The following post was written by Noya Lizor, who was Director of Content at Viola from 2014-2019.
Last week, Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics co-founder, Neil Patel, visited Israel and stopped by Viola to share some of his best startup marketing tips with CMOs from across our portfolio companies. Here are 9 things I learned while interviewing Neil following the meetup:
1) Viola Group’s blog, Viola Notes is less than 4 months old. On behalf of other brand new blog managers, what should their priorities be right at the very beginning of a blog’s life and what metrics should they focus on?
There are 3 things that a brand new blog should focus on:
Build up a social audience, especially Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t build up your Fan pages it’ll be hard to build up traffic.
Write only in-depth, quality pieces of content and post consistently. If you don’t post consistently you’ll notice that your traffic starts diving or that it’s not steadily growing. So if you’re going to publish once a month, always publish once a month. If you’re only going to publish once a week, always do it once a week, and stick to the same day too that readers know when to keep coming back.
Make sure that you don’t always publish the best pieces of content on your blog. When you’re new, you realize that there are other blogs out there in your space that have way more traffic volume, so your best pieces of content should go on those sites in the beginning because it’ll drive a lot of traffic and readers back to you.
In terms of metrics, you should be measuring visits, comments, and social shares per post. That’s it.
2) You’ve said that if time and resources are limited, a blogger is better off producing one awesome (substantial) blog post per month rather than several, “OK” short posts. Why is that?
If you look at page #1 of Google, almost every single web page on average has at least 2,000 words of content. In-depth content that’s really good ranks better and gets more social shares. It just does better. Writing short pieces of content doesn’t get too much traction unless it’s a hot new story or something that’s very trendy, edgy or controversial.
3) What’s one of the most underrated content marketing tactics that marketers could benefit from a whole lot more from if they only prioritized it a little higher?
Responding to comments not only on your blog, but also on other people’s blogs. You know how Pete Cashmore grew Mashable when he first started out? He went to other blogs in their space and started commenting on all their posts. That’s how people found out about Mashable.
Watch Neil answer Questions 1-3:
4) Where do YOU do most of your writing? How do you get “in the zone”? Different people probably have different ways of getting into the zone, but what have you found to be the ideal conditions to blog effectively?
I write on the plane because I travel a lot, and I can write anywhere, but I LOVE writing in Microsoft Word. It’s much more efficient for me than writing in WordPress or GoogleDocs.
Each person is different: Some people like writing in the day or morning or night, or whatever. But what I’ve found is that if you first create the headline that you want to blog on, then outline the post and then write, you’re much more likely to finish it than if you were to just start writing, because by giving yourself direction (with the headline) you know what to write about.
|More from Neil on how to write powerful blog posts easily and from me on how to overcome blank-page syndrome and write kick-ass blog posts kike a pro|
5) How will content overload shape online marketing over the next few years?
There’s a lot more noise now, so people are ignoring a lot of content they see, and also content is changing into different formats: Instagram is a form of content; Snapchat is a form of content; and people are using it for marketing. So I think you’re going to start seeing more and more avenues, like Instagram and Snapchat and you’re also going to see people ignoring a lot of the stuff out there because there’s way more noise. But at the same time there’s way more quality stuff. For content marketers, on the one hand it creates more work because you have to worry about multiple channels but it also makes their job easier because they have more distribution channels as well.
|More from Neil on different types of content that will drive you more traffic|
6) You have written or produced probably every type of content there is, but what type of content do you enjoy producing most (personally) and why does it appeal to you so much?
Blog posts! I really enjoy writing, it relieves stress for me.
Watch Neil answer Questions 4-6:
7) Is blogging/content marketing beneficial to every type of business?
It’s beneficial to almost every type of business. There’s some businesses like Palantir in the US which does government contracts, so if your target audience or your customer is the government then obviously you don’t need to do any content marketing to attract them, you’d just use Saleforce. But for most other types of businesses, it works. You’ll get more customers.
|More from Neil on how blogging affects your bottom line|
8) You’re well-known as a marketer, so people sometimes forget that you are also (if not mainly) – an entrepreneur, and in addition to working on your own ventures you also work with other startups. What’s the biggest factor that influences your decision on whether to work with a particular startup?
Just if it’s fun, and if I like the product or service. For my own companies I like to choose ones that are based on marketing because I like a big learning base. If I can learn from them, then I can get a lot of knowledge which is great, but if I can’t, then it’s just a waste of my time.
|More from Neil on it take to be an extraordinary entrepreneur|
9) What impresses you most about the Israeli startups/entrepreneurs?
They’re very scrappy! They can figure out how to get stuff done with a very low dollar amount, and they’re really good at producing ROI fast. For example in the US a lot of startup don’t get revenue traction in the first year, but in Israel even after 3 months in some companies already have quite a bit of revenue, like around $30k a month. They grow fast.
Watch Neil answer Questions 7-9: