B2B Marketing Strategy

Taking Big Swings and Pulling Insights from Conversations with Content Marketers

Brett McGrath

Jul 14, 2021

Taking Big Swings and Pulling Insights from Conversations with Content Marketers

I just got back from a week-long break in the madness of pre-launch marketing. 

I’ve been having so much fun building The Juice brand and connecting with other content marketers in B2B, but could feel that my gas light was on and I was starting to run on fumes.

Most B2B marketers that I’ve come across in the past 3 months are highly ambitious, great executors, and are willing to rock it until the wheels fall off. I can definitely relate with all of them and that is part of the reason I needed to step away from my home office to recharge.🔋

I did my best to move my work to the back of my brain as I was enjoying morning runs, bike rides, and the beach in Sanibel, FL, but naturally there were moments when work stuff shot to the back of my mind.

I wonder what’s going on this week?

Will that campaign I was thinking about still be relevant when I get back?

Is it ok if we don’t push out as much content this week?

Instead of opening up my laptop and working from my condo I fought the urge and decided to reflect on what I had learned as a pre-launch marketer over the past 3 months. As I was deep in this exercise I quickly realized that most of my key learnings came from the people who I had sought out to meet and be on the 3C Podcast.

I thought this might be an interesting blog post when I got back home and headed to the beach to escape the thought of the B2B content marketing space for a minute. 😎

So in true marketing fashion I’ve decided to turn these lessons into a blog post, tag everyone, and share it with the world.

Taking Big Swings and Pulling Insights from Conversations with Content Marketers

  1. Go where your customers hang out and create a frictionless experience that always adds value 

This was a lesson learned from Liz Prugh, VP of Marketing at Base who was the guest on the first ever content creator episode. She uses Facebook Live to host streams for her audience of administrative assistants on a weekly basis.

This was a reminder to not force people to join webinars that require a bunch of information to sign up. The best plays that you can make in B2B marketing is to create value in places where your future customers are already learning and add value consistently. 

No one wants to jump through hoops to watch your event, but they could become fans for life if they learn something or you can help facilitate connections with other people like them. 


  1. Take risks and don’t look back 

A conversation that I won’t soon forget was when Jillian MacNulty and Brad Beutler from Terminus talked to me about taking big swings in content marketing. 

They grabbed a video crew, lit a dumpster on fire, and used it as a campaign to discuss why marketers should leave 2020 dumpster behind them as they started off the new year. 

Sure there was some upfront investment and uncertainty from their team on if this campaign would be worth it or not. It’s undeniable that this big swing landed and made a positive impact on their brand. 

I invited them on the show because of it, wrote a blog post about it, and am bringing it back up several months later. This conversation was a reminder to always swing for the fences because you never know when you are going to hit big. 


  1. Content Based Networking is a thing and it works 

I had Katherine Martin on the show and she schooled me on content based networking and how you can apply this strategy in your marketing to generate conversations with future customers quicker.

Right when she started talking about it I understood why it worked. 

It was simple. 

Offer your platform to future customers, make them look like industry thought leaders, and watch the magic happen. Can this help generate new customers? Absolutely, but the power is that it’s a fast pass in building relationships.

Any marketer should create a show for this reason. People in your industry like to talk about the awesome work they are doing. Why wouldn’t you create the platform that could potentially lead to a brand connection for life? 

I am actively participating in this strategy in pre-launch mode and it’s helping The Juice level up. 


  1. B2B marketers should take lessons from B2C experiences 

I had a blast talking with Olivia Schwan and Rachel Saltsgaver from the Lessonly marketing team.  We talked a lot about annoying experiences in B2B, but spent a lot of time discussing great experiences in B2C.

We read Apple News in the morning, listen to our favorite podcasts on Spotify when we go for a walk at lunch, and put on Netflix when we close our laptops for the night. All of these experiences are frictionless for consumers and we keep coming back for more content every day.

Should we be thinking about our marketing in B2B this way? Maybe we are already thinking about this as we get ready to launch The Juice.🤔


  1. If you are going to do link building don’t suck at it 

This was a lifelong lesson in B2B marketing that I picked up from Kas who is one of my favorite new marketers that I have met in this era of networking in public. She has an insane ability to meet other marketers, build relationships, and share links to create mutually beneficial situations.

I love her approach because she is focused on the human to human relationship in B2B marketing. I think link building is a fine tactic in B2B marketing, but you shouldn’t batch and blast your links to a list. 

Take time. Be thoughtful and find opportunities through your research to make connections that don’t just lead to a link swap, but can create sustainable relationships that become win/win situations for you and your new marketing buddy. 


  1. Look after your mental health above everything else 

A conversation that I won’t soon forget was the one I had with Joanna Rutter who is a Content Marketing Manager at Animalz.  I think that if you polled an audience of B2B marketers that a large majority would include Animalz as one of their favorite content producers in the industry.

They would be on my list and that is one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to speak to Joanna, however, it was the discussion regarding mental health that still stands out to me more than a month later.

The past year has been one of the most challenging years many of us have ever faced. It’s hard to not let what happens in our personal lives bleed into our professional lives especially when the venues for most of us became the same. Being mindful of your mental health is probably the most important characteristic that we can proactively manage. Taking the time to go for walks, participate in creative projects, or FaceTime someone we admire can do wonders for your mind and the work that is in front of you. 


  1. Writing every day makes you a better marketer 

I’m not sure I’ve appreciated a marketer’s perspective more than Dominic Kent since starting the podcast. He’s a connector and has a legion of marketing fans. He’s not only a great marketer, but doesn’t sugar coat anything. His honesty is admired and appreciated.

He’s participating in  #Content365 where he is trying to write a new piece of content every day this year. This might sound absolutely ridiculous, but if you break it down in small chunks it’s something that is certainly attainable. I’ve really enjoyed watching him share what he is doing via Twitter and observing other people following along in his journey. 

His quest has inspired me and also reminded me the importance of writing. I’ve written more articles in the last 3 months than I did in the last 3 years of my career. I feel sharper than ever and think this helps me be a better marketer.

    

  1. Marketing like a Swiss Army Knife 

Cassandra Jowett is a super bright marketer. I’ve enjoyed PathFactory’s content ever since jumping back in the game and it was awesome meeting her to learn more about her approach.

I’ve always felt like it was important at an early stage to operate like a generalist rather than a specialist. It’s important to try everything, test what works and what doesn’t, and go deeper in the areas that are working. It reaches a point where you need to do more of what is working and that is when you can hire new people to join the team and own a function.

Cassandra confirmed this belief for me and even got me thinking about how we should organize our marketing team at The Juice when we start to scale.


  1. Marketing and Sales alignment matters more than ever 

We need more leads!

These leads suck!

Ever heard this before? 

I think we all have as marketers and when you start to hear this it is the number one signal that there is a lack of alignment with your marketing and sales teams before.

Complaining about lead volume and lead quality is so 2015. Let’s grow up as marketing and sales teams and start working together on common goals that help drive real revenue for the business.

I learned a ton from Nicole Klemp at 6sense. Most notably I learned how a frictionless content experience can lead to unity between marketing and sales. There is so much that can be said around organizing marketing and sales teams around common goals. It helps eliminate all of the conversations around things that don’t matter and unite around adding value to the market that you are serving. 


  1. Podcasting can lead to 30-45 minutes of free consultation for you and your business

I’m going to wear this one out like an old record because I love it so much. I learned this from Ben Sailer at CoSchedule

There are so many thoughts about what podcasts are and are not. These opinions mostly come from people who have never stepped behind the microphone, started a show, and jumped in head first by having frequent conversations with guests. No matter what KPIs your business is tracking it is undeniable that podcasts can lead to new relationships and insights that you might have to pay for if you didn’t have a show.

The punchline of this post is to spend a big chunk of your time talking with people in your industry. It can create future co-marketing opportunities, relationships, and even customers. 


A high volume of conversations will lead to a high volume of ideas for your content, next campaign, or overall marketing strategy. 

Just remember when you’ve had one to many to unplug, find your happy place for a week, and you’ll come back ready for more!

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