It’s the 13th episode of Meaningful Conversations with Revenue Leaders – No fluff. Meaningful conversations only.

Marketers are doing everything they can to grasp their audience’s attention.

And in the attention economy, content is the currency.

When done correctly, you can build a brand that everyone loves and fuel your revenue growth.

But building a brand is a long-term game – not everyone has the patience or a structured content strategy to cut through the noise.

Gong definitely knows how.

Within 2.5 years, Gong grows its LinkedIn followers from 14,000 to almost 100,000 and becomes the brand that everyone knows, loves, and wants to be.

And Devin Reed is fueling it with a structured content strategy.

In this episode, Marcus and Devin talked about:

  • 00:00 Tie your content to your strategic growth
  • 02:10 What the future of B2B content will be like?
  • 03:44 B2C strategies that can be applied to B2B companies
  • 06:35 How to prove the value of your content to c-levels?
  • 10:30 How to grow 100,000 followers on LinkedIn?
  • 13:43 How do you view content and demand gen?
  • 16:27 How to support employees to post on Linkedin?
  • 22:35 Content is the currency
  • 25:10 Three tips in content and marketing

Here’re the highlights:

Highlight 1: What can you learn from B2C content to improve your B2B strategies?

Content has changed a lot in terms of how popular it is, how we use it to communicate and it hasn’t quite made its way over to the b2b realm yet.

The thing that’s missing is the intention behind the content – Do we really understand what value the content provides? How is this helping your company? How are we getting the narrative out there? How are we differentiating ourselves in the market?

B2B marketers aren’t really using it to its full potential. And it’s usually because it’s ineffective or disjointed.

Another thing is that more B2B content is transactional.

The brands that I follow on Instagram are playing the attention economy really well: it’s not just “Buy this, buy that, buy now” game, you are getting value while consuming their content.

Taking TenTree as an example (they plant 10 trees for every purchase), they are building a relationship with you and earning your trust.

But most B2B content is like “download this”, “here’s what you know” and “here’s a webinar” – it’s more transactional than value-based.

Here’re how content works: your audiences read some of your posts, they start to show up at your events, they start to like you and trust you, and then they come inbound when they are ready to know more.

It’s a long-term game but if you nail it, there will be a more qualified inbound pipeline. It doesn’t need to be the hard outbound game all the time.

Highlight 2: “Content is the currency in the Attention Economy.”

High-quality content is what wins today.

If you can create really good content, you’re gonna catch attention.

We also talk about content distribution and creating demand from content. The whole point here is to lead with one thing and then pull them into another avenue.

Take Chris Walker as an example: you get something different and unique from his LinkedIn and therefore you want to follow him and keep up with the content. He has Linkedin, Thursday Night events, and a podcast. he has got three different content channels, but he says the same concept through all of them – with different perspectives on the same problem or the same solution.

For me, I have LinkedIn and then I build a newsletter.

The point is: you don’t start from scratch. Instead, you build one thing and then you move people to the next one.

Highlight 3: How did Gong grow its LinkedIn followers?

At Gong, we set a goal to grow LinkedIn followers from 14,000 to 100,000 two and a half years ago. But there’s no difference between 90,500 and 104,00.

It’s just an arbitrary number. But what does it represent? We wanted to build an audience that we could eventually sell to.

1, Create a brand that people love.

Apart from products, people buy from brands that they really love. For Gong’s audience, if you are an SDR and you love the brand. One day you might be a manager, a director, or a VP, then you might eventually purchase our product.

2, Build a lot of branded content and value-driven content, no CTA.

3, And then we started sprinkling in webinar signups, gated content downloads, so on and so forth. These would fuel our demand gen.

Linkedin becomes the top funnel and creates a lot of sales opportunities. LinkedIn is the net – we attract more people into the funnel, get them more educated on what we do, and eventually create revenue out of it.

We managed to build a whole engine just around emails and events because of Linkedin.

And then you look back to the 100,000 followers goal – It’s kind of an awareness play. But awareness play always has other effects.

Highlight 4: 3 tips about marketing and content

1, Some marketers are just order-takers rather than strategic thinkers.

It happens very often that – someone says “We should do webinars” and then they do a bunch of webinars. Another one says “Why we don’t have email subscribers?”, then they go and build an email list. They then found themselves zigzagging without any real intention or real plans.

The problem is that they didn’t make the goals strategic.

To change this, you need to first understand your impact on the business or make sure the impact on your business is the right one: for example, “I grow X followers on LinkedIn and it leads to A, B, and C.”

2, Understand your audience completely.

Understand their problems, when they have these problems, the language they use when they describe the problems, and the emotions that tie to these problems.

When you really understand your audience, you’re going to create content that truly resonates with them and is like a mirror image of who they are. And that’s what people will identify with.

3, Consistency.

People ask how do you get 30,000 followers? 100,000 followers? How do you get anything?

The answer is always consistency, consistency, consistency.

It’s like: one post gets 2000 likes but the next one only gets 40. You still need to be consistent and learn from it: What did I do on the first one? What did I miss on the second one?

Just continue and publishing content over and over: Not only will you grow your followers but you’ll grow your voice and your comfortability. Once you have it, things will be easier and have more fun.

Highlight 5: What’s the future of the content game?

In B2B, the focus of content has shifted from driving people to webinars, SEO, and keywords to creating value-based content and brand-based content.

And this trend most likely will continue.

You’ll see more content roles open up, more companies are going to build their content team, and c-levels are gonna start to understand the investment and see the worthiness of the investment.

But it’s still a long-term game – you won’t build an audience in 6 months, but if you invest in it now, you’ll win in a year or two.

It does take a little bit of time, but it’s totally worth it.

Want to check the uncut full text? Here's your transcript.

Marcus Svensson: [00:04]

For this session of Meaningful Conversation, we have Devin Reed, the head of content at Gong. Welcome here, Devin.

Devin Reed: [00:10]

Thanks, man. Always good to be here.

Marcus Svensson: [00:12]

Yeah. We have talked for some time together. I know you have done some great things before. He was in the presidential club in sales. You have the Reveal podcast, created maybe the most sought-after content strategy out there at Gong, but the thing is I really want to ask you – I think I know what you’re passionate about because I know you created a lot of these things out in the content and so on, but the question from me to you is actually what are you passionate about?

Devin Reed: [00:40]

I would say when it comes to content, the things I’m most passionate about are tying it to strategic growth, so that’s my point of view today is content has changed a lot in terms of how popular it is, how we use it to communicate, and it hasn’t quite made its way over to the B2B realm yet. Like B2C content’s really good, and I think the thing that’s missing is having a lot more intention behind the content that’s created out there, like really understanding what value does it provide. How is this helping with your company, right? It could be your narrative – it could be how are we getting the narrative out there? How are we differentiating ourselves in the market? How are we making sure everyone knows we have a new product, right? All of these different things, content can be used for, but I think people aren’t really using it to its full potential, and it’s usually because it’s ineffective or disjointed, so that’s my thing right now is just helping other marketers and content creators understand the different levers they can pull to be more effective with their content.

Marcus Svensson: [01:42]

Yeah, that makes sense because something I seen – if you look in maybe last two, three years, I think the big shift for me at least – when I really join the game of two years ago when I think people seems to focus a lot more valuable content than before. It feels, at least to me, it was more like driving people to webinar or some SEO kind of game and now shifting to value-based content or like brand-built content.

Devin Reed: [02:09]

Yep, absolutely. Absolutely.

Marcus Svensson: [02:10]

Regarding that topic, how do you think the future will look like?

Devin Reed: [02:14]

I think it’s just going to continue going in that trend which is brands – and I know it’s almost like some brands step out of line sometimes and try to do too much, and some are the converse, like the human conversations, if you will, like some of the political stuff, but for right now in B2B, I think it’s just going to continue where you’re going to see one more content roles open up. A lot of B2B companies are starting to do it as almost like the phrase internal – or media agency or media team internally. You’re going to see the people who take content – I should say the people that take brand building seriously and believe in content, you’ll start to see more of those agency-like approaches, which is where people are like, hey, let’s build basically like a content stream of just really entertaining and informative content.

Think of it like as Bleacher Report or – I don’t know – Barstool Sports if you’re familiar with them. You can say what you want about both those brands. I know those are out there, but to be honest, they’re growing huge brands. They are working really well, right, and so it’s like I think people are going to start to see – CMOs, Head of Marketing are going to start to understand the investment and the worthiness of the investment, but the other part is the long term – like you mentioned right before this, it’s a long-term game. You’re not going to build an audience in six months, so I think that people start to understand like, hey, if you invest in it now, you’ll win in a year or two. It does take a little bit of time, but it is worth it.

Marcus Svensson: [03:44]

Yeah, on top of that – I think we’ll talk about a little bit later like the measurements for these kind of things, but especially on the content topic, what have you brought from the B2C world to the B2B? Because for me, a lot of B2B companies are utilizing B2C things. One thing was the personalization, really thinking about the buyer journey and these kind of things. Is there anything in the content game you saw from the B2C world that you turned to the B2B world?

Devin Reed: [04:12]

Yeah, I think it’s – I want to say quality is what comes up. I enjoy being – scrolling through Instagram more than LinkedIn, right, and you can say for a million different reasons, but the brands on Instagram that I follow, they’re playing in the attention economy, right? They understand I’m on the scroll. They have a few seconds to hit or miss, and I think they take it seriously because the content’s good. They do it often. There’s a full strategy, and they’re trying to get your attention, right? It could be for another program. It could be a basketball game they’re promoting later tonight. It could be new joggers that they want me to buy, but the thing is for these brands, especially the menswear brand, is a lot of the stuff that they’re creating isn’t just “buy this thing right now, buy this thing right now, buy this thing right now”. There’s actually a really good brand called TenTree. Every time you buy a product, they plant 10 trees.

Marcus Svensson: [05:10]

I know.

Devin Reed: [05:11]

Okay, you’re familiar with them.

Marcus Svensson: [05:12]

Yeah, I know what it is,

Devin Reed: [05:13]

Their content isn’t just like here’s a new hoodie. You should go buy it. A lot of times it’s like their point of view, right? It’s sharing like hey you know this year – I don’t know – some like nature based facts right, because it aligns with their POV and trying to help the environment. They have environmentalist type content along with their products, right? When you’re consuming their content, you’re getting value instead of just being feel like oh wow, they really want me to buy, they really want me to buy

Marcus Svensson: [05:37]

Do you think that ties a lot – the shift that I’ve seen people talking about, me myself as well, is like today in B2B world, they’re talking to you like a real person, right, but I think people still feel like they’re talking to companies, and I think that feels for me like one of the factors you go closer to the B2C world in that sense.

Devin Reed: [06:00]

Yeah, well that’s what I’m saying is like they’re not – it’s less transactional. That’s I’m saying with this TenTree example is they’re building a relationship with you through this, right, and earning your trust and providing value and all that versus in B2B, people are like, like you said, here’s what – download this thing, here’s a demo, here’s a webinar whatever. A lot of it isn’t really value based, so it’s more transactional. I agree it’s going to be more like – I don’t love the phrase relationship building, but they’re going to play that long game, right, of you read a few of our posts you show up to some of our events and then you like us and trust us, and then you – maybe you’ll come inbound. It’s not always just like this hard outbound game

Marcus Svensson: [06:35]

Yeah, and on topic of that I was talking about it – I was supposed to ask this later but since we are so deep in this, right – the million-dollar question, we are talking about attribution, we talk about the hidden funnels kind of things. People are stop gating content. I see that talks about every single day on LinkedIn. With all this, in fact, as a marketer you need to prove yourself because to the board, to the CEO, you need to prove your value and these kind of things. How do you handle that?

Devin Reed: [07:02]

How do I handle value, like providing value?

Marcus Svensson: [07:04]

Yeah, essentially like for the things you do for the project you’re doing. You’ve been very successful about that at what you’re doing, but it’s still you need to think hey, we are doing this because of that. and you know the goal. You have these revenue goals right?

Devin Reed: [07:17]

Yeah, so the first thing to do is to align with the CEO’s goals. Every CEO has a slide they present every year.You probably see it, right? Every senior leadership meeting, maybe once a week or once a month, whatever, and what you need to do is to tie your content to those strategic goals, not all of them but one of them, right, so there’s probably three to five. I’ve seen three to five usually on every one, right? Number one, almost always increasing revenue. That’s always the one, right? If you had 20 million ARR last year, you want 40 next year whatever. If you can tie your content to revenue, great.

I specifically did that in my career. I didn’t want to just be a brand marketer because it’s kind of – it can be wavering right? If you have a really bad six months and marketing isn’t showing up but you’re building brand, it’s easier to cut that from your line item and go we’ll get a demand gen person in here, right? I wanted to be both, and so look at that list. Other ones just from my example – or my experience has been like creating a category, like how can content create a category How can content create pipeline for certain territories or certain segments in your business? Brand awareness was one of them early, early on with Gong, because we were a series A startup or series B startup, and no one knew who we were, and so it was like there’s a new space in conversation intelligence. There was like two three players. We wanted to be number one so we made brand awareness a specific target.

When you can tie your content and your resources you’re asking for and the time that you’re spending to one of those goals, every quarter or sooner, you can go to your CEO and say hey, here’s the pipeline that we generated, here’s the inbound – the branded traffic that we’re getting, and so on and so forth, whatever will line up with those goals that I was sharing, and when you see things going up and to the right, people understand that okay, you’re supporting this. Wow, that deal closed because you held a webinar, and then you found this VP sales that you didn’t know, and then they bought like two weeks later. Oh, it’s working, right? Then, what happens when something’s working? You invest in it.

What can you do with more? If I gave you another headcount, if I give you $100,000, right, and then those are the organizations you want to get, but you have to prime them up front. No CEO is just going to come and go hey, Devin, I got $100,000 and I need a million dollars in revenue. It doesn’t work that way. You might get the other you might get the opposite, which is I need a million dollars in revenue, but you might only get 100,000 dollars to go get it.

Marcus Svensson: [09:45]

Yeah, okay, I agree. No, I agree with you that that’s recently – you now have these leading indicators because revenue – some things take more time, but you still have this pipeline and having a hint, it definitely goes to the right direction, but again, like I do agree like the whole marketing, especially content, that does take time. You don’t see results in a month. It probably take like six months until you see true results, which sometimes, I think, from marketing in general can be hard to beat in that sense. You need to be confident. You need to have confidence with your CEO as well.

Devin Reed: [10:16]

Yeah, and six months, even for me – I would consider myself fairly confident. If I put my head down on a project for six months and didn’t have anything to show for it, I would get nervous around month three or four, because you’re running in the tunnel. You don’t see the end of the light, but you’re like, I think I’m going the right direction. What I do is I set milestones. You have big goals, and then you have milestones, right? For example, Gong, we wanted to get to 100,000 followers on LinkedIn on our corporate page.

I will ask more about LinkedIn. That’s for sure because I want to jump to the LinkedIn strategy as well, but yeah, continue.

Devin Reed: [10:47]

For sure. Yeah, so we’re about to cross that in like two, three weeks, so we’re getting really close, but when we started that goal, two and a half years ago, when I started in marketing, we were like 14,000 followers, and Udi, our CMO, I thought he was kidding, but he wasn’t kidding. He’s like I want you to get to 100,000 followers, and at the time, I’m like, that’s so far away. I have no idea how I’m going to get there.

Marcus Svensson: [11:07]

Question to that essentially, obviously growing LinkedIn followers and activity there is important in many aspects, but was there any plan why you would reach that goal, or did you guys see previous success growing LinkedIn? What’s the story behind it?

Devin Reed: [11:21]

The goal is arbitrary, right? The number 100,000 sounds awesome, but there’s really no difference between 90,050 and you know, 104,000. It’s just an arbitrary number. One is like it’s a big milestone. It feels good, but the strategy behind it is simple. A couple things, one was we wanted to build an audience that we could eventually sell to. There wasn’t really any brand and B2B texts, like sales tech, that has like a real brand that people loved. I mean that lovingly, like if you’re hearing this and you work at one of those companies, I’m not digging anybody.

Marcus Svensson: [11:58]

You’re raving fans.

Devin Reed: [11:59]

Yeah, we were like let’s create a brand that people actually love aside from the product, so that was it, and you can sell to those people eventually, right? If you’re an SDR and you love us today, you might be a manager one day. You might be a director one day. You might buy Gong one day, or you might be a VP today, right, consume content like Gong and decide to buy us in your upcoming budget cycle. That was kind of the immediate. The other part was we built a lot of branded content or value driven content, no CTA, and then we started sprinkling in webinar signups, content downloads that’s gated, so on and so forth, and that would fuel a lot of our demand gen.

We get a lot of sales opportunities just from LinkedIn, and so we knew, hey, we can get people into the funnel, right? LinkedIn’s the top of the funnel. People are in the – on the LinkedIn sphere, they see Gong, they sign up. Now we’ve got their email address. We have a whole engine, just around email and events. LinkedIn is like the net, so to speak, and then we’re pulling people down the funnel as we get them more educated on what we do and all that. We’ve gotten tons of revenue out of it. The 100,000 was just keep – it was a –

Marcus Svensson: [13:07]

That’s a great goal.

Devin Reed: [13:08]

Go get that. Go get a lot of people that know about it, so it’s an awareness play, but it made – like I said, it had other effects, too.

Marcus Svensson: [13:14]

No, but I think I think you create a valid point there because there are a lot of good companies out there, but I would say within B2B, it’s not that many brands that are great in terms of you truly following the brand, right? I think you guys achieve it really well, and a few more that I think do well on it, but you can count them on a hand basically.

Devin Reed: [13:35]

I’m happy to see it, by the way. I like seeing that other brands are like taking it seriously and wanting to build their page because it makes the sales tech space better.

Marcus Svensson: [13:43]

Yeah, no, I fully – that makes fully sense, but how do you guys started creating all these, and also on top of that, how is the relationship with the revenue, like to demand gen and sales because, essentially, for me, all these ties together, your revenue together with success, and sales and marketing, and that’s how it should be from my point of view. I would love to hear what’s your view, and how does it look for you in reality.

Devin Reed: [14:09]

Yeah, so I’m on the demand gen team, so my content team sits under our Senior Director of Marketing who’s like our revenue – we call it revenue marketing, demand gen, whatever you want to call it, so I’m on that team, and I specifically wanted to be on demand gen to learn everything that we just talked about and to continue to learn these things because basically one of my early mentors was like if you learn how to generate revenue, you will get a bigger salary as you progress your career. If you only can build a brand, it’ll be hit or miss, right, because – Marcus might be like that. Love what you’re doing. I want to build a big old brand, no worry about revenue, and I can do that. That is easier, by the way. For anyone wondering, it is easier, but I didn’t want that. I wanted to have options, so I’m like, let me be on the demand gen team. Let me learn these things, and so that’s why I believe in that.

To get sales involved is a hard thing. I think the first thing is they have to enjoy the content or see the value in it. I admittedly have a leg up because I market to salespeople, so the content is for sales, and I have a sales team, so I get that. I get that’s easier. The other thing, though, is they see the LinkedIn – going back the LinkedIn, they see people loving the brand on LinkedIn. They see people sharing the content. They see all these things, so it’s like, affirmation, right, and social proof, like, oh, okay, so marketing is doing stuff that I like, but marketing is also doing stuff my buyers like. We hear it on Gong calls all the time. We record sales calls. Type in LinkedIn, type in content, and you’ll get a bunch of hits, and people be like, oh, you know what, Marcus, I don’t really know what Gong does, but I’ve seen you guys on LinkedIn, and – or something to that effect, right? We’re bringing people into these – through awareness and through content.

Marcus Svensson: [15:48]

Yeah, that helped.

Devin Reed: [15:49]

Yeah, that’s how it was early on, and now we’re getting more like, yeah, I know, it’s – I know more about what you guys do, because I’ve been following you for a year. I saw this webinar with Devin and all these things. If you’re on a sales call and someone comes in and goes I don’t really know what you do, but I like you, right, or I do kind of know what you do, and I like you. That’s way easier than having to outbound cold call people who go wait, what is Gong? I’ve never heard of you in my life, right? You’re making salespeople’s lives easier, and then those deals close, right, you start to build up that trust is the same thing as building a brand. Every way, whether you’re building it with your internal teams, or external audience, it’s still building trust and credibility over time. That’s what a reputation is.

Marcus Svensson: [16:27]

Yeah, but that’s like – this is something I really feel out there. I work myself with sales in that sense like they need to enjoying it, but it also needs to give value for it, and as you say, if it creates things that makes your life easier, and instantly you’re the hero in the other team, right?

Devin Reed: [16:42]


Marcus Svensson: [16:43]

That’s something we trying ourself, trying to get the engagement. We do more to marketing people, instead of salespeople. It’s probably a little bit easier from your side, but again, your content should be enjoyful for everyone, right?

Devin Reed: [16:57]


Marcus Svensson: [17:00]

We need to talk about the content strategy, especially for like – social selling, right? All the sales talk about social selling. They do with LinkedIn, do all these kind of things. How are you guys supporting that, or are you guys supporting it? Also is that part of what goes around on Gong, or is that just something people do themselves? What’s the story?

Devin Reed: [17:20]

Yeah, you’re talking about Gong employees sharing?

Marcus Svensson: [17:22]

Yeah, exactly. it’s a sharing, but also writing a lot of things.

Devin Reed: [17:26]

Yeah, so it comes down to like two things. Really, Marcus, it’s like empowerment and enablement. Empowerment is telling people, showing people that we want you to do this, you’re able to do this. It’s feeling like you can, like intrinsic, and so it starts with the tops. Our CEO is active on LinkedIn, or CMO’s active on LinkedIn. I think also when you see your senior executives active, right – and I don’t mean – they’re not trying to be thought leaders. They’re not posting every single day on what you should or shouldn’t do. They’re just like company updates, personal updates. They’re just very active on the platform, right? Then you see the Gong brand is super active on LinkedIn, right? Then there’s myself who’s very active on LinkedIn. I’m leading the charge from the content standpoint.

It’s like if you have a group of friends, and they all go – and they all go to the gym. You’re probably going to start going to the gym, just a little bit, or you might start jogging or something, right, because you’re just hanging out in that like atmosphere, right? It’s like, okay, you’re learning and seeing it firsthand. That’s just if you want to. There’s no pressure, by the way. It’s not part of the interview process. There’s not demand to do it, literally none. I’m a big advocate for all we can do is ask. Yeah, I can’t force you to do anything. I can’t force you to change your headline on your LinkedIn profile. It’s your LinkedIn profile, right? My hope is that I can build trust with you and provide you value and that you will want to go do that if you choose to, right?

Marcus Svensson: [18:53]

Just want to add that, for what I feel like for Gong or what I see in others, it needs us to come from top down. People need to see the leaders are doing that because then you feel more approved doing so.

Devin Reed: [19:09]

Also there’s, there’s, there’s execs out there that specifically don’t want their employees on LinkedIn for whatever – for crazy reasons. I know why, but they’re crazy, and so then I think other employees sometimes, especially if they’re younger, like I don’t want to get in trouble. I’m just happy to have my job. I don’t want to mess anything up. That’s why I think it’s big to show and lead by example. The enablement part is making it easy to share on LinkedIn. There’s a couple things. I think a lot of people will see what Gong does and think oh, I need to activate my employees so they can share the things I want them to share, right, which is like our events and our content and all that stuff and our updates. That’s a small piece of it, right?

What we do is a couple things. One, during onboarding, our CMO does a marketing strategy session. He shares what, why, and when we do on LinkedIn. My social media team has a specific section just for social media to share people best practices, right, because people come into Gong and they’re like – just like you said. I see everybody’s active. I want to be – what are the guidelines? What’s funny is they say what are the rules, and we’re like there are no rules. There’s just guidelines. We walk them through. Here’s LinkedIn strategies – here’s our LinkedIn strategy. Devin posts these Gong labs articles. He’ll ask you from time to time to share them. It’s completely optional. We have 10 guidelines, like here’s some – people love stories. People love personal experiences. We don’t recommend being political, but it’s your call at the end of the day, and at the end of the day, if you’re unsure, Slack one of us, and we’ll read your posts and just give you some guidance, right, which doesn’t happen very often which is fine.

That’s just when you start being an employee, and then every like quarter or so we do a similar – I do a similar LinkedIn session with the team. I do a Q&A. I’ll go on a lunch and learn. Here’s what LinkedIn – here’s what we’re doing again, same concept. Here’s what’s going on. Hey, if you want to do a quick 30-minute session with me say yes. I’ll book it, and we’ll go get a Zoom room and just hang out. People mostly just want to ask questions, hang out a little bit, get comfortable, and then people start writing their own posts and all that, so we really do nurture it as you can hear. It does take a little bit of work, but it’s fun. This should be a fun project where you’re getting to know your employees instead of like alright Marcus. now that you work at Gong, you have to do three posts a week, and one has to be what we say.

Marcus Svensson: [21:24]

That will never work. That will never work.

Devin Reed: [21:25]

Who would do that? No one would do it, and it would be super robotic, right? You can tell the LinkedIn posts are authentic because they sound like a human being wrote them, not Devin a content marketer wrote them and copied and pasted them.

Marcus Svensson: [21:35]

I get sick of that, right? Yeah, I mean a scene is like we’re doing this. We follow that and see a lot of people are going to that direction which I think is great because it makes my LinkedIn feed more fun to read – close to Instagram at least, so I’m definitely pro that whole way of how marketing works and especially how demand gen works in that sense because it’s a huge part of demand gen creating that audience, right, not just nurturing.

Devin Reed: [22:01]

Yep, what was funny too is like everyone sees the brand, everyone gets demand gen, but it makes partnerships easier. People want to partner with you and you’re active on LinkedIn and you’ve got momentum. We get a lot of employees actually that find us as well not just like oh we loved your LinkedIn posts so I applied, but they might not know Gong’s hiring for a certain role, and then they see it on their feed, right, and they see – they click around and people are seemingly having a great time and really enjoying their work. That makes you a lot more attractive at surface value than just a LinkedIn job opening that you can just go apply for

Marcus Svensson: [22:35]

Yeah, no, I agree with you, and I see it definitely the right direction as well. Something that I think that is struggling in marketing content creation in general is the crafting part versus the promotion part because – crossing/distribution part because you can create great things, but if you don’t focus on the distribution part, it doesn’t really matter because people are not coming to you if you don’t have a huge channel that can publish it, right, to get the content. What’s your take on the whole focus of crafting but also having a plan for the promotion part?

Devin Reed: [23:13]

For LinkedIn specifically or in general?

Marcus Svensson: [23:15]

Content in general I would say.

Devin Reed: [23:18]

I would say is like – quality content is what wins today. Content is king, or like I was saying earlier, content, it’s currency and the attention economy so if you can come up with something that’s –

Marcus Svensson: [23:28]

That’s a good one. Currency in today’s economy, yeah.

Devin Reed: [23:31]

It is, man. It is.

Marcus Svensson: [23:32]

I quote you on that one.

Devin Reed: [23:34]

If you can create really good content – I don’t want to say people will come because you saw they get it out there right, but if you break the noise and it’s like oh, wow, that’s actually really different – different not better, right – then you’re going to catch attention. Me and you talk about Chris Walker all the time because he specifically does not sound like anybody else out there and mostly because he, I say, lovingly attacks what’s wrong with today right? It’s like when you follow him, you get something different and unique, and therefore, you want to follow it and keep up with it. Then as he puts it out on his channels, which is like he’s on – he’s big on LinkedIn as well, he also hosts events. It’s the same trickle-down thing. The whole point is to lead with one thing and then pull them into another avenue, so he also hosts – I think it’s like Thursday night events or something like that.

Marcus Svensson: [24:22]

Yeah, I think, at first – yeah.

Devin Reed: [24:23]

I think he turns it into a podcast right? Before you know it, he’s got three distribution channels or three different content channels, but he’s really saying the same thing throughout all of them just different perspectives on the same problem or perspectives on the same solution. For me, it’s like look, I have – I’m on LinkedIn. That’s what I did. Next thing I did was build a newsletter. Alright, cool. I have 30,000 followers. I’m going to try to move some of them –

Marcus Svensson: [24:45]

Congrats, Devin. That’s a lot.

Devin Reed: [24:47]

Thanks, man. Yeah, it took a while, but it’s awesome to see it. And then I just started newsletter eight weeks ago, and I’m – I don’t know – 1500, right, because that that’s much harder to build an email list, but you know what I mean. Then you build the email, right? Then you build another thing, and the point is you don’t start from scratch. You build one thing, and then you move some of those people to the next one. Then you build it – you know what I mean? You build it, and then you move it over to the next one.

Marcus Svensson: [25:10]

No, no, I agree with you there. I know our time is running out. I want to just – I would love to have an episode two with you. It will probably happen in the future, but for – because we’re friends right? Give your three best tips in general in content or marketing or career wise that you will share with people.

Devin Reed: [25:32]

The first thing – these are not in any order. Just kind of things that come to mind is like when I talk to marketers a lot of times – content marketers specifically but marketers overall, they become order takers. They’re not a strategic partner. They don’t have a seat at the table. It’s like someone comes in. They’re like we should be doing webinars. Go do a bunch of webinars. Two months later it’s like why don’t we have email subscribers. Go build an email list, and you find yourself just zigzagging – you know what I mean – without any real intention, without any real plan, and so it goes back to the first thing I said, which is have a goal and make those goals strategic. That’s the first thing you can do. Even if you’re an intern, you can pick one thing and show hey, I grew our LinkedIn followers or hey, I grew our email subscribers and that led to XYZ. Understand your impact on the business, and make sure the impact on the business is the right one. That’s number one.

Number two is understand your audience completely, now them intimately, understand their problems, understand when they have those problems, understand the language they use when they describe those problems, the emotions tied to those problems because when you really understand your audience, you’re going to create content that truly resonates with them and is like a mirrored image of who they are. That’s what people will identify with. Let’s see.

Number three, consistency. I should have led with this one, but no one likes to hear it because it’s like I know I’ve got to be consistent, but people say how do you get to 100,000 followers? How do you get to 30,000? How do you get anything? Consistency. Consistency. Just keep on doing it. It’s okay like when one week I’ll have a post that gets 2000 likes, next one will have 40. It’s all good. Learn from it. What did I do on the first one? What did I miss on the second one, right? Just keep putting out content over and over. Not only will you grow your followers, but you’ll grow your voice, and your comfortability it’ll be easier, and then once it’s easier, it’ll be more fun.

Marcus Svensson: [27:22]

Thanks for those three good best practices and tips for everyone. Yeah, I think this was it for me. Thanks so much for everything, Devin. It’s a pleasure getting your story. You’re one of the best in the industry, in my opinion at least. I love reading your content. So yeah, thank you so much.

Devin Reed: [27:40]

Anytime, man. Talk to you later.

Marcus Svensson: [27:42]


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