Here are Filament founders Nick Horton and Jeremy Balius, discussing the question “How does SEO make B2B tech sales easier?”
Topics covered include:
- Thinking about SEO as answering the question “how do the right prospects find us?”
- How long does SEO take to make an impact?
- The importance of helpful content in SEO
- The feedback loop of keywords
- SEO as a systemic investment
- Competing online with vendor partners
- SEO supports creating and capturing demand at scale
- SEO at the core of marketing strategy and organisational strategy
- Structuring channel programs to support organic partner growth
- Approaching SEO as a strategy to be found by prospects
- And so much more!
Click play to watch the discussion or read the transcript below.
Transcript of Nick & Jeremy's discussion on "How does SEO make B2B tech sales easier?"
Nick: Hey Jeremy, how’s it going?
Jeremy: It’s going great, Nick.
Nick: Good. Good. Hey, thanks for joining this conversation. Today we want to talk about seo, search engine optimization. And I think what I’m really keen to explore with you and have a conversation about is SEOs sometimes seen as a bit of a. A black box, a mystery topic that just suddenly produces leads.
But, I think that we have some different thoughts about that and really just like to explore what are SEO leads, what are some of the tools that we can deploy to help organizations develop more leads through their organic channels. And also I think there’s something that often gets missed in the discussion around SEO, and that’s just the sheer quality of the leads that come through.
So really love to to explore that as well. But I guess to start off with one of the things I like to think is that SEO produces the best quality leads for salespeople to close and convert. Why is that?
Jeremy: Yeah, I’m so glad that we’re talking about this today. I think in the context of B2B tech, in, in the space that we operate in, it’s really important to potentially think about SEO and maybe the baggage that comes with the terminology.
People have been exposed to this non-marketing business leaders. they’ve been sold this before by agencies. They’ve deployed some type of tactics or strategy, possibly in the past, and. Don’t really understand what it is or what it’s meant to do. More specifically in the context of sales and revenue.
So I think if we think about SEO more so in the, how do people find us and if they’re gonna find us without us going out and finding them first, what can we do to make us more findable? To put a word on a label on that. And if we’re thinking about how do people find us and how do people find us online, if we take that even further, how do the right people find us online?
Yeah. And so I think to answer the question, why does SEO produce better quality leads? It’s having figured out how. To enable the right prospects to be searching for resolutions to pain points or issues that they have in their business or systems that they’re trying to amend or fix or integrate or implement.
And in that search, they have qualified themselves already. To want to pursue a conversation or a demo or look further into your offering. So it accelerates the sales process in that way.
Nick: And the thing that I really like about it is you’re producing good quality leads because as you say, they’re based on an intention to find a resolution to a business issue that someone’s someone’s encountering, but it’s actually scalable as well.
If you think of the analog, you go to a conference, let’s say, and you’ve got a conference booth there and that gives prospects opportunity to come up and say, Hey, I know that you you have technology or you create solutions in this space, and this is the problem I’ve got and let’s have a conversation about it.
And those one-on-one engagements as we know are valuable. But the same thing happens through SEO because so a business leader has an issue, has a business problem, has a challenge, has an opportunity that they want to address, and a search engine, and let’s just say Google will tend to be the first place they go to, to look for an answer to that solution.
But the great thing about SEO is it allows us to effectively do that at scale. A one-on-one conversation at a trade show or a conference is amazing, but SEO lets us have that same sort of conversation, but at a much larger scale. And to me, I think that’s one of the, one of the best parts about it.
But, It does take time, doesn’t it? Do you wanna talk a bit more about, some of the challenges or some of the the pushback we sometimes get when we are talking about the time to impact from organic activities?
Jeremy: It’s important to understand that your website is competing for attention.
And that attention is already essentially commoditized in a way where a other business that you compete with online. Whether direct or indirect by way of your offer, but also on the topic that you are competing for online. Different websites and different types of content and different amounts of content are already searchable and findable, and that is ranked.
According to an elaborate algorithm system that is also constantly being tweaked and there’s no definitive way of moving up the ranks that is repeatable by way of a exact playbook or guidebook. It takes a lot. There’s no of to us there. Yeah, it takes a lot of judgment. It takes a lot of strategic insight.
It takes a lot of data interpretation and decisions made based on that. But it’s, IM. It’s important to think about the compounding effect that you mentioned earlier. So as strategies are deployed to become more increasingly findable online or to be an authority on particular topics or. To to garner more interest from people who are searching for answers to their questions and competing and outranking those other competitors online or websites that are already ranking for those who may have more authority over longer periods.
There is a time investment to move up. It’s not immediate and any immediate actions are probably bad actions. Yeah, because it shows that the system’s been gamed and so it needs to be happening gradually over time. That authority build and but the compounding effect that you mentioned earlier and the scalability of it is so powerful because if a system is stuck with and continually invested in the amount of website traffic and the amount of right prospects, and the therefore the amount of leads continually increases at a rate that is multiples of ROI on your original investment.
But you’re right. It takes a long term investment to get there.
Nick: I really like the way that you’ve put that, and I think just the way that I translate or to play that back is if you are placing an ad on LinkedIn or on Google, you’re basically competing with someone else who’s also paid to have a space next to you or a space in the feed that you are on.
And so there’s a very much a immediacy and a sort of a recency aspect. But actually when you are. Committed to to trying to increase your organic traffic through an SEO strategy. Actually, you are competing with brands that have been doing the same thing, whether knowingly or unknowingly for 5, 10, maybe even, I think we’ve got some examples in the tech space, 15 to 20 years.
\Some of the brands we work with have been around for 20 years and they’ve been investing in their website or in content or in other activities in various ways across that time. And so actually what you’re doing is competing with brands that have made those investments over a much longer time period.
And so you need to give yourself a bit of time to catch up, I think is maybe a good way to think about it. When we think about, okay, what are the ways that we can catch up? We see a lot of a lot of agencies offering SEO services that are based around what we might call on-page activities or technical SEO, making sure that your website is communicating the right signals to to the search engines as well as backlink building.
But when. And I’m gonna say you, but when you were developing our SEO package, you identified a gap in that approach and introduced, I guess a third aspect to the packages that we work with and sell into our clients. Do you wanna talk about how you came to that realization and what we’ve done?
That’s a bit different from the mainstream offerings that we see out there.
Jeremy: Yeah, sure. Thanks Nick. And thanks for the kind words, I think our approach to these services was really validated by a couple of algorithm updates that Google made just back end of 2022 and early in, in 2023.
And that’s really around content. And Google calls it helpful content. And our services with tech businesses revolves around the technical components the user experience and site speed, the on page, the authority building. Dovetailing into digital PR type activities, that’s all par for the course when it comes to SEO services.
But because we come from a content marketing background and applying our thought process around helpful content, but thinking about it in the context of what are people searching for? What we call search intent led content developing out and scaling up content to a website that is entirely targeting what people are searching for, how they are asking about their issues the problems they’re looking to, resolve, as well as.
Additional content that sits within a associated cluster of content, we call it, with topical clusters or content clusters to build the authority of your website and therefore your brand on those particular topics. If we think about what’s important to a business, it’s selling more consumption of their services or increasing their products.
And so if we look at that in terms of online content distribution, we need to think of key keywords as business priorities. And what’s most important to you, and I want to talk to you, I wanna put this back to you in a moment because you’ve led some award-winning campaigns that have tackled this, but it’s been in the context where our clients are competing with multinationals who’ve been in this space.
As you just mentioned, 10, 15 years and have so much more authority and we’ve been able to cut through with that. Let’s go back to that in a moment. But as we target these business priorities using keywords and clusters around that, what we found is that the. Content has just accelerated the performance of the business online in terms of, in the first instance even being found.
Yeah. And then secondly, attracting the right clickthroughs from audiences who are searching. And then thirdly, somehow then, Converting them on the website, whether it’s registration of some form of interest or intent so that they can be handed over to SDRs to be qualified further. And then ultimately converted to demos and meetings.
So that helpful content component has been really rewarding for us to launch, but more so for our clients who’ve taken up these services who recognize that. To be an authority. We need the right content and the right volumes of content to do
Nick: and I really like the way you talk about the, and this might not be the right way to describe it, but like the duality of the keywords.
So there are keywords that we know we want to target initially. Because, and we, the reason we do that is because we believe that represents an intent and we want to bring people that are interested in understanding more about a solution in that space to our website where we can continue the conversation with them.
But, From those keywords, then obviously we start to look at, the longer tail and develop content that targets those. But there’s also a a feedback loop the other side of the coin, which is not only are we using those keywords as a signal to the market of the solutions that we offer and the problems that we can help solve, or the business challenges that we can resolve, but we’re also using that as a way to have a communication with an audience and understand from the keywords that.
That, that are selected or clicked on. That’s feedback from the audience saying, actually, if there was a solution that did this, or this is a question that I have, that I need to resolve, that lets us then, May definitely improve and enhance the content that we publish and the conversations we have either digitally or, in real life with the sales teams, but also feed into, in some instances the product development process to say, look users of X vendor software really love this functionality, but they’re actually looking to do something else, address a different problem, or drive some efficiencies or whatever it may be from that software, is there something we can do to improve our solution offering to actually start to meet and address that need?
So it’s a really, a good two-way conversation. Or a dual carriageway conversation that we see happening through the information that we’re getting from the the keyword terms that are selected. Yeah.
Jeremy: And alongside that also, we spend so much time helping businesses take new products and services to market.
And what we found is that as we are in the strategy conversations around key messaging and positioning and. Cutting through into crowded marketplaces. The sooner we’re involved in taking this search intent lens to it means that we’re also able to help shape the thinking of the business leaders around.
How are we going to talk about. What it is that we do and resolve. And it’s really interesting and you’re in this conversation a lot more than I am, but the the conversation shifts from we want to do this to how are people looking for this already and how can we talk about ourselves in a way that can be found in the context of what people are already searching for.
Would you agree?
Nick: Yeah. And I think it’s I think one of the. The conversations I love having is how do we start to move from a transactional marketing app approach, campaign by campaign to actually looking at a systemic investment even just in a, a baseline of SEO activity because it’s going to be delivering those good quality leads.
It’s gonna be informing the type of content that you publish. It’s gonna be actually, giving you insight to be able to run campaigns. To me, the SEO should be the foundation of your demand generation. And then the campaigns, whether they be, funded by yourself or funded by a vendor in many instances, we see with our clients, can really be informed from the insight that you get from your organic activity.
To give you a great example. We’ve got a client that is completing in the technology space one of the common search terms that we see coming up, or one of the common kind of keyword terms that we see coming up comparison. Solution A compared to solution B. And so we can take that insight from, out of that organic activity and then with a vendor partner, create a campaign that specifically talks about, okay, vendor versus vendor B, vendor versus vendor C.
And then maybe a slightly off center solution. But that’s actually something that people are searching for. And so we’re able to then use that insight. To create campaigns, those standalone, discrete campaigns to actually target specific activities. And of course, once we’ve published the content for those campaigns, then that kind of becomes part of our ongoing organic strategy as well.
So you can really layer up. From that foundation really start to layer up lots of content. We also had another a really good client that we worked with that was with a vendor launching into a new space. They were they’d already worked with a couple of the vendors solutions, but they were specifically launching two new solutions to market.
And the catering to some of the challenges that their clients and prospects were having around distributed workforces and providing access to to services securely and that sort of thing. And so with them, we created a a new. Touched on this a little bit earlier, content cluster approach.
So we published two main pillar pages for the two services, the two new solutions that were being launched that were exhaustive, that talked about every aspect of the solution in terms of what are the business problems that it helps to resolve, what are the benefits from taking up the solution and why would you take up the solution from our client?
What is that differentiation as well as calls to action and some other useful and interesting data points, definitions and the definitions. Exactly. And then from those pillar pages, we’re able to, for each of the solutions publish up to 10 blogs that picked up specific aspects of the solution that we’re talking about in the pillar page, and then created, what you’ve referred to as this content cluster.
We publish that over time, so we’re sending the right messages to the search engine. Hey, we’ve launched a new solution. Here’s the pillar page that demonstrates we have a deep expertise in understanding that solution. And then we’re also able to publish this the, this cluster content that not only.
Broadens our authority around that solution, but able, but enables us to target specific longer tail keywords that may be associated with the solution that people might be looking for. And as, as you mentioned, with that client, we then entered the the program into the SEMrush content marketing awards.
And we were successful in winning the award for 2022 as a result of that campaign. And I think that. The reason I bring that up, obviously it’s great to talk about the awards that we’ve won, but also really to demonstrate that. You can go a lot deeper with content. And it gives us the ability to create the opportunity to have multiple conversations to attract lots of different types of problem seekers, if you like, from search engines onto our website because we’ve got interesting content that’s gonna start to let them know that we have a great way to address the particular business challenge that they have.
Jeremy: There’s another aspect to this, that particular project that I want to ask you about. When we first start working with business leaders, it’s really confronting for them to start thinking about whom they’re actually competing with online. Because oftentimes they’re competing with their own vendor.
Yeah. Partners. Yeah. Or other multinationals with deeper pockets and larger marketing teams, and probably even an in-house SEO team. What did we uncover or realize as a result of this campaign that was possible with this approach?
Nick: Yeah, so I think that , to talk about that aspect in particular, especially one of the new solution launches.
We were competing a, as you say, with the vendor, with Microsoft, with AWS. Like all of the the hyperscalers had a solution in that space as well as a number of other established and emerging vendors. So it was a really crowded space. And what that meant is that when we first published the content, we were way back in terms of the in terms of the search rankings to get onto the front page, you.
You are competing with, as you say, vendors that are either got their own SEO teams or their own content teams that are just pumping stuff out the whole time. Especially actually the vendor that our client worked with who have a great approach to their content marketing and are a really investing in that space.
But. As you say, what we found with the content cluster approach as well as other activities that we were doing, we were publishing video content. There was some ad campaigns going, so there was a broad range of activities going, but I think really because of the, at the heart of that was this content cluster approach and that allowed us to get, I think the top ranking we had was three or four on the first page for that particular keyword term.
And, we were displacing. The likes of a Microsoft from that position. But that’s because we didn’t, we weren’t focused just on the primary keyword. We were looking at what are all of the ways that we can start to address the need or the demand or the problem resolution that people are searching for.
Yeah, that, that approach worked incredibly well with that client and allowed them to go from, Nothing cuz it was a new service launch to within, I think it was four months. They were featured on the first page of
Jeremy: and essentially a brand new website. We’d, yeah we’d launched their, all their other services in the six months prior to that I think.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. They’ve gone from having PDFs as their, so they had a service page that linked to downloadable PDFs. Oh, that’s right. Which is obviously means that the information’s there. You are basically making it pretty hard for a search engine to understand what you do and your ability to offer a good solution.
So we. Gone through the process of migrating all of the service pages, all of the service information from PDF into dedicated pages. And we’d done some work to really put in place the right foundations again for the campaigns and for the launches. But yes, that was a great project that we worked on together.
Jeremy: There was an old adage, I shouldn’t say old. It’s, it feels old with how fast things move in our space. Yeah. But there was an adage at one point that content was king. And content marketing became a valuable resource to invest in and to get content out. Where that I guess, evolved with the likes of generative ai, and easy access to GPT four and Lambda and Palm and all the others.
Things really shifted from just content or marketing content. To helpful content. And I think that’s where that’s where from our own differentiation and being able to understand the businesses and the offerings that those businesses take to market, how do they develop helpful content in a way that is meaningful for their target audiences?
Yeah. It’s just so incredibly powerful and it’s continually rewarded by search engines for being that helpful.
Nick: Yeah. And I think put, putting aside the way that you compose the content and, I think we’ve, been experimenting with it to understand the space and clearly AI is gonna have a role in content creation going forward, but I think the trap is to think that content is just something that you need to publish, and especially in the technology space, what we see a lot of the time is that we get very product-led content.
So we have this feature and we support this many, they have that and we have this speed, and we have, and so the content tends to very much focus on the capability of the solution, which has its place, but shouldn’t really be the only focus of the content. Remember what we’re trying to do?
And all of our digital marketing activities is scale out so the sales team can have better conversations rather than the sales team having to r ring every prospect or meet with every prospect. We want to be able to do some of that qualification at scale. So we are presenting better opportunities for them to close in terms of qualified leads.
And so if we think about how do we. What are we trying to do at scale? We’re trying to have those early conversations that a salesperson would have. What’s the business challenge that you have? What vendors do you work with at the moment? What are some of the issues that you find? Is the pricing working for you in terms of the ROI or your, the economics?
So those early investigative questions to try and understand more about whether your solution is gonna be the right approach for the prospect. And so what we try and do with all of our digital marketing, but especially on the content side, is have those conversations at scale. And if we think about content as a conversation, then it can’t be a one way, here’s everything that you need to know about my product.
It’s what is the problem that you’ve got. What are some of the solutions that you’ve been looking for? What are the buying criteria that you’re using? Is pricing important functionality? Is there a compliance aspect to your purchase? And so our, any content that we publish, we want it to be part of a conversation, and by taking that conversational approach, it means that when a prospect comes to the website from a search from Some other means, and they interact with the content.
First of all, they’re recognizing that, okay, this might be a supplier that understands the pain point that I have, the problem that I have, the opportunity that I’m trying to address, and they may have a solution that starts to address those needs that I have and I can see. That they’re cheaper, faster, better support, whatever other differentiation they have, I can see that there’s a way that they might be able to provide that solution better than anyone else.
They’re all part of the, a conversation. It’s not a one way. Here’s me telling you about how many megabits and gigabytes and clock speeds or whatever else. It’s okay. You are recognizing that. I’m looking to address a business need, and you might have a solution for that. So that’s where I think a lot of people go wrong.
They think about content as, oh, we’ve just gotta publish it a lots of content. But I think the way to phrase it is, what are the types of conversations we have and we start off. Know, going back to organic, we start off talking about people that are searching for a specific solution, and then we start to think about what are the other conversations that people might want to have?
Are they comparing solutions? Are they looking at how does a particular solution solve their compliance need? How does a particular solution allow them to embrace new technologies to further their business information? Business transformation. H how does this address my. Journey to cloud native, my digital transformation journey.
So those are the conversations that we can, as I talked about earlier, get. Understanding from the keyword terms that people are searching for, and we can start to have conversations across a broad range of topics that ultimately, we want to turn into a, an opportunity that the sales team convert on a particular solution.
But we know that there are lots of different ways that that prospects can be searching for information about the solution and they’re all the conversations we want to have. Again, That’s how I like to think about content. It’s not content, it’s conversations. And if we take that lens, then suddenly we’re talking about structuring the information and the content in a completely different way.
Jeremy: There’s something really important that you’re talking about here that goes to the very nature of a business and its mission and its growth. Goals when we’re talking about. How do we grow as a business? And we start looking at auditing the various lead sources and acquisition channels.
For the most part, the organic one tends to be under, either under invested in or underperforming. They’re running paid media. They’re running paid search. They’re getting those immediate sugar hits as you call it. They’re getting a lot of direct channel direct to website visitors .
Organic acquisition tends to be lower, but it’s, as you said, it’s not something that you can just switch on. And then all of a sudden it works. Because of how we have to think about it. And traditionally the market’s been structured in a way, the marketing market has been structured in a way to be very specific streamlined buckets of work.
And now we’re doing SEO, now we’re doing content, now we’re doing paid media. And agencies have developed their offerings against those and. That’s become so normal that we’ve even needed to structure our website to speak in those terms. But the way that you were mentioning earlier around SEO being the foundation of a company’s go to market, I think it’s really important because if’s in infused across the business, if it’s in the cord, D n a of its marketing.
We can start thinking about content in the way that you were just talking about as it’s not SEO activities and now content marketing. It’s how are we developing ourselves out to be found by the rice prospects in order to have those conversations that you’re talking about. Yeah. And then. Enabling an ability to have sales or business development to take over and qualify on a one-to-one basis.
Or nurture. Or convert over time that. That approach seems to be not articulated in the market in a way that makes sense to people about thinking across the breadth of this. Especially when you can’t just apply SEO to a single service offering campaign. Yeah. There’s some activities that you can do, but they’re dependent on activities that affect.
The foundation, as you said, and so then the content needs to be built on top of that and be led by that. Yeah. And having that big picture approach starts radically impacting marketing strategy. Which therefore impacts organizational strategy. Yeah. That’s unusual. That’s sort of new frontier.
Nick: And I think you’ve picked up the right term there, which is the marketing strategy. And look, we know on the B2B side that the marketing team has a role within the overall go to market with sales, with customer success in terms of delivering the right prospects to the sales teams to, for them to be able to convert into sales.
Sales teams are. In this space, in our experience, either on a monthly or quarterly target, that’s almost always the case. And so they are by necessity forced to think in a shorter term frame, shorter term timeframe. Because of that, everyone wants to hit their targets. And those targets are gonna be within a shorter time horizon than.
A strategy. And so this is where marketing has to be empathetic to the needs of the salespeople and make sure that we are addressing the requirements of the sales and that we are taking, our role in that go to market process. But we also need to be strategic. We also need to say there are investments that we need to make that are gonna go beyond just a month or beyond, just a quarter or beyond just a year that we need to be making strategic investments over the long term in order to be able to.
At scale create demand, which we can then qualify and ensure that the sales team never really needs to worry about their quarterly target or their monthly target because they know that we’ve just got this pipeline of wonderfully qualified intent driven leads that are coming through. I know I’m talking in nirvana terms there.
That’s the utopia. But I think it’s an important distinction and I think it’s one where in service of. Sales in service of the overall go-to market. We need to be not behaving in the same way that the sales teams do as the marketing team. We need to be not thinking about what’s my quarterly campaign?
We need to be saying our marketing strategy. Means that we need to be creating a long term pipeline of highly qualified, intent driven leads for the sales team to convert. And in order to achieve that, we need to be making longer term investments in our organic activities in a in order to deliver.
Against that KPI. So I think it’s that tension, which is completely understandable. That really drives the shorter term nature of some of the activities that we see on the marketing side. I think exacerbating that is that the vendors often don’t really help themselves because again, the vendors are providing marketing funds on the basis of the sales.
Horizons and timelines that their sales teams are working to. And so that means that vendor funds are often released on a quarterly basis and it resets every quarter. There of course there are some vendors that are really good at that, that they’ll with specific partners make those longer term investments.
But we’ve seen ourselves, we’ve had experience of ourselves of vendor partners Or partners of a vendor who are strategically important to that vendor who have won multiple awards and certifications from that vendor. But they’re still every quarter having to go cap in hand to the vendor marketing team and say, we want to do this in this quarter and these are the campaigns we want to run, and we’d like you to fund X.
And that, that’s where the vendors aren’t helping themselves. I’d have to say they need to be. Thinking strategically because that’s actually the needs of one part of their customer. Their, the sales teams and their partners are thinking short term thinking on a quarter to quarter basis and are looking for promotions that are gonna help them reach their target for the quarter, but, The the channel partner marketing teams are another stakeholder group that the vendor needs to be thinking more consciously about how they address and their their timelines will tend to be over the longer term, will tend to be more of a strategic nature.
That’s often where we see that we see those tensions between the short-termism or the need to hit targets. Completely understandable. From the sales teams and the longer term strategic approach that the marketing teams have to take and, need to be empowered to be able to fight for that longer term investment.
That’s not often the case.
Jeremy: How can this evolve vendor partner marketers or channel account managers, or have quarterly goals? They are they’re sharpening their pencils every quarter around how they’re going to release their mdf. What would be some good ways that they can take their approach to this new horizon where they’re thinking.
Bigger picture for their select partners or their top tier partners. Yeah,
Nick: I think that a great way to do it. A great way that I would say see to do it would be to as to unlock that. That privilege as you are seeing through the partner tiers. So a lot of the partners that we work with or we see in the market have got tiered programs, bronze, silver, gold, platinum, whatever it may be diamond on the top.
And you unlock discounts or benefits or marketing support or whatever it may be. As you go up the partner tiers and I would look to say the partners that are going to be. Thinking strategically about their go-to market, we are gonna reward them cause they’re gonna be more successful in the long term.
Therefore they’ll access a higher partner tier. Therefore, we will make strategic investments in their success over the longer term. So you’re creating a dynamic where, Strategic thinking from the partner as a whole, not just the marketing team, from the partner as a whole is rewarded from with a, with the ongoing investment and a guaranteed investment from the vendor in their success over the long term.
To me that. Creates the right dynamic between supporting across the market and actually driving those strategic behaviors, which we know are gonna be lead to more successful outcomes for the vendor and the partner over the mid to long term. So that would be, a great place to start. I think.
Jeremy: In terms of approach it’s also I think a way to think about this is, And to speak bluntly, vendors are deeply concerned that their funds are going to be deployed in ways that are not to their benefit, and they need the controls in place to understand how their investments in one of their partners marketing programs is going to elicit.
Demand and leads and eventual revenue that, that benefits their own increase in consumption or increasing sales of widgets or whatever it is. Whatever. Yeah. And therefore, if we’re thinking about it in the context of organic and that there’s a foundation that needs to take place on the. Partner side, what would probably be best suited for this is that the partner is investing themselves Yeah.
Into activities that benefit them across their brand and have that foundation such that when they’re applying for discussing. MDF opportunities with their partners that are on a quarterly and annual cycles. They can be a lot more definitive around how that’s going to be invested in such that, the experience that you had with those topic clusters and activities that benefited that go to market on those services.
We can point back the funds were spent. And were only delivered for activities that would benefit you as the vendor, but at the same time had a contribution to the wider organic elevation of that brand at the same time. Yeah.
Nick: Yeah. No, I think that’s a, I think that’s a really good point. And, we were having this discussion again yesterday in terms of thinking about some new clients that we are working with.
And should we be start, should we start our discussions with them around campaign-based activity or should we be looking for them to be prepared to make the investment? And I think it’s really important because it sends a signal by making a investment. From the partner for yourself in your own brand building, that you’re serious about it, that you are making strategic investments that you want to be increasing your opportunity in the long term.
And then the vendor funding on top of that really gives you the opportunity to launch new products and services, move into new markets end the year, end the financial year on a real high with a great promotion that Brings you up to 120, 150, whatever percent of targets. But that’s based on not hoping that the vendor’s gonna.
Pull you over the line, but actually looking at the the totality by saying we’ve got this investment in our baseline foundational marketing activities and the vendor investments are the, the sweet on the top, the icing on the cake or whatever it may be, that really allows us to turbocharge our go to market.
Yeah. And I think that’s a hard conversation to have because too often. Partners are used to the vendors funding all the activities because they’ve been able to do that in the past. And I just think it’s good to have a discussion more strategically about what is the value of investing in marketing as part of your go-to market, and how can we really support you to make sure that you’re maximizing that investment and that you are pulling all of the levers that you have at your disposal.
To be able to do that. Pretty much every partner we talk to has left vendor money on the table unspent. Because they haven’t built out, they haven’t, thought about how can we build out the capacity to be able to run our foundational marketing programs and then have the the sweetener on the top.
One last thing I wanted to talk about, just to kind of change gears a little bit and just to round out the discussion is too often I think business leaders and, that might be from the marketing side or more likely on the sales side or the, senior leadership side, see, SEO or organic as this voodoo, which they think works.
Seems to take a lot of money. Seems to take a lot of time. But, and we don’t know whether it’s gonna directly drive a right sort of outcomes for us. Now, I think about that as or where I think that comes from is, no one really, other than the people that work at the search engines understand the search algorithms.
They are black boxes that we can’t that we can’t penetrate. So the industry by, with the SEO industry or. By nature is built on shifting sands, and we know that you talked earlier about algorithm updates. Search engines are liable to update their algorithms and it can have, in some instances quite catastrophic impacts on search rankings, on organic traffic to your website.
So I think that doesn’t help, but I really think that the approach that we are taking, where we are investing in. On page technical activities. We were investing on good quality backlinks. We were investing in content. Conversations goes a long way to. Showing a clear value for the investment that a client is making in their organic, which we know from the experience that we’ve had with our clients will be driving an increase in organic traffic over time.
But we also talk to a lot of business leaders that have really been burned by Let’s call ’em cowboys who offer to do offer to build 10,000 backlinks for you. And you get this immediate rush and then it all goes away. And it just leads to this further sense of a service offering or a or a marketing strategy That’s, A bit of a lottery and liable to be a waste of money.
How do you address that? Because I, I think that’s, I think that’s the big taboo around the topic. It’s that it’s sometimes hard for business leaders to understand. What it is that we are doing and to peel away the hype, if you like, from the reality of a properly thought through organic traffic strategy.
So how do you have that conversation?
Jeremy: The reality is that these leaders are in a situation where they wanna pay for something and they wanna know what they’re buying. And they wanna know specifically what they’re gonna get. Yeah, and the way that this is all structured is there are so many variables and dependencies that it’s hard to say if you do this will happen specifically.
Already that is black box for people who don’t understand or who aren’t already bought in. They haven’t been on some journey already to understand that this is valuable. Those are hard conversations to have because they become more education related. Yeah, and it’s difficult for education to aptly then Confer or convey the value that can be derived because you’re forever going down a causal chain of you need to do this because of this, but if you’re gonna do that, you have to do this.
And it just never ends because it’s so complicated and complex and convoluted sometimes. That part of the conversation, I think generally grinds to a halt. Yeah. But if there’s a wider understanding and if we can remove some of the jargon if there’s a wider understanding around, there are prospects out there who can’t find us.
Yeah. Right now. Who. Who we know need us. Not from some egotistical our brand is the best. Yeah. From a known, we are different from our competitors and we know that there are businesses out there who need us and need our services and would vastly benefit from engaging us. Yeah. How can they find us?
Yeah. Yeah. And that. That alone starts a thought process around what do we need to do to be found by them? There are plenty of activities that can take place for us to go out and find them. Yeah. We can we can just get a. Directory listing and deploy SDRs and call them. All right. And that’s put up a bill.
Bill. Expensive. Yeah. Put up a billboard. Run ads. The outreach already exists and that I think lends itself to a conversation where I want to be able to put up money today and I wanna know how many leads I’m gonna get tomorrow. In an immediate sense that’s already there. But if we’re thinking about how do we.
Be found. And then how do we be found by the right people? And then how do we take them on the right journey so that we’re not selling to them immediately and pounding them over the head with spec sheets and with product details, but taking them on a journey that shows that we are in a.
Authority and that we have the ability to answer their thoughts and their questions, and that we can then look to understand at what point are they ready to start having a conversation? Or are they ready to start thinking about buying because they’re now at a cycle within their business where they’re gonna depart from an existing vendor or an existing partner, or they’re taking something new to market and they need a new platform, a new offering that you can provide that all happens digitally and has so much involved in it that someone would need to be able to understand the totality of that to ultimately commit.
And have the commitment be resolute and and steer you through the first couple of quarters where you can see growth, but it’s not immediately translating into a flood of leads as you would get from paid media that the resoluteness and commitment to the decision once you’re into the first year and beyond, sees the compounding benefit over time.
And then reaps the rewards, but it takes a resoluteness to the commitment. So it’s a hard conversation to have with people when they’re thinking about how do we do something about our organic acquisition? Yeah.
Nick: I love I just love the way you put that. How can we be found? Prospects are asking the question anyway.
So it’s how do we make sure that we are part of that conversation? I think how can we be found? It’s just a great way to, to finish up the conversation today. That’s, I think a wonderful takeaway. It’s not about voodoo, it’s just about how can we be found? SEO gives us, how can we be found?
All right. Thanks Jeremy. That’s been great.
Jeremy: Thank you so much.