Spend Way More Time Promoting Your B2B Content

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Every B2B company wants to capitalize on the power of SEO.

But there are fundamental mistakes at these companies make that undermine their marketing activities.

Dev Basu, chief experience officer with Powered by Search, said SEO delivers when companies create research-driven content that meets the needs of target audiences.

 

Hello, my name is Mor Evans and like towelcome you to marketing spark a podcast that delere small doses ofinsight, tools and tips from marketers and entrepreneurs and the trenches bysmall doses, its conversations that are fifteen minutes or less think ofmarketing spark at a snack rather than a meal on today's show, I'm talkingwith DEB Bassus, the chief experienced officer with powered by search whichhelps be o. The sauce and tech companies grow monthly, recurringrevenue, book, more demos and drive trials with content so and paidacquisition. Welcome to marketing spark thanks for having mark this, it goeswithout saying, is a very interesting marketing. Landscape Ovid has many wayschange the rules of engagement. A lot of brands are doubling down on contentand things like webers and e books and I'm really interested from an soperspective. What have you seen our companies approaching so differently?It's a great question. I see that there's usually three camps ofcompanies related to Co. Nineteen. We did a Weber on this particular topicand identified. There were fear, focus companies that basically pulled back alot of different marketing activities. They first cut their pay, dad spend andthen they pulled back on so as well. There's ones who are unfocused Ho,basically continued with their publication schedule around theireditorial calendar and pulled back ads, and then the strategy focus onesrealized that, even though there's a slump in demand where effectivelycommercial intent, oriented queries like basically people looking to buysoftware, that's arder to go down for a number of different cloud. Codascompanies, the TRAPAGA focus ones, really said. This is now the time todouble down. Look back at our systems, improve our work, clowes and thenreally start ramping this up, because it's not going to last forever and thedemand will come back. In your estimation of those three groups. Thestrategy group like how big was that and how hard do you think it was forthem to embrace that approach, because...

...when the world is about to end or atleast go into what people thought was the apocalypse? It's easy to pull back,it's easy to play it safe and not push forward. Was it ten percent twentypercent, though it's a really interesting question. We did a pullwith a number of other consultants and agencies, the ones that's saw about atwenty percent drop and revenue. Really that came from that fear of Focus andunfocused group. The Strategy Focus Group is somewhere between twenty andthirty percent, and I mentioned that range because a number of cloud basecompanies obviously have seen a huge surge and demand a mean there. Stockprices of effectively doubled in the last hundred and eighty days here, partof it was, if you had more demand than you can handle, you have to have yourengines firing on all soliders and then there's the other group that basicallyhad to wait and see where, especially in bed D Sask, where deal cycle startedgetting a bit longer. That's where that lower end of the twenty percentbasically comes from where they said Hey. We need to continue investing inmarketing initiatives and activities, and so is one of those long term playsit's, not something that you really think of as a horridly. You know turnit on and turn it off to the thing they invested heavily in it. It's aninteresting strategic approach, because, if you think it in terms of the longrun and how you can establish a competitive advantage, pushing forwardwhen a lot of companies are pushing back makes a lot of sense. Theentrepreneurs that you've talked to what's been their overall thinking interms of how they approach marketing. Do they have a particular attitude? Dothey have a particular strategic focus? What separated them from othercompanies that have pulled back so the ones that really pulled back saw theirtheir place playing field in the market as renting the market, which is youknow, usually what we think of from a paid perspective. Once you turn an adoff, it stops working for you, the ones that really believed in their productand the value that they bring to the market, even though they saw theiraudience their market being scared just like they were. I think they had thecourage really to put a flag in the...

...grand and say we're going to be here tohelp our audience through this thing and that you know showed up and justlike you're saying and Weben ars and e books and terms of content to helptheir customers re Covin nineteen. But at the same time as I look longer term,you know a good. Sixty percent of our demand generation comes from organicsearch, so it would be foolish to turn this off. It's always been there for us,and one of the things that my clients- and I often talk about- is how theirbreast best performing content was actually content that they published ayear or even two years ago, and so the efforts that they're investing in todayare really going to pay off a year from today and become their best performingcontent to date that before we dive into the so world. One of the things Iwanted to ask to you is: I spend a lot of time focused on brand positioning.Have you seen a discernible difference in the brands that fall into theStrategi camp? In terms of the strength of their brand positioning versusweaker brands, my take is that companies with compelling brandpositining they'll do well because people are distracted, their multitasking, they're, doing more with less or the same. And so, if you don't standout from the crowd, if your position isn't Bang on, then that's going to putyou at a competitive disadvantage. You're a hundred percent right aboutthat we did another web in art through Cobi called the messaging pivot and ourcor thesis is that all Sass companies effectively sell three things: they'reselling, speed, certainty and insight, and in boom times, whereas if you'reselling those things you're, basically talking about selling automation, ifit's certainty, it's about productivity, and if it's about insight, it's aboutbetter decision making. All of those things were not things that customerscared about. When you know it's a existential sort of crisis, and so theones that really did well are the ones who pivoted their message on those samevalue. Drivers to you know, from automation, to effectiveness frombetter decision making to making the right decisions right now and fromproductivity to just how do I keep the lights on when we were talking aboutyou doing the podcast one of the things...

...that struck me is the mistakes that alot of companies make when it comes to Seo from the outside. Looking in so isa lot. It's a combination of art and science and a lot of companies make amistake because they don't understand it and they may approach it from aposition of I'm not going to say ignorance, but it may be a lack ofknowledge and, as a result, they make a lot of mistakes. I'm interested ingetting your insight into the things that companies do wrong when it goes toso, but you have a list of the things that they should avoid, so they canactually leverage so successfully. This list is something we came up with overthe last ten years of working with Saus Company. Some you know your in Dour,Canadian ones like a Clio or a touch bistro end of the folks in the stateslike a twenty four seven ai or you know, point click care. For example, that'sin both both countries. Really. What I will be found is that the number onething and stage one of a SASS website is they tend to have a lack ofdedicated features pages. So, if you're, looking at your futures pages right now-and it's got a number of little icons on it small headline and a paragraph oftext generally- that is doing a disservice to your customers. Abilityto find you and Google is ability to love on you and actually help rank you.So if you don't have a dedicated feature, page, meaning a specific pagefor every single feature that you effectively have as part of yourproduct or platform sweet, that would be one of the main mistakes that we seeas not really assigning again a stake or aflag in the ground to say. We believe in this feature so much that weactually wanted to go, do a deep dive and not do it a disservice and writesome content on it, not just about what it is and how it works, but whycustomers love it and also why it's competitive compared to a pure groupwhere you know if you've seen somebody using Crna and they now want to go to cRN having testimonials to actually showcase how much they love. Thisfeature is something that we've seen improve. Conversions, that's Interestin,because a lot of companies follow that...

...feature formula. They have the page,they have the icons a little bit of text and that- and they think that'senough information. Well you're saying is the more information you can givethem the more social proof that you can demonstrate the more affected it'll befrom an so perspective and from a customer acquisition perspective, andyou know we came up upon this inside actually from something quite old. Soin the s high school teacher by the name of Bernes McCarthy came up withthis form. This specific teaching format called format within the numberof four. It's four mat and the idea was the brain needs to ingest informationand for questions. Why? What? How and now, why am I here and what am Ilooking at? How does it actually work and then what do you expect me to donext? If your feature page doesn't address those four questions that thebrains subliming kind of, goes through? It won't end up converting it its highas put potential, and you, generally speaking with a headline and allparagraph. You can't answer all four of those questions in a sing to notfashion what other mistakes do. SASS and tech companies make when it comesto so yeah, so the other one that we really see is they end up, having nocomparison or alternative two pages, and it's almost a little bit like notacknowledging that this narrative of a potential customer comparing twodifferent SASS products is actually happening, and so what they do is theyconcede that ground to comparison web sites like a get ap a g to a capter,really what we believe they should be doing is creating comparison and analternative two pages on their own website. With a honest breakdown of thetypes of customers that might be a good fit for them, as well as the types ofcustomers that might be a good fit for their competitor, and this is not to doyou know it's not a cash shade on the competitor in any way, but really toattract higher Lt v customers if they, if they buy for the right reasons, willstick around and love on that particular souce company. Longer that'sgot to be a very challenging exercise because I've, you know, we've all seenthe comparison tables that appear on...

...some web sites and you've got a wholebunch of check marks for the company's product, and then the competition hascheck, mark check mark and then it's a x x and you look at you. You go come onthat. You can't be serious. I mean that's, not an honest comparison,because it's slanted in one direction, if you're a company and you're going todo that and follow best practices. How do you make sure that you're being ashonest or as unbiased as possible and more important, that you're believablepeople look at you and go okay? This company is taking a different approachto this to this technique, yeah so, and a hundred percent. True right peoplehave a very good bullshit radar around this. I don't know if I'm allowed tosay that on your podcast or not, what we do is we run jobs to be doneinterviews and the best way of figuring this out is interviewing customers whohave made a purchasing decision. Who are what we would call an up switcher.Basically, so they've used something else in the past. You ask them why theyused your platform instead and you extract from the Voice of the customer.The main reasons that cause them to switch the pricing table approach isgenerally lazy and not very true, as you mentioned, the other thing is wellfrom a positioning standpoint is going back to that set Godenot of people likeus. Do things like this really giving a nod to the competitor for what theybuilt and one of the my favorite pages on this is introconvertible and driftbuilt this page where they said, look we're the platform built by marketersfor marketers, if you're, not a marketer, if you're an engineeringyou're in you know, customer service or something like that. Go use, intercomthey're amazing at what they do, but if you're a marketer you're going to loveusing drift, and that was just a way of being able to segment the audience notbased on the feature set but based on what the company stood for. The otherthing that I want to ask you about is the focus on content these days and,from my perspective as someone who's focused on brand positioning andcontent marketing. I'm amazed by how much content is being pumped out. Somebrants were already doing it. Content marketing was a key part of theirstrategic approach, but many brands who...

...weren't using content, marketing ordoing it sporadically, have all of a sudden decided to become publishers.What are some of the mistakes that Sass brands are making when it comes tocontact, particularly when it comes to customer focus, content and asimportant content? That's so friendly? I think that the right recipe is to doit as one and the same and the way here's a litmus test. If you are notready to read your own blog posts on your site, then why would you expectyour customer to and so to hammer that home? The decision by committee ledapproach of Hey. We should publish about this because the competitortalked about it, or I reckon that we saw a listic post on buzz feed thatmight be appropriated to our Btbai. Isn't the best approach? That's a brain,prey approach where, frankly, I think that hope is not the best strategy abetter way of going about. It is really a research driven approach where youcan segment your audiences. He would research data into what we would call aproblem, unaware audience, a problem aware audience and a product awareaudience and then look at there to the topics effectively that they aresearching for and then go and look at whether you've got a page for that.That addresses the questions and answers that they may have. Then then,then, prioritize that in your editorial calendar, if you did that and anothergood lippus test, we use, especially for companies that are just scaling uptheir content. Marketing is looking at what are the top ten questions thatseem to continue popping up in your demos or that your customer successteam faces in a trial type of scenario, and how do you have a blog post aboutthat? If not those go. Do those first, that's going to be your twenty. When itcomes to content marketing, is there an ideal mix between content, promotionand content creation? I would suggest that a lot of companies spend a lot oftime, creating content and very little time promoting it. What are yourthoughts about that? I think it's probably like the mistake is ninetypercent on production and ten percent on promotion, but honestly the Times oftimes where we see the published being...

...published, but in being hit and nothinghappening after other than moving on to the next piece of content, it's abysmalreally. So the right ratio is somewhere in the six forty range to sixty percentof time being spent on research, editorial publication and then fortypercent being spent on distribution. That's a realistic number, although Ithought we'd love to flip it to twenty percent being on production, eightypercent being on promotion, that's just not a reality and a day to day type ofscenario, not something we've observed, but if you can get to sixty fortypublication versus distribution, that's a pretty nice golden ratio and hethoughts about best practices. When it comes to distribution, the channels youseduce the approaches you should take yeah. So from an two standpoint. Itreally comes down to. Are you getting mentioned shared and linked to byrelevant publications and Web sites within your industry, and so one of thesimpler reproaches as actually to help them build? It with you the way that wedo it is we will, when we're building content for a particular client willactually, I do interviews and actually get other people's opinions in theirindustry to shape the piece of content that way they're not being pitched onthe piece of content. They are a piece of the content that way when youpublish you just say: Hey, it's published, here's a link and becausethey were a part of that they inherently want to share it on socialchannels and such and link to it as well. One final question: what is yourfavorite so tool and why probably hands down it's a a H, F com, because itallows you to figure out where the content gaps? Are you pick fivecompetitors and maybe four of the five are talking about a specific topic andthere's a specific topic that they have in dive deep enough into or that theypublish content on but have not promoted, haven't got any links to. Sothis is a really great way of being able to focus in on areas ofopportunity that are low hanging fruit, and this really it takes that wholebelief that so takes you know forever, or it's an undeterminable period abouthow long it takes on its head and says,...

...here's the stuff that we can do in thenext quarter or two quarters and actually get wins around well. This hasbeen terrific inside to have really appreciate it. I think for anyoneconsidering so your advice is something that they should consider and reallystrike to implement in terms of their their sales and marketing strategy. Sothanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark, if you enjoyed theconversation, please leave a review as well as subscribed by I tunes or yourfavorite podcast APP. If you have questions, feedback would like tosuggest a guest or you're looking for help with B T B marketing send an emailto mark at Mark Evans, Dots Talk to you next time.

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