December, for me, is the time of the year where I reflect on things I’ve learned and accomplished.
This year, I published 41 episodes so far (three more are on the way before this year ends). That’s about 32 hours of recorded content.
That’s a lot of episodes to go through!
That’s why I’d like to share with you the marketing lessons from the top 10 most listened episodes of 2019.
1. Positioning B2B Products so That Customers Find Them Obviously Awesome with April Dunford
Not all your customers are great customers. Some of them are lousy customers. Some of them bought your product and didn’t really get what you did.
A lot of folks think they have a lead gen or sales problem. Their problem really is that they don’t really know the value they’re delivering. And they don’t really know the best people to deliver that value to.
2. The Secret SEO Strategy that 2x Atlassian Organic Traffic from 4M to 8M with Kevin Indig
Focus on the problems of your customers. Kevin said that you have to think beyond Google. Search volume is a lagging indicator. It’s so easy to get caught up with keywords, monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, and other metrics. But, Kevin’s problem-driven approach to keyword research starts with deeply understanding your customers’ problems, pain points, and obstacles.
To win with SEO, you need to build a strong brand. Finding keywords to exploit is great. But going forward, we have to make sure that our site becomes a real destination. You really want to create a brand that stands out from the rest, with its own positioning and values.
3. Writing Content that Ranks #1 on Google with Marijana Kay
Put yourself out there and build genuine relationships. Marijana got her first marketing gig when she was in B2B sales by volunteering at a marketing conference. She also said that a lot of her growth in marketing came from her being humble enough to reach out to people who need her help or just telling folks in her industry how she admires there work. Send out emails to folks and tell them how much their work means to you.
Do your research and planning. This goes against the “get-shit-done” mentality that’s so prevalent in the startup work. Obviously, there’s a balance between planning and doing. But, all too often, most, including me, do things with zero planning. Marijana spends about 60-70% of her time doing research and planning – figuring out keywords, main points, suggested terms and more – before she evens starts writing This saves her time in the long run.
4. Rand Fishkin: Google Isn’t a Search Engine Anymore, but Your Competitor
Marketing flywheels are almost always better than growth hacks. With growth hacks, it works for a little while, then it sputters off. On the other hand, a marketing flywheel is something that you build that generates inertia and energy, such that each effort and piece of energy that you put into it helps it spin faster and faster, and it carries through. That’s much better than a one-off trick.
5. SaaS Copywriting Lessons After Working with Hubspot, Hotjar, and Aweber with Josh Garofalo
Be super specific with your copy. The more specific you are, the easier it is for potential customers to understand what makes you different and why your product costs the way it does. The example Josh said is that you don’t want to just say you’re an email marketing company because people will think you’re Mailchimp right away. As Josh said, lean into what makes your product different.
6. How Baremetrics 2x Their Trial-to-Paid Conversions Using Personalized Videos with Corey Haines
Approach growth from a bottom-up approach. Don’t jump into trying to acquire users right away. Sure you need some users through the top of the funnel. But what’s the point if your funnel is leaking and they end up leaving your app anyway?
7. The “Dinner Party” Email Strategy That Increased Conversion by 209% with Val Geisler
Don’t be afraid to email your customers. It’s absolutely crazy when I heard Val tell me a lot of companies don’t email their customers. Email is one of the highest ROI when it comes to channels. Remember that people who sign up for your app forget so easily why they signed up. You need to remind them of the value. Val says, “Our job in customer onboarding is to teach our customers new habits, new ways of being.” And the best way to communicate value is via email because people are in their mailbox all the time!
8. How YC-Backed OpenPhone Acquired Their First 100 Paying Customers Using Facebook Groups and Reddit with Daryna Kulya, Cofounder of OpenPhone
When you’re early-stage, optimize for learning and not “growth.” Daryna and her team implemented a 7-day trial because it gave them the opportunity to learn as quickly as possible who was going to be their best customers. They also got better feedback because they’re listening to paying customers, versus users who just want free stuff.
9. Creating Viral Content on LinkedIn and Drive Massive Inbound Leads with Gaetano DiNardi – Director of Demand Generation at Nextiva
Give a fresh perspective on problems or questions in your industry. One of the things Gaetano did was ask the sales director at Nextiva for some of the absurd sales pitches he’s gotten over email. Then he went out and used that line to random strangers in the mall to show how absurd those lines. He gave a fresh perspective on a problem in the sales industry.
10. Grow 2-3X Faster With a Research-Backed Growth Plan – Katelyn Bourgoin – Founder of Customer Camp (GMT044)
You don’t know what you don’t know. One of the first steps of Katelyn’s customer research process is to gather the team and ask the question, “What don’t we know about our customers?” It’s tempting to fill in the blanks with assumptions. Audience research starts with having the humility to say there’s a lot of things your team doesn’t know about.
Questions and Suggestions
If you have questions or suggestions, the best place to reach me is via twitter – @RamliJohn.
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