“Content marketing is a long-term thing… You’re building brand and trust” — Fares Ksebati, MySwimPro

On the podcast we talk with Fares about how to build your own content marketing machine.

David Barnard

David Barnard

PublishedLast updated

“If you build it, they will come.” Great line for a movie… terrible advice for a subscription app business. Even if you build the world’s greatest app, you have to let potential users know about it in order to generate subscribers and make money. And one of the best, most tried-and-true ways to do that is with content marketing.

Fares Ksebati, co-founder and CEO of MySwimPro, is an expert content marketer. By answering common swimming questions in YouTube videos and blog posts, Fares and his co-founder have built a content marketing flywheel that’s made MySwimPro the number one fitness app for swimmers.

Start small

The good news is, anyone can do content marketing. You don’t need an in-house production team or fancy equipment. Technically, you don’t even need an app. Before actually building MySwimPro in 2015, Fares built a mock website for a swim training app and drove traffic to it to validate the idea before investing time and resources into the idea. “After just a couple of weeks, I had 200 people who had input their email to download this app that didn’t even exist yet,” he said.

Once you’ve actually validated your idea, the only real equipment you need to create video content is a smartphone — these days, most are capable of shooting 4K video — and a microphone (you can buy a decent one online for around $20). That’s it! This lower barrier to entry does mean greater competition, but it also means there’s nothing stopping you from getting started today.

Choosing channels

Between YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, and TikTok, there are plenty of online spaces where you can publish content to generate interest in your app. To decide where you should invest your time and effort, think about what kind of brand and marketing acquisition funnel you’re trying to build. Fares and the MySwimPro team focus primarily on YouTube as a means of establishing themselves as a helpful, trusted authority in the swimming world. But MySwimPro is also on several other popular social apps. “In this world, we are fighting for attention,” Fares says. “People are spending five hours a day on their phone. Where are they spending those five hours? They’re not spending it in your app unless your app is Instagram or TikTok or YouTube, right? So because people are spending their time in those apps, you want to make sure that you have a presence.”

Creating a content marketing flywheel

Content marketing does take work, but it can also lead to a double payday — you can monetize the content itself (through ads and brand partnerships) for a second revenue stream. Depending on the size and level of commitment of your viewership, this monetization could be worth thousands of dollars and not only offset the cost of production but also contribute significantly to your profits. As Fares points out, “This is really the only method of marketing that I know where you can actually do marketing to get more customers and you get paid to get more customers.”

A marathon, not a sprint

The most important thing to remember about content marketing is that it takes time. Many app developers start doing content marketing, then get discouraged after 6 months or a year because they don’t see immediate traction. It’s easy to point to success stories like MySwimPro and wonder why the same thing isn’t working for you, but remember: Fares and the MySwimPro team have been creating content for 8 years. If you’ve been doing content marketing and haven’t seen results yet, maybe you just haven’t given it enough time. The tipping point could be just around the corner.

Catch the full episode: listen / watch

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