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EP 320 Transcript | Growth Using LinkedIn with Shay Rowbottom

By Site Strategics
July 23, 2019

Shay Rowbottom Interview Transcript | EDGE of the Web

Speaker 1: 00:01 On this episode of Edge of the Web.

Shay Rowbottom: 00:04 Be agile, be adaptive. But when people get cocky and too caught up in “this works now, it’ll work forever” that’s when they fall behind. So I’m always actively looking for the next strategy. I’m always studying marketers and creators that are further ahead than me who have more influence, who are where I want to be in terms of and where I end up in business. So stay alert, stay on these platforms. Follow shows just like this one to keep up with the times. And always follow the data, track your analytics do what works.

Speaker 1: 00:35 Your weekly digital marketing trends with industry trends setting guests. You’re listening and watching, Edge of the Web, winners of best podcast from the Content Marketing Institute for 2017. Here at CR and edgeofthewebradio.com. Now, here’s your host, Erin Sparks.

Erin Sparks: 00:57 I want to introduce Shay to our audience. Shay Rowbottom is the content queen of LinkedIn. In 2017, she co-founded a media company that specialize in producing videos on Facebook to generate massive exposure and sales for brands. She took her company from her apartment to over 42 employees, get this, to an 8,000 square foot office space in one year. You talk about an explosion, Shay, that is incredible.

Shay Rowbottom: 01:27 Thank you.

Erin Sparks: 01:29 More than welcome, more than welcome. That is a fast ascendance. You’ve worked on brands like Petco, Yahoo, BuzzFeed and dozens of other platforms creating and executing video content strategies that work. So we’re certainly eager to hear from you and what you’ve been able to do here. Shay, everybody who’s listening in, Shay’s got over 50,000 followers on LinkedIn as well. So we certainly want to hear from the guru here. But before anything else, Shay, we always ask, that’s the professional, that’s the official bio. But we want to hear some of the black and blue marks that you’ve gotten along the way inside of digital marketing and how you got to the specialty of LinkedIn and video?

Shay Rowbottom: 02:16 Absolutely, yes. I have a pretty nontraditional background when it comes to marketing. I actually used to be a musician, and I never really identified with entrepreneurship or found myself to be business material or anything like that. So the first agency I ended up founding kind of fell into my lap when I was failing as a musician and my life was not going well. I knew I had to refocus, I knew if I didn’t switch directions I would not like where I was headed. I had picked up an opportunity to work for a large page owner on Facebook in making video content for his following. And previously on Facebook, there was a big issue with publishers stealing video content, which actually people were able to get away with it for quite a while. And now we’re seeing that same tactic happen on LinkedIn, now LinkedIn is the next platform to crack down.

But essentially what happened was Facebook came down hard, and they hit the hammer hard. And a lot of these publishers that had grown a following maybe using stolen video contents suddenly realized they need to get it licensed or they just hadn’t been using video content at all to grow their page, but now they realized they needed it. So it was actually a fairly interesting entrance into entrepreneurship because all of these clients kind of fell in my lap. It was very organic word of mouth, people were just finding out, hey, this company, they’re licensed in videos, they’ll edit it, brand it for you, get it safe and secured for your page. So I saw that there was so much money to be made on social media, and I saw that I didn’t really know anything about marketing. And that was why I had failed as a musician.

So I really humbled myself and put my head down, learned how to edit. First of all, learned how to curate content and license it so everything is legal. And then I just started cultivating all of these relationships with page owners, brilliant minds, some people just like me, young, dropped out of school, figured out the internet and how to grow a following. Some, a little more older and business established. But either way, I was in a really unique position, especially for my age considering I was a college dropout. I didn’t have any marketing experience, I’d never been an intern or anything. But I had this network of clients who were constantly telling me how to edit something to make it go viral and how to curate content that’s going to get more of a reaction on social media. So I was just a sponge, and for years, I just soaked up this knowledge. That was really what I focused on the first year of building my agency was just the formula, how to do it, how to edit, how to set up the back end.

And then that’s when we got our first investment. And then you are correct in what you said, that first investment took us from eight employees that initial year all the way up to over 40 working with some of the biggest brands on social media. So to bring all of this background, landing the airplane. I worked on Facebook for so long that I was able to eventually pivot and learn that a lot of the tactics that we figured out worked for video marketing on platforms like Facebook also work on LinkedIn. Really the only difference was no one was doing it yet because as we said earlier, the platform is young, it’s fresh, video is still relatively young as a feature. So the original intention was, hey, start releasing videos for your own brand.

I was working as the COO of my last agency at the time. I started releasing videos about just my day-to-day life, topics I believed in, that sort of thing. And the leads were just immense. Like within two months of me releasing, I was doing three original videos on my LinkedIn page a week. And I didn’t have a big of a following, maybe like 4 or 5,000 connections. But within just a couple months, I had generated over six figures in revenue for my business all from leads that came from the LinkedIn platform with my video content.

So it was amazing, I actually ended up selling some of my shares in the last agency so that I could pivot and start a whole other agency. Similar concepts, I definitely still work with video marketing. The model has tweaked a lot, but it’s all focused around LinkedIn now and how to create effective LinkedIn video content that’s essentially going to attract your target market, build loyalty in your industry, get you to be seen as an expert, and ultimately get people to pick up the phone and do business with you. So that’s what I help founders and executives with today.

Erin Sparks: 06:44 Across all platforms, but specifically LinkedIn?

Shay Rowbottom: 06:48 Yes.

Erin Sparks: 06:49 So let me ask you this, Shay, this may sound very simple, but why is video content in marketing so different than other forms of digital content? What’s your gut take on that?

Shay Rowbottom: 07:02 Because it’s the newest, it’s the newest. When I say video is the newest, I mean in the form of a piece of video on social media. What has previously worked in the past was like flyers, infographics. A lot of that stuff can be translated to social media and digital marketing and still fly. But in terms of creating a video, sometimes you come across these clients, they’re stuck in that old school advertising mentality where if your video you created for their social media channel doesn’t look like a blatant commercial that was designed for television, they’re upset and they’re like, “What do you mean, this is not a video?” So yeah, it’s a total different world.

Erin Sparks: 07:41 Can you give us a background from your perspective of how video content has actually grown over the different social media platform? Now, you have your own experience in Facebook and LinkedIn, but we also have other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat and the Vine of years gone by. And what’s the new platform that’s coming up? We just talked about it.

Shay Rowbottom: 07:41 TikTok.

Erin Sparks: 08:02 Yeah, yeah. TikTok, right. So there’s all of these different video platforms or at least social media that has a very strong presence of video. It’s not only new, there’s something else about video that is bringing our attention to it. What’s your take on that?

Shay Rowbottom: 08:21 I think it’s the next generation. I think it’s just the way humans are evolving to consume content. There was a recent study I read, I think it said that, it was a different advice for how to train employees of different generations and actually said for millennials entering the job force, if you give them video courses as a form of training, the level of engagement goes up 10 times, for millennials. So just to give an example of the way our attention has shifted. And I do actually think the reason we still see as many advertising dollars going to television and more traditional forms of advertising like we are is simply because the older generation is still alive. You know what I mean? They’re still consuming from these other mediums.

Yeah, you said it. I mean, there was YouTube, then there was Facebook, then there was Instagram. My observation is the videos kept getting shorter. I think for longer form content platforms like YouTube still rule because users very much go back and revisit treating it much like one of their favorite television shows or channel. And that’s why we’re seeing platforms like Facebook and Instagram build out these television branches to support long form content and to try to start attracting those advertising dollars that are inevitably going to be transferring from television.

Erin Sparks: 09:47 Yeah. We’re going to see that watershed moment. You’re going to see a mass exodus here in the next 10 years going into all these fractional video content purveyors. And then you’re going to have the programmatics, then you’re going to have all of the other attribution models towards your digital marketing portfolio. And then you’re going to really see how everything is affected by everything else.

Shay Rowbottom: 10:11 Yeah. I love it, it’s exciting, right? It moves so fast.

Erin Sparks: 10:14 It absolutely is, but you gotta be able to hold onto the ride sometimes because there are some big jumps. It’s almost like a teenager with a stick shift for everybody who knows what a stick shift is, by the way, guys.

Shay Rowbottom: 10:27 I drove one once, it was not pretty. You do not want to be on the road.

Erin Sparks: 10:32 So one of the big jumps that we’re talking about is the ration, the length of the content. What format, and you already said it, the format of short form video, is that rising to the top now?

Shay Rowbottom: 10:47 If you’re new and you’re just starting to release videos for your brand, yes, they need to be short. I would argue no matter what platform you’re on actually, they should be short. Because starting out to really cultivate that initial attention and break through the noise, strangers that see your content appear in the newsfeed are far more likely to give you a 60-second investment when they don’t know you versus giving you a five minute one. So yes, I would say start short.

Erin Sparks: 11:13 Yep, yep. Yeah. Should a company have kind of a bandolier of different formats or different durations or even different production types based on their video strategy?

Shay Rowbottom: 11:28 Well, test everything. I’m a big proponent of data and analytics. By all means, test all avenues. And the more resources you can or that you have access to, the more testing you should do. But yeah, I think ultimately brands need to focus on understanding their target market not just in the sense of what do they want from us, what do we do? We know our solution, you know what I mean? We know how we make their lives easier, but what’s their affinity? What else is our audience in general very likely to also have an interest in? And formulate some content around that. That’s just not asking for anything in return yet. You’re just giving, giving, providing value and building your trust on that platform.

Erin Sparks: 12:14 Yeah. And that’s the important thing, especially on the LinkedIn side that you introduced to earlier is that LinkedIn is turning into a useful utility type of video not just the hard pressed advertising of services. But about LinkedIn, there’s some noise that’s happening inside of LinkedIn. It has been for the last six to eight months. And let alone the message span, that’s just idiotic. But the video noise that’s out there, a lot of it I deem it noise because there is, I see it, kind of an over saturation of individuals that are trying to carve their influencer definition into the business channel. So there’s a lot of people walking around with their smart phone giving some great points of advice in the stream itself. Are you concerned about that or is this just the maturation of the video format inside of LinkedIn? Will it shake itself off eventually?

Shay Rowbottom: 13:21Yeah. I think it’s just a natural progression, and things will evolve. What feels like noise right now is simply out there and still managing to get the organic reach it is getting sure simply because of the lack of competition and saturation on the platform. Obviously if there’s only so many pieces of content to pull from the ad to the feed, some junk is going to show up. And we are seeing that. But it gives creators like myself, for example, or people who are in marketing and have a background in social media and social media page management and growth, it actually provides us with quite an advantage because as I just said, that competition is not there yet. And it hasn’t become over competitive with really valuable content creators.

Erin Sparks: 14:15 That’s actually a really good signal that LinkedIn is paying more and more attention to that video content. So as opposed to turning away from LinkedIn, I mean, what you’re seeing is the burgeoning video delivery of an organization. That’s a fantastic take on it because literally it’s an opportunity to be able to get even better produced content, even more useful content in the industry itself.

Shay Rowbottom: 14:40 Yes. If you’re someone who’s having relative success on LinkedIn right now with your video content strategy, 10X it, go all in. Do even more because those views that you’re growing accustomed to right now and that organic reach that you find comfortable, it’s going to go away just as fast as it showed up. So go all in while you can right now.

Erin Sparks: 15:01 All right, so put all your chips in, we’re going deep into this. There are KPIs that are associated to all types of marketing, and you have lead generation, you have engagement factors. One of the things that you stress upon and you help cultivate for organizations is authority. You’ve helped organizations to expand their business and generate revenue. But the authority measurement, that’s still a bit ubiquitous, it is still a bit ethereal to a lot of companies. So how does a company head, a CEO or CMO get a handle on how to see that the video content strategy is growing their authority? How do they measure that, and how do they actually understand the impact that it has across the board for their entire brand?

Shay Rowbottom: 15:51 Yeah. That’s a great question, thank you for asking me that. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that you’re simply showing up, you’re showing up consistently as someone in this industry who has valuable knowledge and wisdom to share. So the beautiful thing about LinkedIn especially is right now, there’s not a lot of people creating videos yet. But a lot of the businesses and individuals that are consistently showing up in the feed and creating videos are kind of from the same industry. You’ve got a lot of salespeople who are pretty confident on camera, so, of course, they’re first to the scene. You’ve got recruiters, you’ve got consultants, you’ve got a lot of people from similar industries. Who is the face and the video influencer of the IT industry? It’s like there isn’t one.

So that’s why LinkedIn is such a massive opportunity to capitalize on is because, first of all, anyone who’s consistently releasing a high quality stream of content that’s circled around their industry and their target market is going to remain top of brain and is inevitably going to become someone who’s well known in that industry. But on top of that, if there’s straight up nobody else doing it, I mean, you have all the advantage. I always say there’s a good chunk of my following that may never need my services that may be following me because they find me entertaining or they’re kind of doing DIY their own marketing and they like to pick up on my tips. But should they ever be at a networking event or a cocktail party where somebody tells them, “I really need LinkedIn video content, and the video strategy for my business is LinkedIn,” who do you think that person is going to suggest? Me.

Because I’ve positioned myself as an expert in the industry. So even though this follower specifically might never buy from me, they are now going to go out in the world and become an ambassador of my brand, know about me, know about what I do, and how I help others. That’s where the magic comes in. So people are always looking for that short term marketing return, which I get, and you need that too. But this is also about the long term and building that trust and that loyal brand that’s going to keep coming back for more.

Erin Sparks: 18:05 That’s a fantastic perspective. To be able to create advocates, there’s so much that people are numb to in all digital marketing channels. So you have to be authentic, you have to deliver useful content. If you’re empowering those individuals to be able to champion you, not themselves, but actually refer to you and your expertise, you’ve got to keep on giving and you can’t smell like you’re spinning at all. You’ve got to continually pulse good information and do it with a level of humility and authenticity. So how do you train companies or execs or anybody to be able to find their humility and deliver it regularly?

Shay Rowbottom: 19:00 It takes practice, man. It takes practice. I’ll give people credit and say, I don’t think everyone has had the experience I’ve had where day in and day out it doesn’t matter how much I want to make this piece of video content look a certain way that I feel would be good. It’s about follow the data, follow the data. What performs well, what gets a positive response, what reaches the most people and gets the most attention? I would really say that, just that. You need to understand what is going to work. And then just repeat more of that and keep giving that to your audience.

Erin Sparks: 19:45 But swinging back around where measurements of lead generation are easy to see, following the data and making sure that you’re not falling prey to, hey, this doesn’t deliver conversions, but this is delivering something else from another level of engagement and sharing. Following that data and creating that recipe, you’ve got to be able to separate your desire to see the lead gen. Go ahead-

Shay Rowbottom: 20:10 And what you’ll find pretty much every time is the more the content is giving away value for free, the better it will perform. So, for example, I just released a video this morning where I broke down how I edit my video content because I get a lot of repeat viewers who ask, “Shay, I love your videos, how do you edit them?” So I just did a video about it. I said, “Hey everyone, here’s how I do it, here’s my process. If you want to go do it too, here’s some tips.” Just giving away value. But I also very much did give a CTA back to my business at the end and made sure to let everyone know this is what I actually train people professionally on and this is all part of my LinkedIn program. So if you want to go even more in depth, feel free to message me.

I mean, that was all included in the video. But for the most part, I just focused on providing value and sharing my process. And I got a lot of people to share it saying share it out to their networks, re-share my content saying, “Thank you, Shay, for giving away all this free value.” And I’m not saying I’m doing anything slimy or tricky here, I am giving away free value. However, those people don’t also realize they’re sharing my ad. They’re sharing my …

Erin Sparks: 21:22 I mean, here’s the thing, I saw that video by the way. And interesting enough is that you didn’t just give away some free secrets, you actually opened up some of your own secrets. You hire other video editors to be able to help craft that. And that was-

Shay Rowbottom: 21:38 And I teach you how to hire-

Erin Sparks: 21:40 Which is amazing because, I mean, that’s almost you’re giving away two levels of potential business for your own company by actually saying, “You know what, you can get this cheaply done. You can actually guide these editors that you can get in Upwork or what have you.”

Shay Rowbottom: 21:56 Isn’t that funny?

Erin Sparks: 21:56 Oh my gosh, you’re literally pushing away business, but you’re not at the same time. You’re lighting that fire, that fuse to be able to get people to really share and focus back on you. So you’re not really giving away the true moneymaker of your business, you’re letting people know how to step up and start this process, which is really amazing.

Shay Rowbottom: 22:21 Thank you. I think so long as you’re growing as an individual and as a business person and as an agency, so long as you’re always growing, always pushing forward, always on the up and up, you should always be giving things away for free because it’s not threatening to you. You’re on to the next, you’re on to next. Yeah, I may be giving away something that gives me an advantage right now because not everyone has access to this information, perhaps maybe I’m even one of the first. But it doesn’t matter because people are going to find out regardless, why not I be the hero, the one to tell them all? And then by the time everyone catches on and I no longer have an advantage, guess what, I’ve already moved on to the next strategy and I’m working on a new advantage.

Erin Sparks: 23:03 That’s awesome. All right. So, for example, one of the advantages that you refer to are pods, and there’s a good deal of opportunity in the pod for the users that aren’t listening, aren’t listening? If they’re not listening, then they won’t be able to even hear this. So for the user that haven’t experienced pod or what that is, can you break that concept down for us? And is it exclusively inside of LinkedIn?

Shay Rowbottom: 23:29 You’re talking about pods, right?

Erin Sparks: 23:31 Yes, absolutely. [crosstalk 00:23:32] call pods.

Shay Rowbottom: 23:33 I’ve never heard anyone spell it, P-O-D, it’s like forbidden, don’t speak it.

Erin Sparks: 23:40 Well, pods led me in the Body Snatchers and led me into a whole other dark area. So I wanted to break it down. Anyway, go ahead, go ahead.

Shay Rowbottom: 23:48 Oh my goodness, it is so funny because I never intended to speak about pods publicly as much as I have in the past month.

Erin Sparks: 23:58 Yeah, started to catch up?

Shay Rowbottom: 23:59 No, I totally asked for it because I released a video about pods, about my feelings about them, my viewpoint calling out some kind of scarcity viewpoints I feel people have on them and on. And ever since that video, it has become such a hot topic around LinkedIn. I’ve had a lot of people message me. So I just laugh at your question.

Erin Sparks: 24:17 Yeah, I had to.

Shay Rowbottom: 24:18 Here we go again,

Erin Sparks: 24:19 Well, I’m doing my own research, I saw what you’re doing there. All right, so lay it on us real quick.

Shay Rowbottom: 24:24 I’m going to lay it on you. So it’s so simple. All it is, a pod, it’s not through LinkedIn. This is not a googleable thing that you can direct purchase on. I think LinkedIn would be very smart to build it out as an add-on feature. However, if they’re not going to do it, I’ll do it. So what it is, you curate a group of people on LinkedIn who you notice are posting content consistently. If you want to be even more calculated with it, they could perhaps be like individuals all from the same industry. So it’s really similar content and there’s a very high likelihood that the people would actually genuinely enjoy engaging with one another’s content. And what you do with it, you reach out to them all, you explain what a pod is. Hey, a pod is really a messenger group where we all are in the same group and we drop links to our content with the understanding that we all engage on each other’s stuff.

So I hit a like and a comment on your post, you do the same for mine. It’s a great way for especially new creators starting out to kind of break out into the news feed because as soon as that one person comments, the video automatically will get shown to more people because now it’s showing up in that person’s network. So I would actually argue getting in a pod or creating your own pod is almost necessary if you’re brand new with a small following and zero traction on your page just starting out. I mean, even me, when I first got on the platform, I had a mentor. I was actually paying someone at the time to kind of consult me. And him and his squad of employees, they all commented on my stuff right away.

I’m not going to attribute my success to pods because I don’t really think that’s what it is. But at the end of the day, it could have taken a lot longer for me to just kind of break out into the news feed initially without at least having one friend to comment on my post. So it’s really just common sense marketing, very similar strategies have existed on other social media platforms. But for some reason on LinkedIn, it’s gotten like a really bad rap. There’s like a negative comments. There’s just a bad reputation, there’s kind of a stigma like if you’re in a pod, you’re not authentic, pods are evil. It’s kind of like this-

Erin Sparks: 26:27 Again, because of the Body Snatchers reference, that’s where I was going.

Shay Rowbottom: 26:32 No. I think, and this could be a metaphor for all business and all life is people think that things need to be harder on themselves than they actually are. And it’s scarcity mindset, it’s like, no, that’s cheating, you can’t take shortcuts. It’s like, I don’t know about you, but every young successful millionaire I’ve ever met has been a king of taking shortcuts. You got to really call it how you see it. I think if you’re serious about success on LinkedIn and you want to bust through the noise, but you are currently brand new and you have no traction, you better cultivate a quick little network of people who want to engage with your post, buddy, because that’s the fastest way out.

Erin Sparks: 27:09 So it’s allowing some buoyancy, which is obviously going to feed the algorithm. What’s the manageable size? Is there any particular size that you would recommend of [inaudible 00:27:19]?

Shay Rowbottom: 27:20 Yeah. Actually, if it’s a really engaged group where everyone is posting like every day consistently, I would say the sweet spot is actually like 10 to 15 people. Because anything more than that with people posting so regularly does become difficult to keep up with yourself personally.

Erin Sparks: 27:37 But they have to contribute as well, it’s just not you pushing [crosstalk 00:27:40], they all have to. And there’s this partnership or this relationship that also can, and especially if you’re doing inside of one industry, you can also refer business. So the scenario is that you can certainly share each other’s content, but there’s a true potential ROI there for engaging with similar interests, but similar industries or at least maybe tangential industries, right?

Shay Rowbottom: 28:05 Yeah, absolutely. And that’s a lot of feedback I’ve gotten from people that I’ve gotten into pods is not necessarily the engagement, which they also say helps, but just the relationships they found there. Like, hey, I ended up meeting some really great people, this person led me to that person. And that’s really what it’s all about. I’ve met a lot of good friends in pods I think they’re helpful, I think they’re fun. But I don’t think they should ever be depended on as like an end all be all marketing strategy. At the end of the day, good content is good content, and that’s what wins.

Erin Sparks: 28:35 I dig it, very good. Let me switch topics on you real quick. And we did talk before the show about secrets to making a video go viral. I’m going to put a big asterisk next to viral because I want to understand how you consider a video virility for lack of a better description, is it a particular number that’s reached, an engagement that’s reached or what? How do you demarcate that as a video that’s gone viral?

Shay Rowbottom: 29:08 Yeah, it’s subjective for sure. I would especially say it’s a different size across every platform. So on LinkedIn, for example, where you still don’t see so much video content or really high performing video content, I should say, it’s pretty rare still to see a video on LinkedIn with over a million views, whereas that’s like old news on Facebook now. That’s not viral on Facebook, but that’s viral on LinkedIn. So it’s subjective, I don’t really know that there’s like a rule book or a chart with a clear line and definition anywhere. But I think, and this is what Gary Vaynerchuk says as well is just like viral content by nature is uncontrollable. So that’s just one way to measure it. If your baseline for views on your content is like 5,000 and you suddenly got a video to hit 75,000 views even though 75,000 might not seem that much in the grand scheme of things. For your personal algorithm on your page, that is huge. So I would consider that even an uncontrollable and viral piece of content.

Erin Sparks: 30:12 Got it. So it’s all in perspective or at least an exponential-

Shay Rowbottom: 30:19 And a lot of content that goes viral goes viral because of what I just said, because a company that has a really big following has a team of people out on the web curating potentially viral clips. And what they do is they come across these smaller creators who only get 5,000 views consistently on their content like I just mentioned. But they find a gem on their page that got 75,000 and they say to their team, “Hey, we should curate this. This is obviously a viral piece of content, he just didn’t have his own following juice to get it to explode all the way. We’re a huge blog, we have that juice, so now it’s going to really get pushed out on the web and everything.” That’s why if you’re on platforms like Reddit, if you’re on Reddit and you’re there regularly, you’ll see things way before they go viral because that’s where the curators go to find the next diamond in the rough.

Erin Sparks: 31:04 That is a really cool perspective. It’s almost like these thermal layers and all of a sudden there’s one video kind of goes up to that next layer and you’ve got a whole level of players in that space watching for one of those float to the top. That’s neat, I like that concept. It’s not about getting and hitting a home run right out of the park. I mean, literally, you can get this to a particular degree. And if it’s stylized enough, if you’ve got that authentic nature, you can really get ahold and get somebody else’s attention, and that’s going to bootstrap you, right?

Shay Rowbottom: 31:43 Exactly. Yes.

Erin Sparks: 31:44 I dig it. All right. So I wanted to go through a few secrets to video content. I know we’ve gone through a lot of key concepts inside of LinkedIn. And I’m going to let you run with it for a couple of minutes, but I just first wanted to touch base on production quality. Does that have a major factor in the secrets of creating video content?

Shay Rowbottom: 32:05 I’m so glad you brought this up. Gosh, okay. So this is a big one. Production quality on social media is not valued in the same way that it is valued in the cinema when you buy a ticket to go to the movies or when you watch the Super Bowl commercials. So that is a big hiccup. A lot of companies stop before they even start because they have this anticipation of a video production being a very high maintenance and costly act. So what they’re doing is they’re digging up old experiences from their age where video production very much was we’re hiring a whole crew, we’re bringing lights out here, we got the whole set. This is going on television, this is like our big video moment. Video has transformed, video doesn’t need that standard anymore. We’ve all by now engaged with or even shared a viral video on a platform like Facebook that was clearly shot on a cellphone.

Erin Sparks: 33:04 I shared a flying squirrel just the other day. That was fantastic

Shay Rowbottom: 33:04 Yes. Exactly, exactly.

Erin Sparks: 33:04 Keep on going, I’m sorry.

Shay Rowbottom: 33:11 No, that’s fine, that’s fine. That’s exactly what it is, is I tell people, look, you do not necessarily need high quality production to create high quality content for social media, the standard is just different here. And start where you are with what you have. I know for me, I actually for a long time, I would say like six to eight months, I shot everything on my cell phone. Now, a lot of it I would still do the post production and get it edited it a little bit, but I was not using a nice camera. I didn’t have lighting. It’s really not until you build that initial following and you have some traction going, now I would say, okay. Now, if you have the time, money, and resources like you should because you’ve been working towards that, now invest in better production and a higher quality camera and everything.

But that is not going to be your make or break starting out. You don’t need 4K footage, you don’t need any of that. And I’m glad you bring it up because it’s so common, it’s a very common objection right here is just that I’m not going to be able to do this, I have it in my head that this is so high maintenance and exhausting that the thought of somehow doing this every week consistently for my page just becomes unbearable.

Erin Sparks: 34:26 Yep, yep. Absolutely. So what are some other secrets? So we got production quality out of the way. This is why I wanted to lead with that. What are some key secrets to video content strategy success?

Shay Rowbottom: 34:41 Always think about your audience, always think about what would be valuable to them. Always do what others aren’t willing to do. So that could be anything, that could be even being consistent is something others aren’t willing to do. So being very vulnerable on the platform, I know that’s a big thing on LinkedIn being that it is so stuffy and professional still. When you can bring the human side of business to it and the failure and the blood, sweat, and tears behind the scenes, that kind of content tends to perform really well. And then in terms of your structure, keep it short. Have a headline, do not introduce yourself. Have the first line of your video something compelling, something relevant to the topic at hand, and something that’s more likely to get someone to stop scrolling that first three seconds in the newsfeed.

Then we’ll, hi, I’m John Smith and today I want to talk about finances. And then always have a CTA. I always have, I call them ‘healthy CTAs’ because when I say CTA on LinkedIn, I’m not necessarily saying call us today for a quote or a direct CTA back to your business, rather a CTA that’s relevant to the content you’re talking about. So, for example, if you have like the video I released today on video editing, here’s how I edit my videos. Hey, how do you guys edit your videos? Now, that’s a healthy way to pull engagement into the comment section and get some dialogue going there. So all just quick basic things you can do to start to 10X your video content strategy.

Erin Sparks: 36:08 No, I love it, I love it. What about the repurposing of content, does that play a factor into your video content as well?

Shay Rowbottom: 36:15 Yes, I love repurposing content. That’s actually mainly what we built our last agency on was re-purposing, so I’m very familiar with how to do that and when it is most effective. I would argue for a platform like LinkedIn, repurposing content is a really smart move because currently the way the platform is set up is your profile, you have a section for posts that people can go to, but it only displays the posts in chronological order. Meaning if you’re posting five times a day every day, no one’s going to want to scroll through to last Wednesday to see what you posted versus a platform like Facebook where there’s a videos tab, you can go see the library of videos and the lifetime posts all in one place. Since that capability isn’t on LinkedIn and on top of that, things die in the newsfeed relatively quickly like after 24 or 48 hours, unless of course they went viral.

With all that being said, LinkedIn is a prime platform for repurposing because things don’t show up in the feed that long. Your audience can’t go back and find it very easily and there’s a good chance that a heavy portion of your audience missed it the first time around. So when it comes to figuring out what you should repost, just always be tracking your data and your performance of every post. Free posts are the highest performing ones. So like I illustrated earlier if your baseline is 5K but you’ve got a few videos floating around the 7, 8, 9K, those are what I would all call relatively high performing for your audience. Go and repost those.

Erin Sparks: 37:36 Repost them without modification or create a different recipe of delivery and message for that video, what would you suggest?

Shay Rowbottom: 37:45 It depends. Again, if it was like a super killer piece like something that went viral, I’ll usually just leave it as the same if it’s something that performed well. But I see now with a little bit of time that’s passed in between, I see now a way to improve it or a way I could potentially get more attention this time around, yeah, I would tweak it a little.

Erin Sparks: 38:02 I dig it, I dig it. Well, these are incredible points and we certainly want to recommend our audience pay attention to the LinkedIn realm, what about the live stream aspect of LinkedIn? And that’s starting to happen now. What’s your take on those?

Shay Rowbottom: 38:25 I personally think live video is really overrated. I feel like-

Erin Sparks: 38:30 Hey, wait a minute, we’re live right now. Come on.

Shay Rowbottom: 38:33 I think this is cool, I think this is cool. This is a little different because it’s a show. And thank you for having me, by the way. I’ve been on a lot of live podcasts and shows. I do like the live in that essence especially when it’s an interview and you’re showcasing someone because it’s really raw and it can be a little more engaging human to human that way. But yeah, I do see the live feature as really not that beneficial. For the amount that it’s used on platforms, I’d say only a small fraction of that time is it actually beneficial. I see it as a tool mainly for the users of the platforms, a tool to make them feel good, powerful, in control, which is fine.

I’m not dissing it, I’m a user too, I like options. But in terms of delivering compelling messages and creating a consistent video content strategy, I’m all about calculation, I’m all about recording my videos. There’s also been a lot of bugs with the LinkedIn live feature, and they’re still working that out. So I haven’t really been impatiently like dying to jump into live because I understand it’s still in its infancy as well. I did recently just get access to live. There’s some push notifications happening where everyone who goes live right now, LinkedIn is auto sending a push notification to all their followers. It’s actually causing creators to lose followers because people are in meeting, they’re getting these push notifications. So they’re like, “Just screw it.” They’re unfollowing. That’s what I mean, there’s tons of bugs, I feel like it’s hyped up. It can be valuable, but it’s almost like western medicine. It can be valuable, but it’s way overused. I like your version of live, Erin. I approve.

Erin Sparks: 40:18 Thank you very much. I’m not going to use that as a quote for the beginning of the show. There, write it down, Jim. So you opened the door for me, and we talked about this prior to go live for the show. And this is a bit non-sequitur, it is outside of the realm of secret sauce for video content. But what you just touched upon was absolutely kind of a bit of a tone for us to jump into this is that there is a challenge for marketers, and digital marketers most especially to not get lost in their own fabricated self-image and not look for such an affirmation as they are becoming influencers in different markets. There is a risk, a high risk of depression, of the anxiety challenges.

I mean, there’s a lot inside of digital marketing that we as society have never experienced before. This is brand new territory. And we talked about the adults in the equation, we also talked about the kids in the equation coming up behind us is a different generation. But what are your about where you are in this environment, what you’ve observed? And what are some recommendations that you’d give for people that are aspiring and can kind of take it on the chin a little bit too much if they don’t get those exponential growths?

Shay Rowbottom: 41:52 Great question. I’m so glad you brought this up, and this is also something I’ve had to be really self-aware about because I’m now approaching, I have almost 100,000 followers on all my platforms. So it’s really interesting because I actually feel that one route to massive growth on social media and getting the most likes is insecurity. If you are dependent upon an external validation like your following praising you, complimenting you, liking you, commenting on your stuff, you actually have a weird twisted advantage in marketing because you’re attaching your self-worth to that growth and you’re going to wake up every day and make it happen. Now, I’m not necessarily saying these insecure individuals are the ones killing it the most in terms of revenue, rather illustrating that the vanity metrics and the influencer world of who has the most followers has become very much a way to feed insecure people who feel they need that validation to be whole.

And you and I were talking about this offline earlier on the show because I have struggled with depression a lot in my life and the challenges being a business woman and trying to kind of like break through my limiting beliefs of what I believe I deserve and what I’m worthy of. So kind of like balancing that, trying to grow my following and my agency as much as possible because obviously my following is linked to my business while also walking the line of like, okay, Shay, hypothetically if your 100,000 followers got wiped off the map tomorrow, would you be okay with yourself and would you be okay? Obviously, my business would suffer and I’d be pissed. But let’s just move that aside for a minute and just talk about me personally and my own issues with self-esteem that I’ve struggled with in life.

I have to really be conscious of this in practice. I want to be the unshakeable Shay at my core that I know is in there that I’m recovering from childhood like we all have to do. You know what I’m saying? So I have to be okay with like, hey, your worth is not attached to that. If you have a piece of video content, it didn’t do that well that day and it flopped that day and therefore your mood for the day is shot. That’s not okay. You need to be consistently stable and strong within yourself. So if you are someone that’s kind of in the influencer world trying to grow that personal following, be self-aware of this, be mindful of this. I think at the end of the day what we need to focus on is feeling that we are enough as we are without the things that we do, we achieve or become title status wise. So that’s where I’m at now.

Erin Sparks: 44:30 All right. I don’t think there’s anything that I could possibly add into the mix there. You said it all, we’re getting affirmation from a space that we haven’t even experienced before. And having that mirror that you just demonstrated, that analogy. If you lose all of your followers, are you going to be okay if the algorithms change and everything is pulled from you? If you don’t have that strength of yourself. But you got to look at what you’re really doing. If you’re dependent on the social media realm to give you that affirmation, that dopamine injection that Simon Sinek said so well. If you’re not in there and if you’re not in there to win it and also win it for yourself, then there’s potentially an addiction problem, and you got to push back a little bit, right?

Shay Rowbottom: 45:26 Yes, yeah. It is an addiction, it is just one more outlet for distraction, which that’s what I consider addiction to be. It’s just a distraction from our inner pain that we haven’t been taught how to grieve and deal with. And I think it’s also cool in the sense that social media has brought people the opportunity to become famous and to grow and influence without having money, resources, connections, ties to Hollywood, basically. Just any old Joe Schmoe who has a niche or value to provide on social media can randomly grow a following and create a life from it, which is the other end. We become addicted, we compare, we become depressed. We’re addicted to scrolling. But the beauty of it is look at the opportunity that these platforms have given so many people who previously didn’t have access to those resources is really cool [crosstalk 00:46:21].

Erin Sparks: 46:21 Absolutely. Yeah. You’ve got to have the good along with the bad in these spaces. But we do have to practice discipline, self-discipline and know when-

Shay Rowbottom: 46:31 You reminded me, I got to check my notifications.

Erin Sparks: 46:36 All right. You’re dropping gold all over the place, Shay, thank you so much.

Shay Rowbottom: 46:40 Thank you.

Erin Sparks: 46:42 What are some final thoughts that you would have for digital marketers that are listening to you right now?

Shay Rowbottom: 46:50 Just stay alert, man. Follow the trends. I know we all have that golden moment where we find what works for us and we got that magic formula going, whether it’s with your SEO, your email marketing, your LinkedIn video content. But be agile, be adaptive. But when people get cocky and too caught up in this works now, it’ll work forever, that’s when they fall behind. So I’m always actively looking for the next strategy, I’m always studying marketers and creators that are further ahead than me who have more influence, who are where I want to be in terms of and where I end up in business. Just stay alert, stay on these platforms, follow shows just like this one to keep up with the times. And always follow the data, track your analytics, do what works.

Erin Sparks: 47:36 There it is. I love it. Thank you for the compliment, Shay, we really do appreciate it. It’s been a very enjoyable conversation. I want to wrap up with what we ask our guests on every show, what bugs you about your industry right now?

Shay Rowbottom: 47:51 I think just the divide in some people totally get the social media marketing and some people don’t. So for someone like me, I’ve spent years just on the phone with so many prospects, so many potential clients, businesses all under the sun, a lot of B2B. I notice it’s either a good understanding of social media, maybe they know how to do it, maybe they don’t know how to do it they just know they need it and they respect the people that know how to do it. So those are great clients for me because I can just get in, do my job, do what works for them. But then you got this other section over here that’s still behind, that’s still stuck on maybe television, for example, that personally they don’t spend a lot of time on social media so they don’t get it from a user standpoint.

There’s such a divide, it’s almost like the same thing we’re seeing with college right now. It’s kind of like finally starting to slate. People are either like, “No, you still need a degree no matter what.” And some people are like, “Yeah, seems like a lot of degrees are kind of useless.” There’s just this divide. It’s true though, there’s a divide. So I see it happening in marketing right now, digital marketing specifically where there’s still a divide. There’s still this kind of like old school mentality dragging behind that we got to catch up. And sometimes it works out for the best, sometimes I can really take the opportunity to educate those prospects and turn them into killer clients where we really improve their business. Sometimes they’re kind of, like the person I just mentioned in my last bit, they’re a little stubborn, stuck in their ways. They don’t think that there’s anything better than what they’re doing, so we’ll just wait and see.

Erin Sparks: 49:20 Well, yeah. Absolutely. That’s the way the world right now, if they don’t get it, they don’t get it right. They’ll get it, but in a different way down the road being served by their competitors. Conversely-

Shay Rowbottom: 49:35 I say this, you’re either growing your own company’s following and platform so you can advertise here or you’re not investing in your own platform and you’re just going to end up in future years spending your marketing dollars to advertise on other people’s platforms up here. So you’re either going to build your own for your agency and your industry or you’re gonna spend money advertising on someone else’s. Which route do you want to go, baby?

Erin Sparks: 49:59 Yeah. There you go. Well, conversely to wrap up, Shay, what excites you about your industry right now? And we certainly have gone through a lot of your experiences, but in one one point, what’s the coolest thing?

Shay Rowbottom: 50:13 I just love being creative. I know it’s probably like a cliche, boring answer. By I love creating. Like I said when I was talking to you in the beginning, I’m an artist at heart. So it’s so inspiring to see social media marketing. When I see a really killer ad that’s just subliminally genius and it’s viral and it’s just moving the needle like crazy for these agencies, that’s what really lights me up and gets me excited even if it’s not coming from my agency just because I love seeing what’s out there, what’s working, what’s possible. And I will say the other thing that really excites and inspires me about my industry is all of the young people and people like me who were able to drop out of college, give up on their dreams and just pick up a social media platform, learn the internet and build something, it’s really cool. I love seeing young people thrive and young people kind of carve their own path despite traditional routes or traditional pressures that have been put on them.

Erin Sparks: 51:12 Yeah. You’re really seeing the fork in the road now, and you’re seeing where sticktoitiveness, grit of individuals is paying off. And you don’t have to have the conventional degree, you don’t have to come from what was known as the steps that you’re going to have to take to be able to get that authority. People are creating it right now. We’re in awe of individuals that just blow it up, and you know they’re just cranking good content and creative content out. And you’re one of them, Shay, we certainly want to applaud you in what you’ve been doing. For all of our listeners, you want to make sure you follow Shay over at Facebook, Shay Rowbottom. LinkedIn, Shay Rowbottom. Instagram, Shay Rowbottom. And YouTube, Shay Rowbottom. Check, check, check, check, she got every one of them right.

Fantastic. I really do appreciate the time today and especially kind of breaking it down and sharing some insights around just the concepts of just mental preparedness as you get into the digital marketing space because that’s one thing that not many people are regularly talking about, what it can do and what it can drain from you as well. So I really appreciate your comments there. So thanks so much for being with us, all right?

Shay Rowbottom: 52:26 Absolutely. Thank you for having me, Erin.

Erin Sparks: 52:29 More than welcome, more than welcome. Thanks for listening to edgeofthewebradio.com and watching as well. We certainly appreciate all of our colleagues from Site Strategics as we produce each and every week, especially our guest, Shay Rowbottom. Make sure you check out all the must see videos over at edgeofthewebradio.com, edgeofthewebradio.com. We’re breaking up the news items and all of these different segments. We’re trying to give you as much consumable in the manner in which you want to consume it from Edge of the Web Radio, so make sure that you pay attention. Hey, give us a favor, like and review our shows because that’s how we influence our algorithm. So let us know how we’re doing, sign up for the newsletter. Hey, if you want us to talk to somebody that you’ve been wanting to have on the show, let us know and we’ll certainly get them on. So from everybody over at Site Strategics, thanks so much. Do not be a piece of cyber driftwood, we’ll talk to you next week. Bye-bye.

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