Episode 7: B2B Storytelling: Mastering B2B Content

Episode Table of Contents

Watch the Full Episode

Want to listen to the episode on your favorite podcast network? No problem! You can listen to the show on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Meet the Guest: Jess Cook

Jess Cook is a creative director turned content marketer and strategist with more than 20 years of experience conceptualizing and executing breakthrough work for B2C brands like Eggo, Rice Krispies, Blue Cross, Cottonelle and McDonald’s.

In 2019, she made the jump to B2B content marketing and is currently the Head of Content & Comms at Island, The Enterprise Broswer and the Co-host of That’s Marketing, Baby.

Follow Jess on LinkedIn.


Podcast Episode Notes


Here are some of the biggest takeaways from this episode:

  • Convenience of Meal Kits: Jess Cook discusses the benefits of using meal kits like Home Chef, which simplify the cooking process by providing pre-measured ingredients along with recipes that require minimal preparation.
  • Leveraging Customer Success: Building trust in B2B marketing often involves using testimonials and success stories from existing customers. These stories can be powerful in demonstrating the value of a product or service to potential customers.
  • Audience Engagement Strategies: Engaging different audience types requires an understanding of their specific needs and preferences. Jess shares strategies for tailoring content that addresses these needs to enhance audience engagement.
  • Aligning Brand and Audience: It’s crucial to ensure that your brand’s communication strategy aligns with its identity and resonates with the intended audience. This includes adjusting the tone and style of the content to meet audience expectations.
  • Feedback Utilization for Content Refinement: Feedback from social media and customer interactions is valuable for refining content strategies. Jess discusses how to use this feedback effectively to make content more relevant and engaging.
  • Mentioned Tools & Resources:

    These are the tools and resources that were mentioned in the podcast episode:

  • Home Chef: As a meal kit service, Home Chef offers a practical solution for those looking to simplify their cooking process while still enjoying homemade meals.
  • LinkedIn: A valuable platform for personal branding and professional networking, LinkedIn helps individuals and brands establish authority and connect with peers and potential clients.
  • SEO and Analytics Tools (e.g., Ahrefs, Semrush): These tools are essential for analyzing content performance, understanding audience behavior, and optimizing SEO strategies to improve visibility and engagement.
  • Reddit and Facebook Groups: Mentioned as platforms for understanding audience sentiment, engaging with community feedback, and addressing misconceptions directly.
  • Get Alerted For Each New Episode

    Subscribe To Our Newsletter Newsletter  Icon

    Unlock exclusive deals, the latest product updates, and insider content marketing strategies straight to your inbox by signing up for the ContentYum newsletter. Plus, get updates on each new podcast episode, featuring interviews with the top content marketing experts and bloggers in the industry.

    Episode Transcript

    Ashley Segura: AlL right, let’s kick off with the first question. So when you’re not at your desk doing all the fun content things and you find yourself in the kitchen, what is your go to dish to cook? 

    Jess Cook: I am a horrible cook, despite my Last name. So this is going to be like a plug for one of those home meal services.

    We have done for almost the past year Home Chef and it is delightful. It is very enjoyable. And everything comes to you, but you have to do a little bit of prep, but not so much that it’s annoying, but like enough to feel like you’re actually making a nice meal for your family. So yeah that’s my go to.

    Otherwise I’m I don’t know. We do spaghetti once a week. We do like taco Tuesdays, like the, we’ll eat. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. Keeping it traditional with that meal kit. Are you still chopping things up or is everything like ready? And you literally just sauté. 

    Jess Cook: Sometimes sometimes they will send whole potatoes, and you’re, like, chopping them up and boiling them and mashing them, and then sometimes it’s this is, you chose the quick recipe for that day, and so it sends them pre mashed, and you just have to heat them it’s a little bit of everything.

    Ashley Segura: It’s I like that, because chopping is like the vein of my existence. I’m so not, I’ve tried knife skills, I’ve tried knife lessons, and I cannot cut things consistent to save my life. 

    Jess Cook: Yeah, no, I’m not great at it, but sometimes it’s I don’t know, therapeutic to be like step away from the computer, play some music, chop a potato.

    Ashley Segura: This is where we are with our therapy. I 

    Jess Cook: know. 

    Ashley Segura: I’ll take it. I’ll take it. Speaking of content marketing, you have worked with So moving from being a creative director to diving straight into content marketing tasks, how has your past experiences working with different brands and in different roles really helped shape the stories that you tell now?

    Jess Cook: Such a good question. I think my What I really learned on those brands was like to find an interesting and universal insight that, gets people intrigued or curious or interested or makes them feel something right. And that’s a little harder to do in B2B because A lot of times you have to actually educate with what the content you’re creating.

    But that’s not to say that it can’t have those interesting little kind of universal insights that feel like a wink and a smile or, something that tells the audience you’re speaking directly to them. So I think really the big translatable piece for me was like, what’s the thing that’s going to get someone to feel like I’m speaking directly to them, I’m one of them, and transferring that to B2B and that’s harder to find in B2B too, it’s harder to understand what that thing would be when you’re writing about What’s the thing that’s going to get someone to feel like I’m speaking directly to them, I’m one of them, and transferring that to B2B and that’s harder to find in B2B too, it’s harder to understand what that thing would be when you’re writing about Pop tarts we’ve all eaten a pop tart, right?

    Like we know what that feeling is like, and we know what the experience is. And we know that there’s all these flavors and it’s easy to come up with some interesting things you can say. Right now I’m at Island and. Island is an enterprise browser. Our audience is IT leaders and cyber security leaders and understanding how to speak to them in a way that really resonates and doesn’t shout like this came from a marketer is a much harder task.

    Having to sit down with customers or internal folks who really understand that audience and digging into what makes them tick and what they think about day to day. Those are the things you really have to figure out to get to that insight in B2B. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah, B2B, it’s drastically.

    Different than B2C from Pop Tarts to more tech language. I used to preach all the time that with content, you were either educating someone about something, whether it’s whatever stage that they’re in and the potential funnel or educating them about your brand or your process, whatever that looks like, or you’re entertaining them in some way, do you see with B2B content that there’s more than just the option to educate or entertain, or do you find yourself just focusing on one of those?

    Jess Cook: I think it skews so much more educational especially with really complex products. And it also depends on the audience. A couple roles ago I was at a company called Marpipe and I was marketing to marketers and marketers love being marketed to. They love being entertained by something interesting and cool and something they’ve seen it all, right?

    They love something they’ve never seen before that feels unique and original. And so that audience skewed, some education and some entertainment and they were very boy, what am I trying to say?

    They were very receptive to that. I couldn’t think of the word. Yeah. IT folks, Are much more into I have to skew that much harder into education. They don’t care to be marketed to, I actually was speaking to a CIO the other day who told me he has a filter on his Gmail that anything that comes in that has the word unsubscribe in the email.

    Automatically deletes. So yeah, this is this is the level of person I’m talking to. So like the, there’s really no room for that unless you can get them to trust you and show that Hey, you’re getting to them in a way that is on their level and then maybe there’s some room for that.

    There’s definitely, you have to find the right balance for your audience, for your product, for your brand. And then there’s sometimes where like you need a little bit of entertainment to get someone hooked to come into the education, right? . So I don’t know your brand, I don’t necessarily wanna learn from you, but if you say something interesting that makes me go, oh yeah, that’s cool.

    Or you hook me in a way that I haven’t thought about before, that’s entertaining or insightful. It I’m much more likely to then want to be educated. So there’s a balance. I think you have to strike in B2B. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah, that makes sense. Especially, in terms of language and like when you’re trying to tell the story, whether it’s an entertaining one or an educational one, it’s, are you speaking their language in a way that’s going to attract them and allow you, allow them to trust you, but trust looks so different from.

    Or to org, from what Island offers to what content yum offers. Like we’re building out trust in very different ways. How do you, since you’ve worked with so many different brands and from B2C, B2B, B2B to C, how do you even start with building trust? So say like a company has been really established, has content teams, SEO teams, and has resources to go, but they have never put Any effort in building out like trust campaigns, what would that look like?

    Jess Cook: I think one of your best assets for building trust are your current customers. And this is something we’re really doubling down on right now at Island. Showing someone that has already found value in your product. And perhaps someone who has, Oh, Hey, that person has my same job title.

    I want to hear what they have to say about this tool and how it helps them. That person’s at a company like mine, it’s a digital healthcare company. I want to see what they have to say about this product that they’re using at a company that’s similar to mine. We’re really investing heavily on like voice of customer content right now, because it’s one thing for.

    Island to say this is a really different way to, deliver all of the, all of your hard work that you’ve done to, take everything that you’ve done infrastructure and workloads and data to the cloud. And now this is a really new and different way to deliver that. It’s another thing for a customer with a known, well known name and a very credible job title to tell our audience that as well.

    So I would say, when building trust, really look to your customers. See who, go to your customer success team and say, who loves us right now, who is like so happy with us and what can we do with them to. To make that known to prospects. So something really interesting we’re doing right now is we’re trying to get some of our customers onto podcasts to that, speak to our audience.

    But to get them to talk about the interesting things they are doing in their roles at their companies. And one of those things just happens to be using Island. We’re part of the story. But we want to put them on that pedestal, get people interested in what they’re doing. And then, associate, excellence by association Oh, this really smart person who’s in this big, IT role is using this new, interesting company and they seem really smart and I’m going to look into that more.


    Ashley Segura: would you approach something like that? Take a blogger, for example, that is producing tons of content. I guess their biggest way to measure audience sentiment is comments on the blog or what people are saying on social. So could you then in an environment like that, reach out to the people that are commenting and being like, For the podcast example Hey, I’m creating a bunch of new content.

    And it seems like you really engage with my content a lot. I’d love to have you on to learn more about what you do or like, how could you do that from maybe not necessarily a B2B perspective? 

    Jess Cook: Yeah, absolutely. I think bringing in people who engage with, the content you’re putting out there who have really stark opinions, whether they mirror your own or not is a really interesting way to get some dialogue going.

    You can build a lot of trust by having a conversation with someone who you disagree with and keeping it civil and showing both points. And I think that’s a really interesting way to go about it. Yeah, I think too oh, I had a point and then I lost it. I’m so sorry, Asher. 

    Ashley Segura: It happens to me all the time.

    Jess Cook: It happens to me at least three times a day. 

    Ashley Segura: I call them trains where I jump on a train and it goes that way and then halfway through I’m like, and now I’m on this train. I completely forgot my point over here. 

    Jess Cook: Okay, we’re talking about 

    Ashley Segura: Okay. Yeah. Okay. You got it? 

    Jess Cook: Okay. I got it now. I think something else to watch too in that scenario is who’s sharing your content.

    If someone is sharing something and then tagging you on LinkedIn and saying, Hey, I really, this really resonated with me. There, there might be something there that you can do to strike up a conversation and understand how you can partner with that person as well. Get their thoughts on that topic or add a new perspective to it.

    Even just adding a quote from that person who happened to really be into what you’re doing. We’re writing and had to say is a really nice addition to that blog post. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah, definitely. I’m so happy that you brought up LinkedIn because that’s how I personally discovered you is through LinkedIn, through being recommended, following your content and following the podcast.

    And so through that narrative, I was able to naturally build trust with you and understand that. Oh, wow. She really knows her stuff. Like she’s a content marketer who walks the walk, like she’s not just producing a bunch of lovely AI generated content. There was trust through that process and that can be really hard to measure.

    And it’s also like incredibly timely. I, I don’t know when LinkedIn first. Recommended me to you and then started that journey. But now, however many months that’s been, I now have that full trust built. So in kind of paths like that, where it’s really hard to pinpoint where the original source was, where a potential customer or audience member started to develop that relationship with you.

    Do you have any methods of tracking, right? This was the initial pinpoint, or this is a good enough metric for us to understand that. Now we have this new audience type. What does it look like when you’re really measuring that relationship with a new audience member and the stories that your brand is telling?

    Jess Cook: That’s a really great question. So I think two sides to this in my brain, one is personally. So personally, I know that you and I have traded, comments and had discussions in the comment section before. And we’ve done that enough. We’re like, I know, Ashley, I like without really knowing you, I know, yeah, I know you.

    And so there’s definitely ebbs and flows to that in, in personal branding on LinkedIn, where. I all of a sudden, and I don’t know what it is, I don’t know if it’s the algorithm or like whatever, but there will be like phases where Oh, Ashley and I have been like commenting on each other’s stuff for a while now.

    And then Oh, here’s somebody else that’s new maybe to, to my content. And they’ve been commenting a lot now I’m seeing their stuff pop up. And so those there, and there are certain people who like you like really stick out like. You have commented a lot on my content. And so it’s yeah I know her and I can trust her.

    And we have similar perspectives, things like that. So there is definitely just some, I guess it’s more anecdotal than anything of people will come in who it’s very clear they’re interested and they’re, your content is resonating with them. And I would say, look to them. Look at those folks profiles what is it about their background that interests them in your content and your perspective?

    And that can help you shape the content you create. On the brand page side something that we’re looking at right now for Island is growing the kind of, Wedge of the pie of our entire follower group that consists of C level executives senior and director level like those higher level I.

    1. Professionals. It’s one thing to have a lot of followers. It’s another thing entirely to have the right followers and we’re really, I think for a little while there, we had a lot of sales folks following Island because, they were colleagues of our sales people. We have a very large sales team.

    They, Herd of Island, maybe through some of our fundraising and they’re interested in the company or perhaps working there, which is amazing to have all of that support, but our content then is seen not being seen most of the time by the right people. So we’re trying to course correct that a bit with the right kinds of content and, the right kinds of.

    Paid campaigns and getting the right kinds of people to interact and engage with our content that will help. Oh, if we’re having a lot of salespeople interact with our content, the algorithm is going to think it needs to be shown to more salespeople, which is not the case we want. CXOs to see that.

    Trying to get more C level, senior level people to engage means you need to write your content, create content at a level for those people so that they engage, so that it shows it to more of those same types of folks. So it is a strange kind of. Depending on the way it’s working for you, vicious or virtuous cycle.

    Once you really pinpoint what the kind of content needs to go to the right audience, it can help you build out, the bigger piece of that pie in the right way. 

    Ashley Segura: Oh, a hundred percent. And thankfully we have so many great tools now and. So much different data to really understand who these audiences are, where they’re coming for.

    But I really there’s still this manual aspect to it for our brand content. Yum. Like we’re brand spanking new and we’re not doing any ads yet on social. So anytime we get new followers, we’re like, Oh, We’re literally going to their profiles to see who are these people? Is this the right people?

    And if it’s not the quote unquote, right people, then do we have a potential whole new audience that we could market to that we missed? And I love that you were able to identify that there’s this sales audience. And it’s okay, that’s great from a relationship standpoint. And, brand awareness.

    Cool. That’s awesome. That’s not the people that we want to talk to. So once you have that right connection of. You are engaging with the right people that you want to talk to. How do you start understanding the verbiage for those people to create new content strategies? 

    Jess Cook: A lot of that has to do with going back to your customers and speaking with them and understanding, why did you choose Island?

    What were you doing beforehand? What was like the, what I always like to ask, what happened on the day when you decided you needed. A solution like this, like what was the straw that broke the camel’s back? Were you like enough? I can’t live this way anymore. Those are always great stories to hear.

    So going back and listening to that and then using the words they use it’s really as simple as that. I, that my previous role was at a company called lasso and they were a platform for event production companies and the terms. Use for anyone who might run lighting or audio visual equipment or anything like that with tech, it was called them a tech.

    And so said technician, it was very clear that like you were either very green or like you weren’t really comfortable with the right lighting. Term, right? And so it’s little things like that, that stand out where you’re like that. That’s, what we, that’s what we say. That’s the lingo we use in the biz.

    And you have to listen for those. Sometimes you can use them verbatim on your site, in your content and sometimes, they require a bit of tweaking to fit within the brand or whatever, but like as close as you can get to the exact phrasing they use on multiple things to describe their problems, to describe your product, to describe their own roles or their own tasks in their role.

    The closer you’re going to get to one feeling like you’re speaking again to that person to bring more of that type of person in two, that’s how they’re going to search when they perform a Google search, right? Like they’re going to say it in the terms that they’re comfortable with that the business has reinforced over many years of using that lingo.

    And so the closer you can get and your content, the more likely you are to show up when they go to find you. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. And when you’re trying to understand those differences, which from tech to technician, that’s such a small difference. I could totally make that mistake and then being like sticking out like a sore thumb, one of the things you could definitely do is always go to Facebook groups and join Facebook groups, put the keyword or whatever your new topic is going to be.

    There’s a search bar on top, drop it in there and start to literally read sentiment. Same idea with going to Reddit, the big R word right now, going to Let’s College forums, any forum of your choice and typing in that topic or keyword and really taking the time to learn. This isn’t something that takes.

    Hours and hours to do, but you can definitely quickly figure out sentiment as well as any kind of different slogans or shortening terms, things like that. 

    Jess Cook: Objections. Like why they’re like, Oh, this is not the solution for me. Or I heard that this tool does this. We’ve seen that. I’ve seen that so many times on Reddit where it’s I don’t use this product because X, Y, and Z.

    And okay, go take that. That is a straight objection right there. Go, turn that into a blog post about. To to bust that myth, right? Change somebody’s misconception that you are a certain, your product is not enough or doesn’t do the thing they want it to do. That’s how you’re going to change people’s mind.

    You’re going to confront that objection before they even have it. 

    Ashley Segura: Do you then go and, I feel like, In my experience, this is always the hardest part. Like, how do you then go tell them, Hey, we’ve addressed this. Do you just voluntarily go into that Reddit forum and silently drop a link and be like, Oh, look what we did here.

    How do you be like, look, we fixed it. 

    Jess Cook: That’s such a good point. I think the best way to do that, we do that on this on LinkedIn sometimes too, is, we’ll post something and someone will comment on it. How about this? I heard, Island can’t do, I don’t know this thing.

    And so I’ll go to one of the engineers and say, can you craft a response for this? It’s like much too technical for me. I, and. Your title just lends that credibility. The moment you post this it’s going to come across as Oh, okay. This is a person who really knows what they’re talking about.

    So I would never respond to something like that, either on LinkedIn wherever it happens from a company account, I would find someone within the company. Who has a personal, who has a handle on Reddit, who is comfortable jumping in and saying, Hey, actually we wrote a blog post about this exact thing might be helpful.

    Here you go. So it doesn’t feel like people on Reddit are very precious about that space. If brands come in, they feel like you’ve, it’s a buzzkill. You’ve ruined the party. But if someone from the company, who’s The right person to address that question comes in. It feels much more authentic and trustworthy again, to go back to that.

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. And someone who can actually continue the conversation because it doesn’t just end at that, like they can come back and be like, yes, we actually can do X, Y, and Z by doing ABC. And then that’s when I feel here’s a longer explanation, 

    Jess Cook: right? Yeah. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s when everyone jumps on and I’m like what about this?

    And what about that? And then all of a sudden you have this whole. Issue to address. 

    Jess Cook: And if you have me behind like the Island account trying to answer that, and I’m like, you have, a solution architect in there, they’re going to be able to fire off the right answer quickly and build that credibility.

    Ashley Segura: Are you using anything to keep track of mentions or are you doing this more from a manual perspective of kind of just hopping in the channels that you know, like C suites are in or? 

    Jess Cook: We have, we actually have an agency that is, they are incredible. They’re super helpful. They do a lot of this stuff for us where they’re jumping into Reddit, they’re jumping into groups.

    They’re understanding the sentiment, they’re understanding where, Hey, we need, probably. Someone from leadership to respond to this, or we need somebody from engineering or customer success to respond to something like this. So they’re very good at helping us with that.

    I would say without them, I don’t know that we’d have the bandwidth to dig into that, that’s one of those activities where it’s that’s easy to do when you have a large team or an agency, it’s a lot harder to do when you’re small. And you’re just trying to stay afloat in terms of creating the right kinds of content and distributing it and the best way possible.

    And then to actually have to layer on top of go into the places where you aren’t usually and see what people are saying is man, that’s. That’s a lot. That’s definitely an extra I would call that a nice to have, but we’re lucky enough to have a great agency who can do that for us. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah.

    Cause even if you have Google alerts for your brand mentions and every variety possible, and then it pulls like BuzzSumo, that’s. That’s been my combo for so many years from a lack of a resource perspective, but there’s still so many conversations that I’ll find out like way later Oh, how did neither of these great tools catch that?

    And it’s just a, we’re not there yet from a tool perspective to be able to have a one catch all, even though they try. 

    Jess Cook: Totally. And it’s one thing to automate, like the alerts of that for you to know it’s happening. It’s another to prepare the reply and make sure it’s accurate and addresses the question in the right way.

    And has been signed off and then have the right person go in and reply like that’s a whole other workflow. So yeah, that’s a tough one. And it’s very good to know it’s awesome that you have those Alerts set up and you’re like, okay, submit sentiments. Good. We can just keep moving.

    Oh, okay. Here’s something we might need to address this or, but it’s the actual like addressing of it where it starts to get, you’re adding another workflow and frankly more work to. A small team’s plate 

    Ashley Segura: totally. And it’s also the riskiest part. I feel like another really risky part within the whole storytelling realm, whether you’re addressing people’s comments on random forums, or trying to create a content strategy that is on that educational aspect is doing so in a way that reaches people on a global audience.

    And you’ve worked with such. Global brands. Have you come across any strategies that tell a story and do so to where everyone can connect with it? Or is that even possible? 

    Jess Cook: That’s a good, who does that really well is Slack. I don’t know if you’ve ever, there right down to, if you go into like the Apple iPhone, I’m sorry, the the app store on your iPhone and you go to download the update for Slack on your iPhone and like the copy that they write in there is so lovely.

    Like sometimes it’ll just be like. This update’s gonna fix some bugs, but how’s everyone doing? Are you guys doing okay? Things are getting weird. I think this is during COVID. They were like really good at this. It was like, things are getting weird. We just want to make sure you’re all right, and even in social, I know on LinkedIn, they’re also very good at just Personalizing responses and really making it feel like there’s a team behind that social account that, that cares.

    But again, I suspect they have a big team, like their Slack. I’m guessing they have a handful of folks who, that’s that’s a big part of their role. That’s a really lovely example. Something you can do to help scale that if you have a small team. Yeah. And we actually, I did, we did this on Kellogg actually a lot.

    When I worked on a lot of the Kellogg brands and we had social accounts for Rice Krispies and Pop Tarts and. Gosh, what else? I don’t even know ego and things like that on social media where people would, a lot of the same questions would pop up. Hey, where can I purchase the new flavor of Pop Tart?

    Do you have a gluten free Rice Krispies? Like those kinds of questions would pop up all the time. And so you if you have Questions or comments that, are frequent, you can create replies that feel on brand that you can, document get approved by whoever needs to approve it.

    And then your social media manager can just like round robin, drop those in where needed and add a bit of, personality, as needed. And that was really successful for us where it was like, Oh, you want to know where the, buy the new flavor. It’s really good. You’re going to love it.

    Check out the where to buy tool on poptarts. com. And we would leave them there. So it was like but like we could take that answer and, Set it up with a little intro 75 different ways and deliver the right answer. B2B that’s a little harder but you can get to the crux of a lot of, again, like frequently asked questions and that kind of stuff can live on your site.

    It can be fodder for, comments and replies to people’s questions that can be supplied to your sales team to handle objections. It’s still the same, playbook if you will. But, again, just, it’s a little bit. Usually more technical or the answer’s a little bit longer or harder to come by unless you’re speaking with your team and you understand the product and you know who to go to for the answer, but can absolutely be done.

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. For a brand like Kellogg, that’s, you can have a lot of fun with that as well, create these repeating comments to address things, but for that B2B space, how do you have fun? Like how can you have fun with that kind of content? Because at the end of the day, you’re trying to scream at them.

    The reason why you were the solution. And usually it’s hard to do that in a fun way, especially if you have people who are just anything that has unsubscribed and it’s going straight to delete. So how do you add personality in that space? That’s maybe a little bit more technical or medical where you don’t want to be joking about things, but you also still want to be human and relatable.

    Jess Cook: Yeah, I think that’s the key word, Ashley, is like human because fun is that’s hard because fun is not everyone’s cup of tea and probably shouldn’t, it doesn’t need to be a part of every brand. I would not say that the thing, the. The island brand is fun. I have fun working on it, but I would say the brand is very wise.

    Like the brand itself is very, um, we want to be very credible and the sage that you would come to about. The modern way to architect your IT stack. And so there’s definitely, I think, something to be looked at when it comes to building personality into your responses and into your content around, like, how would the brand respond?

    Like what is the right way for the brand to respond here? And for some folks, that’s fine. That’s fun. And for others, it’s what’s the right way to say this for us? And I think a lot of that comes from you have to look at your audience again, like marketers love fun, right?

    Like we love a ridiculous meme and we love, I don’t know, unhinged social media, like Duolingo has. But, That probably won’t fly for a lot, like a medical audience or right? There’s a, so I think you have to look at that a bit and really understand like, how should we respond?

    And I think. I like the idea of like, how can we build personality into this? That feels like us. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. It’s almost like taking a second to, even if you’re an established brand, to figure out who your identity is as a brand in dictating that identity by not just what you offer and what you can provide, but by who you’re providing it to.

    And yeah. That’s going to be a mix of different personas. So is it appropriate to say, even a brand’s been established for 10 years to do that pause and that brand identity and reevaluate personas and then come out with this new brand appeal? And if so, like how can you reintroduce yourself?

    What does that look like in terms of contents? 

    Jess Cook: That’s a good question. I don’t know that I have really ever encountered that myself, but I can tell you a really Interesting kind of case study in marketing to multiple personas is Twilio does a really nice job of this. I know they, they have a couple of different audiences.

    They have like marketers, they have engineers, they have ops people and, a lot of those three audiences I just named are like vastly different and how they think about, their job and what they need to do and their pain points and they, they can take the same message and twist it in a way that makes sense for whichever audience they’re talking to.

    They can take the same feature, maybe has. A different benefit for each of those audiences, and they can present it in a little bit different way. I think part of that is. One, understanding do you have multiple people who you can cater to? Two, do you have the team, the bandwidth, the expertise to be able to go after multiple personas at once?

    Because that is also really hard. If you have a small enough team, you probably just want to whittle it down to the one that is going to have the most impact until you can have a bigger team and you can actually like tackle another persona. But let’s say you do, then figure out, okay, if we’re going all in on this, like new product launch, this new features coming out or this new product is coming out what can we say about it to each of these groups?

    That is going to resonate, right? And that, that, that gets tricky. That’s like boiling it down to. Again, what do those three personas care about? What is standing in their way of like innovation or progress or looking really good at doing their job? And sometimes it can just be like little adjustments to when I was at lasso we had this really big Product launch, and we had 10 personas and we didn’t always, yeah, it was a lot.

    It was like from the person in the warehouse to the production company owner to, the The finance, head of finance kind of thing. So it was like, it was a lot. And obviously those are all very different roles. A small team. And so there were times where okay, we’re not gonna be able to do 10 campaigns, but we can take one email and write the intro 10 times and.

    Segment the list and send this basically the same email on the same content, except for that intro that feels very tied to the personal, each persona. And we did that a number of times and, always saw really great success from that because the moment that person opens the email and the subject line was very relevant to the different personas as well.

    So tying kind of those two things to, Hey, how can we. Personalize this a bit and maybe get a little bit higher engagement, a little bit higher conversion rate to get someone to sign up for the wait list or the webinar on this was really helpful. Just even those little bits of personalization can make a big difference.

    Ashley Segura: Yeah, that’s a huge point. I love how you were able to reuse the content because I feel like when we think about creating content for various personas and writing it in their language and like doing that huge rabbit hole of a deep dive. It’s always this idea of starting from scratch. 

    Jess Cook: Yeah, 

    Ashley Segura: I love that you were able to.

    Use what you had that you knew, okay, this for the most part, this works, but let’s modify this part so that it relates to this specific persona. And then I would assume schedule it out from there to all the same content publishing. Cause users will be able to catch onto that, but like strategic with how and when you’re reusing that content.

    Jess Cook: Absolutely. 

    Ashley Segura: As we wrap up, this has been Ton of great info from storytelling to really understanding personas, brand voice, and really the personality of the brand. I’d love to know what your current secret sauce is. What’s that must have tool that you’re in love with right now, or that strategy that you just tested and you’re going all in on what’s your sauce right now?

    Jess Cook: I’m a big believer in the MacGyver rule, which that’s going to date me a little bit, but for those who aren’t familiar, MacGyver was this like TV character in the, I don’t know, late eighties, mid eighties. And he could like, if a bomb was going off, he could diffuse it with a Q tip and a paperclip and whatever was sitting around.

    And I try to, emulate that a bit in like how I go after content. I’ll be sitting in an all hands meeting and I’ll hear something, I’ll hear us, someone from sales talk about something that they’re hearing from prospects. And then I’ll be, reading a newsletter from a trade publication in it.

    And I’m like, Oh, that. Article connects to the thing that I heard in that all hands meeting. I wonder if there’s a story there that we could do for Island. Another example is we just had our big, like annual sales kickoff. And in that kickoff we did the sales team did this. Basically a game of Jeopardy where each question was a frequent objection.

    And the answer was that they had to basically give their best version of like, how to, what was their rebuttal against that objection? And as they were doing that, I was like, Oh my gosh, this is every single one of these is a social post. It’s a snippet in an email. It’s, A blog post. Like I can interview our SMEs on this.

    And so I just started like taking notes. I’ve sat down with a couple of folks and just been like, can you just run me through these three the jeopardy board again? And what, what are the best answers to this? I will find a content opportunity in pretty much anything.

    And sometimes it turns out to not have a lot of legs. Sometimes it turns out to be like, that is a, that’s a story, but it’s already been told. Or, there’s really, there’s That’s been talked about so much, there’s really nothing new to offer there, but every once in a while Oh yeah, that’s something that we can have a point of view on or a new perspective and really add something fresh to, the conversation.

    And that’s really exciting. And sometimes that all that takes sometimes is just like really good listening skills. 

    Ashley Segura: A hundred percent. And I bet you wish you had A camera or a little mini production team in for that jeopardy room to just be recording all of that content live, tear this apart, let’s use this across the board because really your CS teams, your SMEs, your sales team, like they’re the ones who have all the gold of what your content strategy should be and what pieces of content, whether it’s pillar or social or video, whatever that looks like, what to create content around.

    And so we get buried with the, Let’s come up with new topic ideas and let’s go through the STO method and all great practices and definitely what we should be doing. But there’s a pot of gold over there and every quarter you can go there and get brand new topic ideas and questions that are coming in.

    So love both of those secret sauce tips. Jess, thank you so much for joining me today. 

    Jess Cook: Thank you so much, Ashley. This is a blast.