Episode 009

Aaron Agius

Co-Founder of Louder.Online

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About Aaron

Aaron Agius is one of the world’s leading digital marketers according to Forbes. He is CEO of Louder.Online, one of the world’s leading digital agencies with offices in USA, Australia and Asia.

Aaron has a significant social following and founded the Global Marketing Leaders Group on Linkedin with over 11,000 active members of the marketing community. Aaron regularly contributes to some of the world’s largest editorial publications, including Forbes, Fortune, Entrepreneur.com, hubspot.com, business.com, ContentMarketingInstitute.com, VentureBeat.com, CMO.com.au, FastCompany.com and many more, with thought leadership on marketing and business growth.

Aaron works globally with clients such as Salesforce, IBM, Coca-Cola, Intel and scores of leading brands, showing them how to technically optimize their sites, perform influencer outreach and link acquisition and produce and distribute content that drives significant lead generation and ROI.

Aaron regularly speaks at conferences around the globe including the U.S, UK, Brazil, London and Australasia. His passion to help businesses is driven from his own experience. Aaron was at the cutting edge of the emerging digital marketing field over 12 years ago. He uses that lived experience and now translates it into revenue for clients.

What You’ll Learn

  • [01:03] Aaron Agius introduces Louder.Online and what they do — helping businesses grow globally.
  • [02:07] What are their current content marketing goals? Aaron shares that a lot of it comes down to referrals and strategic PR.
  • [06:14] “When we create a piece of content, we know the purpose behind why we are creating it and the client knows.”
  • [07:12] Aaron talks about their best-perfoming content so far.
  • [09:32] Strategic networking and connections immensely helps with getting far with your strategy.
  • [10:55] “It wasn’t the spray and pray approach. It’s not about hitting iup so many publications and using automated tools to pitch.” It’s about nurturing network relationships and doing your research.
  • [13:24] Amplifying success by repurposing content that works and not just churning out so much content with no purpose.
  • [17:22] How does Aaron’s team put out so much amazing content? A lot of it comes down to a strong strategy and purposeful posting.
  • [21:49] “Spend a lot more time actually creating something of value and different to how other people are doing and watch what happens.”

About Shaina

Shaina Weisinger is the Founder and CEO of Repurpose House, which turns long-form content into optimized videos and images for high engagement social media strategies. Shaina has a background in video production for digital marketing and is on a mission to show content creators the untapped potential and repurposing power of the content that they already have. She has taught about content in many publications including DigitalMarketer, Inc., and Startup Nation, and continuously offers valuable takeaways by interviewing industry experts from world-recognized brands such as GoDaddy, HubSpot, MarketingProfs, and more through her podcast, Content Karate. She loves to laugh loudly, be obnoxiously competitive on the volleyball court, treat her dogs as her kin, and recover from tripping on or running into almost everything within a five-foot radius. Learn more about Shaina here: ShainaWeisinger.com

Read Episode 009 Transcriptions

Sarah Guidas: Hey, everybody. Thanks so much for tuning into another episode of Content Karate. Again, we’re a marketing show where we interview amazing people who are taking their content, repurposing it specifically for lead gen traffic, awesome ROI for their business. And today I am thrilled to be sitting with Aaron Agius. He is the co-founder and CEO of Louder.Online. Now they are international. So they have agencies in the USA, Australia, Asia, and they’re working with amazing brands like Salesforce, Coca-Cola, Intel. It goes on and on, and they’re essentially showing them how to technically optimize their sites, perform influencer outreach, and link optimization to produce and distribute content that gives significant Legion and ROI. So Aaron, we’re thrilled to be with you today. Thanks so much for hopping on.

Aaron Agius: Thank you for having me. That was a mouthful.

Sarah Guidas: Well, you’re impressive. We could go on and on. So how about you just kind of start by telling us in your own words, what, what your company is. Obviously we know who you serve, but dive in in your own words.

Aaron Agius: Yeah, sure. We’re an agency that does — we just help businesses grow and we typically help medium to enterprise clients globally. Um, so it’s anything acquisition and conversion focused, whether it’s SEO and content marketing, paid ads, lead generation, the whole lot, and actually care that that traffic does something once it hits the site as well. So making sure that traffic converts and doing full conversion optimization campaigns. We’re a fully distributed team and have distributed clients around the world as well. So it works out well, time zone wise.

Sarah Guidas: That’s awesome. So you’re doing content, obviously that’s really, really metric based, which is awesome. And I’m really excited to dive into a lot of that during this episode of interviews. So all of that content that you’re creating, whether it’s for, you know, the SEO, the landing page, the campaigns that you guys are doing, like, what are a few of your top content marketing goals either for your own brand or your clients? Like once you start to bring on a new brand, like, what does that look like for you? Right?

Aaron Agius: So the clients ones, it’s such a wide and varied question, sometimes people want, sorry, a wide and varied answer, not question, but sometimes people come to us simply for, these three URLs, we need more attention, more organic traffic purely on it. And we’re like, well, what about if it converts or not? And I know my KPI is if I get more organic traffic on it. Okay. No problem. Um, some people care about the whole site. Some people care about growing the business and any of those goals have to tie back into the purpose of the content, um, that, that one’s hard to nail down in terms of our own content. That’s an easier one to answer. So most of our business comes through eating our own dog food. So through doing SEO and content marketing for ourselves, um, and, and bringing in leads way inbound leads.

Aaron Agius: Now the heartbeat about it is that, well, we serve medium to enterprise clients. And one of the hardest things that I’ve found over the years is trying to run any kind of ad campaign that drove a direct leads for medium to enterprise clients. It’s typically not how they find an agency. Then they’re not going to click on an ad on Facebook and sign over a million dollar deal. It’s just not what happens. Right. So they need to feel like they’ve found you on LinkedIn. They read about you in Forbes. They’ve been referred through friends and all kinds of things. Oh, they’ve seen you everywhere. And so you have to have a more strategic approach there. And, um, that, that kind of thing works really well with inbound, where they have read about you in Forbes, seen your website, read something else, seen an interview with you, then they can they’d come and reach out.

Aaron Agius: The hard thing is that is hard to scale in a way that is measurable, like paid ads, but is super effective because they’re, pre-educated, they come to knowing what you are. You don’t have to prove yourself. You don’t have to, try and sell as much. You’re able to just do the thing that they’re asking for, which is great. So yeah, our purpose of content is that we have been, we’ve been doing this like content for 12 years, you know, writing and all these publications tens, 30, 40 posts a month on different websites and blogs and everything else for a really long time. And we’ve wanted to find a way to try and amplify that to get that in front of more people than it is organically. Um, so that’s kind of where our heads are at the moment with what we’re doing.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah. That’s amazing. So a lot of that organic effort, and I’m excited to ask you kind of to, and I know you said it is difficult because this is something we run into our purpose house as well. Being able to track some type of metric with the organic efforts of like written publications, content, stuff like that. Do you guys have a system for that with your clients or yourselves? Cause I know like with Forbes, like you said, that’s kind of almost like a soft referral. If someone discovers you from Forbes, they already trust Forbes by learning about you there, they’re being able to track then how that’s being converted into traffic or leads. Do you guys have a system in place for that or any tips strategies on that?

Aaron Agius: Nope. I wish I did so. Yeah. Um, no, because it’s also about attribution, right? They may have come from Forbes, but then they’ve hit your site and you’ve been, they’ve been retargeted, um, three or four times in ads. And so it’s, it’s the multitouch approach and knowing what it was that tipped them over the edge and how you attribute it, obviously you want to attribute it to the whole journey and put different weightings on different parts of it. But it’s, it’s a super complicated thing to do. And it’s not something that we’ve been able to say that we nailed down, but that’s for ourselves, right. When we’re doing it for clients as well, that’s different. Um, in that half the time, the clients. So there’s different ways of measuring success and KPIs on a piece of content. Is it consumed? Is it getting leads?

Aaron Agius: Is it getting shares? Is it getting links? Um, we, when we create a piece of content, we know the purpose behind why we are creating it and the client knows. So we’re able to measure that pretty quickly. I am not that worried , for ourselves, like from we’re doing Forbes, content, marketing Institute, HubSpot, all these places. Yeah. I, I don’t, I don’t mind because they got way more traffic than we were ever going to have on our website. And I’m happy with that. That’s not, that’s not our goal. Um, and I know we’re getting the awareness of brand growth. I just can’t measure it to a direct ROI specifically. And I’m okay with that. I know it works because it’s been happening for 12 years.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah, no, that’s perfect. So kind of speaking of that, whether you want to talk about this for your own brand or for our client’s brand, what’s an example of like one piece of content that you guys have created, published anywhere, that’s really outperformed others that you can think of.

Aaron Agius: Yeah. Look, it was a few years ago now, that we did this a couple of these big pieces. So we, we did a 30 or 40,000 word guide with Neil Patel on how to build your blog audience. And there was another one on how to build your personal brand. And we wrote those and hosted them on Neil’s site or co-wrote those and put them on, on, um, QuickSprout. And then I think they moved to Neil patel.com. Those, those killed it. Right. We leveraged his existing traffic and domain authority. And we had both of those pieces ranking for personal branding and other like headstones. And so that, that did a lot for us in terms of referral traffic and inquiries and all sorts.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah. That’s amazing. I feel like PR features like those are always great lead sources for any type of business. I think PR for like Repurpose House is like our second biggest lead source behind like referrals and, you know, organic outreaching and stuff. So that’s amazing. And Neil is a huge, huge brand, so that’s cool. Yeah. Yeah. That’s amazing. So, um, however much you would want to divulge because I just am so fascinated. I love PR I’m so fascinated on how you guys are able to secure all of these features, which with some of the biggest authorities in the marketing industry, like anyone listening is going to recognize these things that we’re talking about, what strategies or processes have you guys built or do you think work really well to make that happen?

Aaron Agius: Yeah, for us it was the idea of trading up the chain so to speak. I didn’t coin that term, but the whole idea was, not thinking that you can go ahead and write for these publications on day one and knowing that you needed to start reaching out to sites that were a bit above your own site. So that the process that we typically follow and recommend to people is get a few really good pieces of content on your own website, you know, four or five blog posts that absolutely kill. It, took a lot of time, energy, and effort or resource for them there. And then identify some sites that you’d like to post on there or in your industry, reach out to them, use what you’ve got there as evidence and say, look, I’d love to contribute to yours. Then use that to leverage into the next level and so on and so forth.

Aaron Agius: That’s how we did it initially. Plus being able to, just like in life, being able to network and communicate with people and build relationships, we were able to identify who different editors were, publications get introduced to different people. And because we have that, um, evidence that we’re able to create great content all the way along, it was an easy win to be able to start contributing for those publications. And then we just didn’t stop. And we just kept that engine going as a cost for the business. That was how we did that and it worked and that’s okay. We keep recommending it’s people, people just, everyone wants to shortcut. Right. I just want to start writing for Forbes straightaway or Entrepreneur Magazine. That doesn’t work that way.

Sarah Guidas: Yeah. Um, yeah. So when, when it comes to like finding those contacts, that’s like when you’re golden, right. When you have that really great connection with the editor, the decision makers for the content on that team, that’s like game changer. So just quick little tidbit for anyone listening, but I would love to know your input too. Like how you find those contacts. Like, let’s say someone did want to write for, Neil Patel’s team, do you, cause we use certain tools, but I’d love to hear, you know, you guys are the masters at this. Like if you use any certain tools of finding the right contacts to send these pitches to you.

Aaron Agius: Yeah. We don’t over-complicate it. So, um, firstly, I don’t think Neil lets anyone publish on his sites. Um, but that’s a tough one to, to ever make, have we’ve been friends for eight years also now, that’s not something I wouldn’t recommend anyone reach out to try and get content on his site. Yeah. Um, but the others, all the editorial publications, that would be mentioning the way that we got those details. It wasn’t the spray and pray approach. It’s not about hitting up so many publications and, using automated tools and that kind of thing, not when you’re at that kind of level of site, it’s about w we just use LinkedIn and we found out who the editors were. We read the site, read the sections of the site, knew who guys that were similar to us who were publishing on those sites. You know, we saw who their editors were or what sections of the site they were on. Did our research jumped on LinkedIn, got a few different names and didn’t just throw a cold email pitch, like ask for someone who knew them to introduce us or found a phone number and actually called them. We, we did stuff that wasn’t just, I’m going to use pitch box and hit up 5,000 people at once.

Sarah Guidas: Right. That’s amazing. So there you go, guys, the power of LinkedIn connections and really nurturing those relationships. That’s great. So then once you guys have those awesome written, you know, those pieces of content for your brand, for your client’s brand, what does the distribution process look like for you guys to make sure that that gets seen, like you’re saying to build a lot of that?

Aaron Agius: Yeah. Um, this is where you guys come in and that’s because, and this is only been, I don’t know, last year or so? Prior to that, we’ve, we’ve done an absolutely terrible job of distributing the content. We let them be distributed. We knew the content would rank because of the high authority domain. So there’d be referral traffic. We knew that they’d be distributed through their own audiences and that kind of thing. But we had no plan in place that was to distribute the content afterwards. So because we were focused on client work. It was, it wasn’t something we did and it was working. But like I said, we spent so much time trying to nail the paid ad piece to bring in these leads and so much money that when we stopped and said, well, most of our leads are coming in through inbound.

Aaron Agius: How about we just try and change the approach to amplify the success rather than try and bring in something new and different? And that was when we started to work out, well think about how can we put a process in place that gets more eyeballs on that content that already exists. And so that was where we knew we had to have different versions of, of images and videos and different platforms seeing the content. And we want to take original pieces of content repurpose it, which is what you guys do and get it in as many of our platforms, channels groups, and everything else as possible. Um, we knew that there was, there was a way to be able to, I mean, you could easily publish to many places like social platforms using different tools that wasn’t, that wasn’t in question for us, it was about how can we create a process that did it all as much of it automatically in terms of imagery, sizing, and video, cutting and intros and outros and all that important stuff, and then add that into the distribution afterwards. And so we built a great system that connects them with you guys is built on Slack. It uses different services, um, and, and one person managing it and uploads to podcasts and strips out audio and text and does so much different stuff. And that took a while to implement. But I love that we did it because finally, but the heart, we were doing the heartbeat in my mind, which is writing that much content on the right places for so long.

Aaron Agius: And then we got to this point where there’s thousands of pieces of content out there that we’ve written that are online and we’ve done nothing to distribute. And it just, if that’s bringing in a big portion of our leads, why not just amplify that? And so now, you know, even if we’re not producing a huge volume, we have such a backlog of stuff that we can just throw into this machine. And it works and is distributed everywhere. And I love that. That is very hands off for me.

Sarah Guidas: There you go. That’s awesome. I love that. So, in terms of then, like how that’s performing, have you guys noticed anything that’s like overachieving on social, that’s working really, really well for you guys once that distribution is starting to happen?

Aaron Agius: It’s hard to say, you know, we’ve gone through a change in times sort of with business at the moment. Not our own business, but you know, going through COVID and everything else. So as that’s going down and our style’s going up, our business has not been impacted negatively in any way. Um, in fact, we’ve grown different arms of the business. But I don’t know what, how much of that is attributed to this kind of distribution and how much is, um, just because we were sheltered from it in another way. I’m not sure, but I do know that the indirect ROI has gone up. And what I mean by that is not necessarily financial stuff, people coming through and saying, you have to work on our site which does happen, but definitely the, Hey, I need to interview you. I want you on this expert round up. Can we link to this? Can you write a piece for our site? All of those things have gone up significantly and those are lead indicators for us. So I’m quite happy with that.

Sarah Guidas: Absolutely. Yeah. And I kind of want to take some time to touch on too, because I find it so interesting. Like your team is just like a rockstar team of these incredible writers, right, and they all have their SEO hats, and they’re all putting out so much amazing content. So what are some, if you guys have had any, like, what’s one of the biggest hurdles that you’ve kind of overcome in building a team of employees that have this type of skillset that are so efficient and systemized to be able to create all of this, do you guys do a ton of content?

Aaron Agius: A lot of it comes down to a strong strategy to begin with. The thing that kills me is, and always has, is people doing content for the sake of content. They think that they’re supposed to be creating a whole lot of stuff. And so they write it about their business or about their product or service and forget the whole what’s in it for them in terms of the audience side of things. And so they think they’re doing content marketing, they’re thrown three to 500 words on a page, and they’re sitting there wondering where the results are and we’ve invested so much more than they have. And if you’ve done junk, right? And the way to fix that comes back to the content strategy in the first place. So we spent a lot of time, energy and effort building out a, a strategy piece for the way that we operate, but is the foundation of how our clients operate as well.

Aaron Agius: And that covers everything from tone and style and voice content, length, and structure, aligning with business objectives, competitive analysis. There’s a whole suite of idea, generation tools, editorial planning, scheduling. So we were able to build out this whole thing, even user journeys and buyer personas, and it’s all built into a strategy to begin with, which means that it doesn’t matter how terrible the writer is. If they align with these instructions, they should be producing a great piece of content. And so we have that and we have great writers and works really well.

Sarah Guidas: Do you have any tools that your team uses that you would suggest to other people who are wanting to get more savvy themselves with this process, like in the creation process and making sure that what they’re going to be writing and building will perform as best as it can.

Aaron Agius: The tools we use are custom, but I mean, the stuff that you can do on In Google sheets, it’s simply a new sheet for every, every area of the competitive analysis, the user journeys and the buyer personas, and just create a tab and narrow down the instructions that need to happen for each business that need to go in there. I guess that’s for the full strategy piece, but probably the most interesting bit of that is the idea generation side. Everyone wants to write about their product or service, and they forget that, you know, what, what are the goals of most of these pieces of content it’s actually to be distributed socially and linked to naturally through people’s websites, therefore helps with referral traffic, with SEO, all the rest of it. If people are doing that in order to get that, you need to be talking about your industry, not your product or service, you need to be educating or entertaining.

Aaron Agius: And so if you’re doing that in your piece of content, you’re going to win. And so the idea that idea generation piece is, you’ve got keyword research. That’s great, but that’s about keywords. Why don’t we just look at the questions people are asking in the industry and the problems they’re having simply answer questions and solve problems. And you’ll always have a hungry audience behind the content you’re creating. And so there are different tools out there that scrape question and answer sites like Quora, Yahoo answers, and loads of other places, Reddit. He spent some time doing the research there, look at the questions being asked, repeatedly, answer those questions better than anyone else’s on the internet. You have a winning piece.

Sarah Guidas: I love that. So when you guys start to sign on new clients, you help them with that entire part, right?

Aaron Agius: We do that. We can do done with you done for you, whatever it is, but we do the whole strategy piece, the idea generation piece, we typically get the content approved or declined because we don’t know, maybe they have a conflict with this idea or whatever it is. They approve it. We can actually do the full writing of it and upload it in drafts on their blog, if we’re allowed access and they just publish a predefined schedule, um, or they may want to be involved, uh, an earlier piece and give feedback. And we do a couple of iterations. We’re flexible.

Sarah Guidas: That’s amazing. I love that hands-off approach. That’s like the best case scenario. That’s great. Um, so before we kind of wrap up, are there any last thoughts that you want to bring up, like any big content revelations, SEO stuff that you want to leave us with, PR ,there’s so many different cool facets of what you guys are doing. I want to kind of just open the floor and see if there’s anything that you would love to kind of just blow people’s mind with as we wrap up?

Aaron Agius: No pressure. I think the thing I wanted to say, it was more that you can focus on tactics and strategies and all this kind of stuff. But the easiest thing to do is realize that if you’re providing value to people in content and people are going to consume that, you’re going to actually get the results off the back of it that everyone’s trying to get. Like, you want to create a piece because you want to attract a load of links to, well, create a valuable piece. You want social shares, we’ll create something that’s shareable, socially. Impact people positively create proper value in that content and the rest will go, it will work for itself, right? It just comes. If people, people are thinking too short term in terms of those goals, so spend a lot more time actually creating something of value and different to how other people are doing and watch what happens.

Sarah Guidas: This was amazing. Thank you so much, Aaron. I love that. So where would you like people to be able to go to learn more about Louder Online, everything that you guys have going on? Where can they go?

Aaron Agius: Yeah. louder.online. And if I’m doing my job, then search for my name and you should find me in a bunch of different places. So, um, it’s easy to reach out to me, LinkedIn, Twitter, wherever you’d like. But, yeah, like I said, if I’m doing my job, there should be quite a few entrance points.

Sarah Guidas: There you go. Awesome. So, thanks everybody for listening in this was such a value packed episode, Aaron, so thank you so much. And for everyone listening, watching, if you guys got awesome value out of this too, please be sure to share with all of your friends, your team members, and be sure to go to contenkarate.com where you can listen, watch on all of your favorite platforms. So Aaron, thanks so much again, this was such a pleasure and thanks everyone for tuning in.

Aaron Agius: Thanks for having me.

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