By Jim James, Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of The UnNoticed Podcast.
Hailing all the way from Siberia, Ugi Djuric of Contenthorse helps Business-to-Business Software as a Service (B2B SaaS) companies craft bulletproof content marketing strategies that resonate with their target audience. His company guides clients on how to write, optimise, and distribute compelling and engaging content that converts. Over the past years, they’ve already helped several companies become industry leaders by positioning them on the market with high-quality content.
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Content that Gives Real Customers
B2B SaaS companies, such as HubSpot and Salesforce, are companies that provide software products to other businesses. GetResponse, one of their clients, for instance, offers an email marketing automation and sales optimisation tool to businesses. The SaaS market is rather hyper-competitive. However, 95% of B2B SaaS companies do content marketing the wrong way.
One of the main problems that Ugi’s clients have is not getting a clear return on investment (ROI) on their content marketing efforts. They don’t know how to produce content that gives them real customers — not just vanity metrics like traffic or search volume. At the end of the day, what matters is how much money their content brings to their business.
To generate such content, Ugi shares that there are two things you need to keep in mind. The first one is the maturity of your company. Depending on which stage your company is — whether you’re an early-stage company or an enterprise with 50+ employees — your approach in content strategy should be different.
The second thing is the maturity or saturation of your market. If you search the marketing and sales industry, you’d find that there are millions of articles out there. However, if you will narrow it down to a more specific niche, for instance, marketing for real estate or injury law firms, it will be less saturated. And it will be easier for you to penetrate that market.
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When working with early-stage companies, or companies that don’t have big resources and millions of revenue yet, Ugi and his team first write content dedicated to the bottom of the funnel. The bottom of the funnel includes those people who are ready to make a purchase; they only need a little more information on which vendor to choose. To make effective content for them, they incorporate keywords that these people use when searching for a particular product.
For example, when they worked with GetResponse (which has over a hundred competitors, including Mailchimp) and did keyword research, they found that “Mailchimp alternatives” has a search volume of 2,000 to 3,000 a month. To target people who are using that keyword, they advised creating an in-depth article about the best Mailchimp alternatives. The article included their client’s product as one of the alternatives.
If you’re an enterprise company, the approach will be different. You should produce content that can position you as a thought leader. You should offer new innovations in the way that the market thinks about your industry.
Proper Positioning and Messaging
Many companies make the mistake of positioning themselves in the market by emphasising their product features and specifications. However, the truth is, thousands of other companies are completely offering the same thing. For instance, there are many tools that provide what Mailchimp does. And 99% of them have the same features.
For Ugi, this is where proper positioning and messaging come in. To differentiate yourself from the competitors that arise daily, weekly, and monthly, saying that you have a better product is not enough. You have to differentiate yourself through your messaging.
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First of all, you need to know who exactly is your target audience, which needs to be a specific group of people. You need to know where they are hanging out on the internet, what types of content they consume, and what words can be used to engage with them. From there, you can craft better messaging for your landing page and inject lead magnets into your content.
Founders of companies also have an important role to play, according to Ugi. Today, many founders are considered to be the main driver of growth for their respective businesses. Take, for example, Russell Brunson of marketing and sales tool ClickFunnels. He has authored a number of books and many of ClickFunnels’ customers are people who came because of him — not because of their product. While there are other products better than theirs, Russell has been successful in positioning his company through himself.
Nonetheless, this capacity of the founder will be futile if you don’t know who your dream customer persona is. It is only upon knowing your customer that you can write about big things and ideas and create a buzz around your name, your product, and your industry. One good example is what Slack, a messaging app for businesses, did when they were launched. They rolled out a public relations (PR) campaign that positioned themselves as a company that killed the email.
On the Effectiveness of Podcasts
When you’re on the road at 70 miles per hour, you hardly notice the billboards that you drive past. The same is true on the content that your scroll through Instagram or LinkedIn.
However, with podcasts, you will have access to an audience who dedicate 20 to 30 minutes of their time to listen to the host and the guest. These are consumers who attentively listen and remember the things that you have to say. This is why Ugi — co-founder of Podino, which helps businesses get on top podcasts in their niche — considers this medium one of the best ways to reach your dream customers and engage with them. It allows you to build a relationship with your audience and, over time, position yourself as their go-to choice when they’re looking for a certain product.
While understanding the metrics of podcasts can be challenging, there are tools that can help. Listen Notes, for example, works like Google for podcasts where each podcast has a global rank. If your podcast has a global rank of 10%, it means that you are in the top 10% of the podcasters that they’re ranking.
However, at the end of the day, it’s not about the quantity of the people that hear you — it’s about the quality.
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No matter what industry you’re in, everything comes down to creating content. And there are different types of content that you can create.
To help you be more efficient, repurposing is recommended. For example, if you have an article, you can repurpose that to create 10 social media posts or three newsletters, or five podcast episodes. If you have a podcast, you can use that audio material to create 10 other social media posts. Creating as much content as you can is helpful in your pursuit of becoming a leader in your industry and in your market.
There are several tools that you can use for content repurposing. Choosing which tools to use depends on which type of repurposed content you’re planning to create. If you want to create social media posts from a podcast episode, you can use Wave.video. For creating visuals and infographics, there is Canva. Effectively repurposing content entails getting creative. With creativity, you can take, for instance, one article and create five different LinkedIn posts or a Twitter thread for that.
This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast The UnNoticed, you can listen here.