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Jan. 14, 2022

A.I. Powered Content Strategies – Giving SEO A Boost with Jeff Coyle

A.I. Powered Content Strategies – Giving SEO A Boost with Jeff Coyle

This episode features guest Jeff Coyle. Jeff is Chief Strategy Officer for MarketMuse, an industry leading content solution that brings data scientists and engineers together with content strategists and SEO experts to make AI accessible for content teams of all sizes and skill levels.

Discover what you need to do to be successful with SEO strategies in 2022 and going forward and how you can use A.I. from MarketMuse to increase your organic traffic.

How do you hang on when SEO does not provide quick results? That is a subject of this interview. Discover why SEO is essential for brand growth and what is working in today's environment including how to create predictable, data-driven insights.

In addition, in this episode find how content creators are utilizing MarketMuse's artificial driven content that will drive organic traffic including how you can use artificially driven content to create the most effective content. Finally, discover why with SEO you need to be present for the entire buying cycle to have success with SEO.

Episode Action Items:

You can find more information regarding Jeff by visiting MarketMuse at https://www.marketmuse.com. While you are there, signup for our free product to see if MarketMuse can help you and discover training course for best-practices creating content.

ABOUT THE HOST:

Andy Splichal - Make Each Click Count PodcastAndy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.

Transcript

Andy Splichal  0:02  

Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. We are happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss today's topic, which is AI powered content strategies, giving SEO a boost. Today's guest is co-founder and Chief Product Officer for an industry leading content solution that brings data scientists and engineers together with content strategist and SEO experts to make AI accessible for content teams of all sizes and skill levels. A big hello to Jeff Coyle of MarketMuse. Hi, Jeff.

 

Jeff Coyle  1:22  

Hi, how are you? I'm so glad to be here today. 

 

Andy Splichal  1:25  

You know, we're excited to have you. Now let's get right into it. What would you say to people who believe SEO is dead, that the heyday of being able to rank organically is over. And you'd be better served by spending your time and your resources on other marketing channels?

 

Jeff Coyle  1:44  

I'd say I'm sorry about that. I'm saying they probably have an agenda, they probably want you to spend money on other marketing channels. And they're probably being you know, they're probably in some way compensated by you spending money in those other channels. But I would really be saying it's not that it's not remotely close to dead. The market validates this even in 2021. You know, multiple major events happened in the search engine optimization industry that truly validates it. We had two multiple multibillion dollar SAS software company IPOs with similar web and SEMrush. We had conductor, for example, who focuses on mid market to enterprise just raise $150 million funding round, we had mas get sold to a large publisher J2 Global a subsidiary of J2 Global. Not only is SEO not dead from a practitioner's perspective, but it's as strong as it's ever been from a real  MarTech  industry and today.

 

Andy Splichal  2:58  

So it's not dead. But it would it be fair to say that it is a lot more difficult to successfully implement an SEO strategy than it was 1015 years ago?

 

 

Jeff Coyle  3:10  

Oh, gosh,yes. It's, you know, it's almost a dream come true for me. Not just because I've been doing this for 23 years, which I have done search content strategy, lead gen demand, Gen, AV multivariate testing, anything that relates to traffic going in, and money or leads coming out. But it's a dream to me, not just because or not because it's hard. It's because you have to focus on the right things, to focus on making great business decisions to be successful. And that legitimizes the craft, internally, for real businesses. So it's harder. But why is it harder, because it's you have to do things that, you know, are fundamentally, they can't be black boxes internally. They can't be things that are, you know, sketchy tricks, you have to do things that are equivalent to other business operations and other business systems. And that's hard, it's hard to have to do this the same, you know, and have processes for technical SEO, for example, that are equivalent to the way you manage corporate secure security, or, you know, information security, or from a content perspective, the way that you manage, you know, editorial or the way that you manage content strategy has to have components that are like legitimate business practices that involve Search Engine Optimization outcomes. The punchline is that the outcomes are overcoming the outputs in SEO and in the world. So people are less likely to be focused on you know, a bitten a ball or a tweak or a trick, because they're focused on the fact that our teams, our demand gen team, our content team, our search team, our editorial team, our product team, all actually have to work together in order to drive the outcomes that maybe 10 years ago, were coming from an SEO trick. And that's what makes it hard.

 

Andy Splichal  5:20  

Can you say that, again, one time outcomes are now outperforming the output?

 

Jeff Coyle  5:25  

There just that people are realizing that for a long time, SEO was kind of pigeon holed as a thing that was, you know, loosely correlated to outcomes. But now, people are realizing that if you're doing these things, right, they're driving the same outcomes as other marketing channels. It's not about rankings, it's about the fact that those yielded brand growth, those yielded, leads those yielded sales.

 

Andy Splichal  5:54  

How, how are you traveling? That's always been one of the difficulty with with SEO is it's not, you know, it's not your immediate gratification of your, you know, like your pay-per-click, right, whether it's through Google, or its Facebook, where people are clicking and buying, and you're up in five minutes, it takes a long time,right? Oh, how do you how do you track it? How do you suggest people track that? How do they? How do people remain patient and keep on with this strategy that you put in place?

 

Jeff Coyle  6:25  

It's such a great question, because they're, you know, content generally, has always been plugged in, you have to kind of drink the Kool-Aid first, invest in it, and then have some out comes Search Engine Optimization, from all the different types of investment you may need? Well, you know, it can be you know, a lot of technical stuff, it can be, you know, not just technical from the standpoint of, of your site, being fast, but also managing a migration well, making sure that you're, you know, you're not causing user frustration. And it is hard for a business to nach like immediately be mature enough to connect that to, to, you know, things that then get to revenue. But in, you know, teams that do that have a share, they basically they have shared responsibilities and shared KPIs, as well as ones of their own. And the, they've got to have some shared KPIs amongst the teams that all influence in the end online sales or online leads, or if you're in a publisher in case the you know, revenue generated via ads, or affiliate clicks, or whatever the case may be that RPM number. So having those people all associated with those KPIs, make sure that the projects that should be prioritized get prioritized. If you know, asking more of the pragmatic, of how do you hang on when SEO isn't an overnight thing, when you know, paid can yield immediate gratification, right paid can also yield exorbitant amounts of risk. And it can yield situations where you know, especially in B@Bleads lead accountability, and you have the same if you're in B2B and you have a longer sales cycle, if you're buying stuff for, you know, versus if you're buying things for, you know, conversions to products, if you're selling coffee cups, right? You still have those that delayed gratification with paid because you're having to input the leads generated or input. Even if you're selling fast via product lead growth, and you get a purchase via paid well, how long did they stay as a recurring purchaser? How frequently is that cohort churning, you still have all that obligation that you might have with inbound leads, but like the day you write a content item doesn't mean that that content item is generating success? So the question of delayed gratification from an SEO perspective is, do I want the aspirational outcome? That's the thing, that's the thing that you've got to get ahead of and say, okay, in a year, what do we want to be? What story do we want to tell? How much traffic do we think we can build? And this is like my life, right? It's, I want to create predictable data driven insights that give people the information they need to say, how much content do we need to create? How likely is it to be successful? What should we expect to get and months down the road? So that they can be confident in those investments? I think it's predictable predictable ROI is the key.

 

Andy Splichal  9:56  

Okay, so let's take a step back. You had mentioned KPIs, and for those that don't know, it's the key performance indicator. Is patience, are one of those key performance indicators you need?

 

 

Jeff Coyle  10:08  

You need expectations is a great question. You need to set expectations, you need expectations set. Absolutely. And this is where failures occur. You also need to create a culture of content internally. Those are the two things that are kind of your precursors to having any sort of successful SEO program or content program. 

 

Andy Splichal  10:38  

 

 So let's, yeah, let's go there. Let's let's talk about the content and specifically, how you're fitting in with your company. And how does the artificial driven content work with SEO?

 

Jeff Coyle  10:50  

 

 Are the artificially driven content? So now it's a great question. So I use artificial intelligence and our technologies artificial intelligence at all stages of the content process, not just the generation side, but generation is absolutely a way to amplify and accelerate a writer, editor. You no team, but I like to walk through the whole process, because it gets to the bottom of where most people make mistakes. Like you, me, you said to people who say SEO is dead? The reason why one of the reasons why is because their content efficiency is very low. What does that mean? They write 10 articles or 10 pages of content to get maybe one to perform. That's actually about the industry average about 10%. And so they think, you know, yes, somebody how much does content cost? They say, you know, a couple $100. Okay, well, you're punching at 10% to now how much does it cost effectively, they're like, oh, wait, it's actually about $5,000. And then their head explodes, right? So being able to evaluate your content process at all stages of what goes into how a bill becomes a law. That's where artificial intelligence can accelerate each stage. So that what you actually build has a high the highest possible chance of being successful, whether you write it and use technology to guide you while you're writing. Before you start writing, while you're writing, or there's actually generated points of reference that you can build from an edit and expand. The point is that more of what you publish is going to have a chance to be successful. The teams that adopt that approach, blow the doors off of somebody who believes that they're just going to use AI to generate content in order to publish it. That's the difference. 

 

Andy Splichal  12:54  

So it's a really, it's it's artificially driven content and the keywords driven. So it's giving you suggestions on what to write or guiding it, but you're not putting something into a magic box and something shooting out?

 

Jeff Coyle  13:08  

Well, that's the funny part about it is. Is artificial intelligence can drive all those outcomes? It absolutely can you can input information in and get content out. That is, it isn't magic, it is feels like yeah, well, yeah. And it feels like a magic box. Sometimes. It's how good is the info you're giving it? And then what are you doing with what comes out where the difference between a ineffective practitioner of these types of approaches, or somebody trying to trick the system, and thinking they're gonna get away with something has a completely different outcome than thinking about these things critically, like a business would. And I might sound esoteric, but just to give you an example, because we could talk about generation natural language generation, which is the one of the branch of artificial intelligence I work in, also in natural language processing a lot. But the way that NLG works in Natural Language Generation is you build a language model. And it predicts basically, it can write predictive text based on a bunch of inputs. You can do this with a little bit of input, and you get like a wild card who knows what's going to come out? There's real real is real situation is that you need to treat anything that's generated just like it was written by a writer you've never met an outsourced writer who may have done a great job they may have not. It may need a lot of work. It may need only a little bit of work.

 

Andy Splichal  14:56  

Right. Because I'm sure like stuff like industry lingo and stuff like that. So It's not gonna be in there where you would have to kind of catch it up.

 

Jeff Coyle  15:03  

The technology that MarketMuse is built is very different than some of the other language models that are out there. MarketMuse first draft, what we do is we actually train the language model to be a topic specific expert. 

 

Andy Splichal  15:16  

Okay, great. 

 

Yeah. And we tune it for your sites, we actually train to be a topic expert. And then we also post tune it for the way that you write. So we can actually make it right like you. But the goal isn't that it replaces you, the teams that believe that that's going to replace are the ones they're just going about it the wrong way, if you think about the way that artificial intelligence can really accelerate is to say, Okay, you analyze your company's sight, you figured out that your biggest win was to write an article that effectively covered early stage awareness buyers, who want to know more about, you know, Clay coffee cups, you know, I'm looking at my coffee cup, right? And then you're like, okay, cool, I'm gonna write that now, what would be, I want to like feed information into let's build a great outline. Let's build an outline or a content brief using technology. And now, it gives me insights as to the possible structure for the article questions that need to be naturally answered. topics that need to be included and addressed. sub headings or sections. And now I go through that, and I approve that brief. Write that outline. So that was a system that didn't have to do that manually. So far, nothing I've done has to be done manually. Now I can feed that into a generation platform. And what we do is we'll go out and learn everything we can about coffee cups, right, and then build a language model that's an expert on that topic. We feed in that brief, we can actually write article, write a draft, inspirational article or draft that fits that brief. Now imagine you're the writer, and you received all of this payload, you are a writer, you get this I've got, here's the topic I need you to write. Here's why questions that need to be answered. Topics that need to be included a structure to the piece. And by the way, here's an inspirational way that this technology approached the article. Imagine if you're the writer, and you got that. And you were able to write a comment, you could focus on narrative production value, applying your expertise, you know, basically taking that information and crafting and turning it into your own, what we find is writers may not even use only a small fraction of that draft, but they can accelerate their creation process by 2 to 3x. Just by having that information in front of them. They don't ever get writer's block, and what the coolest part about it is, they get to the finish piece fast. And they're confident that their boss, the one that gave them the order of what to write isn't going to kick it back out. Because they validated the brief already. They told you exactly what the guardrails were. And so this writer writes this pizza, like, I know, they're going to be really happy with this. And I didn't have to spend any time doing keyword research. I didn't have to spend any time doing, you know, wondering if this is actually what our editor wanted. And even they gave me the inspirational generated draft that like kind of gave me some cool ideas of things I wanted to add to this.

 

So were, Let's let's talk about where are people using this content? So you, you're this coffee cup company to use your example, you're selling coffee cups on Shopify website. Where are you using this, this article, about clay coffee cups?

 

Jeff Coyle  18:51  

Well, that's the other piece of this, it's, you know, a lot of people who believe that SEO is dead, don't understand that you need to be there for the entire buyer journey, whether whether you're selling a C, you know, CRM software, product, that content intelligence platform like I am every day, you know, a particular beer brand or coffee cup, right? You are, you have to be there throughout that purchase process. So you need content on your website that tells the story that you're the expert on anything that your prospective users or buyers might care about, you need to exhibit expertise. So this may manifest in thought leadership content on your site. It may be content that you are using as part of, you know, channel marketing with partners. Or, you know, and it could be on any part of your site. It can be to supplement any stage of the lifecycle that you haven't covered for your company. And I always like to say you know, a lot of companies they believe that people are going to buy products Just by looking at what they look like, and hearing about what they do, it's just not real. You have to admit exhibit expertise, you had to have been there throughout that entire buy cycle, even a pair of socks has a light has a buy cycle. And you don't deserve to be there at the bottom of the funnel, unless you were there at top of the funnel.

 

Andy Splichal  20:20  

Oh like that same, 

 

Jeff Coyle  20:21  

You showed expertise at the top of funnel.

 

Andy Splichal  20:23  

So people are using the content on their website or blogs. Is that the most of them or Facebook posts? Where, where you at?

 

Jeff Coyle  20:33  

One of the one awesome thing about content is is a great piece of content that exhibits expertise. So one of the things where we've been at MarketMuse innovated is we're able to evaluate the quality and comprehensiveness of content. So everybody thinks that that's subjective, we can actually tell whether a content item was written by an expert or not, we can tell how comprehensive it is. That's the core of our technology. That's why when we generate content, we can make sure that it actually qualifies against that quanty quantified method of applying comprehensiveness. So the cool thing about great content is you can repurpose the heck out of it. So you can build out this long form guide, for example, we can turn it into a Facebook campaign, we can turn it into 50 Facebook posts, we can turn it into an infographic, we can turn it into all these things. So the sky's the limit on the format that can be taken from whatever that base content function is. I'll give you another example.

 

Before another, yeah, I mean, before another example. So with MarketMuse, do you help people figure out where to use that content? Or is it really just the content?

 

Well, it's what should I write? What content should I create? What should I update and how much I set expectation, so how much content is needed in order for us to move the needle on any particular topic. So I might find a low hanging fruit opportunity, say, you know, if you go write one article on this particular topic, you're gonna have a great chance to succeed. Or I might say, hey, you know, you haven't written a lot about coffee cups, your site's about, you know, cats and kittens, you need to write about 50 articles, it's gonna have to be an entire section of your site. And so and then anything in between, the next phase of that is we actually build out content briefs, with our outlines with our technology. And then we have the generation component, we also can look at draft content, or already published content, and give you insights on how to make it better and more comprehensive.

 

Andy Splichal  22:35  

 

 Oh, it's like a republish stuff. 

 

Jeff Coyle  22:36  

Yeah, exactly. So but we're not giving insights as to formatting and repurposing. I want to do that. But it's just it's not something we've built yet.

 

Andy Splichal  22:45  

So do you have you know, speaking, maybe we can get into a real life example? Do you have a favorite success story? You could share from one of your clients?

 

Jeff Coyle  22:53  

Oh, gosh, yeah. So many, but I'll give you one of the more personal success story. Not me, Jeff, one of them will be about me, Jeff. And then the other one will be about a client is, you know, a my founder story is a personal success story of using MarketMuse. And, and I always use this for when new new car, we've been at this for over seven years. You know, but I, what most a lot of people don't know is I was actually one of MarketMuse first customers, before it had even much of an interface. My, my co founder, you know, was trying to figure out exactly how this was gonna work. And I ran, I ran a test with some data from MarketMuse. And I'll always remember it, it was on the topic of multi factor authentication, and the plan that MarketMuse build 5x The performance of the plan that was built subjectively by human, and I was hooked him the co founder, you know, almost a year later, say, Hey, Jeff, we're actually going to take this to market and make it a you know, and go full full run, do you want to join as a late co founder. And I was like, what's the late co founder, and he said, you're not gonna get paid for a long time. And I'm like, sweet, let's go. But my one of my favorite success stories, is a customer who I won't say who they are, but they are in a travel niche. And this is a personal friend of mine. It's always cool when a personal friend becomes a customer and has a huge success. And they used us on their one of their sites and had tremendous growth and was use basically upgraded all their content made sure that every content item that was on their site already was equal to or better from the standpoint of quality or comprehensiveness than any of their competitors. So they actually updated every single page on their site and made it the best it could be using the guidance for MarketMuse. Immediately started seeing dramatic growth. And then they're like, whoa. And we're talking about like 3x growth, immediate and then said, Wow, all of

 

Andy Splichal  25:06  

Was that were they getting substantial traffic before? I mean, what?

 

Jeff Coyle  25:09  

Oh, yeah, yeah, it was in this niche in this location, one of the top sites. 

 

Andy Splichal  25:15  

So they were going from 10 visitors to 30.

 

Jeff Coyle  25:20  

But it's actually relevant that you access that because what they did, then they started creating content using our content briefs, and their hit rate was 30% on that content, whereas their previous hit rate was about 10% on content. So again, big big changes, we get customers up to, you know, in some of them up to 50 60% of the content they produce hits, the goals that are set that we set for them. And then, which is a shocking number, the real, you know, the true market average is 10%, which just makes people cringe. Because that question I asked before everybody that, you know, I ask them, How much does that cost? You know, 500 bucks. Okay. You're 10% efficient? What does that what does that mean to you about how much content really cost them in their head explodes. But the the other the fun part of this story is, this person created a brand new site, starting from zero, and kind of said, I want to build, I want to start building the site with a huge amount of content. And I want it to be guided by MarketMuse. And he launched a site with 500 pages on it. And went from zero to 500 pages on one day, just really, really trusted.

 

Andy Splichal  26:33  

Wow. So that was all that was all just AI generated. 

 

Jeff Coyle  26:36  

There was, well, no, the briefs were generated, he wrote it. He wrote the articles. 

 

Andy Splichal  26:41  

500? 

 

Jeff Coyle  26:41  

Yeah, well, his team here he had a team of writers

 

Andy Splichal  26:44  

Yeah, Okay.

 

Jeff Coyle  26:45  

that built it. None of that was using our generation platform, and published that using the content briefs, though as sources of truth. And then waited. And, you know, a couple of months in kind of scary. Well, not really seeing a lot of traction. A couple months later. Oh, wow. There it is. And couple months after that, wow! This,

 

Andy Splichal  27:15  

So how many months between 

 

Jeff Coyle  27:17  

We had predicted three and a half. And it really started jumping up about three and a half. Because each each cohort and each situation that you're in, there is a predictable math problem for what the likely wait mode is for a brand new site.

 

Andy Splichal  27:33  

Was he was working on backlinks or anything like that trying to?

 

Jeff Coyle  27:38  

That's a good question. And there's a couple schools of thought there. In this case, not a huge focus on that. But they that can be a way to to spike the punch. But yeah, you're and building that backlink profile is definitely going to be something you want to do it understanding how much tabbing naturally doing competitive cohort analysis. All that but you know, I'm actually looking at it. We're not on camera. So I'm able to take I'm actually looking at it on Ahrefs, and Semrush and the MarketMuse data right now. And it's an amazing graph. And those are the stories that just make my day frankly.

 

Andy Splichal  28:18  

Yeah that's that's a great story.

 

Jeff Coyle  28:20  

Yeah, I mean, we're looking at a case where, you know, dropped the ball, drop the hammer, in May, and just, you know, this week, smashing an all time high. And that's like, when you, you trust, trust the process, recognize it's hard. It's hard work. But artificial intelligence can make sure that I don't do any of that hard work in vain. And that's where teams I think, they, they suffer because of lack of confidence. And they suffer because of inefficiency is because like the other writers sitting there all day that I talked to, and it's it sounds like I'm running support groups, and sometimes I am. But they're like, Yeah, we don't know whether what we're writing is the right stuff, the right, so but we have to write it anyway. And we want to do a good job because we're proud of our art. And so they write this beautiful content and and never had a chance. And like, like, I mean, you can go right, and you can go write the best brand new iPhone review that's ever been written, and you can throw it on Andy's blog. And it's not going to do well, it can be the best one that's ever written. And the answer to why isn't just because of links, and you can throw that same article on CNET. And it will be they will get a million billion views, right? It's not just because of links is because they've written great content that tells the story that they're experts on mobile, that's experts on doing reviews. And so you're, you're basically you have to show him that you don't need to be there for the entire buys like well, it's like when people write, they only write you know, XYZ pricing content because they think that's the bottom of the funnel, and it's going to lead to the most leads, and they don't write any early stage awareness content, but you weren't there for the whole journey. So you're not going to be rewarded with search Engine Optimization success only at one stage of the funnel, it doesn't work doesn't work that way. And that's why people quit.

 

Andy Splichal  30:17  

That's great. Yeah, no, that's a fantastic insight. Now, on the flip side, have there are there any challenges that you struggle with? With your services providing results for clients?

 

Jeff Coyle  30:30  

Oh, yeah. Well, you know, you asked two questions on step one back that I didn't answer directly is the downside of using generation. I struggle, we struggle with AI, and generation in that people do think it's a magic box. And they jump to the end, everybody wants, you know, there's a type of person that doesn't like to read books, but they like to know how stories go, all right. And, you know, you jump to the end, read the last set, read the last chapter, I'm not that person. But the, in this game, and in the world of content, people want that, that quick fix, they want an easy win. And so believing that they're going to be able to, you know, bypass the entire process and get away with this, without having any subject matter expertise, without doing any of the work, it still plagues, these types of processes. So I struggle when we struggle, when teams are only half in the boat, from having a culture of content, they don't want to do the work that's advised of them. You know, and by the technology, and that's when, you know, it's not that they can't do it, or they can't operationally do it. But they just, it's, it doesn't, they're not completely bought in that this is the content that needs to be created the advice of the technology, they're not going to fully execute the campaign, because of their choice. That's the first struggle. The second struggle is then in the operations of the operation, thats when you're talking about content, content is hard. And you've got to, you know, resource for it. Or you've got to buy you gotta, you gotta build or you're gonna buy. So when you get advice that says, hey, go, right, you know, the, this 4000 word article about, you know, the process for making clay coffee cups, and you're like, okay, great I, and then do you actually get it done. 

 

So not implementing? 

 

Not implementing effectively. So those are two of the, but what I don't struggle with is, if you focus, and then obviously, this is hard sledding, right? It's, it's this is, this is taking data and turning that data into insights. And whenever that's a situation, people want the plan delivered to them on a silver platter. And sometimes the platter isn't silver, sometimes it's ugly, sometimes it tells you that you're, you know, your baby's ugly, sometimes it's just data, and you just can't figure out how to turn it into advice. So my three biggest challenges are where someone doesn't take the time to learn how to use the data. The second is they're not really bought in on content. So they're only executing the stuff that they think is either easy, or is what they wanted to hear. And then the third is they actually just aren't good at executing content. So they and they don't want to buy they don't want to pay for someone to write the content for them or to pay for outsourced content. 

 

And they don't have and they don't have the time to do it themselve.

 

So those those three things drive our biggest struggles. And I'd say that's universal for all content, companies. That's why I like to start them off with some easy fun wins, and quick wins. I can usually find three to four content items on their website, that if they just update them and make them better, they're gonna get a nice shot of adrenaline in the arm. And so I always advise my onboarding team and my sales team to, you know, to start there, make it easy. Hey, go update this article. You forgot, you know, you wrote this great article about content marketing strategy, and there's no section in it about target markets or buyer personas. Expand it to have a section about target marketing, target markets and expand it to have a section about buyer personas. The person goes and does that. traffic goes up 30% of the page. They're like, whoa, okay, this works. Let's go and then you know, that's the kind of thing that is much easier pill to swallow than Hey, change your entire process overnight. 

 

Andy Splichal  35:00  

Yeah, I know quick, quick wins are the key to getting excited about anything new that you're trying to really. Yeah, now you had mentioned books, you had reference people, some people like to skip to the end of that kind of brings my next question, which is one of my favorite questions that I ask all my guests and podcasts. But are there any business books out there that you can attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?

 

Jeff Coyle  35:22  

Um, gosh, so many. I, I really, I'm a book listener. First, I'll say I almost all the books are audio books. For me, I have a really hard time sitting and reading I have so much in my life, good things, you know, I'm, I have two sons and a family and multiple businesses and the time I get to spend, you know, sitting and reading a book is rare. But being a great leader and entrepreneur, is, you know, for me that a couple of the things that I that I connect to our storytelling, being able to being able to be improvisational. So a couple of the books that are kind of probably unorthodox. One would be a book that I love on storytelling called Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks. Really the the art of telling a beautiful story, and telling a beautiful personal story is that's one where I feel anyone can be helped with that. And then another one is improv. The one that I truly value would be the The Upright Citizens Brigade manual, which the handbook I believe you can purchase it openly, you may not you may may need to find it on eBay or something like that.  

 

What was the name of that?

 

The Upright Citizens Brigade, the UCB handbook, it's the handbook that's given to improvisational comedians at a prices. And, for me, those things are really important to the way that I communicate. And the way that I focus on value, and value selling as a framework, and I think that that's a benefit. I think so many entrepreneurs hop into the game, having no knowledge of improvisational sales, social selling, or value selling. And then the third one I mentioned is, it's not really a necessarily a business book, but it's two publishers of info, and one of them is Bob Apollo. And he's at Inflexion-Point. And he's written some books, but I think I'll his whole body of work on the site is about value, focus, selling. And then there's a company called valueselling.com, which publishes a great deal of information about, you know, stop focusing on you get empathetic, and, and really focus on value, versus talking about yourself. Nobody wants to be at the party talking to the guy that talks about himself. So, you know, for me, those three or four references really tell the story of who Jeff is.

 

Andy Splichal  38:22  

Great. Well, thank you for sharing those resources. Now, let's let's flip back and talk about your agency. Before we wrap it up. You talked about your quality. Comprehensiveness is one of your things. And I haven't heard of anybody doing that before. But are there any other ways? How's your agency standing out from the competition? Is it more than that? Or is that the secret sauce with?

 

Jeff Coyle  38:45  

You know, it's, so I ran an agency throughout my career, but I actually don't actively pursue that I always kind of had a side hustle because I feel like if you're in the Search Engine Optimization game as an in house, where you work for a large company, one way you can stay abreast for keep tuned in with other markets, which is the way that I've managed to come is to have clients in my case, I heavily focused on B2B and technology with my in house. So I focused on other industries, just to make sure that I could could hack it as an all around marketer. So but but, you know, the question is for, for why does market news stand out, is our technology is the core of our business. You know, 90 plus percent of our revenue comes from Software as a Service subscriptions and, and software product, but we do have a professional services component. And for us, it's being able to, you know, be implementers that both, I think, deliver the fish but also enable you to watch us fish try and tie the ties and put them in the water and get you to a point where you can use the software plus any additional augmented augmented data so that the next time you can make the same choice, do you want to just buy it by the outcomes? Or the outputs? Or do you actually want to do it we will give put you in a situation where you can do both and, and this goes for anything just for whether we're delivering a a content audit, or a content inventory, a content plan that's driven by the goals of the customer, or goals that we just come up with, you know, like quick wins.

 

Andy Splichal  40:38  

Let's let's talk about the services because I'm so lazy. So you offer a do it for you service. And a do it with you, sir. What do you guys what exactly? 

 

Jeff Coyle  40:47  

Yeah, you can come by the software and never talk to us. Okay, right. You can come by the software will still assign you a an account manager and make sure you, you know, in the first 30 to 60 days you learn it will put you through exhaustive onboarding and training, make sure that we certify you. But you can also put yourself out and say, you know, I have these specific service needs that we have experts that we've done it all, I mean, I've done personally done hundreds of content migrations, I've built 1000s of content plans. We have people on our team, Dave Young's, it leads our content advisory team who has the similar catogory, so there isn't really a content situation that they won't be able to deliver on. The outputs of everything we do from a services perspective, are typically going to be content plans, content briefs, and delivered content. So it's all going to be with those things being the payload that you receive, why those plans get built, that's where there's some variance. So it could be Oh, my gosh, our traffic just dropped 90% We need someone to tell us how to save what the save is. Or it could be we want to grow. You know, the skincare section of our major ecommerce portal that has 15 different product lines. You know, or it could be that, you know, we think we got hit by a Google penalty. Can you do an assessment of that and provide us with a plan of what we need to do book pages, we need to update what content we need to create.

 

Andy Splichal  42:35  

So who are who are the clients for your agency who's coming through?

 

Jeff Coyle  42:40  

So MarketMuse clients, we are, you know, very thankful that we rely heavily on almost exclusively on inbound and our reputation and referrals, which is amazing as a business of our size. Biggest groups would be publishers. So you think six of the top 20 publishers or marketmuse customers in the world, publishing entities, software companies, B2B technology, and I like to call boring B2B are a big segment. large enterprise brands, and also agencies are customers of ours. So anyone who values content is going to be a customer, anyone who understands the value of content. But one cool thing about us is we have a free product, you know, anyone solopreneur one person agency, go hop in, see if it's a fit, we have $149 a month product that doesn't have any account management. And you know, we also have people that pay us a half a million dollars a year. And we work with them on their entire content operation. Every article they create or update has a source of truth and data drove it from MarketMuse.

 

Andy Splichal  44:02  

How can an interested listener learn more about the different services and working with you and all that?

 

Jeff Coyle  44:08  

Oh, yeah, for sure. We'll go check out go check out marketmuse.com. If only to read the blog, we have a content strategy Crash Course, which is an awesome thing. The blog it has so much thought leadership materials. I have a webinar with, you know, a hundreds of recordings, really any topic is probably going to be a fit. But also, you know, sign up for our free offering. Or, you know, take the leap and if you are a business, who's investing anything in content, there's going to be a plan that fits with you and go check that out. If you want to reach out to me jeffrey_coyle on Twitter, very active there on LinkedIn. Feel free to shoot me a note I answer everything or Jeff at marketmuse.com. Do you got a specific problem? Or, you just don't know whether what to do with content, whether it's, you know, you're you're so like, just tired of dealing with the ebbs and flows of Google. And you know, there's a better way, or you tried content, it didn't work, you don't think it's for you or you're doing great, but you'd love to sharpen the knife, no matter what the situation is, we're probably going to make it make it so that you can be successful quickly.

 

Andy Splichal  45:31  

Well, this has been great. Is there anything else you'd like to add? Before we wrap it up today?

 

Jeff Coyle  45:36  

You know, it may not be a fit for everybody who's listening. But we're also a data company, and MarketMuse. And so we have a subsidiary called grep words. And if you are kind of in the, in the world where you're buying data, if you're buying keyword data, if you're paying a lot of money for that data, or you're buying search engine result data, or you're trying to build your own application, or marketing technology application, or you're a publisher, and you like, it would be amazing if you had, you know, a 5 billion word and serve database that you could do and inject into your BI platform, like if that's has any amount of interest, email me, because we have, you know, a number of the largest publishers, the largest software platforms, Chrome plugins that you probably use are powered by MarketMuse data, you probably didn't know that most people don't. But we are one of the leading data providers in the world for Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Optimization related technologies.

 

Andy Splichal  46:45  

Well it's been great. Well, again, thank you for joining us today, Jeff.

 

Jeff Coyle  46:49  

All right. Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure and awesome discussion.

 

Andy Splichal  46:53  

All right. Well, that's it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave us an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding MarketMuse, or connecting with Jeff you will find the links in the show notes below. In addition, if you are looking for more information on growing your business, check out our all new podcasts Resource Center available at www.makeeachclickcount.com. We have compiled all the different past guests by show topic and have included each of the contact information in case you would like more information on any services I have discussed during previous episodes. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.