"Genius software engineers have been known to be 10x as valuable as other engineers," explained Scott Brinker of Hubspot at the recent Legal Marketing Association Tech Conference in San Francisco. He then posed the question, "are there certain marketers that are 10x as valuable as their peers?" At Clearview Social, we believe the answer is yes. What makes a 10x marketer? The same thing that makes a software engineer 10x as valuable—leverage.
Here are four proven digital strategies that can help marketers not only do a little bit more but 10x more with leverage.
The following statement is false: the ideal length for blog posts and other content is 250-500 words.
According to massive search engine optimization studies, the ideal length for content to rank on the first page of Google is approximately 2,300 words. Google ranks longer content higher because it is more likely to answer people's questions and it is more likely to be authoritative. I asked a group of almost 100 marketing professionals in a recent social media masterclass what they believed the ideal length for a blog post was. The guesses ranged from 250 wordsto approximately 750 words.
Why is everyone so far off on this? The biggest reason is that the prospect of getting busy professionals to write long-form content is daunting. If marketers don't like that, they probably won't like this next part either; there are few 10x strategies that are easy. Creating long-form content is one of them. Content can market for you in your sleep if it is written correctly. Turns out length is a big part of that.
My experience with long-form:
In 2009, I lost my job as an attorney in the midst of the worst recession since the great depression. I started blogging, I started putting on conferences calls that became podcasts, but, most importantly, I started writing books. My first book Social Media for Lawyers was published in September of 2009 and completely changed the course of my career. The thirty blog posts I had written about social media before that had proven very little to the world, beyond that fact that I had time to spare.
The publication of my book by the ARK Group served as a signal that put me in a different category. Long form content does that; it shows commitment to an area and allows you to stand apart from those that just blog or don't write at all.
All content serves different purposes. Some content is created to build awareness around current issues. This can often take the form of blog posts, alerts, and articles. Other content is more highly-targeted and denser. This may take the form of annual reports on an industry sector, white papers, webinars, seminars, and books. This denser content, in most cases, must be "gated."
Gating means that you require a form to be filled out or to sign up for an event in order to receive this content. Gating is a 10x behavior for two very important reasons. (1) It helps flag companies or individuals who are in the market for your services who can be sold to immediately, and (2) it provides you with a list building mechanism so that you can continually grow your email list and continue to populate it with fresh prospects. I've included below a template for a landing page, getting people to sign up for free gated content has turned into a science. It is so powerful when done correctly.
My experience with gated content:
Over the past eight years, I've built an email list of almost ten thousand marketing professionals in the legal, accounting, and recruiting space. This all started with my first piece of gated content "The Rainmaker Alert." This was a call-to-action for law firms to wake up to social media and the changes that were happening in the industry back in 2009. After that, every webinar I put on, every talk I gave became a list-building exercise. Marketers need to constantly build lists. For each of the two books I've published, I've added a form to download a few chapters of the book for free. It looks like I'm promoting the book, but I'm really just building my list. Never stop building your email list.
There may be some skeptics that read this and think, "C'mon, LinkedIn profile, really? Is a good LinkedIn profile really 10x worthy?"
Let's think this through. How many times does one of your contacts see your profile picture and read your headline? How often before a meeting will the person you are meeting with check out your LinkedIn profile in preparation for the meeting? How many of your proper friends, upon seeing a strong LinkedIn headline, will better understand what type of work to refer to you?
Creating a strong LinkedIn profile is unlikely to bring you loads of new business, but we are talking about 10x strategies, meaning strategies where the output (in terms of new business) will be worth ten times the input (time and resources put behind the effort.) Taking a couple of hours to improve your LinkedIn profile is a tiny investment compared to the hundreds of interactions your contacts will have with your profile.
Success stories from re-crafted LinkedIn profiles:
A partner at a Chicago law firm recently shared with me his story of how a change to his profile brought him a great client. This young partner had an old fraternity buddy that he had been connected to for years that he never thought to prospect to because his buddy was a doctor and there didn't seem like there was an opportunity there. Fast forward ten years and his friend owns a multi-office practice covering multiple states. By simply updating his headline and his profile, his buddy re-connected with him and now his law firm handles all their legal work. You never know who is already in your network, and updating your profile makes it easier for people to hire you.
For the busy marketer, employee advocacy is one of the simplest 10x strategies.
Employee advocacy is deputizing professionals and other employees within a firm to promote their content through social media. In full disclosure, Clearview Social has created employee advocacy software that makes this simple by sending on-click email prompts to designated groups of employees so that their content can spread virally, with a little help from your friends (and the friends of your employees.)
The mechanics of this are quite simple; the marketer builds a queue of content through the online software platform, the software sends an email alert to the designated professionals, and the professionals click a "share" button to schedule the content to be shared to their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks at the best times of day. This is easily a 10x strategy, because the time required by the marketer to build the queue may be 15-20 minutes, but if 100, 500, or even 1,000 employees share the content then the marketer has now created a massive amount of action in response to a fairly simple input.
Success stories from employee advocacy:
The law firm Allen Matkins recently stated that content shared using our employee advocacy software outperforms content not shared this way by 20x. Beach Fleischman reported that traffic from LinkedIn to their website increased by over 1,300% once they started using Clearview Social to get their team sharing. These results are not uncommon. The most difficult component of employee advocacy is content creation, but once the content is created, employee advocacy software makes it simple to get your team sharing frequently.
The job of a marketer is often challenging because there are so many tasks competing for your time and energy. Having a laser focus on 10x marketing strategies can help you and your team become proactive and less reactive. All 10x digital strategies require focus and real resources, but the rewards are indisputable. Here's to becoming the marketer that helps bring in 10 times the business.