677: 5 Things You Can Learn from AirBnB's B2B Content Strategy w/ DJ Francis

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to DJ Francis, Founder of Hub and Spoke Marketing.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Wouldn't it be nice to have several fault leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast, invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BE TOB growth show, podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with DJ Francis. He's the founder at Hubband. Spoke Marketing, DJ. How you doing today? Doing well. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to chat with you today. Dj is just telling you offline are you have different folks pitch me on topics for BB growth pretty much every day and because we use this show to really feature ideal clients as guests, I turned down most of them just because most people aren't, you know, don't don't fit that persona. But your topic that you pitch was actually so compelling to me that we decided to go on ahead and and do this. And essentially what we're going to be talking about today is Air BMB's the B tob effort, and you were instrumental in kind of helping bring this be tob product to market air BNB for work. But before we get into that, DJ I love for you to tell listeners just a little bit about what you and your team or up to a hubband spoke. Sure, thanks. So hubband spoke marketing is an independent marketing consultancy. We use content marketing to drive leads and nurture them through the funnel. So that means I make executives lives easier by completely managing the content life cycle, from strategy to creative too, technical implementation.

I love it. So, DJ, in kind of diving right in, you know, I want to give a little more context is to what you were brought in to help with. Can you tell us? You know, obviously we all know, kind of the BTC component of AIRBNB. You can stay in people's houses and it's made travel accommodations so much easier for the average consumer. But tell us a little bit about Airbnb for work. So listeners have have some context here. or so air bb for work is the B Tob Group within AIRBNB. They're responsible for business travel driving nights, so that's where they spend most of their time, trying to get people who are on business trips to stay at AIRBNB's rather than more traditional accommodation. So it is also a chance to focus on some new scenarios where Air BMB plays really well. So scenarios like off sites, relocations, team trips, you know, hotels and traditional accommodation stint to full the all flat a little bit. So AIRBNB for work help support that. They've also done a lot in terms of a product to help travel managers manage not only air BNB but other travel suppliers. So they've got a platform that after a travel manager registers, they're able to get access to complete company why platform where they have visibility into where their travelers are going, they're able to integrate with duty of care providers, all those sorts of good things to help support that travel manager. And then, like you mentioned, you know last week they launched AIRBNB for workcom. That's the demand Gen content hub that is there to help support those travel managers as well as a lead scoring program that kind of runs in the background. I love it so so dj you, you were telling me offline just some some stats about really the why behind air BNB starting to focus on bb. Can you share those with us? Yeah, certainly so. You know, I think business travel, a lot of people don't understand how huge that market is.

GBTA is estimating that by two thousand and twenty it's going to be a one point six trillion dollar market. You know, you figure are BNB and these are all, you know, publicly available stats. They have four point five million listings in a hundred ninety one countries. So you know, three hundred million plus people have stated an Airbnb over all time and you can just see the the kind of ven diagram is to where that overlaps with the oppertunity for business travel. One point that, you know, a lot of folks don't know is that nearly fifteen percent of all nights booked on Air BEINGB right now are already for work. So even though it's known as a BC platform, there are some early adopters who have already, either on their own or through the company, are using that function so that they can they can take advantage of some of those opportunities it. So, Dji, want to get into kind of the meat of this interview. Whatever really want to spend a lot of time focusing on is what be tob marketers listening to this can learn from what are BMB did right with their B tob go to market strategy. So can you kind of walk us through you being there, you know, pretty much for through not just ideation but through the execution of this strategy all the way up to launch last week? Can you talk to us about what they did right? Yeah, absolutely. So. I think one of the things that they did right from the very beginning was that they they understood the need for strategy and strategic positioning. So, you know, with them I helped run the strategy and content operations for the the demandsend content hub. A lot of times you have companies who are in such a rush to get something up that they kind of, you know, put the strategy to the side or you know, it comes later. The Air BEINGB was really smart in terms of how they kind of orchestrated this from the very beginning. That's related to a second point, which was they had leadership by in from the very beginning. So David Holyoke is the global head of business travel for your BNB. He is a fantastic leader and one of the best you know leaders I've...

...worked under, and he was able to put the right people in the room to kind of get consensus on this. You know, demand generation, lead scoring, all these things are somewhat new too many folks, and so I think him being able to kind of be that person at the forefront, that tip of this spear, was very, very helpful and provided air cover for a lot of the work we were doing. I would say a third thing is a considered all the channels that they wanted to hit prior to launch. So right now I think what you're seeing is probably a little bit more phased out, but you know, we were talking about all different channels, email, paid, etc. Months and months in advance. So that's something that sometimes falls to the very end and so I think they were smart to include that. And then the fourth thing I'll mention is they partnered with a marketing automation leader to support the lead scoring. Obviously, you know you want to get content out into the market, but you know it has a limited amount that it can actually do in less there's information flowing back through that lead scoring program to sales so that they have a better idea of who they're talking to and what that person is going to care about. So I think they did those four things very, very right. But I think the thing that impressed me most, was was kind of overall, was that all the content that we produced provided value to the end user. A lot of times when you get into content production, it starts trending more and more to well, what can we say about the product or, you know, how can we push sales? They were very, very smart in that. Every piece of content, and you'll see it on the site live today, you know, provided a real piece of value to the end user in and I'll give you a few examples. You know, you can certainly tell what's going on when you're seeing titles like new to managing travel, five tips to get you started or six tips to help you start a travel a company, travel policy. So obviously these are, you know, intended for folks who are maybe just starting out, who are thinking maybe more attracted to airbnb anyway. So you can really see kind of just from the headlines what they're trying to do. As you delve into the site a little more, you're going to see things like...

...how to get leadership by and to launch airbnb for work or measuring the impact of partnering with Airbb for so starting to get a little more the Rli as you get down that funnel, you know, bringing the product up a little bit more, getting away from the broad trends and everything that tend to be at the top of the funnel there. You know what, as I'm looking through this, I'm looking through the resources right now, that the content library for aver bb for work, and you know, I do see, you know, a lot of this, is most of everything I'm seeing is super helpful. Six steps to help you start a company travel policy. And it reminds me of another brand, large brand that I know is doing this well, American Express. They think it's they branded it open or something like that. I can't remember specifically, but kind of leading with just innuinely valuable content. Where there were there any other larger brands that you guys were looking at as as you were developing the content strategy for our bb for work to say man what like what's working? Or was this something where where you guys kind of stayed pretty insular and didn't necessarily look outside for for motivation or inspiration. You know, there was some there was some looking outside in terms of just best practices and, you know, what made folks successful. I think airbmb has a great and very unique brand and so I think they did want to remain true to that. So they're you know, they obviously weren't trying to emulate anyone. You know, I we did have discussions about folks who were, who are doing things correctly and and you know how we wanted to kind of model ourselves after. You know, one one I'll mentioned that's kind of a favorite of mine is secure works. There a cyber security company, and you know, they do a really nice job of explaining something very complex in a simple way. In the same manner aarbb had to explain something complex. You know, this isn't just home sharing now, this is a software platform where you can manage travel. That is a very different, you know,...

...selling point than the B to seaside. So I think they really had to be had to be smart about that. So so yeah, we did look at, you know, who was doing well, but I think they kind of wanted to remain true to their their I'm really ashamed to admit this, but we went the first three years of our business without having a single case study. I know, pretty ridiculous. So I finally broke down and had cap ninety nine create a couple case studies for us. We sent them some examples of other case studies that we really liked. Then we sent them the stories and the results that we wanted to include. After a few rounds of revisions, we now have two beautifully designed case studies that we send to pretty much every one of our prospects. When you sign up with Cap Ninety nine, you get unlimited graphic design and unlimited revisions for just three hundred nine nine bucks a month. Head over to BB growth showcom design and try out their fifteen day free trial. That's BEB growth showcom design. Let's get back to this interview. I'm seeing in here a really nice mix DJ of content that, you know, measuring the impact of partnering with Air BB for Work, next to an article that says five things road warriors want when they travel for work. And this is interesting to me because I see a lot of folks that are doing content. They over emphasize the five things road warriors want when they travel before work and and I think honestly, I think I even fall into this trap where I don't I don't publish enough content that is directly about our service or, you know, what we're bringing to market. And looking through the library here, it seems to be a pretty good mix of, you know, talking about the product but also just, you know, Post that are maybe a little bit more disconnected, not disconnected in the sense it's obviously related, but it's not directly about the product. How did you think about is there a certain ratio that you guys said, hey, for every...

...three posts that you know are are still related, but not directly, you know correlated, we want to do one post that is is all about. You know this, or what was your thought process there? Dj? You know, we broke it up into we stayed really true throughout to the sales funnel. So they knew a lot about how, you know, because they are being be believe or not, has been doing this be tob side for over a year now, so they had a good idea of what that sales funnel look like. And really what we did, and this should come is no surprise to anyone. You know, we looked at personas in terms of who we were targeting and then we really dug into that customer journey per persona. So, you know, some parts of that customer journey were the same for particular consumers and and other times they were very different. And so, believe it or not, every single piece of content that is up on on that site live has a place that it fit within that funnel, you know, and that corresponds also to the lead scoring aspect. So as you get down the funnel, that content becomes more valuable because we know that you're open to hearing about the product and you know, we're able to kind of gage your interest based on that. So it has to do a lot with qualifying those leads and helping them get over the hurdles that these folks were, were we're facing and still are facing. You know, you mentioned that this stuff is is very valuable from kind of a brass, tax, nuts and built standpoint, and that's exactly what we were going for. There are people who are having real trouble saving their companies money because they're they're staying in these, you know, expensive places downtown, and so what we wanted to get across not only was that there was another option, but here's how you enact that option. You know, it's not enough to just say here's the city on the hill. We're trying to give people a map to the city. Yeah, that makes sense. One question that I always like to ask is it relates to content marketing. Dj. I think it's two million dollar question, because it seems like every content marketer is trying to figure this out in terms...

...of distribution. Obviously Air BNB has a massive database on the B to seaside, how did you guys think about distribution in terms of getting all this great content in front of the right people? Is it? Obviously it's a it's a mix of enabling your sales team, making sure your sales team knows where it's out so they can use it, of along the sales process once they're already working with a perspective customer. was there some email like distribution, like social like holistically, kind of what was you guys as plan of attack when it came to dis distributing all this? You know, I think I'm pretty or we looked at almost every distribution channel and kind of wighed pros and cons. You know, obviously the website is going to be key. It's the it's kind of the resource hub there. You know, marketing automation is clearly powerful and world you know, we've all seen the stats that email is retaining its relevance, you know, even as it gets older and older. So email was a big part of it. You'll see that air bb now has a be tob social channel leave. You know, I saw twitter and I wouldn't be surprised about linkedin. So so I think they were very smart about kind of looking at the landscape and determining where can we make the most impact, you know, the most quickly, and putting their resources there. But they also kind of took that broad view of you know, no matter what channel people come into, we want them to have a consistent experience with this content, right. So, you know, even if we don't focus or push too much in any particular channel, we still want it to kind of be part of the same message, and they did a really great job of bringing that the sales team into that message in as well, so that they would be prepared for the information that they were getting and then be able to respond to it. I love it. Wonderful, DJ, this has been that this has been fantastic. Becau. Is there anything else that you think we should touch on before, for I let you go today. No, no, I think you know, we hit on a lot of key points the you know, the one that I love most is just that relevance and...

...content. You know, we don't need more content in the world. The Internet is proof of that. We need really good content. So that's that's kind of the hard part, figuring out what your what your prospect needs at any given moment, and I think are BINGB for work did that here. I love it. Dj Again, thank you so much for your time. If somebody wants to connect with you, they want to learn more about hub and spoke, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? For their two options hub spoke up marketing, or you can reach me at Dja at Dj Francescom. Wonderful. All right, Dj again, thank you so much for your time. This has been incredible. I really appreciate it. Appreciate it thanks to to. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the bed growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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