An Interview with Neil Patel

For the second segment in our CopyPress interview series, we talked with Neil Patel and picked his brain about content marketing & strategy.

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Neil Patel is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and digital marketing specialist. He co-founded Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, and he has spoken at over 100 web marketing conferences, including: SMX, PubCon, web 2.0 EXPO, and more.

1. Can You Tell Us a Little About What You Do and The Companies You Work For? (For Noobs)

Neil: I am a serial entrepreneur who loves solving problems for marketers. My first real software company was Crazy Egg, which helped marketers make their website more user friendly. It did this by showing you a heat map of where people click on your website.
My current start-up, KISSmetrics, helps you improve the metrics that matter most to your business. So instead of focusing on metrics like page views or bounce rates, like most analytics solutions do, we focus on helping you maximize your lifetime value and decrease your churn. 

2. Content Marketing/Blogging Is a Huge Part of Your Marketing Strategy. Can You Tell Us Why?

Neil: Content marketing is one of the most effective and cheapest forms of marketing. That’s why I leverage it. It doesn’t cost much to create the content, and if it is really good, people end up linking to it and sharing it on the social web. This increases the chances that your potential customers will find you, and indirectly you will see an increase in revenue from it.
Plus, the huge side effect of content marketing is more SEO traffic.

3. What Forms of Content Marketing Are the Most Effective for Your Company/Companies?

Neil: Infographics have by far been the most effective for my companies. I wrote a blog post on the ROI we got from spending around $28,000 on infographics.
Within a 2-year period, we’ve generated 2,512,596 visitors, and 41,142 backlinks from 3741 unique domains all from 47 infographics.

4. Can You Tell Us More About Why You Invest in Infographics?

Neil: Although we found that infographics don’t help us directly get new customers, they do help you generate a social following. Then when you push out other forms of content that is more relevant to your potential customers, you can leverage that following to spread the message.
In the long run that will cause you to gain more customers.

5. What are Some Common Failures with Infographics?

Neil:

  1. People think you can pop up an infographic on anything and do well. You need to create infographics that are related to your business.
  2. Creating infographics that are too short or too detailed isn’t effective. We’ve found that having around 6 major points in an infographic is the perfect amount.
  3. Creating a good infographic isn’t enough. If you don’t have a strong social presence, your graphics won’t spread.

6. Do You Think the Majority of Businesses Have a Good Understanding of Effective Content Marketing?

Neil: They do not. It’s not easy to create great content. Blogging is an art and a science… it takes practice to get good at it.

7. How Important is Planning and Strategy in Content Marketing?

Neil: It’s very important. We’ve found consistency to be one of the most important parts of content marketing. If you don’t do it on a regular basis for at least 6 months to a year, it’s not too effective. With planning and creating a strategy, it would be a bit too hard to be consistent with your content marketing. For example, we typically publish 5 blog posts a week at KISSmetrics and it’s a ton of work to accomplish that.

8. Do You Have Any Tips You Could Give Business Owners?

Neil: Try to include as much stats and data as possible within your blog posts. We’ve found that blog posts with statistics, spread 3 to 4 times more via the social web, versus posts that don’t contain stats.

9. Do You Believe That You Have to Spend Money to Make Money? Should Business Owners Invest in Content Marketing?

NeilYou have to spend money or time. To me they are almost the same thing… either you are going to pay someone to do your content marketing or you are going to learn how to do it.
It’s not easy, but you’ll do well if you have the right strategy.

10. How Do You See Content Marketing Evolving in the Next 12-24 Months?

Neil: I think the market is going to get used to it and it’s not going to work as well for most businesses. Why you may ask… because most businesses take a mediocre approach to content marketing. Really good content will always succeed over average content, and it seems most businesses that are leveraging content marketing, are going with the average approach.

Once the market gets used to it, they will stop promoting the average content and they will look for the great pieces of content.

Be Sure To Check Out Next Month’s Edition Of Our Monthly Interview Series!

Just in case you missed it, here’s the first interview in our series featuring our guest, Dennis Goedegebuure.