Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
June 15, 2017

#485. Creating Campaigns People Want to Share. With Michael Africk.

Michael Africk, Serial entrepreneur, and CEO/Founder at Inmoji, and a recording artist, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:40] Michael tells the story of his past as a recording artist, and touring with Britney Spears and ‘NSync. Those moments set him up with a feeling of entrepreneurism and driving towards success, no matter what.

[8:28] Music is a very fertile space for creative minds and the entrepreneurial spirit. Michael describes his ventures, and his network, that inspired them to launch Inmoji with Perry Tell.

[11:39] Michael picked up hustle from his music experience. He believes he was born with the entrepreneurial spirit. He compares live performance to sales. You need to have a thick skin, and you have to scratch and claw until you get there.

[15:35] People’s use of emojis inspired Michael and Perry to see that emojis could be clickable Trojan horses, linked to any sort of content, dropped into a message. They saw an opportunity to make an SDK for messaging apps with huge user bases.

[19:45] Emojis are tied to typed emoticons. Stickers are branded emojis. Inmojis are applets. When a sender clicks an Inmoji, it brings up brand information the sender can choose to include. The receiver can click on it for the same experience.

[21:54] Michael explains the process. A vendor runs a campaign. The SDK offers up their Inmoji in subscribing messaging apps. The sender clicks the Inmoji for rich media, and sends it to another, who can click it for the same content.

[23:10] Inmoji’s clients buy space in the SDK, and then the subscribing message app displays the client Inmoji, and tracks clicks, both of the sender and of the receiver.

[23:35] Inmoji charges per click, not per exposure, so the click is qualified. Michael gives a use case example. There are potentially several clicks per use. People can listen to songs or watch trailers multiple times, all within the messaging app.

[25:35] Michael says all sizes of companies use the service. A self-service portal just launched at create.inmoji.com/eq. You can select a precise geographic area to release your Inmoji.

[26:56] Michael talks about B2B applications. A tax accountant received great results from a targeted campaign. The portal is easy to use for this. Michael gives another use case example.

[30:07] Engagement rates and authenticity make Inmoji the most effective way to advertise, in Michael’s view. Everything is referral-based and pre-qualified. The person you text clicks on it every single time.

[32:21] Michael talks about expansion. He would love to be on Facebook, for example, but they are on some huge apps.

April 29, 2017

#445. How Content Marketing Is Changing. With Sonia Simone.

Sonia Simone, Chief Content Officer at CopyBlogger Media, LLC, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:40] Copyblogger is part of Rainmaker Digital. Sonia helps determine editorial content direction on Copyblogger, some of which she creates. She is the lead ‘word-put-togetherer.’

[2:46] Content marketing is a reality of the web, as people keep finding more bright and shiny objects to see. You have to continually add content to make yourself the most interesting thing in their field of vision, and worth their time.

[4:46] SMBs are still hesitating to create content. Sonia has an idea why. But some smaller organizations are realizing that by grabbing the opportunity, they give themselves a real competitive advantage.

[6:17] Companies are finding that a content marketing role is mission-critical to succeed and compete today. Dollars can be shifted from phone directory and other advertising. SEO professionals can help get them up to speed.

[8:11] Business owners need to start thinking like CMOs. Cash flow and customer acquisition need to be top priorities. Content marketing help with both. A blog is a good start, but consider video, and even podcasting.

[11:43] It’s not enough to be useful. Content needs a personal voice that engages attention. Content should have ‘art.’

[13:57] Make your advertising, or content, too valuable to throw away.

[16:48] Selling, marketing, and content all require art, “an expression that can’t be made with an algorithm.” An organization can see which sales professionals are performing, and which are not. The human element connects.

[19:08] We think that data drives us to make objective decisions, but that’s only true if we understand the data fully.

[21:19] Entrepreneurs and small companies boldly embrace the art of content marketing. Larger companies become less courageous as they grow, and tend to be less responsive. Think of yourself as small, lean, and fast.

[25:11] Constant learning keeps any job exciting. The objective of making 100 contacts per day eliminates the opportunity to research any of them to make an effective contact.

[28:02] Sonia recommends studying literature, plays, screenplays, and poetry, and to take improv, acting, music, and painting classes. Start with what excites you.

April 7, 2017

#426. How to Use High-Quality Content To Fill Your Funnel. With Eric Siu.

Eric Siu, CEO of Single Grain, and host of Growth Everywhere, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:38] Eric has a marketing agency, Single Grain, and two podcasts: Marketing School, and Growth Everywhere. Eric’s mission is to build great online businesses with a foundation of education first. Eric explains the name, Single Grain.

[1:42] Single Grain works with technology and education companies to help them with advertising and SEO. They also implement their own strategies to grow their business.

[2:29] Eric sees conversion from one stage of the buying process to the next as the biggest challenge facing B2B clients. The process is a sales funnel with a logical sequence of steps.

[3:33] Eric recommends a mix of inbound, outbound, SEO and paid advertising. Eric explains his company’s inbound and outbound activities.

[6:15] Eric suggests looking at Buzz Sumo to find relevant topics for content marketing. Evaluate content for value and depth, and differentiate yourself by putting a unique spin on it. Be patient. Eric tells how his podcast downloads have grown.

[8:44] Eric explains Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique to get higher SEO results by getting more links.

[10:15] Link building is an important element of SEO, and will likely continue to be, for the next five years.

[11:06] Eric tells why content still works to push through the buying decision. Start building your brand, including content. It takes years to establish. People don’t make a final decision before talking to, or connecting with the seller; content counts.

[16:17] Eric covers stages of the funnel — top, middle, bottom, and purchase. Contacts at the top are invited to read a blog post. Contacts that have already engaged with your brand are at the middle of the funnel.

[17:28] Eric explains retargeting people who have visited your site, with ads on Google and Facebook. After retargeting, people move to the bottom of the funnel. Content for each level of the funnel should meet the needs at that level.

[20:10] It is important to be able to target people with content based on their behaviors on your site. It will increase your conversion rate.

[21:04] Eric talks about sales pages. They work. If you’re at the bottom of the funnel, it’s time to make a decision.

February 28, 2017

Boost Sales by Building Trust Through Content. With Marcus Sheridan. #393

Marcus Sheridan, marketing and sales expert, Founder of The Sales Lion, and author of the new book, They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:06] In 2001, right out of college, Marcus joined two partners to start River Pools. The ‘08 crash almost ended them. They needed traffic! To generate leads, Marcus used content marketing and social media, to answer real buyer questions.

[4:08] River Pools adopted a core philosophy, which Marcus teaches all over the world: “They ask, you answer.” With FAQ content, they became the world’s most trafficked swimming pool manufacturer website, with 500K visitors per month.

[6:39] The big five questions buyers ask are: Money, Negatives (How could this blow up in my face?), Comparisons, Reviews, and Best (What is the best — whether or not I buy it?).

[8:13] The three reasons companies don’t release prices are: fear of competition stealing the “secret sauce,” fear of scaring customers, belief they have “a unique solution.” All are false reasons.

[9:37] Marcus wrote another article, “What are the Problems with Fiberglass Pools?” This article owns the conversation, and it generated $500K in sales. Buyers seek knowledge. They will find the answers they need. To provide answers, builds trust.

[10:48] A prospect asked, if we don’t buy from you, who would you recommend? Marcus wrote an article the five best pool contractors in his area. But didn’t include his own company! Talk about trust building. The article generated $150K that year alone. A series of similar articles earned millions.

[13:54] Who is the “WebMD” of your space right now? If you can’t name it, it doesn’t exist. Your culture must be, to be the best teachers in the world, where people know they will find their answers.

[16:06] In They Ask, You Answer, there are multiple case studies where companies required salespeople to participate with marketing. Sales serves buyers by helping make purchasing decisions. Most of the decision occurs before talking to sales.

[18:22] Marcus praises revenue teams, where marketing and sales are combined. Sales training should include marketing; content creation should include sales.

[19:09] Marcus found that prospects who read 30 pages on their site before a sales visit, bought 80% of the time. If not, they bought 25% of the time. Marcus pushed content. They sold 95 pools that year; the average buyer read 100 pages.
[28:19] As Marcus spoke about River Pools, people doubted the principles would apply to them. So Marcus developed world-class case studies of companies that completely changed the game in their spaces, always by teaching.

[30:37] The book is for people who say, I’m going to do whatever it takes to be the best teacher in my space. CarMax is an example of changing the game by answering critical questions. Eliminate fears, and you are left with trust.

October 22, 2016

How to Create Content That Attracts Prospects. With Alzay Calhoun. #286

My guest on this episode of Accelerate! is Alzay Calhoun, Founder and CEO of Coveted Consultant, a professional training and coaching company. Among the topics Alzay and I discuss are how the right content can transform a prospect’s perception of your intangible value into tangible value, how to use content to maintain the right “problem-solution orientation” to engage and educate prospects , and how to focus on creating the right “pillar content” that supports your entire content strategy.       

September 17, 2016

How to Make Podcasting a Key Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy. With Jessica Rhodes. #256

Jessica Rhodes is the founder and CEO of Interview Connections, what I call a match-making service for podcasters and guests. She’s also the host of her own podcast and web TV show, Interview Connections TV. In this episode Jessica and I discuss why podcasting needs to be a part of every company’s content marketing strategy, how to build your expertise and brand with a podcast, how to use a podcast to connect with new prospects and the steps to start your podcast right now.

August 20, 2016

How to Create Content with Sales In Mind. With Cara Hogan. #232

Cara Hogan is the content marketing manager for Rentlytics. In this episode, Cara and I talk about the critical sales and marketing alignment, how how to create content that aligns with the requirements of sales reps, how to track sales reps’ engagement with content, how to support account-based selling and account-based marketing models with content, and much more.

August 8, 2016

How to Drive Sales with Content Marketing. With Jeff Herrmann. #221

Jeff Leo Herrmann is CRO of Fathom, a digital marketing agency that creates data driven, profitable growth. Jeff also hosts a podcast called, Publish or Perish – Selling in the age of content marketing. In this episode, Jeff and I cover a range of topics about content marketing and sales. Join us now as we discuss how content marketing drives sales, why content marketing is more effective than traditional marketing, how the role of content marketing is critical for prospecting, and much, much more.

June 14, 2016

Maximizing Sales and Marketing Alignment. With Ardath Albee. #177.

Ardath Albee is the best-selling author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sales and Digital Relevance, and President of Marketing Interactions. (She’s also a member of the Romance Writers of America!) In today’s episode, Ardath discusses one of the key challenges for all organizations: how to maximize alignment between their marketing and sales efforts. Among the many topics we discuss are:

  • The primary reason there is a disconnect between marketing and sales.
  • Why the most important part of content marketing is engaging the potential buyer in a conversation.
  • The importance of defining a storyline in the buying process.
  • Why conversations are a series of questions and answers.
April 26, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 142 with Joe Pulizzi. How to Use Content Marketing To Radically Grow Your Sales

Joe Pulizzi is the founder of Content Marketing Institute and the author of the best-selling book Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses.  In today’s installment, Joe and I discuss how to correctly, and patiently, use content marketing to dramatically increase your sales. Among the many topics we discuss are:

  • What “content marketing” really means to your business.
  • Why you need a plan to consistently target the right audience, your “sweet spot,” with your content.
  • Why content-based marketing is an essential tool to help your prospects get to know, like and trust you.
  • How a small/mid-size business should use content marketing to grow its business.
  • How to convert “followers” into “subscribers” who are ready to do business with you.