The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 3 months ago

The Content Conundrum: Crafting a Lasting Marketing Strategy


You listen to enough podcasts to know that content is king. You’ve allocated resources and budget to craft some truly killer content. Now you’ve just got to figure out where to spend your killer-content currency… and whether it’s working. You have a content conundrum and it needs solving.

Today’s guest, Erik Newton, VP of Marketing at Milestone, has built a career off solving the content conundrum and he joins the show to share how you can, too.

In this episode, we discuss:

The form and format your content should take

The value of SEO and schemas for your online content

Solving attribution difficulties for your content

And be sure to check out Erik’s book, Hack the Corporate Fast Track .

Now that you know how to solve the content conundrum, are you ready to learn buyer-first principles, or take a deep dive into the role data should play in your organization? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. 

You're listening to the BB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated elpin executives, train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies were tools and resources. You come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three to one: welcome every one to theB to be revenue executive experience. I'm your host Chad Sanderson todaywe're talking about marketing the content, conundrum an how to mosteffectively craft a content strategy that will last and positively impactrevenue to help us. We have with US Eric Newton, VP marketing, it milestoneand author of Hack, the corporate fast track, accelerating promotions insideof Corporate America. Thank you so much for taking time and welcome to the showpleasure to be here with you Chan, thanks for having me yeah. So we alwayslike to ask kind of an affther question the beginning. Just so the audiencegets a chance to know you a little bit better and I'm always curious to learnwhat our guests are passionate about, that. Those who only know them throughwork might be surprised to learn. So the H, only the people- people who knowme through work, would be something that al any. I mean, I guess anybodysurprised to learn yeah. I think one of the. I will talk a lot about business,but I think one of the interesting things I'm tracking right now is isbees which are in a steep decline and they're so integral to the food supply.So I reached out to the beekeeper's Gill in my area to learn about keepingbees and it turns out you have to have approval from your neighbors to get apermit in my area, so instead I'll become a b angel investor and I'llreplenish therapies with two to three pounds of bees and a queen called thenucleus to help rebuild the bees and the work they do in my area. Wow.That's all right, that's amazing! That's probably one of the best ones.I've heard so far. How did you have? What spark that? How did you get intothat? Well, you know I've been hearing about the decline of bees because ofpesticides. Global warming and you know their habitats being affected by thethings we do. As humans and I wanted to help them, so I wanted tokind of increase depopulation to help to help stuff their decline that soit's one of my non marketing hobbies that I'm going to be getting into okay,excellent. So all right, let's talk about content now, there's a lot outthere, but I'm curious before we dive thatdeep contents, typically part of marketing and I'm curious where thepassion from marketing came from right, you're, a politic speaker and writergot obviously perspectives on numerous topics, just curious, how you foundyour way into marketing and what drew you there yeah. As a college student, Iwas kind of trained in classical liberal arts and poetry andinterpretation and critical thought, and I had an aptitude for writing. So Ilooked for fields that would take advantage of writing which took me intothe advertising field. Being a copywriter and from their marketing wasreally fulfilling because it's both creative, analytical and strategic. Soit's all three of those things and it exercises all the parts of the brain, and I understand the things I'm workingon most fully when I write about them. So that's when I really get my ownthoughts really clear when I'm educating and communicating and thoughtleading for for the community. Do you find the same thing as a podcaster Chadthat your medium makes? You gets you deep on it yeah it's funny. That wasone of the reasons why I started the podcast. My background's very similar.My undergrad was English with the writing emphasis, and so I processeddata by writing it as well. Hence why I send questions to our guests in advance,because that's when I start to really process what we're going to talk about,but it is one of those it's one of those depth of engagement. Things keepsme focused, and just you know keeps away from the notifications onInstagram Facebook, snap chap whatever, whatever the addiction of the day isI'm excited at what a big role writing has to play in the Internet economy.You Know Twenty thirty years ago there was like technical writing and teachingyou when I graduated there weren't that many hot fields to go into, but nowit's so integral. You know your social...

...presence, your brand presence and thekind of content and we're going to talk about the content conundrum today, butsolving the content. Conundrum by creating amazing content is incrediblyimportant, particularly and be to be marketing. Oh absolutely and writing isone of the hallmarks of that, but I'm curious when you define content becauseyou've got everything from you know: Videos, augmented reality and so on andso forth. Just to give the audience kind of a macro perspective. How do youdefine you know what is marketing content yeah? Let me take a reallybroad. Let me give you a really broad answer and that marketing is createdand content is exchanging some value in the content for the attention we'regetting so whatever medium it is we're creating something that's entertainingor informative or educational. That has on a little bit of branding mention,and I said, or some thought leadership and people go. Oh, I like gettinginformation from that source. So it's really it's an currency, we'reexchanging to other people for their time and attention like anadvertisement, but it doesn't have a media cost. It has a content, viability,cost it has a content, quality cost. Once then I would. Some could probablyargue that it actually is. The cost is higher because time andattention is one thing we can't get back right. Everybody has it's a it's adwindling ass that people don't have time so to be able to get them to giveyou that time to engage in it. It has to be of the highest quality I wouldassume, and so, when you think about the different types of content that areout there, what ones are you seeing resonate the most or be more compelling?You know I think, of video right there's like he, I've seen a hugeincrease in video lately everybody's got a camera were so we're all sittingbehind him working from home, but is? Is that compelling, or is that becominga little bit more commonize? Is here a type of content that you think is morecompelling and effective than another yeah before we jump into the acidclasses, let's use a little bit of a framework that your audience mitermight not be familiar with called Tofu, mofo and Bofo. Have you heard thatbefore chat I have but the audience probably not right so to food top afunnel Mo Fu middle of funnel and Bofo bottom of funnel? So you've got thesethree areas and within each of these three those mediums that you're talkingabout play a more prominent role in one or the other. So at the top of thefunnel, you might be doing some research or a blog post, or you knowsome thought leadership or how to video might be something where people findyou without knowing your brand directly and after you engage them in that topof the final content. You get middle of the funnel content, which is going tobe more like. What's the problem? What's the solution that that's keepingyou up at night like? What can I help with is where you try to get to in themiddle, and you start to move your product towards their problem, and thenbottom of funnel is going to be evaluated type content that they'regoing to be farther into the customer journey and that content might be an RF, P templet or it might be an ri calculator and so you're getting insomewhat into interactive content and video video can play a role in each ofthese things in each of these areas. But we need to think about how they'regoing to find us, and most of my career has been spent in search and local,which are the two biggest channels by, like almost you know, order ofmagnitude over over some of the other channels that get a lot of attentionlike social. So you know we encourage at milestone. We encourage ourcustomers to put a lot of focus on s on content that becomes viable by being onthe first or second page of Google. That's where the viable space is and ifyou're below that ranking you're missing out on the traffic. That goes.You know. Fifty sixty percent of the traffics coming via Google and, ifyou're, not in that optimal space of the first, you know where you can getthe traffic, then the content is what we're saying it's not in the viablezone, and so is there I mean, aside from so, are there other other ways toensure that the content is compelling...

...enough that it raises it in the Googlerankings? Yeah absolutely so to be good content, you need to understand thequestion and almost every search query is a question. So every listing resultis an answer, and in order to be one of the top couple answers you need to behelpful. You need to be original. You need to have published that originalcontent. You know Goo recognizes when it hit the Internet. You need to solveproblems and answer questions and in bets I would say you also have to beentertaining any vocative. People want something that gives them kind of anemotional lift or a buzz from. You know e that maybe it's funny. Maybe it'scompelling. Maybe it's you know it's moving in some way. It's a little lessimportant in me to be but being helpful, making that content helpful, and thatis the content itself, but you have to get the digital experience right. Ithas. Your page has to be really fast. You overall have to be an expert inyour field. You have to have to have authority and other people have to belinking to you. This is the traditional Google model, the Google Algorithm ofpage rank of people voting to you and giving you that that S, referral linksthat gives Google the confidence that that the community supports you andyour positions in your Pov and your content and are there different typesof content, medium that work better through different channels? So, if I'mputting together a content strategy- and I have to think about you- knowsocial versus a website versus forums- or I mean even club house- that is, youknow one of those places where people get together and chat. Are theredifferent ways? I need to be thinking about the content in order to make itas effective as possible to positively impact, not only my google rankings,but the impact. I'm having it, you know to Fumo Fu and Bofo yeah yeah, you know short form video. You know tenfifteen. Second video gets a lot of attention and, as a be to be markeer,you can look at some of the things that do really well and use a version ofthat in Linkedin. What you know on Linkedin, you see a lot of static,memes right people do an image right. They upload an image that fits thespeck at that linked on gives us, but it's kind of equally easy to do aparasel where you upload a deck. You could just take a power point andupload that power point and it'll become a Caracal, be good if you reworkthe size and shape and color and pop a little bit on it. But putting a littlebit of extra effort into the rich media gets you that more attention. One ofthe things I've seen doing really well in be to be in and on linked in. Arethe Poles like when we do a pole, we get maybe seven or eight x theengagement, because people like the interactivity and the Poles it. It'stext based, but it's interactive text right you don't it's not very visualshort videos, animated gifts, I think making a variety thinking about yourcontent as a core and then making multiple asset types and deployingthose multiple asset types is going to give you your best opportunity to getexposure both in traditional search in local and in social and you're, morelikely to get referral lents, which is it's all a great source of traffic andand that support for your your so also right and okay, and so when we thinkabout you know you mentioned kind of going viral earlier. Everybody seems totire to talk about that. Have you seen any instance where something businesswering to be to be has gone? You know not global viral, but viral, maybe froma business sense. I know those are two different totally yeah, but you knowit's a couple years back, but dollar shave club was a huge hit on the betsie on the beat a B side, it's less common,but some of the Bi really big companies. You know sales force and what they'redoing around dream force. You know often gets a lot of pick up justbecause the community is so big, but it's not truly viral. It's just it's adifferent, it's a megaphone that they have to a really large audience. That'salready installed, but let's, let's think about, and talk about, viralityand simple terms. What it means is that... be truly viral- and this is evenmore relevant in the Ovid era- is that each person shares it with more thanone other person and that allows it to spread. So if it's like one point, twothere's twenty percent more people, each iteration, that somebody reads itand they S- you know somebody shares it and on the average it's getting sharedout now, if it's below one, if people are sharing it with less than oneperson, it'll kind of die out and then you're back to the content. Conundrum,where he create, is something that's pretty good, but it really doesn't haveany legs of its own to carry itself that's in technical and biologicalterms. That's called the Arnaut when they are not is above or below one youget spread, or you get this retraction into into kind of going to sleep, aGotcha okay. Now we got all these channels. We get all this differenttype of content. We got. You know, Google and so, and all of this stuffhow in the world are business, is supposed to handle attribution tocontent, because some of these pieces can take some serious time aninvestment to create, and, or you know, research or I mean even well writtenstuff takes time. So there's always a you know, there's always A. I want toknow how this is impacting. You know our revenue or whatever objectives are.How do you handle or suggest companies handle attribution for content? Yeahattribution is a long standing challenge. You know I've been somethingI've been looking at for maybe thirteen fourteen years and I've made someprogress in it when you have a large enough data set, but let's, let's saysome easy things for the audience to take away. First of all track thechannels for the sort make sure that the channels are set up well, likeseparate local, with a u TM parameter in Google, my business, you canseparate local from Google organic and try to get as much definition at thechannel level. Then you want to be tracking. Last Click, the first clickwhen people arrive at your website, what content were they clicking on? Youknow for anywhere from an ad to a pov to a white paper and store that andthen also store the last click so that you've got both the first and the lastto see you like. If they're you know somewhere tofu somewhere, Moos they'removing along their journey and then, if you can get there- and this is a littlebit of a larger step for for all of us in the marking world and in thebusiness world, is developed. The lead scoring system, how much content havethey consumed? How many things have they downloaded? What order did theydownload them in and a sign a little bit of weight to each of these piecesand understanding the readiness of that buyer to go to the next step with you?That's a lead scoring system and most of the the crams and the email systemswill allow you to do some lead scoring. You can assign values to differentpieces of content. Now, that's that's the sort of the scientific andtechnical answer. The old school way to figure this out is to ask yourcolleagues and customers. How useful has this piece, I I you know, delivereda piece to you. We put it up on the website. We did it out in social abouta month ago. Have you been using it? What's the reaction to it and just dogood old, shoe leather kind of investigation using the Human Algorithmand say: Oh yeah, it's totally landing. People are really responding to that.One you'll see this effect and be to be a lot in the decks as a marketer. Iproduce a lot of power point content for people to use and then, when Iattend their sales, calls or customer calls I can see which slides are stillaround after a month or two which ones are which ones have legs. It's again,it's content by ability and which ones have slipped into the non viable zone.And you know there they're not getting used anymore and does it land withcustomers? Is it? Is it sticky? What do people comment on after you do thatpresentation? That has you know three or four or five six lines of content init? What are they remarking on and like? Oh, it's that they said yeah it's and alot of one of the reasons I'm talking about the content conundrums because ofthe things I've developed to...

...encapsulate what a marketing companylike milestone does to increase visibility is the content, conundrumand you know, like you, know, kind of worked on on expressing it in a fun andinteresting way and the content conundrum lands, because the statistics,the data behind it, is that ninety plus percent of content over after a coupleweeks after its launch has no audience because Google, you know, ninetypercent of the content doesn't rank on the first two pages of Google and Goole,and Google, local and Google regular search are contributing the a vastmajority of the traffic to fifty sixty sixty seven percent to most websites.Interesting, interesting. Okay, so do the do the mathematical thing do asmuch good tracking as you can, with with? U TMS or however you're going toyou know with. How are you going to do that as a fir as your first partytracking system, then just talk to people and really understand as anauthor empathetic ally? Am I making stuff for you? That's helping you getyour job done. Is it convincing? Customers is a convincing prospects allright, and so, when we look into the future, we look in this constantevolution that we seem to be calling the new normal. What do you see is thefuture of effective content or the next big medium or the next big change orpivot? That will that will impact the way marketers create and put outcontent yeah. Well, let me let me give the let me be consistent in my answerthat that what was good last year is going to be good next year and that'sthat that you're solving a problem that you're helpful original your solvingproblems and answering questions. So it's still that's not going to change,but I think to the spirit of your question, you could run some experiments in theemerging channels like as long as SMS has been around it's not that popularto SMS people, like of the channels that my marketing colleagues are usingtesting an SMS campaign, especially for something like reminders to attend theappointment. You accepted from my SDRs from my business development team, likethat's a good thing to do in some on non US markets, using what sap, ifyou've, got what's out connection sort of like having somebody's privatehaving their SMS or their their mobile phone number. You can do a whatchucampain. You can communicate via that, like you would, in you know, in email,then I mentioned it before, but using the rich content that's possible inlinked in posts on the Btbai, caracal, videos and Poles. You know it's a lotmore work to create than just talking about something. It's like you know,just like a text based post with a simple image is a little bit more likea tweet and linked in does give you those rich, the rich mediaopportunities. But there then it's like developing another deck right. You gotto end up with another kind of constituency to supporting your company,then yeah, absolutely all right. So let's talk about milestone for a second.We just tell the audience what you all do there and actually how you foundyourself there yeah. So we solve the content, conundrum, and that means wehelp customers increase visibility, especially in the two biggest channels,search and local and the way we do that is helping them research and identifyand create great content. And then we use some of the advanced technicaltechniques like adding Schemas and making the site core vitals compliantand making the pages faster and doing all those things that create a greatexperience so that when Google sends customers are referring their customersto you, they see those customers have a great experience and they give you morevisibility and what we see is, if you're doing kind of average at thesethings before you start doing business with somebody like milestone. We see atwenty thirty forty percent jump in impressions and traffic that comes fromgetting a couple of these technical things tuned up, and I don't know ifyour audience knows much about Schemas, but it's an additional set of Metadatathat you can put on the page, but it's visible to the search crawler. But it'snot visible to all the humans. So, for...

...example, hotel rooms or apartments canadd a lot of information that supports getting an accurate answer to say along tail query by using these entities and e e. These entities are defined asthis information and that's how google builds the knowledge graft. So that'swhat we do at milestone as we connect you with more prospects and may helpyou make more customers out of them and to your second question, how did I findmyself here? You know it kind of goes back to research and scheme, as in myprior company, we were asking each other, hey should what's our point ofview on schemes, and I said I don't see any evidence that it's working. This isabout three or four years ago, and they said that can't be our answer becausewe're recommending and I'm like yeah, but I don't see any evidence, so Idon't really want to write definitively that this is. This is a technique.Everybody should be using and I looked around and we were tryingto prove it, and then I saw milestone present that they had all these casedays at six seven, eight case studies across industries. That said thousandthirty forty eighty percent lift using the technique, and I thought okay,these guys are experts in their field and I started kind of borrowing theirdata to form my pov and we got to know each other better and then you knowthey recruited me over and DP had a marketing there for a littlelast year and a half just before, join just before coved. I give me a lot oftime to create content yeah a lot of change, yeah, a lot of change all right.So let's change direction a little bit. We ask all of our guess: Two stantardquestions toward the N cinere. The first is simply as a VP marketing thatmakes you a revenue executive, which makes you a prospect, there's a lot ofpeople out there, and so I'm always curious to know from our guess when,when someone doesn't have a trusted referral into you and they want to gainthe right to time on your account of what works for them, to capture yourattention and earn that slot on your calendar, you know chat this one is soeasy after I say it. Everybody'll say: Oh yeah, that's really obvious. Read mystuff read my articles read my papers, I've written almost everything on thewebsite at milestone, I'm neither the editor or the writer or the researcher,for it pick a piece that you like that that your respect and use that to letme know that you're kind of serious and you did a little bit of homework. Putthat towards the front of your. You know your subject line or your messageor you know I do pick up I'll pick up. The zoom calls occasionally in the thethe mobile phone calls as long as I'm not in a meeting. I'm like. Okay, I'llgive this, you know, give the sales person a chance. That's the first thingis like do you know anything about me or my business? Are you just calling?Because your boss told you to talk about Your Business and it's you knowit's a kind of it's a bummer right, just like somebody just launches intotheir pitch, I'm like sorry what company, because I'm concentratingprobably on producing content when you're calling me right right. So ifyou just mention my stuff and in my whole career fewer than five percent of people,fewer, probably than three or two percent of people have ever mentioned apiece that has my byline on it, and you know if you're, an English major, youknow we care about that stuff, that's our part, our art, so that puts you inthe top five percent or better now. The second thing to do- and this is this-is really difficult, because the way corporations train young people is tocrank the phone and do the pitch. But what you actually want to do is crankthe phone and engage me with a good question. Ask me a question. The wayyou're asking me questions Chad get me talking and then I get I'll get lessdefensive and resistant to you know, and I I'll tend to like you better becauseyou're listening to me, it's the in verse of what sales appears to be,which is that you're supposed to talk at me, which nobody likes that doesn't evenmatter so situation to that yeah I was a guy from Oracle is spoke at aconference said: Don't engage your...

...customers by giving them a Selfie ofyourself and your products. That's that's not a good opener. I got onemore piece of advice for the audience. Cad Don't say: Does that make sense,it's a sort of a fake tie down or a fake leading question. You just want meto go. Okay. What you want to do is ask me a real question. Not Ask me thiskind of a fake half question, because if I don't understand, I don't reallywant to admit it. If I'm kind of half paying attention because you' You knowyou disturbed me, I don't want it. I don't want to make myself look dumb, soI often say to people know that doesn't make sense, and then they just keepgoing with their pitch, really makes me think like wow. Does it matter? If I'mon this call or not absolutely all right so last question:We call it our acceleration insight. If there was one thing you could tellsales marketing or professional services people, one piece of advice:You believe if they listen to it, help them achiever exceed their targets.What would it be and why yeah? This is something that took me a long time tofigure out what role it could play in my professional success and its empathy.Empathy is pretty hard to explain if you ask people to find it, you getsomething that sounds more like sympathy, but really it's likeunderstanding the other person and figure out what they need and alignwhat you're doing to what they need. That makes them feel cared about thatimproves engagement, but it's really difficult like the whole corporateworld and when you're Young- and you know you you you just out of school andyou've, got so many great ideas that you want to tell people about. Now yougot to you got to understand what the other person's problem is like. Whatwhat could you help with and then you can't just do your standard pitch allthe time you got to make your pitch fit to that thing and then they feel likeyou're you're, an adviser. You you're more, like a friend more like acolleague yeah. I could not agree more. It's an excellent excellent point. SoEric if a listener's interested in finding the book hack the corporatefast track. Where do you want us to send them? Well, Amazon's a great placeto go: Look for a hack to corporate fast track there on an hunt under EricNewton, and if you read it and you like it, please drop me a review awesome andif they want to get in touch with you to talk more about what milestonesdoing or the con content conundrum. Where would you prefer? We send them?Come straight to my email, Eric Dot, n at milestone, Internet and love, tohear from you, let me know the chat at you. Please definitely let him knowwhat we sent you all right. I thank you. So much for taking time has been anabsolute pleasure to have you on the show. Thanks chat, all right, everybodythat does it for this episode check is out of B to B Reezon. You know thedrill share with friends. Family Coworkers leave US review on itunes. WeAve selling associates which will nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the B TBRevenue Executive Experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show in Itunes for your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening until next time.

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