redefining content marketing with dan sanchez

Get ready for an unfiltered conversation like no other. We don’t just talk about the challenges of B2B marketing, we face them head-on. With over 50 podcast episodes under our belt, we’re taking the conversation to a whole new level by going live. In this episode of Digital Banter, we’re delving deep into the world of content marketing and how creators are rewriting the rulebook on traditional content strategies. Whether you’re already well-versed in creator-led content or just curious to explore its potential, this is your chance to gain valuable insights. Join Andy, James, and our special guest, Dan Sanchez, as they share fresh ideas and practical takeaways that could transform your content strategy. Expect actionable takeaways and innovative ideas that can elevate your marketing game. No fluff, no jargon – just real talk about what works. Don’t miss out!


Podcast Transcript

You’re listening to the Digital Banter Podcast, the show where we tackle the challenges of B2B marketing head on and aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. Join us weekly as we talk to industry leaders, explore opportunities that impact the bottom line, and rev your company’s marketing engine with actionable insights and tips.

It’s time to burn the old B2B playbook and build something that makes an impact. Here are your hosts, Andy and James.

We took our uber successful podcast and turn it into a live show. We figured after 50 episodes as a podcast, we’d elevate the experience for episode 51 because, well, like we were just talking about before we hopped on here. Most podcasts never last 20 episodes, let alone 50 episodes.

So James’s point, we’re either doing something really wrong or really stupid. I don’t know. We’ll find out as we continue to, uh, to push this forward. And because on episode 51 of going live, we decided to bring [00:01:00] on a special guest, the infamous Dan Sanchez or Dan Cho, uh, of audience growth, expertise, and consultations.

But Dan, welcome to the show, man. Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here. So today we are talking about your specialty around audience growth, especially as it comes to creatorship, as I call it, even though that I guess that word doesn’t really exist. Um, I’ll make it up as we go here, but I would love to kind of kick this conversation off by talking about understanding what, what is a creator?

And what is creator led content? What is a creator? A creator is somebody who’s obviously just making content on the internet. Right. But most of the time when people say creator. They kind of mean what a lot of us call influencer, right? Which is two names for the same person, right? But nobody likes to self-identify as an influencer.

It’s like calling yourself a thought leader. It’s kinda like, ooh, eh, you just, it just feels cringey. [00:02:00] Just call yourself an influencer, even if you are influential, even though most creators want to be influential. It’s kinda like we all B two B, we all want to be thought leaders. We all wanna influence the thinking of our peers and our prospects, right?

But you don’t want to give yourself the label because that’s just. It’s cringy. It’s like calling yourself the world’s best at anything. Um, Creators do the same thing. Except they, instead of titling themselves influencers, they’re like, well, what am I doing? I’m, I’m creating content. I’m creating the stuff that is actually doing the influencing of people.

So, um, you have to set the stage with that. Like, creators and influencers? Same crew. Um, and I think it’s been an interesting conversation. It’s what James and I were talking about even last week that kicked off this whole, this whole thing, is that there’s a massive difference between the way creators make content and the way content marketers.

Make content and I think that’s kind of like the topic for the day is what the heck is the difference between creator led content and Essentially what we’ve been doing now for [00:03:00] like 10 plus years with inbound marketing with the content marketing revolution And honestly, I’ve been to this point myself of being a content marketer.

I even gosh I was a social media manager back in 2011 Right back when it was like you get paid to post tweets, you know, and people are like, wait, what I’ve been in social media and content marketing and writing blog posts and making videos for a long time, but I never really got the traction, you know, like most marketers, I was just making it killing it with PPC, the landing page to follow up sequence.

And maybe you get fancy with some text messages in there and connected good sales and marketing alignment. You’d freaking crush it. But it wasn’t until recently, the last couple of years that I found that there’s a different way to play this content game. Because what a lot of us are doing in content marketing is just creating content that, at best, only a few people are reading.

And I’m like, wait a second, because we’re all watching content, how come no one’s reading our content, right? Like, you have newsletters you subscribe to, [00:04:00] YouTube channels you’re watching, people you’re seeing on TikTok. How come our content doesn’t get nearly the reach? And I found out there’s, there’s a massive difference.

There’s a huge gap between what content marketers are doing. And what creators are doing. So that’s kind of where I found, like, there’s a massive difference there. And now I’m exploring more and more like, what the heck, what do we got to do to get from here to playing the game? Creators are getting to actually get the attention that we’re all hoping to get when we do content marketing, but we’re not getting, so what do you attribute to that, we’ll say different mindset too.

Is it kind of an educational thing? Is it a philosophy thing? Is it, you know, a top down, like now you can’t do the cool stuff. Like you got to do what. Has proven to be working for hundreds of years. I mean, I, obviously that’s exaggeration here, but like, what do you attribute to the, to the hesitancy, I guess, to, to buy into it?

I think marketers are held accountable to marketing goals as they should be. The problem is if you’re on, if you’re on the [00:05:00] hook for creating traffic that converts the leads or getting posting that converts the leads and you’re always held accountable to leads, well, then you end up. You know, sacrificing what creators are going after, which is audience, which is attention, right?

Because if every post has to sort of somehow prove and prove an ROI, or at least, oh, like the, the group of posts you’re posting to LinkedIn over a month needs to prove some kind of ROI, even if it’s rough, right? Which is maybe just traffic back to our website, where then we can track traffic to our, like, leads into ROI.

You’re held accountable to these metrics. And that’s what I was doing. Or maybe, maybe, at best, you’re just helping educate the market on… What your product does and the value that it brings, hence like product like, uh, product marketing, but in the form of content. Right? So that’s what most content marketing is for most businesses, especially across B to B.

It’s really just product marketing. So I think we’re in the form of content. I was gonna say, I think we’re all in agreement that. [00:06:00] Creators are going to take over the content marketing sphere. I guess my question for you is the old school days of content marketing. What was it? It was really driven off of search, right?

So. I don’t, I don’t say it was directly driven off of search was driven off of audience and a lot of marketing initiatives. But I always feel like it came down to like, you’re doing keyword research, you’re mapping content to different stages of the funnel, different pain points. And you would do these complex content, funnel analysis, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right?

Where creators are more focused on engagement audience. Do you think that these are going to be kind of separate things moving forward as more, uh, as more brands are. Moving towards creators, are they going to keep that content wheel? Is it going to be a separate silo, or is there going to be some sort of merger that has to happen?

I don’t even think they’ve been separate. It used to be the same thing. Like, think about, where did Gary [00:07:00] Vee get his start? Making content about the thing he sold, which was wine. Do you remember the case study of the guy who used to do all the content on different types of pools in the backyard? And then he became famous for content marketing.

That was product marketing. He was talking about making how, all the different ways to make pools and how much it costs and the vinyl and cement and all the different, that’s all he did was make videos about it. It’s not even search, I guess you could consider it search content because people would be searching how to, how to do vinyl pool and then his video would pop up and would educate people on it and the cost of it and the pros and cons of all these different ways of building pools.

But that was very much like product led content marketing. And it freaking worked, and it was great, and they actually built huge audiences off the back of it. But that’s back when content was kind of scarce, you know? No other pool company was doing it. Shoot, no one but nobody else was posting about wine on the internet.

And wine’s a big world. They were written about in magazines, so it tradition it existed in traditional media. Gary Vee just brought it to digital. First, I mean, it’s the same, [00:08:00] like, wait for it. It’s the same scenario as HubSpot being able to run a massive SEO program, right? Like you can’t get away with that now.

And I would almost argue though, the creator space is pretty clogged up right now. Is it, do you think that it’s like as competitive as. I mean, I use the SEO example, like, do you think it’s a quicker win or do you think that it is competitive and there’s certain things that you need to do to stand out? I still think doing good product marketing is important because people will eventually go in market for what you sell and you still have to educate them on the value that you bring and how it works and why it works and the different types of people that use it and who’s been successful using it.

All that, all that is just now foundational stuff. The problem is if you only do that now… You’re not gonna get the attention you want from it. It’s not like, nobody, if, if, Gary Vee restarted Wine Library, it wouldn’t work nearly as well. Now, because it’s Gary Vee and he’s a [00:09:00] celebrity, and he’s got, like, showmanship, and he’s improved in how he does his presentation, but if it was young Gary Vee restarting that show, he wouldn’t do it.

Because it wouldn’t work the same and everybody would find it to be a little boring now But so what do you do now? Why why is there is a massive gap between like what used to work in content marketing kind of where I’m seeing This is like me predicting where the pucks gonna go, right? Like trying to figure out where it’s going is being more creator led and I noticed there’s two massive differences between being like a content marketer and a creator a creator Literally is optimizing for audience, and that’s it.

They’re trying to get attention and trying to keep attention. It’s not just, how do I get them to watch one video? It’s how do I get them to watch one video all the way through? Maybe a couple of times on a TikTok video. But how do I get them to, how do I build anticipation for the next video? How do I create a theme across my post so that they want to see me over and over again?

So when my thing pops up, like, the hook is… The hook is only part of the factor of whether they stay and keep [00:10:00] watching. Now they want to stay and keep watching cause they know I’m going to deliver, right? Create continuity and retention across your audience. They think about it totally differently than a content marketer does.

A content marketer is making sure they don’t have any typos. A creator is making sure they get people’s attention, whether it has a typo. And it’s like, ah, yeah. So James, I just want to jump in here though too, because I think you brought something up. Before Dan was talking about how there’s a perception from you and I, and probably Dan to an extent here of how the creator market feels bogged down, right?

It feels competitive. And we, we see that all three of us absolutely see that, but I also think that we have a skewed opinion of that because we are marketers and we pay attention to other marketers that are creators. But when you think about looking at it through the lens of, let’s say. Uh, I’m in civil engineering or biotech or something like that.

The creatorship that’s happening to those [00:11:00] audiences probably does not exist. There is probably no competition there because nobody is thinking about it from that perspective. They’re stuck in the old content ways. And just jumping into that and being, being a thought leader or a, uh, you know, differentiator there could spark something big, right?

I think there’s so much room for creativity, especially in B2B right now, for creators, that it’s, it’s, I, all, all I see is a blue ocean. I know it sounds weird to say that because on LinkedIn it seems like we have an echo chamber going on, but like, over the last couple of months I’ve started realizing, I’m like, oh, we haven’t even yet begun to play the game.

We’re not even close. Now even B2C companies, I’m like, uh, we’re getting, they’re getting there, but it’s not even close to what like creators are doing. And I mean like people that are trying to make a living themselves off the internet, like those people, those usually kids, like the Mr. Beast. And he’s like at the top of the game, but even like up and coming people, like what TikTokers are doing [00:12:00] and YouTubers are doing in order to grow an audience.

I’m like, we’re not even close. It is like a hundred miles away from where we’re currently at. I’m like, Even to get, like, just a little bit down, you stand out quickly. Like, I don’t know if you guys have seen, like, the two little video series I’ve thrown out re recently with, like, Marketing Minions with my kids.

It’s just kind of funny, it’s different, it’s fresh, because, well, no one’s out, nobody’s even trying different stuff, it’s all talking head videos, and it’s all text posts on LinkedIn. So to even do something, like, re like, even remotely different, like, um, like the world’s worst marketer, right, or those kinds of, like, tropes.

Like, they’re working incredibly well. Why? Because… We’re so tired of like the same things over and over again So there’s there’s a whole blue ocean of creativity that i’m only just starting to begin to like throw down different ideas and i’m like Filling up notion docs with different ideas and trying to pick the right one now because i’m just seeing opportunity everywhere Um something we were talking about that.

I just I [00:13:00] feel like this is perfect direction. It’s like your process we talked about how Creators have this iterative approach that content marketers don’t have, right? I feel like content marketers are planning for the entire year, doing all kinds of market research and all the stuff I talked about before, where the creators are iterating and paying a lot more attention to the details of what makes good content.

And that’s, I mean, you said that’s what’s going to set them apart. So I’d like you to go through that a bit, like your process. That’s it. Content marketers, they publish once, right? They come up with a content calendar to meet the objectives, to talk about certain themes, and then they write the blog posts, usually.

Maybe social media, maybe if they’re advanced, they’re doing a podcast and including thought leadership topics in it and having certain guests on and pulling out certain subject matter experts. But that fills the content calendar. Nowhere ever are we actually sitting down as content [00:14:00] marketers. And analyzing, like, how well did that one do?

Let’s do more of that. Let’s double down on that. Like, how do we come up with stuff that people want? And then we figure out how to reverse engineer it to back to profit, right? Um, instead they’re like, how do we get profit? Well, let’s throw some, let’s throw a little farther out. It’s almost like you’re fishing, right?

And you’re coming off a dock and you can only go as far as the dock. Versus creators are getting on the boat and just finding the fish and dropping down lines and they’re like, they’re looking for it. Versus we, we, we, we can’t, we’re afraid to get off the dock. We’re just searching for what’s familiar. We don’t want to get too far away from land.

I’m stealing that analogy. We have to test things forward and expect to fail a hundred times before we actually find something that really resonates and then to double down on that. If you go to any YouTuber who’s got like hundreds of thousands or millions of followers, go flip, flip the timeline to their earliest videos.

You’ll see the process. Any TikTok or two, you’ll see them shoot around, try a bunch of different stuff, and then the boom, you’ll [00:15:00] see it like, oh, that’s familiar. You’ll see one take off, and they’ll, they’ll do more of that. And then they’ll keep, keep experimenting, and then try to keep finding new things.

And the whole time, what they’re really doing is building a whole skill set around discernment. About what people want within the target market. They’re going after. Um, and that’s, that’s the thing that really separates a content marketer from the creator is a creator has discernment about what gets and keeps attention.

If there’s one thing I could like implore, like all content marketers with right now is you need to start building that discernment for yourself. And the only way to do it is by actively going out and trying to build an audience yourself. Either you can do it with a company that’s interested in that.

Usually they’re not. So you have to go and do it in your personal. your personal Instagram account. It doesn’t even have to be, like, your personality. You could come up with a fake personality or just make it about a topic and you’re like, I don’t know, figuring out interesting ways to make smoothies, even doing something like that will teach you more about where we’re going in content marketing, and [00:16:00] you’ll be way better prepared, even if it’s a whole Instagram show about smoothies and you never show your face.

You will be more prepared because you’ll have developed a sense of discernment about what people want and what actually works. So how do you find balance then between personal brand and corporate brand, if we want to call it corporate? Uh. Yeah, there’s always in at Sweetfish. We were talking a lot about how to build a media brand like this separate thing from your corporate brand, um, or a personal brand or having a mix of all three what we call the the three content marketing motions.

I think you need. At least two if not all three in order to do well in the future And there is a big reason for it With your corporate brand it needs to be around your position Like whatever your company’s known for it needs to be known for it’s one thing like positioning and category design Absolutely work.

You need to be thinking about it. So all good marketers know that’s like one of the things That’s massively important for your messaging and your marketing The problem is a lot of people then take their media ban and media brand, their [00:17:00] podcast, their blogs, and stuff, and embed it within that positioning, which limits the kinds of content you can make within that position.

Let’s say you’re Vidyard, and you do, um, you do video messages, right? The personal video platform for salespeople. Well, Most of your content the expectation when you go to a vidyard blog or a vidyard podcast or a vidyard Any content channel is that it’s going to be about that It’s going to be about your product as it should be and all your product marketing stuff and even your tips and tricks for how To do better at sales with video marketing is what you’d expect to find there because it’s held down by their positioning But they can’t change their positioning.

So what do you do if you want to create an audience? Well, you kind of have to go broader than that because a lot of salespeople don’t even know that they need video messaging. And isn’t that the prospect you want to reach? Yes, you want to reach the people that don’t know how good it is. Otherwise, they’d probably be at the bottom of your funnel already.

So if you want to build an audience of people who are not yet in market, people who will be in market potentially next month, next quarter, next year, [00:18:00] then you have to create a separate brand and position it more broadly to be about all the things you want. Your i all the things that your ideal buyer actually cares about.

And then insert some video marketing in there too, which is what exactly what they did with sales feed, they created a separate brand called sales feed and it has a newsletter and social media components, and they’ve been massively successful with it because they’ve actually been able to branch away from their original positioning.

So let’s talk about brands, like the trend that’s happening right now. I think it’s actually a lot of B2B brands are doing it of hiring a creator in house thing that I was hiring a creator rather than a. Content marketer because they bring that influence with them. I mean, quite frankly, you were one of these people at one point in time, how I feel like the major pushback that you get is what happens if this person leaves, what are your thoughts on that?

That’s a funny thing. Um, they will [00:19:00] leave eventually. You can’t expect to retain 100 percent of your people, and, but if you do, congratulations, like, you’ve hit the culture jackpot, like, you should strive to do that, but, obviously, people leave, they’ll get better opportunities somewhere else. Vidyard had, I can’t remember his name, but he’s a really famous sales influencer now, and got plucked up by Lavender, and Lavender paid him a frickin ton of money.

And it was worth it for them, because, one, he had influence with their ideal buyers already, so that’s instant distribution for them and the content they want to get known for. But, Oh, Will Aiken, that’s what his name is. Like, the more important part is he has discernment to know how to make all their other stuff pop.

How to make content, even if it’s not his own, his face in it and his personality in it, how to make content that’s actually going to resonate with the audience, because he’s had the reps to know what works. Um, but what, what are you going to do if they leave? Well, guess what? You hired them or trained them up.

Sweetfish trained me up. into being an influencer for Sweetfish. And then, and now I’m not at Sweetfish anymore, [00:20:00] even though I still talk about them all the time. Um, guess what James did? He went and hired more creators that had even more following than I did. And actually probably have, some of his creators have more discernment than I do as far as what works.

Because they run bigger pages in different places and have new ideas to bring to the table. So you can just go and hire it back. Right? That’s always been the game. You can just go and… Find people that maybe have more or less or maybe you want to grow up somebody internally Like they did with me all of that still on the plate table The cool thing is if you’re loose with it and don’t like bash people over the head with it Like you hire a creator and then they leave and go somewhere else But if you have good culture and you treat them Well even help them find their next thing because you’re a good boss and are supporting them and their career goals Guess what?

You create goodwill with people that are influential And just like I still refer people to Sweetfish, I still speak highly of James because he’s blessed me so much in my career, um, and in so many other ways, I, like, I’m still giving positive press to Sweetfish, and it’s been, well, it’s just been, [00:21:00] it’s been less than a year now, but I, trust me, it’ll be going for years I’ll be talking about Sweetfish and James Carberry positively, because he’s created goodwill in me.

So that’ll be positive press that they’ll be getting for a long time afterwards. You think about it in the longterm, it works out. So that’s one risk. The other risk is for me being at the mercy of social algorithms and all of the ups and downs that come with that. I mean, LinkedIn at the moment moment seems to have gone through another shift where creators are struggling to get the same reach and visibility that they were two weeks ago or earlier this month.

So I’m, I’m curious, like, how do you minimize that risk if I’m the CMO or the VP and I’m being asked to create a business case related to bringing on a creator or creator led marketing? Kind of goes with anything, right? PPC could go up massively because Apple decides to change the algorithm in their apps and now Facebook can’t do it and LinkedIn can’t do it as well anymore.

[00:22:00] So it’s kind of like, well, like which, which marketing channel doesn’t have massive risk aside from like the market and the apps and the technology we’re using, it’s all, it’s all risk, no matter how you take it. I’d like to diversify that risk a little bit. And as much as I love PPC, because you can get good wins with it within a few, like a month or two and optimizing it and it’s champ, it’s consistent.

It kind of levels off at a point, right? Because there’s only so many people on market. The, the, I think what’s better is diversifying your own media and using these influencers who usually have influence in a short form channel, like a Twitter, like a LinkedIn, like maybe a YouTube, but like, and then use it to pull, diversify back into newsletters, which is why I’ve been really bullish on newsletters the last couple of months.

Um, because then you kind of offset that risk a little bit by pulling people out of the, what we call the rented. Owned media right into your actual owned media that you actually have more control over like email like if you still do direct mail That would be a known [00:23:00] channel or SMS groups, which I still think is underplayed today But email for sure creating a newsletter that people actually want to get that’s that’s generally where most the money is to and where you Can start actually branching them off into selling your offer to them is in the email channels I think the other thing you just touched on is thinking about paid media.

I can tell you’ve been in the game for a while by saying PPC. So, uh, using paid media strategically for something outdated from a model and approach perspective, right? So if we think about creator led marketing and risks associated with people leaving, risks associated with algorithms, reach, things like that.

This is where people that are saying, Oh, paid is getting so much more expensive. It’s not working anymore. Well, strategically, are we still using it in the right way? Or if we not diversified to your point, so using it to get more reach of those creators, getting more reach and getting in front of those people, creating an audience and [00:24:00] leveraging the power of paid.

To enable that to happen and then harvesting them on the back end through all the stuff that you were just talking about. And I think, you know, not to get on a soapbox or like go on my typical rant in every given episode, but like that, that’s the one thing that catches my attention when people are saying, Oh, paid doesn’t work anymore.

Or are you using it the right way? Right. And the way you do it changes, right? Like, right now, in paid media, like, running ads that look more like content in the feed in order to get people’s attention to actually click is like the game right now. Or, what is, what I’m, what I’m doing in paid media. It’s like, I’m trying to get attention by looking like content, but still having it go to a landing page or something that leads to, like, conversions.

Um, it changes in organic media all the time. The thing is, influencers, remember that discernment, that’s the more important thing. We’ve built discernment. Do you think, like, Nick Bennett’s going to be able to figure out the next thing once, once the LinkedIn algorithm changes and we all kind of like, oh, what’s working well?

Oh, this is working now. Bam. We’re going to be there. Why? Because we developed a [00:25:00] sense of discernment of, uh, or essentially an internal process of like testing, testing, testing, boom, there’s a signal, testing, testing, boom, there’s a signal. Okay. I’m doubling down on that. That is the thing that works on LinkedIn now.

Um, we know influencers figure it out. They’re usually the first. Um, yeah. And to your point, we already know Nick is testing that based off of some recent conversations. That’s a good call out there. Um, do you have examples though, of B2B brands that are actually winning with creators right now? Like those that we could prop up and say, Hey, go check out these guys when you’re thinking about it for yourselves.

Lavender. HockeyStack, Vidyard, Clue, FollowUpBoss. In fact, I’m like reading off a list that James Carberry posted like three days ago. Because he literally just rounded a bunch of them up and then put it out there. Um, I don’t know. Let me see if I can grab a link to his post. Can I, can I drop that in the comments?

Where’s the comments on this thing? I don’t see it. It’s alright. We can, we can throw it in the, the event page when we… [00:26:00] We exit out because it was put in the there’s a private message here and then you could probably figure out how to put it up Yeah, but that’s a great list to start with There’s more but right now we’re still I still think in b2b.

We’re very much in the early stages of this But I promise like these companies this list of companies These are gonna be the people that within a year two years three years They’re going to be like the new Chris Walkers. They’re going to be like the, ah, and these CMOs, the VPs of marketing that are running these brands.

They’re going to be the ones speaking on stage and be like, how did you know? Well, like, I think we all know. It’s just that they actually went and did it right when it was hard. When everybody was going towards sales led marketing motions and ABM, which are all good things. They ran the other direction, scooped up the attention while it was cheap or cheaper.

And capitalize that and before everybody else could get to it. So, the people who play the game now are catching the wave as it’s starting to form. So, go ahead James. [00:27:00] So I was going to ask the, I don’t know, the, the deep question that everybody’s going to ask, you talked about the discernment a lot and the ability to, you know, play with the algorithm and try to figure out what works now, what the business leaders are going to ask is like, okay, how is that tied back to revenue?

Right? So there’s, how do you make that connection from the, you and I were joking that we both People do obsess over the vanity metrics and creators really do obsess over the vanity metrics. Um, like I know exactly how many impressions each LinkedIn posts I have does, even though it’s not much, how do you take that and what you learn there and then apply that, I guess, kind of like work it through to how is that affecting the bottom line of the business?

Yeah, I feel like I’m explaining inbound marketing in like 2006 as far as how like it becomes profitable Like obviously like we all understand inbound marketing now And it’s just kind of like dove like a course inbound [00:28:00] like get them coming to you But remember back when that was like new and people were like wait what?

How does that work again? How does me writing a blog post connect back to revenue now? It’s obvious so I feel like I’m explaining something that like three years from now people be like like, okay We all know there’s only a certain percentage of the market That’s in market to buy what you sell. And it’s red ocean, like we’re all fighting over that 10%.

I’m being generous with 10, because some market’s gonna be less. I mean like 10 percent to be more specific in a quarter that’s ready to buy or even open to buying whatever solution you’re selling, right? Maybe next quarter it’s another 10%. And the next quarter it’s another 10%, whatever. Um, but we do, we do very little in order to capture the attention and build affinity with the people that will be in market next quarter, the quarter after, and next year.

So we’re like killing our future selves in order to, in order to try to get as many MQLs as we can now. I call it the [00:29:00] quarterly conundrum, and we’re all killing ourselves to try to get as many… Leads as we can this quarter and we’re sacrificing the future growth. So usually what I recommend doing is like, don’t, don’t stop going after leads, you need leads now, right?

The sales team’s got to have something to do. You need sales right now. The thing is, we know there’s a lot of diminishing returns with the short term tactics. There’s only so much outbound you can do before people are just getting irritated with how many stinking emails you’re sending them, right? Which is why products like gated, gated have even.

Popped up to like slow down the SDRs. You’re like, whoa, too many, too many, right? Like, I’m not saying it doesn’t work. I love cold outreach. I’m not romantic about any of this. Like, if it works, I’m like, let’s do it, but we know that we can build affinity if we can get them into an audience and help them achieve their goals in, in whatever role they’re in.

So let’s build affinity with the people who are not yet in market, but will be a month from now, a quarter from now, a year from now. [00:30:00] Chris Walker actually defined it the best when he said, there’s only a certain amount of demand at any given time for your thing. But if you can go and create the demand that’s for next quarter, you probably get to keep it.

We’re all fighting over existing demand that’s here this quarter. But if you get to create the demand that’s showing up next quarter, You’re, you’re, the odds are stacked against all your competitors and for you, in your favor to get them into your pipeline and to win them over because they have a irrational bias to buy from you now, because you’ve been the one teaching them, helping them, showing them the way, showing them how to do their job better.

So I actually have a really good example of a campaign that we are working on right now, where there is a blocker in the fact that they have not done. They have not focused enough on audience growth. So in typical demand gen strategy, you have the content that you promote that’s focused around building an [00:31:00] audience, right?

So you’re promoting top of funnel content. You can go into the whole gated, ungated conundrum there, but you’re promoting top of funnel content to try to build an audience and create content that resonates with your audience. Then you take that audience, dump it into a retargeting function. That could be email, that could be ads.

And in this case it’s ads and you’re retargeting to more bottom of the funnel. CTA demo trial contact sales, something like that, right? This client has had the same. They are not doing any iterative testing at the top of Funnel to see what resonates. They’ve had the same top of Funnel content pieces for forever.

And earlier in the year, we were kind of crushing it with the strategy of building the audience and then retargeting to them. Since they’ve done no iteration there, things have slowly decayed, decayed, decayed, decayed. And now, like, our ability to book demos based on that audience. [00:32:00] Is, is very slim and like we’ve been pushing for more and more content and that’s an example of like, if you don’t do that iterative testing, how it falls flat later on down the funnel.

So yeah, you’re concerned about like running paid search ads and how many leads you have right now, or you’re retargeting campaigns that are driving demos. Like, but you can’t, you can’t move away from that audience building piece or else it just is going to crash and burn later on. I wish I could go back to my past self because eventually I ran into a paid media.

Plateau, and then all optimization I did from there only kept the kept that plateau level because rising costs kept going up. And so every gain I had on the landing page only kept me my cost per acquisition at about the same amount, and I couldn’t grow anymore. I wish I wish I could go back to past self and be like, hey, set aside 10 percent of your paid budget and use it just for audience acquisition, because guess what?

That can continue going up. [00:33:00] That’ll continue going up like the amount of subscribers you can get of the full market can go up to the full market Because again, there’s only so many in market right now for what you’re selling, but there will be more in the future You can reach more and build more affinity and probably create even grow the market if you’re actually Building an audience of it and building affinity ahead of time one other one other uh I like to give for how you can get ROI out of this is think about like, how we’re spending paid media already.

Are we sponsoring podcasts? Are you sponsoring newsletters? Cause those are other people’s owned media. Do you think you’d be able to do the same thing? There’s my bubble. Yeah. Do you think you’d be able to do the same thing if you owned it yourself? Of course. Like what if you just owned it and you don’t even have to pay for it anymore?

It becomes your own marketing channels. Just advertise like you were in somebody else’s channel. Do you think? Like, if Walgreens owned WebMD, do you think they’d be able to make a lot of money off of that? Absolutely. Like, they should. If I were, if I were working at Walgreens, [00:34:00] I’d be buying WebMD if I could.

It’s only, it’s like, their total revenue is like a fraction of Walgreens actual marketing budget. Or like, yeah, the total value of WebMD. I’m like… Like, I’d be buying that up as my own media channel right now, because Walgreens current content marketing is all product focused. It’s not audience focused. So I guess that’s the big difference here, is we’re talking about product focused content versus audience focused content.

And I think that content teams of the future are gonna focus on audience focused content, that they can then extract value from later. That’s a great analogy. So I think as we start to come closer to a wrap of today’s episode, I just want to throw out there, if anybody listening has questions for Dan or any of us, feel free to drop them in the comments, uh, in the chat, we’ll get to them if we can.

Um, but Dan, the question that I like to ask every guest is if you could wave the magic wand and change anything about B2B marketing right now, what would it be? And why?[00:35:00]

The easiest thing, just set aside 10 percent of your paid budget, like I just said. It’s probably the easiest thing you could do, and make that goal, that 10 percent of the budget, just newsletter acquisition. That’s it. And make a better newsletter. Figure out what the best newsletter people are doing, and learn from them.

And test, and test, and then try to reduce churn rate on your newsletter. And think about it like a product. Like if you were a media company that had a newsletter, and your goal was to grow the newsletter, and you were getting paid on just opens, This is like, this is your goal. This is your mission. Make a newsletter people actually want and stay subscribed to, and then spend 10 percent of your budget too.

This is probably the easiest way right now to grow and paid media is still less expensive than I think it will be in the future. So keep going. And that would, that would just be the first step. That’s probably the easiest thing you can do. So you kind of probably stole one of your, your rap things here, but we always like to ask people before we kind of sign off, you know, what are three actionable takeaways that our [00:36:00] listeners can.

Do you just mentioned one? So what are I guess two others that they can do when it comes to creator led content and redefining and rethinking those outdated content practices? Let’s stay real practical here. I have to pull up. There’s one YouTube video. You have to watch it. You have to watch it. This is from Jay Klaus.

Um, this is from his podcast, Jay Klaus podcast, Creative Elements. This video blew my mind. It blew a lot of other minds. And it’s, this one, this is probably like his first real big breakthrough in YouTube for Jay Klaus. Um, but he interviewed a creator, not a content marketer at all, pure 100 percent creator, named Jenny Hayos.

And she did such a good job of articulating how she thinks about content, my mind was like, I’m like, oh my gosh, like I had a whole new unlock as far as like what it takes to actually become successful in creating content. Guess what? It takes a lot more work. She comes up with 1000 ideas, executes 10. And I mean, like thought through ideas, not like two word [00:37:00] ideas.

Um, there’s a lot of nuggets in there as far as how she approaches her TikToks. Or her videos, specifically TikTok style videos that I think all of us can learn from. This is the easiest action item I can give to you to go learn the difference between how creators think and content marketers think. This is how a creator thinks.

And she’s, she’s getting like 10 million plus views a video. So like she’s very mature as a creator. Um, but B2B.

Oh, you’re going to stand out like a sore thumb. Like it’s just works. It just works so much better. You’ll build so much more affinity if you just take a little bit of what she’s doing and apply it to content marketing right now. All right, cool. Yeah. So we’ll drop that in the chat, uh, her event page after the follow up here.

So I think just to close out today’s episode, then Dan, how can. How can people connect with you and find you online? Man, danchez. com. Come on. And then you can find all the other links there. Whether it’s like the blog or my newsletter, Sanchez Says. Uh, or of course, linkedin. com. Slash IN slash digital [00:38:00] marketing Dan.

Back when we were all calling ourselves digital marketer. And now that’s like my permanent link forever. I think you can change that. I’d change it to Danchez. But like, I’ve called it out in so many podcast episodes. And there’s so many links going to it. That I’m like, screw it. That’s just what it is forever.

I like them. It’s the brand of the future, digital marketing, Dan, digital marketing, Dan. All right, Dan, well, thank you so much for joining us today. Love the conversation. So for anybody out there, check out danchez. com, connect with Dan, like, subscribe. And we’re going to do another live stream next week for digital banter live.

Catch you guys next time.

Thanks for listening to the Digital Vanter podcast. Make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. For more resources and to keep up with the show, visit dragon360. com. Until next time.

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