A big hello and welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More. I have a fantastic guest this time, Christoph Trappe from Voxpopme, a video feedback platform for companies. Today he’s going to talk about content performing culture.
Christoph Trappe is a content strategist. In his role, Christoph develops, implements and measures the omnichannel content strategy including live video, podcasting, content development, SEO and conversion-flow optimization. He also has his podcast, and live stream.
In this episode:
- What content performance culture is and how is that important?
- What are some of the barriers to create the right culture and create the performing content?
- If a business has to put the content performance team together, what kind of talent do they have to look for?
- How to decide what’s more important in the battle of quality vs quantity?
- In what ways setting up the right content culture apply to small businesses and enterprises?
- How to educate and set up the process that people can follow?
- How to build the culture that people can embrace?
Quotes from the episode:
“The reality is everybody wants everything to perform. So we, first of all, have to understand what does that mean? But most importantly, we have to set up the right culture.”
“At the end of the day, you want to have the right people in the right seats with the right skill set and the right attitude and the right mindset. A big part of driving content performance comes back to having the right, the right attitude.”
A big hello and welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More. I have a fantastic guest this time; Christoph Trappe from Voxpopme is a content strategist. And he would like to talk to us about content performing culture. I’m really curious about that topic. So we will get started.
So, Christoph, you are a content strategist, which is fantastic, but can you tell us a little bit more about yourself in minutes?
Christoph Trappe: Yeah, you bet. Let’s get started. I liked the energy already, Pam. It got me woken up over here. So I’m a content marketer. I’m a content strategist. How do we create better content? How do we share better stories? I mean, it’s just, there’s so much crap out there. I don’t know if you knew this, but CRAP is an acronym that stands for Content Really Annoying to People. So at the end of the day, we don’t want to do that.
So what I do is, you know, I do content strategy at Voxpopme. It’s a video feedback platform for companies. How do we help people fix their problems, solve their problems and of course, those are the stories and content that I produce to live streaming, podcasting written content still matters?
And then, of course, I got my podcast, my live stream. You were a guest on that as well. Uh, quite the production, quite the,
Pam: That was a lot of fun.
Christoph: Yeah, but it’s so much work. There are so many buttons to push and so many things to do in so many channels. So, you know, I do that. I focus on how we get the most out of all the different channels we’re working with while also telling an authentic story? And there are way too many companies that just produce crap. It’s self-promotional. It’s okay. It’d be self-promotional here and there, but if you only tell me how awesome you are and “I’m the best, I’m the best. No, I’m the best. No, I’m, industry-leading “knock it off and tell me how you can have to help me.
Pam Didner: Understood very, very well. And, uh, you know, just for the listeners out there, I was actually on Christoph’s, um, like live video and a podcast—probably a combination of both—and then Christoph live-streamed the whole thing; to– how many channel you live stream to? YouTube live? Facebook live? And LinkedIn live. What else? Tell us more, I mean, you were like really pushing many, many buttons.
Christoph Trappe: Yeah. Many buttons. It was, I mean, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Periscope, Twitter. Uh, let’s see. I think, I think we went to Amazon, too, because you have a book.
Pam Didner: Yeah. So I found that fascinating, you know, I did, I do webinars monthly, and only about last December, I started doing a live stream of my webinar to Facebook Live and YouTube Live. And I only covered two channels. I’m already freaking stressed out. And you all like went out to 10 different channels and successfully, um, regularly. Do you do that weekly or a monthly basis?
Christoph Trappe: Yeah. Like I think daily—
Pam: Really? Oh my god!
Christoph Trappe: It almost depends on the day. Yeah. So, but yeah, every time I record a podcast, I do it. Sometimes I can do it, you know if I’m already done one that day or something like that. But at the end of the day, I’ll try and do them every time. And the reason is that a lot of my guests have books. And now Amazon just promoted me to another level of the live streamer, so now they push it out to more people.
So, for example, if you come on my show and we’re talking about your book, the live stream will be on your book’s main page.
Pam Didner: Oh wow!
Christoph Trappe: So I know, so it’s super cool. And it’s; also, I think the next level up you can be highlighted on Amazon.com the main page. So you’re going to get a ton of traffic.
Pam Didner: Christophe, I’m counting on you. All right. I’m counting on you to get to one level. And when I write my next book, trust me, I’ll be begging you to be actually on your channel, please. So with that, you said, the topic we want to talk about today is a content performance culture. I am a little puzzled by that term. Can you explain to us what content performance culture is and how it is that important?
Christoph Trappe: Yeah. So when I grew up in journalism, nobody would ever ask me, “how did your content perform?” And if that ever would come up, I would say, Oh, “150,000 or 250,000 views,” whatever the circulation is. Right. Nobody could prove it. But today, everybody wants to know how’s it performing? How is it performing? What’s working, what’s not working?
And the reality is that things today it’s getting harder and harder. I mean, I just saw a study the other day. The average B2B blog post gets 49 organic reads a month. Now they might be relevant, but 49, if you go to somebody and say, “Hey, we should do something, and you can expect 49 views per month.” They’re not going to jump out of their chair and say, “Oh, that sounds fantastic.”
So, but that, but the reality is everybody wants everything to perform. So we, first of all, have to understand what does that mean? But most importantly, we have to set up the right culture and here’s the reality of things. Do you know, do you know which live streams never performed, Pam?
Pam Didner: Talk to me, enlighten me.
Christoph Trappe: The ones that don’t go live. If I don’t go live, it’s not going to perform. I can tell you that now, of course, you don’t just want to throw mud at the wall and hope something sticks, but you have to set up your teams to work on that, to create stuff that has a chance to win. To give them the authority to move things forward, get things out the door, try things, and fiddle with things.
And you know, COVID has changed so much when it comes to content creation, honestly, because content creators, content marketers are now at home, and they have time to work because nobody interrupts them all day long. But when they were in an office, they had meetings all day. They were in this all day. And here’s what happens. If you are in meetings all day, you can’t create content. You can’t even fiddle with content.
There’s this new thing. Barry Schwartz broke it. It was the Google Question Hub, and I think it’s fantastic. So what Google does is you can now go in there, sign up, and be free–like all those tools are. And Google tells you questions that people have asked that they couldn’t find an answer to.
So if you can find, if you can find something and you have an article, you can say, “I already have an article on this topic,” or you can say, uh, or you can write an article on the topic and then submit it. So you have a chance to rank for it.
Pam Didner: Is that a specific domain, a Googlequestionhub.com, that people can go to to ask what it is?
Christoph Trappe: Hold on. It is questionhub.google.com.
Pam Didner: That’s another way to rank for SEO. Yes. I love that. I love that idea. Yeah. So you mentioned that you write the content, not perform. You need to establish the right culture within your company. And can you tell me a little more about some of the barriers to creating the right culture to create the performing content?
Christoph Trappe: So some barriers are kind of, this one is, uh, it’s the whole “command and control system” that many of us grew up in, right. The managers know best, even when they don’t. And even when I lead teams, Pam, I don’t know all the answers. I don’t know everything. There’s so much going on. It’s just. You can track, you know, that’s a big problem when you have, “this is how we do it. This is how it’s done.” Blah, blah, blah. Give people some creative license, give them some license to try things. See what’s worked. See what doesn’t work. As I mentioned, if you don’t publish it, it’s not going to work.
The next thing is sometimes we have teams set up in the wrong way. So I talk about the right setup of a team and, here’s the reality of things. Every team I talk to ever, they never have enough people. It could be three people. It could be ten people. It could be 60 people. Everybody always says, “we don’t have enough people.” It doesn’t make any difference how big the team is. So we might as well get used to that, that we’re could always use more people.
But at the end of the day, you want to have the right people in the right seats with the right skill set, attitude, and mindset. A big part of driving content performance comes back to having the right, the right attitude. How do I do it? How do I get back up? How do I drive forward? What, what do athletes do? Patrick Mahomes? I’m not even a Kansas City Chiefs fan, but what does the guy do? Do you know? He, he throws an awesome pass. He gets up; he has another play. He runs a route, which he did the other day, and the pit pass gets picked off, and he just gets up, runs another play. That’s what marketers have to do.
Whether we have a home run or what we know now, we’ll go into baseball, but whether we have a home run or a touchdown or we get sacked, get up and run another play. And I think there’s still a lot of teams that get hung up on the negative. “Oh my goodness. We had a typo.” I don’t want people to have typos. Do correct grammar, blah, blah, blah. But here’s the thing, stuff happens, you know, especially when there’s not enough people to edit or whatever. And you have, you heard the story, Qantas Airways, they had a typo on their airplane. And so they took a picture, they tweeted it, and they said, Hey, uh, whoops, this one has to go back to the shop for repainting.” If Qantas can get over that, you can get over one little typo in an email or one little typo in a headline. Just fix it. So we have to kind of have that mindset as a team. We’re in it together. We want to move forward. We want to be better, and we’re trying to drive results.
And, you know, I don’t want to, I don’t want to say fail fast. I hate the term failing, but don’t fret. Move forward as a team at the end of the day. Um, and that goes from all ways, you know, the leaders in the team members have to set up that culture.
Pam Didner: Let me summarize very quickly. Christophe, you mentioned the barriers. Number one is you need to give your team some creative, autonomous, um, that they can, uh, pilot, uh, different, uh, ways to create content or, uh, um, promote content.
Another thing that you were talking about to have the right team in place. And then, uh, have the right talent.
Can you be a little bit specific about what kinds of talents that, uh, if you have to put the content performance team together, what kind of talent they have to look into to recruit as part of the team?
Christoph Trappe: Yeah. So there’s a big debate out there in the marketing world that you want, the T-shaped marketer who can do some things and then, you know, can go, not very deep other things. And some of that you need to, you need to be able to do different things, but I don’t believe that you can be good at everything.
So, for example, I just created a new cover art in Canva for my podcast. Am I a designer? Not. My standards for my design are pretty low. Do you know what I mean? So at the end of the day, you do have to hire some people who can do the work.
And here’s how I typically would start. Somebody has to come up with a strategy. What are we trying to do? Why are we trying to do who the personas are? Um, what’s different about us? What are we going to talk about? Because here’s the other thing about content marketing is it’s a marathon, as you know. So you can’t just do two articles and think you’re done, right. You got to get on a weekly schedule or, you know, we talked earlier. I do a live stream almost daily, just mostly because I kind of enjoyed it, and I learned things. Do I have to publish every day? I don’t, but I do. You know, but, so that’s kind of how we ended up there.
But you got to put the strategy in place first, and then the next role you need somebody, and it could be the same person–just something to keep in mind not everybody can be good at everything. Um, they need to be able to produce content. I used to say they need to be able to be a writer, and they still need to be able to write, but today, if you can pull off a live stream and a podcast and turn all that into gold, why do you need to write a 12,000-word article or whatever, 2000 word article? Um, but at the end of the day, you still should be writing. You know, you still should be putting stuff in on the written word. So somebody who can do some of those things.
Then you got to figure out what do you care about? So, for example, my podcast. I barely edit every once in a while. I edit stuff out. If I misspeak, yeah, whatever, I’d probably make fun of it on the show. So does my guest, you know, you and I, on my show, we were talking about how we both showered.
Pam Didner: You told me that you did not do any editing. He was just had to go, and then you go live, and I kind of admire that. And, uh, I. I take a slightly different approach. I record it, and I have editor Gretchen. Hi, Gretchen (laughs). Edit the podcast. But, as I said, I believe that you can choose not to edit in terms of creative approach. You can choose to edit, and there’s no right or wrong approach, but the frequency does matter. And, uh, I agree with you that strategy is very important before you start, um, start running with your key efforts.
Christoph Trappe: Absolutely. And so that’s exactly the right comment, Pam. Um, there’s no right or wrong answer, and that’s kind of what I meant is, do you have to figure out what your preference is? What’s your tolerance? My tolerance for having stumbles on my Livestream is extremely high. (Pam laughs) I have. I have stopped live because what I was doing is I showed somebody a cell phone number by mistake. And so I took it. So that’s now going into their privacy, not mine, right? But like if my catwalks in or whatever, you know, we’ll talk about the cat, and I don’t care. So, you have to figure that out.
Because the reason you have to think about that is because whoever you have as a content person, you need to be strong at whatever you care about the most. So if you want a highly edited audio podcast, you need somebody who can do that.
Pam Didner: I agree.
Christophe Trappe: So if you want, if you want very specific copy-written content, you probably need that kind of writer. So think about that. But then finally, the thing you really [00:14:30] need is you also need somebody who can analyze what’s working and what’s not working and who can put it into context. So whether that’s the content strategist or whoever, but you need somebody who can wrangle the numbers, who can say, “this is working. What’s not working. This is industry standards.” So if industry-standard, Pam, is 49 organic views are good for your B2B blog posts–
Pam Didner: So the bottom line is you can achieve 49 or beyond that consider that a big win.
Christoph Trappe: I know. So, but you need somebody who can tell you, is it working? What’s working, what’s not working. So somebody has to do that work, um, whoever that might be.
Pam Didner: I would like to have a dollar philosophy called discussion, and a is a quality versus quantity, right? So we always talk about frequency matters. And for you, you focus on quantity, which is you do it daily. And that when you mentioned about, you know, why your tolerance for misspelling or not talking things right? Or you make some mistakes. It’s very, very high. And that’s fine. And again, that’s a part of your creative approach. That’s a decision you tried to make on that.
So the question is that many people always debate about quality versus quantity and because they feel like, “Oh, this is not high-quality content. We should not push that out.” And what is your thought in terms of, for you specifically, quantity is more important for some people they want to find a balance. Do you have any insights or comments to share?
Christoph Trappe: Yeah, I just, I disagree with that. I do care about quality but, but who decides quality, and it’s not necessarily, you know, me, I don’t, I’m not the one who decides the quality. The audience decides quality, right? So, for example, I did an Amazon Live earlier, and we didn’t get the video to work. We didn’t. It didn’t work. So what we did, we just put up the logo, right. And that was it. Like, we just have the logo, and we said, so this is basically—
Pam Didner: Radio on TV, right? The screen is not working. Let’s try something different.
Christoph Trappe: Radio on TV. So, it had over a thousand views, and maybe more that’s what it was right away. You know, when I, when I looked. And so, at the end of the day, the video didn’t even work. There were more problems than there were solutions, quite frankly, on that. I mean, it worked, the conversation was great, but people still listened to it.
So, there was quality for somebody. So you have to keep that in mind, right? I’m not saying make mistakes on purpose, but if you do slip up, if you, you know, just roll with it. Yeah. Whatever am I got a bad haircut today? I’m bald. I don’t have bad haircuts, but you know what I mean? Like you just go with it.
Um, on the other hand, don’t use it as an excuse to never produce. Because usually what I’ve seen a lot of times when people get hung up in that debate over quality versus quantity, it’s really how much content can you create that is as close to the right quality that you think it should be? And then the audience can decide. And if you can [00:17:30] pull it off every day without killing yourself, maybe try it.
If it should be every week, do that. If it’s twice a month, do that. It all depends. Andy Crestodina, who creates fantastic content, has two blog posts a month. You know, and that’s it. And he explains to me why he did that. And I also don’t. I do about three to four blog posts a month. So I don’t do daily blog posts. But you got to figure that out. And the other thing is too live streams are much easier than a blog post.
Pam Didner: I do agree. I do a couple of live streams, like, for example, with you, even for myself, I do Facebook Live, and I use that to practice in terms of my delivery and my presentation and the way I talk. And, uh, and I do that every Wednesday. And I found that very hard to do it every day, but it’s kinda like, you know like you exercise. There is a certain kind of muscle, certain kinds of muscle you practice and use daily. The more you use it. The better [00:18:30] you get. Right. I understand all that, but I do agree in terms of discipline. You have to be up for that, you know, so yeah. And at the same time, don’t feel a sense of burned out. I remember another thing when I was doing content–writing the blog posts, writing a video script, and writing the podcast script, just like you said when you try to prep yourself, and you do a lot of preparation. You tend to get burned out very quickly.
When I’m asking those questions, I’m also asking for myself for your approach versus my approach in terms of how far I want to go, which is a little bit more impromptu pretty much on the spot and to just get it going. So, yeah, I’m figuring that out myself, and I’m pretty sure many listeners are doing that as well.
Christoph Trappe: You know, the other thing too is Pam. And the other thing I one reason, which is more of a personal reason I love daily live streams, is we’re all at home. This is the only time I get to talk to other adults outside Zoom meetings. Do you know what I mean? Thank you for taking the time to chat with me. So it’s, I always enjoy that too, just to chat with other people. And I always learn so much talking to people on these shows.
Pam Didner: Do you do a live stream at a specific time, or it changes regularly?
Christoph Trappe: Usually I like I do one over the lunch hour maybe, or like this time, three, three-ish, um, Central Time, something like that. Um, there is. I do have an opening where people can book it. Like it’s, I think it’s like 6:30 in the morning. Usually, people from Europe take that time. Every once in a while, somebody on the East coast. But it all depends on if people tune in or not. And I don’t find any rhyme or reason that one works better than the other. It all depends. Um, and then people watch the replay as well. So that’s kind of interesting.
Pam Didner: Got it. So for setting up the right culture, um, does this apply to small businesses and enterprises? And, uh, if it’s a big enterprise with so many people and the different cooks in the kitchen. And how do you educate or even set up the process that people can follow or build the culture that people can, you know, um, be emerged into it?
Christoph Trappe: Yeah. Well, I mean, first of all, you’ve got to set the strategy as we already mentioned. And I used to say, yeah, “Just go in and rip it all up.” And I, it doesn’t work that way.
Pam Didner: (laughs) I don’t think that work well in an enterprise environment!
Christoph Trappe: In my head, it does, but it doesn’t. So I like what Cruz Saunders talks about from, uh, A, his company. And he’s this, we just go in, and you take one little piece of the process, and you start there. And they do content intelligence, very technical. But, I agree with that. And you go in. You find an area, you start there, and you slowly kind of build that out.
It also depends how big of a company, you know, when they already have a 60 person team with Marketing and PR and communications, you’ve got to figure out you can’t start everywhere. You have to start somewhere with the right advocates.
Um, smaller businesses. You can do it as well. You just have to figure out who’s doing it. How are we doing it? Uh, what’s the workflow? How do we fit it in? And that’s another reason why I like some of these newer mediums of telling stories, not newer, but newer for the web. Right? Like live and podcasting and what not because you can just talk, you can show your authentic self, and people can make up their mind whether they like you or not. Because it’s really hard to fake anything for talking for whatever 40 minutes, 30 minutes.
Um, so I like that for brands to try. And make sure you pick the right person. Of course, don’t hammer them. If they said something you didn’t like to, you know, make it a learning experience. But at the end of the day, you have to have those roles I mentioned earlier, and you have to give people time. If you want people to be writing, a writer should never be in meetings all day. The end. They’re there to be writing.
Pam Didner: I love that! You are right. Oh my God. I have a lot of content creators or, uh, copywriters. They, in the big enterprises, are in the meeting all day. Try and get everybody’s feedback and try and get everybody to agree on a specific paragraph on the specific statement or even a specific, uh, value proposition or messaging. It’s hard. And I (sigh) it’s hard in an enterprise. I don’t know what to say.
Christoph Trappe: Well, I know what to say about it. It’s a mess. But, but the thing is. Why does everybody get the kids to give their feedback? For example, I’ve never been in sales proper, you know, I certainly, you know, you and I, we sell things too, but I’m not a true salesperson.
Pam Didner: I am not either. So we are all in the same boat,
Christoph Trappe: Why would I get to give feedback on a sales process. If I know nothing about sales? Why would I give feedback on a financial process? If I know nothing about finances, I used to make a joke. I said to my CFO, “Hey, Chris, this doesn’t add up. And she would say, well, that’s because it’s subtraction.” You know, like it’s not my thing, finances.
So, why does everybody get to pick on a blog post at the end of the day? Even if they know nothing about the topic? Do you know what I mean?
Pam Didner: I hear you. I hear you. I get that. I mean, legal has to approve it. Subject, subject matter expert has to say something marketing, uh, a person has to say something. I hear you. I get it. I, yes, different corporate cultures also have a different processes they follow. So that I think the most important thing, the biggest takeaway from what you just said, is to look at your process and try to streamline it. Uh, I streamlined the process and made sure that you don’t have like many people who need to approve or be in the kitchen to be okay.
Christoph Trappe: Absolutely. You figure out what the problem is. I work with a large healthcare system before, and their CEO wanted to read everything–large system. So that would have taken forever. Right.
Pam Didner: I know. Is, is that amazing? (laughs)
Christoph Trappe: So we figured out what the problem was, and we set up a little board of three doctors that had the CEO’s respect. Right. And so they agreed that they would take control over it and whatever. And then they rotated who read it. So we went from one president to one of three doctors. So I could always find somebody who could sign off on it. And they understood what their role was. They never picked on little stupid stuff. They always just high level like, “Hey, you guys didn’t think about this, or this thing just broke out in the national, whatever medical press. Uh, we can’t say that.” You know, so they are very high level, very strategic. That’s kind of who you want at the final sign off, not somebody who nitpicks, whether you should use, uh, impact or effect, you know, that’s crazy.
Pam Didner: Yeah, really nice. I want to do a quick summary of my conversation with Christoph Trappeoday. And to set up the right culture and for your content to perform, you need to have a strategy, and that’s the right thing to do. Have a plan first. And, uh, based on your plan, hire the right talent, recruit the right talent and be very, very nimble about your process and the process to guide you. And to make you move faster, not slow you down.
At the same time, you know, quality over quantity, you need to work on that byline and determine that you will get the audience determined. In terms of what is the quality of your content, not necessarily you. That’s something I learned today. So thank you so much, Christoph. With that being said, I have one bonus question for you to share with us. What is the most useless talent that you possess?
Christoph Trappe: Most useless talent? Um, I don’t know. I’m always kind of go, go, go. And I made it one of my, my, uh, New Year’s Resolutions. No slacking or emailing at 2:00 AM. I used to think that was a good talent. You know, you always, you never shut off. You just go, go, go. But it’s a pain. Like, you know what I mean? Like, useless.
Pam Didner: I hear you. So, you know, you’re like, you’re like “cherish, silence is gold” right now. It’s like, you’re not responding to email, and you don’t have to go, go, go all the time. Kind of enjoy yourself in a very quiet moment. Is that your New Years Resolution?
Christoph Trappe: It is. And just write it down on a piece of paper. You know what I started to do, Pam. I actually, so since I work at home, you would never do this in the office, but, um, I, I started keeping all these papers, you know, like the recycling papers and I am to write stuff down. So I don’t. I’m too cheap to buy a notepad, I guess.
Pam Didner: (laughs) Christoph, remind me next time. Why don’t I just send you some notepads? Okay.
Christoph Trappe: You got it.
Pam Didner: Very good. Excellent. So thank you so much. Christoph, for joining me today. I’m so happy to have you.
Christoph Trappe: Thank you, Pam.
Pam Didner: Thank you so much for listening to my podcast. If you like my podcast, please subscribe to your favorite channel. And if you have any questions, reach out to me on any social media channels or email me.
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