Develop better content by going beyond the avatar with Shan Morrison (NEWBIE)

Develop better content by going beyond the avatar with Shan Morrison (NEWBIE)
Reading Time: 27 minutes

 

Get creative in your marketing strategy

 

Are you content with your content?

I’d say that most of us aren’t.

And yet we know that great content is the key to building a brand, creating trust, and becoming well known for what we do.

But there are so many options.

Should we be creating blog posts, guesting on podcasts, creative videos, dancing on reels, or going live?
How can we be everywhere?

And yes I know we’d all love to go viral, but if you tuned into my episode with Mr. Rand Fishkin, you’ll know that going viral is about as useful as something very unuseful – if it isn’t relevant to what you offer.

So how do we direct online attention to our business in a meaningful way with good, relevant content?

Well, today I’m talking to Shannon Morrison to get all the answers on how to build authority online with smashing content marketing tactics.

 

Tune in to learn:

  • Is content marketing still king?
  • How to get your foundations right to create good content
  • What an audience avatar is
  • How important audience avatars are in marketing these days
  • Four factors of content consumption, and how to leverage them to your advantage
  • Which platforms best deliver content marketing
  • Shannon’s top content marketing tip

 

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And big thanks to Mitko I. from Bulgaria for their lovely review:

“INSIGHTFUL!

 

Kate is a Rockstar!

 

Cool guests & a ton of valuable content!

 

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Recipe for SEO Success Show with Shannon Morrison

 

 

About Shannon Morrison

 

Shannon is a creative genius with mad social skills, who turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.

He creates content marketing strategies that engage, amuse, educate, and most of all, drive conversion.

Fun fact: Shan is Kate Toon’s eighth favourite person and he can recite The Craft from start to end without any prompts.

 

 

Connect with Shannon Morrison

 

Useful Resources

 

 

 

Transcript

Kate Toon:

Are you content with your content? I’d say that most of us aren’t and yet we know that great content is the key to building a brand, creating trust and becoming well known for what we do but there are so many options. Should we be creating blog posts, guesting on podcasts, creative videos, dancing on reels, going live? How can we be everywhere? And yes, I know we’d all love to go viral. But, if you tuned into our episode with Mr. Rand Fishkin, you’ll know that going viral is about as useful as something very unuseful, if it isn’t relevant to what you offer. So how do we direct online attention to our business in a meaningful way with good relevant content? Well, today I’m talking to Shannon Morrison to get all the answers on how to build authority online with smashing content marketing tactics.

Kate Toon:

Hello, my name is Kate Toon. I’m the head chef at the Recipe for SEO Success, an online learning hub for all things related to SEO and digital marketing. And today I’m talking with Shannon Morrison. Hello Shan.

Shannon Morrison:

Hello Kate, how are you?

Kate Toon:

Very well. I’m going to read out your biro.

Shannon Morrison:

My biro?

Kate Toon:

Your bio, okay. Shannon, in his own words, is a creative genius with mad social skills who turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. He creates content marketing strategies that engage, amuse, educate and most of all, drive conversion. Fun fact, Shannon is Kate Toon’s eight favourite person and you can recite the craft from start to end without any prompts. You’re my eighth person? How do you-

Shannon Morrison:

My eighth. Well, when I had to factor in mom and dad and Owen and all the other bits and pieces, I think I come in about eighth.

Kate Toon:

I think you do. That’s fantastic. Very, very likeable. I should, before we start this episode, be transparent and explain that Shannon is actually what helps me with my content marketing. So he makes all my little videos, all the videos for the recipe podcast. I’m about to brief him on a selection of reels and link videos. I know he comes up with these amazing conceptual ideas. We’ve yet to execute many of them. We’re always just kind of flying by the seat of our pants, but we have these ideas for concepts, which we’ve all do at some point. We’re going to talk about it after this, but look, let’s get stuck in. Oh, sorry. I skipped over the important bit, The Craft.

Shannon Morrison:

Oh, the craft. Yes. Oh, so in my, I suppose now it would be considered emo phase, but my goth phase when I was a [crosstalk 00:02:38] lost teenager. Not really. Well, I mean, as I sit here all in black and all my clothes are black and everything about me is black, but my glasses. So The Craft I watched so many times that I can literally quote it from start to finish, including the music breaks, everything, without stopping. Yeah.

Kate Toon:

I think probably the closest movie I could do that on would be When Harry Met Sally, I think I’ve watched that about 552 times.

Shannon Morrison:

You know how things just get in your brain and they just can’t get rid of them?

Kate Toon:

Yeah. And there’s a great line in that is like, “When you realise you love somebody, when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start right away.”

Shannon Morrison:

Yeah, absolutely great. Oh, beautiful.

Kate Toon:

I’ll expect a Craft quote at the end.

Shannon Morrison:

OK.

Kate Toon:

Note to Kat when doing the editing of this podcast, please include a YouTube video of The Craft.

Shannon Morrison:

Sweet.

Kate Toon:

We’ll have to do that just to edit that bit out, but no, we don’t edit these bits out. We leave them in.

Shannon Morrison:

We leave them in. Okay.

Kate Toon:

Let’s start with the basic. So the basics, there was a time when every marketer in the world spouted that, “Content is king or queen.” Do you think that’s still true?

Shannon Morrison:

So I think the sentiment of that quote is still true, but I think that thinking of it that way is pretty dated now. So how I like to think about content is you’ve got a planet, right? You’ve created this whole entire world. So your content that you create would be like the continents and the countries, they’re all kind of similar, but they’re different. So made up of the same things. So that to me would be your platform. So your website, social media platforms, that kind of stuff. And then, the other elements like your SEO strategies, your content marketing strategies, I think of the transport of your world.

Shannon Morrison:

And then, obviously, the people who live on that world are your potential audience. So what you’ve got with content is you can move people from different places. You can set up things the way that you want on your own, your Berlin, your London, whatever it is that you’re creating. But I think that that more encapsulates what content really is these days than the king, the queen, the Lords, the ladies, like it’s a real hierarchy, but that’s not how it works. It’s all this big synergy type globe that works together. So sentiment, yes, definitely still true but I think it’s bigger than that analogy these days.

Kate Toon:

That’s a beautiful, a huge analogy and visual things were popping in my head. So it’s like content continents. It’s like [inaudible 00:05:23] and I like the fact that you talked about kind of infrastructure and then building within the countries, building different elements and cities. I like that. And then the audience is there as well. And I think what you are saying with that analogy is, I like that, it’s not so much a hierarchy that it’s an infrastructure, there’s all connected. And that you’re not creating these silos of content. You’re not behaving not at all in Brazil to how you would in America, because they’re all connected. So you can’t-

Shannon Morrison:

They’re all connected.

Kate Toon:

…have one content strategy for LinkedIn and then be completely different on Instagram or whatever.

Shannon Morrison:

And it saves you so much more time if you also don’t do that as well.

Kate Toon:

Yes, it does. And I think the other thing is the older school mentality all started with the blog post. Right at the blog post on big old lumper copy and then you kind of repurposed it, which we all touched on today into different platforms. Whereas, now maybe you won’t even create a blog post at all. Maybe that’s not even part of that infrastructure that you’re building. We’ll come on back to that but I think often when people think content, if you’re old school, you think blog posts, but we on that, which is good.

Shannon Morrison:

Absolutely.

Kate Toon:

So let’s keep the analogies going because you know the analogy, let’s talk about foundations. We’re about to set up this world, we’re dealing with the mantle, the core, the volcanic rush. Let’s move to our house analogy, we’re laying the foundations, what are some of the key foundations of great content?

Shannon Morrison:

So I like to keep this simple because I think it’s really easy for people to get like lost in this, “I’ve got to do this thing.” And then you’re trying to hit all these points. It’s like, just break it down into its basic elements. The first thing is you need to know who you are. So your brand, right? And by who you are and your brand, I mean your business or could be you as well if you’ve got a personal brand. So that’s your one pillar. Your second pillar is, what do you want to say? So your products, your services, your USP, why you do what you do. That’s your second pillar. And then, your third pillar is who you want to talk to. It’s really important that you know who your audience is. So who are you selling to? Who do you want to build relationships with?

Shannon Morrison:

And those three pillars are really what everything sits on. So if you keep it that basic, then you don’t create content for the sake of it. You’re not floundering around doing, “Hey, I sell tea towels, but I’m out here making content on oven mitt.” I’m like, “What’s the point?” Yay, you might build up a great following, but it didn’t do anything for you, right? So you need to make sure that you’ve got that foundation set or you are lost. You’re wasting your time.

Kate Toon:

And it sounds so basic. So who you are, what you want to promote and who you are promoting it to or who you talking to. But so many people don’t do the work, a little hot tip here. If you head to katetoon.com, we have a personal branding workbook, we’ll take you through some of this. But even hearing you say that, I’d like to think of myself as a weary Gandalf when it comes to content for a while. But with my recent shenanigans on Instagram, I have lost track of all of it, “Who am I dancing in my pyjamas? What the hell is that about? What am I trying to sell?” I don’t even know. There’s no call to action. And I don’t know why I’m doing it. It’s just a trend. And then, “Who am I talking to?” No one. I don’t know, some random dude.

Kate Toon:

I just did some boosting on Instagram and I seem to have attracted a lot of 44 year old British males. I’m not sure if that is my target audience. Probably not. No, that’s what I’m getting. So it sounds so obvious and yet many of us don’t stop to think about those three pillars. And the last of which was your audience. And this is often where people fall down and the topic of our episode really is these really cliched audience avatars that people create based on stupid demographics that really give us no insight whatsoever. How should we be thinking about our audience avatar?

Shannon Morrison:

Ah. So, yes it’s cliche, but particularly when you’re starting out, I think that it really helps you to hone what you are, all these ideas and all these things that you’re doing from a marketing point of view, but also from your own business point of view. Because, if you have this person in mind that you’re talking to, then it helps you develop your products and it really helps you to get your messaging right and deliver sales copy that more than likely will convert. So I think that while they’re cliche, they are still really important to kind of narrow all of that stuff down and put things into buckets. Which is really, really important. Otherwise, I mean, you could spend 12 months just kind of doing it on the fly and eventually you’ll get to that point, but it helps to really bring that time space back to maybe three months instead of 12 months of working things out.

Kate Toon:

So we’re trying to narrow things down, people with a pulse and a credit card, to a certain type of demographic, hopefully with some insight stuff there as well. I always find that the thing that helps me most is to think of a person that I know.

Shannon Morrison:

Absolutely.

Kate Toon:

Often it’s an existing customer so if I’m writing content, I’m thinking, “Would Shannon Morrison like this?” You’re actually not a good one to choose because you are a bit whackadoodle but, “Would one of my more normal customers like this content? How would make them feel and what would it make them do?” And I’m lucky that I can test out a lot of my content in a small environment to existing customers and if they like it, then because I want more people like that, it helps me then put it to a wider world. So, obviously, you are one of the experts in the Digital Master Chef and every now and again, we have what we call a Digital Master Chefs huddle. Which we recently had one in Sydney, which was lots of fun. Pretty exhausting, but lots of fun. Now you spoke there about four factors that people consume in content. Can you share those?

Shannon Morrison:

Yeah, absolutely. So there are separating out from advertise so that’s a great way of thinking about who people are. But one of the things that I know that people don’t think about a lot is why someone is actually wanting to engage with content. So there are four factors that kind of talk to this. So the first factor is about preferences and interest. So does that person want to learn something about themselves, maybe the world around them, trends that are happening in their niche or their business world? Do they want to escape from their day-to-day routine? Maybe they want to reward themselves with a guilty pleasure or something. Do they want to relax and passively engage with content? So just watch something and not actually engage with it. Maybe they’re using it to rebalance their mental health, calm themselves down, meditate, those types of things.

Shannon Morrison:

They can also use it to connect to others by sharing content or just talking about the content online. And then there’s also challenging their thinking or their life experiences. Or they might just be really bored and they just want to fill the gap, right? So that’s their preferences and interests, why somebody would engage with content. Then you’ve got the connection to the content. So the first part of that is people have implied ownership with content. So a really good example of that is someone listens to a podcast and if they really love it, “It isn’t just a podcast I listen to,” It’s, “This is my podcast.” So it is an extension of who they are. And that’s across all types of content, especially off the back of the pandemic that we’ve just had, people really consume content for companionship. I’m in Melbourne, in Australia and we were locked down a lot larger part of two years.

Shannon Morrison:

So the whole human connection didn’t exist for us. So online content was a really good way to connect with people. There’s also family connectivity. So that could be your family unit or your friend family unit. So that builds that common ground with people and really, I guess, solidifies those relationships more. And then you’ve got homegrown content. So for the UK, you’re originally from the UK, you might seek out Great British shows or whatever type of things to help you connect with your roots. So that’s the connection to content, which is the second factor I-

Kate Toon:

Let’s pause there. I wonder if, because I don’t know what the other two are, but so the first one was addressing your desires kind of thing. And the next one is about kind of creating connection. And is it also about a bit of identity as well? Like you mentioned that this is my podcast, remember when we were young, when we were emos and goths. And if someone was a Smiths fan, then they weren’t necessarily a pure fan. You be identified with people who like the same content as you.

Shannon Morrison:

Yeah, absolutely.

Kate Toon:

I love this American life. Me and you spend an ordinary amount of time on Facebook talking about the Netflix shows we like, and it’s actually quite insulting when you recommend a Netflix show and someone else doesn’t like it you’re like

Shannon Morrison:

Yep, it’s another way of being the tribal thing that human people have. It’s a whole other element and content is a really, really big part of that. We live in a world of consumable content. It is literally everywhere we go. So knowing how that comes to people and why they jump into those things is, I think especially now, really important factor in creating content.

Kate Toon:

I so agree and I do think it’s switched because if someone said they loved Tony Robbins’ content you’d have a certain opinion about them.

Shannon Morrison:

Absolutely.

Kate Toon:

Somebody who said, “I love Amy Porterfield’s content.” And you make assumptions based on what they’ve said and the way talk about balance-

Shannon Morrison:

I have a particular assumption about someone who’d be like, “I love Gary Vee.” I’m like, “I think I know the type of person you are. I don’t know if you’re my type of person.”

Kate Toon:

Yeah. Sweep and generalisations very general.

Shannon Morrison:

Of course. OK. Well, you know F the world, right?

Kate Toon:

What’s the third one?

Shannon Morrison:

The third one is how that content gets to them. So content through referral and obviously the biggest one is still word-of-mouth, right? So the somebody that you trust has said, “Hey, I really like this content. You should check it out.” You go and check out that content. The other is also social currency. So actually what you were just talking about, the water cooler conversation. So Game of Thrones is a really big one for word-of-mouth and social currency. There was a time when everyone was talking about Game of Thrones. So okay, “My dad liked it. I’ll go and watch it. But then everyone at work is talking about it. So I want to be included in that.” And the other factor that, especially when you’re talking online, is the algorithm. So the algorithm delivers content to you based on the factors and what you’ve engaged with previously on platforms, the problem that comes with the algorithm.

Shannon Morrison:

So it’s a great thing. It’s also a problem because it creates content bubbles. So your content from a base level might be the same as say Gary Vee for example, but somebody that I’m not like Gary Vee my audience is not the same as Gary Vee so I can actually end up turning people off with my content, even though the algorithm keeps delivering that content. So that’s how content gets to people generally speaking. And then the fourth factor is the how, when, where, why the content is actually physically accessed. So where are they when they’re connecting? What are they on, iPad? Are they on a mobile phone? Are they on a laptop? How much time do they have? So is it an hour that they’re using content, 20 minutes, five minutes? What they want to do? So watch read, listen, learn those types of things, and then why they’re accessing the content and then the type of content. So their choice of content that they’ve got. So those ultimately are the four factors of why someone engages

Kate Toon:

Lord.

Shannon Morrison:

It’s a lot to think about, right? Yeah.

Kate Toon:

Here’s me just dancing in my kitchen and popping a video not thinking about any of those factors whatsoever, so yeah. Oh God. So now we’re all feeling incredibly overwhelmed on the fact that we haven’t really considered any of these factors. How can we in a simple way, leverage these four factors when we’re making our content?

Shannon Morrison:

Yeah. So I think what those four factors do is they take the avatar that we were speaking about before and they actually put them into real world scenarios. So the problem, I guess, when you’re creating an avatar is the assumption you’re coming from is, “There’s this person that’s sitting there just waiting for me to deliver content to them. And that’s their whole purpose.” But that’s not actually real, right? That’s not real world. When you bring those four factors in, it actually allows you to see the person. It actually sees how they’re wanting to get content. So it means, let’s say for example we’ve got Barry, he’s my avatar. Barry’s on the train, he’s coming home from work. He’s had a really long day. He’s on his mobile phone. I can start thinking about right, “Well, Barry’s not wanting something really long, like a 20 minute video on how to create back links on a website.”

Shannon Morrison:

He’s not interested in that. He’s interested in just something quick and easy and funny. So if I want to create content to connect with Barry and get his attention, I’ll want to do like a 30 second reel, maybe something funny. I don’t know. A video of me highlighting my entire email inbox, deleting every email and then I put up a caption that says, “Work done for the day.” That’s it. But I’ve been able to connect with my brand. I’ve been able to do all of the markety things, but in a really quick and easy way, in a way that my avatar could actually consume it.

Kate Toon:

Okay. So each time we’re creating a piece of content, we should be sitting and thinking about Barry on what he’s doing, where he is, what he wants from us? Is this the right moment to sell him something? Is this the right moment to educate him, entertain him, inform him, alarm him and whatever it may be.

Shannon Morrison:

Yeah.

Kate Toon:

But how do we know where Barry is? I, for example, have this podcast and a lot of… Hopefully if you’re listening, hello listeners. We give advice and whatever, but a lot of the time the people are listening to this podcast, they’re walking their dog. And so then they have to come home. I can’t give too detailed tips and I can’t do walkthroughs. It’s pointless because it’s usually people are out and about when they’re listening to a podcast, but generally, how do we know what our audience is doing? Or do we just kind of… Do you know what I mean? How do we narrow it down?

Shannon Morrison:

Well, I mean, look, the easiest way to narrow it down is to think about yourself. So you think about what you are doing. You think about why you reach for content. And if you actually stop and go, “Why did I just reach for my phone and scroll on Instagram for 20 minutes? Why did I do that?”

Kate Toon:

Because I have no life, that’s why.

Shannon Morrison:

Or it was just like, “I was bored. I wanted to turn off. I wanted to do these things.” I’m like, “You are the best thing.” Those four factors I spoke about, that’s them at play. And obviously you don’t have all of those elements happening at all the one time, but it’s a good wash to actually narrow down because honestly you could sit there for a week to create one piece of content that’s going to fit into, “I’m squeezing my fingers together, this tiny little window.” And that’s all you’re going to get. The more you think about the bigger picture people in the real world, your avatars, all of those things, the better chance you’re going to push something out that will then drag a big net across like the fish of con of audience and drag them to you to look at all of those other factors that you’ve got.

Kate Toon:

Yeah. I get that and that I think when we’re thinking about all of this, we’re trying to work out what to focus on. You’ve talked about the steps. I mean, really we have to create the avatar for us to then understand the four factors of consuming power, right?

Shannon Morrison:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that advertisers still definitely have their place because it allows you to hone that, “Who are these people?” And then you can think the next factor is like, “Well, what are they doing?” So the avatar, I guess, and I said a bit before, it’s still focused on like, “I want to sell this to this person.” Whereas, the four factors is then really thinking about them, not actually you. So that’s kind of-

Kate Toon:

Flip flop.

Shannon Morrison:

…the flip to creating content. And I think you were talking about before about, “Who am I doing this for? And what am I doing?” I think you are actually more mature in your content creating process where you know your person, you know who they are. You’ve been working with that person, real or imaginary, for a long time. So now you are just in the, “I just want to make something that’s funny. I want to make something that’s this.” You know the brand, you know your foundations, you know your people. So you can just have this freedom to be like, “I’m going to create funny reels. I’m going to be doing a little bit different.” So you are still doing it. It’s still there but you are doing the factors without knowing it, I guess.

Kate Toon:

I guess so. And I think that comes over time. And, as you said, I am a personal brand and also I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself and to experiment. So as you know, I’ve been playing around a lot on reels, following some trends, doing some educational ones. Have all of them been successful? No. But, you learn as you go and as long as I’m not spending 12 hours a day on them, then it just forms a part of… It’s not like all other marketing is stopped. The emails are still going the answer. So I think you can play as well because sometimes through play, you find out what works best.

Shannon Morrison:

Absolutely.

Kate Toon:

We don’t have in the notes, but one of the things I love about the way you approach concept, Shan, is that… And it’s a problem I have with a lot of creatives and a lot of copywriters and graphic designers is they think about each execution as a single element, almost like an ad. And they don’t have a bigger picture concept. We’ve talked about my brands and one of the bigger picture concepts that we talked about is transformation, “I was here and now I’m here. I was a copywriter working three hours a day with the small kids. Now I am here and this is all the things I’ve achieved.” And this is how I did it. That is an overarching concept that can be executed in so many different ways and you’ve talked about some of the ways. So if you have a big picture concept like that, a lot of people don’t come up with concepts like that. That’s what trying say. And they just make, “I’m going to do an ad about what I ate for breakfast. Then I’m going to do an ad about my new course that I’m launching. Now I’m going to do a piece of content about colons.” There’s no big picture. Do you find that that’s a problem, but there’s no bigger picture?

Shannon Morrison:

Look, I think that people start with a big picture, but then they get into the creating thing and it all becomes small. And then you’re lost, you can’t see the forest from the trees because you’re just, “I’m building one tree after another.” And you need to always, I think and I guess it helps that at least once a month, come back up and take a big breath. Look at where you were before, “Is this actually serving all of my things?” Relook at your brand and who you want to be. Relook at your business and what you want to say. And relook at who you want to talk to and check, “Am I actually hitting all of those things? Am I still on my foundation? No? Okay. What can I do to bring that back?” And the way things get delivered it’s real, “This is now out here.” And then TikTok comes along and then dah, dah. And then everyone chases all of these. This is a really great way to get in front of more people. And it’s like you’re on Mars, you’re not even on your planet anymore. You’re like Mars.

Kate Toon:

Your forest is burnt to the ground.

Shannon Morrison:

You are building houses, not trees. You are way off so it’s important to review, I guess, is the really, really important factor that I think people forget about. And they look at their insights and it doesn’t make sense to them and it’s like just… And I think Cherie Clonan is a really good one. She makes it very, very simple. She’s like, “Just look at your average comments over a month. What’s that? Where are you? You at 32? Great, well then next month aim for 36.” And it’s just a simple way of looking at that stuff because then you’ve got the engagement still going. So it’s really important to lift yourself back up otherwise you get lost very, very easily.

Kate Toon:

And have some core themes to your content.

Shannon Morrison:

Definitely.

Kate Toon:

As you said, I think with my social abuse, if you follow me quite a lot, it happens relatively naturally. I am always talking about how I’m growing as a person or how I’m not. I’m always talking about my team because that’s really important. And so those happen naturally, but I would like to be a bit clearer on that and say, “Look, these are the values that are important to my business. Like I want to show that I am honest. So how do I do that? Well maybe it’s a lot a reel where I talk about busting myths or maybe it’s a LinkedIn video where I share reviews that I’ve had for my course, the good ones and the bad ones. And so you come up with the theme and then think about the execution. And I think most people do it the other way around.

Kate Toon:

They think, “I want to make a reel, this is a good bit of music. What idea can I squeeze into this?” And they lost track of the plan. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a plan mapped out for 900 days of everything you do. But, as you said, it’s revisiting your customer avatar. It’s revisiting your why. It’s revisiting what you’re actually trying to sell and looking at that situational and desire stuff that you talked about earlier. Now, all of this sounds great. We’ve got a lot of work to do. When it comes to platforms and delivering this content, what platforms do you think have the best ability? Which ones do you like to use?

Shannon Morrison:

So I’m going to use the age old market response here, it depends. What you ask anyone in marketing it’s like, “What do I need to do this? ‘Well, that depends,'” but it’s actually really true. So it depends on where your people really are, is where you are going to have the success. So, Barry, who I spoke about before, he’s my avatar. He’s on Facebook. I’m not going to go to Instagram if I’m trying to get Barry’s attention, because he’s just not there. So what works well and also what element on that platform works well, really depends on who you are talking to. And that’s why I think it’s still really important to have those advertised there because that narrows your focus. Again, because there are so many options to think of. And especially when you start thinking about, Instagram has like the feed, it has images, it has video. Then it has reels. Then it has stories. Then it has IGTV.

Shannon Morrison:

That’s ginormous just in that one go. Facebook’s got all of that stuff. The other thing that I guess I would add to with platforms is, it’s really important for you to hunt down who are the head people of those platforms. So you can find out who the development of Meta is, who the head of development for Instagram is. LinkedIn is great for sourcing those people, then follow them on their social platforms because they always talk about what is important to what they’re doing. For example, the start of this year, the head of, I think, content or development at Instagram said, “We’re only focusing on short form video for the rest of the year.” So what that tells you is they’ve given the algorithm a bit of a boost. And you talk about the having tickets in the SEO lottery, right? These are your tickets in the social media lottery. You find out what they’re doing, try if it works for your audience to develop that content. And then, that’s going to give you a boost with reach as well. So that’s, I guess, how I would choose the platform that I was going to focus on and then see what kind of content on that platform’s going to do really well.

Kate Toon:

And I agree. And I do think as well, there’s a degree of enjoyment, especially if it’s your-

Shannon Morrison:

Oh, of course.

Kate Toon:

I know that the end of the day I would probably get the most customers from LinkedIn if I really pushed it for courses or whatever. I’m not in love with LinkedIn but I possibly because I haven’t done a deep dive into it. I’ve been planning around on Instagram for quite a while. I like it. Of course, it gets me customers, a lot of people found me that way. But if you’ve got to turn up every day, you have to try and turn up in a way that’s real for you.

Kate Toon:

And I don’t mean real as in reels. That’s actually authentic to you because it’s because the biggest thing with social media and content is consistency. Not in terms of regularity, but in terms of showing up. And I think this is the other reason why looking at individual pieces of content and going, “Oh, that one got seven comment likes. It was a failure.” It’s not the point, it’s the overall effect. Like you said, it’s one particular piece of content. It might be the tipping point for one person. But generally that’s after months and months of absorbing your content, maybe not being fully conscious that they’re absorbing it and one piece steps them over. And they might quote that like people say to me, “Oh no, you made this video and it really made me laugh,” but they don’t say that for the previous two years they were consuming content. Do you know what I mean?

Shannon Morrison:

And they might not even be interacting with your content at all. They’ve just stopped and looked at it and then moved on. I know if I use the example of you, I was following you a little bit online, but really what tipped me over with then buying the Big Recipe course was a blog that you wrote about, “I gave someone $150 on Fivver and this is what I got.” Nothing to do with SEO, nothing to do with it. But I’m like, “She’s hilarious. I will give her money.” Nothing to do with anything else. That was it. So it doesn’t mean that your thing that you think is going to be what brings the money in is going to actually be the thing that brings the money in.

Kate Toon:

Well, that’s it. And I think you’ve talked about this before, knowing who you are and showing that through your content. Anyone can give an SEO tip, there’s hundreds of people doing that. Anyone could have an SEO podcast, there’s hundreds of podcasts. But why does someone listen to this one rather than that one? Generally it’s going to be the idioms. You use the slang, the personality, you bring out your jokes, your whatever. And it’s not that you need to be hilariously bummed slapping really funny. Someone might love your piece of content because it is really detail orientated or because you use really clear plain English language or you use romantic language. Who knows? But you have to be you and you have to be consistent and you have to be able to show up. So I think that plays into the platform decision as well, where you can show up as yourself and enjoy it.

Shannon Morrison:

Definitely, and never underestimate that passion is sexy. People who are passionate, it’s sexy. It’s attracting. If someone’s like, “Oh my God, I love backlinks.” It’s like you’re drawn to the fact. Like there’s the dude on TikTok that’s become uber famous because he has this huge passion for trains. And his TikToks are just him talking about trains and driving on trains but people love him because he’s so passionate about these trains. That is really attractive to people.

Kate Toon:

So love what you love and love it hard.

Shannon Morrison:

Yeah, absolutely. “There’s a lid for every pot,” as my grandmother used to say.

Kate Toon:

There is indeed. Now let’s finish up with one action about it because there’s a lot to absorb in this episode. If I’ve been walking a dog, I’ve just got home now and I’m thinking, “Oh my God, that was so much to take in.” What’s one thing I could do today to improve my content marketing?

Shannon Morrison:

So what I would say as the one thing to take away is, when you are consuming content, really pay attention up to why you are doing that action. So when you reach for the phone and you jump on Instagram, what are you thinking and feeling at that moment? Are you looking for entertainment? Are you a little bit bored? Are you looking to find some facts? Are you looking for something? Are you on a fact finding mission? And take that and build it into your content making process because that really is those four factors at work. And the more you understand why you are reaching and yearning for engaging with content, the more you will understand why your people are doing the same thing.

Kate Toon:

I just love that. The reason I love it is because I’ve been mindlessly watching reels, “Why am I doing that? Bored, trying to find something that’s going to go viral and it’s going to be hilarious whatever.” The truth is though, none of the people’s reels that I’m watching have I actually followed, interacted with or paid for anything with. Apart from there’s one woman who gives these real hacks and tips and she shared them, relevant to what she does. She has a course and I’m like, “If I ever choose to do a reels course, hers is the one I’m going to do.” And now of all what I’ve watched millions, it’s embarrassing. If you could see my screen time right now, she’s the only one. And so, while I do like the dancing and the funny and or whatever, for her, it was the facts.

Kate Toon:

She gave me an advantage. She gave me a benefit immediately in that video. And I’m like, “If she’s given away that level of quality in one piece of content, imagine how good the course is.” So that’s really made me reflect on, “Follow a hundred people but who are the ones I actually click through to their profile and then actually go and look at their website? What is it about their piece of content that made me do that?” That’s such an important tip. Thank you for that. That’s made me think and I don’t think very often.

Shannon Morrison:

That’s not true.

Kate Toon:

So, Shannon, where can we find out more about you?

Shannon Morrison:

So you can find out more about me at my website, zagwithshan.com and you can follow me on all social media platforms because I am on all of them. And I am Zag With Shan on all of them.

Kate Toon:

So that’s Z-A-G with Shan, S-H-A-N.

Shannon Morrison:

That’s the one.

Kate Toon:

Okay. Say that because you know the Aussie accent some people [inaudible 00:35:56]-

Shannon Morrison:

Oh yes.

Kate Toon:

Thank you so much for talking to us today. I will also say that Shannon is in the, I love SEO group on Facebook and the Misfits group. So if you want to ask him any questions about the episode, I’m sure he’d be very delighted to hear from you. So go and check him out. I’ve included links to all Shannon’s social media, his Facebook, Instagram and his website in the show notes. So check them out. Thank you so much, Shannon.

Shannon Morrison:

Thank you Kate.

Kate Toon:

So that’s the end of this week’s show. If you have questions about content marketing then, of course, as I mentioned, you can head to the Facebook groups. This episode has really made me think about the kind of content I’m producing. And if I’m honest, one of the best pieces of content I produce is this show. So I hope you liked it. The podcast has been going for quite a while now, it drives a lot of traffic and I enjoy doing it, and I get to talk to some really interesting people. And I think it’s a really powerful way to build that connection and thought leadership. So if you are thinking about starting your own podcast, don’t forget that I have a fantastic SEO-friendly podcast template that will help you create a podcast that gets found in iTunes, Google, Spotify. It’s everything you need before you hit the record button, including template outlines, episode planners, you name it, it’s all there.

Kate Toon:

And it includes a bonus end-to-end podcast checklist. So go to the show notes if you want to find that. Now I usually end the show, giving a shout out to one of my lovely listeners and this time it’s Mitko from Bulgaria. How cool is that? People are listening to me in Bulgaria. Hello, Mitko. He’s written insight or she, I don’t know if Mitko is a girl name or a boy name or a non-binary name. Insightful, “Kate is a rockstar, cool guests and a tonne of valuable content.”

Kate Toon:

Thank you so much. Thanks to you for listening. If you would like to leave a rating and a review, I’d be super grateful. You know how to do it by now, I hope. And, of course, you can check out the episode notes for this show at the www.therecipeforseosuccess.com. There is also a full transcript if you are struggling to understand any of the accents. So that’s it for this week, until next time. Good luck with your content. Oh my God, I’ve got so much to do and happy SEOing.