B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 1750 · 1 month ago

Is Your Content Intelligent? with Helen Baptist

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode Benji talks to Helen Baptist, Chief Operating Officer at PathFactory.

Discussed in this episode:

  • The core components of content intelligence
  • The power and complexity of a content audit
  • The future of content as a key converter

Conversations from the front lines and marketing. This is B two, B growth. Welcome back to be to be growth. I'm your host, Benji Block, and today excited to have Helen Baptist here with us. She's the chief operating officer over at path factory. Helen, welcome into be to be growth. Thanks for having me, Benji. It's great to spend some time with you. For sure I'm excited about where this conversation is headed. Talk to me a little bit about your role as chief operating officer. What are you overseeing? What's your day to day look like for path factory right now? Yeah, so I oversee sales, marketing and experience of the whole bag, as a salesperson would say, or the chief revenue officer would say, the whole brand experience from a marketing perspective, whether that's demand and generation, a B M events, content, obviously, and then in the experience side is, you know, our CSM s and our solutions engineers making sure that we deliver on the promise of the sales experience and so contiguous customer journey is, uh, something that I'm a bit maniacal about, having been a salesperson, having been a customer success person. You know, connecting the dots on the journey is really important for me. Well, that's great context for this conversation and having purview into several parts of the business I think creates great conversation because you're speaking with multiple hats essentially. So glad to Colum Baptist. Is that what we're going to talk about? No, I won't make this a therapy session, but I'm sure we could. Okay. So I know right now for many we're in a time where, especially, I mean B two B, this is the story. It's buyers want to buy, how they want to buy. It's a shift in thinking for those that have been in marketing and sales for a long time. Right, but that's is the way things...

...are now. You can do research on your own time however you want to do it, and that's going to present unique challenges but also a lot of opportunity from my world, where which is content, right, that content perspective. There is a whole new ball game on that side of things. So how are you witnessing that shift? And and as to how people want to buy, Helen, yeah, so I think it's Gardner that says that you know the buying experience with a human involved in it. From the seller's perspective, is only sevent of the journey. And so do you think about that? That's of the journey is done by the individual doing the buying or the committee buying right. And so the idea that content plays a very significant role in that, whether you're talking top of funnel, middle bottom or even throughout the pipe. The idea that content has to be relevant for that buyer at their stage in the buying cycle, and whether there are known or unknown visitors or buyers is also part of the mix too. And content has always played this like the antagonist role in content marketing and campaign marketing, and so I think content plays a more critical role, even more so with the recession coming on, because people with marketing budgets have to be repurposed, and so knowing what content is really working and whether you can make snack ales or other things out of it is the opportunity I think people need to look at more strategically than they have in the past. Yeah, it's interesting. It's almost like we could afford to make some I had to use this word, but like crappy content in the past, where you just kind of like we have some time, we have someone that could be on a blog and we're just pushing out as much as possible. Versus now, I think it's actually a great reminder. Hey, you don't maybe have to put out as much content, but you've got to watch the quality and there's several pieces to content strategy that you really need to be thinking through. And you said a piece of this...

...puzzle needs to actually be content intelligence. So for our audience, maybe not all completely new to that phrase, but I'd love to hear you describe it in your own words. Yeah, for us there's three pillars. The first is the piece of content that you have, the assets that you have, and if you think about like an online grocery ordering store like pepod or Amazon, you can get all the attributes of whatever you're buying right. There's a nutrition fact panel on the side of a diet coke can or a meal that you might be buying and it will tell you the nutritional value, it will tell you how much of a specific topic is in that content, in that asset. And yet B two B marketers don't have that insights and that's really hard to do. We rely on the click right or the open of an email as the core metric for success. But really understanding what people are engaging in is important, right. So content as an attribute, using natural language processing and these like terminologies that I don't understand the whole concept of, but there are people who have bigger brings than me who can do this. But extracting the attributes out of an e book or an infographic or whatever it is, an understanding the taxonomy and the topics and the key phrases in there is is important. One example that I like to think about is what's the health of your content? Is it compliant for W kg accessibility? Is it compliant for S C o? Do you have too many I frame tags in your content? That's stopping some of your your SEO capabilities and that doesn't really exist in a way that CPG thinks about. The second piece of that is obviously the visitors who are coming to engage in your content when you put it out into the universe, and I think I mentioned like unknown and known. One of the things that we like to think about is that history doesn't change when you become known. When you fill in a form, everybody thinks that it resets to zero. But it doesn't because you consume this content before that.

So if I take those two components of visitors and content and put them together, I can actually serve up the next best piece of content, either based on who you are and how you've interacted, where you've come from, what account, what industry, what country, region, and then also take that to what other people like you might like or the most related piece of content to the topics that you've just read about. So it's it's really about being smarter about the content you have, who's engaging in it, and then serving it up better than we have in the past, where marketers think that curating based on tags is the way to curate content. Yeah, I want to dive a bit into each of those, so let's just go with that first one, establishing what content you have. I know one thing that if you're in that content frame of mind, you want all the content to be used. You wanted to be useful to the organization, two sales, whatever the piece of and it is supposed to be useful for. But you can be like create this asset and then onto the next thing. It's just how teams operate, and so doing something like a content audit can seem a bit daunting but also very necessary. Any thoughts there as to how we actually start to establish, okay, what content we actually have and then what's most important to our organization to create content that maybe fills in the gaps? Yeah, it's interesting because when I joined path factory, I asked for a content audit and it took two and a half months and in the meantime we created twenty new pieces of content. Right, and it's out of out of date, in the old way of doing that by technology of crawling your content, Corpus the body of content that we want to look at, whether that's web pages or whether that's PD APPs or whether that's e books. It doesn't really matter to us that. The speed by which that happens is fast, like lightning fast, and so this content audit capability is possible within a week, within three days, depending on the size of scope of how many pages you have.

You know walk I talked to one of our enterprise customers and they had a h thousand web pages. Well, how do they even know what's what's there? And they were going to go and swap their cms out, but by understanding the content they have in the topics. They're probably talking about something that's not related to whatever their key product is. Right they may have changed the product, they may have added new products, and so really understanding what topics are in your content, you can get to very quickly who's engaged with it. Obviously, depending on the volume and velocity of visitors to your content and the channel by which it's served, that may take a little bit longer to understand the journey through the content and the topics that are resonating. But if you've got history, we can we can pull that in as well. Okay, so I think the other interesting component of this is what should I serve up next, which, for you guys right like you're doing a ton of and we can talk about some of what you're doing. But I wonder also if we're taking this an elementary level where it's like, okay, I'm not gonna implement path factory right now, but we need to get better at knowing what to serve up next. Like how do you think of that process and is there a most elementary kind of like level of that where we could better equipped marketers to do that? Yeah, so I think like if you think about traditional nurture as a as a use case. For example, it would be that I would send an email today and then maybe two weeks later I'd send you the second piece of content or the third piece of content that I think, as a marketer, which I've tagged and I'm managing through governance, is the most relevant for you. And I think even basics within that concept of using things like skip logic, when you package up four or five pieces of content and if somebody has gone three in, you wouldn't have to send them the second and third nurture email, you could send them the fourth, and so having this idea of manually curating content and then serving up the most...

...relevant piece based on what I have consumed. That's basic right. That skip logic. We have that functionality and you can use it a couple of ways. One is you could just send the next nurture, but if they've only read thirty of your e Book and we know how far they've read, you could have a trigger that says, Hey, you didn't finish this book and this is this is the good parts that you've missed, and so you can actually create really smart marketing based on content engagement, content consumption. Hey, everybody Olivia here. As a member of the sweet fish sales team, I wanted to take a second and share something that makes us insanely more efficient. Our team uses lead I q. So for those of you who are in sales or sales ops, let me give you some context. You know how long gathering contact data can take so long, and with lead I Q, What once took us four hours to do, now it takes us just one. That is more efficient. We are so much quicker with outbound prospecting and organizing our campaigns is so much easier than before. I suggest you guys check it out as well. You can find them at least I q dot Com. That's l e a d I q dot Com. Already. Let's jump back into the show. You could have a trigger that says, Hey, you didn't finish this book and this is this is the good parts that you've missed, and so you can actually create really smart marketing based on content, engagement, content consumption. M I think that's part of content that you if you spend all your time creating these fantastic assets, which I think you do automation right, then it can pring people back into the conversation. We're all busy. Yeah, I'm guilty of I don't know how many books I have on my computer right now, Helen on my on my desktops. So don't look. But that idea that we create fantastic assets and then we're equipping ways...

...of really bring putting that in front of someone at the right time. That's that's obviously so key to this. I think the other piece is knowing when to add friction into your content at the right time, because that's a conversation. We could talk about gated on gated content. I've done that plenty here, but I just want to talk. Let's talk intentional friction for for a moment. Any key learnings we can glean from you guys and what you're seeing as far as adding friction at the right time? Yeah, so we have we have the ability to set gates based on time spent on an asset, number of assets read, etcetera, etcetera, and customers have to find their own sweet spot based on who that audience member is as well. I think it depends whether that person is unknown or whether you want to do progressive profiling as well, right for a known customer. So adding in pieces of information that might help with greater personalization. is also the opportunity from a friction point, but they're all always has to be, and this is my my pet peeve is it don't don't put a gate until I've got some value from the content, and the content can't be you know that the gate can't appear at three seconds after I've clicked on it. I don't even know what the title says. I can't read that fast. So let me get into the content a little bit further. Maybe you know it's halfway through an infographic or whatever it is, versus right out of the gate, or maybe it's on the next piece, because you've given me the permission to go to the next piece, and so in exchange, I would give you some information so that I can then consume the second or third piece that I'm really interested in, because you've hooked me on the first. Yeah, I think we're even thinking of the gated, ungated conversation wrong now in that, especially on social channels where we're sharing content, we're acting like well, if I share some you know, valuable blog that lists on my website and it's a gated and I linked to it over on Linkedin, then people can go access it, but I'd...

...say that's even a gate because when they have to click off of it, the chances of them leaving Linkedin to go read your blog. Like, what value did you add on Linkedin? I see so many B two B companies that are guilty of that. They add no value on their social channels and they just put it all on their website and they don't. You can see a skyrocket in traffic if you'd add some of the value from that piece of content over on the social channel organically, but different soapbox. Just yeah, and I think that's that's part of the content intelligence story, is knowing what piece of content or topic or story or key phrases might actually be of value if you're doing lookalike profiling, right, Um, so that you can create that snippet for Linkedin or social to be relevant to the target audiences that you want to you want to capture. Yeah, providing value, no matter what channel, has to be top of mind and then you can do the rest. You can think through the rest, you can test the rest, but the valuable content, obviously, is the starting place. Okay, so give me an example of content intelligence at work, Hellen. Yeah, so I gave you a couple of manual curations of content intelligence at work right, so using forms at the right point in the journey, using progressive profiling of the forms in the journey. The other part of it is serving up content, if it's an unknown visitor, based on their account. So account based marketing is like everywhere right, and we partner with a couple of the big companies. We O e. m six cents I p look up addresses inside a path factory. So when you bring your a p I key from from them to us, if you're a customer of six cents, we can actually inherit their segments and route them to a specific content experience for that account. Whether it's one to one, once a few, one too many. I think that's kind of you know, that is some of the content intelligence as well, at the easiest level, if you will. where it gets really tough...

...and where we've invested and doubled down is on machine recommendations, AI generated recommendations based on what you have consumed, what others like you might have consumed, what topics you keep going back to, when your last session was, how frequently you come back. There's a variety of recommendations that we can make and are configurable based on that customers desired state, and so this idea of using the spotify playlist or the Netflix pay playlist is there. And what I'm really jazzed about is that we're just launching some new functionality soon where set marketing can actually create templates for sales and path factory will recommend the topics and the content based on the account, the visitor or the contact at count opportunity and contact slash lead, whichever one you custom object, you use in salesforce. But this idea of being aligned with marketing content on the sales experience is key to right. So we're not just compartmentalizing marketing and sales, we're bringing them together because of that journey of is marketing or sales driven content experiences and then sevent in person conversations per gardner. So making that journey contiguous and stillless for the buyer or the prospect or the customer, whichever way you want to put it, is pretty exciting for me for sure. I wonder when you think of the future, do you see content becoming this like key converter? Then it kind of feels like what we're talking around a little bit. People basically viewing content not just as a part of marketing but almost as like part of your sales team. Yeah, and and to me the ideal situation would be, and this is what I've told my my product team, knowing that I oversee...

...sales, marketing and experiences, I want to know what topics and what content creates people to go to the next stage in the funnel or in the pipe, by vertical, by customer type, by Industry, whatever it is, so that I can be more prescriptive to the people that are doing the day to day management from an account executive or CSM perspective, so that we're serving the right content to engage at the right time. Whether you're in renewal cycle or whether you're in upsell expansion, it doesn't really matter. The customer still needs to have the right content and to meet content is the catalyst for conversion throughout both whatever waterfall you're using right, whether it's demand Gen, whether it's a B M, whether it's sales pipeline, they're all waterfalls and you need to know what's converting where. Okay, so I like to do this as a wrap up. I always ask what would you give us as the main takeaway from our conversation, Helen, the thing that our marketing leaders listening to this should do after hearing this episode and thinking through content intelligence? Yeah, so, first off is you don't have to do a manual content audit. Your governance probably isn't as tight as it should be. There's probably a distinction between your tags and the topics that will reveal for you. Two is the alignment between sales and marketing. They're not different buyers. Therefore, the content should be the same content and contiguous in telling the story, regardless of where the customer is in that journey. And three is you, as a marketer, don't have to do the heavy lifting of curating those experiences. There are some techniques that will allow you to curate that more easily and as the market compresses and you lose resources, you have to work more efficiently and effectively and that's the way that you can do it. Fantastic. Well, thank you, Helen, for chatting with us about this today. I know there's listeners...

...that are ready to touch base with you and want to follow up. What's the best way for for people to do that? Best Way is, Helen at PATH FACTORY DOT com. It's easy, and the other would be that I am on Linkedin as well. So if you want to look me up, I'm there. Uh Telling Baptist, like the church, Johnda, whatever you want to call it. Last name is baptist. It's in any easy way to get called Bishop. I get called whatever, but baptist. The last name Helen the baptist. That's the easiest way to remember it. Thank you against so much. Little Name. I used to say that when I was eight. Nice. Thank you so much for being here with us today. Thanks, Benji, for having me. I really appreciate the time to all of our listeners. Were having insightful conversations like this because we want to help fuel your innovation. You're continued thinking on these topics. Want to help your content strategy. So if you haven't yet followed the PODCAST, be sure to do that and then if you had a question or you wanted to just chat about something that's going on in your marketing and your marketing team, you can reach out to me on Linkedin. Would love to talk to you. Just search Benji block over there and keep doing work that matters. We'll be back real soon with another episode. B Two B growth is brought to you by the team at sweet fish media. Here at Sweet Fish, we produced podcasts for some of the most innovative brands in the world and we help them turn those podcasts into micro videos linkedin content, blog posts and more. We're on a mission to produce every leader's favorite show. Want more information? Visit Sweet Fish Media Dot Com.

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