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How to Use Evergreen Content to Drive Sales Opportunities

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SPEAKERS

Mark Fidelman, Matt DeCoursey

TRANSCRIPT

Matt DeCoursey  00:00

So like a news article is for the most part not what I would call evergreen content a piece written about leadership, or how to build a business with some timeless advice would be a better example of evergreen content.

Mark Fidelman  00:14

Okay. And, you know, when we talk about creating this long term content, what, what, what needs to be done prior to even starting that

Matt DeCoursey  00:26

gotta have some kind of plan. And really, whether it’s evergreen content or any kind of content, if you want people to care about it, pay attention to it, or find value in it it has to. It has to provide something to them you have to entertain them you have to give them some kind of advice or you have to give them telling the story, or something like that so you know when it comes to evergreen content, it’s a long play, and it’s something that that planning and creating it needs to be. You know you have a systematic approach to it, you should have some idea of what you’re doing, like so. Taking pictures and posting them on Instagram, not evergreen content yeah now creating a long term blog marketing plan with articles that link to each other and provide value and you know have embedded different types of embedded media and stuff like that’s a, you know, that that’s how you would create a plan for evergreen content. I mean,

Mark Fidelman  01:24

because we do content for our clients obviously and I like video. Although you know we’ve done infographics, but we always start from a perspective of understanding who their target audiences and then either doing surveys or research or something to try to truly understand who they are and then, and then the creative part kicks in, which is one of my favorite things is okay how do we creatively. Educate entertain everything that you just said, and come up with those concepts so I mean how do you do that.

Matt DeCoursey  01:58

It really depends. You have to start by defining your audience you know who you’re trying to reach, who is the likely person or organization that’s going to absorb your content and then what message resonates to them, so you have, obviously, you have different kinds of value that people are going to find, so give me an industry. Yeah. Okay, so just name it,

Mark Fidelman  02:20

name it, let’s say, a pet products.

Matt DeCoursey  02:24

Okay, so people don’t have pets they’re gonna. Possibly. Well, people. First off, there’s a lot of people that have pets. So, what kind of pet Do they have Are you looking for dog owners are you

02:34

let’s say cats, let’s say cats Yeah,

Matt DeCoursey  02:35

okay. All right, so if you’re looking for cats, then you’re gonna. Alright, so we’ve defined that, so you want to be pretty clear with the plan like you’re going to title your articles and put the content, it needs to be a rent you shouldn’t be publishing a blog article aimed for cat people that says nine ways to walk your dog or something like that, obviously that’s not a very good approach and then you know what kind of value where people are gonna look so, you know, my, and I’m not a subject matter expert on pet ownership but you know people that don’t test on assuming that they’re gonna want to research, animals characteristics they’re gonna possibly want to find healthier avenues for, you know, like CF pet, pet insurance you could have pet food. What are the benefits of each or whatever and then in some cases it might also be looking up. Yeah, maybe the change behavioral aspects of an animal so you know with that plan you want to structure evergreen content around something specific, I wouldn’t advise anyone to create an article that covered all of that in one those are all separate subjects you’d be watering down an evergreen article by giving too broad with it.

Mark Fidelman  03:48

And then how do you figure out what’s going to be evergreen and once what’s kind of whimsical. I mean with cats especially with cats Matt, I mean if you look at how many videos are out there I mean overdone so it seems like something that can be evergreen is, I look at it as okay with this person print this out, or would they bookmark it, or would they save this video for the future. And then always the issue is okay how do we how do we reach these cat owners in a way that they haven’t already seen or heard, especially in this industry what’s been extremely overdone.

Matt DeCoursey  04:24

Sir, so you know something that once again, if you’re discussing the term evergreen should not have a shelf life so characteristics of a Siamese cat. As an example, so that’s the first thing that came to mind when we if we had to produce an evergreen article so I would think that the characteristics and behavioral aspects and obviously the appearance of Siamese cats has not changed in a very long time, so that, you know, the Evergreen approach doesn’t require constant updating now let’s say you did an article on a litter of six Siamese kittens that you have available right now. Well once those are gone that article expired. Yeah, you could still kind of swing that into an evergreen approach, but you’re gonna have to do maintenance you’re gonna have to go up and update it. You know when I think of an evergreen article I look at something that I pop you, you set it and forget it, you know it’s like it posts and you don’t have to go back and do anything to it it doesn’t require it doesn’t have a shelf life and everything theoretically has a shelf life. Yeah. I’ll give you an example so technology changes a lot. And so one of the things that like front end technology for programmers changes a whole lot. And so with that, we’ll write articles that are about a specific type of tech, but not necessarily each individual version, because, you know, if we said like Angular is a popular front end, technology, and it comes out with a new version quarterly or something like that so you know unless you’re wanting to be specific about that version you’re gonna sentence yourself to constantly updating and maintaining that article to keep it current otherwise people are going to find it they’re going to it’s going to look data then they just bounce. Got it.

Mark Fidelman  06:07

Okay. So, I understand the challenges of of what I’m talking about, which is okay how do you come up with something that’s entertaining on the Evergreen front, what you’re talking about is, okay, these, these, these have a longer shelf life than your typical article and okay so now, now that we’ve got that definition this is mostly on me but why not on you. Why is evergreen content more important than the average, you know blog post or social post that’s put out there.

Matt DeCoursey  06:43

Any podcast article or blog any of that stuff, you have human capital that goes into it, you’re on time your own effort I look at everything that we publish or produce that is quote evergreen as being a digital asset, so you know that the longer the longer, it’s able to produce a return, the more value that you have out of it. Now, I really suggest that anybody and everybody always take an evergreen approach I mean that’s that’s the best place to start, I have blog articles from years ago that still get significant traffic and different web properties that I own and that’s because there’s an evergreen nature to them.

Mark Fidelman  07:22

Yeah, the same, I could say the same for video as well, although I don’t know if the SEO value is as good for video, then for the articles like what you’re doing, are you just dealing in in articles or do you venture into podcasts and video I know you’re at the podcast, but for your clients are you venturing into audio and video as well.

Matt DeCoursey  07:44

Well, we don’t do a lot of marketing services for our clients. Now, with that I do refer to full scale as if you want to learn about what we do, you can go to full scale.io, where I often refer to us as a marketing company that happens to sell tech services, hell I say that because I like the marketing approach first but, you know, when it comes to like, I give me an example, today we published on our yesterday we had an article what is affiliate marketing, and that article like the definition of affiliate marketing isn’t going to change a whole lot over the upcoming however many years this exists. Now, there are other things that go with it and you mentioned liking video and you know video can stick around for a while but it also has a shelf life as well. Some of that I think is a little more centered around it just not looking dated. But, you know, there are videos on YouTube that are eight 910 years old but still get significant traffic. So, you know, think the same thing with podcasts I’m sure this show is the same like, you know, I don’t get the same amount of traffic on episode files we get on episode 365

Mark Fidelman  08:52

yeah I mean the problem with podcast is the search engines aren’t that great. And I don’t think people go to podcasts to do search, you know, they go to Google they go to YouTube. Those are wanting to actually, and maybe Bing, so I like video because it’ll show up forever. Just as you mentioned, you know, there’s still some of my best performing videos that are four years old, because they were evergreen topics.

Matt DeCoursey  09:16

I would comment on that that was one of the things that I’ve seen seven, our podcast has been out for about three years and you know we get significant traffic we have over a million lifetime downloads, get ever in the 60 to 70,000 downloads, a month range right now, that’s seen a level of, I’m seeing a level of sophistication come up like I find our podcast Google Now indexes podcasts and does a lot of different stuff and I think that some things that we may not have considered to be as evergreen or SEO friendly may make a resurgence because there’s a lot of voice recognition technology and a lot of stuff like that seems to be entering the podcast world that’s making it easier to find stuff. So, and you know on the go without as well we’ve looked at any podcast aggregator as a search engine. So, when we title our episodes and stuff like that we do give some consideration to what would someone search for if they were looking for an individual episode, do you look at the data I mean do you have, because I use Lipson for my syndicator, do you have any data as to how popular your episodes were from last year versus any other year to see if people are still downloading them. Do you have any ideas as to what that looks like. Yeah. One of the challenges with podcasts analytics and it’s getting a little better but overall it’s still terrible, it is, how many, how many subscribers Do you have and you shrug you’re like, I don’t know what you don’t know. Like there’s nothing that accurately tells you and it’s all feels like half a guess, it is as now as far as the, the lifetime value of all the episodes I mean every month, every episode in the history of startup hustle gets a lesson. Now the signet there is a sharp drop off I refer to your podcasts analytics, they look like Enron stock, because they start real high. Right. And you know, then you’re getting better, but the thing is if you want to have, you know, if people are finding that the great thing about podcasts and the Evergreen nature of that is if people like your show and they like what you do, they’ll go back and we have some people in it, and God bless every single one of them that have listened to every episode, and you know that’s I mean, we have 300 I think 370 at the time of this recording and you know now. The funny thing is, is I listened to, if I go back and listen to Episode Five, I have absolute terror. A feeling of terror that we even let something that that low quality out, perhaps, so you have

Mark Fidelman  11:59

to start. You have to start somewhere I think it’s admirable that you know you you even put something out there like that. You didn’t know it Episode Five but maybe you did that you’re going to produce 350 and that you’d get better over time. I mean, you can’t start perfect it just doesn’t work that way.

Matt DeCoursey  12:17

Now we always read, we give a lot of advice and have a lot of conversations with startup founders and entrepreneurs and you know sometimes you just have to jump and don’t wings at some point when it comes to this stuff and you know Nike says it best Just do it. And yeah, it’s the same thing for anybody that’s wanting to create content that when it comes to content marketing. Everyone tells you you need to do it. And no one really effectively, well, very few effectively tell you how to do it. Yeah, because it’s hard, and, you know, and the thing is you have to be, if you’re going to do evergreen marketing Another thing is you have to happen within your plan you have to have a level of consistency and repetition, that matters because Google doesn’t care about the website that has to articles on the back end, you just not no one really cares and another thing to is if you plan it appropriately and you use cross channel marketing and just different things like you know for example in the blog at the full scale we have YouTube videos embedded we have podcast episodes and data, and that stuff all needs to, you know, kind of light the fuse on the other stuff and you know that that needs to be part of your plan as well.

Mark Fidelman  13:27

Yeah, I mean the biggest problem I have is okay coming up with what are the ideas and the content that you’re going to produce that hasn’t been done before, or does that even matter like you brought up earlier, you did an article on what is affiliate marketing well I guarantee you there are 1000 articles like that so what goes through your mind when you produce something like that is it that you already have, you know, a high producing site that Google recognizes and will, you know, move that up to page two or one, or is there something else that you have in mind when you produce something like that.

Matt DeCoursey  14:00

So I love the long tail. I’m not, I think trying to, to be number one for the term affiliate marketing, like if that was my goal that wouldn’t be a goal that would be a fantasy. True. We’re not inc.com or entrepreneur.com or anything like that, then you know the history of the internet means that pretty much everyone’s done it at least once. So, you know, the word looking and an article like that it’s either. In this case, that’s a value add, that’s something that we might show to a client or get out there and do some different stuff so I’m not necessarily planning on being first for that but it will the approach is what is affiliate marketing, don’t under don’t undervalue our underestimate how many people just type a question into a search engine and ask. So it may come up you know who knows but in that case I’d be expecting that to come up with some other keyword that might be in the, in the article. Okay, so yeah

Mark Fidelman  15:01

so you’re hoping for the long tail that you know what is affiliate marketing but for cat owners, or cat product, businesses, something like that. Right.

Matt DeCoursey  15:11

Yeah. And in that case it would be a little more centered around probably about someone including the word startup in there, or something.

Mark Fidelman  15:19

Yeah. Okay, well that makes more sense because I’m always looking at okay here’s content. And here’s the internet, which is a vast sea of content that you know is some of its good some of it sucks. How do you, you know, how do you position it so that you’re going to be found more than all the other millions of things that are out in that vast sea and that’s really the challenge and it’s I’m always curious as to what other marketers do in this. What is your thought process around that and making sure that it gets discovered, are you simply putting terms in the article and hoping for that long tail or is there something else that you’re doing.

Matt DeCoursey  16:01

Well I think it starts with the title and you know the title if you’re just using a basic WordPress site or something like that, that also many times turns into your URL. Those things are looked at, you know that’s what Google is looking at and you have to. So my book million dollar bedroom I actually have a section that says things like a search engine and search engines are logical, you know they are looking into their job is to, you know, Google’s Google is trying to put a searcher on top of the best results that answer the question that they’re looking for. So, you know, there are things that matter, you know like, I see people do a lot of dumb stuff you know they take a screenshot of something and then they upload that image to the to their blog article and then that file name is like screenshot 439 and 763 dot png, and you know and it doesn’t it’s not labeled or anything like that so you got to think like a search engine You got it. Like what would a search engine, why would a search engine want to recommend you and it needs to be either relevant references, or what it’s going to lead you to our, you know, I mean, or you have a hell of a lot of links to that, which probably isn’t the case especially right after you publish something so you know and then and then other things too is like I mentioned having videos and data and having podcasts and data. Remember, search engines want to take a visitor to the highest quality result that it can find so you know if it sees an article that’s titled what related to what the search is the images are labeled similar to that there’s a video there’s a podcast there’s links to other resources in case that visitor doesn’t find what they need that search engine likes that.

Mark Fidelman  17:44

Okay, so let’s say you come up with the content the title, everything you just described and you structure it properly. What team do you need to deliver it, what is the average team in a startup, what should it look like.

Matt DeCoursey  18:01

I’m fortunate because we have a 12 person marketing team I’ve got 200 employees so we do have we have a team of six writers. We have three graphic designers two video editors and cmo. Now, here’s the thing you don’t need any of that to publish your own articles. I mean you as a startup or a solopreneur, you can create content, it’s your own time now. Yeah. Looking at that from the outside in, it’s like looking at an elephant and someone just told you to eat it. So you got the thing is is you got to eat that elephant one bite at a time so you know as far as the team goes, I mean you can be the team. I really recommend if you are. So, one of the comments that people have given me over the years as an author is like, oh, I’ve always wanted to write a book, I’m like, Well, why aren’t you, they’re like well I’m still thinking about it, what do I need to do to start by going home and writing Yeah, dude, you know like anything so you know you can create the content but people are overwhelmingly uncomfortable writing. So, you know, this is like yours, that can help with that to help implement it. Now I really, you know, 15 years ago or 10 years ago I wouldn’t have been as adamant about using a company like yours. Now I highly recommend these things because, you know, there’s something to be said about people that have done it and understand it, avoiding errors and that learning curve are important. You know, so I mean there it really depends. I mean you can go anywhere from doing it yourself, to, you know, finding businesses like yours outsourcing that or whatever I mean it’s just there’s a lot of ways to go about doing it. Now for us we have a bit of an assembly line so five days a week we publish a high quality article, and the full scale blog. We also publish five podcasts a week so now it’s taken us quite a bit of effort energy and emotion to get that process down, and that’s why we’re able to do the content and the number of it, but you know I really recommend, whether you’re doing as a start up or working with someone you want to try to learn to make it a process so you’re not having to figure out how to do something for all six steps that you might want to come up with.

Mark Fidelman  20:21

Okay, I mean it’s very good advice that processes the way I think to do it also have a cod content calendar and stick to it as closely as you can know why, why do it. I mean I know a lot of people like ditch a lot of work to produce this stuff and keep people entertained and all that, it’s just it’s so competitive out there. Why should people create this content.

Matt DeCoursey  20:43

Okay, so let’s say that you want to do business with my company full scale right so theoretically if we strip away all the bells and whistles. We employ a bunch of software developers. So, so does a lot of people, there’s a lot of programmers out there there’s a lot of companies. So what makes me different, why do I want to do business with you. And when it comes to creating content. This is the reason I wrote books like people asked me a lot and they say oh you had three number one books on Amazon. Have you made a lot of money selling books. Hell no, no, I wrote books to establish myself as a subject matter expert it’s like an advanced business card. Yeah, no one throws away a book. It feels weird to throw away right people throw away a business card before they even get back to the car in the parking lot sometimes. Yeah. You know, so whether it’s a book is a good example of evergreen content, I find my book everywhere when I go all around town and visit people I see my book sitting on shelves doing this doing that. And sometimes, on a funny note people send me pictures of my book doing funny things like man I this book sucks but it holds my wobbly table. Well, it doesn’t. But here’s the thing, they’re still seeing it Yes,

Mark Fidelman  21:52

your name and title is

Matt DeCoursey  21:55

right now. The thing is, is there’s. Look, there’s a million people that do what you do. I don’t care how unique you think you are, there’s a bunch of people that do what you do, or can do what you do on some level. So what differentiates you so for example, and I haven’t we have a multi pronged approach so not only do we have our blog which gets significant traffic through web search the podcast so if you’re gonna come hire me as a hire full scale as a development service, you, you, you would feel a little better knowing that I know what you need, because I’ve been down the road, I’ve been a startup founder I’ve been an entrepreneur have invested over a million dollars in startups I’ve done a lot of stuff, and every day of the week, I have a conversation similar to this, with people like you. So that content, it starts to stack up and, you know, for us, it’s, it’s a lead here a lead there and then we got a, just try to sound humble when I say this but we have become so effective at it, that we, a lot of the leads we find now people like oh I you know I found your blog and that was great but then I listened to your podcast I felt like I got to know you and then we reached out and you know that’s, that is a great situation to be in. But, how are you going to differentiate yourself from someone if I don’t feel like you’re a subject matter expert and I’m operating on a more than beginners level, then I need you to feel credible and I need to know that you’re a subject matter expert, otherwise I’m just going to move on down the line. You don’t look like you’re in the business of doing whatever it is that you say that you do, you have problems and you don’t even know it.

Mark Fidelman  23:35

Yeah, I think you nailed everything I would have said with. There’s one other thing I think I’d add to that is, with that content you’re putting out there and building yourself up as a subject matter expert and an influencer, you can actually charge premium rates, because people want to deal with someone that’s well known. It’s like doing business with IBM. I mean going way back on this reference but you’d pay more to do business with IBM because you felt more comfortable with a big brand you felt proud to say you’re working with IBM. And I think there’s a whole thing around premium pricing, that we could get into not on this call.

Matt DeCoursey  24:13

Yeah, so that that’s 100% yeah and by the way that that is part of our model I mean we, we are very upfront that we have a premium service offering. Even the employees we hire like we you know we need them to be in the top 10% of wherever they’re at in their career designation, and those are the best clients to work with people, those are the ones that you want. And if you can position yourself for that, then that’s where you want to be.

Mark Fidelman  24:38

Yep, and they’re comfortable paying that amount they’re willing to pay it they understand the value in paying for it. And it just makes your life and your pocketbook a lot, lot better.

Matt DeCoursey  24:47

Okay, those clients won’t pay for anything else they’re buying in that category, whether it’s from you or from someone else, excellent point.

Mark Fidelman  24:55

All right. So I think we did a pretty good job of really, you know, letting people know what evergreen content is why it’s important how to do it, and the value of it. So I think it’s a good time to wrap things up and talk ask you a couple of questions that I asked everybody. The first one is, what is the hottest digital marking tech technology that you recommend today.

Matt DeCoursey  25:20

So I, I’m an investor, I’ll just close that I’m an investor in this platform as well but Diddy HQ di VVY Hq is a Content Marketing Management Platform it’s been around for a while it’s been award winning. If you want to have a plan. It’s very important to be able to be organized to be able to collaborate to be able to communicate. And if you’re gonna. I mentioned earlier that you don’t have to have a process on day one, but if you’re not working towards having a process on day one. You’re never going to scale and get it to the point where you need to be creating quality content, how is about collaboration and communication on many days, so that’s that’s a platform that I’m really happy about when it comes to that regard and then some other things too, like, you know, and I don’t know if this is truly digital marketing technology but you know what are you going to do when you get someone to your site, you know like, I think that’s a mistake a lot of people make they’re really great at generating traffic but they’re not doing a very good job of collecting it or what are you trying to achieve. So, like we use gigabytes calm to take appointments and streamline certain processes and stuff like that so I mean there’s a lot of stuff out there that can help you get forward. I’m curious what your favorite.

Mark Fidelman  26:39

Wow. Okay, so I’m using actually right now my current favorite is otter.ai. It transcribes on the fly. And it’s about 90% accurate, and then it goes back and checks itself. And then updates itself. And I just find it fascinating because I don’t even have to write the blog articles anymore it’s doing it for me. So this podcast turns into a blog article and it’s very all unique content you and I have never said these exact same things before. And just makes it super easy. So,

Matt DeCoursey  27:10

by the way, that’s a great way to create a large audience and content I’ve done that partially with the books that I’ve written. You can you speak a lot faster than you can type and. And one of the challenges that writers have in general is putting a voice in it, they sound robotic or it’s boring if you’re transcribing your presentations or your voice and your message, it has a little more flavor to it I

Mark Fidelman  27:36

totally agree. Totally agree so let’s go to the final question, question number two, who, who, in your opinion is the most influential person in marketing today. I could remind you before you put in the notes.

Matt DeCoursey  27:49

When I filled out the form I said Gary Vee that’s right I see him everywhere, yeah here’s the thing I don’t really spend a lot of time listening to Gary. You know I see him everywhere and that’s why that’s why I gave that answer but you know there I mean there’s a lot of people out there doing a lot of different things. I mean, I just like to, I like Gary’s approach, just because he’s not afraid to me he’s just he’s just who he is. Yeah, cuss words and all. I appreciate that because I’m my team is gonna be super proud of me that I made it all the way through this show without swearing.

Mark Fidelman  28:25

This is it, this is pG 13 or, so you can swear on this show,

Matt DeCoursey  28:29

we mark, we blank check mark in all startup hustle episodes with explicit. We have a hard time as entrepreneur, it’s hard to not describe your journey with. Oh yeah,

Mark Fidelman  28:40

I mean, no question so the one of the reasons I like the fact he chose Gary Vee is because one of the answers. You and I talked about was, you know, once you build your brand up to a certain point, you could charge premium services, he’s taken it to the next level where people come to him with huge business ideas, I mean he’s involved in sports marketing he’s involved in investments and things he

Matt DeCoursey  29:03

is an entrepreneur, and you know like here’s the thing like I like Tim Ferriss and his content but that’s not he’s not the same kind of entrepreneur like Gary is like Gary’s sells wine and he said yeah his online shoes and like, I mean, I’m like that like let’s talk about how we’re going to make money and see if it’s gonna happen and I have an easier time listening to someone like that, then a self proclaimed help self help person that’s never done it, you know, whatever. So, yeah, yeah.

Mark Fidelman  29:30

Okay. Ah, love this podcast we’re gonna have to do another one in six months or so. Where can people find you,

Matt DeCoursey  29:41

where can they find a good answer. I mean what I’ve been working you talk about your long term evergreen content marketing plan, you know, I started mine three and a half years ago when, so I used to be a ticket broker, and I made a hell of a lot of money doing it, but with that I only needed to exist in my little bubble I have relationships in technology that didn’t require a lot of human interaction and when I exit I knew the exit of that business was coming. I told my wife I said I need to reinvent myself, so I said well how are you going to do that so I’m going to start by writing a couple books and she’s like what the hell do you know about writing books i don’t know i’m going to hire some people that are going to help me do it so I have three books that are available on Amazon one the first ones balanced me a realist guide to a successful life, second one’s million dollar bedroom which is more popular than the first one that’s the story of my entrepreneurial journey I actually started my first business in the extra bedroom in my home. And I had nothing but a credit card with an $8,000 limit, and turned that into $30 million with revenue. Following eight years and then became everything we do now. And then last year I published my third book called The real estate guide to successful music career so I worked in music and ticketing for 15 years of my life and that was more of a pet project so those are out there, startup hustle podcast is easily my most consumed content of all, we are consistently in the top 25 of all entrepreneurship podcasts on Apple we’re very proud of that, and publish up so it’s five days a week. In fact, startup hustle is gone so well that we actually brought in additional hosts. So I’m not, and my business partner and I are not the hosts in every episode we’re moving towards a seven day 365 day. You know, publishing schedule like every day and passed out yeah you can find. You can find more about my business at full scale.io and some of the articles we talked about which are largely about technology and entrepreneurship and our blog.

Mark Fidelman  31:42

Wonderful. And if you have any questions for Matt, please post them either on the blog post that you’re reading this on, or on reach out to Matt directly and ask them there. So Matt, I really appreciate you having on the show great episode and want to have you back for sure. All right, that was great man I love it. Sometimes Oh, quick it was, was moved right to the.


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