As VP of Marketing and Sales Development at BrightFunnel and author of Lead Generation for Dummies, Dayna Rothman knows how to use content. In this Q&A, she chats with Column Five Cofounder Josh Ritchie about why B2C content is most inspiring to her, why her team uses pop culture references in their content, and the difference between good and great content.
JR: Tell us a bit about your role. What do you do at Brightfunnel?
DR: I am VP of Marketing and Sales Development at BrightFunnel. I manage the entire marketing team in addition to our sales development team.
JR: What does your team look like?
DR: We are a small but scrappy team! The core marketing team is made up of my Demand Gen Programs Manager, Corporate Marketing and Events Manager, and Graphic Designer. I also have an open headcount for a Product Marketing Manager. The SDR team is made up of an SDR Manager and 5 SDRs.
JR: What is your team’s main goal, and how has this evolved since you’ve been at the company?
DR: While we have multiple goals on the team, spanning across brand and the entire sales funnel, driving pipeline and revenue is our main focus. Both the SDR team and marketing are goaled on pipeline creation and closed deals. This helps us align better with sales and overall company goals.
Before I joined, the marketing team was very small and just getting started, so the goals were not as aligned to revenue. We further solidified this focus after I joined and once the team was built out and there was more investment in marketing programs.
JR: What role does content play in your overall branding and marketing efforts?
DR: Content plays a large role in our overall marketing efforts. I ran content marketing for over three years at pre- and post-IPO Marketo, so a focus on thought leadership and education has always been part of my DNA.
At BrightFunnel, not only is content the fuel for all of our marketing programs but we also believe that educating customers and prospects plays an important role in the success of our product. Our ultimate goal is to make our customers better marketers by not only leveraging the BrightFunnel platform but also consuming our educational resources.
JR: What’s your approach to storytelling?
DR: I believe in approachable, interesting, and informative content. We like to tell our story through a mix of content types and topics that cover different questions and needs for every stage of the buyer journey. While big, meaty e-books are great for key topic areas related to what we do, I encourage the team to also spend time creating fun and engaging content that our audience can relate to. So we use a lot of pop culture references in our content to help make our brand more “human.”
JR: Where do you go for inspiration?
DR: For inspiration I like to see what other marketers are doing. I tend to be inspired more by B2C brands than B2B. I love how effectively B2C companies can capture the emotion of their audience while telling a compelling brand story. While there are a lot of great B2B content brands, I think that B2C companies really get how to emotionally engage their customers.
JR: Among brands that do content right, what do you think is the common thread?
DR: The ability to capture the emotion of their audience in their storytelling.
JR: How do you measure results?
DR: We look at a variety of different metrics for our content at BrightFunnel. We look at traditional top-of-funnel metrics like leads generated, MQLs sourced, website traffic, etc. However, the majority of our important content metrics are around what content sources pipeline and revenue and what content influences pipeline and revenue.
We use our own platform to look at multi-touch attribution analytics for different pieces of content so that we can really piece together the full buyer journey from lead acquisition to close. Additionally, we like to look at content both holistically across all of the different promotional channels and on an individual asset basis.
JR: Which types of content yield the best quality leads for your brand? What hasn’t worked traditionally?
DR: Typically, e-books work very well for both lead generation and acceleration through our funnel. We have also had really good luck with themed content campaigns around a pop culture topic. Recently, we ran a campaign called “Between Two Dragons,” where we recorded a new video each week with our “marketing lessons” learned on Game of Thrones. This campaign performed very well for us due to the relevance of the show.
JR: What’s the difference between good content and great content?
DR: Great content is content that has an effect on the reader. Whether it is educational content that has actionable insights to help the reader be better at her job or content that exists to put a smile on the reader’s face, great content needs to leave a lasting impression.
JR: What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a marketing leader?
DR: Because I am a leader of a small marketing team, I have to maintain the right balance of output vs. resources. I constantly want to do more and go bigger, which can be a challenge when you don’t have a large group of people to carry out some of those more aggressive visions. So I need to know when to take on more and when to say no. Also, team motivation is always something that can be challenging. You need to always keep your team motivated to drive the most creative results.
Many thanks to Dayna for sharing her thoughts. For more wisdom from game-changers in content marketing and content strategy, check out these Q&As:
- Keith Messick of Lucidworks on why there’s so much bullshit in marketing.
- Ethan Zanat of Zendesk talks rebranding and creativity.
- Carly Stec of Hubspot talks about the challenges of building and running a brand publication. .
- Business Insider’s Mike Nudelman tells us what publishers want from your content.
Of course, if you need any help with your own marketing, we’d love to chat.