The Lucky Titan

How to get started with content marketing With Wendy Covey

October 29, 2020 Josh Tapp
The Lucky Titan
How to get started with content marketing With Wendy Covey
Chapters
The Lucky Titan
How to get started with content marketing With Wendy Covey
Oct 29, 2020
Josh Tapp

Wendy Covey is CEO and Co-Founder of a successful technical marketing agency, author, podcast host…and she holds a Texas fishing record. Over the last 20 years, Wendy has helped hundreds of technical companies build trust and fill their pipelines through content marketing.

TREW Marketing | Smart Marketing for Engineers

Our research and hands-on successes marketing to technical audiences will strengthen engineering and technology companies' brand and drive demand.

 https://www.trewmarketing.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendycovey
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088JGJ8QN/ref=dp-kindle-redirect_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1




Show Notes Transcript

Wendy Covey is CEO and Co-Founder of a successful technical marketing agency, author, podcast host…and she holds a Texas fishing record. Over the last 20 years, Wendy has helped hundreds of technical companies build trust and fill their pipelines through content marketing.

TREW Marketing | Smart Marketing for Engineers

Our research and hands-on successes marketing to technical audiences will strengthen engineering and technology companies' brand and drive demand.

 https://www.trewmarketing.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendycovey
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088JGJ8QN/ref=dp-kindle-redirect_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1




Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to The Lucky Titan Podcast and today we have Wendy Covey with us here and it is really exciting interview because Wendy and I actually swapped podcast interviews  and we just an awesome conversation and we just have to had for common here and but I want to introduce her first so Wendy is the CEO and the Co-Founder of True Marketing and the Author of Content Marketing Engineered and I had to read that  that make sure I didn’t get that wrong for you guys but (ahh) that’s a book that I’ll  have to pick up even though I’m not an Engineer because Wendy knows her stuff, So Wendy, I also have to introduce you as this as because we just had a conversation about this but Wendy is also a state record holder for fishing which is incredible for red fish, If you are familiar with that, So Wendy, say what’s up to everybody and tell us about your fishing story, and I usually ask for a different question but I wanna know about fishing. 

Wendy: Why can ask anything elseif we can talk about fishing so..

Josh: Right

Wendy: Perfect! So Hi everybody this is Wendy, Ah yea so 9 years ago, in a grate state of Texas, I was Fishing for trout, so sea trout that you find in the bay of the gulf of Mexico so down near Corpus Christi there’s a view from New Texas and all and so in this trout hole, you know probably every fifth cast catching a trout so very productive giving all the limit and all of a sudden, I got this bite in my line so I started screaming (sound) you know and I thought , okay I’ve caught in Corpus because there’s got a bunch of a (no)  they’re everywhere down there. 

Josh: I was thinking of Shark, Corpus is good too 

Wendy: You know, there are shark too but anyways so finally the line you know  slow down and I started bring this fish in and work in the fish, work in the and anyway it took about an hour to get the fish to the boat and probably the funniest part of the story was, I was fishing with my husband and another couple and the guys went in to the water to way fish, away from the boat and they kinda have an attitude, coz we we’re in the mood, you we just stay in the boat with the guys and listen to the radio, and they were like you know “ugh you know the big fish trough here” you can’t catch a big fish in this, you’re not waiting so  anyway, we harass them quite a bit, when we figure out what is this massive Red Fish and yell and things like “ we need a bigger net” so anyway an hour or later or so we get the fish in and we see this massive old fish and with the record it is normally by weight and this fish is just abnormally long and skinny and really lived long life as far as we could guess and so the guys  said “why don’t think this could be a record, Wendy this is just too way like long and skinny, what do you wanna do?” and said well, I guess let’s take 300 pictures and let him go and so that’s what we did and it turns out that catching release record or by lymph and if you keep them by weight so I beat the record by 9 ½ inches. 

Josh: Oh wow! (laugh) 

Wendy: So Freakishly old long fish that swam a way and lived his  or her days out, you know in the water somewhere, so that’s my story. 

Josh: Awesome! See and that’s every fishdream story at least you have a pictures document and it was a state record and actually a state record (laugh) 

 

Wendy: Still ….. still going. 

 

Josh: 9 ½ inches, that’s kinda be almost impossible to beat your record, so somebody catch that same fish 

Wendy: I hope so. We’ll see, we’ll see. 

Josh: Well, that is pretty amazing and I do love this Wendy because nearly enough this thuspractice our topic we are both talking about fishing and marketing are so similar and I wanna just get your take on what you’ve been doing in your company and how you’ve run a multiple seven figure company, you’re seeing a lot of success. What have you been doing in your business to see so much success? 

Wendy: So yea (it’s)  it’s  interesting question to ask a marketer who owns a Marketing Company right, So you know one thing that we always try to do is, when we test new this, you know whether it is linked in advertising or you know a new way of packaging an content or podcasting, we try to do that in our selves first before our clients, to improve things out and sometimes feel forward so that something we’ve always done, so we’ve been pretty innovative I believe, over the past 12 years, being in the business but the biggest success has come from investing and inbound marketing, content marketing and not just saying that because that’s what we do, it truly been  a joy for the past 3 years we haven’t done any sales prospecting and  what so ever, and every single lead has come through by filling us at acontact us form you know downloading E-Books, none of it happen from us needing to (you know) crawl up the pipe line in our data base or you know paper lane haven’t forbid or anything like that so, we really subscribe to the model of utilize content to help people, find your website, build trust with them capture that lead (and then) and then wait.. you know and watch for buy and signs that is ready to have sales engagement and so I also were to have the primary sales person within my company and I (I) just know how hard it is we have to prospect and how lovely it is when you’re talking to some who is eager for that conversation or better yet asking for that conversation and it’s just the control is different, the conversation’s different everything about that dynamic is better so. 

Josh: Yea, So and inbound marketing might be something that is, I would even say just a mystery to most people who are in the in online spaces specially because for preach to constantly run Facebook Ads, do YouTube Ads, do Goggle Ads, but you are not talking any of that stuffs, you are talking content strategy, So give us a little background or not a background but I guess structure how you would do content marketing for an online business. 

Wendy: Yea so your jokes meant that you might pick up my bookeven though it is targeted to technical company an although it is the tendencyare really the same for any company of the basics of how you do content marketing ans so it’s start with identifying whoyour target (ahm) persona is and really putting yourself in their shoes and so one of the pin points is their experiencing in their job how do they search for information, you know what channels do they use and so I’ll give you an example (ahm) you know Instagram, (is) a newer social media channel if you will and there’s a certain demographics  that is very heavily involve in utilizing Instagram but you know 55 year old Engineer is on Instagram soyou really need to think about who it is you are trying to attract, where to find them and what to say to them right, so speaking to their pin points and having a right value proposition is really important and so once you have figured out that’s when you are ready to create a set of content for that person that helps them you know find you in surge, go to your website and then help educate them so by sharing your knowledge you’re building credibility but you’re also you know being generous, right in helping them along their buyers journey. 

Josh: Yea and so there (you know) you’re talking about working with somebody really specific niche that’s why you build a company on your own that is something when we first talk I was like wait “really?” because honestly…. 

Wendy: only companies targeting technical audiences and very much Engineering, Wow yea. 

Josh: Yea I heard it so funny too, in the marketing space everybody says the one audience do not market you are engineers. 

Wendy: (laugh) 

Josh: they’ve got, they’ve set their ways, they don’t want to spend money so how would been overcoming that barrier you know, I mean your content obviously overcomes it but what specifically do you do to helps sell people like that

Wendy: Yea they are a challenging group and that they’re also a grip and very data driven so early on when myself and my colleague at that time when we found this company and we started working with clients we would use data to back up our own experience you know in recommendations but we are frustrated at that time because all the data out there was B2B Marketing, how to do this in B2B space and we knew from working within an engineering company, all of our professional careers, that engineers aren’t your normal B2B buyer, their behaviors’ a little bit different, so we started conducting  annual research studies and we would partner up with different industry, publications andanother industry funded toget exposure to large data base, get better credibility and it’s work really well for us so we are in our 8 year doing this primary research and so now I am non only  in the position thru marketing is an expert in marketing to engineers but we know their behavior and it help us you know provide a better recommendations and help every marketer out there, that’s (that’s) targeting these audience, so my advice to you out there that’s have a niche definitely think about research studies, it’s an extremely  good way to have lead generation (ahm) you know piece of content on your websites as well as you know how well it positions you. 

 

Josh: Yea I love that, so walk me through a little bit, what’s what are you talking about these research studies; this is a new whole area for me…

Wendy: Ah Yeah. 

 

Josh: I’ll ask genuine questions, so as you are creating these research studies, what are you looking for (ahm) with the research I mean, the data, every say the data right? 

Wendy: it is fun because each year we change it up a little bit so (ahm) at a base level we’re seeking to figure out how engineer seeking consume information to make purchase decisions, what channel do they use, what types of content do they prefer, do they use social media channels, which ones do they find most least valuable so questions like that, is email still alive that would be something you know we would ask a lot, so we ask about how many e-newsletters do you subscribe to, you know and how likely are you to open each one and so you could imagine that there is findings helps some marketer instantly reallocate their budget , do things better. 

Josh: Yea

Wendy: now, ahm last year we focus on millennial engineer and we ask a lot of questions and on video consumptions as well as social and that prove to be interesting to see that video consumption and we looked at the podcasting a little bit too but we really that focus on video finding as we might as expected that video adaption was much higher the younger you get in the professionals you know age group. 

Josh: right 

Wendy: but this year, our study is focus on because of Covid, the loss of trade shows, you know trade shows are still a very interesting channel for engineering and technical companies so then with the absence of those where people going so we ask questions about virtual events, you know have engineer participate in there so they find valuable are there more or less likely to participate moving forward there’s not a vaccine and (ahm) so I can’t spoil the results because we are publishing next month but definitely have some interesting findings there 

Josh: Wow! That’s awesome and so where are you finding these people right, you are reaching out to them getting these information, you said you’re partner with a data company or what, how’d you do that? 

Wendy: Yea so we partner with the company called IEEE GlobalSpec and this company is a (you know) day to day job is they have directory listings and other educational resourcesfor engineers so there’s just a wonderful you know we’re targeting the same person but different reason together, we team up and so they have names, we have names, you know I analyze the survey, they design the report but we work together with our collective knowledge to come up with the findings and then promote this in our respective channels. 

Josh: That is awesome and you both have access to the data for all send back

Wendy: Correct

Josh: Wow! 

Wendy: Data and names, and we share all of, you know the names, that we gather we do join webinar as well as the reports so we share at least those initial you know lead with one another so that we both have “hey” you know fresh new people coming in. 

Josh: right yea, jeez that’s really cool and so you know I think that’s such really a unique way to provide content because you are providing, I mean look for this way you’re an engineer and you’re looking out how to alright (give us one good thing) marketing to engineering right you’re saying I wanna know, what they consume your contents going to be number 1 thing they like, they consume so how do get the engineers to come to the content if it’s about engineers (laugh)

Wendy: Yea yea well, so again, so our target audience is yea I can tell you’re thinking who is it, yea so it’s both the marketer (No) you nailed it tho, the marketer and the technical business owner are the two primary personas that’s your marketing works with and so if you can imagine if I am talking to a marketer it is a very different conversation then that Engineer turns CEO, and so that’s the one I think you are asking about and so (they) They’re very skeptical of here’s one that we get a lot. Engineer will never fill out of form, we keep any form in front for information but of course  they’ll turn around and say where are the leads, we need leads (laugh) and we’re like okay forms and mechanism to get leads, they’re like content and the content we’re really good, here’s the data in this research report to share that engineers are willing to fill out forms but I can even tell you based on the research they stop at the question 4 if not question 5 and you better not have 6 or 7 question in that form and I can even tell you which things to put on the form that they’re more less likely to provide. 

Josh: Interesting, because you’ve split test it.

Wendy: That’s right, yea

Josh: that’s cool Yea, so because (laugh) I’m glad you see that I’m asking you genuine question of kinda formulated as we talked, but I’m really curious about your content strategy, and how you coming because you see data is used to be one of the biggest pieces that drives it, but then who’d you choose which content you should put out for them. 

Wendy: Yea so it really comes back to that audience persona so going back to (ahm) we call that “Marie” is the name of our persona of that engineer business owner and then we have (ahh) Sara over here and she’s the marketing person under technical company and so we think about the pain they go through in their job, you know why they’re searching for a solution, what it is they are searching on and then we build content around that. You know so some of it educational resources, some of it very specific tactical blog post, so (ahm) you know Sara often is like a lone ranger like a one marketing person in a technical company and she has no one event of have, she’s got to have  difficult job, she’s kinda trying to know everythingabout every single marketing channel it’s kind a have not setting her up for success, the way it’s structure, without having somebody to help them so we try to think about that one person marketing team and right for that person and its very different than convincing Marie why they should have invent in inbound marketing or how to measure success or what is our why you know what our why to expect  over the time

Josh: Yea, I loved that. So you know, So for anybody who’s listening to this, a lot of us services every different industries and content can be one of those thing that’s so overwhelming so what kind of your strategy, what would you recommend  to somebody who’s just starting out into the content game. 

Wendy : Yea Great so I would start with one sheet of find that audience persona and in you are focusing on that one person, we use a strategy imagine a mind map where in this center you have a central theme so this could be a problem that they’re trying to solve or a key service of yours, once your theme is establish think about all the topics cascading out of that theme that you could write about and so just brain storm, just 1o minutes on every single topic you know they would wanna search on, that you are good at providing and they once you have that then you can assign what type of content is this topic will suit for, is it a case study, is it white paper E-book, infographic pod-post you name it (ahm) so that  way you can map out content and then the last thing you need to do is to think about buyer’s journey so which piece of content where they going to find first and then how do you get them a little further engage with you and then what are those assets all the way though the sales assets that they need once they get on the call and then find the secure meeting with this person, is it PowerPoint presentation, Is it a demo script, is it an email template that they could use for outreach so you wanna cover that whole journey while thinking like I said think of the persona you know ever top of mind which you search that out.

 

Josh: right, I love that, the mind map concept, for anybody doesn’t know, it’s like a web right that you have the circle, the center and then you drop a bunch of circle around, I love that concept because what you are talking about isn’t tailored come up with about just random things it’s just tying in to the one to one person and I think anyone who’s in the marketing role knows that I need to be tailoring this to my customer there’s so many ways you could call it right? this your persona, your target audience, your avatar all of these things but you know when it comes down to producing this content how are you getting it to where it is being seen by your ideal  customer as well obviouslythe questions are you’re answering that questions but how do get in-front of them 

 

Wendy: Yea so once you know,let’s say (where, where) once you’ve have your topic, you’ve written your content which of course that’s a whole another podcast for us, and then need publishing and promoted and so your website of course should be first place you turn absolutely hundred percent first your website and (ahm) a great search optimization tool as well as to help your visitors is to have (ahm) what we call a pillar page so think of a long scrolling page all dedicated to this theme and you have different content asset so marketing planning is one of my website for an instance so we introduce what marketing planning is why it is important maybe have e video explaining that and then just scroll down the page you’ll learn about what is the marketing planning process, you’ll see an e-book about marketing planning maybe the research study pops up as an offer and just scroll further and further and we have all these different assets that get people to the point where either they’re ready to be a do it yourself or go train a marketing plan provided those nuggets of information or they read it all and understand the process that but also acknowledge they’re not best equip to create their marketing plan and they need culture marketing have us do it in their behalf so again pillar page, long scrolling  so  in the next page can optimize for search, right? so you have your normal SEO data that you apply to made a data all about but what google is really looking for, for their algorithm is to see demonstrated expertise in the subject and so the more assets that we linked together in this page the more there thus that so (ahm) you know that’s the big holy grill right, is organic search, you know  if the search is old it gets up there pretty high in your results 

Josh: Yeah well and so for a company that you come In and consult for example, would you recommend that the owner write this content or there’s goes directly to I mean sublimation outsource. 

Wendy:  … ah that’s a tough one to answer, I would say for the companies we work with they’re absolutely needs to be a subject matter expert involved in the process you write a very needy technical content and you can imagine you have to be very accurate when taking about you know RF communications or test and measurement devises or (ah) chips on the board that are imbedded on your face maker, you need to get those details perfect, so we found that the best combination is to have subject matter expert work with the writer who is skilled in writing in that genre so for technical, not every writer can write for technical audience, they’re need to be someone who has work in a space before and can at least appreciate how to structure  things for that audience so that goes the same with financial or healthcare whatever it is if the writer place and that space they going to just do a better job, frankly, but having subject matter expert do writing on their own with that break sound they don’t necessarily (ahm) or maybe they joy writing, they’re really not good at writing so the piece might be I don’t know a little bit too in leads or maybe (have)  wrong tone that’s not consistent with the rest of the company’s tone so there’s just a little thing like that a writer will get write and that subject matter would get struggle with 

Josh: Yea that’s make total sense that really unique take, because can have two people writing the piece of content really the subject matter experts is there to make sure it is correct and then the writer is there to make it sexy 

Wendy: Yeah, Yeah and structured well and then all also you need to think about that the piece context of where will be publish, how well it be promoted, you know  if this part of this long scroll pillar page then some someone needs to be thinking about how is it position and not overlap too much with the seller thing so there’s a lot of thinking goes involve, it gets involve that’s really subject matter expert may not wanna spend time doing right they just wanna spin out their knowledge and move on to the next thing.

Josh: Which tends to be the case because they’re more usually time strap in their mind than anything so that’s awesome well so when it comes down to it, you know the marketing strategy you are talking about is to basically figure out who are your ideal customer or your ideal persona as you said, make a mind map of a content you could be using, write a content using a subject matter expert and then you post it into you website and what are the other places would you recommend posting this content to? 

W: yea so we found our paid content placement worked really well on industry publication websites so again when it is a made a peace of content that’s great call of action we found out LinkedIn advertising performs very well  for at least our, in our domain, yea and we found google advertising does not perform well if you are targeting technical audiences so again, this gets in to the new ones of where your particular audience goes to see confirmation and its really different from industry to industry 

Josh: That’s cool so would you recommend like doing in to a publication like if you are targeting entrepreneurs, you target entrepreneur magazine like you find a paid placement there. (ahh) 

W: Yea …found (24:20) if I it can be really expensive and noisy to go to the ones you would think of first like entrepreneur magazines I mean that’s not like right everybody like fast company and so really think about niching down a bit and going into some those more specific publication so maybe it’s one for entrepreneurs that are just focus in a certain industry or certain type of company or like a franchise and (agm) you’ll, it will be more approachable price rise and less noisy to do it that way. 

Josh: That’s awesome! And as far as content goes on is it just it always has to be written or typically ordo you do also video, or audio or what do you do?

W: yea so again this goes back to your persona and but even if I say that we see that video adaption just keeps on climbing up and up and up and same with podcast often so I think it’s always smart to mixed in video and repurpose content to many ways as possible right, so I imagine with this podcast you probably publish this video in long form or maybe you make it short form version for it, for you know sharing it socially ‘cause no one you know in LinkedIn is gonna watch the whole thing sitting there but they might be in YouTube and there’s of course there’s the audio only version that people can listen to either walking to neighborhood or driving where ever people drive these days, not for work but maybe (laugh) 

Josh: (laugh) So yea that’s cool I do love this concept, I can ask a lot of question about this but you really pick of my interest, on the paid content placement so I just probably just a research on that because we have thought of doing that we are looking for a content game so just the reason that I ask. So one final question for you on the content, have you found that when you’re, when you’re placing this content that you’re doing this paid content and ends up paying self-deploy that where you can track the result, so if you were to put in a let’s just say  thousand dollars into posting your piece of content on into magazine or something do you typically have a good ROI target that you should for?

Wendy: Oh well that’s a great question so I don’t off the head specific ROI target for specific placement, I mean you can certainly there’s a formula that you can use, that, that is the ration that cost you to number of sale or cost to leads or cost to versus impressions and so just depends on what is it you are selling so for instance for my book we run in an Amazon ad campaign and you know in everything is how many book do we sell versus how much do we spent in this ad and you can watch this percentage change as the weeks go by you know in the link of this ad has been running, there’s certainly you can be formulated like that (ahm) my pet peeve metric is impressions, I mean I just, to me that is not meaningful at the end of the day how many people flipped on this page that might add just happened to be sitting on, right? I could care less, I wanna see how many visit do it  drives to my website, how many leads that I get and then if you’re call to action and relates back to ads specifically and then later the person that’s the trigger that call to action into purchasing now you’re able to  get your whole campaign in cash so you have the ability to do that tools that have spot can allow you to that but if you are using this content call to action in you website into e-book, formini different channels you won’t be able to necessary track it back to which channel converted so you just have to architect it you know as detailed as you want the results to be. 

Josh: yea I love that, ‘coz I knowfor us, I know, our personally marketing methods is to constantly we track the number and almost annoyingly so my partners… 

Wendy: what do you track? What number? Which is your favorite?

Josh: the number is you. We care more about actionable steps that people take because I cannot tell you how funny it is when people are like to have a hundred thousand followers and I have a 3% engagement rate and I am like that was awful and how many sales did you make, that’s what you care about right? is how much money came in after all send in and that’s why I ask because one of the big readings people don’t do the content game is because it’s a branding activities and they just put it out and there and … 

 

Wendy: that’s very measurable, very very measurable, however you do bend a tool like a hubspot or something like that in place in order to measure things but yes I mean digital marketing is fantastic because you can follow all of this and so people will be trying QR code’ or special URL and the end of the day people’s behavior still just to type company’s URL and the poke around till find their assets so Ahm its difficult Ahm you know when you’re imprint you to figure things out. 

 

Josh: yea that’s kind of a thing that I like un digital space for that reason but it depends in who are your audiences, right because engineers might reads magazine more then you know an entrepreneur on all the way around. 

Wendy: I have data to tell you (laugh) 

 

Josh: that call your numbers from you for free, so let me ask you this Wendy, we’re kinda coming up stand on our time here, so give us a little bit of information on the book you just wrote, you know being able to launch a book could pretty difficult that was one of the big pieces of content so tell us a little bit about what it is and where we can find it.   

 

Wendy: sure so the book is called Content Marketing Engineer and it is a very practical guide to out in together content marketing strategy and executing that strategies so it is written to be very approachable for two kinds of people the do it for yourself for that’s for doing your best practice and how you do things better and it is targeted to persons that’s wants to understand what content marketing is, what are all the pieces, they may not necessarily wanna go implement all of it but they wanna understand how process works

 

Josh: right, love that and so you’ve been using the piece of a bit of content but I mean it’s a pretty successful book it sounds like. So it’s pretty awesome so everybody make sure you check out the Content Marketing Engineered book, make sure you check in amazon correct? 

 

Wendy: it’s in Amazon and in my website at trewmarketing.com 

 

Josh:Awesome. So make sure everybody head over to trewmarketing.com, Wendy is a great person to follow, obviously they’re on content space they know what they are doing over there, so go check out her content over there and Wendy before we sign out today, could you give us one final parting piece of guidance. 

 

Wendy: oh gosh like the world is in my oyster on it, anything? Anything?

Josh: Yes anything. 

Wendy: you know content marketing can be intimidating and so I would just recommend breaking it down starting from where you are, figure out what assets you have in your company today, that you could be promoting, utilizing better, so I give you quick example, one of my client have this presentation they give at the conference and it was an evergreen piece of content, it is called Introduction to Dynamometers if you must know. But it that was just something that was just a basic how to, and we ask the person hey why do you record yourself presenting this and then let’s make automated webinar and that thing is still one of their number one web producers 7-8 years later. 

Josh: wow 

Wendy: Because it was evergreen it was a piece of content that they’re already had, so your best piece of content might already be sitting on, Dropbox or hard drive somewhere so surf where you are don’t be intimidated and just build out your content over time.