The method by which content is found is becoming more and more sophisticated. It’s not enough to just produce a generic piece of content that’s good enough.
How many times have you clicked the “Edit Post” button in WordPress? If you’re like me, you clicked it a dozen times. You go back in making sure the right keyword is in place and to put in the right number of internal links. You update it and make sure everything written is relevant to the audience. As a content creator, content optimization is one of the greatest challenges in establishing an online presence.
What if I told you that the process shouldn’t be that difficult?
In this episode of the B2B Digital Marketer podcast, Ryo Chiba shares his tips and tricks in how you can create effective, high-quality content faster and easier.
Ryo Chiba is an entrepreneur who started a multi-million-dollar SaaS company in college using SEO and content marketing called TINT. Bootstrapped it with his 2 cofounders to 40 full-time employees, 5M in annual recurring revenue, and 1000+ customers in 172 countries.
After successfully selling the company in 2018 he is now working on Topic (usetopic.com) to help others achieve similar marketing success for their businesses.
Topic makes it easier for digital marketers to create relevant content. Their AI analyzes real time search data to help content teams understand what their audience wants to know.
00:56 – Introduction
01:46 – The one question B2B digital marketers should be asking themselves
03:00 – About Ryo Chiba and his background in SEO Content
05:05 – Why is content harder to get shared?
06:42 – Why do you create content? What is a B2B Digital Marketer?
08:03 – Could you delegate content creation to somebody who has a higher skill level?
10:05 – The importance of content relevance
11:01 – Ranking factors for Google
13:17 – How Ryo keeps up with the changes in Google’s algorithm
16:40 – How to determine if the content is relevant
18:18 – What is B2B Digital Marketing?
20:12 – What is overrated in B2B Digital Marketing
21:55 – Will A.I. eliminate the need for Content Creators?
25:26 – What generation does content creation belong to, in terms of A.I.?
29:12 – Budget reallocation
31:26 – How UseTopic differentiates itself from competitors
35:05 – Unlimited budget
37:35 – Getting the most value out of B2B Digital Marketing
38:15 – Special offer for the B2BDM Gang!
39:14 – Connect with Ryo Chiba
“Many of the customers looking for B2B solutions don’t know everything that an expert would. They don’t even care about that expert level. They just want to figure out the solution to their problem.”
“More and more tools are making it easier to create content. Content producers need to continue to step up their game in terms of the quality of their content.”
“B2B Digital Marketing is all about teaching. Teaching your customer, teaching your employees, teaching all of your prospective customers about the problems and solutions they’re going after.”
Episode Links and Resources
UseTopic website: https://www.usetopic.com/
Ryo’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryochiba
Ryo’s website: https://ryochiba.com/
More episodes on content marketing: https://b2bdm.com/engaging-multimedia-content/
Episode TranscriptClick to access unedited transcript
Jim Rembach (00:00):
Okay. B2B DM gang. I am really excited about the guests we have on today for a multitude of different reasons. Uh, and one being, uh, really talking about quality and what artificial intelligence can do to your content creation and content optimization. Uh, because when you start looking at your differentiator, if you’re focused in, on quality and building relationships, it is vital. Uh, things have changed over the past couple of years, uh, and more so within the past 12 months, when you start talking about COVID and then going to the rest of 20, 21 and dare to say, it’s not changing, it’s not going back. And hopefully we’ll get some more insights on that, but I have Rio Cheeba on the show with me today. And so real beef before you get the opportunity to tell us a little bit about yourself, if you could answer one important question to me, what should be to be digital marketers, be asking themselves right now.
Ryo Chiba (00:50):
So in terms of what B2B digital marketers should be asking themselves, one critical question is, would I read my own content? And it seems like a easy question. You know, something that you’d be able to answer in a second, of course, or yes or no, but really I think people don’t ask this question to themselves enough and it’s because as digital marketers, we spent so much time investing in the processes and the people behind creating this content, we get emotionally attached to it. Ego is tied to it, but in the end, you know, as an objective third party, you need to be really thinking about, is this something that I actually read? And oftentimes it’s, you know, introspecting on that. You might realize that, um, there are things about your process that you need to improve, you know, that you wouldn’t read this content that you’re actually producing. So that’s, that’s what I would answer that question.
Jim Rembach (01:45):
Awesome. We’re going to get deeper into that in a minute. And so if you could give us a little bit of understanding on, you know, you, you, your role, your organization and your experience related to this particular project, product and solution, and really overall aspect of ranking higher in the search engines today.
Ryo Chiba (02:05):
Yeah. So in terms of my background as a digital marketer, my, uh, experience starts back in 2012. I was still in college and I was starting a new company with some other undergrads. It was, um, in the B2C space, it was sorta similar to Pinterest. Um, but we were growing that startup. Uh, eventually we pivoted to turn our solution into a B2B product. And I basically self taught myself all about SEO and content marketing. And we were able to grow that product to about 40 people and 5 million in revenue and all through our content program and our SEO efforts. And so I’m a developer turned marketer. And through that experience, I learned about how hard it is to scale up content and do it right, even for highly technical, highly skilled people to do this. It’s, it’s quite challenging. And when content is becoming more and more competitive, it just makes it even harder to get the results that you want, uh, from a marketing perspective. And so after we sold that company in 2018, I decided that for my next venture, we’d be really honing in on this problem, helping B2B, marketers, scale up their content and do it in a way that isn’t necessarily super technical is still accessible, um, and results in, um, higher quality content being produced
Jim Rembach (03:30):
Well. And as you’re talking about that, I want people to kind of stop and think about this whole maturation process and how we’ve gotten here today. Uh, we all know that really the proliferation of digital devices has made a significant impact on the way that we access information, the way that we actually use information throughout our lives, um, and how we connect with other people. And that has greatly affected the content, you know, that is currently, you know, on the web. So I have talked to a lot of my friends, who’ve been creating content and they’ve been content creators for, you know, 10, 15 years. And they’re saying, gosh, stuff doesn’t get shared. Like it used to why is that
Ryo Chiba (04:09):
One big part is it’s so much more accessible to create content these days, you know, 15 years ago, it was much harder to even do something like upload a video or add captions, but there are more and more tools that are making it easier and easier. And as a result, content, producers need to continue to step up their game in terms of the quality of their content. And I think another aspect to that too, is, uh, the methods by which content is found, you know, something as simple as Google search engine are becoming more and more sophisticated also. So it’s not enough to just produce a generic piece of content that is good enough. Um, Google, you know, can find the specific paragraph in your content that would be relevant for a specific search. And so if your content isn’t highly relevant to the audience that you’re targeting, that can make a huge difference as well. And so those are some aspects that marketers need to be understanding when they’re getting into the game, because if they don’t have it, if their, if their content isn’t on point in those dimensions, then it’s not going to succeed.
Jim Rembach (05:11):
And as you talk about that, so why do we go and create this content from a marketing perspective, it’s ultimately to drive some type of either brand awareness or sales activity and what has happened in a very short period of time, it’s been, it’s been solely happened and it was forced code forced. It is that we now need to start bringing all these things together, marketing sales, and even dare to say client success and customer retention, all of those three pieces now need to come together. And the same is happening with content creation from a technical perspective, from a copy perspective, from an information perspective. Talk a little bit to that.
Ryo Chiba (05:46):
Yeah. And I think that question, or, uh, this part of the discussion really ties into the question of, uh, you know, what is a B2B digital marketer in end? You know, how I see it is marketers are educators they’re teachers, and that, um, that applies in both internally and externally, both to your own team internally among different departments like sales and engineering and how they tie into marketing and also to your persona and your audience, you know, teaching them about the problems that they’re having, that there are solutions out there and great B2B digital marketers are able to bridge that gap and not only present information that’s relevant to their students in this case, the customer, but also meet them where they’re at. So figure out figuring out where they exist, um, whether it’s, you know, in a specific Slack group or, uh, targeting them effectively through ads.
Jim Rembach (06:44):
Now, as you say that I start getting this picture of, you know, turning over content creation to somebody who is entry level, low skill, doesn’t have much exposure or experience to the industry or the product or the service, and then asking them to create content. So the here’s the question, should we be giving content creation to somebody who has a higher skill level
Ryo Chiba (07:07):
In terms of figuring out whether to give the work of creating content to an expert, if you can afford it. Certainly a lot of teams don’t have those resources. So they’re forced to make choices in terms of handing this work over to less skilled teammates. And I think in this case, it’s a matter of what’s the most efficient for the business. But I would say that even for experts, it can be challenging to create relevant content because as anybody who sat through a boring presentation knows the expert doesn’t necessarily know what you want to figure out as a beginner or a novice. And many of the people in many of the customers that are looking for B2B solutions, don’t know everything that an expert would, and don’t even really care about that expert level. They just want to figure out the solution to their problem.
Ryo Chiba (07:58):
And so, you know, we, a good story that I can tell is one of our customers, uh, specializes in, um, giving recommendations for, uh, expert level sporting equipment, you know, things like snow shoes and S and skis and that kind of thing. And they’ve recruited a team of, uh, athletes and experts in all these areas to create content around the best hiking shoes and the best, uh, sporting equipment. And they’ve found that, you know, initially the, the, the guides that they’re producing had so many technical details or aspects to these products that are completely irrelevant to some, but to most people who are getting into these sports. And so, you know, our software helped them identify, okay, here are the real questions people are asking around these products and how can we meet, take the expert level knowledge and apply it to that, that problem. And so that resulted in a much higher, um, engagement rate, both in terms of the content, but also the product that they’re selling.
Jim Rembach (08:58):
Okay. So you bring up a really interesting point, you know, does a company have to do a much better job of determining and figuring out who their ideal customer is today versus it’s been in the past?
Ryo Chiba (09:09):
Absolutely. In terms of content relevance, uh, like we talked about earlier, um, not only is it important for the actual, uh, the engagement or the engaging, uh, engaging this level of the content. It’s also important for, uh, search at a technical level. You know, Google is constantly evaluating what parts of the content are relevant to the audience. And so if it’s not necessarily relevant, then it’s not going to be showing up, um, in the channels that you want them to.
Jim Rembach (09:41):
Yeah. Well, and we’re talking about Google and because it’s really the, the major and biggest search engine by far, that’s out there, and they talk about 200 plus ranking factors. When you look at content and trying to, you know, rank and have content, you know, really have the impact to pull that marketing and sales together now does a tool like yours actually look through all 200 ranking factors for Google
Ryo Chiba (10:05):
In terms of the ranking factors. The interesting thing is that most people who are just starting with SEO or, or, or maybe, uh, have intermediate level of experience put in a lot of weight into which rag ranking factors make the biggest difference, and, you know, how can I game the system so I can rank number one, but in the end when people say quality content wins, what that really means is that Google relies much more now on engagement factors that are determined by user behavior, things like time on site and bounce rate. And these are metrics that although our objective and our numerical rely on human behavior and that, that human behavior relies on the subjective factors, which people refer to as quality, but in the end are things like is this site, um, does this site seem authoritative and trustworthy? Does this site have an interface that I can easily get to the information I want?
Ryo Chiba (11:03):
Is it entertaining? And does it have, uh, videos that I can watch? And so all of those factors play a huge role in terms of the, uh, rank of a piece of content. And I think those are really the things that people need to be paying attention to. And in terms of whether our software takes a look at those, all those ranking factors, our software really focuses in, on producing content that’s relevant to the audience so that that audience can stay on the page longer, stay engaged and get value out of that content. And as a side effect results in a higher ranking, because Google sees that people are actually staying on the PA that page and getting value out of it.
Jim Rembach (11:43):
Now, Google has also made some changes here recently in regards to, you know, mobile indexing and mobile first. And, uh, they made one significant update. They’re getting ready to make another. And so they talk about, you know, a lot of changes happening with Google. Uh, so how do you two things, how do you keep up with those changes that Google makes so that your tool is essentially serving customers the best how’s that, that, that one question and the next is, you know, how is mobile going to affect, you know, what we do going forward in regards to, uh, search indexing and, uh, optimization.
Ryo Chiba (12:21):
So to answer the first question, which was, how do we keep on top of all the changes that Google is constantly making to that their algorithm we’re in a privileged position to be working with, uh, some of the top content teams that are putting together, you know, high-level content, um, or high quality content that, uh, is actually meant to serve the search audience rather than teams who are specifically focused on extracting as much traffic as possible and trying to game the system. And there’s obviously a gradient of marketers who sort of fit in between that, you know, between, um, you know, people who move really fast and are focused on the results. And then people are focused more so on, you know, the higher level, uh, intent of creating content quality. And then, um, by taking a look at our customers, we can see how those algorithm changes are making an impact and evaluate are those things relevant for our product and the recommendations we make to our customers.
Ryo Chiba (13:15):
And I can say that over the past year, for those customers who have focused more so on the, uh, subjective aspect of adding value to their customers, those algorithm changes have affected them less than those who are focused more on a, can we pump out as much content as possible and try to game the system. Those are the kinds of situations where Google is constantly finding unique ways to identify that kind of behavior. And so, um, in terms of keeping up, I think if you’re listening to the show and you’re, you’re in the position to create content, my recommendation is as long as you focused focus on the end result of educating your customers, um, the algorithm choosing is shouldn’t affect you, um, as much. And so for the second question, I know that you asked about mobile and how that’s changing the game. Um, one of the biggest things that I think mobile unlocks is all a whole slew of new, uh, types of searches that wouldn’t have been done before and in great volumes, you know, when you’re out and about during your day, uh, you can just pull out your phone and do, do a search where previously you wouldn’t have been able to, and those kinds of searches are unique, uh, and create new intents or goals that users have.
Ryo Chiba (14:37):
And as a result, that’s going to change the content that marketers need to be creating. Um, you know, and I think a good example of that is, you know, with that sporting goods customer, um, if, uh, if a customer is in a retail store and they want to look up certain aspects of a specific product, uh, those kinds of searches wouldn’t have been made in the past because I use it. I wouldn’t be able to search for that, but now they’re doing that. And, you know, as, as content producers, we need to be ready to serve the right information for that kind of request.
Jim Rembach (15:08):
Yeah. Okay. So to, just to kind of clarify their point, there’s a couple of things here, when you start talking about a search, there’s the local and what’s near me and all of those things, and then there’s other things that may be associated with B2B, whether like, Hey, I’m a SAS based business and there isn’t necessarily a location, a driver that’s associated here. So those search factors and parameters and intents and all of those things can be quite unique to the different organizations. So how do you help people to understand, you know, that the content that you’re creating, you know, is going to be relevant based on those different parameters?
Ryo Chiba (15:44):
Yeah. So in terms of how we figure out whether that content is going to be relevant, um, are you asking in terms of our product or also just in general? Um,
Jim Rembach (15:56):
I’d love to learn both. Yeah.
Ryo Chiba (15:58):
So in terms of our product, how we establish whether your content is going to be relevant is that we analyze the existing top results in Google. Luckily, Google has done all the hard work of assessing all of the content that’s out there and figured out which pieces of content are engaging users are and keeping them on the site. And so analyzing those top results are a real window into the kinds of things, uh, that the search audience wants to learn more about. And, you know, typically that kind of research is done manually, but we help you do that automatically and sort of speed up that process
Jim Rembach (16:35):
Or just not done. Yeah, exactly. Oh, and we’ll just go ahead and do it. Okay. So, uh, I, I love this insight that you’re sharing because it’s so deep and so rich, and, you know, you were talking about, you know, being in school 2012. Goodness. I mean, I was back in school in 1991. Um, I mean, your wealth of insight is man, it’s humbling. Um, and so from there, from that perspective, I like to ask people, you know, what their thoughts are on, you know, the industry that we’re in, um, and specific, you know, specifically for me, you know, the niche of B2B. So in your mind, in your perspectives perspective, what is B to B digital marketing
Ryo Chiba (17:23):
Because of what B2B digital marketing is? I would say it’s all about teaching, teaching your customer, teaching your employees, uh, teaching, um, all of your, uh, prospective customers about the problems and solutions that they’re going after. And I think everybody has had a great teacher and can relate to somebody who has inspired them or help them get to the next level. And for B to B some of the problems that we’re solving are very specific, you know, either industry or the problem itself is very niche. Um, so that, uh, a lot of the education is, is about, you know, the problem itself, um, and where, how it arises, who it affects a great teacher, knows who their students are and where to meet them in terms of their level. Um, you know, if you speak to, uh, if you’re too complicated in your explanations, then people are going to get confused and not understand. And so, um, I think that’s what I think of when I asked myself the question, what is a B2B digital marketer?
Jim Rembach (18:34):
Yeah, thanks for that. Uh, because everybody’s perspective is unique to them and their ecosystem and their experiences. And even when you start asking people who are in an operation or a company who is doing work, they’re going to have a different definition because of their, their purview and the way that they think about it and their responsibilities. So if you started talking about, um, um, you know, things that have changed so much, we now have things that we’ve been doing that are common practice, uh, and that maybe we even say that, Hey, you should be doing this that have become overrated and overstated, uh, and too common, you know, is there something that stands out in your mind that we should really reconsider?
Ryo Chiba (19:17):
I think one key thing to reconsider is, uh, the way in which people assess, um, their own progress as marketers in terms of, uh, the, the size of teams, the manage. One thing that I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is how important it is to stay lean because big teams just inherently are slower and more complicated and difficult to manage and, uh, creates an exponential amount of work to get the same amount and done. Um, so I think, you know, uh, for me, I think big teams are overrated. The best leaders have their own cadre of people that they know who, how to communicate with and can get stuff done. Um, more specifically from a content side, I think that’s, um, one thing that a lot of people are talking about is the idea that AI is going to be able to generate content for me.
Ryo Chiba (20:13):
Um, I can just click a button and get great content and, you know, that solves all my problems, you know, but really, uh, that’s, you know, that’s a race to the bottom that kind of, that kind of capability is, is, is coming out. Sure. You know, in the next couple of years, but really if you want to drive results, uh, it’s going to continue to be about knowing your customer better than your competitors speaking to them in their language and solving the problem better. And, and that’s not going to come from an AI that can generate content, although that can maybe help in the process. But you, I think that in general is a overhyped thing that’s coming.
Jim Rembach (20:52):
Well, I think the question is that you’re alluding to is, is artificial intelligence going to eliminate the need for content creators?
Ryo Chiba (21:00):
So in terms of whether artificial intelligence is going to eliminate content creators, I think that it’s going to change their job description in the same way that, you know, computers used to, you know, computer used to be a job title for people who, uh, did math problems, you know, but, but a content creator, might’ve been somebody who used to have to, you know, type in every single word for the piece of content that they wanted to create. But as time goes on and AI gets more sophisticated, content creators are going to be more of a, take, a more editorial role and work at the level of concepts and ideas and, and things that they want to explain. And the machine will then be able to translate that into their language and in their tone of voice. And so it’s certainly going to make a slow but steady impact in terms of how people do work. But in the end, there is still so much creative and critical thinking involved in producing a compelling piece of content that I don’t, I don’t think that part of the equation is going to change, uh, in the near future.
Jim Rembach (22:07):
And that’s the same thing that by the way, is occurring, you know, in the, uh, customer service world. So there was a lot of chatbots and AI that is being used in the customer service and customer care industries. And, you know, some people will come right out and talk about that, you know, issue of replacement of people. But what most people say is really what you were saying is that it’s more of an augmentation. You know, it’s a scenario where, you know, I can now take, you know, the humanity, you know, of somebody who is in customer care or creating content, you know, and now allow them to do what they do best, faster and more effectively.
Ryo Chiba (22:46):
Absolutely. And, you know, there’s just that human element, especially for customer experience, the human element, can’t be replaced at least personally, whenever I’m on a chat bot, I’m always trying to press zero to get to a real person, but,
Jim Rembach (23:00):
Okay. So that brings up a good point. So I’ve done a couple of research studies and wrote papers on artificial intelligence and use of artificial intelligence and customer service and customer experience and contact centers. And there’s really, um, what I called three different generations of artificial intelligence capabilities. And really when you start talking about a first-generation, it’s almost, rules-based, it’s very, very simple. I mean, it’s, if somebody says this, therefore I give that right. Uh, and that’s really what most of the chatbots that are out there are. I mean, they’re very simple rules based. You have to tell it exactly how to respond based on what’s asked, and then you have, uh, something that goes into a little bit of a more, um, generation to where I can now start accessing, you know, database and information. And, but I’m still only dealing with one intent.
Jim Rembach (23:47):
Right. Um, and, and you have to get into a generation three bot where you can now ask multiage intent. And let me explain that a little bit for those who are, haven’t had exposure to that. So multi intent is that I’m asking a chat bot to respond and provide support on this and this that’s multi intent. So in other words, you know, I would like to register, um, get a flight to Chicago on Tuesday, May 2nd. Uh, and I also need a refund for my last flight to Orlando. Chatbot can do that. I mean, very, very few can do that. Um, you need a gen three bot to do that. So if I’m thinking about content creation in that context of gen one, gen two gen three, where do you think we are at the moment? And where would your solution line?
Ryo Chiba (24:30):
I think currently we’re in the second generation where it is more sophisticated than a simple rules-based approach. I think we’re barely, maybe at the cusp of going to the third generation, but the, in the end, the most sophisticated systems out there, how they work as they essentially are looking word by word, and they’re trying to predict the probability of the next word and that kind of system just happens to be really good at generating human sounding text. However, in the end, the system has no understanding of the logic behind, uh, the communication. You know, it has no real concept of, of what’s going on. It’s just a machine that’s trying to figure out the probability of the next word. And so in that sense, I would say it’s still far from the third, you know, generation, but in terms of our product, I wouldn’t say it necessarily, um, is in the business of generating text. I would say that it’s utilizing that AI to help you get closer to the humans on the other side of your content, which is the search. And so by utilizing that real time search behavior, and then using AI to cleverly assemble that into something that’s very quickly, quickly and easy to utilize by a marketer who’s busy and has got a million other things on their plate, you know, uh, that’s, that’s how we fit in using our AI
Jim Rembach (26:00):
And hence the augmentation stance. So also when you’re explaining that, it sounds to me like, uh, even though we’re talking about content creation and content optimization, it seems like your tool allows me to be a little bit more instead of putting so much effort and emphasis into the whole creation and origination piece or into the editing and the finesse piece,
Ryo Chiba (26:23):
Definitely in terms of the, the effort that you spend, you know, every minute that you spend trying to write a specific sentence is something that you could be putting towards the more creative and critical, um, aspect of evaluating, you know, is this idea relevant for my audience? And it’s something that people don’t consider enough and put enough time when they are creating content. Like you mentioned, you know, if it’s too much research, usually it doesn’t get done at all. And so that’s, that’s a huge problem.
Jim Rembach (26:52):
Well, and, and here’s, here’s the interesting part in the irony about that is that when you look at the most shared content and the most engaging content, especially in B2B, it has data in it. So if I’m not doing the data component, um, I’m automatically and inherently causing myself to have less of those signals, go back to the search engine. The saying that this is engaging content,
Ryo Chiba (27:14):
Definitely. And I think that’s also where, uh, that is also something that ties into, you know, one thing that’s really important, I think for B2B digital marketers to focus on is build a moat and work on things that are able to compound over time and data and content is one of those things. It’s, it’s something that somebody else can’t quickly replicate or pull. Um, it’s something that’s unique to your business and adds up over time. And so, um, that, you know, just echo your point. I think that is really important.
Jim Rembach (27:49):
Thank you for sharing that. Okay. So now a lot of us, you know, already have budgets that we’re working with, and it doesn’t matter if you’re that team of one, right. You’re having to do all these things, you know, or you are part of a larger team. You know, we are currently have, you know, spend that’s happening and we’re looking for returns on investment. And if you were to say and give advice to a B2B digital marketer, what would you tell them in regard to be allocating or some of that budget you should probably should take away from here and move it to over here? What was your answer
Ryo Chiba (28:16):
In terms of reallocating budget? It would be to building that moat and figuring out what is it that’s going to stand the test of time, because it’s so easy in marketing to spend, especially on things that don’t build that moat, especially, you know, on things like paid. Um, although it gives you that quick boost, it’s something that, you know, if you turn off one day, it’s not going to be there, um, unless you’re continue to pay for it. And so, you know, those are things like, uh, being able to build relationships with their customers that you can lean on to produce marketing assets or, you know, SEO and content. That’s not something that just goes away. Authority is built over time. And so for marketers who are looking to enhance their budgets, it would be to find opportunities to take the spend that’s going to, uh, non compounding activities and putting it into compounding activities.
Jim Rembach (29:10):
That’s very helpful now, uh, needless to say, and I mentioned my experience and background in AI and customer experience and contact centers and, and how that’s having such a massive impact. That also brings a lot of solution providers. When I started looking at the funding of that has been given to a lot of solution providers in that space in a, in a, basically a three-year window. It is massive. And the same thing is happening here as well. I mean, you’re, you’re a part of that, uh, with creating, you know, your company and your, and getting the funding, but, but there’s, there’s a lot of competition out there and it’s going to continue to grow. So that means we have to be more savvy if we’re looking for this type of solution for ourselves and for our organization. So I’d like to talk a little bit about, and maybe you can even weave in some of that different generation things, right. We talked about first, second, and third, um, and talk about some of these competitors that, you know, we may come across, if we do searches for, you know, AI content optimization or AI content creation, and that is market muse, um, BR uh, brainwork clear scope phrase, super SEO, uh, AI writer. There’s, there’s a ton, and you may have a few more that you can add to that, but there’s a lot of different competitors out there. How does topic your organization, your company differentiate from the rest of those?
Ryo Chiba (30:30):
Yeah. In terms of the differentiators, uh, I guess I can start in terms of describing the market overall and where different customers fit in because every industry or every, uh, solutions, um, landscape has, you know, that kind of map that you don’t really see until you’re living in it, and as customers, you know, you might never ever see it cause it’s like so complicated sometimes. Um, but in terms of our map in the content optimization space, I would say I’ll start from the bottom to the top bottom being, you know, in terms of budget. So in terms of the lowest budget, uh, competitors out there, um, those are the ones like phrase or surfer or AI writing tool. And, um, they really focus in on targeting customers in that bucket who want a one click solution, um, people who are looking to write content quick and just using one button, you know, and, um, not spend so much time into curating something that’s going to be high quality.
Ryo Chiba (31:35):
And so the reason why those tools are priced at that point is because for them, it makes sense. Um, because most of these people have low budgets, but there are a lot of them, you know, there are people who are either just starting a marketing, or maybe don’t have a marketing background, but know they have to do it. And, uh, that, you know, that is sort of a bucket of tools out there. Um, on the other side of the space, when you are going, um, as you’re moving up market, you start to see tools like, um, ourselves and clear scope is another one. Um, that really are more targeting those teams who are focused in on the relevance of their content who have either in-house teams, or maybe they’re an agency that caters to brands who really care about the quality of their content. And so in terms of how our products differentiate there, we have a lot more tooling that allows for more curation and editorial control over the suggestions that we give.
Ryo Chiba (32:36):
And also workflow features that allow those teams who do spend more time, um, working on their content to actually do that within our platform. And we have less of those features that are like one click, a modern article spinners. You know, that’s not something that we really want to touch. And so I think market muse fits into that category as well. Um, for a long time in this space market, muse was the only one. Um, and so they very quickly went to the enterprise of re route. And, um, as a result, their pricing reflects that, you know, it’s enterprise pricing and their tools, although comprehensive aren’t necessarily a good fit for those more medium-sized marketing teams who aren’t the largest, you know, fortune 50 brands. And so, um, that’s how I’d describe the competitive landscape and the different customers that fit into each of the buckets.
Jim Rembach (33:29):
Well, that’s very helpful. Okay. So when I start thinking about, um, you know, um, I have a new world for me, I have a new year. I have, you know, budget that I didn’t have before because we’ve had this COVID shift and now my sales team has come in and they’re wanting me to drive more leads. And, uh, you know, I have, uh, you know, revenue generation, that’s now coming to me. I have demand gen. I have all, you know, all these people who are now really excited about some of the things that we’re doing in the marketing side and, you know, our content optimization. So I’ve got unlimited budget. I can do whatever I want. Where do I spend it? You talked about the moat, but if you could think about it from that perspective, instead of, you know, reallocation
Ryo Chiba (34:10):
Yeah. Unlimited spend it’s everybody’s dream, everybody, you know, revenue solves all, that was the, that was the catchphrase at my previous company. You know, um, if anybody’s having a bad time, you know, figure out a way to make more revenue. Uh, I think if I had unlimited funds, I’d actually take a little bit of a different approach based on my previous experiences. You know, like I mentioned, in that previous company, we were able to grow really fast all through SEO. Um, we didn’t necessarily have to hustle really hard for every single deal. We were really lucky because our product inherently was able to generate leads for us, um, through that. And so we were in a situation where we did, you know, for our team size, we felt like we had unlimited funds. And, uh, as a result I can speak from experience. When I say that we were really good at being inefficient with those funds.
Ryo Chiba (35:02):
And it’s very easy to spend, you know, spend on new employees, spend on new channels, move so fast that you’re not measuring anything and generally lose that discipline that’s required. That’s so essential for being able to learn and advance in marketing. And so, uh, if I had to go back and do it again and have those funds, I’d actually take a different approach, try to stay as lean as possible, measure carefully and in a disciplined way, identify places where I can build that moat, SEO reviews, customer relationships, and, um, you know, basically figuring out how can I do that same amount of work with less so that in every channel that I’m investing in, I know for sure that I’m getting, um, a positive result because it’s, it’s very easy, um, to start spending. And the problem with spending, especially on teams is that there’s so much momentum that comes with it in terms of, you know, once you have a team it’s like you can’t, um, you can’t downsize that very easily without effecting everything, um, from your morale to company culture. And, um, and so you have to figure out how to, how to, yeah. Not get trapped in that situation. Uh, that’s so easy to find yourself in with unlimited funds.
Jim Rembach (36:20):
W and when I hear you say that, uh, for me, the, the question I think you’re really focusing in, on wanting to answer on a continuous basis is how do I get more value out of, you know, B2B, digital marketing. To me that was all value concept based and value strategy based is what you were talking about.
Ryo Chiba (36:39):
Absolutely. I think that in terms of where you get the most value it’s going to be when you are, uh, experimenting, but within certain constraints and are, uh, constantly asking yourself that question is, is this, is this driving an impact for my business?
Jim Rembach (36:58):
Well, Rio, I’ve had a fun time. We’ve got him some really good stuff. And I hope people, you know, really can understand, you know, the, uh, the space, the industry and the solutions that are in it, you know, now after listening and watching, uh, Marshall than they did before. So, but we also have a special offer for the B2B DM gang, uh, that I think we’re going to provide through topic. Uh, if you want to talk a little bit about that.
Ryo Chiba (37:19):
Yeah. So for the B2B D uh, DM gang, we’ve got, you know, we’ve got a really special offer for you. If you’re interested in upping your content marketing game and scaling up your content. Um, we have a special coupon of all available on the sites, um, on, uh, this podcast site for three months, uh, where you can get 25% off. And so you can give our software, our shot, see how, uh, how it plays out for you, but we’re confident that it will help you increase the quality and the quantity of the content that you’re putting.
Jim Rembach (37:55):
And so what that means is all you have to do is go to B, to B 3m.com and then do a search for Rio, which is R Y O. And you’ll be able to get that matter of fact, I’ll even put a tag in there for our IO. For those that might forget Rio Chiba. I had a great time with you today. How can the B2B DM gang get in touch with you? Gosh, I’m stumbling saying it.
Ryo Chiba (38:18):
It’s all good. Yeah. Uh, your, your audience can get in touch with me by going to use topic.com and all my information is there.
Jim Rembach (38:28):
Thank you very much. Uh, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, and we wish you the very best.