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Creating Content That Drives Revenue: Jason Miller and Shafqat Islam

Posted on Sep 11th, 2014
Written by TopRank Marketing
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    Jason Miller and Shafqat Islam

    It’s another packed house in the ROI track with LinkedIn’s Jason Miller and NewsCred’s Shafqat Islam taking the stage after Shane Snow’s inspiring session. The duo did not disappoint. When it was over, the gentleman seated behind me said, “that was the best presentation I’ve seen yet.” The gentleman next to him concurred.

    Shafqat kicked it off with a fantastic segue from Shane Snow’s Che Guevara story, telling the crowd about the Che poster he proudly displayed on his wall when he was younger. He then cited the following George Bernard Shaw quote:

    If at age 20 you are not a communist then you have no heart. If at age 30 you are not a capitalist then you have no brains.

    What a perfect way to introduce the topic of content creation and ROI.

    Next, Jason took the stage and did some “face melting” with his amazing insights and delivery style. I’m extremely fortunate for the opportunity to work with, and learn from, brilliant marketers like Jason Miller and his tag-team partner Deanna Lazzaroni at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions on a regular basis.

    I can’t possibly cover all the helpful information Jason and Shafqat shared in less than five blog posts, so hopefully I can pass along some of the value provided with my three top takeaways.

    Takeaway #1: Don’t over-complicate content marketing ROI

    “We seem to complicate this stuff even though its not too complicated,” said Jason, before revealing the one job of content marketers: empathizing with prospects and customers.

    The answer is not more content. The answer is more relevant content, and content marketers can get to the point, optimally, via insights. Jason believes that analyzing the following three (and only three) metrics will reveal everything you need to know about the effectiveness of your content:

    • Referral traffic: If more people are discovering your content by means other than branded searches, this is a good sign that it’s resonating
    • Social engagement: Sharing is a sign of relevance. It indicates you are connecting with your audience. Even if it’s only ten shares, if it inspires shares by the right people, that’s all you need
    • Lead quality: If people are entering the funnel and are converting more quickly, it’s a sign that your content is connecting and nurturing

    Takeaway #2: Consumers love packaged content and content marketers should too

    Jason cited Doug Kessler’s advice to focus on hitting one home run per quarter. Marketers can accomplish this with a big rock piece of content. One piece of content can fill an editorial calendar with social shares and blog posts for weeks on end. Marketers can also drive greater ROI and efficiency by creating themed content that can be aggregated into a big rock piece of content later.

    3 ways to create big rock content

    1. Create the all-encompassing guide to whatever the hell conversation you want to own
    2. The Hugh MacLeod strategy: write a series of relevant blog posts then roll them into a nice package
    3. Flip your case studies on their heads. Turn your bottom funnel case studies into success stories, as Pantheon did with their “8 Amazing Drupal Launches” piece

    Takeaway #3: Content marketing ROI begins with proper organization of the marketing team

    To ensure efficiency and consistency, the entire team needs to be aligned. Jason’s Kiss slide explained this perfectly:

    Kiss Content Team

    The only things missing here are Kiss’s manager (PR) and the amazing shows they produce (event marketing). Kiss built a thriving community by working harmoniously, and content marketing teams can do the same. Your community doesn’t need to be as large as the Kiss Army to drive results, they just need to be engaged. Creating engaging content is easier when all the moving parts of your marketing team are moving toward the same objectives.

    Thank you to Jason Miller and Shafqat Islam for delivering a thrill. I look forward to reading Jason’s new book, Welcome to the Funnel.