Covering all things Sales, Marketing, Product management and Going global. Content taken directly from our jams and delivered in bite sized learning chunks.
A Focus On Knowledge - Announcing the - Ask Me Anything Series – Opening Up & Delivering Silicon Valley Level Osmosis
The Kiwi Landing Pad has been running for 7 years, originally founded by John Holt & Sam Morgan. Over the years we have evolved as the world changes and technology changes with it.
Traditionally we have taken a stance that we'll try not give advice but instead provide observations and learnings from what we see, experience and learn from meeting and working with thousands of people, companies, brands and communities.
When I started at the Landing Pad in 2014, joining the team and preparing to go on an epic journey with John and the original KLP supporters, it was apparent that we are a community of entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs prepared to help NZ technology companies expand globally. We pride ourselves on being community led and actively to this day are still operating this way, some might say somewhat successfully as our community has grown to 3,000+.
Our ability to be agile and launch new programmes depending on what our community seems to want and need at any given time is exciting to watch and be apart of. It makes us happy to provide true value and see impact as it happens.
John and I have been chatting lately and we've decided to launch a new series, there is something awesome that happens when you spend time in global markets, and doing the same thing for 'years' you get a knowledge base and learn things that just become second nature because you live and breathe it, but second nature to us I've learnt somewhat naively is liquid gold to our community.
Announcing the 'Ask Me Anything' Webinar Series
We are going to try an experiment and see what works as we have done with all our programmes. The first Friday of every month we are going to set aside an hour as a team to essentially be live on a webinar answering questions you may have. This might be tackling the US market, growing a global business, what's going on in the US, down to measuring, metrics, dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a founder, building communities or whatever you need to know in the moment that we might be able to answer. Hopefully we won't get too many trolls, but we've realised this might be the easiest format to get some of our knowledge that is stuck in our brains out in the open.
Join us for the first one on March 17th, you can register here.
Let's see how this goes!
This post is all about building a scalable content marketing machine, based on a webinar with Tami McQueen—Director of Marketing at SalesLoft. Tami is based in Atlanta where she joined the startup- SalesLoft,several years ago and started and scaled the marketing team there. In this Webinar, Tami discusses how to grow and scale a content marketing team. She leads with the idea that 'great marketing should make the customer feel smart and good marketing should make the company look smart.' Good marketing is all about your audience.
What is your Mission?
To begin with, identify your organisation's key mission/vision. For example, your mission could be 'To be the World Class Sales Authority in Sales Development.' Identifying your mission will allow you to do a SWOT analysis and identify your strengths, weaknesses, current opportunities, and potential threats to your team. Your mission will also help you identify who your key audience is and how to create and distribute content in a way that resonates with them.
An Early Stage Content Team
An early stage content team must include at least one of each of the following: builders, connectors, and distributors. So, what do these positions involve exactly?
A 'Builder' is a content marketing specialist, someone who is going to write, generate, curate, find, and assemble the right kind of content. A builder is a creator, whose daily tasks may include writing ebooks, blog posts, and other content.
A 'Connector' is someone who takes the content that has already been created and shifts it into a form that is distribution ready. These people serve to connect the creators and distributors in the content process. The 'Connector' may be a designer who creates the layout of an e-book or brands content with the company logo. This is where the 'Distributor' enters the picture.
A 'Distributor' may be a Social Media Manager or an entire Distribution Team who take content and share it through the appropriate channels, whether this be paid or organic. Distributors are critical in getting content into the hands of the right people.
Once you have this Early Stage Content Team up and running, you can then replicate this model as your organisation grows. For example, a Customer Marketing Specialist may act as another builder and a distributor could be your Email and Marketing operations manager.
Scaling a Content Marketing Team
Adopting Agile Methodology or running on a 'Sprint' basis will allow your organisation to remain focussed and on-task. By having an Agile Methodology you can go week-by-week, ticking things off your list of priorities and achieving the company's mission. Implement a Trello or Asana Board. This technology will help you dive into the Agile Methodology and track your different projects and metrics as well as ensure your team is all on the same page and know what they are responsible for during each sprint.
It is now time to create a One-Page Strategic Plan. This will allow you to maintain that focus on your main mission and keep up with your weekly Agile Methodology goals and metrics. Include these things in your Strategic Plan:
Create content that lasts
Creating content that lasts is essential for your company. You need to be able to create content that you can use over-and-over again and that will have some longevity to it. You may be asking how you are going to create five blog posts per week or an eBook every week. The answer is, you don't have to! Create a content flywheel. A content flywheel allows you to create one big piece of content and then from that original content, break off branches that can be used for other mediums. For example, you may start with content from a Webinar, you may then break that content down into 5 blog posts, you may then create 20 tweets from the content in those blog posts, and so on. The three main sections of the content flywheel are:
Types of content to consider creating may include:
Create an editorial calendar
This will allow you to plan your content creation. Create it as a shareable day-by-day spreadsheet that includes content assets, author topic/title, potential headlines, synopsis, CTA (call to action), theme, and a published URL. Creating an editorial calendar will ensure everything is recorded and accountable and that all content is on track.
Your Content Marketing Machine In Action
Follow the steps in building a content marketing machine, and you’ll be on your way to building a strong subscriber base through collecting email addresses. Your email list is a valuable list, and by nurturing your leads over time, you’ll see positive results through the trust you build with your audience.
Other helpful Resources
Seeing Tami’s marketing team in action at big conferences such as Dreamforce, SaaStr and SalesHacker is truly a magical thing. They are super innovative and produce such great results, they are able to have such an impact on there audience and customers by following the sprint and agile methology, we all know how hard it is to lose track of what activities we are meant to be doing, especially when operating on small startup budgets, with lean teams. Juggling various marketing campaigns can be a challenge.
During this Webinar we offered some insights on how to build a functional content machine, how to plan and tackle campaigns, what the DNA of your team should look like and how to ensure you achieve the objectives that you’ve set for yourself.
Catch the recap of the Webinar here:
Editor’s Note: Guest post by contributor Savannah Peterson, founder of Savvy Millennial, and previously Director of Innovation Strategy @ Speck Design. Savvy is a regular Kiwi Landing Pad speaker and community contributor.
Lift your eyes from the screen and ask yourself: who is the most valuable person on your team? Not, “whose salary is the highest due to the market & subsequent supply & demand,” but “when shit hits the fan, who is the first person working to identify the source with one hand and clean it up with the other?” Who supports the community of individuals that use or buy your product? Who herds your cats? Chances are, this person is on your Community team, or a team you’ve yet to rename community but looks like, and smells like, one.
If you do nothing else after reading these 100 words, go hug that person now. I’m serious. They deserve it and 100 other hugs throughout 2015. If you’re concerned that might make them uncomfortable, it won’t. All community managers are huggers. It’s what we do online and IRL all day, every day. Digitally hug those in need, or those celebrating victories great and small. It’s not frequent enough that our employers open their arms and return the sentiment.
Hugs are cool and so is appreciation, but what is the real value of community?
Your community is your IP. It’s the one defensible asset you have from day one. Each person who chooses to be loyal to you and your brand is priceless and it is imperative you don’t financially compromise when it comes to protecting this asset. Your community managers are the inventors listed on your brand’s culture patent.
“You have to pay your community like you pay your developers,” — Anil Dash recently said to me while we were at dinner with some fellow community cultivators. I turned about-face and said “can we shout that from the rooftops, please?” Consider this my first attempt, because he is spot on. What people often forget is that without a community, there’s no audience to develop or build for. Just because you built it does not mean they will come.
“Customer” and “User” are dead, having given birth to the much more empowering “community member.” You don’t have a community until you’ve stopped seeing purchasers and their purchases as “average orders” and start seeing them as “ the fiscal value of real humans interacting with your brand.” People powered metrics are a part of any organization, but I can all but guarantee the longer someone is with you, the more value they have both qualitatively and quantitatively. Make your product/place somewhere people want to hang out, not just shop.
$50,000 is not enough to live in a major metropolis, let alone rationalize giving your soul to two-dimensional friends for. Glassdoor and Indeed both put the average CM salary around $50k. This is not what you’re paying you’re developers, and it’s half of what you should be paying your CMs. Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, y’all might be exceptions, but in NYC, SF, LA, Chicago, etc. the juice here is not worth the squeeze.
Community Managers bring their soul to work everyday. In another moment of daydreaming, ask yourself, who do your VIP community members and sacred cows call when they have an issue? Likely your CM. Do those issues normally happen M-F between 9–5? Doubtful. There is no other function within an office that is more emotionally taxing than that of Community Management (save for any in-house therapy your swanky corporation or fun startup may be nice enough to provide). Yes, the CFO may have a more stressful March/April and the CEO may feel the heat raising the next round, but day to day, no one tops the feels of a community manager.
Feeling the feels is hard. I’ve had designers call me bawling, vomiting, screaming, in complete speechless shock and dripping in joy. I’ve shared the excitement of the birth of their children, the deaths of their loved ones and the launches of their collections. I know more about people I’ve never met than many members of my own family (don’t judge). I have done happy dances via skype and sobbed tears of sadness alongside them through twitter. I’ve celebrated their brilliant achievements, thrust them in the media spotlight, and felt like I had the greatest value, the greatest impact, when they’ve visibly grown. This means we feel the growing pains with all of them, too, and it’s not easy.
Community Management is really fucking personal, and often on “personal” time. Of the best CM work I’ve done, easily 80% of it has been during “nights and weekends” because that’s when most humans need help. I’ve taken their frantic 2am calls (sometimes less sober than I care to admit) and woken up at 3am to share in moments “live” halfway around the globe. I do this because I give many fucks, and because I know the difference that one person can make for another just by being there. Don’t ever judge a groggy CM in the morning. Odds are it wasn’t the after party that kept her out last night, but the community stirring her from slumber.
Community Managers are the Antidote to crisis. Our server at Shapeways (an ecommerce platform) was once taken out by a backhoe days before Christmas. Offline for 19 hours, the longest in our seven year history save for Hurricane Sandy, I resorted to the only thing guaranteed to solve any internet crisis: cute animals. #SWPaws (get it?) was born, and 100's of animals later, we managed to not only have a great time (literally zero complaints about the downtime) but also to coordinate the visit of a special reindeer and Santa Claus to our factory in Holland on Christmas eve. All because the site failed. Go figure.
Community Managers don’t have personal opinions, they have highly informed community-driven perspectives & requests. Community managers are the liaisons between the outside world and the inside of your organization. They have to approach everyone from a fair, nonjudgmental, unbiased point of view, aggregate information thrust upon them, and report back with the status of the community. This is something CMs take very seriously. That remark they just made about the feature they think you need is one you should listen to. The opinion of the community manager matters most when building product and features intended to serve the community. They understand their needs better than anyone. Even you. Full stop.
Community Managers never say no. It’s likely to our collective fault as a whole, but I bet the classic “what’s the worst thing about you” question answer for all CMs is “I don’t know how to say no.” Translation: they’ll do anything for you and your community. Don’t take that for granted. I’ll never forget my eyes burning as my phone rang at 4:15am one morning. In a deep-sleep rasp I answered, only to hear the sounds of vomiting. After a few moments and the sound of chain smoking, I figured out who it was. “oh hey *censored* what’s up?” I then spent the next two hours talking someone through their business related nausea and axiety before showering and going in for my standard day. Didn’t say no then, wouldn’t now.
If you’re still not convinced community matters, adds value, and should be taken seriously, just remember: It’s the reason Instagram beat Hipstamatic, the reason iPhone beat Android, and the reason you call tissues Kleenex. The true power lies within your community and the loyalty they are kind enough to bring to your dinner table.
Now go hug that CM of yours and give them a raise if you haven’t already.
Editor’s Note: post originally appeared on the Savvy's blog visit here for details.
An event series and online resource dedicated to supporting the New Zealand ecosystems development in Sales, Marketing and Product Management.