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The Sharpest Tool™

Why Your Home Services Business Needs Content Marketing

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
Marisa DeArmas is a Senior Content Marketer at Scorpion. Her typical day is filled with studying clients, their region, and their industry, and then creating content that their audience will like. For example, if you're a plumber, you want to create and share content that answers how to fix a specific plumbing problem that your audience might be searching for. Utilizing tools like Google Trends to see what people are searching for in your industry or area, and talking to your customers to understand what their needs are, are great ways to inform the content you create.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello, and welcome to the sharpest tool where we take the sting out of marketing from everything that we bring to the table. See, I'm going to get that rhyme down. This is Josh. I am your host today and today I'm really amped up. We got Marissa DRMS, uh, a senior content marketer here in the booth with us to talk about something that I think is near and dear to marketers today. So, Marissa, welcome. Hi, give our audience a little insight into content. Marketing is pretty broad when we talk about it. So what is a content marketer do day in and day out? What, what's your, what's your day look like? So

Marisa DeArmas (00:36):

Basically what I do here at scorpion is I study all of our clients and I know the ins and outs of their region, their industry. And from there I create content that their audience will like

Josh Smith (00:47):

Feeds it right into obviously everything that we're talking about today, you know, 2018, SEO, all the changes and fun things that it's gone through that we're seeing focuses more on engagement. So we're seeing these push, you got the Gary V's of the world out there that are pushing content, content content. So I think it can be a pretty unapproachable topic for these guys who are not really built around content. They've never focused on it before. So it's a bit of a, a black box, so to speak. So that's exactly what we're going to talk about today. And I'm really amped up to get your experience and your expertise and provide some real value to, to our listeners. So once you give us kind of a broad overview, a top level view, what is content marketing?

Marisa DeArmas (01:26):

So what we do is we create content for our clients. So if you're a plumber, maybe you want to put out something that your clients are Googling, like how to fix this specific plumbing problem in my area, whether it's specific to that area, that time of year, that region, whatever we've created, content, and then we promote it. So what we do is we would post it on your website, say, it's a blog. For instance, we'd post that blog on your website, then we'd post it on Facebook and use Facebook's marketing tools to create ads that are targeted to those people in your area.

Josh Smith (01:56):

So in essence is a lot of it's answering questions. It seems like. So how do you go about figuring out what audiences are looking for? What kind of questions they're asking?

Marisa DeArmas (02:04):

So Google actually has a lot of helpful tools. Google trends is one of my favorite tools. You can look up different phrases and keywords that people are searching for, and you can see that the actual trends in search. So you can see it spike during certain times of year or not spike at all during certain times of the year. So that really gives you an insight to your audience. Also talking to business owners and really getting to know what they deal with day in and day out to hear what their customers are saying to them. And what really is their pain point. I guess you could say is helpful.

Josh Smith (02:32):

Definitely. And you mentioned posting or ads boosting these ads. What effect does that serve as a, if I want to just post a blog up on a site, why would I necessarily want to use advertising or a paid form of advertising?

Marisa DeArmas (02:46):

Really? We see it as brand awareness for our clients. So whether the person's really looking for to fix a specific plumbing problem or not, if they're just a homeowner in that area, it's good for them to know that that plumber in their area, they're an authority in their industry and that they are there for you. No matter if you have a plumbing problem today or tomorrow or in a year, you're always at the top of their mind.

Josh Smith (03:10):

Definitely. And if I miss how's the targeting go with that, is it just go to anybody? Or what benefit do you have today?

Marisa DeArmas (03:18):

Facebook's targeting options are actually pretty robust. You can target within your area. You can target people who own homes, people who have specific interests, whether that's they own a property management company or, you know, whatever is specific to your audience. And Facebook is very helpful in that aspect.

Josh Smith (03:33):

Absolutely. So why does content marketing matter in your estimation in 2018, with everything that's going on all the way consumer behavior has been changing? Why does content marketing matter so much?

Marisa DeArmas (03:46):

Basically today there's millions of types of content on the internet. People are always searching for things and the way Google's algorithm works and Facebook's algorithm works. They're really trying to promote the content that performs the best. So you have to create content that is top of mind and things that people are actually searching for. It's not enough anymore to say, Hey, I'm a plumber in Valencia, California. Uh, use my services. You have to become an authority in that aspect. And you have to present yourself as the top choice for your customers in your area.

Josh Smith (04:16):

Google's looking at, in terms of determining who the experts in the authoritative businesses are for any particular.

Marisa DeArmas (04:23):

Yes. Um, they're really looking for people who stay on their webpages, the longest and people who have high engagement overall, and Facebook also is the same way. If people are constantly engaging with your content and liking your stuff or sharing your stuff, that's going to show up on their friends pages. And everybody in that region is going to know who you are.

Josh Smith (04:41):

The end of the day engagement seems to be paramount in 2008, pretty sick to say so and paid advertising. I assume it's getting your content in front of these people so they can actually engage with it, right? If I'm not mistaken, Facebook's algorithm has changed so drastically in the past year and a half, two years, you're basically down to only one to three or so percent of your organic likes to actually see your content. That is for all you business owners who have been noticing less and less and less engagement on those posts. That's probably why, and everybody's pushing it that right. I mean, that's how they make money pay to

Marisa DeArmas (05:16):

Play,

Josh Smith (05:17):

Pay, to play. That's exactly it. So why do you think that, I know we understand a bit more about why content marketing matters. We know the engagement, so why is it important for a business owner to invest in content marketing, as opposed to just solely running pay-per-click, you know, a paid search advertising campaign or solely running Yelp ads. What's so valuable about content marketing. Why does it matter so much?

Marisa DeArmas (05:42):

It really matters so much because you're building your audience at the top of the marketing funnel. So yes, you can still run PPC ads or Yelp ads because you're getting that targeted group of people. But with content marketing, you're reaching people at the top of the funnel there. They don't necessarily need your services at that moment, but when they do need your services, they'll recognize you, you know, if they go to search for you, if they even ask their friends, they will remember you

Josh Smith (06:07):

Talk to me a little about top of the funnel marketing. I think I might be a little vague for some of our listeners may not have heard that term before. What do you mean when you say that top of the funnel marketing

Marisa DeArmas (06:16):

Top of the funnel is when people it's brand awareness. Okay. So it's when people are still, you know, not actively thinking about you, they are not seeking you out directly. They are just there they're in your audience. They don't, they might not necessarily know that they're not looking for you, but they're there and they can move down the funnel and eventually convert and become an actual customer.

Josh Smith (06:39):

So top of the funnel, you're starting with like a lot of people. And then as you move down each stage, you're getting a bit more narrow and narrow or to the people who are actually gonna use your services. Is that pretty safe?

Marisa DeArmas (06:48):

And we're hoping by creating content and posting it and sharing it that as they read that content, they move further and further down that funnel. And then they end up converting

Josh Smith (06:57):

Kind of an obscure question, but I got one I'm gonna throw at you here is every customer, every potential customer who's looking for service, right. For every

Marisa DeArmas (07:04):

Business, I guess that depends on the business.

Josh Smith (07:09):

So let's take a plumber for example. So I, I have a, uh, I service a specific client as a former people who have leaky pipes, um, and any client who's out there and they have a leaky pipe. Is that customer necessarily the best to work with me and my business? Or are there more niche audiences that could potentially feed themselves into working with specific businesses? Does everybody, every business have a specific demographic that they look for?

Marisa DeArmas (07:37):

I mean, I guess it really depends on the business because if you're, if you're a plumber and you really just want to focus on leaky pipes, then sure. You know, go ahead and seek out those people. But at the same time, there's an opportunity to expand your, your services, but beyond leaky pipes, right?

Josh Smith (07:55):

That's definitely one aspect of

Marisa DeArmas (07:57):

It. If people are coming to you with problems other than leaky pipes, then I would suggest helping them out to better business opportunity

Josh Smith (08:05):

And the business opportunity. All right. So let's talk a bit about strategy. So content marketing, what types of strategies do you recommend are employed when, uh, uh, businesses looking to get into content marketing?

Marisa DeArmas (08:17):

The first is do all of the research. You can, even if you're, you've lived in your area, your whole life, and you think, you know everything about your customers, go on Google, look at Google trends and start with that research there. And then from there, great content topics that are fitting with those topics that you, that you're researching. And then from there create what we like to do at scorpion is we like to create a social media calendar, Facebook. Like I said before, we found is very helpful for spreading content, create a social media calendar that includes those pieces of content and also includes supplemental pieces of content and then promote it from there. And then once you're promoting it, you can look into the backend of the ads manager on Facebook and really see how your ads are performing. If something's not going the way you like, we typically like to look into, see why, like, why are people reacting badly or why isn't it getting enough clicks? And then we fix it from there. Okay.

Josh Smith (09:07):

So how does content marketing really impact like a business's presence? How does it impact what'd you say short-term versus the long-term branding goals and initiatives

Marisa DeArmas (09:15):

Short term is pretty immediate. You can see a spike in website, traffic, or a spike on your engagement in Facebook, which is pretty satisfying at first. And then long-term, we hope that those people end up converting and becoming your customers so that when they engage with that content over and over again, or they're reading your helpful, how to blogs or seeing your videos they're there. And they know that you are the expert in your area,

Josh Smith (09:37):

And it's reinforcing that expertise too. I would think over the long haul. So in terms of the types of content, there's a bunch of different types of blog posts. You got info graphics. So tell us a little bit about the different types of content marketing that there is.

Marisa DeArmas (09:53):

Um, blogs are our number one. Um, people are always searching for questions, um, especially in the recent years that has increased. People are always Googling different things. And for you to show up as that, as that top result is really amazing, infographics are also helpful. They're really engaging on Facebook. Um, they're also great to post on your website and video is also really amazing. If you can create a video that helps your customers in one way or explain something about your business in another way, that is great engagement is one

Josh Smith (10:21):

Necessarily better than the other.

Marisa DeArmas (10:22):

I would say it really just depends on the topic. You have to gauge it from there and then create the content and go from there.

Josh Smith (10:29):

Definitely. So w what makes video, for example, or let's, let's backtrack a little bit in terms of one being more effective than the other. What would make a piece of content more effective? If you had a video versus a blog post, what would make one more effective?

Marisa DeArmas (10:47):

I would say that in a video, in a blog post, you can only explain so much, you can write as much as you want. Maybe you could include pictures, but with the video, you can actually show yourself doing something. Sure. And along with, I forgot to say this earlier about video, but Facebook really favors video today. Their algorithm is constantly changing. And as of today, video is one of the first things to show up on Facebook versus a picture or an article or something like that. So if you have the option to create videos

Josh Smith (11:12):

Yeah. A hundred percent shed. Yeah, absolutely. That's something I've been seeing a lot of too. There's a shortage on my Facebook page videos. It seems like 80% of my feeds are all video. Yeah. Instagram I G T V just start it up. So video is definitely the prominent player. It seems right now. So if you're not involved in that, we probably all of them that, what are some good ways that you would recommend in distribution of this content online

Marisa DeArmas (11:37):

Posting on Facebook? I know it keeps saying that, but Facebook is your friend. A lot of people kind of have a bad taste in her mouth with Facebook right now, but it's helpful. It, it has so many tools that you can use. Um, and if you're doing video, Facebook is also great, like I said, but YouTube is also great for video as well.

Josh Smith (11:55):

It's Facebook so much better than like Twitter and Instagram and all these other ones too.

Marisa DeArmas (12:00):

Facebook is just where people are. Um, as much as people say, they don't go on it anymore. Stats say, otherwise, people are always on Facebook. They also own Instagram. So with that, your ads can go on Instagram as well.

Josh Smith (12:13):

Just wrapping this up with a nice little bow on it, because I like Bose for my, for our listeners here. What would you say is the one thing that somebody should take away from this topic of content marketing and that they can practically implement into their day to day operations,

Marisa DeArmas (12:28):

Create content that will get your audience believing in you. That Don't just rely on paid ads all the time. Creating content is important, creating content,

Josh Smith (12:43):

Get people to believe in. You get people to trust you. Awesome. Well, Mercer, this has been awesome. Really appreciate it. I know our listeners too. Thanks. Awesome. Well, for all of you listening to found this valuable, definitely hit that subscribe button, wherever you may be, and you can get more of this awesome content from all of us here at the sharpest tool. My name is Josh. Catch you next time. Thanks.

Marisa DeArmas (13:02):

[inaudible].

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