The Yin and Yang of Content with Terminus' Brad Beutler and Jillian MacNulty
Lindsay Tjepkema: Welcome to our new show, the amplified marketing podcast, where we get into the challenges content marketers face, and look to the brands who are already knocking down obstacles and raising the quality of their content with a little something called amplified marketing. It's what we've preached here at Casted from the very beginning, how to create the most meaningful content and then get the most traction from that content by ringing it out across all channels. These interviews are our first season. They were all recorded as part of a special event to officially kickstart this new approach to content marketing. And we dive into the components of amplified marketing, the strategies that work best, and reveal just how much of an impact this new approach can have on your business. But we also explore the ways that amplified marketing makes life easier and more efficient for content marketers out there trying to be creative and relevant and cut through the noise. This is where the change begins. I'm Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and co- founder of Casted, the first and only amplified marketing platform made specifically for B2B marketers. And this is our new podcast. What do Sasquatch dumpster fires and Dunder Mifflin all have in common? Okay. They were each just a central part of some pretty interesting and downright creative marketing campaigns that our guests on today's show worked together to create. Brad Beutler, content marketing director and Jillian MacNulty, senior content marketing manager, both of Terminus have created a kind of Terminus time space continuum of super engaging content. But it's not just about being crazy creative. They've developed a yin and yang to their content strategy. A complementary balance of fun and creative. And the, what would some say is maybe less fun, but critical side of managing a content calendar, having a distribution strategy, and including necessary things like SEO in your plan. What makes it all come together and drive results? I'll give you a little hint. It starts with amplified and ends with marketing. That's right. Brad and Jillian believe that for every project you launch, you have to create a post- launch amplification plan. I agree. That will get your content out to the widest audience possible, maybe amplifying your reach. And they do that by repurposing, refreshing, and reusing the content all across multiple channels that where their audience can find it and engage with it. And in this special session from our recent amplify event, they break down how you can do it too.
Jillian MacNulty: Welcome everyone to Jillian and Brad's super Zen content marketing dojo. I am Jillian. And this is Brad.
Brad Beutler: Hi, I'm Brad. I am the chillest content marketer right now this side of the Mississippi.
Jillian MacNulty: We are so Zen and we are from the Terminus marketing team who has brought you very Zen content. Introducing break inaudible and event. Not actually getting in there, right? That was a figure speech? And we are here to talk to you about how to achieve content Nirvana by amplifying your marketing and making sure you have a wonderful team around you who can focus on different parts of your content marketing strategy. We can't be the Zen the whole time, so we're not going to do that.
Brad Beutler: Spoiler alert. We're actually kind of loud and we like to have fun.
Jillian MacNulty: Yeah. I hope you guys turned up your volume for that first part because now we're going to blow out your eardrums with our energy. As we said in our very Zen intro, my name is Jillian MacNulty. I'm senior content marketing manager at Terminus. And I am here to represent the yang of today's content marketing yin and yang. I'd like to introduce my yin counterpart. This is Brad Beutler, director of content marketing. Brad, explain what a yin is.
Brad Beutler: That's right. I'd be happy to. We are going to dive into all of that today. How we complement each other, how we work alongside each other. We like to have a lot of fun. And it doesn't happen overnight to where you have a counterpart like this and you have a team to where you can focus on all aspects of content, but we have achieved that and we are proud and more than happy to talk through that. Just talk about all the cool things we've been doing, how we messed up, what we've learned along the way, how we can complement each other with our content strategy. At Terminus, I'm focusing on boring things like SEO in organizing our content, and is it on the content calendar, and what's next. Personally, I love all of that. So I'm here to tell you it's okay to love that, but you need both sides of the equation. Jillian has such a creative brain for thinking up of new campaigns, new designs, man, new messaging. I'm very bad at that stuff, but together we've achieved a lot and we've done a lot of cool things. So anyways. I'm so excited to dive into all of that. And I think you guys will find some of value in what we've learned along the way.
Jillian MacNulty: We are so excited to share with you guys how we've achieved our own content Nirvana. As Brad said, he is the yin. And I think all the stuff he does is so boring, but I'm so glad he does it. So glad he enjoys it because then I get to do what I consider the really fun stuff of the creative process, thinking of how we can push the boundaries and get the Terminus brand in front of people. That's how some of our crazy projects that we showed you earlier came about. And then also the super important part, which we will focus a lot on in the back half of this presentation, which is creative launch plans for your product or your project, excuse me, with a surround sound approach to your launch. But then even more importantly, how to amplify that post- launch and continue repurposing and reusing and reworking that content in ways that will continue to get in front of people along the way. None of that can happen without Brad and I and our yin and yang skills and mentalities. So Brad, can you please explain to our wonderful little Padawans today how we think about content here at Terminus?
Brad Beutler: More than happy to. You see this visual up on the side now? I want to jump to another visual first. If you think about in Google analytics, your website traffic graph, and you see the up and down, you see the spikes, you see the really great website days, whatever you measure whether it's website visitors, or downloads, or whatever it may be. You have some really great days, some big spikes, and some lower, maybe slower days. That's okay. That's normal. Right? We live for those big spikes. What Jillian and her team does, like the big announcement, the campaign launch, those are your really fun, big website days. I love focusing on the slower growth. I love comparing a year at a time or two years and seeing that slowly or hopefully quickly trend up into the right. It won't be perfect. It won't be a straight line. You'll have a lot of dips. But hopefully along the way, you'll see a continued growth. I think it's important to have both of those. And you kind of need to do the fun stuff, the big launches, and the boring stuff alongside to make that happen because you can't just live and die on just those big website days. That's impossible to keep up with. It's very hard to rely on that. So with this slide, I'm here to explain that and much more on how we think about content. For us, it's all about a balanced approach. We invest a lot in our brand because we're confident that will then translate into thought leadership demand and ultimately more traffic and opportunities for our sales team. So you see different, we'll call them phases here, different areas of focus that we use and sprinkle across our content calendar. Of course, we have brand content. Of course, we have an end year campaign where maybe Jillian's in a dumpster and maybe it's lit on fire. You know? Of course, we have thought leadership where our PR team is incredible and they are driving so much referral traffic on that article that our CEO published because we want to be a thought leader in this particular subject. And of course we're driving demand. We have those tactical PDFs for our sales team to use, for our demand team to use, to drive that interest in initial education to get people into our pipeline. I'm here to try to organize all that madness, put it on a calendar, march towards due dates. Once it's out, make sure our CS and sales team knows about it, gets familiar with it, they're confident about talking about it with customers and prospects, and then let's repurpose it with SEO. So if we're doing all of that, let's say thought leadership for example, and we're publishing an ABM benchmarks report. I'm here to make sure that while we put a lot of time and effort into that report, we don't want it to collect dust on a resource hub. Let's make sure we rank for ABM benchmark report and make sure more people find it because we need to maximize that investment. So long story short. Multiple areas of focus are needed in your overall content strategy. I don't think one is more important than the other, but they all do complement each other. And man, if you can do all of them really well alongside each other, great things will happen for your team.
Jillian MacNulty: And I think something that I love so much about the way that we think about content at Terminus is that it really is that continuum. And we always have multiple projects and pieces of content in the works from each of those categories from brand thought leadership and demand, and all the have come from different places. Like, I know Brad, a lot of times will think like you will have the SEO strategy in mind and go," Hey, I really could use another piece of content that will fit well in this specific keyword." And then, that helps us think of a cool creative piece of content to include on those pages that you need the SEO for. And then, it ends up being a great piece of content for our thought leadership category. You know? So it really does. I know we've got the two arrows that kind of come towards it. They're constantly, criscrossing, constantly going back and forth. Different pieces of content are coming from different needs and coming from different places. And it really is a continuum, which I think is really cool.
Brad Beutler: Absolutely. And you can learn from each phase as well and make each phase better. So yeah. They work well together if done right.
Jillian MacNulty: Let's talk practicals now of exactly how we at Terminus launch a piece of content that we poured our little content marketing hearts and souls into, and then how we continue to amplify that throughout its journey. So on initial launch, at Terminus obviously we're an ABM platform, so we love the idea of multi- channel. We love the idea of surround sound. We love the idea of hitting a prospect at every angle with content that's going to be relevant to them. So when we launch a piece of content, it really is a surround sound approach. So we're going to take an example of a piece that we launched, I believe it was last year, and it was an ebook called If Dunder Mifflin had ABM; which also this is another thing I love about being yin and yang is that sometimes Brad and I do cross over. This was a Brad piece. And this was one of our best and most creative, like best performing creative piece of content last year. And this was a yin baby. This was totally Brad. So we do cross over. And I think that's also important when you're building a team that you are able to both focus on both sides of the coin. Like, you cannot just relegate one person to be the strategy SEO; that's all they focus on. You cannot relegate one person to being like," We're just going to throw confetti in the air and do whatever we want all the time." You really do have to have people that are going to be able to cross over those lines and understand that you have to be able to have that continuum mindset. But anyway. Just had to give Brad props where it was due because this was a fantastic piece of contact and you had fun making it.
Brad Beutler: I had too much fun. Yes. A rare appearance here from inaudible. It turns out hours of Netflix watching with The Office came into play with my job. How great is that? It was a risk. I mean, writing a fictional case study isn't your conventional yin content. So we knew we were taking a shot here and we had to make the most of it. We knew how much time it took to write it, to design it, to get it ready. So of course we are going to utilize every channel we have available to us to make sure it gets to the right people because ultimately Jillian and I need to come back to our boss and say, " Here's how many views it drove. Here's the impact it had. Here's all the accounts that are talking about it. High impact accounts. And ultimately, here's how it helped our team." So we were ready. We were ready to share it, measure it, make sure those who were most important to us had it and read it. And we got a good reaction out of them. So we still use it today. And I think it just goes back to our beginning mentality of how many different ways and then how many different channels can use this thing.
Jillian MacNulty: And it truly was a surround sound approach on launch, which was awesome. Our team really thought of it from every angle and from every channel. So the ebook itself was an interactive experience that our incredible design team built on Ceros, which allows us to create really, really cool interactive, clickable Easter egg, hideable pieces of content. So that was the piece of content in itself. Great for high engagement. The way we promoted it was we had targeted display and social ads for this piece. We had an email signature banner that went out with every single outbound email that we sent. We did that with the Terminus email experiences functionality. And then, we also sent out a mass email to our whole email database because we knew this was going to be a piece that most people would enjoy, because who doesn't love The Office? And then within the experience we took it one step further. We actually used Terminus chats to create a personalized chat bot that you could chat with different Dunder Mifflin characters. So our incredible ABM team here who are like chat experts basically got to have a super fun time of creating a bunch of different chat bots for Pam and Jim and Dwight. And you could chat with a bunch of people from Dunder Mifflin within the content experience. So total surround sound approach. Now, the launch went incredibly well. It was received really well. That doesn't always happen. There have been plenty of launches that we've had. For example, when we launched our Cards Against Marketing game, which ended up doing very, very well, but not until months later. Like, when we initially launched Cards Against Marketing, I am not afraid to say it was kind of a flop. Like, we had maybe five people order decks. All of a sudden, four months later, when we did a repush of it, we had a couple people have physical decks in their hands and people started sharing it. Had a total viral effect. So then we did another campaign around it and now we've sold hundreds of decks of that card game. And it was so much fun. So not every launch is going to go off without a hitch. You're not going to get the numbers you need, which is where amplification of your content comes into play. Now, resharing four months later isn't really our vibe. Like, we'll do it, but we know there's a better way to do it because if you didn't get people the first time, there's a lot of stuff at play, but more than likely it was the format or the channel or something like that. So we like to take the content we've written, repurpose it in a way. So with that piece of content, with the ebook, we said," Let's make it a webinar." Let's add in some trivia questions. Let's incentivize people to join with the fun Office trivia aspect, but then also talk about," Hey, this is actually a pretty high level education on how ABM can work within your business, but we're going to talk about it within the case of Dunder Mifflin." So it made a high level educational concept really fun and digestible. And then the trivia on top of it with prizes, like it was a hit. We had 400 people register for that webinar. We obviously followed up with the ebook in our follow up reach out. So that was a whole 400 other people who had eyes on the original ebook, but then also 400 people who watched this webinar and listened to Brad and Atalia Detolo, our other team member, talk through what ABM is and talk through how it could help a company like Dunder Mifflin. So that was incredible. And we enjoyed that kind of repurposing as well. Then, because that's not enough, you got to keep going. Then, we turned that webinar recording into a show on our TTV channel. TTV is actually very exciting. We just launched this a little bit ago. TTV is Terminus's streaming channel. So you can get it on Amazon Fire stick, Roku, and Apple TV, and then it's also a desktop app that you can get. And it's basically just all of our bingeable video content. So we repurpose our webinars and we put them on TTV so that people can continue to watch them and consume them on their own time. We do gate it. So we got a hundred additional leads captured through putting how ABM could have helped Dunder Mifflin, the webinar recording on TTV. So that's a whole new audience that we've reached in their own time. And then also, we use Wistia for hosting our videos, which gives us very deep analytics into watching patterns. And so then, we were able to see exactly where the drop off was in this webinar recording, how many people stayed on till the end, how many people stayed, were there spikes and engagement in certain places, we were able to see all that. And that helps us to refine and figure out our webinar strategy moving forward. So as you can see with this whole amplification of our content, not only did we get more leads and more eyes on our content, but we also got deeper data and analytics on our customer's behaviors, which helps then, here's the continuum, helps cycle through and influence the next phase and chapter of our Terminus content strategy.
Brad Beutler: The continuum. It's back in full effect-
Jillian MacNulty: It's always rolling it.
Brad Beutler: This was so much fun to think up and execute. Sure. Silly case study. But it represented so much more than that to us. Like, what did we learn from this? If you present an educational ABM thing in like a fun engaging way and stick a theme on it, people are very engaged and they want to participate. And if you can keep them engaged during a webinar where like you don't have to take yourself too seriously and throw in some trivia and some prizes and all of that, it makes it really fun. And that chat in that webinar was like the most fun I've had in a webinar. Just people engaging, throwing out trivia, other trivia questions from their Office watching. If you also take a step back and think about how many weeks this filled up on the content calendar, also amazing to think about. Again, a silly case study turned into a very engaging piece of content that we still use a year later into a webinar that drove however many registrations and then into a repurposed TV show. Like, we are still using it to this day. And that has drove engagement in key accounts, top of funnel engagement, all of that to this day of what started with just a piece of content in a few weeks on the content calendar. So it can definitely extend past its shelf life. I think we learned that. I think we learned educational content is important, but making it fun and engaging is even more important. And then, just being self- aware of how much work you've put into it and trying to utilize it in many different channels and many different forms was probably my biggest takeaway of all this. So super proud of this campaign. I love talking about this all the time.
Jillian MacNulty: Thank you guys so much for joining us in our little content marketing dojo today. Biggest takeaways from today, I would say, are number one, make sure you've got the yin and yang covered on your team. And if you don't, then you might have to convince the higher ups to get a little extra help in there because it's very good to have both perspectives. Number two, you've got to create good creative content to feed your content machine. And number three, amplify the heck out of it. Launch is important, but we probably argue amplification might be even a little bit more important than that launch because there are a lot of factors in play for that launch. So cover your bases and that is how you can achieve content marketing zen. Thank you guys so much for joining us today. It's been so much fun.
Brad Beutler: Thank you.
Jillian MacNulty: Bye.
Lindsay Tjepkema: That's our show. Thank you so much for watching and listening. And to learn more about all of the incredible things that Jillian and Brad are working on, make sure to visit terminus. com and check out the roof video series and Flip My Funnel podcast and all of the other incredible content that they're creating and publishing and amplifying across multiple channels. To learn more about how Casted can help you, visit casted. us and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get all things amplified marketing, and B2B podcasting, and B2B audio and video, and so much more.
What do Saxsquatch, Dumpster Fires, and Dunder Mifflin all have in common? (wait, look around) They were each a central part of some pretty interesting and downright creative marketing campaigns that our guests on today’s show worked together to create. Brad Beutler, Content Marketing Director, and Jillian MacNulty, Senior Content Marketing Manager of Terminus have created a kind of Terminus Time-Space Continuum of super-engaging content. But it’s not just about being crazy creative. They’ve developed a yin and yang to their content strategy. A complimentary balance of the fun creative side and the (what some would say is) less fun but critical side of managing a content calendar, having a distribution strategy, and including necessary things like SEO in your plan.
What makes it all come together and drive results? I’ll give you a hint, it starts with amplified and ends with marketing.
That’s right, Brad and Jillian believe that for every project you launch, you have to create a post-launch amplification plan that will get your content out to the widest audience possible, and they do that by repurposing, refreshing, and reusing the original content in all the channels their audience is in. And in this special session from our recent AMPLIFY event, they break down how you can do it, too.