Ben Sailer

Director of Inbound Marketing (Wordpress.com), Automattic

Ben Sailer started his journey in content with a degree in journalism and PR. While his initial plan was to be a music journalist, he realized quickly that it wasn't a profitable idea. That’s when he stumbled upon a job listing for a content writer in an e-commerce company. And his content career started. Ben has over ten years of experience in content today and his last role was that of Inbound Marketing Director at Co-Schedule. Today he leads the inbound marketing team at Wordpress.com.

I’ve been fortunate to have a broad range of experiences in the content world, working with small local businesses all the way up to brands with a global reach. It's been ten years, and I haven't got bored of it yet.

Content processes

Ben comes from a background of a content team of two working efficiently with a dedicated team of freelancers. At Co-Schedule, while he was the fourth employee on the marketing team, he alone worked with a graphic designer to dole out all the content required.


Eventually, they started working with a team of freelancers and interns. Ben attributes the success of this small team’s efforts to the fact that they had efficient processes for creating content for a small number of channels, mainly their B2B marketing blog. He says, “I think content marketers are spread too thin by doing too many things with too few resources.”


But as their content grew, so did their team of freelancers, who were onboarded so that Ben and his team could focus on other avenues. The key, Ben finds, is to give outsourced professionals good direction in terms of how you want your content to be so as to not lose the edge you have worked so hard to maintain as a brand.


The quality vs. quantity debate

Ben is a firm proponent of quality over quantity. At Co-Schedule, he says, the idea that any published content should be high quality, even if not published in much volume, was baked into the company philosophy. Often, content marketers are mandated (by someone higher up who doesn't understand content or marketing) to publish more and more content. Then these marketers are thrown under the bus when the results are poor.

If you are not bought into the idea that content has to be better, you are merely part of the crowd racing to create content. There is so much bad content out there that marketers and business owners don't expect much anymore and have very low expectations. It has mostly become about out producing your competition.


For Ben, the culture at
Wordpress.com was very different. As it is, he found that the brand and its products needed content marketing to address a lot of misperceptions. And now, the internal argument to focus on less to produce better content is starting to win. Ben has strived to exemplify the fact that if you publish fewer pieces but make them really good, they will drive better and faster results.

An underrated skill of content marketers is to know how to sell your idea internally and how it's going to work before asking for a large investment.


The value of outsourcing content

Ben is a huge advocate for freelancers. He explains the two options that in-house content teams have when it comes to outsourcing content work. 1. A huge content agency with a large pool of writers or a boutique agency with a narrower pool of writers with expertise in your niche. 2. Independent freelancers who work one-on-one with the brand and understand the brief and topic. Such freelancers build strong long-term relationships with brands.


Ben also shares his experience with content agencies linked to Automattic. He felt that content had taken on a two-pronged decline. 1. Automattic was trying to publish too much content too quickly and couldn’t guide partner content agencies properly. 2. The content agencies themselves didn't have the expertise Automattic needed. So now, Ben and his team are looking to find freelancers to build the brand with.

I've rarely found agencies that are as invested in the outcome as you versus just getting the work done.

Ideal salesforce for content marketing

For Ben, the ideal Salesforce has to be a holistic, one-stop-shop, integrated platform that handles all your content marketing needs end to end. It must help businesses source content, manage the process of creating it, distribute it to different channels, measure the actual results and business impact beyond what Google Analytics does, and generate a report they can share with stakeholders.

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