How to create content that stands out with Lily Ugbaja

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Show notes

In this week's episode, Jack Chambers-Ward is joined by content strategist Lily Ugbaja to discuss how to create content that stands out on the soon-to-be AI-dominated SERPs.

Lily's links:


Jack: Welcome to Episode 58 of Season 2 of the Search With Candour Podcast. I am your host for this week, Jack Chambers-Ward, and this week my guest is the one, the only Lily Ugbaja. Lily and I are going to be talking about how to create fantastic, memorable content and content specifically that stands out in the soon-to-be AI-dominated SERPS. Lily brought this topic to me, and I thought it was really, really interesting. We get into a really interesting conversation and Lily has this fantastic framework talking about how to structure your content, how to plan your content, and really how to make things that will stand out in the SERPS against your competitors and against other companies that might be trying to tackle similar topics as you. So, please do stay tuned for that in a few minutes for the fantastic Lily Ugbaja and my conversation with her. But before we get to that, of course, I'd like to give a shout-out to this week's sponsor, the sponsor for all of season two of Search With Candour, the wonderful SISTRIX, also known as the SEO's Toolbox. And you can go to if you want to check out some of their fantastic free tools such as their SERPS Snippet Generator, Hreflang validator, if you want to check the Google Update Radar. And of course, you can check your site's visibility index there as well. Of course, you can also get IndexWatch, SectorWatch and TrendWatch as well. They are fantastic newsletters from the SISTRIX data journalism team over there. We've covered a bit of SectorWatch recently. Of course, we talked about IndexWatch a couple of weeks ago where we talked about the UK retail winners and losers of 2022. So, a breakdown of UK retailers online and the biggest changes in visibility for those companies in 2022.

We also talked about SectorWatch, which is all about air fryers at the end of January. Very, very interesting stuff. You want to learn more about air fryers and what people are doing in that niche. That is the article to read from the fantastic Charlie Williams, one of the data journalists over at SISTRIX. You can get all of this and plenty more breakdowns and information at is the place to go. So, without any further ado, welcome to the show. Lily Ugbaja, how are you?

Lily: I'm fine, thank you. Thank you for having me, Jack.

Jack: It's a pleasure to have you on. I'm excited to talk about you, talk your career and dive into our topic for this week. But first of all, we just said this before we start recording, we're headphone buddies, excellent start to the podcast. The important thing, right? We're not sponsored, I hasten to add, but Lily and I are both wearing anchor headphones and they're a good choice. If you do need some headphones out there folks, we need some Bluetooth over the noise cancelling headphones. I promise this isn't an ad or a sponsor. It sounds like it is, but it's not. They just happened to be good headphones that we're both using. We have both have good taste basically.

So, Lily, we have an interesting topic to discuss, but before we get to that, let's talk a little bit about you. Let's talk about your career so far, how you got into writing and digital marketing and some highlights of your career so far. So, I guess my understanding, you kind of started off with blogging and writing and things like that. What was your transition? Did you have a career before that? Have you been doing that for a long time or what was that kind of process for you and that transition for your career?

Lily: Well, for writing, I'd always been a writer in Western when I was in primary school, we call it primary school in Nigeria. My teachers and I wrote my fifth novel when I was in primary school. So-

Jack: Wow.

Lily: ... writing has always been my thing. But when I grew up I moved into the admin side of things, working as an executive assistant and stuff like that. And then, I had my first child and I just wanted to work from home and that kind of led into blogging because blogging was the most flexible thing to do from home showing mom. And then, I wrote a guest post on Blogging Wizard for backlinks and a CRO company that powered the conversion rates optimisation efforts of over 700,000 websites as at that time reached out and they were just from that single guest post I did, I think it was my-

Jack: Wow.

Lily: ... second guest post. Yeah. So, they reached out and they were hiring full time and they would want me to work for them. And I'm like, "Oh my gosh," and the figures were like, wow. As a then, yeah. So, I decided to explore it because marketing was something that I really, really loved. And being able to... The marketing I had discovered, because growing up marketing was a scary word for me. When I tell them about marketing as a child, I would think of men in suits under the hot sun, knocking. I'm trying to get them to buy something they didn't need.

Jack: Not quite the same digital marketing rather than door-to-door sales. Awesome. So you started, and that kind of sounds like you struck gold straight away and you've got that second guest post and kind of got some recognition. I know you've worked with some pretty amazing clients over the years. People like Sam Rush and HubSpot and Zapier and WordPress, just the name of you. You've got an impressive resume of clients you've worked with before and even things like doing a TED Talk. I've watched it on YouTube the other day. Fantastic. Very interesting. I'll put a link for that in the show notes list, if you do want to go and check out Lily's Ted Talk. What was that experience? That's such a cool thing to have to say you've done before.

Lily: Really like, It blew my mind to be able to do a TED Talk and I think that this just came from being who I was in a place where there was an opportunity to do it. The organisers, I met them on LinkedIn and they invited me to the show and I feel like it's... At that point I didn't have a lot of visibility. So, probably just because I was someone who was in tech in a place where not everyone was very into tech. Yes. And I still remember the faces of the people when I spoke it felt like, but the video is indicated, it's heavily edited and there's a lapse that isn't there. But if you were there in the life audience, I felt like I had reached into people's souls and shook them and wake up, which is the way to go. And everyone was really... It was mind-blowing and I'm really looking forward to doing something like that again. The red dots.

Jack: Amazing. Amazing. And you've also been doing some mentoring work with the FCDC that's a company we talked about a couple of times is a fantastic organisation arranged by Chima Mmeje and we're talking about basically it's a freelance coalition for developing countries, giving people and developing companies opportunities to work in digital marketing, get opportunities maybe they wouldn't have attended conferences, do things like public speaking and talks and come on this podcast and all that kind of stuff. I had Sodiq Ajala a couple of weeks ago. I had Goodness Azubuogu a couple of weeks ago. But you've actually been doing kind of the other side and doing some mentoring as well. What's that been like for you?

Lily: It feels really good to be able to give, not just give back, but raise someone who used to be in a place where I used to be. Because I remember when I was starting out, there weren't lots of African faces. I had learned about this whole marketing and content marketing and everything years ago as right back as 2010, 2011. But I would try then and I'll give up because to me I wasn't really sure if it was possible and now there is a lot more representation and being able to play my own parts in that. It's just really amazing. It's wonderful.

Jack: I feel like you're definitely an inspiration to so many people who in Africa who want to transition and like you said, "Have the flexibility to work from home." That is such an important thing. Now, so many of us have kind of got used to that in 2023, obviously with the COVID-19 pandemic and everybody kind of being forced to work from home and things like that. But I know, I talked to Sodiq about it. Well and exactly similar to your story, like having children, having a family, having those extra responsibilities that you just don't have time to big commutes, traveling to the office, all that kind of stuff. Having that power and that flexibility to have flexible working hours and working from home is so important now. And again, credit to Chima, credit to the FCDC that is empowering people to be able to do this sort of stuff and hopefully I'm doing my tiny, tiny little part to hopefully shine the light and give people opportunities here as well. So, trying to do my part to help out and give people opportunities and shine the light on fantastic people like yourself, like Sodiq, like Goodness. And hopefully, I'll have more members of the FCDC coming up later on in the year as well. So, plenty more African speakers, African faces on the podcast coming up later on.

Lily: Love it.

Jack: That is the plan. So, should we dive into this week's topic? And I loved your little pitch to me when you came. We had a few Twitters DMs back and forth and you came straightaway with content that stands out in a soon-to-be AI-dominated SERP, which I love that kind of tagline. You can tell you're a writer straightaway. You've nailed that tagline. You've got the headline straightaway and obviously AI content has been a very, very hot topic recently. Something we've covered a couple of times on the podcast and something that I have seen as you said all over LinkedIn, all over Twitter and all that kind of stuff. And I guess we'll start with kind of have a link through your website and you use this term, the specificity strategy and bringing specificity to your content and how to make it kind of unique and stand out and all that sort of stuff. So, I guess my question to you, Lily, is what does specificity mean to you when we're talking about content marketing and writing?

Lily: Okay, so specificity is targeting an audience of one from the strategy itself to the writing, to the distribution. A single person who is considered to be your best buyer, the person who gives your customer support, their success team the least headache and pays the most money to you. And specificity is targeting this person from developing your strategy around this person, delivering, creating the content around this person's need, delivering the content of where this person hangs out. So, I said an audience of one, and I understand that companies can have several different personals. So, specificity is when you have as many personal as you have separating these people. So, that I think Canva is a perfect example of this. I remember when I was a blogger for example, and I would be search for it to make blog graphics and I would find a landing page from Canva and that landing page would be completely tailored to me as a blogger. At that point I didn't know that any other person was using Candour affect bloggers. I didn't know marketing themes or other questionnaires. It felt like Canva was for me and me alone. And that's what specificity is, connecting with your audience on a level that they see you, they hear you and they feel like you hear them. And only then, it's just me and you, me and you, bro.

Jack: Yeah, that's definitely something I think a lot of people kind of underestimate your marketing, especially as we obviously we're talking mostly about digital marketing here, but it's something that has been in traditional paper marketing, billboards, movie adverts, all that kind of stuff. It has been in that thing for you want to get an emotional reaction from your audience. You want the reaction of, "Oh, this was made for me. Oh my god, this is perfect," and not just a-

Lily: Yeah.

Jack: ... Facebook ad that follows you around the internet kind of way, but in the actual content and the page feels like exactly as you're saying, Canva is made for bloggers and-

Lily: Yeah.

Jack: ... "Oh my god, I'm a blogger, this is perfect, this is built for me." And having that initial reaction just instantly built the-

Lily: Connection.

Jack: ... connection. Exactly. Yeah. The connection is so key there. I think it's something... Again, we can get stuck into keyword research and worrying about this stuff. Like you said, building out personas and all this kind of stuff, but what are you actually trying to make? What is the audience going to feel at the end of the day? What are they going to learn? What is the customer journey from there? Are you expecting them to feel happy or sad or they're missing something, and the missing thing is your product or your service, that emotional connection. I love that you brought that up so early. That's such a key part that I think a lot of us, I know I've been guilty of it before in my career for sure, digital market is getting caught in all the data and all the numbers and stuff and not really thinking about that. The person behind the screen, at the end of the day, it's users who are clicking on things, who are interacting with things, who are buying our products, buying our services. It's not just numbers on a page.

Lily: 100%.

Jack: So, I guess using that specificity and thinking about that, how do you go through your process of then thinking about that content? I mentioned things like keyword research and thinking about personas and stuff. What's the next step? You've kind of got that idea of we want to emotionally connect to this perfect audience, this audience one the perfect customer, this person. How do you go about that? What's your initial kind of steps and process for that creation and that content planning?

Lily: Yeah, once you've figured out who this best buyer is, this audience of one that you want to speak to is. I think the next thing note is really important is being able to tie their pain points to existing keywords. I want to give an example is that sometimes the things that you think your products, the problems that you think your product is solving or the way that you think users use your products is completely different from what users actually use it for. It's completely different from say I could be selling, but if you had a software for example, maybe a project management software and you feel like this is a to-do list for your audience, whereas your audience use it as a visibility dashboard, they want to be able to see everything going on in their lives at the same time. Whereas you are looking for people who are looking for a to-do list. It's the same products, different functions, the same exact products, it's just different functions and the people you find are the people who are your best customers are looking for a disability dashboard. If you don't dig into the customer research, there's no way that you're going to discover that. Let's just assume that disability dashboard is a keyword. So, when you discover that by speaking to customers of can you discover that listening on sales calls and customer research, you discover that people are finding you for a visibility dashboard, not a to-do list. And so, you take that keyword and then plug it into your keyword too and then you see all the related keywords around that pinpoint and that's what you want targets. You don't want targets to-do list eventually when you're building out exhausted the whole... I think that specificity, first of all, exhaust sales enablement content, like you create everything around sales enablement first and then you go up the funnel.

So, figuring out what's your buyers are searching for new weights like visibility dashboard as opposed to a to-do list, which where you view your company, your products, you're like, "This was a to-do list and so we're going to try to rank for the keyword to-do list," and so that you've used customer research and specificity to figure out who this best customer is. And then, we are building out a cluster around that this pain points that this specific customer is trying to solve. I think the next stage is in the actual writing itself. So, in the actual writing itself, I like to use something called the LEMA Framework to create content that is remarkable, specific. It hits all of the points. I talked about this on Semrush thread, Twitter thread takeover, I'm going to link to it in case anyone wants to see that. And it's also, I think the expanded version of it is also on my newsletters. The LEMA framework is basically logic, explicitness, memorability and actionability. So, specificity is the foundation for this LEMA framework. This particular audience that I'm talking to right now, where are they in their journey? What do they know? What do they want to know? What do they need to know? These three questions are like my whole name because I pace them at the top of every doc that I write in order to know exactly who I'm talking to, the pain points that they've gone through, the journey where they are right now on their journey, so that I can speak to them in a way that they can relate with. And so, I think I bring in the L from the LEMA framework, the L is logic structure that guides the contents that I'm writing based on this specific audience. So, for Keywords, for example, let me see, let say top 10 marketing podcasts. What is the specific audience behind this keyword? Who's searching for this keyword and why are they searching?

Jack: Yeah, that why is so important there. That is that leading next question of, "Okay, we understand who we want, but why would they be searching for this?" That's such an important question to ask yourself.

Lily: Exactly, exactly. What are they trying to learn? What do they already know? What should they know that they are not already thinking about? And I feel like this is where a lot of people miss it, so what they know is something that you do not include and someone who's searching for the best marketing podcast already knows what a marketing podcast is. So, please know what is a marketing podcast. Right.

Jack: You're listening to one, hopefully you already know it already.

Lily: Yeah. And so, you jump straight into the podcast. I'm just saying on another issue this week, I think this best way to think of it is if you are having a conversation with your friend and they asked you this question, what would you be your response? Say they asked you what are the best marketing podcasts to listen to? You would say, Search With Candour, you'll start listing the podcast immediately. You wouldn't go, "Oh, marketing podcast is so and so and you should listen to marketing podcast because and so and so listen, right? You would list out those podcasts immediately and the next question is following the who, the what's, why and how logic. The next question would be why do you recommend Search With Candour in the context of this specific audience, how you speak to a five-year-old child for example, and this is a very broad example, is going to be share how you talk about the same topic to a five year old is going to be different from how you talk about the same topic to say a PhD student.

Jack: Yeah, yeah, definitely. There was a fantastic YouTube series, I think Wired on YouTube did this where they had, they took very complicated subjects, so they took music theory and one of them was about Black Holes and things like that. And they had an expert describe it and explain it to a child, a teenager who is at a school at the moment and actively learning somebody who is studying at university level and another expert in that field and understanding the difference in the language. There was so interesting to me. Like I said, "I'll put links for these videos in the comments," so if you go to the show notes at listeners, they'll be available for you right down there. But yeah, I find that so interesting. Understanding the level of knowledge of your audience. I found this with my clients at the moment as well. I have a particular client base where they are really, really knowledgeable. This is a really specific product base that we have that offers to people who really know their stuff. It is people who are high up in this industry who already know what they're doing. So, there is no point creating a what does this product do? How does this product work? The audience that we are marketing to that we want to bring in as customers are people who are making decisions that may end up being millions and millions of dollars, millions of pounds being spent on this project. They already know they've been in this industry a long time. They're educated, they're already there. And then I have another client who is like, "Okay, we want the broadest option possible. We're marketing this to say it's clothing to parents and stuff like that they might know, not know what's best for a child of that particular age and all that kind of stuff." Understanding the level of knowledge of your audience is so important and something I've definitely kind of come to understand and come to grips with over the last few years of my career for sure.

Lily: Exactly. So, I think that's a foundation of it, knowing exactly who your audience is, pinning their knowledge level at the point where you are not boring them with details that they already know and then you're giving them what they want to know and also going ahead of them to make sure that you are preparing them for the next phase of their journey. And I also think that, so the next thing in the LEMA Framework is E and it's for explicitness. I think this plays a very important role in specific content. There's something you can't speak and it's explicitness. Two people right now could write how to photograph a couple and it will be completely one of them. You would read through, and you don't even get what they're saying. It's obvious stuff that anyone could have said.

An expert might go into the details and be use... I don't know if this exists, but let's just say, a 33 mm lens exists and so they show you the 33 mm lens when you are videoing the side of the face (I'm just making this stuff up), but this explicit level of saying exactly what you want to say helps the audience understand they can see themselves in the story that you are telling.

Jack: Yeah, definitely. I think again, that comes back round to that connection and understanding who they are and being clear, concise, understanding. Like you said, "Don't waffle on about information people already know about or just because you want to get a few extra keywords in here. You start your sentence with this thing and so there's an opening paragraph full of stuff that no one cares about but you think will help you rank, get to the point and understand like you said, "Where people want to learn that stuff." Are you trying to educate them about something specifically? Is it a broader topic that you are then going to, like you said, "At that top of the funnel and then link through and eventually guide them through that customer journey." Having that clear? What am I trying to get the audience to feel? What am I trying to say to them? What am I trying to convey to them? That is that question you need to ask to understand what's the point?

Lily: Yeah. Yeah.

Jack: Why have I written this article? I've written an article. And then if you can't tell that, the audience probably can't tell that either. You need to have the confidence in yourself as a writer.

Lily: Yeah. Exactly. And then, being specific also you need to be able to bring in examples that are relatable to the audience, examples that they can see themselves in, screenshots that allow them see what is going on. They should be able to paint a picture while reading through your content. Content should make them should in march them, I want to read this thing knowing that it was meant for me and then I bookmark it or I share it with someone else who is just like me. I want to be able to act on it. I need your piece of content to enable me to act on it and in order to act on it, I need to know that this was written for me. And how I know that it's written for me is because the actions that you spell out are things that I can follow. They're not too high above my knowledge level, neither they beneath me that I'm just scrolling and scrolling and how do I get to the meat of the post? And then if you are concerned about SU, and I do this, is that you take those keywords, those beginner-level keywords, and you put them in the FAQs.

Jack: So yeah, the next thing in the LEMA structure, talk about some memorability, which I think again, something I touched on a few weeks ago with Alice Rowan, there's that again, I can't remember the quote is from, but the people don't buy a product until they've seen it seven times. You see it on a website and then you see it on a billboard and then you see it in a magazine and then again on another website and then on social media and eventually you get that, like you said, there's that shareability. "Oh yeah, I saw Lily share that on LinkedIn the other day and then Jack mentioned it on a podcast and then somebody posted about it on Twitter," and then suddenly that builds that kind of relationship again, that connection, that building, that emotion with that audience and helping you build that shareable memorable content.

Lily: I think what should be is just we can't always track, but a good metric that should point to the success of content is was this is something that compels this person to either bookmark or share it or champagne. They act on the content, and I guess anyone's wondering, what do you do to make content memorable? So, when I took over Semrush accounts to do my Twitter thread about writing clear content, I talked about it and I gave it a framework, LEMA forwards, very memorable, not a new, but it feels new. Novelty is something that is memorable. Think about the skyscraper technique, think about product net content, all of this stuff, they kind of brand something that probably already exists and then it just makes it more memorable. You as a head of content or as a director of content might have known all these things like either, your content needs to be logical and explicit and memorable and actionable, but you've not had the time to sit down and document it and then you see this framework that just summarizes it. You can be editing your writer's work and you say, "This doesn't really follow the LEMA for sure that once they see this, they think L-E-M-A logical exclusive and whatnot. And so, it becomes something that is memorable enough for you to bookmark and share with maybe your team or something. It's not new, it's just well packaged. It's like pizza that you can pick up and go.

You don't have to wait for it to cook and all of that stuff. I also think that something that is also makes content memorable, especially to a specific audience is when you ignore everyone else, you share a polarizing thoughts. Let me use this example from when I was a mom blogger, I'm through breastfeeding and I respect that some other moms may not want to breastfeed, but when I'm writing content to my audience who at breastfeeding moms, the moms that I want to attract, I'm going to say that nesting your baby is the best thing you can do in all of the world, even though it may not be the reality for the mom who doesn't want to us, but for my audience, this is their reality. And so, I stand on that polarizing statement and it either resonates with you and I know that you are my specific audience, or it doesn't and I know that you're not the person I'm targeting.

Jack: Yeah, I know a lot of people use that in a way to, like you said, "Drive engagement and shareability and stuff like that." There's that relatable element to it as well. When you yourself as a mother, were talking to other mothers going through similar situations, you then have that relatability of like, "I have been through this thing, I am doing this thing. I am breastfeeding, I have this experience. Maybe you can understand that and relate to that." And then like you said, "That then gets into a mum's forum or whatever or a network or whatever it is," and then that's shared on a Facebook group and then that's shared on Twitter and then you get that shareability kind of moment there. And I think having polarising topics are a perfect example. Some people who you are will go onto social media and just do hot takes and just be polarising for the sake of engagement and clicks and just say mad crazy things that they don't believe in just to get mad crazy clicks.

Lily: I think if you want to be polarising, if you want to do anything, let it come from conviction and let it come from rooted researchers who your target audience is.

Jack: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And the last part of L-E-M-A, we've got A for actionability. And again, I think that comes around to what do you want your audience to do? That's that and what's the next step? What's the action you want them to take from that content?

Lily: So, I think that for you to declare on what the action is, you need to look at such intent. Thankfully we have Google, you can browse and see why people are searching. So, at least be able to glimpse why people are searching for particular keyword. And if it's a keyword that isn't already been searched for something that you find you find is important to your audience but no one's searching for it yet, then you'd be able to find in your customer data the reason why they would be wanting to do that. And so, everything in the contents that you create is dedicated to helping them actualize that to complete that action that they want to do or to get that motivation that they want. For example, if I were writing a piece on how to pitch podcast hosts, the person who is reading this piece wants to learn how to pitch podcast hosts, it's not the best way to approach it if I just say, "Okay, to find hosts that you want to pitch and send them a nice message and maybe follow them on social media and engage and all." Yeah, I'm telling them what to do, but I'm not telling them how to do it.

I need to get into the tools and say use factors to find influences in the niche that you are trying to pitch. Filter the keywords on Twitter, which I'm making this up, but filter the keywords they search on Twitter with the keyword podcast, marketing podcast and I'm showing them with actual screenshots of me doing it. They can visualize this and I say send them an email and I give them an actual email script and I'm explaining why each part of the script makes sense, so that they can take that script and customize it using the paths that make sense to them. And then, I think the most important thing that content should do is explain why and how. If you explain the why without saying how it leaves people with knowledge of what to do, but then they feel lost and they go back to the serves and they are searching again.

Jack: Which someone else has probably provided that answer, then you start them off on that journey, but you are not the one that's continuing them on that journey and they go off, they find a competitor who did answer that question and you've lost that lead. You've lost that customer.

Lily: 100% because the person that people remember is the person who led them to results and to get results, you need to take action. So, I think actionability is the most important thing any piece of content can help can do to help stand out on the search. So, you are giving them every single thing they need to be able to visualize the action that they need to take and to be able to do it, whether it's checklists or templates, and this thing should not be gated in my opinion. If it's something that they need to be able to fulfill what is on the post, not an add-on for a next step, but what they need to be able to do, the thing that you say you're going to teach them to do, then you need to be able to keep everything in the page and it's not gated.

Jack: Yeah, definitely. I think having clear next steps, whether that's internal linking to the next article that the how or having a clear CTA to buy the product go through to the next stage, continue the research into the service, that's such a key part of that journey and being able to guide people through having that clear kind of structure to your linking and understanding what the potential paths are through your website, whether that's from your blog and coming from a more informational intent, coming back to search intent or they're coming in with a transactional intent. You don't want them to have to go through, somebody comes on trying to buy a product and they have to read three blog posts before they even get to the product page. That is not the ideal customer journey. I find that really frustrating as easy. I'm just trying to buy this software, can I just buy your software? I had it the other day. Funnily enough, I was looking into different editing software for this podcast.

I tried to download it and it just kept sending me around to like, ah, here's our pricing structure. Here's this other thing. Here's why you should use us and not this other competitor. I'm like, "I'm trying to use you. Give me a download button. Where is this? Just let me be your customer. I want to be your customer." You're getting in the way you want that customer journey to be as simple and straightforward as possible. And like you said, "That brings in conversions, that brings in customers, that brings in people who then go and share your stuff and talk about it." And you build that reputation. It's the wider, the bigger picture of marketing.

Lily: You kind of build brand equity such that when someone is maybe scrolling on social media or scrolling to the steps and they see your link, whether it's number three or number five, they keep the others and they come to you because they know that they're going to have their intent fulfilled.

Jack: Yeah, definitely. And that ties into kind of discussions about WEAT and building that authoritativeness and establishing yourself as an authority, as an expert proving that you are a trustworthy brand or a trustworthy writer in our case. And we're thinking about, oh, this article was written by Lily. I know I can trust Lily's opinion on copywriting an SEO because she knows what she's talking about. So, instead of reading, I don't know, me writing about writing, I haven't written about copywriting for a very, very long time. Trust Lily's opinion over my opinion because you do it for a living, you do it professionally. You've been working with big brands and like we said at the beginning of the show, you've done all this amazing stuff in your career. That's the proof, that's the building, that brand understanding and recognition and reputation and all that kind of stuff. So, should we finish off discussing a little bit about, because the topic did have AI dominated SERPS in the end there.

Lily: Okay.

Jack: So, I guess my big question for you as a copywriter, as a content marketer, how do we best differentiate ourselves from AI-generated content? How do we separate human-created stuff that is ticking all of these boxes, making sure we are following the LEMA structure compared to AI generated content?

Lily: I think the answer is in the question, let's keep it Logical, Explicit, Memorable, and Actionable. AI still struggles a lot with structure. Even the best I've seen still struggles a lot with structure. There's a lot of stuff that shouldn't be in there that gets in there and that just burns the audience kind of like. AI struggles with being explicit, it spits out beautiful nonsense and this is where people can totally stand out. What exactly are you trying to say? Don't leave anything up to guesswork for the reader. Say explicitly, if I say go and listen to marketing podcast, I need to mention which podcast I'm recommending, so people don't, don't think I'm recommending maybe Neil Patel's podcast or some other podcast that I probably wouldn't recommend.

Jack: I think that's the first time everybody's mentioned Neil Patel on this podcast.

Lily: Yeah, that's why I say-

Jack: All the listeners had that like, uh, oh, sudden moment.

Lily: So, if you leave it up to guesswork, your reader could go online and find Neil's podcast first and they listen to it and they currently like it and maybe Neil's advice is different from yours and they never come back to your, but that is, by the way, so memorability like we talked about before, is making sure that you're infusing your work with examples, which as at the moment, AI cannot come up with even fictional examples. AI still can't really do the job with, and-

Jack: Yeah, I saw some examples with the New Bing integration with ChatGPT and it's listing citations and things like that. There was a study by Brodie Clark, we mentioned it in last week's episode, and-

Lily: Yeah.

Jack: It just got stuff wrong, just straight up, got stuff wrong, cited incorrect information from different things and is just like you said, "Even if it's fictional or non-fictional, it is just..." Yeah, I saw this thing and for one better phrase, misunderstood it and then is referencing it as a citation and there's no fact-checking unless you go in, follow that process, click on that link, follow the citation, read the second article to confirm.

Lily: Sometimes the citation is made up. Sometimes I've seen cases like that. So, I think that people can use podcasts like this one to find examples that they can include in their content. People can watch YouTube videos where people who are kind of experts on the topic are actually speaking because almost everyone can write. And so if your source of truth is the other articles on the shelves, then you're definitely doing it wrong because you could be taking inspiration from AI-generated contents that no one is going to take action on. Right?

Jack: Definitely. Definitely.

Lily: So, if people spend time in communities where their audience hangouts like forums and listen to the podcasts that they listen to, follow the influencers that they follow, this are some good ways to find examples that you can include in your content. And I find the news tab is also a really good place to find stuff depending on the niche where you are writing in. In the end, the goal of your content is to get people to act. AI contents cannot at this point get people to act on it because it doesn't provide all of their, never means that the people need. It doesn't say the why explicitly. It doesn't say the how. This is exactly what you need to do and this is how you need to do. It's using dis tool and this is the reason why you need to use this tool, and this is the gap that humans can feel.

Jack: Absolutely, absolutely. Hopefully, budding writers and SEOs and that you are feeling inspired, go and create some content. Thank you, Lily for providing some fantastic advice and recommendations. Like I said, links for everything we've talked about, articles from Lily, YouTube videos and everything we've covered, not Neil Patel's podcast. I will not link to that. Everything else will be linked in the show notes and you can find that nice and easily, links for all of your social media and stuff. Lily will also be linked there, but where is the best place people can find you? Where can people subscribe to you and find out more information about you if they'd like to follow you?

Lily: Okay. I hung out the most on LinkedIn and I'm the most goofy on Twitter. Both places I am at @lilyugbaja.

Jack: That's the perfect balance right there, I think. Yeah, active and engaging and professional on LinkedIn, goofy, silly stuff on Twitter. Perfect balance.

Lily: Yes. And you can also find me on my website, and find some of the amazing stuff that I'm creating about processes and just documentation that you can use on your teams at

Jack: Amazing. Like I said, links for all of those will be in the show notes at listeners, nice and easy place for everything. And you can go and follow Lily on all the social media and subscribe to the Newsletter as well. Thank you so much for joining me, Lily, it's been an absolute pleasure.

Lily: Thank you for having me, Jack. Pleasure is all mine.

Jack: And that's all the time we have for this week. Thank you once again to Lily Ugbaja for joining me. It's an absolute pleasure to chat all things content and helping us, and hopefully the rest of the listeners stand out in this apps with our content as well. Please do go and check out Lily's newsletter and Lily's website. Like I said, links, all of that stuff, including the LEMA framework and all the examples and details Lily gave throughout the show are available at

Mark and I will be back very soon with our very first SISTRIX co-branded livestream. That's right. We're working with SISTRIX and we're going to do a monthly livestream to basically give you a recap of the SEO and PPC news, all the important stuff from that month essentially. So, please do stay tuned for that. Of course, we will shout out on social media and all that kind of stuff, and it will also be available as a podcast on this very podcast feed. So if you're unable to join us live on YouTube, you can still listen in the podcast feed as usual as well. In the meantime, Mark and I are preparing to go to brightonSEO coming up in April. So, if you are attending brightonSEO, please do come and say hello. We're always happy. I will probably be running around with a microphone again, recording episodes and interviewing people. So, if you are there and you do want me to ask you a question and interview you and feature you on the show that I do after brightonSEO, please do come and say hello in person. But until then, thank you so much for listening. Hope you've been enjoying Season 2 so far. I know I've been enjoying it. And we'll be back next week with more news interviews and all the highlights of the SEO and PPC world. Have a lovely week. Until then.