I did several years ago called the social tools summit. Anyway, fast forward, she she and I know about her book, because at Social Media Marketing World this year in San Diego before the lockdown, there were a lot of people that weren't that had her book. And there are a lot of people that have my book, the age of influence, we both like came out with books at the same time. And so that's how I know her. And I've never met her, but I just heard her on another podcast this morning, talking about content, but once in a refreshing perspective, really with that journalism background. So I think that's awesome. So and your story makes sense, the side hustle, which turned into your own business, and I think that's really the dream, maybe for a lot of people listening to this. So hopefully, that will give that will encourage people that want to follow in your footsteps. And maybe you'll have people reaching out to you saying, hey, how do you know, what did you do to get to get there? But let's move into, you know, some actionable takeaways that you can teach the listener in the limited amount of time we have together. But you mentioned that, I mean, it starts obviously, with with a content strategy, right? And a lot of people just run out of ideas, like, what am I going to talk about? And I often get asked this as well, well, what should I blog about? What should I podcast about, right? So you believe that if you implement a content strategy, with four different pillars, you can create a strategy in a way in which you'll never run out of ideas? So can you go in a little bit more detail as to what that looks like?

Mariah MacInnes:

Absolutely. So I had the same thing. I when I started my business, obviously, I was trying to target businesses that I could write for. So I had to create content. And I would get to 5pm every day and think I've had a busy day at work. Now I have to post on my socials because I'm told I have to be consistent. What do I say? I don't know. Like, I have no idea. So I would find a photo from me traveling in Vietnam. I would post a quote and I put it up, and it would get no traction. And I would never have any sales through social media. Not one I got all my clients through five foreign. It wasn't until I got back from Europe. And I was creating lots of amazing content in Europe and everyone liked those photos. I got back and I was like, What am I going to create? I can't post your photos for the rest of my life. So I thought, Okay, I need to have a proper strategy. So then I thought about Okay, well, when I'm posting content, I need to make sure that I promote my business because if I don't people Ain't gonna know what I do, I need to educate because we know how powerful education is, I need to engage. So people, we have a two way communication, that's my PR background coming out in me, I need to have this communication with my audience so they can connect with me on a deeper level and think, okay, I want to work with her, I want to, you know, I aspire to be her or whatever that looks like. And then I want to show the fun side of who I am, or my business, you know, what I do for fun, what I do to, you know, blow off steam for my business, what behind the scenes of my business looks like what it would look like to work with me. So I created these, and it all goes hand in hand in my strategy that I sort of create, but I created these four pillars. So to inform is to promote, to educate is to of course educate, to engage, is to have that two way communication, and really bring your audience into your content through questions through storytelling, whatever that looks like. And then fun is, of course, whatever that looks like for you fun could you know, it's the fun pillar, okay, you can do whatever you really want with it, you know, that's when you bring in, say, for example, you love cats, you might bring cats into your type of content, everyone, and this is what makes you stand out from the rest or makes you resonate with your target audience, because they have that level of understanding and connection with you. So when I laid out all of these pillars, and and I mix them together, I might educate and then have an informative, you know, here, I've got this group program coming up, you know, click the link in my bio, so I can mix them together. So once I laid those all out, say for example, for seven days, five days, whatever consistency looks like for you, some people just do the Monday to Friday, I post every day because I just have all these ideas running in my head, then I laid them all out into some form of calendar, some form of structure just to keep myself accountable. Because if I don't have the plan, if I can't visually see it, then I can't implement it. And that was massive. For me. I was using Google Sheets, I was using all the things and it just wasn't working for me, I wasn't staying consistent with the content I planned. So I just use good old fashioned Google Calendar, and I still have it to this day. And I love it so much. sends me a reminder when I have to post or write the caption in the meeting, done. So once you've laid those all out, you sort of know, okay, these are the days I'm promoting, these are the days I'm educating, then you want to go, what am I going to create? What content Am I going to create on top of that, and this is where I sort of come up with this concept. Like I don't want to think of an idea every day. I don't have time. No one has time for that. So what I did is I implemented a theme for each week. So that would be for example, when you came on the podcast, we talked about influencer marketing. So for the whole week, I talked about influencer marketing, there was maybe one or two days where I talked about something else. But I really took my audience on the journey and made them see influencer marketing in a different way I shared with them through storytelling, what I used to think influencer marketing is and now what I know because of Neil, you know, I shared some images from traveling of when I had my blog, and I wanted to be some form of influences. So just sort of taking people so that they can relate to what I'm saying. But then also be inspired to take action or inspired because they're educated in that topic. So really, when you break it down, you only have to think of 52 topics for a whole year, as opposed to 365 if you're going to post something different every single day. So once I implemented this with my pillars, it became really easy to create content. And then on top of that, it's really important to listen to what your audience is telling you. Everything that they say is content. And I think we get so caught up in everything we're doing in our business that we stop to listen to the pain points and create content on the back of that. And then naturally, content is your life is content, everything around you is content and can be related to your business, what you do, you just have to open yourself up to that. And that takes time. That doesn't happen overnight. So I just implement things like voice recording, when I think of an idea or, you know, setting myself a reminder, I had a reminder during isolation because I'm like, Oh my god, how am I going to think of content ideas in isolation, this is going to be really hard. So it's all Yeah, set myself a reminder every single day, think of something to create. And I will go back through DMS of you know, people I was talking to emails and like, Oh my gosh, that person asked me a question. I can create content on that, you know, and utilizing your audience that you already have to do that market research and to ask them so once you've got those four pillars, you know, laid out you know, exactly every day, what I guess concept of content, you got to talk about whether you're going to promote what you're offering, whether you're going to do a purely educational post, if you're going to share a story like every Thursday, I share a story about my theme. And depending on what that thing is. And then more times like most of the week I share stories like last night, I had a really nice quote that I found and it really resonated with me so I said why and I opened myself up to it. exploring what that meant for me. And that's obviously a journal thing, storytelling, thought sharing is selling, I have a really amazing client that talks about conscious selling. And she believes that if you're sharing you're selling, especially if you're a personal brand and influencer, you're sharing your story and people want in on that story and one in on that journey. So continue to share because even if you're not directly saying, hey, buy this, you know, do this do that you're actually building up these fans rather than just followers. And I think that's a really important thing to think about when, especially with this vanity metrics of lots and lots of followers. But you know, we've talked about nano and micro influencing, and it's so powerful if you have a really aligned audience, you know, there's so much that you can actually do with that. And you think like, if you have 1000 followers, that's think about 1000 people in a room, if they are listening to what you have to say it's, it's really powerful.

Neal Schaffer:

No, I agree. 100%. And a lot of what you talked about is, I hear bits and pieces of a lot of things that I've heard as well as that I teach as well. So I want to further when a further breakdown of these four pillars and just give you my read. So you have I guess that weekly content is what some marketers called Big Rock content. So in your case is a podcast, which you might repurpose into a blog post. For others, it might be a blog post for this might be YouTube video, right? So And normally, we do this on a weekly basis, and then during the week, then you're obviously using those four pillars. You're repurposing that using that as a perspective to go through that. But you also mentioned something really interesting, which is that those four pillars also determine those 52 pieces of big rock content. And that to me, was the interesting one, because I would normally, for my own business with my clients, we focus on content topics. And what you were talking about the four pillars that to me, we'd focus more on what the social media content should look like. So I'm wondering, so where I'm getting with my question is, do you differentiate that big rock content that ends up being searchable on Google or Apple podcasts? do you differentiate those pillars? With those pillars and the pillars you mentioned are like perfect for Instagram I get like visualize my grid in the preview with those four pillars do you handle them differently? Or do you think they're one in the same

Mariah MacInnes:

with your podcast or big big pit?

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, exactly.

Mariah MacInnes:

So what I sort of look at it and it can look quite different depending on what you want to get out of that platform. So for example for me you'd I have a YouTube channel that is just my fun pillar I don't use anything else other than that's that's my Instagram I get it I'm content and that's okay. You can literally you can have a platform for only one purpose and that one purpose could literally be because you want to do it. And I think because you love it the energy in that content is so so powerful that you become infectious people become attracted to what you create. So for me for my podcast I have a mixture of sort of all of those pillars because of course I'm always promoting on my podcast that's how I you know, try and monetize the podcast is to bring people leads to my website, I will always engage because I'll ask people questions and I'll have people message me and answer my questions in my Instagram inbox. I have the fun because I do give like a live update at the start of my podcast I think that's how I build my personal brand up and have people connect with me and then of course the solid pillar of my podcast is to educate the purpose of that podcast is to you know, have those actionable tips and tricks that people can utilize in their business. But of course with other channels it might not look like that for example with my YouTube it's just for fun. So I think when you are starting to create a bigger platform like a podcast or blog, or video you really need to ask yourself what is the purpose of this channel? What do I want to get out of this and then it's easier to implement what pillars Am I going to use Am I just going to do it for fun Am I just going to you know purely educate that's it I just want it to be like a bite sized educational piece like a like a Neil Patel and Eric so marketing school podcast quite bite sized, very educational. So I think they can be used hand in hand I of course, you know your social media and your blog, podcast or video, I always like to think that if you know you, you don't have the energy to create one of these big three pieces of content, you can utilize, you know, an Instagram TV, Instagram stories, you can do a podcast form on that social channel and still bring in that sort of big piece of content and then repurpose it throughout your social media. For me when I am creating content, I want to make it as easy as possible for myself and my clients. So that's why repurposing is so key. That's why I do you know, utilize that podcast to create my social content because, you know, we need to work in our business and on our business at the same time. So that's why it's so important to utilize those big pieces of content. Like I have clients. If they create a podcast, we create a blog, we greatly socials, and it just naturally progresses, you know, and it's sort of really giving a big picture of, say, that topic that we have discussed on the podcast. That makes

Neal Schaffer:

sense. So actually in that big in that big content, you can actually mix those things together as well, as you were saying, like, within a podcast, you might have some episodes where it includes all four elements of those pillars, right? And I love that comment about well, if you don't, if YouTube is just you know, if that sounds like too much do I GTV I have a friend who is actually writing a book about blogging, but not using WordPress as a platform, using Instagram. Yeah, as a blogging platform, which to me is really, really exciting. And I think very natural for a lot of people. And we are used to seeing more long form content, longer description on Instagram, as well. So I think at the end of it, the most important piece of advice you gave was that you do YouTube videos, because that's your fun and you enjoy doing. If you don't like doing any of this, it's not gonna last you got to be passionate about whatever you choose to do, right?

Mariah MacInnes:

Yeah. 100%. And that's what I always say to my clients. Like, if it like I did YouTube videos for education, I hated it. I just like it was a chore. And that's why people lose consistency, because content creation doesn't become fun anymore. And if it's not fun, then you need to look at what's not fun about it, and what you can shift and change. And it's okay, if you don't love creating YouTube videos, if you don't love the idea of a podcast, it's okay. Just find what you love and do it really well.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, no, exactly. That's great advice. So now we have this idea that we're invested in content creation. And it's but I have some people who give this negative sort of, oh, you're always on the hamster wheel of content creation. And it is sort of a hamster wheel with my case, I publish a new blog post every week. And I have a three month pipeline. You know, I can, if something happened to me, it's gonna go out every Monday for the next three months, right? And then have a podcast, I've got to do YouTube videos. These are all I don't repurpose them from channel to channel, the podcast is weekly. The interviews I batch like we're doing now, my solo episodes, though, are done in real time. And sometimes I even myself, I don't have enough time. I, I want to publish my next podcast on Thursday. And it's already Wednesday, and I have an editor who I need to respect your time. So obviously, it may not go on till Saturday, but I want to get it out every week. Right? So my question for you, and I think a lot of people listening are probably nodding. How do you be more consistent with your content creation? without consuming your time? This is like the million dollar question. I want to I want to hear your input on this.

Mariah MacInnes:

Yeah, that's an amazing question. Because I get that a lot too. They're like, how do you do this? Do that, you know, do all of the things and I think it comes down to being really honest with yourself and not having those really high expectations of Yeah, I'm going to record a podcast episode on a Monday and it's going to be out on a Tuesday and I'm going to do that every week and that's exactly how I'm going to do it. No life gets in the way and we have to respect our time. So one thing I will say is repurposing Of course will be your best friend you know, obviously Neil you have like your blog and your podcast are different and that works in you batch and that's how you operate with that. But you know, I was doing that for a while and I just thought to myself, I'm creating different topics. And I really want to hone in on this this podcast episode in a blog so that's why I did that repurposing. I think it's like looking at where I can repurpose as much as possible if you've done a live three months ago. What can you do with that? So you know, can you have that as a blog? Can you I would really be in the habit of every three months reviewing your content and seeing what you know what worked really well of course, I do this weekly, but if you don't have time, try and do it monthly and then do a big review every three months. Because you know, if you've launched something and you're going to watch it again in three months, keep that content you can reuse that. But if you are sort of unsure on if I want to create consistent content, how can I continue to do that I would set yourself a day for content creation and you know, batch if it's batching you know, you do three months ahead. If it's doing a week ahead, whatever works for you, like I know, my days on Monday, and I create all my socials for that week I could do like a whole month ahead if I want to. At the moment I'm like I have quite a small team so I'm just gonna do it as I go. But once I start to expand Of course, I'll be looking at you know, doing it a little bit more ahead of time especially with you know, you can edit podcast episodes batching interviews, obviously for your podcast work amazingly because then you get to that week and you're like, Oh, I only have to do a little internal outro and we're done. You know, we just piece it all together. So I would really look at sort of one do I like and I would ask yourself the question, am I a go with the flow or am I a structured person? You're trying to fight against whatever personality type you are, you will fail. I have. I've tried to be go with the flow my whole life. I am not. I'm very structured. I'm very routine. I want to be a digital nomad with a very retain, let's see how this goes. But I, that's who I am. And I've tried to fight against this masculine energy that I have, because I'm always go, go Go and like, I need to be more like, peaceful and go with the flow. And I'm like, I can't, that is just not in my nature. So I'm just gonna play to my strengths. So at first ask yourself, which one are you, because this will determine whether you batch in advance, or whether you batch half I call it semi batching, that sort of I do a bit of semi batching. But it's sort of, you know, creating all of my content for the week on the Monday and there might be a few days where I just leave it blank, because I might see what I feel like, you know, maybe a couple of days ahead, I will not do it on the day, because sometimes that makes me a little bit too nervous, but I might have hashtags ready to go I might have and this is more for your social media content for your podcast and your blogs. You know, really look at what you're offering in that month, what you've got coming up and even plan the topics for in advance if you can, because that'll help you on the week. If you're if you're you know, go with the flow person, you want to create your podcast in the moment or, you know, a couple of days out. Really, that's when you can say okay, well my topics done, I literally just have to get on and talk about it. I think the one thing we forget about consistency with content is you know your topic. You know, if someone said to you tomorrow, Neil, go do a talk on social media and influencer marketing, you'd know how to don't like yeah, you'd be like, oh, okay, I'll get up and talk but you know, it of the backend, you know, you'd be able to, you know, wing it, even if someone said to you tomorrow, go run a triathlon, you just do it, because you have like, you know, you can do it. And it's just have that belief in yourself. And when we come to creating content, like I don't know what to talk about, I don't know what to say it's like, you know, your topic so well. And I think every time we get in front of the computer to create the content, we freeze up, and we're like, oh, what did I want to say again? So I would really get into that habit of, you know, at least planning what you're going to talk about, based on what you're offering maybe in your business, what you're going to start promoting, I'm always a big believer on if you're going to, you know, launch something, launch a product launch a service, you know, you can create your content sort of around what's coming up. And then just think about what works for you. If you are go with the flow, how can you add a little bit more structure into you know, what you're doing so that at least when you get to it, you're, you're you've set yourself up for success. If you're super structured, you know, batch if you can batch your podcast episodes, batch, your blogs, set up days in the month to create content and just schedule that time out and hold yourself accountable. I think a lot of the times, we'll put something in our calendar and if it's for us, we'll go Oh, we can shift that around, we can change it, that's fine. That's only just working on my business or doing it No, because this content creation will help you generate you know that aligned audience generate more sales, whatever it is, your purpose is, in this online world, the only way we can connect with people Israel content, so you need to prioritize at least whatever works for you. But I would really be inclined to have that honest conversation. If you go with the flow, and you want to be structured, and you can't listen to what you're what you're telling yourself because otherwise you start to hate it. You won't be consistent, and it just won't work for you.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, I think it's a combination of the batching. The repurposing where it makes sense to do and I do repurpose something, some I don't, but where it makes sense. And then I agree 100% with having that dedicated day, so I never had a calendly link. But after I published my book and you know, appearing on a podcast, just a lot of business activity after Coronavirus as well, I created one, but you cannot book time with me on Friday. Friday is my day. And it's my day for a lot of things. But it's also that content. That's anywhere I hope to record these podcasts and it's already Wednesday, and I haven't yet but but at least I know that that's the objective. And I know that over time, I may get delayed but the next Friday, I have that time to play catch up, right. And I think that's really critical that day or that week. But I think what's also important is that you know what, if you miss a podcast for a week, it's not the end of the world. I missed there were like one or two years where I didn't podcast, there was like six months or I didn't blog. It's okay. Right? It'd be you know, consistency is good. For the algorithm for your audience. There's always competition. So the minute you're off the radar, they start you know, listening and following other people. So obviously, it's best, but it's not the end of the world. And just remember that everybody stay cool. If some people are like, Oh, you got to do this, you got to do you know, to Instagram posts a day and three story. It's like, okay, let's take a chill pill. Let's put it all in. You know, it's perspective. So I thought that was really great advice, though. But it does start with that structure and that mindset, and that it's important your business. And that's why it's I love your approach of a business strategy that rather than a marketing strategy, you can't ignore it. So one more question for you before we sort of wrap things up. So we've already talked about the pillars and how to do this consistently without taking up too much of your time. I think that and I talk a lot about this is what is necessary for digital success today. You need to have the content. But the content without engagement gets you nothing. It's just so how so contents 50% engaged. It's like writing a book is 10% promoted as 90% is what a lot of publishers Tell me. But, you know, I don't know what the content slash engagement ratio should be. But once that content is out there, what actions do you need to take to ensure you get more engagement from it?

Mariah MacInnes:

Yeah, this is a really good question. I think. And when we talk about engagement, you know, I think a lot of us naturally go to I guess, if you're talking social media likes, you know, all those sorts of things and your podcasts like, you know, the numbers, the views, how many people listen to it, all those things. But when it comes to engagement, now, this will look differently from different depending on what your objective is, with your content. That's where you got to get really clear on what you want to get out of this content. Of course, I think the main objection for content should be obviously if you're a business owner, to get people to your website, if you're an influencer, it might be someone else's website, or, you know, whatever it is you're looking to do, or you know, your blog, your podcast, whatever that objection is, but look at that, go around that content first. And I would, what I always recommend I don't think people do enough at it is look at what the stats are telling you. Look at the behind the scenes, what you really want to go for, of course, if you're thinking of a start, like an Instagram, you know, shares and, and saves are getting a lot more in, they're gonna be a lot more beneficial to you then alike. Obviously, your comments great, because then you can generate content, you can generate more like activity, but to generate more engagement. It's also a social media platform when we're talking socials. So be social, on your podcast and your blog, where can you collaborate with other people so that you can push, you know, your blog or your podcast out there? You know, Neil, when we went live together on Instagram, we were opening ourselves up to my audience and your audience. So always looking at and you said this perfectly on my podcast talking about you know, influencer marketing is also like this, that collaboration. And I think when we're creating content on social media platforms, YouTube channels, blogs, podcasts, we sort of forget to do that engagement ourselves. We want people to engage in our content, but we're not engaging with other people. And it was read, isn't it? Its connection, it's that two way communication I talked about like NPR, you know, we can't expect and you can't expect people to really engage in your content and love it. If you're not building like, look at your DMS, that's your engagement if people are, you know, messaging you about something that you mentioned, or, you know, if I get someone that messages me and says, Hey, I listened to your podcast, I really got so much out of it. Like, that's a that's a measurement for me. Not, you know, like, obviously, audience will continue to grow, and viewers grow when you become consistent. I know a perfect example of a YouTuber, her name's Erin Mae Henry, and she just started in 2014, just knowing like, I'll be famous one day, like, it'll happen for me. And now like she, she just showed up, and she created content. And she engaged with her audience, like she's, you know, built relationships off the platform. And now she has like, 130,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel. So like, I'll be a millionaire. Yeah, exactly. So it's all about, you know, really harnessing on that social part of social media, or even with content, it is a very social thing. And as humans, we are designed for connection. So if you throw a post in me and expect me to buy from you, but you're not, I'm messaging you and you're not connecting with me, or I don't have that level of relatability to you, it is going to be really hard for me to connect with what you're trying to say. So that's why it is really important to create the content, obviously share it as much as possible. I'm always I'm a big believer of if someone messages me about something, you know, how can I say, Okay, well, I've got this podcast episode on that, if you'd like to listen, a lot of times, we'll answer the question that someone might ask us, but we have a podcast episode on it, that we could absolutely share with them and bring them into our audience. So and then, of course, if you write a blog, and you think someone would get value out of it, like you might mention another blog for SEO purposes, you know, reaching out to them and saying, Hey, you know, I created this blog content, I mentioned you, I thought you'd get a lot of benefit from it. You know, I know Neil Patel is a big, he still does that. And, you know, he or he has a team that does that. But you know, that little 1% things, of course, it does take time, you know, getting into Facebook groups and building up your brand through connecting with others. That's what these platforms are here for. They are here to be social. So you know, sort of creating the content and then doing that engagement yourself will help you generate more engagement. I know that I've built a beautiful connection in the dams that now a lot of people are engaging with my content because I spend time chatting to them as well.

Neal Schaffer:

And guess what the algorithm favors people that engage with you so they send you a DM and chances are your next post appears higher in the algorithm. So I just want to share with everybody this is actually well by the time this is recorded this episode, so this solo episode, right? I talk about the concept of a quarterly analysis, which is related around engagement and data around that so you if what you talked about was like a perfect lead in because, you know, what does that look like so in social, so I'm going to do this with Twitter. Next. I'm starting with my blog. In Twitter, it could be obviously link clicks is my key objective. You know, what are what are my top performing What are low performing, and then I have categories of content. So because on my blog, influencer marketing is one category right? I've written books about LinkedIn, that's another category and so on and so on. So, on my blog, Neal schaffer.com. Right now I have 11 categories. I have guest bloggers and they have to contribute to X number of pieces over the course of a year. And what's really interesting is I recently got one last night for a category that I have a lot of content I'm like, Why does everyone want to blog about this category? Is it serving my blog? Well, because I'm a fan of it's not a matter of having more content, it's a matter of having the right content right. So this person actually wanted to blog for the category which I have more the category interesting enough is content marketing. So I have more posts in my content marketing category than any other category. Yet when I look at the average pageviews per category for all the blog posts in this category, and I compare the 11 from January 1 to you know, when we're recording this webinar, excuse me, this podcast that was a brain fart, it actually performs the worst on average. So what this and I look at everything else it's like why aren't I blogging about other things where at least Google is saying that I'm getting better engagement and that could probably get more traffic which leads people into obviously my sphere of influence so so what so the action item from that is I immediately updated my website I'm no longer taking bloggers that blog about content marketing right and not to say that I can't be successful with that but in my blog, you also have to understand this competition everywhere all this content so there's a lot of people to blog about content we got the content marketing I'm sure this is your your world you know this as well whereas others might not be as competitive I might have a better chance so that is one now I'm gonna do a Twitter and it might maybe over sharing content around certain categories that maybe I should decrease and share more about other things that might follow through and you I'm going to do this with LinkedIn and Facebook and you know go all the way round so this is an example of really putting what you say right into practice I'm a big fan of everything you said you're a breath of fresh air because people just tend to talk about the same things and I think you have a really really good perspective with your background and and the success you've had and just really laying out things in in plain English and you know, clear simple actionable so I know my listeners are going to appreciate that perspective as well. I know they're probably going to want to follow your podcast and check out your your your website and maybe even hire you So can you tell my listeners where can they go to find out more about you?

Mariah MacInnes:

Yeah, and I thank you so much for having me I do love that you're checking all of your your stats and everything because I'm a big I'm a big lover of Google Analytics. So yeah, definitely thank you so much for having me But yeah, and everyone can find me by connect with me on Instagram at content Queen underscore, Mariah, my website is www dot content Queen Ryan calm. And of course my podcast is laugh is a freelance writer on iTunes, Spotify, and most of all, but other podcasting platforms. So yeah, thanks so much for having me. I loved chatting.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, me too. And I'll put those obviously the links are go in the show notes. And it's contact Mariah Ma, ri. h. Mariah Carey home for itself. Maybe I just ate myself there. But anyway. Well, my thank you, again, so much for being on Is there anything that we missed that you wanted to say as sort of a last final word on the subject of content marketing,

Mariah MacInnes:

I think for me, when it comes to content creation, you really do have to love it. And I know, and if you don't love it as much right now, find a way to love it, because it is so powerful. And you have the ability, like we've never had this chance to reach this many people ever think about, you know, 30 2030 years ago, like trying to build a business, you know, just from a physical store, or whatever that looks like now you can tap in and, you know, work with people all over the world. And that's just so special. And I think we take it for granted. So, you know, there's a lot of power, if you have 30 people viewing your igtv, or your podcast, that's 30 people that's like a classroom. So just remember that when you are creating content, start small and just and continue to grow from there.

Neal Schaffer:

And remember, for those that read the age of influence, the 99 one rule, you now become the top 1% the 1% of internet users are actually creating content. There's huge power in being in that 1%. So thank you so much, Ryan, always love catching up. We'll have to catch up again soon. I'd love to be able to say that I'm going to be in Australia someday I've never been. But if I ever get to Melbourne, you'll be the first person that I look up. Or maybe we'll meet at a marketing conference in 2020. The panoramix Best of luck with everything and we'll keep in touch. Thanks, Neil. All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Mariah she brought a lot of real refreshing ideas about content that I hope you found some great takeaways, some great actionable takeaways that you can get started working on now before the end of this year. As always, I want to personally thank you for listening to this podcast. I know there are a lot of podcasts out there. And I am always grateful when I look at the rankings updates of Apple podcasts of how many countries around the A world that this podcast ranks as not just a number in the top 200 of marketing podcasts, but even in the top 100 of marketing podcast. So thank you so much. Every time you write a review, it means the world to me. If you could just take a minute to write a sentence or two to let me know what episodes you liked, what content resonated with you, maybe even what content you'd like me to talk more about. I would really appreciate that. And if you haven't, make sure you hit that subscribe button. There's always a lot of interviews, a lot of episodes in the pipeline that you'll make sure you do not want to miss a read of your buddy. Well until next time, make it a great virtual social day. Bye Bye everybody. And sale nada