SEP Episode 9: Content Marketing Strategies for Growth

Today on the show we have Tyler Basu. Tyler is the content manager for Thinkific and he’s got some unique challenges. You see, Thinkific is a tool that you can use to build and sell online courses. So, he’s marketing to people that are experts in their field, expert educators. And as you know, content marketing is all about good education, so Tyler has the challenge of creating amazing content for an audience that’s very savvy. And he’s not only done that successfully, but he’s managed to build a very large team and create content in many different channels and many different formats. Today we’re going to learn from him on how he has created this very successful content marketing campaign and what he does to keep that engine going.

PODCAST

Key Takeaways

[4:36] Creating a content marketing system to generate traffic

[6:56] How to research your target audience to develop strategic content

[10:16] Content marketing process of getting new customers

[14:29] How to create successful webinar content

[17:31] Using content to differentiate yourself from competitors

[23:50] How to grow your business by developing and leveraging strong relationships

[29:24] Creating content promotion that generates social buzz

 

Tyler Basu Information

Thinkific

Tyler Basu Website

LinkedIn

Facebook

Twitter

Quuu.co

 

Transcript of Podcast

Kyle Gray:

Hello everyone, and welcome to the Story Engine podcast. Without any further ado, over to Tyler. Tyler, welcome to the show.

Tyler Basu:        

Thanks, Kyle. Appreciate it, and it’s always nice to chat with other content creators. You put some good stuff out there too, so it’s a pleasure.

Kyle Gray:          

Oh, man. The honor is all mine today. So, Tyler, I know you pretty well. We’ve met a few times in person, but for those of us who don’t know you why don’t you tell us a little bit about Thinkific and a little bit about your role there right now.

Tyler Basu:        

Sure. So, I’m from Vancouver Canada, which happens to be where Thinkific’s main office is as well, and we are a software company. People use our software to create and sell their online courses, everyone from bloggers, and content creators trying to monetize all the way to big companies that have thousands of people going through their training programs and courses.              

And so, it’s been a fun ride. I joined the company back in early 2016. They were … I was the twelfth person in the company. So, the marketing department was literally me and the one other person that got there before me. And today, we have over 70 full-time employees, tens of thousands of people using our software, and we’ve created a ton of content, and content creation, in general, has played a nice role in bringing in a lot of those clients that now use our software.

So, yeah. It’s been a lot of fun. There wasn’t an instruction manual for me to follow from day one. So, I was asked to create certain outcomes but not really given the playbook on how to create those outcomes. So, there’s been tons of trial and error, a lot of things that have worked, some campaigns that have worked, some campaigns that flopped. But, from all of that effort and all of that trial and error, we’ve honed in on a few things that work well and now we’re just doubling down on those few things that work well, and scaling up, and getting more people to help us out.

Kyle Gray:          

Tyler, that’s really exciting. And I’m smiling right now, just because I’m imagining … I was in the exact same space with WP Curve not so long ago, just getting dropped into the deep end of content marketing. You just have to go. We have to make this amazing and figure it all out on the way. And so, I’d love to hear about maybe your first year, maybe your first six months. What were some of your goals? What were some of the key things that you learned to really create this foundation that you’ve built this huge and very successful content marketing campaign on?

Tyler Basu:        

Sure. So, it started with just blogging. I had come in, again, early 2016. There were a few people within the company that had, whenever they had the time, try to put together a blog post. So, there was a small hand full of blog posts just sitting there and not really doing much on the blog. But beyond that, there wasn’t a huge social media presence. We might have had a YouTube channel with a couple of videos on it, but not much was happening there either. And so, my first focus was to start writing some great blog posts to get more traffic to the blog.            

And so, that first six months so, what that looked like was me writing some really long guides, picking out some topics that we knew would be valuable for course creators and help attract some potential clients that wanted to create courses to our blog. That was my first focus was to really get to know who our ideal customer was and a short list, a list of topics, and questions and challenges that these people are going through as they were creating and selling online courses.         

So, that list of topics became several long guides. We call them pillar-posts when they tend to be three to five thousand words. Plus, I started accepting guest posts from outside contributors. So, that was probably the first six to 12 months. Somewhere in there we started adding interviews and we were putting those on YouTube, interviewing some of our clients but also other experts in the space and that gave us a chance to learn from other people in the industry, and it also gave me some fresh research to use in the content that we created.

And then, the second year, I guess, was when we really started to scale things up. We were publishing blog content regularly, videos for YouTube, interviews with other experts regularly, webinars regularly, online courses as well for our audience. And so, we’ve taken a lot of the same concepts and have now just repurposed them into different forms of media so that people, regardless of whether they like video, or like reading, or they want a course they can learn some of the same stuff. They’ve got the choice of different formats to learn it in now.

Kyle Gray:          

I love that. I love all of the different channels and all the different formats you guys have put together. But, before we can really start scaling and having this huge campaign one of the things that you mentioned that really resonates with me is, you’ve spent a lot of time researching your target audience. And so, I’m wondering, what were some of the things you did in the early stages to really understand who your target audience was, and what they needed, and what kind of content needed to be created for them? And then, I’d also like to know how that’s evolved to now with a bigger brand and much more traction.

Tyler Basu:        

Sure. Yeah, yeah. And so, this is … I give the advice often that, “Hey, you should create your customer persona and focus on one persona.” And it took us a while to drink our own Kool-aid, and here’s the reason why. It’s because when … two years back, even one year back we’re taking a look at who’s using our software and there were all kinds of different entrepreneurs using our software, from solopreneurs, content creators, small, medium-size businesses and big companies.

So, we had this list of multiple personas from which to try to tackle content marketing. And so, I’m scrambling to write an article that would help somebody that’s just getting started, and then the next week I’m writing an article that would be for somebody that’s further along the journey, and then I’m trying to think of, “Well, what would a big company, like Hootsuite, that uses us, what would they wanna see from us.” And so, it becomes a little bit difficult to cater to all of these different personas.               

And so, finally, we asked ourselves the question, out of all the different personas that we know that we could target, and that are using us, which one is our favorite? And it wasn’t easy to do, but we did hone in on one, one specific type of entrepreneur, and this is somebody that’s already out there with a business. They’ve already got expertise. They’re coaches. They’re consultants. They’re service providers. And for them, creating courses helps scale their business and reach more people. That’s the type of entrepreneur that we decided we’re gonna hone in on. That’s our favorite client. So, even just that, the advice that you just gave with picking one persona, that took some time because we literally had to say no to other types of clients.       

And yes, they sometimes, they’ll find us on their own and that’s cool. We’re happy to have them use us. We’ve done case studies on software companies, for example, that use us but they’re not our target persona and our target priority. So, now that we’ve got that clarity that’s the lens through which we create campaigns, and we create content, and we create webinars, is we’re always speaking to that specific persona. And, if other people trickle in if they’re not quite that persona yet or they’re way beyond that persona, that’s okay but we are very intentional about speaking to that one persona now.

Kyle Gray:          

I think that that’s really strong. And one of the things that encouraging to me, and I think it’s funny, I think, especially for marketers, yeah, drinking your own Kool-aid is one of the most challenging things out there no matter how you’re trying to apply it. I think it’s a perennial challenge for people.           

So, you’ve mentioned you help people now. You’ve honed in on this exact audience, or this exact persona, but you’ve got a lot of different ways that you’re trying to reach them through social media, through written content, through webinars, through podcasts, through YouTube. And so, there’s just so much content being created, how do you make sure that everything you’re creating is pointing towards this goal, is pointing towards this persona, and how do you move them towards this? What is this goal that you’re moving them towards?

Tyler Basu:        

Yeah. So, in our case, because we sell software it often doesn’t take … And so, a lower price point, our most common plan’s a hundred bucks a month. So, it’s not a huge price point. It’s not a huge decision for people to make. So, it generally doesn’t take a phone call to get a customer. What it takes is we wanna get them to at least free trial, and then once they’re on free trial to get them to upgrade and that often happens without actually speaking to them one to one, or even our customer support speaking to them. So, that means that what’s getting them to free trial and to upgrade in the first place is usually content. It’s usually they’re hitting, they’re finding us, they’re coming to our website. They’ve found us through an article on our blog, or a video, or they heard one of us on a podcast, whatever the case is but there’s all of this content that’s out there on the internet now, on our platform and on other people’s platforms all point back to us, and the goal is to get people to try us.

[bctt tweet=”Use helpful content, like webinars to move your potential customer from free trial to paid customer. -Tyler Basu” username=”kylethegray”]

Once they try us we’ve got a great product. We’ve got … Our product team is, I think, the biggest team. It’s on par with the size of the customer support team, but there’s been a lot of time, and money and energy spent in creating a great product. So, that’s probably pretty important because if the product sucked, and people got … we got them all the way to trial and they realize, “Hey, this is no good,” and never decided to pay us, then everything else falls apart. So, that’s an important piece of the puzzle and the rest of the piece is all of that content that’s getting people to try us in the first place.

And the best way to explain it is to think of all those types of content, all those platforms, all those channels and so on, is they all belong in a certain bucket and the biggest bucket is the content that’s generating awareness for us. These are the free blog posts, the videos on YouTube, posts on social media. These pieces of content are helping to build our audience and fill that first bucket of people who know about Thinkific.

The second bucket, which would be a bit smaller, and this … because this is, I guess, further along in the sales funnel, is the bucket that gets people to consider us and that we’re actually getting their contact information, their email address, they’re on our newsletter. And so, usually, to get that we gotta give them something in return, something they can download, something tangible, so we’ve got a lot of lead magnets, checklists, worksheets, case studies, things that people can download so that we get their contact information. And we’ve now taken them from being aware of who you are to now a little bit more serious about checking out what we’re doing and learning about what we do.

And then, from there what’s done really well is from getting people to lead to free trial is webinars. We do live webinars every week. We do webinars with external partners that promote us and we have automated webinars running as well.

And so, just depending on the topic of the webinar and how far along somebody is in their journey of deciding to create a course, we might push them the free-

Tyler Basu:        

In their journey of deciding to create a course, we might push them the free trial or we might push them straight to a paid plan from those webinars. But those are the three main buckets as we’ve got all that content that creates awareness. From there, we wanna get them into the bucket where they’re at least considering us and we’ve got their contact information. And then we wanna get them into the bucket where they’re trying our product and we’re getting them to upgrade to a paid plan. Does that answer the question or help make sense of-

Kyle Gray:          

It does.

Tyler Basu:        

Where all the content that we put out there, where it fits into that process?

Kyle Gray:          

I think that that’s so essential. It does make a lot of sense to me. And one of the biggest mistakes I see a lot of content marketers making is they’re just throwing content out there in every direction and it almost creates this kind of tug of war effect where instead of moving somebody down one clear path, they kind of pull them in all kinds of different directions, and so they never take any action because there’s no … they’re kind of pulled in every direction at the same time which means they’re not going anywhere.

Tyler Basu:        

Right.

Kyle Gray:          

And that’s something that, yeah, we really wanna dial in and get past very quickly. I’d love to know, especially around this conversion, what are the key ingredients to your webinars that make them really successful? And how are you creating this webinar content so consistently and so effectively?

Tyler Basu:        

That’s a good question. What we’ve done is … Well, there’s two types of webinars, two main types that we have got running right now. And one, the purpose of that presentation is to show people that they can grow their business by creating online courses. The purpose of that webinar is to show an entrepreneur that’s out there working with clients one on one that’s a coach or a consultant or a service provider and so on, “Hey, here’s how you can add online courses into your business model to help reach more people and increase your impact and increase your income.” So we’ve gotta sell them on why they should create online courses. Now, when we’ve sold somebody on why they should create an online course, and we have an automated webinar that does that, I think it’s called “How to Scale Your Business Using Online Courses,” we just wanna get people far enough to try us, to check out our product. So that particular webinar pushes them to a free trial. If somebody’s on a free trial, that means they already know that they wanna create courses they’re just trying to figure out how. So if somebody’s trying to learn the how, we don’t really have to convince them why anymore, but we’ve gotta give them a game plan for them to reach success with our product.

So in that case, the content becomes, “Here are the steps involved in creating and launching a successful online course.” So we have a webinar for that. And that particular webinar is like the blueprint for creating and launching online courses, so it’s very educational. We’re showing them step by step, “Okay, here’s how you pick your course topic. Here’s how you create your course outline. Here’s how you publish your course. And here’s how you promote your course to get your first few customers.” And that’ll get people to a paid plan because they’re ready to create a course, they’re ready to use our product, they’re ready to start generating revenue. They’re further along in their journey.       

And then the other category of webinars is more product demo. If somebody who’s already using us, they’re already creating a course, they already have a course, they just wanna know what can they do with our product. Then we’ve got webinars that these are usually done internally, so you won’t see a lot of external promotion for these. But if you’ve signed up for a free trial, you’ll get an invitation to join us on more of the product demo type of webinar. And that gives us a chance to really dive deep and show off our product and answer questions about the product.              

So those are the main buckets. There’s webinar content that gets people to consider using courses to grow their business. Then there’s a webinar that shows them how to do that. And then there’s a webinar that shows them how to use our product to support what they’re doing with creating and selling courses.

Kyle Gray:          

That’s amazing. And so with this product, you guys have a great product, being in the software as a service space, and being in this course creation, course sales space, is an incredibly competitive and rapidly growing marketplace right now. And I’m wondering how do you use content to differentiate yourself and stand out from your competitors who we won’t name on the show?

Tyler Basu:        

I’m glad you asked this question. And I come from … Before working for Thinkific, I was in real estate. And I was selling real estate for developers. And one of the first things you do when you got a project, you gotta sell this townhouse or this condo or whatever, if you look at all of the competing listings in the area because you wanna know exactly what you’re competing with. And it becomes this dangerous game of always benchmarking yourself against the competitors, even pricing your home based on what the home down the street is selling for. And so our CEO, Greg Smith is one of the co-founders of Thinkific, he helped snap that mentality out of me because he said it’s very dangerous in software, and almost in any industry other than real estate, to choose what you’re gonna do based on what your competitors are doing. We’ve really, really been focused on just paying attention to what our customers ask us for. We’re not super concerned with what the competition is up to. We don’t even watch what … I know we’ve got some competitors that literally have sent people in our Facebook group to see what we’re up to, and we’ve had to kick them out. We’ve never once gone into a competitor’s Facebook group. It’s just not part of our culture. We’re just focused on what we’re doing and serving our customers the best that we can.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t base your actions on what your competitors are doing, focus on what your customers are asking for and serve them the best you can. -Tyler Basu ” username=”kylethegray”]

But to answer your question how do we differentiate? So, if you were to come up with a list of all the questions people have about creating and selling courses, it’s not a super long list. I’ve ended up reusing and regurgitating a lot of the same concepts because there’s just not a whole lost of new ideas under the sun about creating a course. People need help choosing what to teach, people need help to outline their course, people need help marketing their course, making a sales page for their course. These are some of the big milestones that are involved in creating courses. So, there’s not an infinite supply of topics to cover when it comes to creating and selling courses. But what there is an infinite supply of is stories that we mine from our customers.

So, I’ll give you a pretty funny story or example. The way that I learned this is because I was doing my research on all these topics and covering these topics, publishing them on the blog, and then literally a few weeks later I’d see the same topic pop up on a competitor. They’d cover the same thing. I’ve put out a webinar, and then I see somebody else write a book that looks like it’s got the exact same steps as my webinar. And it’s just kind of funny to see that all these competitors are giving a lot of the same … they’re publishing a lot of the same advice in their content. They’re copying the steps, they’re touching on the same things. And again, I’m not saying it’s full-on plagiarism, I’m just saying there’s not a lot of new ideas under the sun when it comes to creating and selling courses.

So what we’ve tried to do more recently is not just publish how-to advice and here are the five steps to how you do this, here’s three steps to how you do that, but fill our content with stories and examples from our community of course creators and entrepreneurs. Because somebody can rip off my five-step blueprint or whatever, but they can’t rip off our stories if that makes sense. A competitor can’t use one of our customer’s stories because then they’re just gonna be showing off somebody that doesn’t actually use their product, right? And fortunately, we have a ton of really successful clients and a lot of the big names in online education and in online marketing are using us, so we get to show them off. So that’s one of the things we’ve really been doubling down on is not just putting out the same five steps, seven step-piece of advice or article or whatever it is that is already out there, but filling it with stories and unique insights that we mine from our own community because nobody can take those, nobody can steal those or copy those.

Kyle Gray:          

Oh man, I think that’s so powerful. I say often the story is the ultimate differentiator and being able to showcase your clients in that way. I’m wondering when looking for these stories, is there a certain kind of template? Are you looking for certain kind of key points or do you just kind of find the success and then investigate it? Or do you have certain aspects that you’re looking for and then break them down?

Tyler Basu:        

So some of the content we produce is a full-on case-study where it’s 3000 to 5000 words about one specific client and how they grew their business using online courses. So when it’s time to do a case study, we will interview one of our clients. And I’ve got a dozen plus questions that I’ll ask them, and then from that, I’ll be able to write the case study or have another writer write the case study, and then we’ll publish that on our website. So that’s one piece of content where the whole piece is a story. The other piece is when we create our own content, whether it’s a webinar or a blog post, it’s gonna be half advice and it’s gonna be half examples and insights to back up that advice. And the examples and the insights come from us, as we’re creating that content, we’re also setting up a survey where we’re asking specific questions about that topic and we’re handpicking a handful or a dozen or so clients or influencers in the industry that we wanna include them in that piece of content. So part of my content creation process is sending out the survey to some people that we pick out. They contribute their insights, and then we’ll work that into the piece of content.

Kyle Gray:          

You just mentioned working with influencers on that. And for me and in a lot of the stuff I’m doing, I love focusing, I love a great keyword, I love some good organic traffic, I love some good paid traffic, but I feel like the lever that really moves the needle for me and has the potential to move your business forward, especially if you’re in the very early stages of content, is developing these really strong relationships. And I’d love to hear some of your ways on how you make these connections, you build these relationships, and how you leverage them to grow and empower Thinkific.

Tyler Basu:        

Yeah, for sure. And relationships and referrals in general, I think it is our biggest acquisition channel. Close to half of our new customers find out about us because of a referral or word of mouth. So that can come from an affiliate that’s out there promoting us, a referral partner that’s out there promoting us, or just people that are out there talking about us. And so those ones are a little bit harder to track, but we know that they’re happening because when somebody does sign up and we ask, “How’d you find us?” almost half the time that’s what they say is somebody told them to check out Thinkific. So that’s a good sign.

Now how we have brought the world of partnerships and content and brought those worlds together is really simple. So, with a partnership, the big win for us in a partnership is that somebody else who has an email list or a significantly sized audience that’s made up of our ideal clients is willing to promote us. And what that usually looks like is a webinar to their audience. They communicate to their audience that they’re gonna host some training with us. We show up, we do a presentation on creating and selling courses with an offer to use Thinkific at the end of the presentation. So that’s what most of the way that most partnerships are structured. But you can’t just go around emailing people and saying, “Hey, can we do a webinar together?” There’s a lot of relationship building that happens before you get that kind of a yes.

When one of our promotional partners hosts a webinar to promote us, they’re essentially saying to their audience, “I believe in Thinkific,” but they’re also saying by default because they’re promoting us, that they’re saying no to our competitors. Because if they were to one week do a webinar where they promote us and then the next month they do a webinar where they promote someone else, they’re gonna start to lose trust with their audience because it’s gonna look like they haven’t decided who they actually wanna promote. So, that’s a really big ask, to ask somebody, “Hey, can you host a webinar and promote us to your audience?” That’s a big ask. So, the way that content allows us to make that ask is we work backward from that goal or if we wanna do a webinar with somebody, what might come before that? Maybe we swap interviews like we invite them onto our YouTube channel-

Tyler Basu:        

Maybe we swap interviews. We invite them onto our YouTube channel, or one of us, goes on their podcast, as a guest, to see, to gauge, if this topic resonates, with their audience. Even an interview’s a bit of an ask, so what might come before getting an interview, oh, maybe a quote for a blog post. That’s an easy ask.

You can see how we’re working our way backward, to the first touchpoint, with somebody that we want a relationship with, the first touchpoints gotta be a real simple one, like, “Hey, we’re writing this article about webinars. I know that you’ve done some webinars. Do you have a quick tip, that we can include, in our article about webinars?”

That’s an easy ask, to make, of somebody, that you don’t have a relationship with, yet, and then, we’ll do that, and get that done, and then, what’s the next step? Oh, might be doing an interview, with them, and then, after an interview, what comes next?

Maybe we go to their event, or we sponsor their conference, before doing a webinar. There are different commitments, and levels of touchpoints, that come before the big ask of, “Can you flat-out promote us, and make a big deal of promoting us?”

Kyle Gray:          

I think that’s so powerful, and I’ve seen these examples, just throughout your content, and I love how you really make the people, that you showcase, on your blog, really look like rockstars. Everything you do, yeah, you really put them front row, center, and put them in the spotlight.

Tyler Basu:        

Well, thank you.

Kyle Gray:          

That’s one of the things, that has made these relationships so powerful, and so good.

Tyler Basu:        

We’ve had, just to give you an example, one of the recent guides we put out. I guess not so recent, maybe six months back was, we did a guide on video marketing. How do you use your YouTube channel to help grow your business? We reached out to 20+ really top video marketers, people with huge YouTube channels, hundreds of thousands of subscribers, millions of views, and we got these insights, from all these experts, and featured them all, in this guide.

A lot of them are out there, teaching this stuff. They’ve got courses, they’ve got coaching programs, consulting programs. They know that space very well. I got some feedback, from these people, who were featured in that guide, like, “Wow. You guys really knocked it out of the park, with that guide. Thank you for featuring me in that.” They hadn’t seen, other than their own content, perhaps, something that went that in detail, but also showcased so many other people.

The feedback that we’ve been getting, from people that we feature, in the content, has been super positive, and just from the compliment, you gave me now, that validates it, as well, so I appreciate that and that’s why we keep doing it, is it is working well for us.

Kyle Gray:          

One of the things, that also, after doing a guest post, for you guys, that slammed me, was your promotion. You guys are able to get a lot of viewers, on your content, no matter the channel. One particular example, I remember, is just seeing how much Twitter activity, happened, after my post was published. Not just from Thinkific but from people all over the place, all kinds of different people started sharing the article, and my Twitter feed isn’t popping very often.

As soon as that post came up, just tweets everywhere. How did you do that, and how do you manage content promotion?

Tyler Basu:        

Right now, I’m in the process, of finally, I’m so glad that I’m finally getting to this, but finally creating that content promotion playbook. It’s probably going to end up being about 50 pages, of all of the different ways, that we found, work well, for promoting content. We do executive what’s in that playbook, it’s just mostly in my head, and on checklists in Asana, so what we’ve got, is for every piece of content, there is a certain checklist, of all the things we’re gonna, do, once that is published, to help share it.

Everything from sharing it, on our social media, emailing the people that were included in it, sometimes boosting with some ads, sometimes repurposing it, as a guest post, or an infographic, there’s this whole list of things that we do. That particular case, with Twitter, the reason we got so much traction, on Twitter, is I found this tool called Quuu Promote, and it’s Q-U-U-U, there’s like quite a few “U’s” in this. This is a platform, that was built, specifically, to help people build content on Twitter.

[bctt tweet=”Use Quuu to curate content that is aligned with your audience’s interests on Twitter. -Tyler Basu ” username=”kylethegray”]

There are two sides to this platform. There are the users, who sign up for it, and they tell this platform what their interests are, and it basically serves them, that’s in-line with their interests, and then, on the backend, is the side of the platform, that’s built for the content creators or the publishers. We experimented with submitting, as a content creator, some of our articles, assigning them to a category, so they would know, which Twitter users, to share that piece of content with, and then paying for that. There’s a fee to do that.

In your case, what I remember doing, was, I wrote the tweet, for your article, that you gave us, I assigned it to the content marketing category, and so, all these people, who are using Quuu, to basically curate content, that is in-line with their interests, they were presented with your article, and then a lot of them shared it, on Twitter, and that’s exactly why I made sure your Twitter handle was in the tweet itself, and that’s why so many people were sharing it, and you were getting tagged, so that you could see that, was because, all of those people that were interested in content marketing, decided they liked your article and decided to share your article.

Kyle Gray:          

That is amazing, really, that was one of the most stunning examples. That’s a great tool, and so many good applications for the listeners, whether you wanna be, just the consumer, and get good content to promote on your Twitter, ’cause I’ve got a lot of problems, I don’t always want to be stacking up a bunch of things, so, what an excellent tool to share.

To close us out, and to kind to bring this around, full-circle, we started with you, right in the very beginning, and I think the key, when you really get to the next level, in content marketing, is when you stop creating all the content, yourself, and you’ve got a team, to help you build. Now, at Thinkific, you’ve created a very large team, that’s helping you, with a lot of different channels. In the same way that you’re moving everybody towards one goal, of getting people in the trial, so that you can just trust your product, how do you make sure that, everybody on all these different teams, and creating all of these different pieces of content, is all creating in that same core voice, is all targeting that same audience. How do you manage everybody, so that everything works very harmoniously?

Tyler Basu:        

Yeah, that’s a really good question. The size of our team definitely has grown, so as I said, back in 2016, it was me, and one or two other marketers, at first. In two years, just the marketing team, grew up to be larger than what the company was when I started. We’ve had over a dozen people contribute to marketing, and a lot of them are considered more of the creative types, we’ve got some graphic designers, video editors, and so on, and then there’s those of us, that are really spearheading the marketing campaigns, themselves.

There are two types of roles, but all still within that marketing world, and to answer your question, of how do we ensure consistency, among branding, and messaging, and all that stuff, we’ve just gone through a nice, big, rebrand. We’ve got a new website out now, there’s a whole different look and feel, to it, which is now trickling into our content, our webinars, anything that we’ve put out there, it’s gotta have the same look and feel, and the same type of tonality and messaging, and we’ve got our Creative Director, who spent the last year, really honing in on that brand, for us, and presenting everyone with, “Here’s the fonts we use, here’s the colors we use, here’s the tonality we use, here’s the messaging we use, and here’s our customer persona.”

Everyone has access to that, and anyone who’s communicating, with clients, or even just more broadly, an audience, online, is expected to be in-line, with those guidelines. That’s been really helpful. I think that, before you can scale anything, you need the guidelines, you need the standing operating procedures, the playbooks, the way that we do it, needs to be articulated clearly, before you let multiple people go out there, and do it.

At this point, what we’re really focused on. We’ve put out a ton of content. Our audience, as you know, are experts who, in their own right, in their own industries, have a lot of expertise, that’s why they’re creating forces, but most of the time, their expertise is not online marketing, or even creating online courses. Their expertise is whatever that area of expertise is. We’ve got customers who are great with Microsoft Excel, and they’ve got a course on Excel, or they’re great at hula hoop dancing, and they’ve got a course on hula hoop dancing. Our role, in their journey, is how do we show them how to build a business, around that expertise that they have, with online courses as the core offer?

That’s the type of content, that we’re committed to creating, to help them, in their journey. Now that we’re creating so many different forms of content, from blogs, webinars, courses, and PR, and even speaking in person, we host a meetup now, in Vancouver, once a month. I’ve gone to other conferences, to speak, so have other people on the team. We’ve got this core hub, of templates and content, that we can all pull from. Some of the webinars, I’ve created, our partnership manager, has taken that webinar, tweaked it a little bit, for a specific affiliate, or a specific partner, and then gone and presented that.

It doesn’t have to be me, sharing or presenting my own content. We’ve got a big enough library, now, of all of this content, that anyone can come in, and grab, and go use externally.

Kyle Gray:          

I think that that is amazing. Tyler, this has been a lot of fun. Some such great insights, that anybody on the content marketing spectrum, whether you’re just starting out, or whether you’re really taking it to the next level, can take away with.

Where can people go to learn more about you, learn more about Thinkific, and if they think that, maybe building a course, is the right move for them, what’s the next step?

Tyler Basu:        

If you’re interested in creating or selling courses, come over to Thinkific.com. I’m sure you’ll link to that, with the show notes, as well, but from that website, you’re welcome to try us, we’ve got a free plan, and free trials on all of the plans, so you’re welcome to try the software, and you’re welcome to check out some content, first.

We’ve got articles on the blog, we’ve got free webinars, free training, that you can attend, if you wanna see how you can use courses, to grow your business, before you make that jump, of actually using software to help you do that, and if you want to get in touch with me, personally, I’m pretty easy to find. I’m the only guy with this name, that I know of. So I’m pretty Googleable, you can find me on social media, and my personal website is TylerBasu.com

Kyle Gray:          

Tyler, thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure, and hopefully, we’ll be talking more again, soon.

Tyler Basu:        

Sounds good, Kyle. Thanks again for having me.

Kyle Gray:          

Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes, and resources, mentioned in this episode, and every episode, at thestoryengine.co. If you want to tell better stories, and grow your business, with content marketing, and copywriting, be sure to download the content strategy template, at contentstrategytemplate.comThis template is an essential part of any business, that wants to boost their traffic, leads, and sales, with content marketing. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

 

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