What do you expect from a marketing campaign? If your answer is lead conversion, the overall growth of the company and a constant flow of money filling your pockets, well… it shows that you think like most of the marketers of the world.
The problem is that the internet is noisy, millions of different brands reach out for the world nowawadays, looking for just one and the same thing: attention from the consumer.
So how can you provide real value and show up as a real solution in the ocean of content marketing and mass competition over the internet?
This is something Garrett Moon, CEO of the CoSchedule Startup, knows very well. The growth of his project was amazing, from zero to thousands of consumers in just four years.
In this microbook, you will find the secrets behind Garrett’s formula to success. His 10x Marketing formula will lead your marketing team to 10x more results with just the same amount of investment. You will learn how to optimize work, overcome tight deadlines and lack of time while producing quality content with real value for your audience.
How can we define what exactly is a startup?
A startup needs to grow fast, if it doesn’t, chances are the company will die. So, the first ruleis "results or die!". Without results, the funding will dry up and the investors will get upset with the lack of return for their money.
Creating a startup involves risk. It’s the core in this kind of investment. A startup is based in a feeling, a presumption of how a great idea can become a reality and be a blast in the market. Over time, reward increases and risk decreases, illustrating the dynamic potential of the enterprise.
So, a startup can’t be defined by its status quo since innovation is part of its DNA, and it must constantly advance beyond the usual and create its own space to grow.
By these principles, you can understand the “think like a startup” framework for marketing. Especially because it embraces failure as a big part on the way to success. We are talking about risks, fight for survival at all costs, and chances of succeeding.
Usual problems found by marketing teams:
Well, marketing plans also fail. And this is something that seems to shock most marketers.
The problem is that the mentality for marketing plans fails to understand some basic principles that are at the core of this practice. Marketing plans sound like they are precise, objective predictions that will work right because they are based on research and they just can’t fail.
The point is that they can’t really predict the future. You just can’t write a full 20 pages document with a huge marketing plan and expect it to work wonderfully as predicted in a world that changes continuously, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
This is a status quo mentality that is not convenient for intelligent marketing strategies.
It's one of the first things that marketers should learn with the startup mentality. Marketing works with guesses about what can happen and there is always a risk that this guessing will go wrong.
We are not saying “stop planning”, but we are saying “start looking at the plan as a something to be tested, implemented and changed within the process”.
Here is the secret of the startup mentality: startups have an unlimited tolerance for risk because they have no choice but to grow quickly.
So let’s stop trying to increase results in 10%. Let’s seek 10x more results with work that’s 10x more efficient. Results or die!
What makes the need for a startup to grow fast or die? They have limited time for starting to revenue with a limited budget. This is, ultimately, the secret for their success.
We can say the same thing regarding marketing. Working with constraints will make the team focus and work with maximum productivity.
A metric is a needed tool to understand and recognize how the work is being delivered. The first lesson is to choose just ONE metric that matters and FOCUS on it. One metric that will accelerate business more than any other.
Be specific. What do you want with that marketing campaign? You aren’t looking for a general increase in revenue, you want exactly $10.000 increase in monthly sales!
Speed, you need to set a timeline for when your goal will turn into a reality, and this schedule must be shorter than the comfortable.
Ok. With that principle set in mind, let’s go for the 10x marketing formula.
There are two kinds of markets you can find nowadays in the internet. They are smartly named Blue Oceans and Red Oceans by a guy called Peirce College.
Red Ocean is bloody reddish water with the competition. You are investing your time to find space with many companies that are devouring themselves in the search of the attention of the same customers, using the same methods.
The blue ocean, otherwise, is a free competition niche. In this place, you’ll have such a unique approach that no one else can compete. In this place, your work is the best and you can swim in your own waters.
This is why you need to create competition-free content that adds real value to the audience. You won’t create a blog using stock photos and more of the same content for your business. No, your content must be the best, it must stand out by being impactful and meaningful for the customer.
Look: survey the landscape and learn the state of the art of the kind for the content that you want to create. What are your competitors doing?
Research: Look beyond. Search for related terms and analyze the actions of the competitors. How strong, how long, how is the impact of their sales?
Strategize: Create a plan for the competition-free content, looking for something that is different and can be well executed by the team.
After that stage, create real quality content. It means content longer than average, with more relevant images (not stock images) and focused on delivering real and unique content.
Create content that helps users but that also delivers the product’s value.
Delivering good content for users is a great step. But ultimately, visits and clicks don’t mean sales. To make 10x marketing content, you need to find the content’s core.
It means finding the balance between the content that is useful to the eyes of the user and content that delivers the value of the product. In the ideal content, the reader can get results without buying your product. But, at the same time, he or she knows your products are to make their lives easier.
To implement the 10x formula you have to cut all the 10% work. It means automatizing or letting go of everything that does not add to your 10x goals.
It means “stop losing time trying to get some content at the level of perfection, trying to track down the 10% left in 90% well done”. It means “stop posting and promoting the content online by finger without using smart automation mechanism”. It means “let go of all the small time-sucking tasks like perfectly proofreading your contents”.
The problem with 10% tasks is, ultimately, losing focus on activities that are not worth their value. This is why you have to cut those useless tasks from your schedule.
You have to make your list of tasks simple, lean, right to the point with less than expected distractions.
Creating 10x ideas is an important process in the road of 10x marketing.
A brainstorming meeting with the team is a good way to start. You can set guiding questions that will keep everyone focused on solving a problem.
The resulting ideas will them be subjected to a scoring system, accordingly to the time they will need to shape up. You can make levels 1, 2 and 3. It helps to prioritize work that will be accomplished more easily, providing content to test with the audience and learn fast what mistakes were done.
Hard deadlines will have to be followed. No wishes or maybes. A 10x calendar is fueled only with 10x projects and absent of 10% tasks. The marketing calendar must not be like Gym Memberships that fall abruptly by the end of January.
The 10x calendar is also central for all the marketing activities. The master plan that shows what is being created, posted and published.
The good thing about that calendar is prioritizing only the stuff that means to be shipped, skipping filler activities. It means letting go all that pressure about shipping anything rather than the right thing.
One of the best frameworks for agile working is breaking down your project into phases of execution. We are talking about content marketing, so let’s take a look at the three development phases for a 10x project in that area.
Remember that every piece of content has a distinct job to do in the 10x calendar.
First things first: create all the pieces of content that will make the project. Copy for pages, CTAs, blog posts, social media, etc.
Create visuals that go within the texts.
Build the components needed to present your content. That means coding, creating or dealing with software service, etc.
Promote your content a lot and intelligently.
Let’s remember the premise we spoke at the beginning of this microbook. We, marketers, are confined by the limits of guessing. That’s why a marketing plan is usually flawed. 10x marketers know that, but they embrace failure as steps in the stairway to success.
All that means that a 10x continually pursues the best results over activity, using the often failure to its favor. In the process, a guess might show up wrong. The main competitor may launch a new product some weeks after the plan. But the 10x team is ready to make adjustments and changing the route, because they aren’t fixed to a rigid marketing plan.
A 10x Marketing team is a “learning team” instead of a “planning team”. They want to learn in the process about what is working and increasing sales and fix what isn’t, as quickly as possible. They don’t stop building, shipping and measuring results.
This happens because creativity is a process. Innovation processes. Do you think the first iPhone prototypes were beautiful and shine pieces of modern technology? No, because Apple will never show us the first drafts of their product, - the mistakes they made on the road to excellence.
A 10x marketing team should work in a sprint-by-sprint movement. The agile movement, with approaches like SCRUM, is all about that. They employ low-risk experiments to move fast and learn quickly, discerning what works and what doesn’t.
With scrum, the team works for one to four weeks, committing to achieving X amount of work. At the end of the sprint, they release the work, review it together and find ways to do it better next time.
This technique brings great benefits. You’ll have a goal set, fluid communication, rapid results in continuous shipping and a self-organizing team.
In the 10x marketing formula, publishing is not only a matter of delivering the work of months in just one push. Actually, this is the totally anti-startup mentality. You can’t spend lots of money and work in something that you don’t know if it is going to create engagement with people.
Minimum Viable Marketing works with just that. You are going to test your assumptions with minimum cost. For example, if you want to build an entire marketing course, but don’t know if the public will respond to that big effort, start by doing polls and showing some content on your website. Discover if the public has a real interest in that kind of course before spending months on the preparation.
You must promote your content on social media. But never, never, promote it just a single time. A tweet can lose its reach in less than five minutes. You have to add value to your work by showing it at least five times in each social network.
Avoid 10% tasks by automating your posts with smart systems. Avoid automating as that makes your post look like spam. Don’t overdo it. Smart automating means using trustable software that can learn and apply algorithms that learn the best time to expose the content.
Create CTA that are specific and meaningful. They must be focused on inducing the reader to do just one thing.
Email promoting is a great way of promoting. A great email list is owned by the marketing team. It doesn’t fall upon the algorithm problem of social networks.
In this microbook, you found some great tips in trully implementing acreative and innovative approach to marketing. The startup paradigm is really trending in our fast and connected world.
The point is: it is possible to produce smart, optimized and great content with clear goals and tight deadlines! It is just a matter of finding balance, of leaning to learn with failures and never losing the big goal that is ahead when the project arrives at its destination!
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