Becky May is the Senior Content Strategist at InSided & Gainsight - a SaaS company that provides businesses a platform to create engagement among different customers from different genres and enhance communication.
Becky has over 12 years of experience in content and a solid background in journalism that has helped her bring her storytelling skills to the digital platform.
She has won several awards throughout her career, including Valued Performer 2019 by MediaGrowth, 2018 Rising Star Honoree from the Folio, and MediaGrowth Award - Outstanding Integrated Marketing Program.
At InSided, Becky helps drive a content roadmap, communicates value propositions through various products, collaborates with sales, customer success, and product development to create the content needed, and analyzes content performance, using insights to make better decisions.
Becky May began her career as a journalist and then joined a digital publishing house that focused on B2B beauty. That’s when she started working with content creators and influencers and became an influencer marketer.
Eventually, she moved to B2B SaaS, a drastic change but not all that dissimilar. One may not have “influencers” in B2B SaaS. Still, Becky finds that this industry has its community thought leaders who are (instead of creating Instagram Reels and TikTok videos) writing great content, personal opinion pieces, and trend reports.
So, influencer marketing has become a part of the content strategy at InSided. The team partners with these thought leaders for quotes, extensions to content, guest pieces, and so much more. And they have become an important part of any modern-day marketing strategy.
Because of Becky’s background in journalism, she finds that storytelling comes naturally to her, and she loves it!
Today’s customers are looking for a story with a hook or angle woven into the product's details.
Views on community-led content
Community-led content comes from questions and feedback from the brand’s community. Community is crucial to content marketing because it comprises people who use the product and whose concerns and feedback will be genuine. Moreover, your audience prefers peer-to-peer content over brand-specific information.
Community-led content builds an organic flywheel by encouraging engagement and contribution. It also serves a lot of different teams. Becky says you can find potential employees or leads from your community or even use it as a source of content ideas.
A lean and mean content marketing machine
At InSided, Becky has a content team of two people, with a larger marketing team, a demanding team, and a VP of Marketing heading them all. The strategy within these teams is to focus on one campaign per quarter. And the theme is usually something relatable to their customers.
For example, the company recently focused on a community summer camp. They had bi-weekly fire-side chats with thought leaders and a camp counselor session with their resident CSM and Head of Community to address people's questions.
They also produced a customer talent show and created a case study that was produced bi-weekly. Overall, the team looks at a mix of different content every quarter. This is driven by what their customers want to know more about.
The quantity vs. quality debate
In the quantity vs. quality debate, Becky finds that it is all about what has the most significant impact on the brand. She cites an example. When Becky implemented the company’s social media strategy, she had various ideas like fun memes, gifs, and much more. However, these efforts were challenging, and they weren’t resulting in enough clicks and meetings that justified the time spent producing that much content.
Great content marketing is storytelling. It's important to remember the story and the storyteller are equally important. Brands can no longer solely rely on their brand channels and email lists to get their message out there and need to tap into internal and external advocates, thought leaders, and partners to share these stories.
As a result, they used customer stories and case studies to generate content and get the desired results. This was a fantastic product for their sales team to discuss in terms of opening a conversation and showcasing the company’s statistics. And it had a more significant impact on the company.
Outsourcing content creation – Yay or Nay?
There are pros and cons of outsourcing work to freelancers. But Becky finds that having SMEs (subject matter experts) is the most efficient option. They may not be the best writers, but if they know the topic well, someone else can edit their work and polish it while retaining the information and essence.
Outsourcing is great if you find the right people. But be selective about who you are choosing; otherwise, you will end up doing double the work.
The same applies when outsourcing graphic design. Becky states that it is important to have precise brand guidelines and tone of voice. Any outsourced design work should be clear and not disjointed from the brand. If this is manageable, outsourcing design work is a salable option, especially for temporary design work.
Advice to young content marketers
Effective content marketing pieces are education-focused and not necessarily product-focused. Readers understand content marketing so much more than even five years ago. They will know it within the first few sentences if it's not a good piece of content.
In my opinion, content should provide value and not trick the reader just to make a sale.
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