In this episode of the Manly Pinterest Tips Show, we talk about capturing some marketing magic for your business. And what it REALLY is going to take to get your business noticed online this year.
My guest for today’s show is one of the FIRST co-hosts of the Manly Pinterest Tips Show way back in the days of Google Plus. Mike Allton is one of my oldest online friends that has developed into a deep offline friendship. If you don’t know who Mike is, he’s Content Marketing Practitioner – a title he invented to represent his holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blogging, social media, email marketing, and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales. He is an award-winning Blogger, Speaker, and Author, and Brand Evangelist at Agorapulse.
Mike has helped me tremendously on my online journey and I know his advice will be super valuable to you as well. The transcript of our conversation is below. Enjoy!
Jeff Sieh: Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Manly Pinterest Tip Show. Hope you’re doing well. This is the new show with the new branding, and way too many buttons to push all at once. I am joined here by my good friend, Michael, and we are going to be talking today all about marketing and what it means. Mike’s probably my oldest online friend. He was actually one of the original Manly Pinterest Tips people ever and he’s back in the booth today, and he’s going to be sharing a bunch of stuff with us. If you’re joining us live, we’d love to answer your questions, so ask away and we’ll try to put those on the screen as we get to them. Be a little bit patient because this is a brand new format if you could see all the stuff that’s showing up and zooming in and out, so bear with me as I try to figure out and don’t shut off something that I shouldn’t shut off.
Jeff Sieh: Anyway, if you don’t know who Mike is, Mike Allton is a content marketing practitioner, a title that he actually invented to represent his holistic approach to content marketing, that leverages blogging, social media, email marketing, and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales. He’s an award-winning blogger. He’s a speaker, author, and brand evangelist, hat’s a fancy title, at Agorapulse. Mike, thank you so much for being here today.
Mike Allton: Thank you, man. Yeah, this background is kind of very psychedelic, all these little things moving, or buttons that you have to push to make this all happen.
Jeff Sieh: Uh-huh, you know, I hope nobody gets sick, so we’ll see what happens here. Let’s talk about Agorapulse, ’cause the brand evangelist, first of all, what is that? For those of you who don’t know, we want you to know what Agorapulse is and what it does, so kind of take a few minutes and kind of explain what that is.
Mike Allton: Yeah. Yet another title that I actually invented, I shouldn’t say invent, that’s not true. I didn’t invent the title, but I did make it up. It’s not what other brand evangelists are. Like, Guy Kawasaki, who we were talking about before the show, he was and is a brand evangelist for a lot of brands, which means he’s like the figurehead, the one person who is like the face of that brand. That’s actually not what I do. I manage the other people who are the faces of our brand. I manage our ambassadors and our affiliates, and the influencers that we have relationships with. That’s what I do with Agorapulse.
Mike Allton: Those who don’t know, Agorapulse is a social media management tool. It’s one of the best social media managements tools. It’s the highest rated social media tool, which means it’s the tool that people love the best, which is pretty stinking awesome. We’re from the city of love, we’re from Paris. That’s where our home office
Mike Allton: everybody loves Agorapulse. It’s true, it’s a really nice tool to use. It’s a tool that people … they save a lot of time, and that’s really what they love the most about it. It’s easy to use, and it saves them time when it comes to social media marketing, and how you’re managing your posting, and your engagement, and how you’re dealing with all that stuff that comes into you, comments, replies, mentions, the full gambit across all the major social networks, Agorapulse kind of helps you deal with all that in one place.
Jeff Sieh: Very, very cool. At full disclosure, I am an ambassador as well for Agorapulse, but I was using them way before I was an ambassador for them.
Mike Allton: All the cool kids are.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, all the … I was using it before that. Love it. I would never recommend anything that I don’t use or love. We’re going to talk a little bit how I use it later on in the show, but I wanted to let you kind of explain what that is right up the front. We’re talking about marketing magic today. I also wanted to call you Magic Mike, but then I didn’t want to have that visual for people.
Mike Allton: But now it’s there.
Jeff Sieh: And now it’s there, and so we’re going to have to deal with it. What does it take to be a good marketer in 2019? That’s kind of a broad statement. What do you think it takes in today’s world?
Mike Allton: Holy cow. Well … Boy, there’s a lot that will go into that. I think it starts with paying attention to how marketing is changing and evolving. You can’t do marketing today like you did ten years ago, or five years ago, maybe even a couple years ago, because things change so rapidly in this space compared to other industries. Now, I am not going to be dramatic here, and say, “Things are changing every single day.” That’s not quite true. Some of us like to say that. Some of us like to say that the platforms change every day. That’s not really true, but things do change a lot.
Jeff Sieh: Seems like it.
Mike Allton: Way more than other industries. My step dad and his sons, they’re dentists. They’re pretty much doing the same dental practice that they’ve been doing for years, ’cause it’s pretty standard now. Marketing, you’ve got to keep up. By keeping up, that means paying attention to what the social networks are doing, paying attention to other trends. Not necessarily being trendy, not necessarily being on the cutting edge, but paying attention and being mindful of what’s happening, so that you can position yourself, or your client businesses, or whatever role it is that you’re doing marketing, so that you can take advantage of those.
Mike Allton: A good example today would be real quick, augmented reality and virtual reality. Those are things that not every business needs to be actually employing today, but it’s coming. As a business owner, or as a marketer, you probably should begin to be aware of what’s coming in that field, because you don’t want your competition to all of a sudden be able to take advantage of a technology, and outpace you, just because you weren’t paying attention.
Mike Allton: Another great example is artificial intelligence and chat bots. This is probably a little closer to home, because now that’s a little more accessible. Anybody can sign up for a Manychat account, and start creating chat bots for their Facebook pages. That’s something most businesses should be at least considering today, if not actually employing. Yeah, that’s a really big part for me, is paying attention to what’s going on.
Jeff Sieh: All right, cool. That augmented reality, two years ago that probably wasn’t even a thing. I mean, you would be like at Disneyland, and there would be … super, but it’s interesting how stuff has changed so quickly in that field. Some of these fields just pop up and then they take off, that we wouldn’t even have thought about two years ago. [crosstalk 00:07:38]-
Mike Allton: Yeah, I mean for those of you listening who maybe don’t even know what I’m talking about, pay attention to brands like IKEA, where you can open up the IKEA app on your phone, and you can point it at your living room, and choose furniture that you could buy from IKEA, and have it placed in the viewfinder so that you can see what a particular couch would look like. Now, obviously it’s not going to show you the hour it’s going to take you to put together, but it’s going to show you what it looks like in your living room, so that you can think about whether or not you might want to purchase that.
Mike Allton: Now, think about the other furniture brands who don’t have that. If you’re at home, you’re trying to design a space, and you have that capability at your fingertips from a brand like IKEA, but you don’t from, say, I don’t know, Wayfair. Which one are you going to automatically go with? Well, you’re going to go with the one that’s going to make it easier for you to make that purchase.
Jeff Sieh: Right, right. I want to give a shout out to Amanda Robertson and Scott who are in the audience. Thanks, guys, for stopping by. I’d bring your comment up, but I forgot to turn on a thing that I needed to turn on. See, new show! That’s what happens. You have to tune in next week and see my very cool comment stream.
Mike Allton: Oh no!
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, so, but I appreciate-
Mike Allton: It is cool looking. Oh my gosh, you can’t turn it on now, huh?
Jeff Sieh: Well, I tried to do it, and I have to log on to Facebook-
Mike Allton: Oh shoot.
Jeff Sieh: -and we’ll see. Okay, well I’m going to ask you a question, you answer it, and I’ll see if I can [crosstalk 00:09:04].
Mike Allton: [crosstalk 00:09:04] with that.
Jeff Sieh: I’ll see if I can. I know you recently … You taught at a college, and you’ve done this more than once. What are some of the most surprising questions that you’re getting from students? Like, things that you were like, either I thought they knew that already, or wow, they’re really thinking about this, I was kind of shocked. I want to know, ’cause I think they use technology. I mean, they came out with a phone in their hand. What are they thinking of the market … Another bad image, sorry about that. What do you think is the most shocking thing you’ve heard from them so far?
Mike Allton: Well, that was pretty shocking. [crosstalk 00:09:49]-
Jeff Sieh: That was shocking.
Mike Allton: -right there, thank you for that. Yeah, I speak at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, which is obviously very close to home. I teach there pretty much every semester, and then I also did a remote live session for the University of Wisconsin, which was pretty cool. Shout out to my Big Ten roots. I’m doing another one next week to Nashville University, for our friend Kendra [Lufshe 00:10:11]. I usually teach blogging. In full disclosure, this usually isn’t like cutting edge stuff. We’re talking about what to write, how long those posts should be, how often you should publish. I guess for me, probably the most surprising thing is simply the fact that these college students are asking the same questions that business owners are asking.
Mike Allton: They’re super smart. I did a session a week and a half ago, it was a Saturday session, again, here at [inaudible 00:10:45] that was for adults who were taking a social media bootcamp at the college. These were mostly business owners, and there were a lot of veterans and that sort of thing, who were getting funding for their college education, and they were asking the same questions as the 18, 19, 20 year olds that I was talking to at University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Mike Allton: They wanted to know things like, oh, obviously how long should a blog post be. That’s one of the basic questions that everybody wants to know, mostly because we don’t want to write long blog posts, and then [crosstalk 00:11:19]-
Jeff Sieh: That’s mine, yeah, yeah.
Mike Allton: -that Mike tells them, you don’t have to write long blog posts, it’s okay. They’re always disappointed when I say, “No, you have to write really long blog posts. The longer the better.” Then they walk away and they cry, and then they hate me. That’s kind of an unfortunate situation there, a little by product of my answer. I’m trying to think what else they might have asked. They do often ask about trending social media. Like, what do I think about newer networks that are popping up, and usually my default answer there is, it’s really fun, it’s really interesting to dive into newer networks, from networks that are maybe growing a little bit, but to be cautious from a business perspective.
Mike Allton: Linkedin for instance, is not a new network of course, but they’re coming out with live video, and so it’s kind of the same mentality there, should a business try to jump onto Linkedin live video. My usual answer is, no. As a business you want to focus on what you’re doing, but you want to be mindful of it, harking back to my first comment, which is to be mindful of marketing trends. Be thinking as a business owner how you might leverage Linkedin live video, if it makes sense for your brand, if you’ve got some familiarity there. If you don’t, we have resources, and people we can refer you to who can help you with live video. That’s one of the more interesting questions I get, I suppose.
Jeff Sieh: Right. So-
Mike Allton: Have I talked long enough for you to fix comments, or are we still-
Jeff Sieh: I’m still working on it, but I’ve got a follow up question.
Mike Allton: Okay,
Jeff Sieh: I really want to show that off, ’cause I worked long and hard hours on that.
Mike Allton: Yeah, it was cool. I want you to show it off.
Jeff Sieh: You talked about somebody who knows how to do live video. Maybe we should get them in here.
Mike Allton: If only we knew somebody.
Jeff Sieh: Okay, so you talked about kind of the difference with what you’ve been seeing there, and some shocking stuff, but what would you tell a recent graduate? I know you have people are applying somewhere, and I have people even ask me, like, “Hey, what would it take to work for you?,” or “What do you need? What are you looking for if you’re going to hire somebody?” What do you tell these recent graduates who are wanting to get into marketing? It’s not really the mad men anymore, sitting there with their bourbon, and sitting around a … hopefully not, there may be some sitting around with bourbon, but at a big conference table, and they’re pitching idea … it’s not really that much in marketing anymore. You’ve kind of have to have a wide skill set. What do you tell them?
Mike Allton: Interestingly, I think it’s actually still a lot like that. Maybe not the environment that the mad men were-
Jeff Sieh: Everybody smoking-
Mike Allton: -sitting in with the bourbon, and the cigarettes, and everything like that, but the most important aspects of marketing actually haven’t changed. The technology, the delivery, the medium, that stuff obviously is evolving on a daily basis, but when people asked me, go into marketing and they say, “Mike, what should I focus on?,” my number one answer is probably going to surprise you, writing.
Jeff Sieh: Really?
Mike Allton: You’re not going to go far in marketing if you’re not a good writer.
Jeff Sieh: Even with all the video stuff?
Mike Allton: [crosstalk 00:14:30] … Well, that’s the thing, you still have to be able to communicate. You could broaden that to say you have to be a really good communicator, but even with the video stuff, you still have to be a good writer. You still have to describe the video, you still have to create Tweets, and other kinds of social commentary. If you are applying for a job, that’s going to be written in some way. You’re going to write a resume, and a cover letter, all these kinds of things.
Mike Allton: It’s the writing, the communication via writing that is usually the first impression you are going to give as an individual, as a marketer, or as a brand. First thing I’m going to do is I’m going to read something out of your digital profile, whatever that might be. Then I might watch a video, then I might listen to you, then I might look at some graphics. Then I might have you on a phone call or something like that, but the writing is usually what precedes all those kinds of mediums. If you can’t write, if you can’t communicate in that way, you’re going to struggle to find success, I think.
Mike Allton: The correlator there is if you’re an excellent writer, even again, if … We’re not necessarily talking about long blog articles, but if you can communicate really, really well in written form, you’re going to have a lot more success, easier I think, particularly getting into marketing, ’cause I’ll tell you right now, we’re interviewing for Agorapulse, for a position there. Right now it’s all written stuff. I want to see what people will write in a Tweet, and I want to see what people will write in a Facebook post. All the resumes that came in were written. There was one person that submitted a video, along with a written resume.
Jeff Sieh: Okay. Yeah, I would agree, because I still write out my talks. I write out even these questions, I always have questions ready just in case I get a guest on, and I have to pull stuff out of him, and I … Right now, we’re just kind of going, and you’re letting me fiddle fart with this stuff, because it’s not working. I think I still write everything, even if it’s headlines, like you said, or I still script out my videos. Even if I’m going to memorize it to speak to the camera, or even a teleprompter, you still have got to write. I think that’s a good piece of advice, is learn how to write. Then I would say, I think the best marketers know how to do more than one thing.
Jeff Sieh: You start with writing, and you get really good at writing, well I think you need to have more than just … Do you know of anybody who just all they do … I mean, I know there’s copywriters. All they do is copyright, but do you see that going … those copywriters having to branch out? Like, I can’t just be a copywriter, I’ve got to be a video person too, or I’ve got to learn how to run a social media platform? Do you think that’s kind of the sign of the times as well?
Mike Allton: Yeah, well I think you’ve nailed it in that if all you can do is write, then you’re a writer, you’re a copywriter, a scriptor, whatever the case may be, whatever kind of writing you’re doing. You’re not really a full fledged marketer at that point. You can’t be, because you haven’t [understand 00:17:39], or grasped, or you haven’t had the time, or whatever, you know, whatever the reason is. The platforms, the technology, the other techniques, how to develop strategy, obviously there’s just so much more to marketing than the writing. It just starts with the writing. Yeah, to be a good marketer, you’re absolutely right. You gotta be able to do more.
Mike Allton: You have to be able to embrace some of these platforms, which you really might say then the skill set is a desire, and an ability to learn more, in this marketing space, which means this combination of tech, and … Social networks, they’re part tech, but they’re also sociological micro cultures,-
Jeff Sieh: Right, yeah.
Mike Allton: -which is this really interesting thing. It’s very unique. It’s hard to compare it to something else, but it’s kind of like a neighborhood where there’s an HOA. There are some rules, and there are different people that live in that neighborhood, and they all have their own interests, and their own priorities, but they also all live in the same place, which means we all want our neighborhood to be safe, we all want our homes, and each others homes to look nice, and those kinds of things. There are these sociological norms, we call them, that crop up in neighborhoods, and they crop up in real societies, and they crop up on social media.
Mike Allton: A good marketer, and a lot of this might be subconscious, but a good marketer is going to be in tune to the social norms and mores of the individual networks. In other words, they’re going to know, or at least set out to learn, what works and what doesn’t work on Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram, and Linkedin, and beyond just the pure technical. Yeah, we all know I can post text, I can post a link, I can post a photo to almost all the social networks now, and pretty soon you’re going to be able to post live video to virtually every social network. The functionality is going to become ubiquitous, but what works? Will this broadcast and this type of content work just as well on Linkedin? Don’t know. Not until you try it. Obviously it’s brand new, so nobody knows.
Mike Allton: We’re going to find pretty soon that those kinds of things will work. Yet, live streaming a game, which is super popular on other platforms, live streaming me playing Halo, that’s a thing, on like [crosstalk 00:20:03] and other networks.
Jeff Sieh: Right, yeah, or even [crosstalk 00:20:05].
Mike Allton: Will that worked on Linkedin? My guess is not. My guess is that the social culture that has developed on that particular network will push back. We’ve seen that happen many times. When people try to do … Linkedin’s a great example. When people try to do really personal things on Linkedin, like they post personal photos, or they talk about dating and those kinds of things, the Linkedin community complains about that, just like your neighbor complains ’cause you haven’t mowed your lawn in a week. It’s the same exact thing. There’s no rule that says you can’t post about your parties, or your personal things, on Linkedin. There’s no rule that says in most communities that you’ve got to mow your law every single week, but society, or the micro society that’s on those networks looks at that. That’s something I think that’s a really good skill, and a really good piece of experience for marketers to have.
Jeff Sieh: Do you think … I’ve seen a lot of people say this, so I want to know your opinion, do you think that the best marketers are going to be niche marketers? Where there isn’t a jack of all trades,-
Jeff Sieh: -that somebody runs everything?
Mike Allton: What do you mean by best? What is best?
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, I mean-
Mike Allton: Yeah, that’s hard to say.
Jeff Sieh: Like, it’s still right now, so I need you to run my social media, so you’re going to have to run all the stuff, doo, doo, doo, doo. Then I think I’m also seeing … I’m getting more clients too this way myself, is like I just want you to run Pinterest and Instagram, or I just want you to run Pinterest, or I just want you … you know. Do you think there’s going to be super specialized people? I’ve seen this kind of already with messenger bots. Amanda is a great example, who’s in the audience. She does Facebook ads, and she has a course on Facebook, but also she’s really into messenger bots, and would be considered an expert in there. I know that she’s been hired by people just to create those bots.
Jeff Sieh: Do you think that’s going to be the wave of the future? It would be just like, I’m a Facebook bot creator, that’s all I do. If you want to hire me, that’s it. You think there’ll be more and more specializations like that?
Mike Allton: I think yes, you’re right in that there will be a continuing move towards that, because it’s good for the individuals, and it’s good for the businesses. If I want to implement the best possible bot for my system, I could teach myself, or I could hire an expert. What’s a better use of my time and my money? Probably to hire the expert. That’s great, and we’ll see more of that, but there’s always gotta be somebody in the business, in the organization, who can take a high level big picture view and say, “Should we use bots? What else do we do besides bots? What content do we create? What social channels are we on? What video are we creating? Why? Who’s the visualization or the voice of the company, in that kind of medium? What’s our message? What’s our branding?” Those are big picture questions that it’s great when you’ve got a specialist like Amanda, who actually could help you with all of that, and can at least see where the bots fit into the bigger picture, but you still have to have that big picture.
Mike Allton: I still think you’re going to have both in an ideal scenario. You’re still going to have the CMOs, and the high level executives, and high level marketers who are taking that big picture view, and then they’re bringing in team members, and consultants, and free lancers, and so on, who are specialists in specific things.
Jeff Sieh: Gotcha. I like to talk about visual marketing on the show. That’s kind of what it started with, and we started on Pinterest, and then we branched out to visual marketing. Pinterest and Instagram, ’cause I think of those as visual networks … I mean, YouTube is too, but Pinterest and Instagram, like really visual. What’s your favorite one that you used personally, when you want to have fun? Which one do you kind of gravitate to?
Mike Allton: It’s kind of a trick question, ’cause I’m a writer, [crosstalk 00:24:02] non-writing social networks. In the interest of fairness, and full disclosure, honestly neither one are my favorite social network, even for personal use, but when it comes to personal use, Instagram is probably what I turn to the most.
Jeff Sieh: Really?
Mike Allton: I’ll open Instagram, I’ll look at friends’ stories. Those are becoming real interesting. I love what people are doing lately with stories. You still have people that … you know, they’re basically sharing the same thing to a story as they would do a feed. I get it, it’s all right. It’s a new medium. We’re still kind of sorting it out. We’re still developing that micro culture just for stories, ’cause again, that’s what’s going to happen. They’ll have a micro culture around stories. I just intimated at that. There’s a mores there that some people are breaking, by sharing the exact same picture to their feed as they do to their story. That aside, some people are sharing some really clever, cute, short videos. Just little clips and that sort of thing, which is really charming, and so that’s fun for me as an individual, particularly in this space, we’re connected with so many people around the world. It’s a great way for me to catch up, and see what everybody’s doing, professionally and personally.
Jeff Sieh: What do you think gives you the most traction professionally out of those networks?
Mike Allton: Pinterest.
Jeff Sieh: Really?
Mike Allton: Yeah, totally. I spend almost no time on Pinterest, personally. Not to say that I don’t use Pinterest personally, but when I do, and we’ve talked about this before, Pinterest is for dreamers. Right?
Jeff Sieh: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mike Allton: I use Pinterest, personally when I need to plan something, or I am researching something, or something like that. I’ll just create a new board, and I’m going to be moving soon, going to have a new office, I’m going to have to plan out what that’s going to look like, so once I know what the room looks like, I’ll start pinning ideas and collecting ideas, so that I can design that space the way I want it to look. Great example for how I’ll use Pinterest personally, and that might be three months from now, and I might not use Pinterest personally until them.
Mike Allton: Professionally, I use Tailwind, which is another tool that we both love a lot. I use Tailwind all the time. I’ve got pins that are going there all the time on a regular basis, using their cool loop, smart loop feature. Then whenever I publish something new, which is usually about once a week, I’m sharing it to drives, I’m sharing it to boards, I’m scheduling that out, and driving tons of engagement in traffic.
Jeff Sieh: Cool, yeah. Pinterest for me as well as traffic, it just always … It’s one of those set it and forget it kind of things. I mean … Don’t get me wrong. You can hire me and I’ll give you strategy. It’s not that simple.
Mike Allton: Just roll that back a little bit.
Jeff Sieh: Rewind. No, but I mean, to me, it started as a hobby. I enjoy it, and so it’s professional and personal for me as well. I think your point is true that you don’t have to spend, and it is a place to go dream. That’s why I drive so much traffic, that’s why you and I both talk about that. When you get that
stuff coming back, and back, I mean I think it’s really powerful, especially for bloggers, ’cause it ties right into your kind of niche area. What do you think … We’re talking about visual marketing, Pinterest and Instagram. What do you think the trends are going to be in the visual marketing space? You mentioned stories, and that’s kind of at that multi culture microcosm kind of thing.
Jeff Sieh: What do you think else is happening with visual marketing, because I know Tik Tok is a big thing, and I keep seeing in the news, my kids are talking about … I mean, is that something that you think’s going to come down the pike, that us grubby little marketers can’t wait to get our hands on, and destroy, like we do everything else? What do you think is the next big thing?
Mike Allton: That’s inevitable. Some people blame the marketers. I don’t. I blame the networks, and I blame the reality of capitalism. The networks have to make money to survive and thrive. They’re not going to make money just because twelve year old are using the system. Doesn’t work that way. That means they have to sell something. Either they monetize the network itself in some way, which usually doesn’t equate well to high usage. If I charge you $20 a month to use my network, and there’s alternatives that are free, which one are you going to go with? Once I start selling ads, that’s when you start to get people complaining about the experience. Sorry. That’s my tangent response to marketers ruin everything. It’s not the marketers. It’s reality. Reality ruins everything.
Mike Allton: No, but in terms of trends, and visual marketing, it’s hard to say in terms of the specific networks. I do like that the creation of good visual assets has become easier and easier for people to do. I’m becoming much better at creating visual assets and other marketers, and other business owners, and so on are becoming much better at it. The tools are getting easier, the tools are getting more intuitive to use. In fact, what’s happening … I’m very sociological today, because what’s happening-
Mike Allton: -at a much deeper level, is as a society we’re becoming more familiar with how these things work. A few years ago you could have talked to somebody about drop shadow and they might not know what you were talking about, but now they do. Now they understand terms like drop shadow, and layers in images. Before Canva and some of these other tools, the only reason you would have known anything about layers is if you were a Photoshop nerd. I’m looking at you, Jeff.
Jeff Sieh: I know, I was. By the way-
Mike Allton: Now people know that, so it makes sense.
Jeff Sieh: -Canva doesn’t have layers. You’re wrong.
Mike Allton: Oh, Easil does.
Jeff Sieh: Easil has them, which is why I’ve been using Easel. Yeah, I think the tools are there. It’s coming down to storytelling. One of the things I think about, and my talk at Social Media Marketing World is going to have … I’m going to have to switch it up, ’cause I want to talk about this, is I think disruptive visuals is going to be the thing that people are going to want to do, because everything … Like on Instagram, every photo is beautiful, mostly. Most of the time, the people you’re following, the popular ones, they’re really … I mean, they’re professional photos. What makes you stop? That’s the question. Is it because it’s super beautiful, and it’s more than … What makes it different? What makes that visual make you want to stop?
Jeff Sieh: I see the same thing with Facebook. It may not be the most pretty image, but it’s going to be the one that catches your attention. That old man jumping around on a pogo stick for an ad, you stop, and like, what in the world? I think that’s going to be a more of a factor as we continue to be overwhelmed with content. Everybody had a blog, and it was like, how many blogs can I read, ’cause they’re all good, and so you have to really pick and choose the ones that really speak to you. I think it’s the same way with visuals. The funny ones make you stop, ’cause you know you’re going to get a dopamine hit, because you’re going to laugh, or see something funny.
Jeff Sieh: Then some of them that it’s just like, there’s an explosion on a Facebook ad. What was that? I’m going to click on it. Oh, it was for a vacuum? But you still stopped. You know what I mean? That’s going to tell the algorithm that oh, this is good content, because they stopped. You’ll get rewarded for that. Is everybody going to put exploding things? I mean, it’s this cycle of trying to be ahead of everyone else, let everybody else catch up, and then try to figure out what else is going to catch the eye. That’s what I find so fascinating, and I love visual marketing, is because of that, okay, I’ve got … It’s almost like you gotta beat the system, and you’ve got to be just a little bit more creative than everybody else to stay ahead of the curve. That’s where I’m excited about seeing what’s going on. What do you think-
Mike Allton: I was going to share a good story. I was talking to our friend [inaudible 00:32:08] about this just earlier this week. We were talking about Facebook video thumbnails. [inaudible 00:32:15] ago where she would … She happened on this accidentally I think, and then determined afterwards that she should do it on purpose, have the thumbnail, the image of the video in freeze frame that people see first in their feed, before the video starts, be one of the crazy expressions on her face. She’d be like … you know, that Facebook always wants to catch you in? First your natural compulsion is, okay, I’ve gotta change that right now, ’cause I look ridiculous on that video.
Mike Allton: She was saying because of the reasons you just said, it’s funny, it’s different, so it stands out, so as people are scrolling with their thumbs, they stop their thumb. Another thing she said to me was that after a while, after the video, like a week maybe, that video’s no longer really in the feed for people, she goes back and she edits it, and she puts in the nice professional looking thumbnail. Now somebody goes to her videos tab on Facebook, they’re not seeing all these goofy images of her. They’re seeing the nice professional thumbnails. That was real interesting to me, ’cause it kind of speaks to what you were saying. At first you want to be on the cusp, right?
Jeff Sieh: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mike Allton: You want to try to capture that trend, but you always gotta be able to pull it back. So okay, what’s actually going to fit for me long term, towards my brand. I want that funny image at first to catch somebody’s attention, but ultimately I want that professional representation of me and my brand.
Jeff Sieh: I think it goes back again to what network you’re on. I have Jeremy Vest, who is a really good YouTuber, and he talks about optimizing thumbnails. It’s not design. He calls it … Some of the [inaudible 00:33:56] … This looks like rainbow vomit. It was just like, everywhere, but it makes people stop. If you look at the thumbnails that are working for the most people, some of them are just … they’re so famous it doesn’t matter, but for most of them, the ones that are getting a lot of use, they have those crazy … There’s a reason they’re pointing, and doing weird stuff, because it catches your eye.
Jeff Sieh: I’ve got another example for you, on Instagram, on social media examiners channel, we uploaded a tools video, and the thumbnail was that of me going … sneezing, or looking like I was going to sneeze. First I saw it, I said, “I’m just going to let it go.” That got the most use out of all of them, all of the videos that we put on for the past three months, and it’s because of that image, because of that weird … People watched it. It wasn’t like the just clicked on it and went, oh, but for some reason … That’s what’s fascinating to me. I’m going to have to get with Stephanie, and we’re going to have to do some more talking about that, ’cause I think that’s one of the …
Jeff Sieh: In fact, these repurposed videos that I do, that have flashes in them at the beginning, is for that reason, because I want to see if it’s going to make people stop, and feed. Back to businesses and marketing, what do you think …
Mike Allton: Boring stuff.
Jeff Sieh: I asked this question when you were first on the show, those many moons ago, what were businesses struggling the most in marketing and how could they fix it. Is it the same? Has it changed? Or is there new problems that businesses are facing in marketing? What would you say the biggest problem is? I want to see if your answer is the same.
Mike Allton: Shoot, I didn’t check my answer from back then.
Jeff Sieh: I know.
Mike Allton: Hmm, well, I guess I don’t want to guess what I would have said back then. What I would say today is one of the biggest issues, is finding the time to create content, specifically written content. I don’t know if that’s what I said back then, but that’s what I talk about a lot today, because that’s usually what businesses are coming to me. Mike, I don’t have time to write. Mike, I don’t have time to publish a blog post every week. I just did a training this week in the 360 group about how to create and structure the content on your website, so that you’ll achieve the number one ranking in a Google search result, for a targeted key word phrase.
Mike Allton: That sounds amazing to everybody in the audience. If you’re in the audience right now, and you want to get number one ranking in a Google search, for a phrase that relates to your business, say, “Yes, please,” in the comments right now, because I’m guessing it’s everybody.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, that’s right.
Mike Allton: You would want, I’m sure, to be the number one ranking for visual marketing, or something along those lines. I want to be number one for how to start a blog. I was teaching them how do you do that, not just from an individual SCO technique perspective, but how do you create layers of content, and funnels of content so that you’ve got all this content that will bring people in, and educate them, and ultimately sell whatever it is you’re trying to sell. Here’s the kicker. There’s 13 pieces of content.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, yeah, I knew you were going to say that, yeah.
Mike Allton: Everybody on my show was like, no, Mike, I don’t want to write 13 pieces of content.
Jeff Sieh: That’s a lot, yeah.
Mike Allton: Like, crying. Like, aaah. That’s the number one problem, but we’ve already touched on the solution a little bit here, which is to create video.
Jeff Sieh: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes. Oh, I know where you’re going now.
Mike Allton: We can do video. Yeah, you know where I’m going. You can do video, and you can use that to generate the written content. Now, it doesn’t always work well in this format. If you are trying to rank well for a particular topic, and you’re bringing on a guest like me and you’re interviewing me, and you’re talking about this thing, I may not say what you really need me to say in the video, or maybe I will. Who knows. I think most of the time, you’re going to be better off speaking to the camera, and teaching your audience on that particular topic.
Mike Allton: That’s again, where the writing comes into play, because just like you said, that’s something you’re going to want to write out first, whether you literally read the script, or at least you have an outline and some good points. Then you’ll say it off the cuff if you’re that good, that’s great, but you film that video first, and then you turn that into a blog post, or an article, or an FAQ, or whatever you want to do with it.
Jeff Sieh: Right, yeah. We’re going to make sure you have the link, because Mike wrote an incredible blog post on how to … What is it, 23 pieces, out of one video?
Mike Allton: 26.
Jeff Sieh: 26.
Mike Allton: At least 26 [crosstalk 00:38:21]. I should say 26 plus, but I don’t want to put special characters in the title. 26 plus ways to repurpose a Facebook live, just like what Jeff is doing right here with me.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, so this thing, it becomes a podcast, it’s going to have a bunch of video snippets out of it. I mean, that’s what I love about videos, is, like so many people that you mentioned, I struggle with writing. I mean, I can write, I just don’t … Why don’t I just eat glass, that’s the same feeling I get when I have to write. I just don’t … It’s not my favorite.
Mike Allton: That makes me laugh and cry a little bit internally.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, that’s what happens when I write.
Mike Allton: [crosstalk 00:38:57] with blogging for a decade.
Jeff Sieh: I know, that’s why I do video, because I feel when I eat glass, I laugh and cry at the same time. We’re both big fans of repurposing, which is what we’re talking about. Do you have any favorite tools for a repurposing?
Mike Allton: Oh yeah. We’ve been talking about one before the show, Headliner, Headliner.app, really falling in love with Headliner. What I started using it for was audio grams, which are these cool little videos that have a static image usually, overlaid with that little [way 00:39:35] form, and then voice. It’s perfect for podcasters, it’s perfect for video, but it’s also perfect when you’ve got a video that maybe didn’t go so well, you know, maybe you can just pull out the audio. I’ve got so many of those. I gotta tell you, you and I, we’ve been doing this since the hangout on air days.
Jeff Sieh: Right, right.
Mike Allton: The quality was so bad back then, and I’ve got videos that I did with Mark Schaefer, with Joe Pulizzi, with Guy Kawasaki. These are big names in our industry, and I would love to repurpose those videos, but the videos themselves aren’t good. There’s an interview that I did with Mark Schaefer where Mark’s audio is perfect, but mine is not. There’s a big lag between everything that I say, and then the actual movement of my mouth, so it’s kind of annoying to watch me speak, more so than usual.
Mike Allton: With Headliner, I can pull out that audio, and create an audio gram. Then they’re adding new stuff, which I’m really excited about. They’re adding video transcripts, and other ways that you can slice and dice those videos, so that’s totally a tool that top [inaudible 00:40:41] for me.
Jeff Sieh: The other thing is, is … You’re going … You’re talking about businesses struggling with creating content, I think one of the things, and we’re really bad at it as marketers in our space, we’re telling people to put out content, put out content. A lot of times we need to put out that content, take a breath, ’cause I know for me, I’m thinking about the next piece of content. As soon as I hit publish, I’m like, okay, I gotta do another one. Take a breath, and actually chop that thing up, and wring all the juice you can out of it. I mean, it’s like you said. How many … 27 pieces of content. That’s a lot of stuff that you can do out of one video.
Jeff Sieh: I think that we … For me at least, I’m trying to step back and go, okay, I’m not going to freak out. You see those people posting every day, and the hashtags, no sleep, and all that?
Mike Allton: Yeah.
Jeff Sieh: I’m like, I just want to take what I have and really get it out there.
Mike Allton: Hustle, hustle, hustle. [crosstalk 00:41:38]. Do you want me to run through all those things that you can do?
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, if you can rattle them off real quick.
Mike Allton: It starts with the Facebook live, and I love that the farther we get, it’s more things. By the end of the show, it’ll be like the 87 things that you can do.
Jeff Sieh: Right.
Mike Allton: [crosstalk 00:41:53]. We’ll just keep adding to it. It starts with the Facebook live, and specifically it starts with a one hour interview, exactly what we’re doing right here. For those of you watching at home, what you want to be thinking about is, who can I bring onto a Facebook live show, and ask them questions, and let them deliver the content. That’s the key there, because that’s less work for you. Not to say that this isn’t a ton of work to do a show, I know what Jeff goes through, and I know. I’ve been on the other side, but stick to the purpose Mike. We’re going to do a Facebook live, we’re going to interview somebody for one hour, so you’ve one hour of video.
Mike Allton: The cool thing about starting with a Facebook live, and that may be another platform, is that Facebook’s going to build audience, and get you people watching your show, while you’re live. Then once you’re done live, that video stays on your Facebook page. You can make it a featured video if it’s really awesome, and then you can download the video. Now you’ve got a video file, that full one hour mp4 on your desktop, or you can upload that to YouTube, you can specify a thumbnail, you can put in a description, head some tags, and then use TubeBuddy if you really want to get super fancy with this, and head some trending tags. Now you’ve got a YouTube channel going with your Facebook live video content.
Mike Allton: Wait, there’s more, ’cause you can take that video file, and you can import it into iMovie, or some other kind of free editing tool, and you can do what Jeff and I have been talking about this whole time, which is to slice that up into small bites. You’ve got a guest, you’ve been asking them questions, maybe 8, 10 questions over the course of a one hour interview. That means they’ve got 8 or 10 answers, that some of those are probably pretty good, particularly if you’ve got a really good guest. I might drop some names. Earlier some people that gave some really good answers to some really good questions, like Mark, I got him talking about content shock for 20 minutes. That’s some awesome content right there.
Mike Allton: I can slice that out, and turn that into small video segments that I can upload to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even Pinterest, and Linkedin. You can do up to 10 minutes of video to Linkedin. Now I’m feeding that social machine across all of my channels. Of course, I can upload the audio into Headliner, and make little audio grams out of those same small clips. But wait, there’s more! I can take iMovie, and I can download just the audio for the entire video, a one hour audio clip, and I can add an intro, and an outro, and a bumper, which is what you do, and I can upload that to Libsyn, and Libsyn’s going to push that out to iTunes, to Google Play, the Stitcher, and now I’ve got a podcast going, and rocking my brand, and reaching tons of people that way.
Mike Allton: I mentioned earlier that this person that you’re interviewing was talking, and answering questions, which means they’re probably dropping knowledge bombs left and right, and they’re leaving you quotes. Well, you can pull out the quotes, and just Tweet those out as text, and you could also go into Canva, or Easel, and make quote graphics out of the things they said, which again, is great social media activity, and posts, and content that you share out, and little quote graphics that you can embed in other kinds of blog posts that you’ve been doing.
Mike Allton: The best part is, if you get me talking for a full hour, what I’ve delivered to you is approximately 10 thousand words, which you can turn into a blog post, which I already said, and that’s an epic piece of content that will live on your blog, and help power all the traffic, and conversions that you’re going to be getting through your site.
Jeff Sieh: See, that’s awesome. One of the things, and I’ve done a lot of that stuff, ’cause that’s, like I said, I don’t like to write, but one of the things that I’ve found to help with all that process, the number one thing to do first, is to take that and either use … Headliner does it, but also I use Rev, because sometimes the … does a better job transcribing your audio, ’cause they have a live person instead of AI. To me, that’s worth it time wise. If you do that first, then it makes it a lot easier to go grab those quotes, figure out where you need to chop the video, where you need to do all that stuff. The first thing I do is, when it’s done, I … ’cause Rev’s great, you just send them a link to the video. They’ll do it all. Then I can go and say, that was a great question, there’s a great answer. I can grab that and make it a video, a small video, or I can do the Headliner thing.
Jeff Sieh: Maybe the audio was garbled, but that can still be a great quote graphic. I think your point of like, even stuff that you thought wasn’t good anymore, it’s … could be really, really valuable. Now I’ve gotta go back and do all these. I have a ton of good stuff, ’cause I’ve got Guy Kawasaki on my show, and-
Mike Allton: You have a ton.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, I’ve got tons of stuff, yeah.
Mike Allton: Oh yeah. Gary Goldstein? Yes.
Jeff Sieh: Yes, Pretty Woman. That was a fun show by the way. I learned a lot.
Mike Allton: Yeah, yeah, he’s awesome.
Jeff Sieh: Yes.
Mike Allton: You know, one other app I’ve been testing is Designer.io. [crosstalk 00:46:49]. I just subscribed to their pro plan, or whatever they call it, today, which gives me four hours of transcription service for 50 bucks.
Jeff Sieh: That’s pretty awesome. Yeah, and it does a lot of other cool stuff too.
Mike Allton: If it’s accurate. I don’t know if it’s great yet. We’ll see.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah. That’s some great tools for you guys. One of the things I wanted to talk about too, because we’ve talked about kind of marketing magic, and I think one of the biggest pieces that we haven’t mentioned yet is social listening, especially for businesses. This is something that’s really great for that … I know Agorapulse, that’s why I use them. I mean, their scheduling stuff’s great, but the social listening stuff is awesome. Can you explain what social listening is, and really quickly ’cause we’re kind of running late, what the … how businesses should be using it? I think sometimes even doing that is almost better than creating great content. I mean, if you could really only put out one blog post a month, but also you’re on top of the listening thing, I still think you’re doing a pretty good job. What are your thoughts?
Mike Allton: Yeah, well there’s kind of two aspects of it. In Agorapulse we break it out into monitoring and listening specifically. On the monitoring side, you’re paying attention to what’s happening on your channels, on your posts. If you just did what I walked you through with the repurposing, and you created all these kinds of content, dozens of parts of that content were specifically for social media. If you’re sharing that out to all those different channels, you need to be paying attention to when people like, comment, and share that information, so that you can engage with those people, because they may be your potential subscribers, your potential customers.
Mike Allton: You want to be paying attention to that, and that’s one of the really cool things that Agorapulse does. You’ve got this one inbox for each of your social channels where you can watch your mentions, and your replies, and your direct messages and so on, in an easy stream, but you can also filter them, which is actually my favorite feature in all of Agorapulse. It’s that, I can set a spam filter on my Tweets, so I don’t see people asking me to follow them back, or follow their Facebook page, and all the other kinds of spammy things that people do, on Twitter specifically. All that’s filtered out, I don’t see it. Now, obviously if I go to Twitter I’ll see it, or if I go to the all tab inside of Agorapulse, I will see that stuff, but you can set up those kinds of rules that will listen for certain things, and do something with it, usually filtered out. That’s the monitoring side.
Mike Allton: On the listening side, this is when we’re listening for what other people are saying, typically not on our own channels. A great example of that would be a local business who wants to pay attention to when people in their area are talking about something relevant to their business. Maybe you’re a pizza delivery company, and you want to pay attention to when people are talking about they’re hungry on Twitter. I don’t know, maybe that’s not a great example.
Jeff Sieh: I’ll have to Tweet that.
Mike Allton: You can do that. You can do that on Twitter, and you could do that within Agorapulse. You set up a listening search for specific keywords, and you can actually identify what we call a geo fence. You specify your exact latitude and longitude, and that’s easy to get from Google Maps, and then a mile radius. You say, “Okay, I’m a delivery guy, and I’m only delivering within 10 miles of this particular point, and I want to know everybody who wants to talk about pizza in this point.” Maybe it’s just you having conversations and fun with that, which is a great actual way to use social media.
Mike Allton: Let’s have fun with the people who are talking about pizza in my area. They might not order from me tonight, but a week from now when they want to order pizza, they’re going to remember me, and the fun that they had on a Friday night talking to me about pizza toppings, or whatever the case might be. Now I’m making everybody in the audience, hungry, and that’s my [crosstalk 00:50:30].
Jeff Sieh: I’m hungry. Yeah, I want some [crosstalk 00:50:31] now.
Mike Allton: That’s what you could be doing. You can be listening to keywords, you can be listening to specific users. You can monitor what’s your influencers, what’s your competition. You can monitor hashtags. A great example from our friend Jen Herman is, when there’s a conference coming up, big, in her industry, like you have Social Media Marketing World coming up, right?
Jeff Sieh: Right.
Mike Allton: She’ll monitor that hashtag, and she’ll engage with those people. Nothing spammy, nothing inauthentic. She’s just watching what people are saying, and participating in the public conversations that are happening. Again, this is all mostly Twitter. It’s not to say that you can’t do some of these things on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and so on, but most of the other networks aren’t as open as Twitter. Most of the other networks have limitations to what we call the API, which is the programming language. Just like you can’t really go into Facebook, and really watch what other people are talking about beyond your own friends. The tools don’t really let you do that either.
Mike Allton: Twitter’s the best and the most open for this, and you can have a ton of fun listening, and a ton of actual business results, listening to what other people are talking about.
Jeff Sieh: That’s great. Man, I’ve got so many things I’m going to repurpose out of the heck out of this show. Keep an eye on the streams, ’cause we got a lot of stuff here. Mike, before we wrap it up, where is the best place that people can connect with you, read your blogs? Where do you want people to know about you at?
Mike Allton: Well, I do a lot of things. Obviously we’ve been talking about Agorapulse, ’cause that’s my full time job. I’ve had a blog that social media had for a long time, we’ve got the 360 marketing squad, but one of the cool things that I did that really just kind of warms my heart, is in November I did some rebranding, and some repurposing, and some relaunching, and now I’m the Blogging Brute. That’s thanks to you, Matt, ’cause you called me the blogging brute all those years ago,-
Mike Allton: -so that’s a nickname that’s stuck around for lots of reasons. I’ve got the https://bloggingbrute.com, and I’m the Blogging Brute on all the social channels, so if you want to learn about blogging, and you want to learn more about me personally, just look for the Blogging Brute.
Jeff Sieh: Yes, and if you have any desire on learning how to blog, or to write better, some of my favorite posts from Mike, he’s a big … He’s a student of history too, and you’ll see that woven into a lot of his posts, which I think is very, very awesome. Mike, thanks so much for being on the show today. Sorry we couldn’t get the comments for you guys watching. I’ll work on that. It’s a new brand, so I’m working on it. If you’d like to find out more about me, I would love to connect with you over at http://manlypinteresttips.com. We’re always adding testosterone one pin at a time.
Jeff Sieh: See you next time, everybody. Thanks now. Bye.
Mike Allton: See ya.