Every industry has their guru, their all-star, the expert that all others aspire to be. In the world of online marketing, that’s none other than Neil Patel.
With more than 13 years of experience and countless accolades under his belt, he has essentially ridden the Google algorithm wave time and again, faced the ups and downs of online marketing all while continuing to grow his empire.
Lucky for us, he freely shares his wisdom at conferences, special engagements and through his blog.
If we attempted to list every useful thing Neil has taught us here in the blog we would be here indefinitely.
Here are a few content marketing lessons that have hit home with us.
In a recent blog post, Neil debunks several myths regarding content length. As many of us have discovered, conflicting ideologies regarding this topic are ever present in our industry. Some believe that short and sweet is the way to keep your reader from losing interest.
Others believe the longer your content, the better. So what does Neil think? When it comes to blog posts he addresses both conflicting trains of thought.
“It simply depends upon your purpose and the message you’re trying to communicate.”
However, Neil does also agree that generally, longer posts do perform better in SERPs. He also cites statistics that prove longer pieces of content get more backlinks than shorter ones and you will also be able to use a more diversified list of key terms or phrases you are hoping to rank for.
Additionally, longer pieces of content are shared more readily as well. As he illustrated in this infographic, content that is more than 1,500 words will receive an average of 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more like on Facebook.
“Once the word count exceeds 1,500 words, it’s in the golden share zone.”
Neil also points out that word count will vary depending on the type of content that you are sharing. For instance, when he releases an infographic (which is a largely image-based way of sharing information) he includes only around 100 words to give a brief prelude to the topic.
He also point out that the average page of content ranking on the first page of Google is between 2032 and 2494 words.
Be Well Researched
If you are going to share content with your audience, you need to be providing some type of value.
One of the best things that we can all learn from Neil is the importance of research. Whether he is sharing an infographic, writing a blog post or making a presentation, he has the facts down. He has numbers, figures and real case studies to back up his theories and practices.
As he also points out, content is the #1 way to gain leads, drive sales and improve traffic overall. This means you need to take the time to do your research from start to finish.
Find your keywords, look for worthwhile topics your audience will find useful, research the topic in depth and interact with your readers.
Invest in Content
While the word “invest” makes many marketers cringe, content is a worthwhile use of some of your budget dollars. There are so many different things that fall under the blanket term of “content” that it’s wise to diversify your strategy.
In this recent post, Neil mentions several types of content that are worth the investment in either time to create, or money to have them created.
These include infographics, memes, videos, guides, book reviews, opinion pieces, product reviews, how-to posts, lists, link pages, pod casts and so on. As you can see from just a portion of this list, the possibilities are ever growing when it comes to content creation.
While other SEO strategies come and go (the recent downfall of guest posting is perhaps the most relevant example of this) content will always be effective, making it a worthwhile investment for your company.
“The more types (of content) you use, the more powerful your content marketing becomes.”
Planning your content is what Neil dubs “the fun part” of content marketing.
Keeping your content organized with an editorial planner will align everyone on the same page. Not only does he suggest planning when content will be written or created, but also documenting when it was published and how it performed.
Sometimes we get so eager to run with a great idea that we forget to track results. Maybe we got a lot of social shares from our content, but without anything to compare it to we have no way to measure the campaign success. We can’t keep track of which topics really resonated with our readers or sales that came from a campaign.
He also suggests separating your blogs by category and involving all relevant parties in your company to take part in content planning sessions. In these sessions you can divide workflow, discuss types of content you would like to develop and establish a timeline. Organizing each aspect of your content marketing plan will make things run smoothly.
Build Relationships that Can Amplify Your Content
Today social sharing is such a large part of the marketing industry that we essentially become our own PR firms.
By building and nurturing relationships with others in the industry, we are paving the way for our content to be shared. Perhaps no one does this better than Neil.
With such a large audience reading his blog, he still takes the time to respond and interact to comments, building relationships with those who are reading his content and will likely share it with their followers as well.
“These people have already raised their hands to say they want the information you publish. They know what your products are and what the going price is.”
In a Q&A post Neil advises novice bloggers to be consistent. It’s hard to keep regular traffic coming to your website or blog if you are not consistently posting new content.
Stick to the editorial schedule you have initially developed with your team. He also advocates that bloggers should write “evergreen” content which is important. This means you are writing content that will still be valuable years from now. It won’t go stale in a month.
After reading all these amazing takeaways, are you feeling a bit overwhelmed?
Perhaps the greatest advice I personally received from Neil (via email) was in response to asking him how he handles all that he does so well. His answer? “Focus on one thing at a time.”
When providing content for your clients, or even for your own campaign, follow the advice given by Neil Patel and other content marketing veterans. What are some challenges you have with your content marketing efforts?