Perfectly Content — Episode 7
Adrie: Today, I'm joined by Thomas Igou, really excited to have him on board. I've been following him for quite a while on LinkedIn. He has a podcast as well, which we'll be discussing. We'll get into the details of that, but more so I think what is interesting is that he has quite a lot of experience in the content space, like over 10 years. Am I right? Yeah, so he's seen it all. And he's done it all. So really excited to hear your insights and, yeah. Welcome Thomas.
Thomas: Thank you very glad to be here.
Adrie: As always, we're just going to start out with a quick introduction to get to know you and kind of what you're doing. If you could just enlighten us.
Thomas: I am currently the head of content at GetAccept and I've been working with content for about two decades.
Previously I was working in the events industry. So I was what we call their production director. So in charge of creating all the content related to the conferences, so doing the research building the agenda, inviting the speakers, hosting the events started actually in sales and then moved to production and then currently content marketing in SaaS.
Adrie: I'm curious, especially for people who have made that transition from sales to content, how has that affected the way that you see content?
Thomas: I would say it's quite interesting, especially in my role today because we, I work for a company that sells a tool to salespeople. So having been in sales myself it allows me to have. Build on my own experience in sales. And especially at the time technology was not as developed. So if I look at technology today, everything that I could have used, you know, 10, 15 years ago when I was doing sales and how it could have helped my role. So it's it's, it's a good link, definitely to be able to write about something that you have done in the past.
Adrie: Yeah, I think that's always a really great way to enter content marketing is if you are an expert. In my previous experience, I worked in recruitment many, many moons ago now, but then I started content marketing for an HR tech company. So that really, I think I think helps. So in your current role right now, so can you tell us a little bit about what you're doing at GetAccept?
Thomas: Primarily building the content team. So I joined about six months ago. And so it was a completely new position. The company is going through a big growth right now. I think in marketing, they were about four people, maybe 18 months ago, and now we're around 20. So it's a, the department is growing quite a lot.
So it's really building the content team, the content strategy. At creating structures and processes in terms of what do we want to do? How do we get there? Especially we have a bit of a, maybe different structure to a lot of organizations in that we have localized websites as well. So in France, Denmark, Swedish, Norwegian, and then we're also just centered the UK market.
So we do. Global content in English for the global website, but then we also do localized content in each of the different languages. So it's yeah. Finding our feet in a sense right now.
Adrie: Yeah. I'm curious because I've also yeah, I've had some experiences with localized content. Do you change the content per language? So even sometimes defer the topic areas that you might cover or is it more translation based?
Thomas: A bit of both. And so the global websites, which is kind of skewed more towards the U S maybe or English speakers. That's really the kind of the center where everything is derived from then the local websites. They have their own local marketeers and content writers as well. So they, the positioning of the company, because our solution is. It's not super complex, but we have different positioning in different markets. So in the U S it's more advanced. So then we write about more advanced features, whereas in France or the UK, it's more about brand awareness and very focused on one aspect of our solution.
So then the content is also a bit different. So we write localized content just for the French market, for example. But of course, sometimes if we have big assets or, or, you know, kind of big pieces, then we would translate them as well. And then of course, when it comes to, you know, all the product features or product or pricing pages, then of course everything is translated as well.
So it's a bit of, of a mix.
Adrie: Yeah. I guess it makes your content strategy very complex. So I'm also wondering what are some big initiatives that you've been working on at GetAccept so far?
Thomas: Yeah. I mean, when I started in March I was actually thrown straight away in a big project because we in may released the biggest it was the biggest product release in the history of the company. So new features to, to our products. And at the same time, we also moved. To a freemium model. So it was it was a lot of work. A lot of copywriting, a lot of content creation, both in terms of on the website. So we had to redo completely the product pages, the pricing pages, sort of communication with existing customers.
Creating a lot of brand awareness as well about the new features and the new pricing. So that was yeah, basically the second I was done with onboarding for the next two months, just focused on that. So, and, and, and that was a project that involved a lot of people within the company, but it was pretty intense, but quite fun because it allowed me to, at the same time, learn a lot about the company and the product.
Adrie: Definitely. It sounds like a lot of work. And especially when you consider not just an English in multiple languages, you have to do all of that. That's a pretty impressive. All right. So I want to get into the challenge that we kind of discussed. So of course we spoke before, before the recording. And yeah, you've mentioned that you, well, it's very clear from your LinkedIn that you are also super active also in the podcast space.
So we're going to get definitely a little meta a podcast about a podcast, but I really want to hear from you about what was so challenging about it. So what w what was the kind of environment that you that really started this project.
Thomas: Again, I, I started in March and when I was going through the interview phase myself, it was part of the process in itself that I would launch a podcast. And I think the biggest challenge really with when anything is new is just to get it done because I know that they had been discussing internally yet GetAccept to do a podcast for quite some time, but they had one who had any experience with it or, you know, kind of let's just do it attitude maybe.
And I had no experience with the podcasts myself either. So it was also a great learning experience.
Adrie: So I'm curious. So this was already an idea before you even joined and something that, yeah, I guess they couldn't really quite execute on quite yet. Why was it important for GetAccept to make one?
Thomas: I think it's important because I mean, first off. Almost everyone now is doing a podcast. The FOMO healing right here of missing out. If your competitors are doing one, why are you not doing one? And there's also the fact that we are in a growth phase. So organic is our main metric, at least in, in content. And. Podcast has a lot of the benefits when it comes to organic because you reach a new audience on a new channel.
So, I mean, we focus a lot of of the podcast on the audio, but then it also allows you to generate a lot of content that you can then repurpose and, you know, creating micro content for social media and those kinds of.
Adrie: And so I'm just wondering if you had to assign like the one overarching goal for your podcast, which is The Sales Ladder, right? I don't think we mentioned that already. But good to drop it now. What, what would be the kind of number one goal?
Thomas: To, to grow an audience. And, and the way we've done the podcast is that we, so we, we keep it agnostic to the company to GetAccept. So it's not, you know, the GetAccept podcasts or, or anything like that.
So it's really in parallel the ability to grow an audience. Based on content rather than product, because of course, when you are a solution provider, as great as, you know, your blog might be, or the content might be in the end, you always want to link it back to your product.
So here we're able to create some kind of, you know content, machinery. That's completely unrelated to a product or a solution it's really. Content for our target audience. And of course the target audience of the podcast then is, you know, mapped to being the ICPs and personas of GetAccept as well.
Adrie: Yeah. So I guess it goes back to that time old concept of if you offer value, then people will come. Right. That's what I believe in. I really, and that's also why I love content is that you have a lot more freedom to do things like that on your end. Did you ever experience. Yeah. Time where I guess stakeholders might have been a bit skeptical of that concept.
Thomas: No, actually my boss. So who's the CMO for the company. She she's been very supportive and also allowed me to yeah. To have a lot of freedom and really run it. You know, it's just kind of, you know, launch a podcast and do it however you want to kind of so, so that's been really cool. Yeah.
Adrie: Yeah, that's then quite a lot of freedom, which is I guess where the good stuff comes from on your end. So I know when we spoke about how you came up with the podcast and how you kind of initially launched it, the real challenge is really getting started. And I know a lot of people, probably a few people listening right now will understand that feeling of yeah. The kind of barriers. To actually just get started.
How did you experience that? And then also, how did you kick it, right.
Thomas: So I must say I, I wanted to launch a podcast, but I had never done one and I also don't listen to podcasts myself. So I had really like zero experience, not even as an active listener of podcasts. I hadn't maybe listened to, you know, one or two odd podcasts. Highly recommended by your friend, but I'm not a podcaster myself. Obviously I acknowledge there is a big audience of people who listen to podcasts, right. Hopefully today and hopefully on my show as well. So but yeah, so the, kind of the, the challenge or, or how to get started, what I did is obviously a lot of research in terms of I researched.
Okay. Who should be our audience? What should the podcast be about what should the name of the podcast be? How do we promote it? How do we host states really everything. And so I did the research by myself. First. I also seek out podcasts. Consultants had a few calls with them, never with the intention of actually hiring their services, but kind of picking their brains and, and getting their knowledge. I got a lot of good tips that way as well. So I highly recommend that. And then I kind of put my thoughts together kind of a strategy. And then I had a meeting within the team, the marketing team, so they could kick off, invited everyone for kind of full transparency.
And yeah. Explain the whole strategy with the timeline. What I did maybe then to go into the strategy is I divided it into three phases. So phase one, I called it the Nike phase, which is just do it. This was, that meeting was like in late April, I think. And that phase was going to run until late June.
And that phase was really pretty much all me doing everything except getting the support from our graphic designer to do nice designs for the logo and as social media banners. But otherwise I felt too to launch it and get it done. The less dependent I am on others, the more successful it will be. And again, the success metric here is just to launch it, just to get it done.
So for me, it was more, the less I have to rely on others, the better it is. So for example, who should host the podcast? I did sales, you know, early in my career am the best to interview sales leaders and talk about sales in the company? Probably or even, definitely not. But then if I have to rely on somebody else hosting, then I'm relying on their schedule on their availability.
So that's already a hurdle I'm putting on myself. So I was like, okay, I will launch. I'm not even putting my name in association with the podcast. So it's not, you know, a lot of people do that, you know, Podcasts X with, you know, John Smith or whatever. So me, it's just The Sales Ladder. And maybe in the future, we change hosts.
If somebody wants to step up and do it like I do. But in the meantime phase one was really do as much as I can by myself, which means I trained a lot of things. You know, I didn't do video, I record with video, but I don't publish it with video. We didn't launch a landing page on our websites. We kind of cut a lot of corners just to get it done.
Adrie: It sounds like a MVP, right? Minimally viable products. Just get it out there and see what happens.
Thomas: Exactly. And, and phase one was really to kind of test the process. I only recorded one episode. I took the kind of, you know, US cable network approach of you do a pilot and see how it will what kind of reaction they will get.
And then it gets picked up by the network or not. So I did a pilot launched it late June. So then I tested, you know, even bus routes and. Promotional channels and these kinds of things. And then, yeah, then over the summer, prerecorded, a lot of episodes that was phase two and then phase three was from late August, basically launching the official season.
And then now I'm starting to involve more people within the organizations. Earlier this week, I had a meeting with the web team. So we're going to do a landing page for the podcast. I'm using a lot more video as well for promotion and these kinds of things, looking into maybe launching a YouTube channel with like short clips from different episodes and these kinds of things.
But so now that it's done, people can see that it's a tangible thing that it exists. There is an audience. There is promotion. It's getting good feedback. It's much easier to then get people's commitments and engagements.
Adrie: Well, I come from a growth marketing backgrounds and I think it sounds a little bit like a growth experiment, right?
You try to do the least in order just to prove that you can actually get some results on something. And then once you know, you see the results, then you can start to build, you can start to refine and actually scale. And I know we spoke briefly about how do you actually revisit that strategy or how do you revisit what you've already done and start to refine that.
Can you tell me a little bit about your key findings on what you've had to refine or build?
Thomas: I'm always about testing and, you know, iteration and, and these kinds of things. So I constantly, you know, check out what are others doing? What is it that we're doing? What's working, what's not working, always trying to, to grow and develop.
So again, trying to use more videos. Yeah, running our own websites, running memes for promotion, trying to expand our guests lists working with the sales team now, for example, to get their own . So to get a wishlist of kind of working with the account based marketing as well. So they would provide me with the wishlist of prospects.
That they're targeting and that they have a hard time reaching out to. So then I could invite those people as guests and kind of initiate a relationship between GetAccept and these companies to do as much as possible. And every time, every time I release a new episode, really tests a new things and see what works what doesn't.
Adrie: Yeah. So you mentioned, yeah, you're also using it for some account based marketing. What have the results looked like on that end, but also in the podcast in general?
Thomas: Yeah. When it comes to account-based marketing, I would say so far. Nothing because it's so all the episodes I've recorded now or releasing now it's episodes I've prerecorded to in the summer.
When I was still in the phase of I'm doing it by myself. So now I'm in the phase of reaching out and recording episodes that will come out later. So the, the account based marketing aspects, that's kind of the next phase or has like a, you know, knock on effect of yeah. But it'll be interesting to test and of course it's not. It's not a key metric. It's just an additional thing that we can do. But if it brings zero customers, I'm not going to cancel the podcast for that. But if it brings one, even then I will get even more recognition within our own organization. So that's great. And more support in these kinds of things.
Adrie: Yeah. I mean, from what I understood, it's really about building an audience and building out your brand. So, I mean, I think it is important to kind of recognize that not all content, definitely not all content should be lead generation, but in the longterm brand awareness and building that audience kind of is less measurably. So, but also important. Right.
Thomas: And exactly, I think when it comes to the brand awareness versus lead generation, The podcast, it's an audio format, right? Or maybe even you could have like the video version on YouTube. So it's not something that you put behind a gated form. It's also even having gated content. It's really not something that we do in general within the company. We try to have ungated content. And that's one thing I picked up from, from speaking with the consultants is the only way to really track people is via social media.
So, you know, building a LinkedIn page dedicated to the podcast. So then basically your leads are the followers of the page. That's the best way to do it because then you create a relationship with them. They're not leaving email addresses, but you have visibility into who's following.
Adrie: Right. And you also have, I guess yeah, a bit more visibility on LinkedIn as well.
And lastly, I want to ask kind of now that we're talking about results, what numbers can you share with us?
Thomas: Right now? I'm at five episodes and I think we have close to 500 downloads on the best route it's called. I think numbers are. Tricky as well, because it's that was another thing that the consultants mentioned, right.
Is you can have different metrics. One is how many people listen to the podcast, but then that is very dependent on the efforts you put in promotion. If you invite a guest, that's got, you know, 20,000 followers on LinkedIn and he's going to share it with you. Obviously it will get more traffic than if I invite somebody who's not even on social media.
And unless you put. Paid ads behind it, which for the moment we haven't done, because we want to test organic first to see how it works. And also we're looking into paid because you can do traditional paid via, you know, social paid ads or Google ads or these kinds of things. But then when it comes to a podcast, Paid ads via the streaming platforms for podcasts.
So you can actually even do kind of different paid acquisition channels for, for podcasts. And it's not something we've done yet. We're still, what we want to do is really understand who our audiences first and kind of find our footing when it comes to topics and, and these kinds of things. But yeah, I think around 500 downloads on LinkedIn. So the dedicated LinkedIn page, we have about 220 followers. Growing quite rapidly in the past month as well, because we launched the first episode in June, then July, August, we didn't have anything because it was summer. So then it was just testing different promotional activities for the pilot episode and then from late August.
So about three, four weeks ago is when we launched like the full season. So now it's a new episode every week. I mean, I, I didn't put any objectives in the beginning of, you know, X amounts by end of September or October in November. Now I do per episode, like, you know, how many downloads do I wants when I released the episode on the Monday, by the end of the week?
And you know, how many engagement or interaction do we want? So. All the LinkedIn promotions that we do. So it's, but then it's also dependent on how notorious the guest is as well. This week I had the former CMO of Slack and Salesforce. So obviously I know, you know, that alone. Quite so big. And then sometimes, you know, I might have like a, an account executive at a company then obviously no one will know who he or she is.
So depending on you know, that level of, of, of the guests, then it makes a big impact.
Adrie: For me, at least me personally, and the way that I want to have this podcast run, I really want it to be more about the story and yeah. What somebody can bring to the table, which is, yeah, of course, you're bringing the story about how to create a podcast, how to really get started, where to even start.
Well, I loved your story when we first spoke about getting started and then refining the process, because I think that is really helpful to understand. Whereas I think if you're always choosing the people working at big companies and they may not actually even be able to share the more vulnerable parts of their challenges or of time where they really got stuck.
So I think it's, for me, it's a bit of a balance, right?
Thomas: Yeah. And I would say the biggest challenge is time management, because when, when you put it on yourself to do everything, then obviously, I mean, I also have to do other things. You know, I am not just, you know, a hundred percent full-time podcaster. So it becomes a lot every week because it is like a weekly show.
So that means, you know, you need to find time to reach out to guests, to record the episodes, to edit to create, you know assets around. Every episode. So now every week it's like more and more assets because I get more ideas and want to test new things. So now we do like two videos with subtitles, like short clips soundbites.
We do like a meme. I write a blog post related to the topic of the episode. So it it's like a lot of things, you know, the checklist is getting longer and longer and like social media banners and stuff like that. So it's I would say time management is the biggest issues. I'm actually now recruiting another content writer who can then support me.
So I will still do the recording of the episodes, but then I have somebody else who can help me write content. So like blog posts and these kinds of things around the different episodes. And then also we want to then create new content where you. Take bits and pieces from different episodes to create, you know, a new content kind of repurpose from, from different crossover episode.
So it's, it's a lot of possibilities or opportunities for, for content generation. It's just finding the time to, to create.
Adrie: Well, I think we definitely have to plan in a catch-up in six months from now because I definitely want to hear exactly what you've kind of decided is worthwhile versus not. And I think everyone here will also appreciate that.
I do want to close out our session with one question. It's one that I ask every time. What thing person idea, course, piece of content really impacted or changed the way that you, I look at content.
Thomas: So I put a channel there for that question. I put Reddit it because I think in Europe, Reddit is not that well-known or use it's more American driven.
But it's such a great source of inspiration for content and in a way it's the complete opposite of LinkedIn because LinkedIn is all about, you know, building your personal brand. And it's always, you know, look at me, I'm the best and very strategic, whereas Reddit, it's all about, you know, my manager sucks and you know, you should quit if you don't get this and stuff like that.
So you really get like the complete opposite content that you get on LinkedIn. A good balance as well. And you really get the, the daily challenge of a sales rep. So for example, the, I check the sales thread, right? And it's like, how do I find a job? How do I fix an issue with my manager? Or how do I get a promotion?
Like really, you know, daily challenges on, on LinkedIn. It's more like, oh, my company is great. And look at this and look at that. So it's, it's, I would say it's good to check both, but Reddit is a really good source of inspiration.
Adrie: Oh, well, I'm now very curious. I think after this, I'm going to go look on Reddit for content stuff.
Thomas: There, there is a thread for content marketing. I've connected with a lot of people as well on that one, especially when I was launching the podcast. And what's great about Reddit is people are. You know, like blunt and honest and transparent, because also your profile is not connected to you, your name, you know, people have an avatar.
So there is no fear of say, if I write shit about my company, my manager might see it. Whereas on LinkedIn, obviously I'm not going to write I hate working at this company and then you're connected to all your colleagues. So then it gets like flagged straight away. So.
Adrie: Well, definitely one to watch. And thank you so much for joining us today, Thomas. I really appreciate it. And yeah, as I said, we're going to have to connect in six months. I want to hear about how things are going.
Thomas: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Adrie: All right. Well, that's it for this week's episode of Perfectly Content. Thank you so much for listening. And if you liked this episode and want to stay tuned for more click subscribe, wherever you're listening and you'll receive updates on our very next episode.
And finally one last thing, we have an editorial style newsletter that goes out once a week, called The Crave. We talk about all of the content that we've been craving this week and each week it's curated by a different content person from the Foleon team. You can check it out at foleon.com/the-crave.
See you there.