In 2001, the protagonist in this story after fighting with his dad for dropping out of college had two realizations. One that he is not heading back to college and second, he needs a new money source. He joined his mom Gillian Muessig who was running a marketing consulting firm and went on to start what we today know as MOZ. Rand Fishkin’s story inspires marketers to this day because of MOZ’s Content Strategy which proves the fact that you can establish a business by building your audience first.
Today MOZ has over 30,000 customers and does over $40 million in subscription turnover. As Rand mentions, they turned from an SEO consulting to SEO software company mostly by accident. They had developed some software for their clients and they launched it for everyone else after getting a positive response.
Google didn’t reveal much information about how search engine ranked search results and MOZ made it its mission to help businesses understand SEO and how it works. MOZ soon became the go-to source to learn about Search Engine Optimization.
The Best Way to Sell Something: Don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who buy.
– Rand Fishkin, Founder, MOZ
Inside MOZ’s Content Strategy
Moz’s Content Marketing Strategy is focused on simplifying search engine optimization for marketers. The brand offers help content to first-time visitors which helps in establishing trust and respect with the audience. The beginner’s guide provided by Moz for SEO and Content Marketing is regularly updated to ensure that they cover the latest updates and trends.
Moz Q&A section allows practitioners to ask questions and get answers, opinions and perspectives from peers in the industry. Your Moz allows peers to contribute guest articles to Moz which is moderated before being published on the website.
For regular visitors, Moz offers regular engaging content that meets audience needs. WhiteBoard Friday video series from Moz started in 2007 became the brands most successful content programs.
Whiteboard Friday (WBF) has Rand usually standing in front of a pre-drawn whiteboard, talking to the camera for 8 – 15 minutes on any topic related to SEO or Content Marketing. Whiteboard Friday records 20% – 30% higher engagement compared to other content on Moz Blog. Whiteboard Friday is also the brands longest content marketing campaigns. Whiteboard Friday Posts usually take 4 hours to create including production, post-production and a promo to promote the video. Whiteboard Friday took a lot of persistence and effort before it started showing results hence the lesson that marketers can learn from the exercise is about being consistent. In last 10 years after Whiteboard Friday started the brand has only missed its upload schedule once. Considering the brand does about 50 posts each year for WBF it shows Moz’s commitment to its community.
It took 2-3 years before the average Whiteboard Friday out-performed the average Moz blog post.
– Rand Fishkin, Founder – Moz
Moz has focused on several projects to help its community which include Mozcon (Conference on SEO & Content Marketing), Moz Q&A, Your Moz and tools to help marketers to gather more data on SEO and content marketing. Free tools offered by Moz are widely used for instance Open Site Explorer allows you to check the domain authority for your website along with other parameters like backlinks, page authority, anchor text etc. MozCon and Moz Free Tools can be classified as hero content considering they have been a big driver for the brand reach out to potential prospects and build awareness.
Another area that the brand clearly focuses on is being transparent with all stakeholders. Moz openly communicates on the internal working of the company irrespective of whether they succeed or fail. Openness and transparency have helped the brand to developed trust and respect with its followers. Rand’s blog on failed VC funding is a great example of the how the brand approaches transparency.
We have tried to structure Moz’s content marketing programs into a framework to give you a holistic view of how the brand approaches content marketing. What are your thoughts on Moz’s Content Strategy? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.