How to Create A Content Distribution Plan That Drives Sales
In the world of B2B, creating quality content that is relevant, insightful, and useful for your target audience is necessary and expected. We also know that content distribution is just as important as content creation, yet many B2B companies still stop short at using their own channels.
There is value in creating partnerships in earned media and building out your distribution channels.
Join us as B2B content marketing expert Samantha Lloyd (Co-Founder and Managing Director, Skeleton Krew) talks to us about how B2B marketers can create an effective content distribution plan that helps to drive sales. In our conversation, Samantha talks about the importance of outreach, what pitfalls to avoid, and what metrics to pay attention to.
Topics discussed in episode
Companies and links mentioned
Christian Klepp, Samantha Lloyd
Christian Klepp 00:03
Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for changemakers, where we question the conventional, debunk marketing myths, provide actionable tips, think differently, disrupt industries, and take your marketing to a new level, from improving your campaigns to making you a better marketer. These are the inspirational stories that will help us change the way we think and approach B2B marketing, one conversation at a time. This podcast is brought to you by EINBLICK Consulting, helping you to stand out in the market and drive revenue to your B2B business. And now, your host, Christian Klepp.
All right, welcome, everyone, to this episode of B2B Marketers on a Mission. This is the show where we help you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry and take your marketing to new heights. This is your host, Christian Klepp. And today, I’m joined by someone on a mission to help B2B companies to develop marketing strategies centered around content and partnerships to successfully drive loyalty, engagement and revenue. So coming to us from the great city of Toronto, Canada, Samantha Lloyd, welcome to the show.
Samantha Lloyd 01:13
Hi, thank you so much for having me Christian.
Christian Klepp 01:16
It’s a pleasure to be connected, and to speak with a fellow Torontonian. And it’s, it is a great city, I must say for as long as we don’t talk about the soaring property prices and the construction happening downtown. (laugh)
Samantha Lloyd 01:28
Otherwise, all good. (laugh)
Christian Klepp 01:29
Otherwise, it’s perfect. There’s nothing that can go wrong from here. But yeah, I’m really looking forward to this conversation, Samantha, so let’s just dive in.
Samantha Lloyd 01:38
Yeah, that sounds great.
Christian Klepp 01:39
Yeah. So you’re no stranger to the world of B2B content marketing and your area of expertise, lies in pipeline contribution, as well as helping companies to scale. But for this conversation, let’s zero in on a topic that I believe has become part of your professional mission. And that is how to create an effective content distribution plan that helps to drive sales. So from your point of view, how does effective content distribution help to drive sales in B2B?
Samantha Lloyd 02:09
For sure, so I think, when a lot of businesses are doing their content plan, especially when they’re selling to other businesses, they believe that they should kind of hoard their content. So their content must live on their own blog, and it must remain there. And they’ll use their social channels as distribution. But they kind of stopped short at that. So even if they put like paid behind it on social, they kind of just stopped at their own channels. And there’s a lot of effective use you can make of kind of building partnerships across content, it’s usually a very cost effective way to build out your distribution channels. And it also can enable some future benefits around product partnerships and things like that, that we can go into. But mostly, when it comes to distribution, you want your content to get out there. And it’s very hard if it only exists on your own channels. A podcast is even a great example of, you know, you host a guest because that guest is going to share it across their channels, and their networks going to share it across their channels so that getting that network effect is really core to the distribution of your B2B content.
Christian Klepp 03:15
Yeah, no, that’s absolutely right. You brought something up earlier. And I wanted to go back to because I believe what you were talking about is earned. Right. So it’s earned, earned media and what have you. That sounds like a little bit more work for folks out there. Like I mean, you know, to get that earned media, you actually have to go through the effort of like building those relationships and building those partnerships. So can you talk to us a little bit more about that?
Samantha Lloyd 03:43
For sure, yeah, there’s, unfortunately a shortage of time in the day, but no shortage of time it takes to pursue earned media. So typically, you can have kind of like a marketing coordinator or specialist assigned to this. So this might be someone who is a content marketing specialist, who really understands the value of earned media. And building those relationships, like you mentioned, is the core to this. So you’ve got to do the outreach. It has to be personal, it has to be relevant. And you’ve got to have the meetings and sit there and say, you know why I want my content to live on your channels, why I would love for your content to live on my channels. You’ve got to have those conversations. There’s really no way around it. I do it myself nowadays. On our team as well. It’s skeleton crew. We have people who do this. And yeah, it takes time. And there’s a lot of research involved in trying to find really good content partners who maybe share your target market with you or have a complementary product to yours. And there yeah, there’s just no escaping that you’re going to be investing time, especially if you’re not investing money on this side. There’s no way to shorten that.
Christian Klepp 04:50
Absolutely. Absolutely. So talk to us about some of the most common mistakes you’ve seen out there and what marketers need to do to address those,
Samantha Lloyd 04:58
For sure. So the first one is kind of what we talked about in the beginning where all of your content just lives on your own channels. And you know, you’re leveraging, of course, like, you know, great things, your social, your newsletters, your blog, but you’re not getting that content distributed further and really relying on the network effect. So that first one is kind of to go out there. And my recommendation is, if you’re not comfortable working with competitors, or products that are too similar to yours, just try to find organizations that target a similar market to yours. So if you’re going after lawyers, try to find other products that are services that also target lawyers, and just talk to them and see if you can do a content swap. Of course, the first kind of parameter for that is make sure that they also have a blog so that you can post your content. But maybe they have a podcast, a YouTube channel, they do webinars series, they have a print magazine that you can participate in. So something like that.
Samantha Lloyd 05:51
Another misconception is, there’s a lot of belief that you always have to pay to get content distributed. This is definitely true in press or if you’re putting a lot of ad dollars behind your content, but you can certainly do outreach and find other channels where people are happy to do content swaps, because there’s a value to both companies involved. And so you can equally participate for free.
Samantha Lloyd 06:14
Another is that all content has to be written, though I’m a big believer in written content. And that even if you have of course audio or video that you should have a transcript just so that your contents inclusive and everyone can access it. It doesn’t mean that you just have to sell yourself on only a blog. Your company can have a podcast and use that to host prospects or investors. Your company can have a YouTube channel where it talks a lot about the product and axle. So it’s like a customer success arm. So there’s a lot of ways to leverage different types of content in order to add a lot of value to your business.
Christian Klepp 06:48
Yeah, no, that’s absolutely right. That’s absolutely right. What roles do you believe research and having the right strategy? What roles do these two things play in helping you to come up with an effective distribution plan?
Samantha Lloyd 07:01
Yeah, so I mean, research is kind of how you have to start, there’s no way getting around that. You’ve really got to put yourself in the shoes of the target market in order to do an effective content strategy. And that means you have to do you know, keyword research, of course, using, you know, Google’s keyword planner for free, that’s a great place to start to find the right key phrases to target. Using Google Trends. If there’s anything relevant, not often in B2B, but sometimes you can make a case for for some things there in the trends. And then otherwise, just doing research on what your competitors are writing about. What kind of content is out there that’s targeting those key phrases? If this is kind of a new market, is there content out there? If so, what’s it about? Is there video content? You know, what type of content does his audience engage with? Do they not like reading blogs? Do they prefer to absorb it through Tik Tok and short videos? Like you have to kind of really put yourself in that prospects shoes to understand what type of content will engage best with them.
Christian Klepp 08:01
Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, I did have one follow up question based on this… Yes. I mean, like, we all know that research is very important, but like, just based on your own experience, things that you’re dealing with on a daily basis with your clients, what’s one of the biggest challenges that you see B2B marketers facing when it comes to content? Like, are they struggling with what content to write? Is their approach a little bit more reactive? Versus proactive? Or what is it that you’re seeing out there?
Samantha Lloyd 08:33
It varies a lot, I would say that the reactive versus proactive is definitely common, where maybe their competitors came up with something interesting, or there was a press release for a product that seems a little similar to theirs. And so the immediate response is, we have to do something, we have to do something. But again, it goes back to that research phase, if you’ve done you’re effective research, and you have your strategy set for the year, it’s not that you can’t make changes or that you shouldn’t. But your research is intentional. It’s designed so that when you’re building out your content plan month over month, that everything ties back to kind of that core goal, which in most cases is that your content is driving pipeline. If your content is successfully driving pipeline, and it should be doing so within about three months of you starting your content strategy, and really going forward with it. If it’s driving pipeline within those three months, and you’re continuing to get inbound from your prospects and that’s growing, then you’re on the right track. If you’re not seeing that return, then yes, that’s where you should adjust. But you know, they always say try not to let competitors live in your head rent free. It’s not that you shouldn’t watch what they’re doing or use that as part of your research strategy, but being reactive to what they put out. It’s not something you need to do, you know, lead your own path, create really valuable content that brings people in and just make sure that you’re tracking it effectively against the pipeline to know that it’s working.
Christian Klepp 10:00
Great answer. And I have another follow up question for you, if you don’t mind, you know, you hear this people using this term interchangeably, or they just throw it out there like, you know, create content that adds value, we gotta add value to our customers and the you know, you keep hearing value value value. In your own words, please define what you believe that means, like, what does value mean? What kind of what kind of content will create value for the target audience?
Samantha Lloyd 10:30
For sure. So when I think of content that adds value, that’s something that’s a piece of content that I go to, to get an answer, and it’s a resource for me. So it may be that and this is often with content where you know, your customer, your prospect, too, has a pain point. And the content is continually acting as a resource to help you solve that pain point to the point where you eventually move your way through the pipeline, because this content has continued to answer questions for you, I think, a really strong example of a Canadian company with a great content strategy as WealthSimple. They add a lot of value, they answer your financial questions, they answer a lot of the confusing things that are out there about, you know, like taxes and investing and things that in general, a lot of people have questions about. So not everyone is going to necessarily convert to WealthSimple, but Well, simple being that go to resource for them is how they provide value through their content.
Christian Klepp 11:32
Absolutely, absolutely. All right, Samantha, we get to what I call the Lego approach, because you know, you need to break it down into its respective parts. So what components are required to help create an effective content distribution plan about will not just support sales, but also generate qualified leads?
Samantha Lloyd 11:52
For sure. So content, much like your website, in my opinion, is owned by marketing. But you need to take in sales, product and human resources and sometimes investors when you’re creating your overall content plan. So from that, I mean that sales is always going to have content needs, a lot of it is for outbound or when they’re speaking to prospects, maybe they need stuff in print for events, maybe they need like a landing page on the website that is specific to a niche or a target market that they want to be able to have for them. So you have to take in sales into account when you are creating your content strategy. The other is product, the best way you can do this is to have a product roadmap. So if you’re fortunate to have a product roadmap, that’s like six months to a year ahead, that allows you to plan very effectively. But if not just work with your product team, the best thing you can do for content around there is of course, getting out your product features to your customers really getting them engaged for that upsell ability, but product, kind of you always want to be able to share what they’re doing and get people really excited about the new features that you’re launching. And then from an HR perspective, your goal is to contribute to the hiring pipeline. So content about the incredible team members that you have. Content about roles that you’re hiring for. That’s some examples of content that can support them. And then from an investor’s standpoint, you might want to share some of your press releases on your blog or about the investors involved in your company or provide investor updates where appropriate on your content as well. But marketing, of course, is the core owner. So that means that everything that you do still drives through that keyword research and the things that are going to help you succeed in organic content and distribution. So even when you’re working with sales, product, HR or investors, a lot of your content is still kind of structured around those that kind of like core need from marketing, which is to have prospects come in and go their way through the pipeline. So everything you do should keep that in mind. The blog doesn’t exist to be someone’s personal blog. It really is there to drive sales. So the first thing you want to do, of course, is your research, which is really just like we said, putting yourself in the shoes of your prospects, so that you can understand what they need and how you can provide value to them. And then you want to, of course, create your content. So maybe you’re a content specialist, and you’re able to effectively write quite a few pieces for the company you’re working for. Maybe you’re not a content specialist. So you hire some content, freelancers, but there are lots of options there in order to get your content engine running. And then when you’re looking into distribution, you of course are looking to get as many backlinks as possible. So you want to live on as many kind of off page sites as possible, that have follow links are the ones that will provide value from an organic and ranking perspective. So you want to write a lot of content on your blog, but also do that outreach to potential partners and other places where your content can live, so that you can continue to be effective there. Reach new audiences build that network effect. And then also have really great content and marketing partners so that whenever you release like press or new product features, you have these kind of marketing partners who are ready to share your news and excited to share your news with their audience as well. And then I like writing, of course, a lot of evergreen content, because it’s very easy to reshare. So that just means content that isn’t necessarily a trend or topical or has a timeline to it, it can kind of live forever. So that makes it very easy to reshare on social ongoing, your newsletters, updated as needed. But for those ones, those obviously are very easy to just continue sharing. When you have topical content, just be sure that you’re sharing it when that topic is relevant. But otherwise, continue to share your content, your off page content, on page content on your socials newsletter and with your audience.
Christian Klepp 15:55
Those are some really great piece of advice. Thanks so much for sharing that. At least from my understanding of, you know, the conversation that you and I have been having in the past a couple of minutes. It really also goes back to doing your research, doing the due diligence, researching the keywords, etc. And also understanding who it is you’re talking to. Because at least from where I’m sitting, it’s not just external, but internal.
Samantha Lloyd 16:20
Christian Klepp 16:20
So it’s a combination. It’s all these different players in the ecosystem that your content should be appealing to. Understanding the journey that they’re on, and how that content complements the journey.
Samantha Lloyd 16:33
Christian Klepp 16:35
Yeah, fantastic. I wanted to throw another question in there. If you don’t mind. I just can’t help myself, I just need to ask you this one. (laugh) You’ve probably been watching this trend, because it clearly impacts the type of work that folks like you do. AI, right. Anything to do with AI or the likes of ChatGPT. What kind of impact is that having on content and content distribution from your professional perspective? And what should people like you… What is it going to look like moving forward in your opinion?
Samantha Lloyd 17:15
So I’m very excited about it. I think that anytime there’s a new opportunity to learn something, I mean, it’s going to it’s going to change the game of search for sure. And I think that that’s exciting. So I have some thoughts on what it’s going to be like, I’m obviously I don’t know for sure. But I’m making some assumptions. So the first thing you can do with these tools, especially ones I have access to the internet. But like ChatGPT, or any kind of like spin offs on top of it that have that access, you can do research on there about your current content. So maybe you’re working with a company, you want to ask it, what is this company. You want to find out about the founder, ask it about the founder, ask it about yourself. This will give you a good idea since the it’s trained on data from a certain time period, you know, the type of content that’s out there, and the accuracy. So as you’re asking these questions, and you’re seeing the answer that’s come up. Why is that answer coming up? Why does it have this information when this information isn’t relevant? And that can really help you dig into Okay, now, how do I start planning content in a way where I’m overriding that message to put the accurate message in. The other, which I think most content writers tend to write in is to write in more of a neutral positive tone, I’ve noticed that the AI tools do tend to reply in that tone. So it’s very much removing your personal opinion. And speaking in a way that’s just here are the facts, you know, here are the key resources. And of course, speaking in more of like a positive from like an emotional or sentiment standpoint. And then I believe that when AI kind of becomes like those chat tools become more of a predominant search tool, rather than maybe using a search engine. I’m not sure. But that type of content where, you know, you’ve focused well on kind of structuring it so that the AI is using that content and that you’re speaking in a tone similar to how the AI would, I believe that that would lead to successful content and to that content being presented for answers to things. So just being very, like factual. And again, it’s like providing value. You’re not just selling something to somebody or trying to really answer their question. I believe that that will lead to success.
Christian Klepp 19:35
Yeah, no, that’s absolutely right. I mean, I don’t think we need to freak out just yet. The machine doesn’t replace us, right.
Samantha Lloyd 19:44
No, but I think the it’ll be a really cool tool. I mean, I’ve seen, and of course, every time I talk about it, I forget the name of the tool, but there’s this really cool one. I’ll find the link so that you can link it in the show notes. But for content writers, this is a game changer. So it basically can take in a PDF, so you just link it the PDF, and then it’ll let you ask questions on it. So you can be like, what’s the data here? What date did this happen? And for a content writer, I know any content writer, myself included, like, goes through PDFs like crazy, because all the research reports are in PDF. So…
Christian Klepp 20:17
Of course they are.
Samantha Lloyd 20:18
Of course they are. Always all the best information is hidden in a PDF. So that tool just changes the game in terms of the speed that you can get information and know if that PDF is even relevant. Like I’ve definitely skim through so many PDFs or I’m like, Oh, this is nothing like what I wanted. So it’s really great. From that perspective, I think it’ll be a helpful tool for people.
Christian Klepp 20:40
And it’ll save you time.
Samantha Lloyd 20:41
Christian Klepp 20:42
To timesaver, it’ll save you time, and then you can use your time a bit more efficiently on other tasks. Right. So that’s one of the advantages, or one of the ways that I would say we should be embracing AI. Right?
Samantha Lloyd 20:53
Christian Klepp 20:54
Fantastic. We get to the part in the conversation where we talk about actionable tips. All right. So Samantha, as you can rightfully attest to some of the stuff, you can’t do it in 24 hours. But if somebody out there is listening to this conversation that you and I are having, what are like three or five things that they can do right now to improve the way they create a content distribution plan?
Samantha Lloyd 21:18
For sure. So what I would do… that you could accomplish within three to five hours is go to like Google’s keyword planner, or your like preferred search engines, kind of keyword research. Look for the keyword research that is relevant to you, take in that keyword research and choose some of your like preferred keywords in there. You know, usually they have like the lowest competition for the highest search volume, but choose the ones that are relevant to you, keeping some of those parameters in mind. Look up those keywords in your preferred search engine and click on the first like 10 links of the content and just see what’s out there and skim through that content, then go to the companies running with those 10 content pieces, and just say, Hey, I would like to do a content swap, I saw this piece here linked to that one. And I would really like to write on this topic for your blog. And you might get no replies it is a long game with a lot of outreach involved. But if you search for 10, and your keywords are as relevant to them as theirs are to you, you might get the one response. And that can be the start of your content distribution and marketing partnership game.
Christian Klepp 22:33
Wonderful. Wonderful. You almost make it sound too easy. But we all know…
Samantha Lloyd 22:38
It’s not that it’s difficult work, it’s just tedious work. So a lot of it is put off a lot.
Christian Klepp 22:43
Yeah. And I suppose it’s also the way that you craft the approach or you craft the outreach email, because if it sounds like it’s, you know, canned and something that you’ve sent to like 100 people, then chances are that you’re likely going to get a very low response. Right? If you got one at all right?
Samantha Lloyd 23:02
Yes, yeah, you’ve got to personalize it, which again, is part of the pain of the time that it takes, but it is important.
Christian Klepp 23:09
Absolutely. So on the topic of content distribution, talk to us about a challenge that you help the client to solve in the past 12 months or so.
Samantha Lloyd 23:19
For sure. So, I mean, I’m just a big fan, obviously, being off page. So I think the what the first thing that you have to solve for and certainly I have for clients is you do need to have content on page first. It is very hard to do outreach, and you just have this website with no content because the person landing from that you’re asking for something from it’s going to be like, well, there’s nothing really for me here, there’s nowhere for me to get a link back. So I’ve worked with a lot of companies. So for example, cut their content on medium or something like that before, which isn’t something I recommend, I think mediums really great for personal blogs, or maybe for sites where you’re not as concerned about getting organic inbound, but for a B2B company looking to drive organic inbound, get that blog on your own site. And start writing pieces, make a goal, if you’re like, if you’re a very lean team, just try to get a couple pieces out a month. But if you can swing once a week that is ideal. And then doing that you can then go forward and do your content distribution. So that’s kind of the biggest thing that when I come into a company, I do a full website audit and look at all their content that’s living on and off page, all their backlinks, you know, look through their search console and their other analytics platforms to see what’s working, what’s not working. But that’s the big one, do have the on page blog, because you definitely need it. And that will be core to your outreach and the kind of value proposition that you’re offering to your distribution partners.
Christian Klepp 24:49
Fantastic. Fantastic. Okay. So the next question, love it or hate it, metrics. At some point or other, you’re gonna have to show indication of some kind of progress or success that you’re having with the content distribution plan. So what kind of metrics or what type I should say? What types of metrics should B2B marketers be paying attention to?
Samantha Lloyd 25:14
For sure. So when you’re judging purely organic inbound, there’s quite a few things that you want to track the things that obviously want to report to the board, just center around pipeline contribution. So you want to know that your website traffic is converting at a benchmark to leads and then the significant portion of those leads, the benchmark is converting to your MQLs and then through to your SQL as SQL goes, and to close one. So you want to kind of track across the pipeline. So you need to be able to have your operations and your stack in place that allow you to see how people are entering your site, engaging with your content, whether it’s on or off page, and then going through to the pipeline, and what’s the time to close and other metrics like that are also very important. Some things that you also want to track are just like your growth in website traffic, the growth in the organic traffic versus social traffic versus referral traffic and email traffic. So you want to be monitoring that. Ideally, you’re an early stage company could see at least like that 10%, quarter over quarter or month over month growth and your website traffic, depending how aggressive you’re being with your strategy. But if content really is core, you’ve got to make sure it’s converting, a lot of people will tell you organic content is a long game or a slow game, but it’s not if you’re tracking effectively, you can see within three months how the performance is going, which pages are converting, which content is working. And if the content strategy is not working, then you know that you have to reshape it. And if your content strategy is starting to get that inbound within those three months, then you can find the ones that you know, the pages that have the most lands and the most conversions, and really double down on the successful kind of key phrases or content there.
Christian Klepp 27:00
Yeah, I think that gives everybody a good indication of what to look out for. I mean, like and all that when it comes to metrics, you can go on and on and on about things to pay attention to. But for a start, or like, if you’re pressed by time, these are some of the key things right? Or, or let me rephrase that. If you’re presenting this to a board of directors who doesn’t understand all this marketing jargon or these metrics, at the very least, you should have these.
Samantha Lloyd 27:27
Yes, definitely pipeline. And it’s fairly easy as well, typically to track like budget against revenue. So those are the ones that boards will definitely be looking for. And that’s also very easily translatable to the sales team who’s presenting their pipeline metrics as well. So that way, the board kind of gets like that full vision of like, what’s our GTM team up to?
Christian Klepp 27:46
Absolutely, absolutely. Okay, Samantha, get up on your soapbox. What is a status quo in your area of expertise? So let’s zoom in on the topic of content distribution. So what is the status quo that you passionately disagree with? And why?
Samantha Lloyd 28:06
Okay, I’ve got, I’ve got a ramp here. The biggest thing, and I see it on both on page and off page content is that content tends to end still in a sales pitch in B2B. This is very common, it’s because the goal, of course is to push people towards these pipelines and your CTA is the contact form. So you’re constantly ending content in a way where it’s going to the contact form, or it even has a contact form embedded. I’m against this. It’s not, it’s I will say, truthfully, I’ve done content with the hard sale at the end both on page and off page. Off page, there can be a little more sense to it. Like, for example, if there’s no author bio, where it’s like, there’s like a clear link out, and you’re kind of linkbacks are just your backlinks are just hidden within the content, maybe a sales pitch makes sense. But I would say if we’re talking about how content has to add value to somebody, there is no value in that final paragraph that says, Please contact us for a demo. It’s not exciting. So I would always recommend that your content from start to finish is very on topic about whatever the search query is that it’s answering. And if somebody is interested, and if somebody finds value in your content, they are going to convert, they’re going to navigate through the rest of your site, they’re going to read other content pieces, they don’t need the sales pitch at the end to really force them to do that. Not to mention that I mean, most content pieces have the footer anyways, we’re often a contact form or an email subscribe form or a link to the contact page lives. So I don’t think the reader needs it. It’s certainly not a fun thing, even for the writer to have to continually end all their content in it. So yeah, my thing is, try not to end your content in that sales pitch.
Christian Klepp 30:07
I think you just rocked the boat with that one. (laugh)
Samantha Lloyd 30:10
Oh, no (laugh)
Christian Klepp 30:12
No, I’m kidding. I totally I totally agree with that. I mean, I see a lot of that myself. I suppose the question, a follow up question I have for you Samantha is like, because, you know, you’ve obviously seen this a lot like, do you feel that a lot of the times, I will say it’s not the only reason but do you feel more often than not, the reason why a lot of B2B companies go down that avenue, where they end up with a sales pitch is because they just don’t quite understand the buyers journey that their customer is going through? They haven’t done that due diligence upfront, where they conduct these, these customer interviews and map out that buyers journey. Like do you feel that that’s part of it?
Samantha Lloyd 30:52
It definitely can be. I think that so obviously, when people are landing on your site and doing search queries, their stage ranges from where they are, they have a pain point, whether they’re in that like, you know, awareness versus consideration versus just like decision phase, that is really what leads them through to convert. So they’re in the decision phase, they know that they have a problem, they know that they need a solution, they know what solutions are on the market, then your content can easily convert without that kind of end sales pitch. They’re here to solve their problems. That’s what they want. If they’re in the awareness or consideration phase, you’re really telling them about like, you know, hey, we know your problem exists, or, Hey, this is a quick solution to this problem. And that person, they may feel if that’s a lot of the traffic that they’re driving is from that, especially the awareness bucket, they may feel like wow, people are just not converting, they’re reading our content, and they’re leaving. So we have to end in a sales pitch. But that person in the awareness stage, that’s as part of their journey. And depending on your kind of cycle, it may take three months for them to come through and convert. So you want to keep sending them content and engaging them with content and trying to get them on your social channels in your email, and getting them just engaged with you ongoing. And you do that by just writing great content that answers their questions and ending in a sales pitch doesn’t necessarily mean that the person no matter awareness stage or even the consideration phase is going to go through right away. So it just to me, it’s just extra words that you really don’t need. And it doesn’t serve a purpose for kind of any person in the stage of their journey.
Christian Klepp 32:33
Absolutely, absolutely. I’m gonna throw one last random question in there. Because you know, you’ve done such a great job of answering all my follow up questions. Let’s open up Samantha’s toolbox. What’s in there?
Samantha Lloyd 32:49
My toolbox? Like my stack? Yes. Okay, so my stack for marketing, I would have always said Google Analytics. I am devastated by GA4 I loved universal. I think a lot of marketers agree with that. Yeah. It’s upsetting. So I obviously you should still have it. It’s a free tool. So just put it in. Do I think GA4 provides as much depth or insights? No, of course, but it’s, it’s still worth putting it in. Of course, if you haven’t switched, that is coming July 2023. Depending when this comes out, I hope that you switched. If you were on universal, you might be upset and you’re not tracking now. The other thing, of course, is Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner. These are complementary tools that you need as part of like your content and backlinks journey, as you’re doing content and distribution, and Google Trends as well when you’re looking at just for some topics, too, right. So that’s kind of the Google bucket. Of course, depending on your search engine, Google is just most relevant for the companies I work for in their target markets. But another search engine might be more relevant, depending on who your company targets. But aside from those ones, they’re all free, they’re all great. So I definitely recommend using them. I have a few other favorites. I’m I’ve always had a love for MailChimp, it is free up to a certain number of contacts, I believe it’s still 2000. And depending on like the type of automation or things that you want to put in, but MailChimp is still just like a great way to send good looking like email newsletters and like marketing campaigns out. It’s very easy to learn. So I recommend it to a lot of startups, especially with they’re not familiar with email marketing. And then aside from email marketing tools, which there’s plenty of, of course, like understanding all your social media tools and making sure that you have things like Later or other tools in place that you can make your content planning and publishing a lot easier. That is certainly a time consuming task. And for any one person even just sitting on social media to engage with people and share content that can take hours so. Anything you can do to shorten time there is great sprout socials and other great pool just a bit more expensive if you’re a startup, I love Moz. Again, a tool that I always recommend, but certainly can be on the more expensive side if you’re a startup. So it just depends what stage your company is at. And in the content journey, if your content is converting, well, within a year, I typically encourage companies to go forward with that. And aside from that, from like a sales perspective, to track the pipeline, the company has to have a CRM. So that could be HubSpot or Salesforce or anything like that, so that you can get that set up to track all your kind of marketing attribution. And then from some other sales tools that really support on like email campaigns that sales teams send out that marketing supports on I love Apollo, and then I’m obsessed with Webflow. Most people know that about me.
Christian Klepp 35:49
Of course you are.
Samantha Lloyd 35:50
It’s just like basic knowledge about me. But you definitely need a site that’s easy to work with. So if you’re like if your team’s especially working with a lot of content, freelancers, and you want them to publish, like handle the publishing themselves, you know, work with a CMS, so that you can get a content management system as what that is so that you can get site content publish easily, spin up landing pages easily. But there’s WordPress, and there’s other ones that companies love working with. But those are kind of all my main tools, everything basically to shorten time, help with distribution helped make things a lot easier, and then track everything.
Christian Klepp 36:33
Boom. And there you have it, folks. Samantha, thank you so much, first of all, for sharing your secret, classified tech stack with us. It’s out in the open now. And thank you so much for being so generous and sharing your experience and expertise with the listeners. So please, quick introduce yourself and how folks out there can get in touch with you,
Samantha Lloyd 36:55
For sure. So yeah, I’m Samantha Lloyd. I’m the managing director at Skeleton Krew agency. It’s an agency with my co-founder, Kristen Campbell, director of content. And we have a team of just amazing contractors who work for companies individually, so feel free to reach out to anyone on there. But we also do packages together. And aside from that, I kind of act as marketing director, Head of Marketing for the various companies that I work for their own B2B and often software. But yeah, that’s who I am. And if you want to look up Skeleton Krew agency, it’s Skeleton Krew with a “K”. And you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter of course as well.
Christian Klepp 37:32
Fantastic. Fantastic. So Samantha, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Thanks again for your time. Take care. Stay safe and talk to you soon.
Samantha Lloyd 37:39
Thank you so much, Christian, really appreciate it.
Christian Klepp 37:41
All right. Bye for now.
Samantha Lloyd 37:42
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