Transcript of How to Produce Content with a Limited Budget

Transcript of How to Produce Content with a Limited Budget

Author: John Jantsch / Source: Duct Tape Marketing < All Articles  Transcript provided by Verbatim Transcription Services Back to P

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John: We all need content but what does it take to produce content when you have no budget and no resources and no time. We’re going to talk to Chris Moody about producing content with little budget.

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Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, this is John Jantsch and my guest today is Chris Moody. Among other things, he is the content marketing leader at GE Digital. So Chris, thanks for joining me.

Chris: Thanks for having me John.

John: So you know most of my listeners, many of my listeners are small business owners or marketers, working with small business owners and so let’s set the table straight, I mean we’re thinking you know, GE Digital, you got essentially leader GE Digital with content, you’ve got unlimited resources to execute on content but tell me what the reality is for what it is — you know what does that look like for your role.

Chris: Sure and this role specifically I — the title is concept marketing but right now I’m an individual contributor. So that would be the first caveat to say okay there’s some limits of resources and one guy trying to organize a lot of stuff around content marketing right now there are ways we work cross-functionally and tie into other resources but when I first started I actually didn’t have a budget. And this budget season we will have some budget to put towards content marketing but the challenges are extremely different. I came from an acquisition at Oracle which was an Oracle marketing cloud where I running marketing for a content marketing start-up. And we had quite a bit of budget to put towards content because that’s what we were doing, we were marketing to marketers. And now at GE Digital you know we’re trying to close million dollar deals. So you don’t really tweet your way to a million dollar deal or blog your way to a million dollar deal necessarily which puts a different set of constraints on how we try and align marketing to actually driving revenue here.

John: Well let’s start of by — and I know this is an impossible question but at least from your point of view you know, what is — how do you define content? You know when somebody says — when you tell people you’re a content marketing leader I’m sure they’ll like, what does that mean? So how do you define content or can you?

Chris: Sure. I think — Just broadly, it’s essentially everything that we do as marketers. And content marketing is used as a term to categories a certain set of activities but everything we do is a form of content. Every email that we send, every webinar that we do, every presentation that we create, all of this is content marketing and that’s one thing that… it’s not necessarily e-books and whitepapers and blogs, it could be emails and turning your emails into a source of content. So I look at it in the broad sense of the word and say it’s everything that we do, everything is a source of content whether we define it that way or not.

John: Yeah I have been for the last couple of years referring to content as the voice of strategy. And I think that’s sufficiently broad enough but that to me is what it really is. It’s just the various ways you communicate your overall marketing or business strategy.

Chris: Right. I love that.

John: So everybody needs content. I mean as we started talking you know it was fashionable five/six years ago to talk about content as king and I talk about it as content is air now. It pretty much powers every channel. So — but it’s also hard and expensive. So what is a personal on a limited budget to do?

Chris: I think the first step and this is something that Marcus Sheridan has been saying all along; answer questions. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, FAQ pages have gradually disappeared from websites and it became less fashionable to have frequently asked questions on your site. And I know that people turn each question into blog posts which is definitely a best practice. But if you’re not answering every single question that your customers and prospects have and making that content available, someone else will. And the best educator wins and that’s something Marcus has preached, so that’s the first thing I mean interview everyone you work with, talk to sales, what are their most common objection, that’s where I would start just asking the questions. But a lot of it is philosophical and the mindset. I think as marketers, we’ve become entranced by the next big thing. And watching companies that do amazing content regardless of budget and resources right, we woke up to LinkedIn and Hubspot and some of the pioneers of inbound marketing and the great e-books that they create. And sometimes that just doesn’t work for your business. And the approach of trying to hit a home run with everything that you create is one that gives me a lot of angst and drives me crazy because we are not all LinkedIn or Hubspot and sometimes that won’t even work as well as other things in your business so keep a voice and an ear to the ground and understand the voice of your customer, what do they want? What questions are they trying to answer and then you can figure out the best form-factor for that piece of content. But that’s really where everything starts, it’s answering the questions of the people who can drive revenue for you.

John: Yeah and I think another thing that gets really lost in the conversation about you know, more content is more content, is that I think we have to get very good at figuring out what content we need for where the buyer is in a lot of content like blog posts you know maybe are great for awareness, maybe for a little education but you know, don’t we have to actually think about all the intent for our content and create different forms of content for trust building and conversion and nurturing and I think that conversation seems to get lost often in the idea of content just being blog posts.

Chris: That’s exactly right. And that’s where my head is now at GE Digital. I mean we have TV spots, everybody knows General Electric. Pretty much everyone in the world has heard of Thomas Edison. So it’s a completely different set of problems and challenges and opportunities for me as a content marketer to say, “Okay. I’m not trying to tell everyone who GE is or even necessarily who GE Digital is. I’m trying to solve the problems of our customers. And what are those? How do we get content in front of them? ” And how do we interact with sales to make sure that that’s actually getting in front of the customers. And how do we create a strategy for sales where they’re looking for our content, not necessarily us sending that out to them and this is the big thing at Oracle too. You’re marketing your marketing is something no one really talks about, it’s always what’s your most popular blog post, which for me, it’s the blog post about getting sued over a blog post, which is a whole other rabbit we could go down. But I don’t… I don’t necessarily understand why so often we forget what is most important and that’s driving revenue. And it may have nothing to do with blog posts depending on your business and for me right now, my head is not around blog posts, my head is around how do we teach industrial manufacturing companies how they can optimize their productivity because a 1% improvement can be hundreds of millions of dollars. So how am I going to do that as a marketer?

John: One of the other challenges I see a lot of companies struggle with is you know, content production is a pretty good sized job yet they give it to you know one maybe part-time person in some cases. How do you get — you know and a lot of times that part-time person doesn’t you know they don’t have sales conversations or engineering conversations and so it’s very difficult for them to even produce the content. So how do you make content everyone’s job?

Chris: I think your analogy, your metaphor earlier you know content is air. I think that’s a perfect approach because I’ve always viewed it as kind of this glue or some type of material that transfers across everyone because the job of anyone in content is to figure out what challenges are there for their potential customers and how do we best meet those challenges and no matter your industry, you’re working with subject matter experts. And you know, I’m surrounded by PHDs and people who’ve invented terms you know, acronyms used in manufacturing, some of the people who invented those are peers. And sure, I’m maybe one person but I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk to them and try to understand hey, what are you hearing from the customers? And…