How AI Can Be Used to Optimize B2B Content Marketing
Suppose you could take the guesswork out of your B2B content marketing? What if there was a way to create content that will help generate outcomes? On this week’s episode, we talk to marketing expert Jeff Coyle (Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, MarketMuse) about how artificial intelligence (AI) can be leveraged to break silos and be a “great unifier” within large B2B organizations, especially when it comes to content and communication. Jeff also talks about how an AI-powered approach can be used to understand the behavior of the target audience, create predictability in marketing, and deliver better results for B2B organizations.
Topics discussed in this episode:
Christian Klepp, Jeff Coyle
Christian Klepp 00:00
Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for B2B marketers that helps you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. Each week, we talk to B2B marketing experts who share inspirational stories, discuss their thoughts and trending topics, and provide useful marketing tips and recommendations. And now, here’s your host and co-founder of EINBLICK Consulting, Christian Klepp. Welcome, everyone to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast where you get your weekly dose of B2B marketing insights. So this is your host, Christian Klepp. And today, it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome a guest into the show who is on a mission to raise the bar for content quality. So the B2B marketers can as he rightfully puts it, publish more and publish fearlessly. So, Mr. Jeff Coyle, welcome to the show, sir.
Jeff Coyle 00:49
Oh, thanks so much. I look forward to the discussion today.
Christian Klepp 00:52
Yeah, we know, we had a really great conversation previously, Jeff, I mean, well, that one I’ll remember for quite a while. But let’s, uh, let’s set this up a little bit for the listeners, okay. Because, um, you know, we’ve had a few talented folks like yourself on the show who have talked about B2B content marketing. But I think today’s conversation comes with an interesting twist. And I think you’ll agree. So just to get things started, you are the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of a company called MarketMuse. And there you combine advanced AI, natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to produce actionable insights for inbound marketers. So let’s zero in on today’s topic of conversation, which is how AI can be used to optimize content marketing for B2B. So talk to us about what you think the AI component is so important and so powerful?
Jeff Coyle 01:46
Yeah, and that’s a great question. And thanks for the setup. And it’s really I think that people rush to judgment about what they think artificial intelligence is way too quickly. And not to go on, you know, what is AI and what isn’t AI regarding this, but it’s really there. They think that it’s just a thing that’s going to write content. And while natural language generation is a thing, and it is, you know, our data science team is based in Montreal, the MarketMuse, M for lab, and we are innovating in that field, and we have our own natural language generation platform, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence has impacts across the content lifecycle, all the way from early stage research, to planning and prioritization, building kind of sources of truth for things processes, like project briefs, or content briefs, giving your writers insights while they write, much like they’d expect to get with spellcheck, right or grammar checking or, you know, but giving them insights that tell them how to make this more comprehensive, or written from more of a lens of that which an expert would write, and then going into publishing and promotion, and then post publish assessment, the biggest thing that AI can bring for the kind of a full stack marketer, full stack content marketer is kind of clarity in their mirrors. I always like to say, you probably have a bit of a funhouse mirror, if you work in a mid-market enterprise company, because you’re like, there’s a lot of bias, there’s internal stuff, there’s a lot of brainstorming, there’s a lot of subjectivity. So the next thing that artificial intelligence can bring you is objective measures of things you only ever thought would ever be subjective. And that’s the brain breaker, right? Because it’s saying, wait, wait, you can tell me, you can try to set a standard for a concept like content quality, or content comprehensiveness, or subject matter expertise. And that’s where I’ve spent, you know, the last seven plus years is trying to build objective measures for things that people only ever thought would be subjective and come out of, you know, great ideas or subject matter experts brains. What that does is it makes subject matter experts and editorial strategists and content strategists and great writers into super powered writers and super powered strategists. Because you can say, hey, I want to go write this article, or build this content plan. And now instead of saying someone goes, why, you say cuz I’m smart. You’re not. I know this, you don’t. You now say, I’ve got these metrics, I am able to predict the outcomes of this plan. And that empowers an editorial leader, to not just have to sit on their expertise as the bar for how people enable their decisions. So then they can ask for more money. They win more, their efficiencies go up. On the flip side, you can also get into a situation where if you’re a writer, your content strategist may not be making great decisions. And you can put that to the test with data and say, you know, we’re writing about this, it’s not really having an impact, we either have to go right 10 times more, because of the competitive landscape. If we want to keep pushing up that hill, it’s a big hill, we’re trying to own CRM, okay, good luck, it’s gonna be a long journey, we have to really build and invest, or we have to pivot and focus on some other things that we can achieve against. But just having that power, it makes it so that you’re not just you know, I hate the phrase tilting at windmills, but you’re not just pushing out content and hoping it’s going to succeed. Or you’re, you know, able to more tactically verify or validate your experts, they say, I should write about this, you say, yeah, that’s an easy win for us. High five, that makes the SEOs, the content strategists, the demand gen people, the editorial leads, and the experts get on the same page, because they’re all using the same set of data. And before AI was there before you can assess this, it was just a bunch of different people with different KPIs. And they were all trying to figure out how to win to get their bonuses. And we all know that doesn’t work. So yeah, so that’s how AI power the entire lifecycle of content is getting people on the same page. So that they can predict outcomes better and justify the time, justify their expenses. And you know, because it’s, it’s so much for so long, has been manual and subjective. And you got to take stock of your process, you got to say, but what am I doing that’s manual? And what am I doing that’s subjective, and you got to be real. And, and you got to make that buck stop, you know?
Christian Klepp 06:54
Absolutely. I mean, wow, you have, you have opened the door into this world, or as they’ve taken us behind the scenes of this ecosystem, that I would say very few people can brag about in terms of like, knowing exactly how all of this works, right. And I’ll come out, I’ll come clean and say that I was one of these that had my doubts about AI. Right? In the sense that I have doubts about like, okay, you can use AI to produce microcopy. But anything beyond that might be questionable. But you have, you have proven that it can do so much more than that.
Jeff Coyle 07:33
Yeah, it’s, you know, it’s about something that I think people expect it to be somewhat of a magic trick. Yeah. And then they judge it. And they’re, like, good or bad. And it’s when they when you realize when you like live inside it. And it is your friend. It’s like your, you know, your your third arm, it’s like your, you know, your secret weapon, your utility belt. And then you start saying, Well, I can. Prior to this, I thought that my team could only produce five articles per month. And I was pretty happy with the quality. See those, those are subjective thoughts. But now I know, we can publish eight articles per month. And I can quantify the quality and comprehensiveness of each page, and I could predict how successful they’re going to be. So now, I’m feel better. Everybody feels like they’re being respected and appreciated more. And we’re getting higher efficiency rates on content. So let’s say we were publishing five before, and only one was successful each month, we’re around 20%. By the way, that’s higher than the average, the average is about 10%. As sad and sick as that is. And we push ourselves up to eight. And now, even if we stayed at 25%, let’s just say, you know, we’re now we’ve doubled the efficiency of our team. Okay, now, let’s say we bring that up to 50% efficiency. We’re now you know, getting into crazy multipliers. And that’s the, that’s the world we bring to teams. It’s like, Oh, wait, I’ve increased volume, and quality and performance. Like if you know, the triangle, it’s time quality and speed, quality and whatever the my brain isn’t, and performance, I think. We do it all at once. And that’s where people are like, Oh, wait a second. And then they get used to that. And then they’re like, what’s the next thing we can do? And then he was like, okay, well, we can put this in place so that you don’t have to manually write a content brief anymore. We can automate that. Okay, how much time does that save you? Okay, three hours per page, five hours per page. What are you going to do with that five hours, right? Then you get then it starts but Oh, wait, you’re, you’re you’re just revving up every piece of my team and by making less mistakes, by making… like writing less content that doesn’t perform. That’s stage one, stage two is speeding up processes. And then when you keep doing that everybody just, everybody’s just like, feels like they’re on the same page. Versus, you know, like, I’m really good at my job. I’m going to do that. And then I’m going to do that again and do that again. And hope everybody else figures it out. You know, it’s just not, it’s not a… they’re not in concert. And unfortunately, most mid-market to enterprise publishing works B2B, B2C, e-commerce. I mean, I still I’ve gotten an email this morning that said, but Jeff, I’m not allowed to touch those two parts of the site. Right? And I’m like, we can work around that. But why should we have to work around that you’re a billion dollar company. And that’s really the types of things that we look to, you know, examine, try to understand. And we have, you know, I have ways of talking to somebody to make them realize that all boats rise, you’re one work. And if one team feels like their KPIs more important than the others, you got a problem. You really have a problem, it’s gonna come out, it’s gonna come out in weird ways, or ugly ways, you know?
Christian Klepp 11:13
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You brought up that you brought up that bad word starts with an S, we’re gonna talk about that later on, though. You know, what, Jeff, you’ve been, you’ve been in the space for a bit. So, you know, and you talked about, uh, you know, in the past couple of minutes, but I would imagine you’ve seen it at all. So just off the top of your head, talk about like, three mistakes or misconceptions that people have when it comes to AI and B2B content marketing and what you think can be done to address those?
Jeff Coyle 11:42
Sure. Gosh, three mistakes, I can come up with about 300 we should write…
Christian Klepp 11:46
Jeff Coyle 11:47
3000 mistakes, they can have it (laugh). One. One is the… one most common that I see now. And this is much more for advanced teams, or teams that have actually hired in specialization, but I think everybody can relate to it. It’s the belief that content should only be measured at the page level, when it should be measured at the page level, but only in tandem with being measured at the group level or the site section or site level. Because what is the biggest mistake we see is where people think that they’re writing one page for, for example, one topic or one word. And they should only write one page, when they really need an entire infrastructure that covers the entire learning journey or buyer journey. From early stage awareness, consideration, purchase, know, whatever can or care, consider, choose whatever your but also post purchase, and troubleshooting. And then you need content on that topic for your existing customers or champion development. I like to call it and so when you’re measuring content only at the page level, you can miss the forest for the trees like your saying, Okay, my highest trafficked page is my early stage awareness content, but it doesn’t generate any leads. Like, yeah, it’s not supposed to generate any leads, right? You may grab some subscriptions, but you’re not gonna sell someone that day on $100,000 software product on the what is CRM page, right? It’s their part of the journey, and you’re there to help them but you need the content at the other parts of that journey. And if you’re measuring each one of those, at the same scale, if you’re measuring them, if you’re measuring the support structure the same way that you measure, you know, the lead, and you’re not differentiating those, or you’re not seeing the fact that all those things together contribute to your authority, which moves as a mass, so that you can own these tougher topics. But like imagine just imagining the flip side, and this is where the mistake I show people the mistake is to say, Do you deserve to perform for that topic? Let’s say you’re taught I use CRM a lot because it’s easy. Everybody knows what this. Let’s say, Do you deserve to be getting traffic to the page for just the word CRM, if in your entire website, you only had one page on CRM? That makes absolutely no sense. So why measure it that way? Why measure it only on the one page level and that’s a big, that’s a big mistake.
Jeff Coyle 14:33
The second mistake that I see people do is believe that they can make it all work by just tuning up technical debt or technical search engine optimization, best practices, that that is going to solve all their problems and they don’t then have to focus on internal linking or the structure it be UX or there’s other information architecture, their site, and then the content and how it’s presented. But the reality is that yes, typical SEO is very, very important. These are things like site speed. These are things like, you know, first paint, which means like, How quickly does do you actually start painting stuff that people can see. These are structural problems, redirection, migration management, all that stuff is excruciating important. I’ve spent my big part of my life tuning, you know, my skills in that, but they are the way to get invitations to the party. That’s it. And they don’t get, they don’t get you in the party. And they don’t let you have a good time at the party. Right? That’s where the content and that’s where the integration occurs. And so the, that’s a big mistake, people think like, Oh, I’m going to make my site fast. And then it’s going to free me from all of my sins. Okay, so that’s number two. Other way, I’m just thinking I’m just coming up with these right now. And they’re really good.
Jeff Coyle 16:00
Number three is by on my other favorite one is copying one’s idols. biggest mistake and B2B. Left it for the end, I might have said the first one was the biggest mistake. But this was also the biggest mistake in the world of multiple superlatives. So, if you are in e-commerce, and you copy the content, or the strategy of Amazon, or Walmart, you’re in big trouble, the world of enterprise search engine optimization, they play on a different game, they play 4D chess on a board you’ve never seen, not even that weird 4D chess board that you’ve seen, like they play on a on a game, they play a game that you don’t even you can’t even imagine the rules. This goes for publishers, this goes for e-commerce. This goes for the big B2B aggregators, they’re playing a game that is completely different. So unless you know that game, don’t copy their stuff, and don’t copy their strategies. And that’s what we see. These are the mid-market B2B. Tech, certainly, a lot of them want to copy the stalwarts in the space, they think that they can do that. Or they’re mixing up and analyzing search results, to look at content, and basically making the correlation assumption that if they look at the top n, top three ranking pages, and smoosh them together and write a page there, it’s going to be successful. absolutely not the case. It’s a false correlation. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t, it feels really good for a period of time. But a lot of those sites then crash over time. Because they’re not founded on true content strategy, and they’re not founded on a real infrastructure. It’s something that people can’t maintain. And then they’ll make a mistake. And when you make one mistake, in that space, it can just shatter the entire brand. Um, examples of that would be trying to copy G2 crowd in B2B and what they’re doing trying to copy a publisher, let’s say, a red ventures, a CBS, Viacom, CBS, and a or an IAC dot dash. Who, what they do is very different than what you do. And I’m not saying that because they’re like, bigger, they’re better, necessarily. They all are tuned machines, by the way, most of them are customers, not just the ones I’ve named, but I work with a lot of these teams, on the large e-commerce sides, same thing. You try to copy them for one reason or another. They’re doing things for really different reasons. It’s not that I’m telling you, they’re big timing you or whatever. It’s just sometimes they do stuff that’s not right. But they get away with it, and you can’t and that’s not fair. But it’s true. Okay, so that’s the thing that you’ve got to realize, unless you get what I’m saying, Don’t copy your idols, it will lead to pain, it will lead to suffering. I’ve seen it so many times. So many times people come to me crying. Sometimes literally, sometimes, you know, figuratively, and they’ll say, I listened to what this training course told me. I copied top end results. I did what… G2 is a great example. I did what G2 is I tried to do a G2 was doing. We had this early spike, everybody was excited. And it came crashing down or I listened to this. I like to call them touts. But you know, tout is a word from the gambling industry. Go check it out. You know, they’re the ones that say, hey, bid on the Buccaneers tonight. It’s my number one better the weekend. So listen to people like that right? There. Listen to them. And what I always tell them is like what sites do they represent? Um, what happens if they’re the sites they represent, that aren’t their own name, their personal brand? What happens if those crash, they go buy new websites and they start over right. As an affiliate can do. Good for you affiliate marketers, you can do that, you got that luxury. But if you work for a brand a big brand, you don’t have the luxury of crashing and dying. Like you can’t just pick a you’ve got to be tight with your strategy, you got to be tight with your risk management. You can’t afford, like death, you’re supporting a company. So you if you take a risk that an affiliate marketer would if you work for Britex, I have two small children. So a lot of my references often are our baby products or food or Pokemon, you know. So if you work for Britex, it’s a stroller and baby goods company, high end premium products, right? If you work for that company, right? And you do something that makes that thing crash, the company is in trouble, you’re in deep trouble. If you work for an affiliate site, babystrollerscompare.com right? You can get aggressive because of that crashes. And you go by comparebabystrollers.com and try again. If you’re the guy in the B2B chair, having to build that brand, you can’t afford to take those risks. You can’t afford to take the advice of the towels. And that’s the biggest issue in SEO right now. People who learn from touts.
Christian Klepp 21:20
Yeah, absolutely. No, I was just thinking about like, especially that third point, that last point you made. It reminded me of a conversation I had with another gentleman who was on the show. And he talked about, you know, he’s doing B2B podcasting. Like he produces them. And he said he had clients come to him or one client rather that said, we want to have something that’s funny, and viral like the Dollar Shave Club, to which he said, Good luck. (laugh)
Jeff Coyle 21:49
Alright, right. You know, virality is tough. virality is a science.
Christian Klepp 21:53
Well, well, first of all, though, the fact that somebody says, oh, I want you to make me a viral video.
Jeff Coyle 21:58
I love it. No, I love it. It’s like a, it’s like, it’s a science for product management, it’s a science for user experience. It’s a science for social media to get one winner, you have to think that through at such a level, and even then you can only do so much with your enablement, you can hurt. It’s a lot of like technical SEO, you can make it so that it’s hard to go viral. But you can only get it the invite. And then it has to become something, you know, there’s a thing called the Z coefficient in virality, and it’s easier to figure out when it’s bits and bytes and user experience and product management. And it’s super hard to figure out when it involves real people, in a way, I think it’s, it’s called an advocacy or promotional enablement situation. And that’s what people have to do for a viral video. It’s very different. So it’s all about neuro marketing. And, and there’s a great art is a great book by Roger Dooley. Roger D from webmasterworld. called neuro, I believe it’s called neuromarketing. And he gets into some of the science of this, that’s really, really cool. So, yeah.
Christian Klepp 23:28
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Hey, it’s Christian Klepp here. We’ll get back to the episode in a second. But first, is your brand struggling to cut through the noise? Are you trying to find more effective ways to reach your target audience and boost sales? Are you trying to pivot your business? If so, book a call with EINBLICK Consulting, our experienced consultants will work with you to help your B2B business to succeed and scale. Go to www.einblick.co for more information.
Jeff, I’d like to jam a little bit further in something that you brought up in a previous conversation, I’m gonna try to like, quote you as best as I can, but you said something, you said something to the effect of AI can be used. And I’m gonna say that bad word that I was talking about. AI can be used to break silos, and be a great unifier in large B2B organizations, especially when it comes to content and communication. So can you elaborate on that a little bit, please?
Jeff Coyle 24:25
Yeah, so I touched on a little bit, but to go a little bit deeper. Um, the first step that I always challenge people is like, don’t just start using software, which is weird for a person selling software. You know, as I’m my new role, I’m actually the Chief Strategy Officer. So I’m looking at the horizon scanning of our market and launching new products that haven’t existed yet. So we have a big data product that’s relaunching. The largest keyword database on the planet coming out, so it’s very exciting. But the I always say don’t use the software, don’t use software yet, until you truly know. Or do like almost like a process inventory of everything that goes into a content. How a bill becomes a law with content at your organization, and interviewed that whole or the team. Try to get at least a sense of all the stages of your process. And try to figure out who’s doing work that they’re not good at. Right? Who’s spending time doing things that there are people on this planet who are better at it? And it’s not part of their job description? Technically, right? It wouldn’t be a job description. Where are the manual time loss? Where’s the manual time loss across this time? Where are the feedback loops? Where stuff is delivered and then either rejected or edited? And then brought back? Where is the subjectivity? Where’s the end? So it goes through that entire process? And then at the end, make the assessment say, what’s my efficiency rate? for performance? So you say I’ve published 10 articles, how many of those were successful? Okay, on average over time, and then best practice would be to then break that into topics or site sections. And say, when I write about coffee, I’m 10% efficient. When I write about stickers, don’t do coffee, and stickers. Those are just two things I’m looking at right now. That then I then I am 20%. So maybe I you know, I make some decisions based on that. Now, that’s the that’s the ammunition that breaks silos. Okay. It’s to say, hey, Joey, you should not be doing keyword research. You’re a great writer. I want you to write, I think your expertise is your biggest asset, I need to figure out how to get more of your expertise on the page. So that you’re writing, you’re getting a writing a better quality of content more consistently, you’re not wasting time fighting with the CMS, you’re not wasting time doing SEO analysis, which, frankly, won’t be very good. Because Joey is an editorial lead. Why would he be good? Why would we expect someone that writes to be really good at SEO? Why would we expect somebody you know, it’s, it’s like, expecting somebody who is a painter, to be able to chemically make paint? It makes absolutely no sense. Like, if you can find those if you know, the instead of T-shaped marketer, if you can find them. I call them, I should tell my team at Tech target. We don’t want to be Ts, we want to be squares, right? I want to be a square. That’s my goal. I’m as close to a square as it gets. And that’s right. You want that but you can’t find those people reality, you know, so and then you got your SEOs. Yes, you and your SEOs to write, right? You know what they’re gonna try to do? Because SEOs just do this. I know, I’m allowed to say that. It’s like talking about your own your own crew, right? They try to cut corners. They try to trick things, they try to get to do it as quickly as possible. And guess what? The quality will be acidic. So why would you ask for SEO to write? Well you ask your writer to do SEO. Why would you ask your production lead that’s focused on user, customer experience, reader experience, design, and imagery. Why would you ask them to do SEO? Right? Find those, right? Find the manual processes and find the cross team mismatching that you expect this person to be the jack of all trades. There’s the second part of the jack of all trades sentence, you know, as master of none, if you find the master of everything, hold on to that person, give them great bear hugs. I’ve had a few of them in my career. They’re typically all VPs of marketing, or CMOs at amazing org’s right now. But hold on to him as long as you can. But that’s not going to be the norm for you. So set that up. And literally tell everybody the thing that you want, you desire and dream to take off their plate. Don’t take the thing off their plate, they’re good at. That makes no sense, take the thing off their plate they’re bad at, they hate. And guess what that does? Break silos.
Christian Klepp 29:27
Break silos. Yep. Those are some really excellent points. And that was a perfect segue into the next question, because it’s talking about some ways that a fractured B2B marketing team can effectively and again, this is quoting you toxify the organization using an AI powered approach and it at least from what you’ve been saying the past couple of minutes, it strikes me as you are, you and your organization are using AI and data to turn potential push backs. Not so much politics but like push backs and barriers into an advantage for your customers. Am I right to say that?
Jeff Coyle 30:05
Yeah, that’s exactly right. Um, it’s, it’s also the way that you know, I hate to say, but we’re not tricking anybody. Right? You know, you’re really trying to put the best package out there. It’s like you’re putting you’re putting the best collection of information out there that tells the story that you understand your prospects and customers, especially in B2B, you know, if I’m researching a topic, answering a question, dealing with a bug, dealing with troubleshooting, worried about something, and I’m reading, or I’m just researching a general topic, if I’m the person whose content you’re reading, right, no matter where it is in the funnel, first of all, I can’t control you to stay only on my set of content, you might pop up G2, go to G2 or I might head over to this publisher, I’m over here, then I’m back. But I want to be the most trusted reference, right. And so the artificial intelligence powered approach gets us to the realization that we can’t control the entire buyer journey. But we desire to be a trusted source of content throughout that experience. So when our nurturing content, so that our appropriate stage content, so that our level of expertise, appropriate content is consumed, or shared, right, because the buying team is sharing. When the teams all get aligned on that magical aspirational model, they become less focused only on what’s right here in front of them, which might be their lead number that they have to hit for the quarter, “I’ll get some extra leads, right.” And when someone is really focused on only their metric, and not that big picture, it can lead to the toxicity when someone wants you to quantify a difficult to attribute project because they believe that their KPIs are easy to attribute. That’s most of the toxins example of that, right? I’m trying to fix a tech, I’m trying to say that a technical SEO project should be prioritized inside my organization. Someone says how much money is that going to make us? Okay, that’s toxins. That’s how the toxins occur, because they are the demand gen person, they say, I’m going to go pay do this PPC campaign, and it’s gonna drive 80 leads. Okay, that’s easy. justification for money. Okay. The other one isn’t. When one person uses their directness of their attribution, to make themselves, make their time and their contribution more important than other members of the team. They create a toxic work environment. And that’s where product management failures occur. That’s where content strategy failures occur. That’s why when marketing budgets freeze… when marketing budgets go down, and everybody looks around and tries to protect their teams, right? It’s why the indirect attribution teams get wiped. Content is always on that list, because content is harder to quantify value about and it also works as a team. Okay, using AI to say, hey, Joey, and I use Joey all the time. Hey, Joey, you know, you’re the lead flow through this page on this topic. A lot of it happens as a result of the authority we’ve built with this entire content package. Right. Without that entire package, we’re not there for the entire lifecycle. There’s, the brand isn’t as successful, and the people over time, it may not happen overnight, but they’re gonna slide and it’s gonna go down, and then all of a sudden, we’re gonna look around. And let’s supplement that with a PPC campaign. Maybe we should buy tabula, and we should go look at outbrain because that’s easy to justify. And then over time, we have a site that’s ineffective. And so silo breaking is getting those teams on the same page that we’re one unit, and contents part of that unit. And we want to be there for every stage of the lifecycle. The last thing I’ll mention, those same people devalue user generated content, and post purchase customer content. Right. And same, same problem, right? We know the easiest customer to get is one you already have. Right? And how does that manifest? It manifests as cross sell, upsell or the uncommonly known sell of the I’ve done my job. I have their entire team enabled. 10 people on their team, one of them leaves And he says, I can’t live without MarketMuse. And then he sells his new company. Right? Yeah, that’s the best sale. You know what, if you never cultivate that experience with content post purchase, so they go and search for a bug or a problem, and they land on Stack Exchange, or they land on one of your competitors, right? They don’t like you as much. If you don’t ever give them expert content that’s good for them. They’re the expert. They’re the great user of your software. Um, when they go over there, they’re gonna be like, yeah, MarketMuse is great, but it’s expensive. Or we could probably cut corners, right? But if they love you, and they can’t get, and they can actually make the case for you. Right? That’s the most amazing feeling. And that’s, and that’s something that we focus on. Because our best, our best customers are two leaps away from where they started using us. And they’re like, they bring it with them everywhere they go. And you know, that that’s something that, you know, tell that to your lead gen person, you know, because your lead gen person is focused on that lead number is missing everything. But in most B2B organizations, that demand gen person is the most trusted person to the CMO and CEO, because they have the easiest time quantifying the value of their work. It shouldn’t be the case. And so that’s what I’m trying to bring to those organizations.
Christian Klepp 36:58
Yeah, absolutely, you know, like, like you rightfully said, it’s a it’s a long game, right? Like, this isn’t gonna happen tomorrow. All right. Yeah. All right. Um, Jeff, this is the part where you can get up on your soapbox. And it’s a commonly held belief or a status quo in your area of expertise that you passionately disagree with, and why?
Jeff Coyle 37:23
I’ve spent 1000s of my personal hours analyzing how search engines work. I would like I’ll take what other people have said, my friend, Noah, Noah Learner, you can look him up, he’s a wonderful person. The other day, he said to me, he said, I’ve been around, I’ve talked to hundreds of people on this, and he’s like, you know, this more than anyone. And I said, I don’t know, a fraction of it. But I do know, probably as good as the, you know, a couple of dozen in the world, who don’t work at, you know, in on those teams at those organizations. And I can comfortably name who those, you know, those dozens of people are. The biggest belief in my, in our space, and from a search engine optimization perspective, is that there are truly a lot of experts in the field, there really aren’t. There’s a very, very small number. And you don’t have to be an expert about how everything works to be successful at this job. You can think critically and have good standards and guardrails for yourself, and focus on what you’re good at and focus on that and be successful. I think a big belief is that you have to either think that you are the ultimate expert or not. I mean, I I laughed, because I build out I have like 150 really, really cool examples of things that people say are true about search, and it’s the debunk. It’s a debunker. And, um, you know, when I just like, kind of keep that, because it reminds me that, you know, anyone can say they’re the expert, it’s like, come on, you know, give me this money, and I will give you my secrets. It’s like, I’ll give you all my secrets for nothing. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to know exactly what to do with them, or how to use them. That’s not the key. The key is can you set yourself up for success, but don’t believe everything you hear in this space, because there’s a lot of conjecture, and there’s people who will die on a hill on something they believe is a fact that is not true. And just be aware of that. And that’s the key. That’s the key. It’s like a, um, and I passionately disagree with anyone who believes that they have it all figured out, because I certainly don’t. I’m amazed at what I learn every day every week. From my own research, and through the research of my peers in this space, and even then, you know, I, people will say, Gosh, like, the way you think about that, five years from now, if you hadn’t told me that I wouldn’t have never thought about it that way, you know, like, I was talking to somebody about query enrichment, which is where you type a word in? And how does a search engine go? What are the different types of artificial intelligence, and syntax processing, natural language processing that are involved in getting to the thing that will actually be used to look up the result and how quickly that works, I was telling him about how amazing it is and how higher fidelity it is, and, and, you know, that they’re like, you know, I’m like, you don’t have to know this, to do this job. And very few people know this that don’t work at in those specific fields. Even the people that work at that company that aren’t on that team don’t know this. So just processing that and realizing that a whole lot less experts then say that they are. And it’s that’s okay. It’s really okay.
Christian Klepp 41:48
Yeah, no, absolutely. And just to wrap it up, like, you know, the advice that you would give people out there, what’s the one thing that you would say, people need to start and stop when it comes to AI and content marketing for B2B?
Jeff Coyle 42:04
First thing they need to start is a more consistent, internal inventorying, or auditing process, they need to start on trying to understand where they have strengths and weaknesses, and where they have, you know, gaps in authority, they need to stop trying to trick the search engines with their content, anything they’ve got that’s low quality that punches above its weight, it might as well have a ticking time bomb on top of it, they just stop trying to trick stuff. Anything you do, this just feels yucky, stop. I mean, it just, it’s not gonna stay up forever, you may get away with it for a while, um, and those are kind of… and the second parts are going to be really hard. Especially if you’re in an organization where somebody is like, we’ve gotten away with this for this long. Why would we make life harder on ourselves, and it’s like, because life’s gonna end up being made harder for you. Even if you’re the best in the game, it’s gonna end up being hard made hard for you. And if you go look at a publisher that’s had a tumultuous history that you even believe is amazing. And go watch, you know, go watch the waves. Imagine if you had to go through one of those waves at your org what would happen, like put yourself in the shoes of having just taken a 60% traffic haircut on your site, and what you do get, like, get your stuff. That’s the case you make it guys, I really think that we’re, you know, we’re paper lines, right? Here we are on top of cracked foundation. Um, you might have to be this change instigator internally, especially if you’re in a big org, that we’ve rested on the laurels of a page. For too long, this page gets 60% of our traffic, this page generates 80% of our leads, oh my gosh, you should not feel good about that. No one in your org should feel good about that. They should, they should not sleep. I’m working with a team, their number one page, their page, most dominant page is 50% of their attributed revenue. This is $100 million B2B tech company, 50% of their leads attributed to one page. Okay. And they’re, like, excited about that when they first talked to me. And then a few weeks later, I don’t think any of them sleep. I’m not saying that I’m going to make you not be able to sleep at night. But be real about these situations, you know, how risky that is? I mean, there’s so many problems there. And that’s where, you know, like, that’s the stop. Stop thinking that you’re getting away with stuff, regardless of what it is. And that’s those are a couple great examples.
Christian Klepp 44:55
Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. And you know, the whole back to your point about like, you know, don’t play this, like algorithm game as it were. Right? Yeah.
Jeff Coyle 45:03
I’ve tried it. I’ve been there. I’ve been doing this for 22 years. I’ve had I’ve had every type of. I’ve every type of test site out there. And it’s the you know, the ones that last are the ones that really matter. Like, you know, you might you might push… unless you’re unless you’re, you know, a super aggressive… what’s the word? I’m hit and runner? You know, if you’re hit and runner cool. I mean, and that’s, I know people that do it. And they have a very nice living. I couldn’t do it. Yeah, I’m not a hit and runner.
Christian Klepp 45:45
I tend to call them strong believers in the theory of probability.
Jeff Coyle 45:51
Right? You know, it’s like, I’m gonna do this until they kick me out, then I’m gonna put on a new face, and I’m gonna go do it again. And then they’re gonna kick me out, and I find a new face. And then I’m gonna pick it up. I don’t I don’t have that. I don’t have that bone in my body. No, I don’t. And I frankly don’t want to.
Christian Klepp 46:09
Yeah, no, absolutely. Jeff, thank you so much for coming on and sharing. This session has been incredibly interesting, informative, and entertaining. So please do us to do so honor on, you know, telling us a little bit about yourself and how folks out there can get in touch with you.
Jeff Coyle 46:27
Sure. So like I mentioned, co-founder, Chief Strategy Officer for MarketMuse. I live in Jacksonville, Florida, used to live in Georgia for about 25 years in Atlanta, as well as on the coast on an island called St. Simons Island before I moved, just moved here. I went to Georgia Tech for computer science, worked at two big B2B tech lead gen companies. One, Knowledge Storm from 1999, 2000. We were sold in 2007, to Tech Target. I was in there in house team and was a product manager. Did a whole bunch of other stuff there. Um, awesome publisher public company, go check them out. And broke off to go pursue a career in private equity. Soon after my now co-founder reached back out to me and said, Do you want to you’re one of the few people who really understand these workflows in this process. You want to join me as a late co-founder? And I said, What’s that mean? He goes, it’s like, you’re not gonna get paid for like 18 months, and I’m like, sweet, let’s do that. I can either work at this awesome private equity firm, and like, you know, where they’re throwing money around, or I can go, you know, let’s do this total leap of faith on this belief that I had that we can make content, high quality, content sexy, and we have, and that’s really my journey. I got two kids, two and a half and a four and a half year old. Um, and you know, I, gosh, that’s the Jeffrey_Coyle on Twitter, and hit me up on LinkedIn, I answer everything. If you got a question. Tell me check out a page. People are usually shocked at that I will record them a video of me like walking through their page and being like, I just did actually, whose was a joke, I sent the note to a person who just sent me and I was like, can you check out this page? And I’m like, I think it was 18 minutes long. They read it in like five in the morning last night. And I can imagine they were like, Wow, he looked at this rate and he made… I just I just love this stuff. And if that I try to make that shine through and everything that MarketMuse does.
Christian Klepp 48:33
So amazing. And the rest is as they say is history right? Now you’re now you’re here making a dent in the universe. (laugh)
Jeff Coyle 48:41
I hope so. You know, I hope one day people believe that I want the bar for content quality to have risen so high, and there’s no market for crap. If I can rid the world of bad content, that would be great.
Christian Klepp 48:56
Amazing, amazing. Jeff Coyle, it’s been an absolute pleasure. So thanks for coming on. Take care, stay safe and keep in touch.
Jeff Coyle 49:05
Cheers, thanks so much for having me.
Christian Klepp 49:08
Thank you for joining us on this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. To learn more about what we do here at EINBLICK, please visit our website at www.einblick.co, and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast player.
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