TRANSCRIPTION OF EPISODE
Chris Battis: On this episode of Intent Topics, we’ll be talking about how content can be leveraged in very different ways.
Chris Battis: Logan, how’s it going today buddy?
Logan Kelly: It’s great.
Chris Battis: Living the dream over here. So, today I want to talk about how to leverage content, and how content can be leveraged in very different ways. And it’s a discussion that I think is really relevant because so much of what we do, me on the marketing side, you on the sales side, all of it, so much of it comes down to content creation. And the way that it’s used is very, very different. And I wanted to have a discussion about that. You down.
Logan Kelly: Yeah, absolutely.
Chris Battis: You know how to jam on that?
Logan Kelly: Absolutely.
Chris Battis: Okay.
Logan Kelly: Absolutely.
Chris Battis: So, I think predominantly, and I don’t want to box us in, but I think predominantly this conversation is somewhat how marketing would use content versus, not even versus, but how marketing would use content and how sales would use content. But it doesn’t have to be a competition. But I want to talk about how they are different. And there’s probably other actually departments that would use content. But this is the main discussion. And the first thing that comes to my mind is this dichotomy about how with SEO, search, on trying to attracts people to your website, whether you pay for it or not, it’s all about the content that will bring the people in. And it can totally suck.
Chris Battis: How many times have you and I both been brought into a website, and you think you’re going down the right path to whatever you’re searching, and you get there and you’re like, “Oh my God, this is so weak. This is so thinly veiled. There’s nothing here.” And then I tell you about how, in sales, you absolutely cannot get away with that, or it’s dead. It’s not even worth the effort. Am I wrong?
Logan Kelly: No, man. So, in outbound sales, what we see a lot of the times is if you put in front of somebody a blog article that’s not a powerful blog article, or you put in front of somebody a deck, and it’s just kind of blah, you don’t go anywhere. If you put in front of the prospect a piece of content that’s really powerful, it will generate a conversation. And I think the qualifier here is, I don’t think that this is a traditional sales versus marketing conversation. I think that this is a conversation around channels. As we’re talking about this, it’s like SEO is one channel, PPC is one channel, LinkedIn, the different social networks all have their pluses and minuses.
Logan Kelly: You go to Instagram. I wouldn’t use an Instagram. We have with a lot of context. I wouldn’t use an Instagram post in my sales outreach. As I said, there’s a time for everything now. So, it’s so often what Google is rewarding from an SEO standpoint, is not necessarily engaging in the sales game. In fact, I think they ding a lot of, if it’s image heavy, Google can’t decode an infographic, or something that can be used in the sales process. So, I think when it comes to content, the channel’s important. But then if you’re asking me, “Where should a company really spend their resources on?” Well, it’d be creating highly engaging content and deploy it in a more outbound fashion. You know what I’m saying?
Chris Battis: Yeah, totally. I guess the first thing that comes to my mind, and maybe I might compliment here, is with sales outreach and specifically right now, is you have probably the highest bar possible to have quality content, or you’re totally scared. Whereas, let’s face it, a marketer could spit out an infographic, or whatever, if people are even doing that anymore, and it’s still maybe get some views. And so, but if you, on a sales outreach email, or a phone call where you trying to talk someone, you’re dead in the water if it’s not good quality-
Logan Kelly: If it’s not engaging.
Chris Battis: … B if it’s the wrong audience, not engaging. And that happens to us every day, you, me, everyone that could possibly listen to us. We get the wrong stuff in our inbox every day. I can point out three. You know what I mean?
Logan Kelly: Yeah.
Chris Battis: So, that raises the bar for you. So, that’s going to be challenging. And that must be on your mind every time you create some content, right?
Logan Kelly: Yeah. So, I think there’s two different categories of content. There’s the content that we’re putting into the emails, and then there’s the actual content that we’re deploying. So, are we driving somebody-
Chris Battis: Yeah, to click through to.
Logan Kelly: … to it. And I think the hyperlink, the click through, I know there’s a lot of people on LinkedIn right now talking about, “Don’t gate your content.” I don’t believe in gating content, but don’t cold email somebody and attach a deck. That’s a good way of getting every single email you could possibly send blocked by website blockers, if the server doesn’t recognize your email. So, the idea is, deploying really quality content as an attachment with some consent is a very powerful way for a salesperson to get to start a conversation.
Logan Kelly: So, I think when we look at content creation, our clients, the best performing clients, it is 100% of the best performing clients have the best content, period.
Chris Battis: Really? So, talk-
Logan Kelly: They don’t necessarily have the best websites. And I think that that’s a difference in the content. And so, if we-
Chris Battis: That’s a really important point.
Logan Kelly: So, if we put this in terms of, we get back to the channel. So, SEO, how does that work? Well, you put content in. Google, Bing, different search engines are going to crawl it. They’re going to categorize it. Good. So, then what’s going to happen is if it’s relevant from a search perspective, then that’s great. Pay-per-click, you’re investing money to get that click. You’re driving them to that page. You need to get a result, or you’re not going to see the ROI. And a lot of times in like in pay-per-click, if you’re not getting an ROI, you’re not building awareness, because it’s a bottom of the funnel.
Logan Kelly: So, then you go into social. And so, we start to look at how content is shared in social, and it’s shades of click-bait. And I think sales content can be deployed. But once again, if you’re spending money on an ad to use that to propagate content, you’re going to want to see ROI in some way. So, once again, is it as strong content that it could be? No. So, that’s where with intent data and technographic data, we can start to build this content that is incredibly relevant to the people, what they’re researching right now, because you can see, “All right, they’re on this platform. They’re clearly on this platform. It looks like they’re researching topics related to this. Let’s create content that plants right in there.” I don’t need to care what Google thinks. I don’t need to care about what social thinks. I’m going to write email outreach. I’m going to make a phone call. Getting that consent to send that. And I think that that is an important difference between marketing content and sales content, which is the channel.
Chris Battis: Yeah. Something that came up earlier is, you would never go to Twitter to see beautiful pictures of where to go on vacation. It’s not there. It’s not the outlet. Granted, Twitter to me seems like basically a political, business kind of boring-ness, whereas Instagram’s visual, whereas Facebook’s friends and family, whereas LinkedIn’s kind of a happy-
Logan Kelly: Go to grow.
Chris Battis: … medium between. Yeah, you go to grow.
Logan Kelly: You go to grow. You go to grow.
Chris Battis: Yeah.
Logan Kelly: Absolutely.
Chris Battis: So, I guess being a content creator myself on more of the marketing side, as of lately, what’s your favorite type of content that you like to use knowing the audience you’re reaching out to, being in an outreach position? What have you been happy with lately?
Logan Kelly: Well, I’ve been happy with the same stuff. So, it’s beautiful case studies. It’s decks. It’s all the things that we can build a story around, and then tell those over out reach touches. What I’m really beginning, and this is you and I getting into, is this video content. And what I see is there’s this whole industry around how to get your videos found. It’s optimization and all that kind of stuff. And we’re running these play books, because we’re doing it.
Chris Battis: We’re trying every day.
Logan Kelly: Yeah. But then I see the content; I create a piece, and I’m like, “Damn dude, I can try to optimize this, and do all the keyword stuff,” and you’re doing a good job there. But it’s like, “What about just getting that in front of the people that I want?” Email copy that gets a 10% click rate, follow up with it. It becomes this very sharable, transferrable piece of content if you’re placing it within the audience that they were going after. And that’s what we’re going to do in 2020. We’re going to start using video content.
Chris Battis: It’s much-
Logan Kelly: Not necessarily the Vidyard, or BombBomb kind of video sales emails, no, we’re going to use video content to build that narrative in a way that people might be able to consume it more easily.
Chris Battis: So, on that, I’m just naturally, I’d rather consume a video than read a heavy ebook or something. And so, for us, and you maybe know a bunch, but I just want to reinstate a lot of our thinking here, is I knew that I liked to consume video, or when I search something, I usually search it, see what’s on the first page; then I flip to the videos tab to see it. That’s just my nature. I have a bunch of friends; we’ve talked about this, and they were the same way, friends and colleagues. And going into that, my thought was always like, “Oh, you have to create content via video. It’s a bit more of a challenge. It’s more physical. People see you. There’s graphics. There’s lighting. There’s a lot more to it.” And I thought that alone was the reason it was more important. And then I thought it was about the consumption of the content, a way that are sitting, literally just how are you consuming, like, “I don’t have time to read it. I need to see it,” or whatever.
Chris Battis: Then I realized all of the stuff that we’ve learned in the last eight weeks plus on how you can optimize it. I didn’t even know that was at that level. So, a bit of a degression for the concept of this podcast, but it’s incredible what you can do, and where you can optimize. And it’s just like a website. And it’s file names matter, all text matters, descriptions matter, all that stuff matters, and it’s really effective, really, really effective. And there I was thinking that it had to be really great quality. And I’m not saying we’re putting out low quality. I’m just saying I thought the bar was so high and unobtainable that it wasn’t worth doing, and you’re better off doing that Loom style, or Vidyard style email where your face is in the bottom, and you do this quick video. And it turns out with not much effort, understanding the work we’ve put into it, you can do much greater production there, and it’s working out to be super valuable content, right?
Logan Kelly: Right. So, I think I think you made my point around content that can be put out there, and can get clicks, and can get views, the bar is not as high as it needs to be. And so we’re looking-
Chris Battis: As you think.
Logan Kelly: … at our content from, “If I put this in front of my prospect, what are they going to think?” And I think that’s the difference between an SEO company that just creates a thousand pages, or a company that can create some animated video stuff. That’s cool, and I know that it kind of tells a story, but our approach to content creation here at union is always starts with, “I’m going to put this in front of somebody in an inorganic way. I’m going to email this to somebody. I’m going to text it to them.”
Chris Battis: Eyes will see this.
Logan Kelly: Yes. And somebody that I’m going to ask for a $60,000 commitment from. Whereas I think a lot of content on the internet right now and content that I see a lot of companies putting out, is somebody was doing that to stuff keywords or something, or was putting it out on social. Which I think you still need to tell a good story, but it’s definitely not sales first content. And I think that’s really where we need to get to, and what companies should strive to, is your marketing team should be creating content that sales people feel comfortable deploying right out the gates, and not just informational stuff. A shareable piece of content can be as simple as a meme. That’s literally where the term meme comes from, is a part of language that can be shared.
Chris Battis: To go back to sales first, almost because I’m curious to know just for myself so you can better produce for you, what is your definition of sales first? I think I know, but like what’s your-
Logan Kelly: Think about all the planning we’ve done and all the content that we’ve created. It’s like, “What is the story that we’re trying to tell to the prospect?” And I’m not saying that we’re some brilliant marketers. That’s not the point.
Chris Battis: Yeah, please don’t.
Logan Kelly: What we’re saying is if I emailed this link to a prospect, would the point be that I know what I’m talking about and I can probably help them.
Chris Battis: Yeah, bingo. That is it right there.
Logan Kelly: So, now you’ve got an intent data feed and all this in good intent data. As I said, you got that technographic data, so you can start to take that library of great content and segment that and say, “Okay. I’m going to send this to this person, this to this person, this to this person, because these are relevant.”
Chris Battis: It’s all genuine content.
Logan Kelly: That’s sales first.
Chris Battis: Yup.
Logan Kelly: Yeah.
Chris Battis: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yup.
Logan Kelly: Yeah.
Chris Battis: Okay, cool.
Logan Kelly: And so, that comes naturally to us, and to some of our clients after they’ve worked with us for a while, where it’s like, “Okay, I’m going to create this piece of content, can union use this? And I should talk to them about it before I create it.”
Chris Battis: And the part, I just jotted this note down, I wanted to come back to it, and this is perfect, is you mentioned earlier about a website’s design or appearance. So, if you have the right content that speaks to the right person, they may not even see the aesthetic of the website. I can’t tell you how many times I heard Brian Halligan say in the 2013, 2014 era of inbound marketing, “Just because a website’s beautiful, doesn’t mean it’s productive.” And I used to hate that coming from the art backgrounds, moving in inbound. And I was like, “No, the two need to be married.” And just while we were on this call, I just pulled up, there’s this website LINGsCARS. It’s, this is dude in London.
Logan Kelly: He converts [crosstalk 00:00:17:35].
Chris Battis: Yeah. It’s like everyone knows about this in marketing. It’s the ugliest website you’ve ever seen, and it’s conferance like crazy. But he hits the points that people came to, receiver, the content. And so, I think that distinction is super, super important in all of this, because, especially being an agency like ourselves, doing this work for our clients, we don’t know exactly what hits the heartstrings of the viewer, of the searcher, of the person searching for the topic of the content. We kind of have to trust our clients to be like, “Trust me, this is the stuff they want to learn about and they need to know about. These are their questions,” and we’re like, “Wow, okay. That’s a graphic stat sheet on some engineering stuff. Are you serious?” And then it ends up being the exact right content. Because it’s super technical, but that very specific target, it’s totally right on. It’s the perfect thing. Right?
Logan Kelly: Exactly. Exactly.
Chris Battis: Yeah. So, no.
Logan Kelly: So, I think that’s the point of this whole podcast, is content should be created sales first. And if it’s not ranking a COS, but you’re putting deals into your pipeline, what’s better?
Chris Battis: Yeah. I think my key takeaway here would be, “Create the content that’s most important to your audience.” And then with that, decide how to use it. And different pieces will be used different ways. But I think the core foundation of it needs to be that content that is specific to the needs of the person researching your service or product, and you’ll win.
Logan Kelly: Yeah, exactly.
Chris Battis: Yeah, cool. All right Ben, that was a great chat. Want to wrap it up?
Logan Kelly: Yeah, dude.
Chris Battis: All right, cool. Well, I am Chris Battis. Thank you for tuning in to Intent Topics.
Logan Kelly: And I’m Logan Kelly. Thank you very much for stopping by. Please give us a five star review on whatever podcast that you listen on, and we will see you next time.
Chris Battis: All right. Take care.