An interview with Joe Barron, Senior Content Manager at Cognism

We sit down with Joe Barron, Senior Content Manager at Cognism. Cognism is a leader in international sales intelligence, setting a new standard for data quality and compliance, trusted by 1800+ revenue teams worldwide.

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How did you end up at Cognism and what problem does Cognism solve for its clients?

Cognism was a career change for me - before, I worked in finance. I'd always had a passion for writing, so having decided I needed a new challenge, I enrolled in an online copywriting course, graduated with a Distinction, and then started applying for writing jobs in London. Cognism was the first company to offer a role, and so here I am - from Content Writer to Content Manager in 5 years! Cognism is a data provider for B2B companies - put simply, we give you the mobile phone numbers and B2B emails of people you want to do business with!

As the Senior Content Manager, what are your main responsibilities at Cognism?

Cognism is a very-moving business; roles and responsibilities can change quickly! At the moment, I'm responsible for the SEO side of content, on both our blog and on YouTube. I manage a team of content writers and video creators; together we publish written and visual content designed to rank highly on Google and YouTube for certain keywords. No two days at Cognism are the same, but my core tasks are usually writing, proofreading and editing blogs and video scripts, plus setting the SEO strategy and reporting on our work.

To get a bit more technical, which methods work best for making people aware of and interested inCognism , and why do you think they work so well?

Cognism's marketing is currently split between 2 different disciplines: capture demand and create demand. Capture demand is all about delighting and converting in-market buyers; that's very much my team's focus, as SEO is our main capture demand tactic. Our levers to capture demand are our blog and website. Create demand is all about educating out-of-market buyers. That's the focus of our demand generation team, who deliver content in multiple formats aimed at our core personas. So they aren't just engaged in writing blogs, but videos, podcasts, newsletters and social media as well. These 2 techniques work very well together, as you're targeting people at all levels of the funnel - the people who know who you are and are tempted to find out more, and the people who've never heard of you before.

At ColdFire, when we look at our clients' Marketing strategies, they vary greatly. Some have found a single, scalable client acquisition process while others thrive on a mix of top-of-funnel strategies. How would you summarize the high-level marketing-related strategy of your organization, and what key elements contribute to its success?

I think the capture demand/create demand strategy is the key to the success of Cognism's marketing team. Separating strategies and teams allows us to focus on content that's needed for both in-market and out-of-market buyers. It also enables us to report on that content effectively without confusing objectives. So far, I'd say our gamble is paying off! Last month, our capture demand team increased Google rankings, demo requests and conversions from our most valuable pages. Meanwhile, our create demand team generated record-breaking LinkedIn engagement, podcast plays and newsletter subscribers.

What marketing tactic have you employed at Cognism or past companies that you feel is often overlooked by marketing teams, and what makes this technique effective in your experience?

One thing that we've tried to do at Cognism is bring scale to B2B marketing. So many B2C companies excel at this, but B2B companies are often too cautious or unambitious. So we don't just have 1 podcast, we have 4; we don't just send out 1 newsletter, but 3. Our goal is to become a B2B media agency and be the "homepage" for people in our industry, in the same way the top news sites are. Another tactic that B2B marketers often overlook is YouTube. It isn't just a video hosting platform; it's the 2nd largest search engine after Google. If your company isn't on there, then it's nowhere! And this will become an even more crucial place to be as video content starts to eclipse written content.

Has your Marketing team experimented with some kind of cold outbound strategy (like cold email)? If yes what was the general outcome and if no, why not?

The content team at Cognism doesn't really use cold email - we send 3 email newsletters every 2 weeks to subscribers in our 3 main personas. The newsletters are very value-led, providing top tips and advice in bite-size, easy-to-read chunks. So you could say those emails are very warm! By focusing on giving our audience value, answering their pain points and solving their problems, we've generated some great results. So far this year, we increased our newsletter subscribers by 30.58%.

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