Attention Arbitrage: When Narrow Ideas are Perfect with ZoomInfo’s Sam Balter

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This is a podcast episode titled, Attention Arbitrage: When Narrow Ideas are Perfect with ZoomInfo’s Sam Balter. The summary for this episode is: <p>There's a misconception that in order for marketing to be creative, you have to sell a product or service that is hip and cool and exciting. But newsflash, some of the most innovative and creative marketing campaigns come from brands in unexpected spaces. I mean, think about it. It's all about understanding your audience and finding a creative perspective to connect with them,</p><p><br></p><p>My guest today is Sam Balter, Director of editorial content at ZoomInfo. And he's the guy who truly loves content marketing and uses it in creative ways to engage an audience some might think that would be hard to reach, and that's all the hardcore fans of date out there. ZoomInfo has a lot of its own data. I mean, it's what they do, it's a lot. And when they were thinking about what they could do with it to grow their audience, Sam came up with the ingenious idea of taking all that data, turning it into content for different channels, and building the brand's story off of conversations. That's when the Talk Data TO Me podcast was born. Don't you love that name? And since then, Sam has been refining his creative process and is always looking for new ways to use that incredibly valuable content to reach new audiences and continue to grow the brand.</p><p><br></p><p>In this very special session, from our recent Amplify event, Sam discusses his views on the state of content marking today. What's working, what's not, and where he sees new opportunities popping up like Attention Artibtrage. Let's dive in.</p><p><br></p><p>Key Takeaways</p><p>05:47&nbsp;-&nbsp;08:20🎢 The highs and lows of a content calendar</p><p>08:44&nbsp;-&nbsp;11:36🚛 Delivering unique content with a purpose</p><p>15:22&nbsp;-&nbsp;17:57💸 Focus on Attention Arbitrage</p><p>24:06&nbsp;-&nbsp;26:48👏 Create a space where marketers can fail, and learn from mistakes</p><p>30:12&nbsp;-&nbsp;34:11📣 Takeaways for content leaders to bring creativity back in to play</p><p><br></p><p>Resources</p><p><a href="https://www.zoominfo.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">ZoomInfo Website</a></p><p><a href="https://podcast.zoominfo.com/public/57/Talk-Data-to-Me-78c09593" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Talk Data To Me Podcast</a></p>
🎢 The highs and lows of a content calendar
02:33 MIN
🚛 Delivering unique content with a purpose
02:51 MIN
💸 Focus on Attention Arbitrage
02:34 MIN
👏 Create a space where marketers can fail, and learn from mistakes
02:42 MIN
📣 Takeaways for content leaders to bring creativity back in to play
03:58 MIN

Lindsay: Welcome to our new show, the Amplified Marketing Podcast, where we get into the challenges that content marketers face and look at the brands who are already knocking down obstacles and raising the quality of their content with a little something called Amplified Marketing, of course. 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 and amplifying it across all channels. These interviews for our first season were recorded as part of a very, very special event to officially kickstart this new approach to content marketing. We dive into the components of Amplified Marketing, the strategies that work best and reveal just how much of an impact that this new approach can have on your business. But we also explore all the ways that Amplified Marketing makes life easier and more efficient for the content marketers out there who are struggling 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 and we're made specifically for B2B marketers. And this is our new podcast. There's a misconception that in order for marketing to be creative, you have to sell a product or service that is hip and cool and exciting, but news flash, some of the most innovative and creative marketing campaigns actually come from brands in unexpected spaces. I mean think about it. It's all about understanding your audience and finding a creative perspective to connect with them. My guest today is Sam Balter, director of editorial content at ZoomInfo. And he's the guy who truly loves content marketing and uses it in creative ways to engage an audience some might think would be hard to reach, and that's all the hardcore fans of data out there. ZoomInfo has a lot of their own data. I mean, it's what they do, it's a lot. And when they started thinking about what they could do with it to grow their audience, Sam came up with the ingenious idea of taking all that data, turning it into content for different channels and building the brand's story off of conversation. That's when the Talk Data To Me podcast was born. Don't you love that name? And since then Sam's been refining his creative process and is always looking for new ways to use that incredibly valuable content to reach new audiences and continue to grow the brand. In this very special session, from our recent Amplify event, Sam discusses his views on the state of content marketing today. What's working, what's not, and where he sees new opportunities popping up like Attention Arbitrage. Yeah. I never heard of it either, but I'm really glad I know about it now. So let's dive in.

Sam: My name is Sam Balter. I'm the director of content for media content at ZoomInfo.

Lindsay: Little company called ZoomInfo that we all know and love so well, especially those of us in sales and marketing, which is most of us. So let's... You are no stranger to content. ZoomInfo's not your first gig. You've got a little bit of a track record. Some of the other companies you've worked for, which we can get into, but tell me with all of your breadth and depth of experience, what is it you love about content and the role that it plays in building a brand?

Sam: Yeah, I love content marketing and I love making and producing content because I think for a lot of brands out there it helps to take the actual brand story and not only build what it is, but it also helps you to constantly refine it and iterate on what that means. Because a lot of the times it... Content helps you take those high level brand statements and translate them into, what does it look like as a blog post? What does it look like as an ebook? How do we get this message out on social? And every time you do that, you're updating it, you're changing it, you're making it a little bit better, a little bit sharper, and you're starting to evolve the story of the brand. So it's not just you're helping to articulate what it is, but you're also doing a lot of things to evolve what the brand becomes. And I think that part of it, of being part of something that has such a impact to the way that people perceive your company and the way that people perceive your products and that it's not something that's just one and done. It's something that you can experiment with on a daily basis. Makes it really, really fun to work on.

Lindsay: It's kind of a living, breathing thing. If you treat it that way.

Sam: If you treat it that way. It doesn't have to be, which is sad, but it's much nicer and I think you end up with a much sharper brand story when you see content as a way to evolve what your brand is doing and evolve how people perceive your brand.

Lindsay: I think... Which is going to lead into my next question, which is one of the things that pains you about traditional content marketing. You know, one of the things that gets to me is when that doesn't happen, is when content is treated as a channel centric, formulaic to- do list. But that's me, how about you? What are some of the issues that you see with traditional content marketing?

Sam: Yeah, I guess one of the things that I see that I really like about content marketing, I think that content marketing and traditional content marketing have done well, is the content calendar, right? And the content calendar crosstalk

Lindsay: I love a good calendar.

Sam: The content calendar is great. And I think if you pull back and look at, previously, HubSpot or other companies that advocate a really strong SEO focused thing, focused strategy. The content calendar was awesome. It let management know what marketing was doing. It let everybody understand what marketing is about. It helped to align marketing to product launches or goals for the sales team. And those are all really, really good things. And I think traditional content marketing with SEO guidelines, topic groupings, lots of articles on specific topics... That does a really, really good job of building a content calendar, which is really useful for the majority of brands. I think that came at a cost though, where people are less responsive, they have less bandwidth to do new things. They get really locked into the content calendar of what's on their site when there's a huge audience on other areas. They just sort of say, we're producing this content and this is the schedule and all this is working well. And then something will happen where something will get delayed. Something gets messed up with the content calendar. And instead of saying, oh, we're just going to move on, everybody's workload increases. How do we make up for this? How do we fix this problem? So your ability to respond to new trends or new changes, something that comes up or an opportunity gets less and less, because you're always trying to keep up with this ambitious calendar that you put together. So I think one of the things that I really like about traditional content marketing, the asset of the calendar, it's kind of pendulum swung too far the wrong way, where marketing has lost a little bit of its ability to just think on the fly, adapt to changes that are happening, see an opportunity and go after it, which I think is kind of a huge loss, and for a certain group of... For some creators, maybe not as much for others, but it could be a little bit boring to know the whole year scheduled out with how many posts and all these other things and to not be eyes open, looking for opportunities. And I think that's one of the things that I see as kind of a limiting factor and issue with traditional content marketing.

Lindsay: Yeah. No, I agree. I agree. And I also think... I'm curious of your thoughts, is it can be really... It has become something that can be really, really painful for the writers involved and for the creators. And so what... I have my own experiences, but what does that... Have you felt that too, have you seen that too over the years?

Sam: Yeah. Yeah. And bizarre analogy, but I used to see... I used to go to these things that were called Landscape Lectures. So these Landscape Lectures they have... Where it's people talking about how do you design parks. And one woman was giving this presentation and she talked about the thing that you want people to go to. Let's say it's a gazebo on the north end of the park. Right? Beautiful gazebo. You want people to start at the south end, go to the north end. If you have a pathway that goes straight from the south to the north, to the gazebo, you could see the entire thing. People will not walk on it. People will not reach the gazebo. And then if you actually do surveys of the people who go to the park, because they do this research, people will think they went to the gazebo, even though they didn't go there, because they're, oh, I saw it, I know what it'll be like up there. So, so people create the imagination that they did the thing. For writers, I feel like sometimes I've noticed people think they've reached the gazebo. People think, oh I've executed this plan and I followed exactly what you told me to do. And then you read the writing and it's bland, there's no surprises. People haven't done the work of finding the thing that's interesting along the way. And I think that sometimes it's... If you're giving people these totally thought out plans, all the words they need to write for the topics they need to have, the interviews they need to do necessarily. And the writers aren't owning the, what makes this interesting. The writers are not necessarily approaching it like journalists in that they're trying to find the niche of the story or the really particular hook that draws people in. They're just trying to execute on this is what we need to get out there. They think that they're producing that great end product, but they're not quite making it. And I think that causes a lot of frustration, is when somebody else comes in and says, this isn't that good? And they're, oh, but it has the words, it's the length, it's on the topic. And you're, but that's not what we want. We want something that has a more journalistic look, has something unique, is something worth reading about. Is interesting to work on? And I think that's the part that can be painful, right? For writers, is one, it could be boring to just always follow these really, really prescribed plans. And two, I think people can think that they've achieved it when they haven't really found the main thing that you want, which is a good hook, a good way to draw people in, something interesting, something unique they haven't seen before. And I just think that part... I think that's why a lot of the new direction of marketing, new direction of amplify, new direction of using more journalistic tendencies towards writing B2B content is just more fun. And it's actually delivering a product that more people will want to read, more people will want to listen to or watch or engage with.

Lindsay: Preach. You know, having been that marketer, having been that freelance writer, having led the team, I've done all those things. And I can tell you, and I know you have too, it is hard. It's painful to be that writer because typically you're not the subject matter expert in that thing. Right? Right. So you are tasked with... And especially in a less journalistic strategy, right? It's, well go be the content marketer, go write the thing, go and make sure it's interesting, and that it's also going to rank for social, for SEO and that it's going to be interesting and all these things and it's going to outrank the competition, and do it 10 times next week. Right? And it's all... Make sure it's about leadership and it's hard, it is painful. And yeah, in some cases it's boring and other cases it feels like you're constantly pushing a boulder up the hill and... Given no resources to do it continuously over and over and over. And, and so, that's why I love the move to things that are more journalistic and to Amplified Marketing where you start with something rich in the center and you can pull from it and be more journalistic and be more driven to interviews and go to the expert and really atomize that.

Sam: And I think like anybody who is an in- house content marketer should at a point work freelance.

Lindsay: Yes.

Sam: Do freelance articles.

Lindsay: Yes.

Sam: Because you get a really good sense, really quickly, what you should be offering as the in- house person and what a freelancer could do. I was writing, I've done freelance beauty blogs. I don't know anything about this, but it's not that hard for me to write top five tips, gather them up and understand this is just getting content on a page. This is what they want. They want to rank for things. And I understand that cost and it's 150, 200 bucks or whatever it is for this article. But as the in- house person, you have a lot of different things you should be looking at.

Lindsay: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. So, okay. So you talked about it comes at a cost. Everything comes at a cost, all of our decisions, especially when we want to have the ability to make decision, whether you are working with a freelancer, working with a vendor, you're leading a team, you're the CMO. Everything comes at a cost. Right? And so what are some of these issues, the limited responsiveness, the pain that we're putting on writers, the pain that we're putting on content teams, if we're following a more traditional approach, what kind of cost does it come at for brands?

Sam: I think for brands... Brands are one thing where there's a cost where they're just not getting what they actually want. I think there's... That's a base level cost... Is that they're shooting for a lot of SEO or they're shooting for all these things, and they just might not be getting it when they're overly prescriptive, and when they're not as responsive, that's one thing. But I think to a certain degree, marketing has gotten a little over focused on the conversion path and drawing this really nice, really nice, but very convoluted system where you go from SEO here to awareness, to click on one of these, to go to these things, to go to a webinar, which follows up with an e- book and that e- book is like five blog posts combined together and those five blog posts are 35 of the same tweets all put together, right? So you have all these things where it's a big, long, complicated process. But at the end of the day, I feel like most marketers are just trying to get people's attention and then influence their decision. So I talk a lot about this idea of marketers should be more focused on Attention Arbitrage and... Arbitrage is this idea that you could have the same thing and it could cost different things in different locations. Right? So you might buy a stock. There's the same company listed on one exchange. It's a different price on another exchange. That's an opportunity for you. And I think marketing should start looking at things more like that, where there's opportunities that arise, where attention is cheap in certain areas for a certain amount of time and less cheap in other areas at a different type of time. And a lot of times when people build out these big calendars, big sets of goals, what they're not looking at is, am I investing in the right way? Am I taking advantage of these channels? Or am I just doing something because somebody else is doing it. And I think it's hard to put into practice, what does this mean? Are you saying, oh, we should advertise here, not here, this thing, that thing? I think for me, when I think about, when you look at an arbitrage opportunity or an opportunity to get people's attention, you could think about channels that have low barriers to entry and channels that have high barriers to entry. And the channels with low barriers to entry are things that... There's really good analytics. They're super scalable in that you can put$ 5 or$ 5, 000 in it. You can get started in 15 minutes, it's applicable to every industry. So that would just be advertising on Facebook or Google. And whenever you do that, everybody could do it. Everybody can do it in a matter of minutes. And it's, how are you going to possibly get advantages in this system? You can eke out little bits of edges with I'm going to spend slightly more effectively than other people, I'm going to maybe change content slightly. But it's not going to be a huge thing. Areas with higher barriers to entry, things where there might not be particularly good tracking, things that are less scalable in that maybe there's a bottom line of effort you need to put in, even this... Even an interview takes 30 minutes, whereas a Facebook ad might take 30 seconds to put together. Right? Those things might actually have, where there's these barriers to entry, might be a really good opportunity. One that I think about that came and went pretty quickly was Clubhouse.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Sam: Clubhouse was limited. There wasn't really a way to do clubhouse on a desktop app particularly well, Clubhouse was only limited to iPhone people and it was invite only. High barriers to entry. It had a ton of attention, great channel to get on. And, I'll admit on our side, we were slow. I use an Android phone, I didn't have it. I didn't play around with it as much. And we sort of missed that opportunity. But that was really cheap attention, really, really effective. And the people who were able to jump on it quickly got a lot out of it. But then it dropped off and then it becomes this thing of, should you be continuously investing in Clubhouse because you had this really big run in the beginning? No, because that's probably not the world you're currently living in. There was an opportunity that arose. It existed for a point in time. And then it moved on to something else. And I think for a lot of people in marketing and in content, those are the things you need to look for, where you can see, wow, not everybody can do this. This would be kind of a pain to get into. How could I get involved in this? Great, that's an opportunity. Something that anybody can get involved to, anybody could start, it could be super easy to do. That's probably going to be less of an opportunity for you.

Lindsay: Hmm. I love it. I love it. So what are some of the things that you see right now? Even for you that are, there's some of those higher barriers to entry, great opportunity. Things that you're interested in or doing right now.

Sam: So for me, it's a lot of the things of what we could be doing... If I think at other brands... If I'm looking at other brands that have done these types of things well. I remember looking at all this data... ZoomInfo has a lot of data about how many people are using what tools. Right? So we can see how many people are using particular tools. And one of the things that happened with the start of the pandemic is we looked at Google, Cisco and Zoom, and their adoption rates were relatively close to each other within most kind of businesses.

Lindsay: That's crazy to think about right now.

Sam: Yeah. It's insane to think about right now. And then all of a sudden, every month, Zoom starts cruising past all the other ones, Zoom is even more... They're growing, everybody's growing, they're growing even faster than everybody else. So you dig into what is Zoom's strategy, right? Zoom doesn't have this huge content playbook. They do have content, but it's not an enormous content playbook, not relative to Cisco WebEx, which had a lot of webinars, lot of other things. All they had was these endless amounts of billboards, which it's... Billboards, high barriers to entry. They did a partnership with a basketball team. Complicated, probably took a lot of negotiation, was a huge pain, big opportunity for them. Right? And they really went in on something that just other people were not spending the time on, because whenever I would try and get, or anybody in marketing I think would feel this, when you're starting out trying to do a podcast, people are, well what's the tracking going to be like? Exactly how many listens? How am I going to know who's listening to it? Well, I don't know. I know who's looking on and clicking on Facebook ads, why would I jump onto this other thing? Why would I use a billboard? Right? And so you miss all of these great opportunities of what other brands are doing. Same thing with... I have huge admiration towards Squarespace and MailChimp for investing heavily into the podcast space early on, even before Serial, when MailChimp really got a huge amount of exposure through that, they were investing in tons of podcast sponsorships. And if you look though... If you've bought podcast ad space, it's a pain. It's not necess... It's getting better, but it's nowhere near as easy as other things are to buy in terms of marketers. A lot of the times, there's a lot of shows where you're calling up that specific person, negotiating with them over a contract, high barrier to entry, kind of a pain, not a lot of tracking, but you know there's an audience there, you know there are people listening and it turns out and performs quite well. So I think it's one of those things where I look at other brands as... These are great examples of people who have invested in brand, invested in trying of creating broad awareness for their products and services. That if you look at Zoom, if you look at some of these other companies... When something happens, that awareness is monumentally valuable because everybody went to Zoom when they needed a web conferencing solution. Right? Everybody... When you need a quick email set up, MailChimp is pretty defacto source to go to. When you think about getting a website, Squarespace is up there as one of the first names you're going to think about. And I think none of those... A lot of those people are just doing really, really good work in investing in these areas that not other people are investing in.

Lindsay: I think it's important too, to think about the stories we're not telling. For all of the Zoom billboards, how many, and basketball sponsorships, how many things just didn't work? Right? And there's... I'm curious about your opinion on... There's a really old quote, 50% of my advertising is working, I just don't know which 50%. And we've lost that because it's, no, I need to know that a hundred percent is working all of the time. And by working, I don't mean getting in front of people and planting the seed so that when there's a global pandemic, they're going to turn to our company. Right?

Sam: Yeah. No, no, I know what you it's like. I think about it, because there's this whole trend towards, oh sales and marketing are coming closer together. And then I want... Don't know if this is right way to say this, but I want marketers to be able to fail as much as sales people do.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Sam: The average salesperson fails all the time. They say the wrong thing on connect calls. They say things in emails that are not the exact right thing. They might mention a product wrong. They might forget to mention a product. They have all these opportunities, but through repetition and through basically giving people the charity to fail and hit their number at the same time... As long as you're getting and making progress, that's good. Marketers live in a much more public way where they're not always offered the ability to try things that just don't go so well. And I think it makes a lot of sense because horrible PR campaigns happen. Companies make a lot of public mistakes. And it's really important to be able, as a marketing leader, to recognize, am I creating the space for people to fail and to try things and to get better and do things that I don't necessarily agree with? There's a lot of things that my team has released on social. Then I'm... I don't know why somebody would watch this video. I don't get it. I don't get the appeal of this. And then it racks up views and people are, this is great. And I stand corrected. And I think a lot of marketing leaders need to give people that opportunity. They need to give people opportunity to try and to fail and get back to 50% of my marketing isn't marketing because it's so much... When it works out, you're getting paid more than 50%. You're getting paid 70, you're getting 80% gains on things like... It's a lot more. And then your marketers... I think too often we've looked at marketers, not as individuals with growing skillsets, in that we look at marketers as performing a campaign and then the campaign is their results. But it's like... Did you?... Out of this campaign, did the person learn how to cut a really good interview? Did they learn how to make something better for the next time? Do we have a new process for the way that we share things on social? So that if there's a new announcement, it works better than the last announcement. I think sometimes people lose that in marketing, is that... Marketers are individuals, whereas sales reps, they have a quota that they just achieve it more, the quota increases, they achieve it more. And it's great. And I don't know if there's really a system where marketers feel each time they get better and better. And even when they are, things don't go well, they learn from that experience and are able to adapt it for the next one. I think in content marketing, we've gotten a little away from that.

Lindsay: Hmm. Absolutely. And we both... We've definitely lived that. I've lived that.

Sam: Yeah.

Lindsay: And I think... So to zoom out a little bit... You said Zoom, ZoomInfo, Zoom. There's a lot of zooming and...

Sam: We're very Zoomy.

Lindsay: Zoom, Zoom. One thing that... I think this kind of fits into a conversation of Amplified Marketing. So we're here to talk about here at Amplify, is even when an entire campaign, an entire initiative, an entire theme for Q4 doesn't go as planned, if you're starting with that creativity... And you mentioned... We talked about how we've gotten to a place where quite all too often creativity is sucked right out of the whole process. You're starting with creativity, you're starting with rich content. You're starting with conversations, even if everything and the execution and all the little details of the timeline or there's a global pandemic and throws things off track, you can still go back to that source and say, okay, but yeah, this was important. And this was something that's really valuable. And this was still somebody saying something really, really meaningful to our brand. How can we use it in a different way? How can we... Maybe that channel didn't work. Maybe the video series that we had just wasn't so great, but how can we turn that into a podcast? Or how can we turn clips from that podcast into really relevant social media content that Sam is going to think is dumb and then performs really well. So.

Sam: It happens all the time. I don't know why this is interesting or things that I think are going to kill. I think this is going to do great. Doesn't. It just flops. And sometimes I'm right. Sometimes I'm wrong. And I think it's okay for marketing leaders to be, oh, I don't think this will work, but my team is really enthusiastic and wants to try it, I should let this run for a little bit, but yeah. I mean, it is interesting you talk about that, that core nugget, the little thing that's good about it. I think Jay Acunzo is really good at talking about it as resonance. And I think that's a really great way to describe it. What is the little thing that attracted you to this idea in the first place? What is it about that that's really interesting. And I think too often we move away from that to make things more broad, and we should really focus on making that core idea deep and finding out whatever ways we can express it in as many different ways as possible. So I don't know. I think it is nice to focus on what is the part that got lost? What is the part that has the most resonance and how do we keep that even if situations change?

Lindsay: Absolutely. Absolutely. So. Well you all, even though it sounds like you have all these awful ideas and your team really executes on really good ones. I don't buy that for a minute, because you all are doing some really great things and have a really fun show called Talk Data To Me, among lots of other things that you're doing. So you've given a lot of advice already, but what takeaways would you give to another content leader, another marketing leader that's thinking about, hey, maybe there's a better way? Maybe there's a way to get creativity back in at play? They want to approach some Attention Arbitrage and, which, by the way, I have not heard the word arbitrage in at least years. So thanks for reintroducing that to vocabulary. What insights, what kind of takeaways? What would you leave them with?

Sam: Yeah, I think people just need to spend more time on the basics of their idea and not try to make things as broad to the channels that it'll end up on. And really just dig into what makes this idea a good idea and how does it align for our brand, our audience, how it looks, how it sounds and what it's about. Those are the things that, I think it... They get so passed over in meetings sometimes where people don't carve out a time and don't carve out time just to talk about the content idea and what that idea means. And too often content is coupled with a much more scary process. And the hard part about that is I think for... Sometimes people might be less likely to propose the best version of something because they know that's probably going to be the most work. And when those meetings are one thing together and it's not separated, people aren't going for aspirationally, the largest thing, or people might not feel comfortable with the smallest version of something. I think... As an example, for something that we're working on... We're working on a new show called Pretty Big Deal. The premise is simple. Stories from the sales floor. And it's just talking about a deal that changed people's lives or their perspective. And the impetus for the idea is just... There's a quote from ZoomInfo's founder in his founder's letter during the IPO, and it says something like, A sales deal is like nothing else in somebody's career, can make or break their career, this single moment. And I was, that's great. A single moment. Let's talk about that. And then it's, okay. And we also live that as a company. We talk about sales deals at every all hands meeting, right? Sales huddles, and sales talking through, sales deals are a way that sales reps get better at their job. And that's what we want to showcase too as a company. And so you start thinking about it and this is a good idea. Okay. How do we dig even deeper? Does it matter that there's a host? No, there doesn't really need to be because the story's about sales deals. Okay, great. So we can get rid of the host. That strips it down. Should we add sound and video or should we add sound and animation potentially to it? Yeah. Because that elevates this story and makes it something even better. Makes it something interesting without taking away from what it is. Should it be a podcast or should it go on YouTube? I don't know, but that's less important right now. The important thing now is, this is a good idea and let's keep talking through what makes it a good idea. Let's not add things to it to expand it to, let's also interview this. Let's also add in these things. Let's also just stick with the basic deal you have, pretty big deal, good title, simple premise, informative, aligns to the brand. Perfect. You know what I mean? That's what we should be looking towards. So I think a lot about that, when people or other marketing or other content leaders are looking at their content, sometimes I think they get away from that core nugget that initially attracted them to idea. And I think you have to fight, as a leader, for your team, for yourself, for everybody to hold on to what makes that idea a good idea and then keep digging into the things that are the little subtle cues that will make it better for other people. And I think that's just a really important part... Is making sure to nail those subtle cues that makes something a deeper and richer idea.

Lindsay: Mm. So good. Yeah. You got to hold the space. Hold space for creativity and hold space for the idea. Let it play out and then there will be time. There will be opportunity to then ring it out, then see where else it can go, but let it be created first. Right?

Sam: Let it be created. I'm not fully in the camp of people who was oh, just create a good idea. I'm obsessively competitive about analytics.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Sam: This is not to say... I am obsessed to be... How many views did that video get? How many did you get the first week? How many did you get it the second week? How many did you get it on this day? It's kind of obnoxious for certain people I think. But you have to separate out and give creativity space and then also be the person watching the analytics to make sure that it's performing as you expect. But if you try and make it all one thing, if you try and put it all together and you don't really articulate what that core part of it is, it's going to get lost. It's going to get watered down and overall, you're not going to get any residence. You're not going to get any reach out of it.

Lindsay: Yeah. I love it. I love it. Well, thank you for sharing. Thank you for coming on and talking, Zooming around. Will you say Zoom a few more times?

Sam: Yeah, we can just Zoom up, Zoom down.

Lindsay: Zoom in, Zoom out. Thank you for sharing, for your insights and your perspective and thanks for all doing at ZoomInfo and for helping us amplify your message.

Sam: Ah, well, thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate it.

Lindsay: That's our show. Thanks for listening. To learn more about ZoomInfo and on the insights that Sam shared on our show today, make sure to visit zoominfo. com and check out the Talk Data To Me podcast. To learn more about how Casted can help you, visit us at casted. us and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, to be the first to get all things Amplified Marketing, B2B, podcasting, audio content, video content, and so much more.

DESCRIPTION

There's a misconception that in order for marketing to be creative, you have to sell a product or service that is hip and cool and exciting. But newsflash, some of the most innovative and creative marketing campaigns come from brands in unexpected spaces. I mean, think about it. It's all about understanding your audience and finding a creative perspective to connect with them,


My guest today is Sam Balter, Director of editorial content at ZoomInfo. And he's the guy who truly loves content marketing and uses it in creative ways to engage an audience some might think that would be hard to reach, and that's all the hardcore fans of date out there. ZoomInfo has a lot of its own data. I mean, it's what they do, it's a lot. And when they were thinking about what they could do with it to grow their audience, Sam came up with the ingenious idea of taking all that data, turning it into content for different channels, and building the brand's story off of conversations. That's when the Talk Data TO Me podcast was born. Don't you love that name? And since then, Sam has been refining his creative process and is always looking for new ways to use that incredibly valuable content to reach new audiences and continue to grow the brand.


In this very special session, from our recent Amplify event, Sam discusses his views on the state of content marking today. What's working, what's not, and where he sees new opportunities popping up like Attention Artibtrage. Let's dive in.