What many people are surprised to learn about my HubSpot consulting business is that my lead funnel is fueled 100% by organic search. I’ve never paid for PPC ads because my website content does the work for me: the gift that keeps on giving year after year. In fact I get so many great leads each year that I often end up with a waitlist and refer businesses to other consultants or HubSpot Partners.
So I’m a true believer in the value of inbound content marketing and have wanted to offer content services for a long time, but I’ve just never had the bandwidth to do it on my own in addition to HubSpot consulting projects. I could provide a little copywriting help here and there and give plenty of advice, but executing a successful content program is a much bigger deal, because content isn’t just about blogging and attracting organic traffic to your website.
When content marketing is done right, it’s about everything your business does to attract, engage, educate, convert and delight customers at all stages of the buyer’s journey. It’s in every part of a business, from its blog, landing pages and calls-to-action that they A/B test, to their email campaigns, sales sequences, knowledge bases, white papers, product sheets, social media, press announcements, webinars, podcasts and beyond. (No, I’m not saying your business needs all of this content!) A profitable content strategy must be strategic, helpful, and constantly evolving with your business.
But if I was going to take this on in a serious way, it was time to bring in the best content marketer I know, and that’s when I thought of Ben Goldstein, who I worked with years ago at a fintech lending platform. The stars aligned recently when I told him about wanting to offer content services in 2023, and (yayayayayay!) here we are.
In this video, I’m super excited to announce our new content marketing program and introduce Ben Goldstein as Lovable Marketing’s Head of Content. 🙂
Ben: Thank you, Carrie, I’m really excited to work with you again. Yeah, just a little about myself. I got my start in content almost 20 years ago now. I started off in the magazine industry in New York City. Wrote and edited for a bunch of entertainment magazines, and I switched to blogging, and I ran a mixed martial arts website for 7 years. And then these media jobs started to run aground for me, and I kind of struggled with what to do next. And, fortunately, this was back in 2015, a recruiter suggested I get into content marketing, and he introduced me to Carrie. And, you know, she was at a fintech, small business lender at the time. They needed a content marketing manager. I did not feel qualified, but she took a chance on me. And I am eternally grateful for that. It really was a life-changing opportunity because I could got to learn the ins and outs of inbound marketing under an amazing mentor.
And then that’s been my focus, B2B marketing, content marketing for the past 8 years or so. You know, most recently a CRM company called Nutshell, where I helped grow their content program into the best source of leads by cost efficiency and sheer volume, and really became focused on measuring the revenue impact of this sort of thing. I see content marketing as a revenue engine. I think there’s this major misconception that people just see this as a way to drive traffic to your website, and publish things that kind of might be seen on search. But I think content marketing is the oil to every stage of the sales funnel. It makes sales easier at every stage of that process. And that can take a lot of forms and mean a lot of things. But ultimately, investing in content strategy, you’re investing in a revenue engine, a growth engine that’s cost-efficient. And that’s the way we’re thinking about it.
Carrie: Yeah, I absolutely agree. All of the clients that I work with in my HubSpot projects, the one common denominator is they could all use better content. Even my clients who just do mediocre email marketing campaigns, they even do better with that than they do with pay-per-click campaigns. But for whatever reason, they find it easier to just keep throwing money at pay-per-click. And I just think if they would spend a little bit more time and invest in the resources to develop better content, they could not only spend less money, but they would just get higher conversions, and they’d be sending better leads over to sales. And it’s a little bit frustrating to watch as somebody who’s done content, and I’m sure that you’ve experienced that as well.
Ben: Of course. And we know the reason why people still throw money at this channel, even though it’s becoming less and less efficient, and more and more competitive, it really just comes down to PPC being a very measurable channel. And you can measure dollars in and dollars out really easily. And even if you’re sort of losing money on every customer acquired, sometimes it feels better to a business’s management, just at least seeing where the money’s going than investing in a content program where … you know, let me just say, most of the stuff that we do in content is measurable, especially if you have your website and your analytics set up the right way, you can measure this stuff down to the dollar and the penny.
But if you’re talking about, you know, thought leadership efforts, or even some email marketing that’s about nurturing on a longer term, that’s a little tougher to be short-term measurable on that sort of thing. So, I think companies still kind of shy away from it, especially now when money’s tight, we have these recessionary pressures out there, and we wanna be as efficient as possible for their spend. I think it kind of influences people in the wrong direction to throw money on channels that pay off less rather than, you know, play the long game, which is gonna have a much bigger upside, which is content strategy.
Carrie: Right. And so, my approach to good content is that a business should always be trying to help, should always be out there as the most trustworthy in their space, the most helpful, because that’s the business that’s going to attract the prospects looking to solve their problems. So, which businesses do you think are the best fit for our content marketing services, and what does that process look like?
Ben: Sure. Well, I’ll preface this by saying that, I think any company, once you get to a certain level of growth, or size, or revenue, you should start thinking about building that in-house team, honestly, like, start thinking about hiring that content marketing manager, that brand designer, etc. But if your earlier stage, or if you’ve only invested, say, in paid marketing channels so far, and you wanna bring down your cost of acquisition, you wanna widen your nets, and you don’t wanna do it without making that full investment, I think it’s really wise to go to a content marketing agency to purchase these services first. And the reason I think that is because, if you’re listening to this right now, you’re probably not a content marketing expert and you kind of need to be these days because I assume you have a lot of competitors in your business space. Most of them I’m sure are doing content of some sort. The leaders in your space are probably really sophisticated with their content programs. And you’re not gonna get much traction just putting up a couple blog posts in your free time without any sort of strategy driving it.
So, if you’re interested in content, if you’re interested in bringing down that cost of acquisition for your company, but you don’t know where to start, this is when you wanna reach out to us at Lovable Marketing, especially, and we can help you out with that. Typically, there are four steps that we go through to get your content program to a place where it’s kind of firing on all cylinders.
First is discovery. You know, we’ll take a couple phone calls and learn as much as we can about your business, what are your business challenges, you know, where your customers are coming from now, that sort of thing. So, we know who we’re talking to in terms of your own sort of customers.
The second is the content audit. And here, you know, we want to look at what, if any, of your current content is doing well, is bringing in high-quality traffic. Do you have any other sort of email sequence assets, or what are you doing on social media? Is there anything that can be optimized to be more successful? And also, at this point, we’re looking at brand and tone, and is your voice consistent across your website, and your emails, and your social media, etc? Do you need help, you know, making that more consistent? We can help with that as well. So, yeah, just sort of knowing more of the playing field, and what’s available to leverage, kinda helps us prioritize where to focus first.
Third step is initial proposal. That’s basically, I just take what I’ve learned so far, put it into a two or three-page document. Here’s what I heard, here’s where I think the major areas of opportunity are, and what we should pursue first, and here’s what that might look like. We would fine-tune that together.
The fourth step is just really nailing down the roadmap and deliverables, and what is the formal content strategy that we are going to commit to and execute. And then we start getting to work on it. And we could meet on a regular basis on your schedule, making sure everything is coming out and getting in your hands on the right timeframe. And, you know, 90 days in, we’ll take a big longer kind of top-down look and see if we’re moving in the right direction.
Thank you to Ben Goldstein, and to you for watching! Whether you have HubSpot or not, if you’d like to improve your content marketing, we would love to chat with you! Tell us a bit about your business and let’s find 15 minutes to connect: