Creating Compelling Content - with Dilan Faith
For this episode of Essential B2B, Joe was joined by Dilan Faith, Content Strategist and Coach to discuss what are the most important things to consider when putting out content to your audience.
Hello and welcome to the Essential B2B podcast brought to you as ever by Lead Forensics. I am your host, Joe Ducarreaux. This episode is all about content strategy and for this I was joined by Dilan Faith, Creative Strategist and Coach. Dilan was a delightful guest and she gives some exceptional advice when it comes to creating the right content for your audience.
So, without further ado, please enjoy this episode of the Essential B2B Podcast with Dilan Faith.
Joe: How can creating valuable content help boost sales?
Dilan: That’s a great question because I always go from an angle of marketing and sales are just the same thing and marketing is just sales at scale actually. If you don’t see your marketing working, that means there’s a problem in your sales. If you don’t see your sales working, that means there’s a problem in your marketing.
How clients find us and how they get to trust us is the first step towards them buying from us. So once you start creating content and once you do that on a consistent basis, first of all you show your authority to the niche that you are in and then you create a relationship between you and the client and I always use the analogy of dating here. If you have the dreams of getting married and having kids with someone, you first need to build a relationship. You don’t go on the first date and then when you just met someone you are like hey do you want to marry and get kids? and they are going to be like, oh my God, what are you doing? Of course they are not going to accept that, but if you first ask them to go on a date and then go on a second date and you build things up.
This is what content is there for because we can literally speak with our audience through the help of these platforms, through the help of these screens, but it’s essentially no different than trying to sell to one person, we are just doing that at scale.
Joe: I do quite like the idea that as a permission-based opener is, will you marry me, is the first one you go for. That would be very insane.
Dilan: Let me know your conversion rates on that one.
Joe: So far, one. It’s swings and roundabouts. I have only ever asked one person, so maybe it will work.
Dilan: 100%. Really good.
Joe: What are the most effective types of content for sales purposes?
Dilan: So it really depends on the industry you’re in, but these days I can really say that video is a must for every kind of business and every industry that you’re in. But I would say that a different set of content regardless of which platform you’re posting on, you need to just write text which is just copy and you need to record videos, you need to have images, you need to have text on images. So I would say a mixture of all of them so when I work with my clients I recommend them to use all the content tiles because they all serve a different person and different situations.
Again, one analogy I read from one of the marketing gurus, Russell Brunson, he was saying that whenever you’re creating content, always imagine your ideal client sitting on the toilet and scrolling through their phone and your purpose is to make them stop. We don’t really know until we start trying what is going to make them stop scrolling and pay attention.
Marketing is essentially a lot about testing as well. We need to test and find out the trends, things that are working in our industry.
Joe: This is something that I’ve spoken about with quite a few people. So let’s say, if we take the example of creating video content at the minute, how should you go about creating compelling and engaging video content, about what is potentially quite a dry subject? So with B2B, if you’ve got a service to a service sort of thing, how can you make compelling videos about those sorts of topics?
Dilan: Whenever I’m about to create content and whenever I coach clients or consult companies, there is always a first step, which is a little bit boring. That’s why a lot of people skip it but that’s why a lot of people don’t get really good engagement, which is asking your audience what they would like to see.
Because mostly we have an idea of what the market needs, what our potential clients need but more often than not that doesn’t really match. We don’t really have to overthink this, we just need to go out there and do some research, ask some real people. There are amazing tools right now, such as ChatGPT or a lot of data online that you can also collect if you don’t have the time or something like that.
But I really recommend asking your audience because once you start doing some research calls, once you start getting on the phone, getting the call with people, then you’re going to see that there are some themes that are repeating. There are some patterns of words, patterns of themes, patterns of struggles, patterns of challenges. People will tell you what they want to see. That doesn’t matter, it could be the most boring topic but there will still be the same patterns of challenges of people.
I don’t find that really, especially in this age, when things are changing literally on a daily basis, I don’t find it very clever to say that, okay, this is a topic that we should focus on regardless of the industry. We really need to be on top of what is really happening in the brains of my ideal clients. Because regardless of if it’s a company or if it’s let’s say an infant there is still like one brain behind every sale. What we need to do as marketers is get inside their brains, get inside their hearts, what are they feeling, what are they thinking. Some people make decisions based on feelings, some people make decisions based on………mostly we make decisions based on feelings and then rationalise it with our brain. But we really need to get in their brains and the answers are all there.
Joe: You touched on one of my favourite topics to ask people about when I’m doing these podcasts or when we’re on a webinar with Lead Forensics. You brought up ChatGPT. So I want to ask you, what are the implications of using AI in creating content? What do you think the future of using AI to help create content is going to be?
Dilan: I am currently mind-blown about what ChatGPT can write and can do. I’m by far no expert in this. I’m learning myself, every single day. I’ve got a couple of courses about this.
I used to see people using AI before ChatGPT to batch create content and write copy with AI and I used to be like, oh my god, this is lacking soul, I will never do that. But now that ChatGPT is there, I started using it a little bit and it’s really insane because it can write your own thoughts better than you. I’m still not copy and pasting everything it says, but there is really big potential to automate a lot of stuff.
It’s like having a best friend. That’s why I call it my new BFF. Having a best friend to have a second look at everything and then just make life easier for you. In this age, quantity is really as important as the quality of the content that you are putting out there and I think ChatGPT can help really with the quantity. Also some boring tasks, like when I was talking about market research for example. In the past I used to do this, having all the interviews, writing everything, with tens of people and then trying to analyse the patterns. Now I just ask Chat to do all of that for me. Less tasks for VAs, less admin tasks that make me really happy.
Also my mentor was saying this actually, which made me think that ChatGPT has seen all the posts online ever, all the posts ever written, all the content, it has consumed everything. That’s why it makes sense that it knows better than us. So it makes sense to ask him…..I’m still not sure whether to call it him or her…… to ask it for support. I’m really excited to see what it’s going to bring.
Right now, I wouldn’t say that it has made so much change in my work structure. But I’m about to buy the paid version which I heard so many great things about. The more I learn how to use a tool, it’s like learning how to drive a car, if you don’t know how to drive it It can take you anywhere. But if you know how to drive, it can take you like you……you could still go, you could still walk from A to B……but it’s just going to take you faster and with a much better experience. So I’m really excited to learn how to use it better.
Joe: I think you’re absolutely right in that the sort of thing that I use it for is its great at creating a starter for 10, we say. It gives you a general idea. I don’t think it’s quite there as replicating genuine human connection yet but who knows what the future holds.
Something else you mentioned is that quantity is almost as important as quality when it comes to content. Now I wanted to pick your brains on that one because generally speaking, if you have a higher quantity, there’s probably going to be a slight dip in quality. If they are equally as important, how do you strike the balance between having enough quantity of content versus quality of content.
Dilan: You’ve got all the juicy questions. I love this. So I always say content creation is a muscle and sharing content and posting content is a muscle. So I never tell someone they should start posting five times a week if they’re just starting out with content creation. It depends on how much you can give of your time, of your energy, of your resources. But obviously the more you give, the more you’re going to get back.
There is no 2 plus 2 equals 4 equation here. We don’t know which one is the most important, more important than the other, quantity or quality. But I know one thing is that, as I said, marketing is testing. If you are only testing with, let’s say, two different types of content, posting two times per day, then you have two chances of that content piece landing. But if you’re testing with 10 different pieces of content, with 10 different structures, two times per day, every single day of the week. Then you have much more chance.
Again, I listened to another analogy which made sense to me, was that when you go and listen to a comedian and all of his jokes land, then you think, wow, he’s so good at what he does. That’s what we want in content marketing. We want our posts to land. We want the reader to think oh my god, he really gets me, I want more of this, let me pay you.
But that comedian had to do 10 different shows and try 10 different jokes in each show and maybe one joke or two jokes landed and he collected all of them.
So that’s why we really need to post in quantity to find out what lands and we shouldn’t be perfectionists here. I see this mistake. I did this in the past myself to really obsess over one piece of content and then it gets five likes and you’re like oh my god this isn’t working, social media is draining.
But it is not social media’s fault, it is on us to not obsess and now I’ve been seeing new trends of people posting pictures when they are crying. I did this as well, people posting really imperfect moments of their lives and this can really create a connection as well. I used to really obsess over typos or I am not a native English speaker, I used to use a lot of tools to make sure I never make a grammar mistake. But then I realised these things actually make me a human. My audience can relate to that. That’s the first thing. Secondly, it gives me more chances of my content landing. So of course, we don’t want to put out posts that don’t have any value. But we also need to give ourselves some space to play around to see what is working for us.
Joe: It’s something that’s come up a few times actually, is that piece on authenticity. Just showing, here we are on holiday or something like that. The motto, almost, of these podcasts has become people buy from people. In fact, it’s an unofficial motto, I suppose. Maybe we should start selling merch with it or something. That would be quite good. What are some common mistakes that you see when people are creating content then?
Dilan: Perfectionism to begin with. So I know people are going to be like, I heard this a million times when I say this, but the real quote unquote “secret” to becoming successful in content marketing is really consistency. If we don’t have consistency and again it depends on how strong is your muscle, so consistency can mean posting two times per week, it can mean posting two times per day. But whatever you commit to at the moment, you stick with it. If you don’t do that if you just post every single day for one week and the next week you don’t post at all, you’re going to notice that the algorithm doesn’t like you. People will not really see you as authority because you are not there, you are showing up on a regular basis. Again the trust piece will not be built then. That is another mistake that I see often.
Something that I have been seeing, I’ve been interviewing recently, entrepreneurs of 5/10 years. I was giving them an audit on their social media channel and I see that we spend so much time on content creation, we want to look good. Just like myself, I was asking you hey are we going to record a video, let me put on some makeup. We want to make sure we look good, there’s good lighting, we use all the tools to write amazing copy. Then I go to someone’s profile and their profile is just not clear. It’s not clear what they do, it’s not clear what they help, it’s not clear what makes them unique. It’s not searchable and it doesn’t matter what platform you are on but especially if you are on Instagram or Linkedin, it’s really important that your profile is optimised.
I would invite everyone listening or watching this to go ahead and take a look at their profile and really look at it from the perspective of your ideal client. Think about how is this person feeling and thinking when they land. Because it is our showcase, if we have our own store our profiles are showcased and we really need to spend more time making sure that it is somewhere exciting and not really somewhere confusing. I always say if you confuse, you lose. So we really want to be clear on that.
Joe: Absolutely! As you were saying that there I am very aware that my own Linkedin profile is properly not optimised as best I can. So I know what I am going to be doing immediately after this recording. What metrics do you use to measure the effectiveness of your sales content then?
Dilan: I love that question because there’s a lot of confusion going on in terms of metrics and I am guilty of that in the past as well. I used to really obsess over the amount of followers I had until I realised followers don’t pay my rent, followers don’t do anything for me. I started meeting all these influencers and they didn’t really have money. When someone comes to me and I ask them what their goals are and they are like, I want to have 10,000 followers on Instagram. I am like, great, we can do that but is this really what you want? Because that’s just a number there. The number of followers is definitely not a metric that I prioritise, let’s say.
Also the engagement, the number of comments and likes, these are okay metrics. They are still important because they help us get more visible, they help the algorithm understand that our content is valuable, so it will show us to more people. But again at the end of the day they don’t pay our bills so they are not my priority either.
The most important metric is obviously the amount of conversions. I always say if you are not analysing your content, you’re not marketing you are just gambling. Because you are just putting things out there and you don’t know which one works so you are not optimising.
If you own a service business then the amount of sales calls you get is a really important metric. The amount of conversions, also the amount of visitors. How many people visit your site, how many people visit your landing pages, how many join your trainings. So all the metrics leading up to a conversion are the important ones I would say.
Joe: That’s fantastic stuff, Dilan. I’m going to start wrapping our conversation here right now. I want to ask you one final question, if there was one key takeaway, one absolute golden rule you would like the listeners of this podcast to take away with them today, what is that key piece of advice on content creation?
Dilan: Know your ideal client or customer like the back of your hand and you will never have to worry about marketing again. LIterally become their biggest fan. I learned this in one of Tony Robinson’s conferences which cost around 10K, so save yourself 10K and just really study them. Again the (inaudible) analogy, if you really want to be a good partner you need to become the raving fan, the most important person in your partner’s life.
You will want to really care about what they want, about what they desire, about what their goals and challenges are. This is not (inaudible) in content creation, study your ideal clients and then give them what they think they need or give them what they want and they are going to love you and they are going to love your content and they are going to give you everything you need.
Joe: There you go, in one answer we have saved you £10,000, we’ve given you some dating tips and some genuine content creation value. C’mon you’ve got your money’s worth out of this podcast for sure, eh?
Dilan, thank you so much for joining me for this podcast.
Dilan: Thank you for having me, it was so fun.
Joe: Well there we go, Dilan Faith there on Essential B2B. I am very proud of my conversion rate on permission-based opener of Will you marry me?
Here are our key takeaways from our chat:
Dilan pointed out that while marketing and sales are not exactly the same thing they share the same ultimate goal, generating revenue for the business. Marketing is essentially sales at scale.
Creating content helps build a relationship between you and your client. Just like dating, so you should not ask for the sale or marriage right away.
Video is a must for every business. But a mixture of text, images and video and let’s say this, podcasts is essential.
Always ask your audience what they would like to see to get a good engagement. I don’t think a lot of people think about this but actually just taking the time to ask what sort of things do you want to see from us is going to prove successful.
Ask questions, do your research, identify patterns of words, themes, struggles and challenges. That will help you create more relevant and valuable content.
As ever, people buy from people so authenticity is essential when you’re creating your content. You should show your human side to help build a personal connection with your audience.
Thanks very much to Dilan for joining me for this conversation and thank you very much for listening. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts to the Essential B2B podcast but we would really love you to rate the show as 5 stars wherever possible. We’ll be back next week with another excellent episode of the Essential B2B podcast.