Hey Everyone,

Today I’m serving up content advice, shameless self-promotion, topics to inspire and where to go for the Texas-sized helpings of SEO.

Giddy-up:

 

1. 1000 lb. Sentence: “Before you build any more “great content,” figure out how you are going to market it first.” – Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett, authors of Get Content Get Customers

We’ve been guilty of it ourselves: producing content just to be producing content, without having a super-specific idea of what we’re going to do with it. And when you’re a marketing firm, that’s something you  can get away with. After all, we have several ways we can use (or recycle) nearly any piece of good content, so creating it is never really a waste of resources.

But if you’re trying to sell a product or service (that isn’t marketing), creating content without a plan is an exercise in cart-before-horse futility. In fact, the plan is at least as important as the quality of your content.

Prospective customers, hot leads, repeat customers, customers who recently purchased, disengaged customers, etc., not only require different content, but content delivered in different forms.

For instance, lead magnets and tripwires are built especially to attract people who don’t yet have a relationship with your company, whereas former, disengaged customers are most likely no longer paying attention to your ads, so they might be best reached (and influenced) by email.

Lucky for you, we’ve created a comprehensive, three-part blog series about the types of content you should be offering at each stage of the sales funnel. Here’s a link to the first:

Top of the Funnel Content

2. Win of the Week: This is going to be a little embarrassing, especially since I’m the employee being featured in this week’s “Rave,” so just an FYI: we vote on the weekly wins and drew straws this week for the other, so I promise I had no hand in this . . .

But my “win” is pretty cool, just sayin’: Last week, I became the only Solutions 8 team member, so far, to become a Digital Marketer “Certified Digital Marketing Professional,” which means that I had to successfully complete all nine of Digital Marketer’s core discipline certification courses and then sit for their master exam (and prove I remembered everything.)

I passed with flying colors, have been sharing what I’ve learned with my teammates, and am now ready to work my digital mojo on any and all projects that come my way. Bring it on!

 3. Hot Tip: We were nice enough to tell you what types of content you should be creating, but we failed to tell you what to do in case you hate writing. We’ll take care of that right now: The 4 Best Ways to Find Freelance Writers  

Or you can just call us – we loooove to write.

 4. Event I’d Kill to Attend: State of Search
Where: Dallas, TX
When: October 9-10
Tickets: Click for pricing.
Presented By: Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association

Why: This conference bills itself as “the premiere digital marketing conference in the South” and promises to offer a “Texas-sized dose of insight and inspiration from leading marketing pros.”

Indeed, they’ve got Moz’s Dr. Pete, search marketing pioneer Bill Hunt and industry insight guru/author Duane Forrester, to name a few, so the amount of SEO knowledge attendees stand to gain should be tremendous.

Also, as conferences go, this one is moderately priced, lasts only two days and will take place at Gilly’s! I can’t think of a better way to get your “Urban Cowboy” on while jamming your brain full of actionable wisdom and networking to your heart’s content.

5. The Rave: As I warned you, this week’s honoree is  . . . me! (and I had someone else write this).

As one of Solutions 8’s superhuman Project Managers/Digital Strategists, Stephen brings an incredible amount of positive energy to work and is known as much for his discerning eye as he is for his boundless creativity, having fully developed these qualities through years of musical study and work.

Musically trained since childhood, Stephen received his Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from ASU, has performed as a soloist for thousands of people and continues to perform whenever he gets the chance.

According to Stephen, his musical training enables him to “ recognize patterns quickly and function highly under pressure” as well as “see the bigger picture and design a system that fits together,” which makes him invaluable to clients.

When he’s not busy working, Stephen is performing, doing yoga, drinking coffee, running, and binge-watching America’s Got Talent on Youtube.

6. Best-of-the-Week Outside Blog: I can’t get enough of Tom Webster’s keen, often amusing insights on his Brand Savant blog and this May 10th entry doesn’t disappoint:

They Also Serve, Who Only Stand And Grill (Or, The Stories We Don’t Tell)

Here he tells the unsexy tale of a company who, unlike Musk and Bezos, ignored their gut and, instead, opted to perform exhaustive research. And they won!! Click to read how Kingsford Charcoal fought against the demise of the backyard barbecue and raised their dollar growth by 5%.

7. One of the Good Ones: Who hasn’t heard of, or doesn’t love, Habitat for Humanity? But did you know that they’re currently offering the perfect way to honor all mothers, everywhere, just in time for Mother’s Day?

You can choose from several symbolic “gifts” in Habitat’s catalogue, after which you get to send a Mother’s Day eCard to your special honoree, letting her know that you’ve made a gift in her honor that will help change lives.

And, as always, Habitat offers several (worldwide & local) volunteer opportunities, donation options and merchandise – this one easily lives up to the name, “One of the Good Ones.”

8. The Thinker: “‘I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. You live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of.” – Louis C.K.

Talk soon,

Stephen

P.S. If you have digital marketing questions or would like to learn more about our free audits, click here to schedule a call.

P.P.S. Ever since our inaugural “8 That Rate” email blast, subscribers have been sending back rave responses, traffic’s gone up and our brand is getting some new buzz. If that’s something you’d like to see happen for your company, let us know. We can create a custom weekly newsletter that speaks specifically to your subscribers, in your voice, about topics that would be of great interest to them and, ultimately, just get people excited about your brand.