LeBron James didn’t always have thick quads, a squared six-pack, and shoulders like Arnold Schwarzenegger. But he has a great lesson for content marketing.
Ask LeBron, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or any athletes you admire about their off-season training plan. They’ll share a detailed run-down of their workout plan and blue-print of his court-practice routine.
When LeBron first entered the NBA in 2003, he wasn’t a killer shooter like Stephen Curry. He was and is certainly a dominant player but was not in his early career.
LeBron knew his weaknesses to increase the percentages of his jump shot. In fact, one of his worst moments was in Game 1 against Boston Celtics, NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals, 2008. He made ONLY 2 shots out of 18.
That’s 11.11% of Field Goals (FG). It was an unwatchable game.
But he worked hard on his strength, speed, technique, mentality, and stamina to improve it in the following seasons. And he finally got over Celtics with a 33 point in 5 games in 2011.
Athletes train. Public Speakers train. Conductors train. So why don’t we?
People put attention to what matters to them. If you want to be a great Digital Marketer, learn practical steps, really understand your audience, and conduct more experiments.
Whatever your long-term goal is, start working towards that.
We should train like LeBron. Start implementing “learning plans and strategies”. Of course, Digital Marketing is different than basketball. But athletes are very clear in their objectives.
Their clarity adds to their endgame.
In the Digital Marketing landscape, your distribution plays a huge role. This would determine how far your content will be picked up by your target market.
So, do spend a fair amount of time for distribution as your content creation time.
What does a clear distribution plan look like?
Similar to how LeBron structures his training to win NBA Championships and titles every season, you should train to build skills in your messaging, mapping out your distribution channels, and understanding your audience.
There is no secret sauce nor tricks rather than reverse-engineering our process. Here is how we did it:
#1 Craft an irresistible email pitch and send it to the relevant people
Journalists and editors receive tons of email pitches every single day. To be precise, @CarrieRosePR shared:
“Top-tier journalists receive over 600 emails a day and open more than 30 of them”.
So, make your pitch stand out. Start by summarizing your content in Subject Line — one sentence.
While in your email body, get to the point on what’s the most important highlights in the content. Synthesise certain explanations into a short word and sentence.
Put yourself in their shoes. How would expect to read a long message?
Tips: add words that elicit an emotional response such as curiosity, shock, love, and others.
#2 Find relevant websites from Google
To find the most relevant websites for your content, go to Google and the ‘News’ section. Google will automatically generate hundreds (potentially thousands) of recent sites that publish such stories.
Get their journalists, editors, or writers’ contacts and start reaching out. Share generously.
#3 Surf Ahrefs
If you or your company has a budget to subscribe to Ahrefs. Highly recommend it.
The company provides a powerful tool from on-site to off-site SEO.
They share various practical tips to increase your chances of getting publications like this one.
They also have a feature called Content Explorer where you could find the most relevant websites and easy keyword targeting.
From here, you’d find hundreds to thousands of relevant news sites, guest blogging sites and other relevant sites publishing similar to your content.
Surf them. Check the website’s previous content. Get in touch with them by pitching your content.
#4 Understand your audience by using different keywords
Everybody searching for information on Google. Whether they want to learn something new, find an item, or something in particular. They simply put certain keywords to get what they want.
In the distribution stage, this means understanding their search intent in mind.
You can do this by breaking down your content topics.
What does the content entail? What is the topic about? What would they be looking for? What different keywords you can use to describe it?
For example, I tried different keywords for our Job Satisfaction Content such as:
· Gender pay gap/pay gap / equal pay gap/wage gap
· Women’s rights/women’s rights at the workplace
· Gender discrimination/gender equality/gender inequality, many more.
#5 Build a relationship with them
Two of the most important things I have learned in Content Marketing are humility & empathy.
Like any other company/team, our team has a firm belief:
“Behind these high authority websites (media, blogs, and accounts) is people”
So, connect with them at a human level. Become an avid reader of their work, interact on social media, and try to share useful information.
Greet them. Because helping them will actually help your work.
I believe the more you learn, the easier is to learn. Start doing it although it might certainly take time. But you’ll gain more valuable experiences which will increase the value of skills you already have.
I’m no near to be an expert on this as I’m still constantly learning from others.
You will discover things you never discovered, fasten your learning curve, and eventually, learn like an athlete.