By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
Sales Pipeline Radio runs live every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific. It’s just 30 minutes long, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.
We’ve featured some great guests and have a line up of awesome content and special guests ahead.
In this episode, “How to Build, Manage and Mobilize Customer Communities: Q&A with Nick Jordan” we talk about building businesses and communities, events, content, SEO, video, mobile, podcasts and a lot more.
Listen in and/or read below.
More about our guest: Nick spent the last decade developing and growing businesses. A million projects, a few startups, and oneride on a rocket ship as an early employee at BitTitan. Today he leverages his experience building businesses to help companies identify and execute on growth opportunities @ Logic Inbound.
Matt: Thanks, everyone, for joining us on a special episode of Sales Pipeline Radio, sound of freedom edition. We are recording from downtown Seattle today, and excited to have our guest on today who’s also in Seattle, get to him in a second. If you are joining us live on the show, thank you very much for joining us. We are just looking at our staff this morning, but, Paul, our listenership has more than doubled in the last year. We have 33% more monthly listeners from just the beginning of 2018. It’s pretty awesome to see the growth of our show.
Paul: Well, that’s because you’ve got 33% better content this year.
Matt: I don’t know, I think, our seekers and our guests have been pretty awesome. I know this for sure, so, thank you very much, everyone who’s listening live. If you’re listening to us on the podcast, thank you so much for joining on iTunes, on Stitcher, on Google Play, at all the places fine podcasts can be found. And you can always find every episode of Sales Pipeline Radio, past, present and future, on salespipelineradio.com.
We feature, every week, some of the best and brightest minds in B2B sales in American cities, and now I’m very excited to have with us Nick Jordan. Nick is the chief marketing officer from Logic Inbound, and is a well-known personality in the marketing space here in Seattle. Nick, thanks so much for joining us.
Nick: Hey, thank you so much, Matt, it’s very exciting to be here. As a Seattle native, I’ve been hearing about Matt Heinz and your marketing company for over 10 years, and so, needless to say, I’m pumped to be on the show today.
Matt: I appreciate you joining. You reached out a couple of weeks ago, we were really excited to get you on the show so quickly. Maybe talk a little bit about your background from a marketing standpoint, and some of the stuff you’ve been involved with. I know you spend a lot of time talking about building businesses and communities, so, can you go over your background and why you’re so passionate about the community side of business?
Nick: Yeah, absolutely. Just a heads-up, it’s a little bit hard to hear you today from the 76th floor of the Columbia Tower. But I have a general understanding of what you said, and, like you said, I’ve been building businesses and communities for the last 10 years. I built two of my own startups, that were ultimately unsuccessful, but it gave me the skills that introduced me to people, to get me where I’m at today.
And, after those unsuccessful startups, I was very fortunate to become an early employee at BitTitan. BitTitan ended up growing to over 200 employees over the course of four years, without DC funding. And today I’m running Logic Inbound sales and growth, and building Seattle’s marketing community. I think that one of the things that I’ve seen over the last 10 years is that Seattle has very, very strong engineering talent, but I think that there could be more to be done in terms of knowledge sharing within the marketing community. I’m hoping to fix that.
Matt: So, let’s talk about that a little bit, Nick. That’s the place I really wanted to dig in, and I think we talk mostly on Sales Pipeline Radio about demand gen, and sales strategy. And learning from peers, what’s working and what’s not, I think, is a key part of being a successful professional and getting better at what you’re doing. What are some of the challenges you’ve found in trying to build a marketing community? What I’ve noticed as well, sometimes we try to produce marketing events, and well-meaning people don’t always come out in the way that some other groups, like IT and others, might do. So why do you think that is, and what are some keys to actions when trying to build that active marketing community?
Nick: Yeah, so I think logistics is actually a big issue. A lot of these events happen after work, and after work it’s either rainy, and you don’t really feel like spending much time outside, or it’s sunny and you want to spend all your time outside, and then to get to any of the events you have to fight traffic, rush-hour traffic, and you have to find parking, and that’s a lot of effort for someone who’s spent all day grinding out work.
And so, what we’ve found is, logistics can be a big challenge, but it’s worth it. And the reason it’s worth it is because, when you create a marketing community, and you have this platform for thought leadership, it allows you to engage with folks that I look up to and I envy their career. And I can reach out to them, and I can offer them a platform, and they’ll respond back to me. Whereas, if I didn’t have this community, then they may not have responded at all.
Matt: I’m talking to Nick Jordan today. He’s the chief marketing officer for Logic Inbound, and talking a little bit about building community amongst marketers. What are some of the ways you, or some of the formats of community you find the most successful? Is it lunch and learns, is it networking happy hours? Are there certain topics and formats that tend to work better in terms of getting marketers together?
Nick: Yes, so I’ll tell you our number one growth hack for growing communities, and it’s something that everybody listening can go ahead and start implementing, as soon as they’re done listening to your podcast, and that’s leveraging the Meetup.com platform for explosive community growth. We grew our Meetup, Cofounders Connect, which is the second biggest tech Meetup in Seattle, to over 2,000 members in six months. And the way we did it was, we created a really awesome flagship and then, at our very first event, we made sure that it had food and drinks, and that the speakers were awesome, and we’d get people to fight that rush-hour traffic, fight for that parking, to get down there.
And then what we did was, we reached out and personally invited every single member of every competitive group. We must have sent somewhere between 2 to 6,000 messages to these members of other groups, and it worked fantastically, exploded. Since then we’ve taken that technique and we’ve grown about four or five other groups very quickly. And so now our communities have a combined 8,000 members across about five different meetups.
Matt: Nick, what are some of the keys to keeping groups engaged, beyond just getting them to events, right? You know, oftentimes getting to events physically, traffic, weather can be a challenge. Are there pros and cons to having a mix between live events and then connecting with people virtually and through online communities? Obviously, online communities aren’t the same in terms of meeting people and building real relationships, but how do you find that mix? And I think a lot of people listening to this are rather interested in meeting their peers and marketing, but also curious, building communities of customers and prospects, and people in their industry. What are some keys to making that more than just a single channel?
Nick: Yeah, absolutely. You’re totally right that the community can’t just be offline. There needs to be some way to engage online, and Meetup.com is not the right platform, but Facebook is. More and more marketers and sales leaders are using Facebook for business, and we’re creating a group called Marketing and Demand Leaders in Seattle. It has about 200 members to date, and it allows these members to continue to share ideas, knowledge transfer in between the monthly or quarterly events.
Matt: Awesome, if you want to learn more about the marketing demand leaders in particular, you can go to https://bit.ly/MarketingAndDemandLeaders. Just a couple of minutes before we’ve got to take a break, we’ve got Nick Jordan here today. He is the CMO at Logic Inbound.
Talk a little bit about some of the things you do at Logic Inbound. You were talking before the show about the importance of SEO, and as the rules change, as Google changes and the algorithms, obviously, what used to work in SEO is different today. In B2B, we hear a little more from folks that say, “I’m curious if SEO is still as relevant as it was.” What’s your perspective? What’s the staying SEO for B2B today?
Nick: Yeah, I think that there’s a huge misconception around how SEO works, and it is actually very intuitive, and once you understand how intuitive it is, you understand how it can work for your business. At the end of the day, Google’s only goal is to show the highest-quality, most relevant search results, and they have to do that, because as soon as they stop doing that, they put their 100 billion dollars a year of revenue at risk, by a competitor with a better product.
And so, if you can align with high quality and relevant to the search results that searchers are making, Google’s going to rank you all day naturally, without you having to do weird backlinks, or technical SEO. It just happens, and, to give you some context on how easy it actually is, I’ve been in the SEO game for two years. I’m not technical, and I’ve grown our LogicInbound.com traffic from zero to 93,000 visits last month, in about 13 months, just by creating high-quality content that’s relevant to the searches that I know marketers are making.
Matt: Relevant content, go figure, I think, with all the old work we used to do on the back pages and the white hats and black hats and all hats in between. Good relevant content. It’s nice to see that Google continues to prioritize that. We got to take a quick break, pay some bills. We’ll be right back with more with Nick Jordan, here on Sales Pipeline Radio.
Matt: It’s interesting today, and Nick knows this, that it’s quite overcast. Over the last couple of days in Seattle, we’ve had really beautiful sky, beautiful weather, and today it’s overcast, little drizzly, so that, the Blue Angels are doing their low show and I know that they count on being able to see each other, and there’s more of a challenge today, but it’s still fun to watch them zip around the sky.
Welcome back. We’re talking with Nick Jordan on Sales Pipeline Radio. If you like what you’re listening to with Nick, in terms of his advice on community-building and content and search, you can check out a replay of this episode on SalesPipelineRadio.com.
Coming up next week, we have Guy Weismantel. He is the VP of marketing for a company called Pushpay. We’re going to be talking about selling into industries that may not be traditional. His company sells to churches and other non-profits, significantly, and we’ll be talking about how that’s a little different, to customize your perspective. After Guy, we’ve got Norman Behar he is one of the partners at Sales Readiness Group. His company is all about sales training, we’re going to talk about how sales training has changed significantly over the last five, ten years, and what you need to be doing to make sure your team is up to speed and selling successfully.
But today, we are featuring Nick Jordan. He is the CMO of Logic Inbound. Right before the break, Nick, we were talking about the importance of content. And I think we used to be, when we talked about search content, it was blog posts, it was written content. Talk about the diversification of formats, and what that means moving forward, whether it’s podcasts like this, and video, and people doing voice search and video search. How has that evolved and how do marketers take advantage of that from a content standpoint?
Nick: Yeah, absolutely, so the first point is that Google loves YouTube videos, and so if you embed your YouTube video into the article that you want to rank, Google’s going to look at that article more closely and prioritize it quicker. Additionally, YouTube has really great discovery features, and so you can create videos and you can publish them a year ago, and they’ll still generate tens of thousands of visits a month, a year into the future.
So, I absolutely love video, and I think it’s a very important format for search marketing. One other thing that video does really well for search marketing is, Google prioritizes search results based off of user engagement metrics. So, use user engagement metrics as the heuristic for good-quality content, and, when you embed videos into the articles that you’re ranking, users read a couple of words of your article, but then they watch the video, and that drives a lot of views on-site, on the page, which Google really likes.
Matt: Talk about video for a second, because I think obviously we’re seeing more and more results use video, in B2B, but I think others seem to be intimidated by the nature of video. It’s easy to write a draft of a blog post and have people edit it, but video’s a little more complicated, but what are your advice to people who are thinking about video, and not really sure how to get started?
Nick: Yeah, that’s a really great question. So, first off, I’ll say that LinkedIn and Facebook are prioritizing video posts over text posts in external links. One of the best things you can do on these platforms, to get more views, to get more likes, to get more comments, and to build more brand awareness and build more credibility, is to use videos to drive that.
Now, first step, number one. Do not link to an external YouTube video. I see it every single day from marketing and sales teams in LinkedIn and Facebook. Kills your reach when you link to an external site. You want to keep your users on your site, so they’re going to promote videos that are natively embedded into the platform, over videos that are linked to YouTube. So, make native videos.
The second tip is, if you can, you want to do a little bit of production, but it’s not necessary. What you want to do is, you want to add subtitles and you want to add some borders, and the reason why you want to do this is, because most people who are browsing Facebook and LinkedIn are scrolling through their news feed, and they do not have the ability to listen to the audio. And so, if you have subtitles and you have borders, you can capture their attention, and they can follow on with the content while they’re waiting in line at a grocery store.
The third is, you want to keep it between about one minute to two minutes, no longer than that, again because of the way that people are consuming the content, you need to align with how they’re consuming it. They’re sitting in traffic, they’re standing in line, they’re waiting for a meeting to start, and your video content should be short.
Matt: Nick, I want to ask you about the impact of mobile on all of this, from a content standpoint, from a video standpoint, from a search standpoint. It seems like more and more of us are accessing the web and information just from a computer that’s in the palm of our hands. How has that changed the type of content we’re engaged with, and has that at all changed search behavior, and is there implications for how marketers should be thinking about content rankings, based on that?
Nick: Yeah, absolutely, the way that people search Google has shifted dramatically over just the last couple years. Now that cellphones are ubiquitous, as well as high-speed Internet, over 50% of searches are happening on mobile devices, whether it’s a cellphone or an iPad or tablet, and Google will prioritize websites that are mobile-optimized, and they’ll deprioritize websites that are not mobile-optimized. And so, if you’re driving search rankings, one of the most basic things you can do is just make sure that your website looks good on a mobile device.
Matt: And the other trend I’ve noticed is, some companies thinking about different content options and different search patterns by role. Have you noticed differences in, for example, how C-Suites or senior executives is using the search, versus someone who may be more junior in the organization? Are there differences in how marketers should be implementing their search and content strategy, based on that?
Nick: No, I’ll tell us this. Most of the content that organizations are creating is not being viewed, and the reason is, because of the distribution channels that they’re pumping that content through. They have an email list, they have a social following, and both of those are pieces very few percentages are actually going to see the content that’s being promoted. One of the reasons on social is because Facebook is reducing reach of publishers, because they want you to pay to boost posts. So, you might post a great piece of content, only 5% of your social audience is going to see it, and all that audience is already aware of your brand.
Email lists is the same thing. You’re going to send an email, you’re going to have a 10% click-through rate for that content that you spent a lot of money and time on, and so the half-life of that content is very short. And one of the things that companies can do to extend the half-life of their content, and create an asset that is to align their content creation with what people are searching for. It doesn’t necessarily have to be bottom of the funnel, “buy my services” kind of search, but you can infer who’s searching, based off what they’re searching for. And then you can create content that aligns with their search, answers their questions, you build a story, you build credibility, but you’re also capturing their email, you’re also pixeling them with Facebook, and you’re remarketing towards them, to those visitors that hit you in the top and middle of the funnel.
Matt: Impressive stuff. We’ve got Nick Jordan today on Sales Pipeline Radio. A couple more minutes with Nick. If you want to get ahold of Nick, you can find him on Twitter @nickfromseattle. Nick, as you’ve grown in your marketing career, curious to hear some of the people that have been most influential to you. People that, they can be alive or dead, they could be people that were mentors, people that you read stuff from. Who were some of the people that influenced you the most in your marketing career, that you recommend other people check out as well?
Nick: Yeah, absolutely. One of the biggest influences on our agency has been Gillian Muessig, founder of Moz. My business partner Brad, four years ago, asked her for mentorship, and she blew us off. And every quarter, Brad would check back in, he’d give Gillian an update on the progress that our company has made, and over the last year she’s started taking meetings with us and mentoring us and providing feedback, and from a search marketing agency perspective, you can’t have a better mentor than the founder of the largest SEO software company in the world, Moz.
Matt: Blimey. Nick, where else can people find you if they want to learn more about your business and your community-building?
Matt: Awesome. Paul, you got a question?
Paul: I just wanted him to comment real quickly on podcasts. We were talking about video, and I know video’s the flavor of the month, and I get all the reasons that it works. Any thoughts on how we can take these kind of podcasts, like we’re creating here today, and use those like you’re using a video, to generate more, to use it to get found, and to use it for SEO purposes?
Nick: Absolutely, so one of the things that I’m currently doing, to build my audiences, is I’m connecting with every single marketer in Seattle. Now, there’s thousands and thousands and thousands of these marketers on LinkedIn, and so I’m actually using LinkedIn automation, to use at that scale. I have a computer program, it’s sending 200 connection requests per day, to marketers in Seattle that are qualified to hire me, but also hire Heinz Marketing. And so, Matt, I would absolutely suggest you get LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you get Linked Helper, start connecting at scale. And the reason this is important is, because when you push these podcasts, now the people that are seeing it is all of these marketers in Seattle. You can begin to position yourself as the most famous marketer in Seattle.
Paul: Well, he certainly is, so I’ll let him take it away.
Matt: All right, I want to thank our guest, Nick Jordan, for joining today. Wide-ranging conversation we had, on a bunch of topics. If you want to listen to this again, get some more of his insights, you can get this episode on demand at Salespipelineradio.com, here in a couple of days. Make sure you join us each week, we’re here live, every week 11.30 Pacific 2.30 Eastern, for my producer Paul this is Matt Heinz. Thanks for joining us, another episode Sales Pipeline Radio.