[created]. Ann Marie taught Public Relations 101 which is talking about creating a buzz around your product or service and that [connects] directly to the story teller. Story telling is the core, as you know, for content marketing. And when I originally started teaching my classes I had a basic Social Media course and then an Intermediate Social Media course. But as I found (especially going to the Content Marketing World this week) that the period of social media being the bright, shiny thing is quickly being surpassed by the whole idea of content marketing. So if you are to take Ann Marie’s class (for instance) and then my class they are designed to fit within each other. Ann Marie would be more of the: pitching the stories, getting headlines, creating your own press releases, and then mine would be the actual mechanics of taking content and sharing it with the world.
Will Hanke (Host): Awesome, okay. Are you speaking at the Small Business Expo in October?
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yes I will be speaking at the Small Business Expo with Ron Amulin. The publisher of the Small Business Expo has been very gracious to allow me to speak there over the past few years and I find it very engaging and a wonderful opportunity. The only downside, Will, is that I do not get to attend your sessions because typically they schedule us together.
Will Hanke (Host): Yeah, yeah well that is ok, nothing new there right?
Ed Mayuga (guest): Well you know what? I have learnt so much from attending your media groups over the years. I know I have even been up to your office for your food camp. You are just a tremendous resource. I know that you have expanded beyond the areas of (5:47-5:49??) organization in the content marketing as well and you know that is just a phenomenal resource to small business owners.
Will Hanke (Host): Yeah, so tell me a little bit about Slidebatch and how all of that works in AMM and especially what it does for small business owners.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Well I say it is interesting that you ask that, as you can see I have AMM Communications and I have Slidebatch banners above me. One of the recent ventures that I have joined is Slidebatch as the chief marketing officer and the purpose for us to go to the Content Marketing World this week is not as exhibiters but to launch our platform and at slidebatch.com. But the way we are doing it is a new way to author content and it is a very simple, easy, laser-focused way of doing it. It is currently free to the public but it is a tremendous tool for branding and sharing batches of information. So our goal is that in the next two-three (2-3) years everybody is talking about batching information. And when you create a batch it is online, you will be able to curate information from all across the web. Any link, image, YouTube videos, demo videos, you can upload files, you can upload power points, Word files, Google drive files from anywhere, collect them in batches, just share them with one URL to the general public and what is nice is they can view it on any device. We built it from the mobile platform moving up to the desktop. And the difference that we have is that you can actually download any of these files and we do not get any of the copyright issues because we are merely curating information from across the web. So [we promote] ‘batch should share it and show it’ as our message. We want everybody to become an author. Authoring is very intimidating for [some] people but with Slidebatch [we] will allow you to author content very quickly and easily.
Will Hanke (Host): Okay pretty cool. So you could build different batches of whatever and target those to different professionals or industries or whatever. So, for instance, if you wanted to target a reporter (because I know you are doing P.R.).
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yes.
Will Hanke (Host): You could put some things together that you would hope a reporter would want to see.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Absolutely, and you know in the public relations field we pitch stories. And in order to pitch stories a reporter (at the very basic) would want to see a headshot, they would want to see any local news, maybe some of the brochures or marketing materials and maybe the website. So with Slidebatch that allows us to put together a batch of information in our own private batch. We do not have to share this with the world; we can make it private so that reporter could look at it. No one else could see it unless we want them to. So we could control it and then later on we could take that batch, we could take the story that the reporter wrote, we could put it in that batch and then make it public and then start sharing it and we have the social sharing buttons it could be shared it on Facebook, YouTube, Pintrest, a variety of items. And if you go to slidebatch.com you will see I created batches for a whole bunch of different things. Tony Russo, for instance, would be in the Hall of Fame. I created that under my own private account. For AMM Communications, Ann Marie and I are really big into the Urban Gardening Movement and the Tiny Home Movement. I created batches just collecting all the nice tiny homes and urban gardening tips that I see. So it is certainly open for, not only personal use, but for other businesses as well.
Will Hanke (Host): Oh wow that is pretty cool. Well that sounds like a great project and you guys are currently offering that for free which is really cool.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Absolutely, there are no limits. For more of the enterprise users, we do have a white label version which is just very small software as a service. We just want to get people use it, because once they get used to seeing how many batches they can create, we truly think that we can change the way people communicate.
Will Hanke (Host): Yeah I think it is terrific that you can just share one link and it goes to a bunch of different things about whatever topic you choose. That is pretty cool.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Absolutely and we also have inevitable players. So if you blog at slidebatch.com or on my blog at AMM Communications.com, both of those are self-posted WordPress websites. I will embed batches that I create specifically for that blog post within the batch within my blog post.
Will Hanke (Host): Oh wow.
Ed Mayuga (guest): You could actually view it within that blog entry which makes it very nice.
Will Hanke (Host): That sounds like it is very easy to integrate. That is awesome.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yes, absolutely.
Will Hanke (Host): Okay. Well so you just got back yesterday, I guess, from Content Marketing World.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yes.
Will Hanke (Host): So what did you think about it?
Ed Mayuga (guest): Well you know the first thing we have to say is that ‘what did not happen in Cleveland stays in Cleveland’.
Will Hanke (Host): Fair enough.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Well you know Cleveland. Cleveland gets a bad rap; it is actually a phenomenal place. We were right there by the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame but Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing World has put this together and in just four (4) years he has grown it from a hundred and fifty (150) people attending Content Marketing World of 2010 to over twenty five hundred (2,500) marketers, from corporate, to individuals, to P.R. firms from all over the world attending Content Marketing World. And we sent three (3) representatives of Slidebatch there. You got to see all the social media thought leaders like Scott Stratten from ‘On Marketing’. So we talked to Lee Auden, we talked to Tom Martin from New Orleans and you know these people have been speaking. They started off as social media consultants but they seem polite (so to speak) and they see the content marketing as truly the future of marketing. And I met the corporate marketers from Kraft and 3M. They all sent representatives from all across the United States and from all over the world. We had Australians, we had people from Estonia, there were people from Asia, and it was remarkable because there is just so much content. And if you look, I am going to create a batch (I have not done it yet) but I had an artist that would actually draw out what the speaker was saying. So we have these big graphic posters with the content and it is actually very visually engaging and they put those out. I posted it to Instagram and to Facebook but I am actually going to collect that in a batch and share that with the audience as well.
Will Hanke (Host): We will put it in and show notes and it will give me an opportunity to stick a batch in there.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Stick a batch in it! Stick a batch in it!
Will Hanke (Host): So what was your favorite session at the Content Marketing World?
Ed Mayuga (guest): Well I have to say the closing keynote was Kevin Spacey and for anyone who is a Kevin Spacey fan, that I have been, to award winning actor. If you have Netflix, House of Cards is a phenomenal show and he is very engaging. At first I was like, “why would they invite him after to talk about content marketing?” but if you look at it he really went into talking about story telling. Actors really tell the story that they are given and a lot of times when they do improve they see the past or the story just unfolds. And the similarities that he created between acting and producing and working in the theater on Broadway and in England directly tie into how we are creating content. The reason that people will keep coming back to read your content, specifically, is because you have engaged them, you have stirred some emotion. And you know I have seen it in my own case with public relations. So it is not sufficient to just send out a press release like someone got hired or we have got this new offer. We need to actually engage people and tell them the story. Well this fits into the whole story of this company and this is why you should be interested. So I would say that Kevin Spacey was the most engaging there, followed by Scott Stratten on marketing. That guy cracks up everybody, I was familiar with him.
Will Hanke (Host): You know I saw him last year at Punk Con in Vegas and he definitely kept everybody’s attention and kept everybody laughing.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Well yeah, you know his website ‘thenooooooooooooooobuttton.com’ (that’s ‘N’ followed by fifteen (15) ‘O’s’ dot com) actually gets twenty-five million (25,000,000) views. He has a ninety percent (90%) bounce rate but most people who are staying on the site. And if you go to the site he showed it, you just push the ‘blue arcade’ button and it has Dark Vader saying ‘no’, a screaming NO and actually it is not even Dark Vader, it is Emperor Zurg from Toy Story. And he puts a disclaimer “at times of dire need you are supposed to press this button.” But the story was that this is something that people go to, they spend time on and yet multiple pages but he only has one page; I mean that is just hilarious. He said “content marketing is getting people engaged” and the reason that he has the ‘no’ with fifteen (15) ‘O’s’ is because the ‘n’ with fourteen ‘O’s’ was already taken. So I thought that was very funny but I mean in the whole scheme of things he was a big Twitter guy, obviously. And he had six hundred thousand Twitter followers, but then he has actually seen the light with the Twitter for the sake of doing Twitter just like social media is not the end of the all, not like it was five (5) years ago where there was a rush to get on there. Now you need to have content unless you are going to lose people. People are not going to want to engage with you unless you have some compelling content that people want to look at.
Will Hanke (Host): Totally agree, I heard something (probably a good two years now) that Twitter is ‘marketers marketing to other marketers’.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yes, absolutely.
Will Hanke (Host): And it really made me wonder, of all the people that were jumping on Twitter that they get antedated with so much marketing stuff that they get off of Twitter and never realize the potential that is really there.
Ed Mayuga (guest): I do not know how many robot followers you have. I know Twitter has the ‘clique mad up’, but I probably have a thousand (1000) robot followers. And I got a few new girlfriends.
Will Hanke (Host): Oh that is right.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yeah I got my invisible girlfriends even though I have been married for fourteen (14) years.
Will Hanke (Host): Right, right, yeah. So let us talk a little bit more about Content Marketing World.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Okay.
Will Hanke (Host): Why not give me a couple tips, or three tips, that you learnt there or that applies especially to small business owners?
Ed Mayuga (guest): Okay well the first tip was really having the cohesive story and if you look at that classic story telling pyramid, it is called ‘Freytag’s Pyramid’. So you have the ‘Introduction’, then moving up the side of the pyramid you have ‘Rising Action’, you have the ‘Climax’, you have the ‘Dénouement’ which is a French term for ‘Falling Action’, then you have the ‘Conclusion’. So if you break it down into just that basic pyramid whenever you are telling a story that will actually be a good framework for you pushing out your content. So just to bring it home, do what I do, it would be doing a press release to announcer a product and then putting out some content blog post. You would get the rising action and then the climax would be someone actually benefitting from that product or service and then the following action would be more people getting onboard. And then there has to be some conclusion before you move onto the next story. It is not a never-ending story because never-ending stories will not accomplish what you want, which is the second thing I learned from Content Marketing World. And that people were coming at content marketing from so many different ways. You had the bloggers who were writers, you had the social media people saying “well I do not have time to write, I am just going to put out all these little bits of content,” and you had the people with the R.O.I. you know the bosses asking “how much time are we spending on this?”, “Why do we need to hire these people?” And all of them were trying to understand content marketing and put it in to a box. Well it is more holistic than that, you actually have to incorporate everything. You cannot just write content without trying to get any R.O.I. And there are many tools. There is a balance at Content Marketing World between what the speakers are talking about. We had national speakers there, you know Jay Baron did a phenomenal job, Jenny Dietrich, from Armonk Dietrich and they all talked about how they had started with just a website, and now they are actually moving on to other things. And then the third and final thing is the content curation piece. And we had Slidebatch up there just to launch our product but we also wanted to see how many competitors we potentially had and what type of famous tools were out there. So from a tactical perspective there are so many tools. There are a lot of tools that overlap each other; there are tools that will gage how much blog influence you will get, how much S.E.O you could potentially get. But it just seems like there are a lot of tools out there trying to be [like] the Swiss Army knife, they are trying to be everything. And it can be overwhelming. So when you are actually looking at the tactical side, for my third and final point, you need to find something you are comfortable with and you need to stick with it. You cannot just stay with something for a few weeks and then try the next bright, shiny object. That is not going to work. So it needs to be more cohesive and it ties exactly into what you do well because well you are the best person that I know and have ever seen in pulling together all these different tools and truly helping people not only with the website but in maintaining a consistent message.
Will Hanke (Host): Yeah well thank you for that. So let us talk real quick about content in a really generic way. We are throwing the term ‘content marketing’ around and we have got some small business owners that watch this that maybe do not even understand what that is. So for most people I think they would immediately assume that means blogging or writing some sort of an article on a regular basis. But it really means a ton more than just that does it not?
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yeah absolutely. Well I write two blogs currently. I write one for AMM Communications and I write one for Slidebatch. Blogging is certainly a great tool because if you write in natural language it will be called by the search engines and you will get your search engine optimization from that. But I am a small business owner as well; I know that there is not a lot of time. It is a cost benefit analysis. The cost of time that I would commit or the ninety minutes (90) or two (2) hours writing a blog post, would that not be better spent doing something else? So the basis of content marketing is taking content in the form of a story and using it to propel your brand forward and ultimately the R.O.I. for me and what I work with from my clients is that they want to sell more. They want more people to get engaged, they want people to buy their products or buy their services. So you know the challenge though is if you are bootstrapping your own company and you cannot afford to hire people, how do you do that? You have to do it yourself, and that is where Slidebatch comes in. I am currently writing a blog-post about ‘Blogging verses Batching.’ I can write a blog in ninety (90) minutes to two (2) hours or I could create ten to fifteen (10-15) batches in the same amount of time because it is much easier to send that out and I immediately multiply it (the number of hits that I could potentially get) because it not only goes to my website but it also propels my brand forward. So when you are sending out content, it is merely the vehicle. But you could use WordPress or you could also use Slidebatch and do it much easier.
Will Hanke (Host): Right and content could also be video, it could also be Podcast; it could be a lot of different things. And I think for small business owners, they need to look at their audience and how their audience wants to digest their content and then focus on that. Because if it is something that is product-based then you may be better off doing some short videos that are how-to’s and that sort of stuff around your product verses blogging. So there are a lot of things there. So let us talk a little bit more about curation. I have heard some rumors or rumblings about curation several years ago and there have been sites around LinkedIn and Reddit and these sites that really curate content.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yeah, absolutely.
Will Hanke (Host): We just did not realize it at the time but they have become quite powerful in their own ways. So talk a little bit about Content Marketing World and how they brought in the curation part of things.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Well curation is the most difficult thing. How do you share a bunch of links? How do you share a podcast? How do you share a video? To your point, the key to marketing is meeting your audience where they are. Some people like to podcast and I would love to touch on that because you mentioned podcast, and you are doing a lot of podcasts. There are more people that will spend more time listening to podcasts than who will actually watch your video. Because one of the statistics they said with video is that without a five minute video the brain does something. It actually goes to sleep in the middle of the video because it is just so over stimulated. People are more likely to listen to a podcast and will save a bunch of podcasts by curating them. They could curate them themselves or you could curate them for them and then they can listen to it on their mobile device, they can listen to it on their ride home. I think the statistic that they threw out is that fifty one percent (51%) of the people will listen to a podcast on their twenty to thirty minute [journey] home, so that is the key. The issue that we have again is ‘where do you put all this stuff?’ You could upload it to various sites, use Sound Cloud for podcast, and use WordPress for a blog if you have your own YouTube channel, but they are nothing really cohesive. So what you need to find is a good solution. You could, theoretically, pull all those together on a WordPress website but that takes a little technical knowledge and it takes time. Or you could use one of the curation tools. I like Reddit, I like Reddit a lot, but Reddit is just a free flow of ideas.
Will Hanke (Host): Right.
Ed Mayuga (guest): LinkedIn is kind of the same way, just with links. And that is the reason we actually came up with slidebatch.com because there was no good, cohesive way of doing everything and we can do that.
Will Hanke (Host): Yeah ok. I think curation is a great way to go especially for marketing-type companies that need to get their message out and other peoples messages out as well, it is not just all ‘sell, sell, sell.’
Ed Mayuga (guest): No I mean it is the fundamental divide between sales and marketing. I have been on both sides. I have been in sales for over twenty (20) years and I was always frustrated when I was just on the sales side that marketing would never produce anything that would really help me to sell ahead. And then the marketers would always be frustrated with the sales people because they would not use any of the stuff they created. So with content marketing we can tailor exactly the way we need to sell something and get people interested and then sales people can take this curated content and just show their prospect or their current client exactly what they want to see.
Will Hanke (Host): That is awesome.
Ed Mayuga (guest): (inaudible)
Will Hanke (Host): Very nice. And you may have already touched on some of this, but, what is one of the biggest things you see small business owners doing wrong?
Ed Mayuga (guest): Well the one thing I see small business owners doing is that they think they can be successful in just instants first. They may have started a blog, or they may have attended one of your courses where you talk about blogging or creating a video or doing something like that. They maybe do one (1) or two (2) and then they do not get the desired result so then they try something else.
Will Hanke (Host): Alright.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Then they try frequent inconsistencies, and that is the name of the game. You have got to be consistent with it, because it is not a sprint it is more of a marathon. And then the other thing is that you have these never-ending stories that are disjointed. You might talk about ‘product, product, product’ without any of the benefits and then you never finish that story, and you will not engage people that way. So if I had some advice I would say be frequent and be consistent with whatever you do and do not give up.
Will Hanke (Host): Yeah I think that is terrific advice. I have a client who started blogging in 2008 and I said “we just need to do this once, maybe twice a week.” And I say this to all my clients and of course most of them kind of laugh and say “yeah, I am kind of busy running a business here.”
Ed Mayuga (guest): Right.
Will Hanke (Host): Yeah, but let me tell you, if you saw the numbers that this client is doing it is incredible. And I went back and looked at the very first blog they did and after they published that blog they got about ten (10) visitors a week added because of that blog being there.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Right.
Will Hanke (Host): So over fifty-two (52) weeks if you multiply that out that is thousands more visitors that you did not have before.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Exactly.
Will Hanke (Host): Because you put that content out there and because you did it on a regular basis.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yeah so it does not have to be the complete works of Shakespeare, it does not have to be perfect, you just have to put something out. And you know, obviously, pay attention to grammar, do not swear, and do not be too controversial (I mean you can be slightly controversial). But I think that small business owners get stuck and say “you know, unless it is perfect I am not going to put it out.” Well, it does not have to be perfect, it just has to be decent enough, and it has to really evoke an emotion in some and really help them out.
Will Hanke (Host): And the last thing I will say about that client, to your point, is that there are some bigger clients in town.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Exactly.
Will Hanke (Host): Or some bigger businesses in town that are doing that and he now has six (6), seven (7) years worth of content.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Wow.
Will Hanke (Host): That they are never going to be able to catch up to. So I do not want to alienate anybody who has not started blogging. I think it is, as you said earlier, “one of the best kept secret” of getting works, getting traffic to your site, more content, getting more authority. What a great way to really build your business.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Exactly, well you know Ann Marie uses this in her Enterprise classes, I do as well, because we often hear people say “I am not creative, I am not an author” so we ask them to write a haiku. And if you remember from grade school, a haiku is a Japanese poem of writing five (5) syllables, seven (7) syllables, and five (5) syllables and it is typically about nature but it can be about anything.
Will Hanke (Host): Sure.
Ed Mayuga (guest): So we have people write haikus about their product or service and it is amazing what people come up with. People that are very introverted typically come up with some. So if you can come up with a haiku you can come up with a blog post because just expand the words a little bit more.
Will Hanke (Host): Yeah and just listen to your customers and what they are asking you and put that down into blog posters for everyone that is asking you something to your face or on the phone.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Right.
Will Hanke (Host): There are hundreds (100) of them that are typing that into Google and you will be the expert that is answering that question.
Ed Mayuga (guest): You are exactly right Will. And people as you teach in your classes, people are doing natural language word searches on Google, “who is the best?”, “who is the top in whatever I am looking for?” that is the search query that I would use for something. And if you could be creative in how you answer that and you put out content that will build your authority and as an author of being someone who is credible, then you will perforate to the top of the search engine.
Will Hanke (Host): That is awesome. So Ed give me a couple tips that people who are listening or watching today can actually take back and take action on and see results in a short amount of time.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Well the first thing I would say is go on to Wikipedia and look at Freytag’s Pyramid. And I talked about it earlier; it is about (33:18-33:19??). So use that as a framework of whatever story. If you are doing, a product bit, if you are talking about how great your product or service really is, it needs to fit in that constraint. There needs to be rising action, there needs to be some climax of some challenge that was overcome, some reason why your product or service will help that person live a better life and then there needs to be a conclusion. And that would be the benefit so that would be the first thing to do.
Will Hanke (Host): So I will put that in the show notes underneath the broadcast where everybody can find it.
Ed Mayuga (guest): Yes absolutely. So I will actually give you a batch link because I created Slidebatch on storytelling and it will have all that content as well, so that would be beneficial. And then you know the frequency and consistency is just like exercise. A lot of people have New Year’s Resolutions and they really start working out in January and by February and March, the exercise equipment is on sale on Craigslist, typically because people are so great to start. You have to be frequent and consistent. Even if it is so much as sitting there and writing that you are committing to it on your calendar or whatever calendar system you use to remind yourself that you have to do this. And half the time it is just getting started, for me, anytime I have some brilliant innovation if I do not have a piece of paper by me I can go to my phone and I can go to my WordPress website and I will write the headline and that headline will start my blog post and then I will have a lot of these blog posts that are still stored up as drafts. That is what you call the Evergreen Content. Evergreen Content is stuff that never go stale, that you could use anytime if you have enough of that Evergreen Content you will not always be under pressure to get that blog post out.
Will Hanke (Host): Very good, yeah. Ed I really appreciate you joining us today and always some great tips from you, always some great ideas so I really appreciate that. My guest today is Ed Mayuga from AMM Communications and slidebabtch.com and my name is Will Hanke with Red Canoe Media. Thanks so much for joining in today and hopefully you will be back to Navigate the Rapids business. Thanks again for joining us on the broadcast. Join us again next week when we interview Productivity Expert, Cathy Sexton.