I spent Sunday making good on a promise I made my 12-year-old to take her shopping.
She’s been saving her money (including some from an entrepreneurial project) to buy Christmas presents for family and friends.
Sure, the stores were busy.
Yes, the lines were long.
Add to that, she is a slow decision maker.
But... y’all, she found thoughtful gifts for most of the people on her list.
And some of these people include her bus driver’s children.
Her smile and satisfaction at having found gifts she knows they’ll love were worth the crowds, lines, and slow decisions.
She enjoyed every minute of spending money she’d worked hard to make on others.
I write a lot about knowing your audience.
And creating content that truly resonates.
Because we content marketers want to build trust and credibility so it’s easier to sell our products and services.
But I’m inspired by her experience shopping to focus a bit more on the feeling even B2B SaaS brands should have when we’ve created something we know our audience will love because we understand them deeply.
If you’re not thinking “I can't wait until we release this and our audience gets to read / watch / consume and use it. They’re going to LOVE IT,” you may not be creating something worth sharing.
Create for them like you’re giving them a gift, not checking something off a list.
Opt In Weekly will pause until January 5, 2023. I wish you all happy holidays and lovely times spent with family, friends, and your new pal ChatGPT.
Considering media-first marketing?
A few posts from the PeerSignal / Keyplay.io team you should check out:
Media + Software
Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Keyplay.io and analyst at PeerSignal, is taking a two-fold approach toward building his startup:
- Media company (the starting point, community drives software)
- SaaS company (built with community, software powers the media)
This flywheel approach uses the two companies to build each other, and they’re not alone. Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot (which acquired The Hustle) tweeted:
“Modern media companies have a software company embedded inside. Next-gen software companies will have a media company embedded inside.”
PeerSignal’s Head of Content and Community Camille Trent chimed in about shifting from being a SaaS Marketer to becoming the director of a B2B media company and it can be summed up like this:
“I don’t really do content marketing. I do B2B media strategy.”
Her priority metrics?
- Audience (growth, quality & engagement) NOT leads
- Publishing consistency NOT traffic
- Content & research quality NOT revenue
The angle here is investing in building a devoted community first, providing them quality content to engage with, and letting their desires guide you to develop a product you know they’ll love.
Ready To Embrace AI?
Seeing more and more news about AI?
Content marketers need to start viewing AI as a writing and a strategizing tool, not a crutch, when it comes to differentiated content.
Some recent takes that could settle your nerves and give you some ideas:
- Are you competing for knowledge share? Or creating it? Jacalyn Beales shares her thoughts on “threats” like AI and SEO, and advocates for creating content IP, honing your abilities, and “kicking away the SEO crutch.”
- According to Kerry Campion, the power of AI lies far beyond copy. Instead, try using AI for writing market research questions, content ideation, understanding your ICP, headline ideas, and keyword clustering.
- Does it matter if a writer is using AI? Brendan Hufford doesn’t think so. If ghostwriting isn’t an issue, neither is AI, he writes.
- And, if you’re worried you’ll lose your job, this TikTok addresses how knowledge work may change.
Brand Story Tip: You’re Trying To Say Too Much
Building or revising your brand story is challenging. Consider these insights:
- “If your brand story isn’t working, you might be saying too much.” This TikTok by Story First Media explains how to “fix” a broken brand story by using actions instead of words.
- Carolyn Griffin details a 3-step process for building your brand’s hero, setting, and plot and then explains how to combine them in this Muse by Clio article.
Audience Ops Insights
Keep A Quick Reference Of Completed Content Assets
As we set out to overhaul the Audience Ops website—it goes live for final QA today, so if you check it out and notice something, tell me! (if there aren’t super cute illustrations, it’s not live yet)—I discovered that examples of our work were stale.
Cue a new project: Reviewing more recently published work and updating the samples (plus making more of them accessible without requiring an email address).
It was easier said than done.
We soon realized that pulling together finished work for multiple clients would require several steps per client. We trudged through it, but decided to never do it that way again. Now, we have an automated way of pulling links to finished assets into a spreadsheet and a plan to review them monthly. It uses a Google Sheets feature that connects select columns from multiple spreadsheets into one.
If a new prospect asks for a specific type of example, we can quickly find more recently published strong examples to share. Plus, we can update the samples on our site when a new piece comes along that should absolutely be included.
How does this apply to you, though? Especially if you’re in B2B SaaS marketing?
Use the same approach to build an easy-to-navigate repository of assets for your sales team to pull content you’ve created to share with their prospects. It should never be a headache to find these assets. A good sign your current approach isn’t working is if sales frequently asks marketing if you have something on a specific top or if you’ll create something that already exists (because they didn’t know).
Figure out a way to help everyone in the company navigate the incredible content you create so they can find and share it without feeling like they’re on a treasure hunt without a map.
If you work with Audience Ops, we’ve been adding those links to your content spreadsheet and can help you figure out how to get them in front of the rest of the company.
Opt In Challenge
Take The 30-Day Challenge
“Something small, every day, can turn into something big.”
This week your Opt In Challenge is to take on the 30-day challenge Austin Kleon lays out here.
P.S. You might be tempted to wait until after the holidays to start… don’t.
Discovered via For the Interested.