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113 | Creating brand affinity with trust signals

52 min listen

If you're looking to build trust with your customers, this is the episode for you. 

Today Jon Busby and Harry Radcliffe are joined by fellow podcast host of Niche Pursuits, Jared Bauman

This conversation dives into how you can make the most of your online ecosystems, and how you can use trust signals to grow brand affinity. 

 We cover topics like:
• Why consistency is key to building trust 
• The impact that brand perception and trust signals have on marketing ROI
• The need to prioritise engagement metrics, Jared Bauman. 

Listen now, wherever you get your podcasts.



You can also check out Jared's YouTube Channel for more tips and tricks for managing your online ecosystems.

View the full transcript here

Jon Busby: Welcome to another episode of the tech marketing podcast. Everyone I'm myself and Harry are joined by another fellow podcast hosts that I'm super excited to get on. Um, so Jared Borman from host of niche pursuits, co founder and CEO to row one creative Jared, welcome to the podcast. Like I've been a big listener on niche pursuits, uh, for the last, well, I'm going to say last year or so.

Um, and it's just an absolute pleasure to get you on. So welcome.

Jared Bauman: Thank you so much for having me. I've, this is going to be an exciting, uh, time that we have together and getting to talk about marketing together, but I'm sure we'll dovetail into podcasting a little bit as well.

Jon Busby: I mean, so why are we talking about something in B2B?

We don't tend to really in technology. We don't really tend to talk about things like niches or, um, I'm not going to pronounce that the American way, but like I I've, you know, with how the B2B bio is changing and how things are expanding, like it's been something that's been really, really interesting to me and hence why I found, uh, you know, your podcast, like give us a listen.

There's a little bit of a background on how you landed. At niche proceeds, like where did you, how did you end up there?

Jared Bauman: Well, I mean, it's, it's a funny story. It's like the, I always tell it's like the hair club for men commercial, right? Like I'm not just. You know, the host, but I'm also a user, right? Like I actually grew up listening to the podcast.

It's been going for, I think, 13 or 14 years now. Oh, wow. And so I, right. Yeah. So I, I learned my chops in marketing by listening to the niche pursuits podcast. Or I said it the, uh, the British way. I'll switch it for the, uh, for the audience. You're getting used

Jon Busby: to it before you're over here.

Jared Bauman: You're right. I do.

I got to switch it over, but yeah, I was a listener for many, many years and, uh, learned a lot of marketing, a lot of value from this podcast and many others, much like the rest of us. Do you read? We learn from experiences from others, from podcasts as well. And, um, uh, it, it, it's important to me because I, I've always been in the marketing business.

I've run my own companies and heavily relied on digital marketing to grow those companies. Right. And especially as I transitioned into tool and creative, which is a marketing agency for other businesses. Um, that was when I was really loading up on as much content around different forms of marketing.

And so that was where I. Really dove headlong into, into the podcast. Um, uh, you, you touched on a couple of things. I mean, how did I end up becoming the host? Well, I just, you know, got to know Spencer, the, um, the founder, uh, over those years, a little bit, not very well, to be clear, just in email exchange here and there and Facebook.

But I did hear that he was looking potentially to have somebody else host a podcast. We could try to, you know, kind of move into other areas. And I just emailed him on a whim and we just got together and decided to give it a try. And I think it's been almost three years now that I've been the host of the podcast.

So, um, it's, uh, it's funny. I always tell people like, take those chances when you have that little urge, uh, take those chances. I literally just, I heard that he was looking for someone. I spent about five minutes thinking about it. I said, Is it at least worth pursuing and I wasn't saying yes to it I was just saying is at least worth pursuing and in five minutes.

I said, yeah, it's at least worth pursuing I fired off the email and didn't think another thing about it. So, um, it's a fun story But yeah to your larger topic your larger question. Um, you know, I I've I've gone around and around the merry go round of is Focusing your is having sole focus on something The best way to achieve success, or is having little side projects, having a niche pursuit

Jon Busby: of

Jared Bauman: value, not just in the niche itself, but to you as your core competency.

And I've come full circle and believe really strongly that no matter whether you're the CEO of a large fortune 500 company. Or someone just trying to get their first start and first break in their career. Having a niche or a side hustle or a side pursuit or a passion project is vital to growing yourself and not only growing yourself, but also growing yourself in terms of your career.

Jon Busby: Yeah, no, I, I can, I can agree more. Like I think, you know, actually it's, it's a really, I'm going to go off on a tangent here for a second, mate. So I was, we were, I was interviewing someone this morning and they had a side, like what intrigued me most was their side hustle that they, they actually landed some, it was, they were essentially doing fashion arbitrage.

And I don't think, I don't think he'd realized how awesome what he'd created was, um, I was like, why do you want to come work for me here? Like, just keep doing this. This is awesome. Um, but it, you, it, In all honesty, it's that, it's that passion, that side hustle that makes, makes him more attractive or this person more attractive, um, to, to me as a prospect, like I think you don't shy, don't shy away from them.

Some of the best employees and staff members I've had have had fantastic side projects. Um, and as long as it keeps you fresh, then I think it's, I think it's really, really important. Apparently you've got one as well, haven't you?

Harry Radcliffe: Oh, I've got plenty. Okay. I was, this, this weekend, I've been working on my rap album, John.

Oh yeah. And I, I'm not going to lie. We've got a manager now. Okay. And we've even got a, uh, we've got a gig lined up for the end of the year. So one of my friends, uh, is a musical producer and I always wanted to make a rap album. We made one. We had so much fun with it. Now we're making another. And this one we're taking very seriously, very seriously.

Okay. I

Jon Busby: think that's the first time you've managed to get it into the podcast.

Harry Radcliffe: Actually. It's about time I use this platform to promote the GooseChase. Sales are going to skyrocket after this goes live. And then a children's book. And then I teach a children's jujitsu as well. Wow. I feel like if you have a second passion or something of the sort, then you square how rare you are as a.

Person, you know, there's X amount of people that are interested in podcasts and then a magnitude less that do podcasting and let's say children's book. And, you know, as you add these layers on, you become a rarer and rarer former person to a prospective employer, like Jon.

Jon Busby: It's, uh, Harry's also an accomplished poet, I would say.

Um, and very good at coming up with analogies for things

. But this topic is so big, we need to pick something to dive into really.

Don't we? So I think today we're going to talk about how really, how we, how brands can build more trust in some of this world. And we're going to talk about some of the things we don't really get a chance to discuss, which is kind of SEO and search engine optimization, right? So it's, it's something brands should be doing.

So, you know, before we get started, let let's kind of define. What we mean by brand like it is a brand is a brand just someone like Intel or can it be, you know, how big would you define a brand Jared when you, when you're, um, looking at a site?

Jared Bauman: I think, I think brand is the right way to frame it because it does re, uh, frame the conversation around smaller companies.

When I say smaller, I'm just saying not Intel, right? Not, uh, not HP, not, uh, you know, whatever large company you want to throw in there and now is, you know, Before I would say in many ways been easier to create a brand than now. Um, I think that, you know, if we look back at history, actually, the big guys had a competitive advantage, uh, even up to 10 to 15 years ago.

And the way I like to talk about brands when I'm talking to clients or talking in front of people is it's about creating. Something that people are excited about on if you want to get a little bit more of a frame of reference around that. It's about creating something that somebody wants to tell a story about.

And again, there's a lot of ways to define brand, but I find that's the easiest way for me to think about brand. I like to tell the story. So this story happened. I was on my way up to, um, Uh, to speak at a very large event this many years ago. And, um, I, uh, had had dinner the night before with my wife and we had, we'd had dinner, this was before I had kids, by the way.

So imagine a nice dinner out to just the two of you without, you know, kids there at the dinner table as well. But no, we'd gone to this, um, we'd gone to this, uh, local restaurant, uh, and the owner of the restaurant, very small restaurant, uh, the owner of this restaurant had come over, it was a Lebanese restaurant, they just opened up.

Uh, and while we were eating dinner. The owner comes over and sits down with us and asks us if we like our food, and he asks us, Do you know the difference between the way that Lebanese prepare and cook garlic versus Greek? And I said, No, I don't. He explained to us the difference. He talked about how he gets the His olive oil from his brother who's still over in that area of the country of the world and and and as we're walking out The owner's wife walks over and introduces herself and gets our name And and I have a story about this this restaurant now, right?

It's a very tiny restaurant There were only eight tables in the restaurant Fast forward the next day. I take my flight up to the seattle area and it's with alaska airlines Everything goes perfect. I get and I arrive at the airport and I check my bag and I board my flight. We take off. It's a smooth flight.

We actually land 10 minutes early. We get in. My bag comes out within a few minutes. I move on, but I don't have a story. And here we have two brands that both delivered exactly what they said they were going to deliver. Nobody messed up. Nobody made a mistake. Both executed on, and this is where I hate this phrase, the brand promise, right?

But only one gave me a story to tell. Only one has a story that I'm telling to people. And I've gone on to tell that story about the restaurant Alpharon. And when I walk in there to this day, they still think the world of me because I tell this story. And you know, they only had tables. They were brand new.

And they're like, why are all these non Lebanese people coming to this restaurant? I told this, this story, but it's a story about a brand to me. Winning on a tiny level. And so on a practical level, it's actually more important for smaller businesses, smaller websites, and smaller projects to think about brand and to believe that they can succeed.

Jon Busby: I mean, that's, by the way, I've got a similar story about a similar restaurant, actually, I think in Carmel, like very, I've got to say like there is that, but that's illustrated it more strongly than, than ever before. Like how. Important it is to tell a story, you know, and, and provide a value to the customer and provide a good experience.

It's not to say the Alaska was a bad experience. Like, like you say, it delivered on the brand promise, but there was nothing, nothing remarkable about it. Like, you know, a door didn't blow off or, um, or anything along those lines, but, um, not that we can, we, we want to dive into that, but that, that is a brilliant way of thinking about it.

Like, do you see, like, Do you see small brands, you know, do you see the size of a brand as a barrier then? Like, do you think it doesn't, are you saying that it doesn't really matter how big a brand is? It's, it should be just as important, you know, you've still got the same opportunity, uh, to reach out to customers.

Jared Bauman: Yeah, I, I think it's, I think it's, um, it's, it's agnostic whether you're large or small, there's obviously bigger budgets and more aptitude with larger brands, but there's also more red tape to cut through. Yeah. There's more logistics to manage with a smaller brand. You don't have the budgets. You have to get scrappier.

You have to get more creative, but you can also move on the fly, move quickly, pivot, change course, try different things, and you don't have to worry as much. So brands of all sizes and it can, can succeed with it. And I do want to touch, like, I know most people listening are in B2B. So obviously the stories I just told her B2C, and so it's easier to have an impact on that level.

But it's the same process with B2B. Don't tell me that, uh. A media buyer or a pharmaceutical salesperson isn't just as interested in stories like that as a local diner or an airline flyer, right?

Jon Busby: Yep. I mean, actually, we had, we, our last podcast guest, actually, you know, we were, we were debating the same, the same point, really, which is, you know, in B2C, we often think about B2C buyers being, Uh, emotional buyers and B2B buyers being kind of much more rational, but actually in B2B, certainly when you're buying a large tech product, right, you're about to invest in something that could be career defining for you.

Um, you know, Andy, in this case, uh, from SAP, you know, argued that it's, it's more emotional, like you're more emotionally invested in that purchase because you're putting your career on the line. You're putting your success there and saying, I believe in this product. Um, and so I think, I, I think that I kind of, it stuck with me, that argument that saying B2B is not emotional, I think is untrue.

Um, and you need to build more of that experience up more of that reason why that you're a trusted, trusted partner to work together. Exactly.

Harry Radcliffe: These stories, um, you only want to tell them if you're the only one that knows them, you know, you don't want to tell that story to a table if half of the people have heard it and a larger brand, their communications are larger, you know, they're bigger nets and the stories feel less personal.

It feels less like your story. I'm more like you're being gamed. How does a larger brand create, you know, that olive oil brother type effect, um, you know, from Intel. Whereas, you know, when I go to, you know, a very, you know, high street computer store or something of the sort, and the guy fixes my computer, he might be the loveliest guy ever.

And we might have a story out the back of that.

Jared Bauman: Yeah, it's certainly a challenge, but it can be built into the framework of how you operate as an organization. You know, um, I remember in a B2B environment, uh, uh, back when I was a professional photographer, my first career, I was, I ran a professional photography studio.

And, uh, one time, uh, my lab, my, my, my print lab messed up a large order. And it was clear that culturally speaking, they had empowered, uh, Their customer service team to go above and beyond to fixing a problem. To the point where I told a story. Right. And these are, these are basic things. This is tactical now, right?

Like the overnighting, the product, um, including a thank, uh, an apology message signed by the CEO, um, giving me credit towards something, you know, like, and they could have just fixed the problem, right. But it was the followup and the phone call and that the letter that was personally signed from the CEO, apologizing, it wasn't a form letter.

I could tell why, because he personally wrote it. Exact order problem. Like, these are little things that create a story that can be embedded into the framework of how you operate culturally, and that can be done as big as Intel, right? You can embed that. It just takes time, effort, and you know, you got to think it through.

You got to think through how you can use situations to create stories. I'll tell you that the, the, the best time to create stories is when you have someone who's unhappy,

Jon Busby: that

Jared Bauman: is the biggest opportunity. And out of that. The person who's unhappy, but reaching out, but interested in talking about it, you know, like the disengaged unhappy person company business that that's one thing, but the engaged but unhappy is the biggest opportunity because when you turn that around, that will create a story and again, all the way back to like.

Brands are again from a high level. It's about creating something that people are excited about, but you can create that, that, that, that strong, uh, story lineage to your brand by kind of looking for opportunities to create those stories. And then brand does get built on that. Again, this is now where we get all the way back, John, into some of the things you were talking about, where this is what the bedrock of meeting the customer, where that is understanding the customer journey, creating content that meets the customer at every stage of the journey.

And then using some of this, hopefully buzz, hopefully storyline that you've created to actually imbue into that content and into all the facets that you touch. That's really interesting.

Harry Radcliffe: I suppose. Yeah. And there's no really good story without some tension in there. So every time a customer's unhappy, that's just the middle of the story.

The problem that can be solved and seeming also a truly well integrated and well ran system is effectively a thousand stories happening if they're, if they're done correctly, as opposed to one macro thing. So yeah, no, that's, that's really interesting.

Jon Busby: I, I have a, I have a client that likes to use, I think it might be from Airbnb, like their model of like, how do we make a six star experience?

Like everyone, everyone always talks about that's what's a five star experience, but it's like, how do you make a six star? And then, and she loves to do this to me. Um, and I'm sure she'll listen to this and then, and drop me a comment, but like, then how do you make a five, a seven star experience? How do you make it a 10 star?

And so just like constantly looking at ways that you can add those delighters into, into your business processes. Sounds. Sounds so kind of dull and in, in today's, today's day and age, um, you know, we're always looking at cut costs, but it can just be as simple as like a gesture or, you know, a message at the right time that makes that difference.

So yeah, really, really important. Jared, great point.

Jared Bauman: It's fascinating to think through because, you know, you mentioned it, but like going, I've stared, I've stayed at so many Airbnbs, right. But what are the ones that stand out?

Jon Busby: Right?

Jared Bauman: Well, to some degree, it's where someone went above and beyond to where I'm telling a story or where there's a point of friction and someone did the supernatural in that point of friction that I wasn't expecting.

Harry Radcliffe: Reminds me of Turkey, where our boy Otto hooked us up, took us out to all the clubs and stuff. But before then, this is a side tangent. I've told you about my, uh, my event in Turkey, John.

Jon Busby: Is this, is this where you got had to, well, this isn't going to make it in the podcast now, but like, is this where you ended up getting chased out of town?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Harry Radcliffe: Yeah. I got, um, I gave a rose, I was given a rose. I don't know how I got my hands on it. I gave a rose to a mobster's wife, uh, by accident, she's a good looking lady. And then it all kicks off. And I'm, uh, distinctively dressed, and then I'm out and about the next day, and one of the security guards walks up to me and is like, Bro.

You need to get out of the whole city. And, um, so we, we had to, yeah, we had, and then we met Otto who was the Airbnb host, who was a great to us, many stories from that,

Jon Busby: you know, I did not know. Yeah, I knew, I knew about the, uh, I didn't know about Otto, but I knew about, I knew about having to leave town.

Harry, there's a lot more to that story. I think from what I remember, like it does, we don't have time to go through the whole thing, but it's ended up in the

Harry Radcliffe: next day as well. Oh my gosh. There is a lot more to that

Jared Bauman: story.

Harry Radcliffe: That's amazing. Didn't even have a suit or anything. Just turned up in shorts. The mother of the bride was bloody livid.

We were on the table with the groom and all of that. Yeah, it was wild.

Jon Busby: Actually, Harry, Harry's one of these very random people, Jared, that like we've, he inserted himself in a, uh, might've said this story before, like he walked, you walked into a meeting, I think with like the head of marketing for KPMG or something, walked into the wrong room and, uh, and just sat down because you were too embarrassed to get up and leave and ended up selling them a podcast.

So, okay. I love that. You can't even make these stories up. You can't. You just can't. You can't, you can't do it, but, um, bring us back to brands, uh, for a second, you know, building a story is one thing, but, you know, for someone to buy from you, they need to have trust, right? They need to have this, they need to know that you're, you exist.

And so as a, as a, As a new brand that can be much harder, but even as an existing brand, a big brand, like we're using Intel as an example here, but, you know, insert other, other technology brand here, like it can be just as important to, to look after those trust signals. So firstly, before we, like, what do we mean by a trust signal?

Let's define this a bit more specifically around SEO, like Jared, this was something that. Blew my mind when we went through it before.

Jared Bauman: Yeah. I mean, when it comes to trust signals, um, I think when we're looking online, we have to remember that Google and all these search engines are nothing but bots, right?

They're just, uh, bots that crawl the internet. They're looking for stuff online, they're indexing it, and they're trying to figure out when is the right time to serve it to the right person. And, um, And and there's even before I hit the mainstream right even before I was at the center at the center of many people's conversations, there was a lot of content.

There's so much hitting the Internet every single day. And so obviously, there has to be some sort of rank and prioritization of this, right? There's only. Well, there's now less than 10 spots in the first page of a search engine result or a SERP. And you're really not going to get seen unless you're in those top 10 results.

And we know that really the vast majority of the clicks go to those top three results. So, while the concept of ranking is in many ways kind of, kind of easy or at least simple, how to get into those top few spots And a lot of what Google wants to rank is content they know they can trust. This makes sense for them from a business standpoint, right?

Like, they don't want to be putting stuff up that you, as a reader, go to, and it's not trustworthy. It'll make you less likely to go to, say, Google for the next time you need something. Um, but it also makes sense for them from a business standpoint, because they make their money when they sell ads, and they only sell ads when you go visit.

And so, verifying The trustworthiness of a website is really, really important. And so that's where the concept of sending Google and other algorithms, trust signals comes into play. You want to show the internet, but show Google that they can trust you. And by the way, the great thing about most of what SEO successful SEO looks like It just, it's good business, right?

It almost always makes good sense for your audience, for your customer base, when you're doing something that actually makes good sense for, for Google. And it makes sense that your customers, your potential customers are going to want to see these trust signals as well. So, I mean, we can talk through this a whole host of different ways to, to show and build that trust.

But at the end of the day, like. If you're building a brand, you're creating a reason for people to come to your website, to your business. And when people are coming to your business, that is the best trust signal that you can be sending. And so we're looking for things like social media profiles that have activity, uh, reviews.

From customers that are, you know, saying things about the product and the process they went through, um, we're looking for your brand to be getting mentioned online. You know, we kind of call that citations, right? But across different areas doesn't always have to be linked. But when it links back to your website.

Your link profile grows. That's also a good trust signal. We're also looking for the, the people that are associated with your brand. Are they well known in that industry? Do they have credentials? Do they have experience? Have they been a guest on podcast? Do they write books, white papers? You know, what is the authorship look like for the people associated with your brand?

And then we're also looking, believe it or not, at the on page metrics. These are trust signals as well. When people go to your site or they bounce right back to the search engine results, looking for something different that would. Strongly suggest they're not very happy with what they're getting on your website.

Or do they stay? Not only do they stay, do they go to other pages on your website? How long do they spend? So, I can ramble on about this, but everything I'm talking about, all of those are trust signals that bots and Google look at and positively weigh. And you could say that those are all trust signals that customers would appreciate as well.

Harry Radcliffe: I had no idea about any of that. I certainly didn't like, and that's all done automatically on the, on the back end of Google, is it? They look at all that pretty clearly. Like, I

Jon Busby: mean, you mentioned a couple of things there, Jared, Jared, that like, I, you know, I always think about them as best practice, but I never think they have an impact.

Right. So I'm sure I recently heard, and I get this might have been from the niche pursuits podcast. So another plug for you guys, but the about us page isn't used as part of that, those signals yet things like you mentioned authorship is like, how does it like, what are the best practices when it comes to making sure your authors are well, uh, well referenced?

Like what, what does, what is Google looking for when it comes to, to knowing who's behind the content?

Jared Bauman: Yeah. Good question. The about page is important because. Real businesses have about pages.

Jon Busby: Yeah.

Jared Bauman: What do you say on the about page is not very important to Google because you said it, it's like, it, it, it's like, I, it's almost to the point where like, I, I'm not saying is what Google thinks, but it makes sense, right?

Like I can't necessarily trust what you say about yourself. I need to trust what other people say about you. Right. And so if, um, if, if, if I say, uh, on my about page that I'm the, the, the best tech marketer in the world. Hmm. Eh, but if I'm on podcasts. That are about tech marketing. If I've written a book that sold a thousand copies or has gotten, you know, a hundred reviews on Amazon about tech marketing, if I've written for other major publications that I, that Google knows to be experts and trusted in tech marketing, if I've et cetera, et cetera, when I post on social media, on LinkedIn, people follow me and engage on that content.

And my about page links to all those things. Okay. Now all of a sudden I can start to see what is referenced on this website, who is about this website does have that trust

Jon Busby: and the, you know, things like active social profiles are just something that again, like quite often. It doesn't, doesn't get considered, especially when you're starting a new brand.

Um, you're starting something from scratch. I think, I think when we were going through our, our prep notes before you, did you mention crunch base is one of those signals? Yeah. Use like some, so there's, there's, I'm going to, I'm not going to call crunch base obscure, but like, it's not something you immediately go to and say, well, I've got to have a profile on crunch base in order to exist as a brand.


Jared Bauman: you're getting into what's what makes up kind of the Google, uh, Google's knowledge panel. And, you know, the Google has this thing called the knowledge panel. And, um, you know, it's like when you Google someone's, someone famous, his name and you right there and I'll kind of use it on the right hand side.

It gives you all these details about them right there in the result. And you're like, ah, where did they get all that? And they build up this, this knowledge graph of information and they build it from websites that they trust. Right. And so there's a lot of websites, some would argue maybe three or 400 that make up.

This trusted knowledge graph of information, right? And so the idea, to your point, is, hey, the more you can get referenced and mentioned on trusted websites, the more that trust is going to pass off to you, you know? It's kind of like going to the pub, and you sit down, and if I know you, John, and I trust you, and you're like, hey, here's my mate Harry, and I like him, you should like him.

Like, I automatically trust Harry way more than if I just met him on, you know, on a subway ride or something, right? So, like It's the same kind of concept. And Google has had to establish over the years, some trusted sites. They can say, basically we, we trust what they say. And so, yeah, creating a, a, a, a base of knowledge around your brand and around perhaps you as well, that's linked to a lot of these trusted sources is really, really valuable the same way that we kind of grow our network.

And, you know, you can kind of almost think about it the same way.

Jon Busby: I love how you managed to get a good, another Britishism into that, into that I'm working, I'm working, I've got my eight of

Jared Bauman: them here. This is coffee, but I'll tell you it's tea here in a few minutes. Just to check that box too.

Jon Busby: No, we drink, we drink coffee too, but we do tend to take the underground and not the subway.

That's, uh, that's the, that's the, uh, that's the next thing. Although it depends if you're, if you're going to London or if you're going somewhere else, but no, I, I think, I think a lot of these elements, you know, we just don't think about them, like what's, where would you say, you know, and you advise businesses at two or one, you know, obviously you've spoken to a lot of, a lot of brands as well.

Mike. Which trust signals often get ignored, like which ones, which ones are the easy wins that some brands can go out there now and be like, hang on, I hadn't thought of that at all. Like, well,

Jared Bauman: yeah, you're right. I mean, this is, I have this conversation with all of our clients and here's the biggest problem.

It's so it's, I'll kind of answer this first, uh, and definitely circle back to your question, but I want to. I want to address maybe a bigger issue that I often see, which is for most of the brands I talked to about it, they look at it like a box checking exercise rather than something that should be a part of their everyday work approach.

And I think that's the biggest miss, you know, it's like, okay, cool. Like, like you said earlier, like I got to have social profiles. Okay. Okay. Well, let's go get those taken care of. Okay. So how many times a week do I have to post on LinkedIn? Okay, twi okay, twice. Okay, I'll do I'll do that. Okay, um, so I gotta I gotta have authorship.

Okay, so how many places do I have to to write for? Okay, so I'll do okay. Uh, how many pod I have to be on podca okay, all right, okay. I'll do it if you think it's gonna help! How many podcasts? And it's like, it's not about checking the boxes. It's about understanding the underlying concept of why people and brands trust other people and brands.

And then doing those things as a part of how you market your business and making it something that you don't just check a box on, but that you believe in. Because when you do that, when you actually look at the social media content that your brand publishes as a part of the journey that the customer might go on, if you look at.

Being on podcasts as another way to extend your brand's message and meet people at different areas of the buying funnel, it, that's more important than any single trust signal you can build. Right. So I, I think that would be my higher level way of answering that. Um, I think where a lot of brands get tripped up is by checking a couple of boxes, but not staying committed to them.

You know, Google would, I don't know this, I don't work at Google, but I'm going to go ahead and go on a limb and say, Google would rather see one review per week to your Google business profile, um, than 300. And then you never do it again. Yeah, You know, so having those consistent signals, whatever you choose to go down, you know, having engagement from a variety of channels consistently, I would say is far more important than any campaign you're going to run.

And then move on.

Harry Radcliffe: Trust signals weighted equally like is an active LinkedIn profile, more trusting than let's say loads of reviews. Cause we know that reviews sometimes a little dodgy.

Jared Bauman: I'd go back to where you can get engagement. Where are your target market? Where is your target market hanging out? And where is trust built in your Demographic in your business, you know for some it is linkedin, right?

And so for some for a lot of businesses linkedin is going to be a more powerful social signal than twitter You know, but if you're in the sports multi or sports or news world You know, Twitter might be more powerful than a LinkedIn, right? As we move on to like what authorship could look like as we move on to, um, what, what, what, what broader, uh, sort of, you know, brand mentions might look like, you know, it really would depend more on your specific business model and where the engagement comes from there, you know?

Um, so I, I'd say it's probably, probably business dependent.

Harry Radcliffe: I would also ask is, um, and you might not know the answer to this. Let's say we have 1, 500 LinkedIn interactions. Is that superior to 500 Instagram, 500 LinkedIn? Uh, you know, is that total number better or is small amounts of engagement on, on two platforms more valid where your

Jared Bauman: customers hanging out?

Jon Busby: Yeah, I think it all comes down to like, for me, it's all, and I'm just halfway through, uh, Noah's book, right. Which I'm sure, I'm sure you've read as well, Jared. Like it's, it's making the rounds, right. Yep. You know, and it. I mean, it's such a simple point, um, that, that he makes there, but it's, you know, you need to make sure you're hanging out where your customers are.

Like, there's no point going and hanging out on, uh, tick tock. If you want to sell, I don't know, accounting software, uh, probably. Um, I mean, I'm making a big judgment there. Maybe it's got a really, maybe big seats

Harry Radcliffe: of San Francisco, but, but,

Jon Busby: but, you know, you, you, You'd probably put that on LinkedIn or on a, you know, a bit of a, I don't know, a block, but, you know, you need to be, I think you write back to, to Jared, your story around, around the restaurant, like you just need to be generating value for your customers.

And that's where this market is going. Um, you know, even, even in the advent of AI. Generated content, like brands, and they're not saying that's bad. It's just bad. If you try and trick people into it and you try and abuse it, um, it's about trying to generate value for the customer. So I think if all of your customers, I think are on LinkedIn, Harry, I'm not sure having any Instagram would help.

Harry Radcliffe: From like Google's perspective.

Jared Bauman: So again, and this is where it's a good question because I think everyone's thinking the same thing you're asking. So, and I would, I would just flip it back on its head, not to be, um, not to, not to, not to skirt the question, but remember like at the end of the day, Google doesn't like, uh, I had someone on the podcast, uh, a year ago or so, uh, who's a very successful SEO, Kyle Roof.

And he's like, remember, Google's not in the business of trying to figure out if a Harvard degree or a Yale degree is better. They don't care. They just kind of want to see, like, oh, does this person have a degree or not? You know? And so, after all the box checking arguments I just told you not to do, like, to some degree, that's a bit of what Google is doing.

They're kind of just checking boxes to establish, you know, That they can trust you, but going back to it, like a big box check is the engagement, you know, the engagement. And that's what they kind of, kind of look for in terms of broad, broad strokes, broad speaking, you know? And, and, and, and, and so I think it just comes down to like, where are you going to get the most engagement?

And, um, if it's LinkedIn, awesome. But if it's Tik TOK, you know, great. Like, where are you going to get people that are coming to your, Brands hub and engaging with your content and engaging with what you're doing and where you can kind of center down that brand story

Harry Radcliffe: like, uh, you guys probably, you both married with kids.

So you don't understand this, but it's like trying to work out if you're being catfished, right? Oh, there you go. Cause you know, might have a few Instagram posts, three Instagram posts or something like that. Then no tweets. I don't know. They got 1, 500 tweets. Okay, seems like like that type of thing. What are these?


Jared Bauman: I won't be able to phrase it from that standpoint because you're right I've been out of the game for a long time, but I get dm'd on twitter every single day 20 times a day and That's okay But I one of the two things I look at number one It tells you how many people we both know and number two, how active are they?

Do they have three tweets or do they have 1500 tweets? And if what was their last tweet did they get any engagement, right? So this is again Think about all this stuff the exact same way you think about how you approach your relationships and your engagements with people like When you go to buy something on Amazon, are you going to feel comfortable buying something from a product that has three reviews?

Even though, you know, reviews these days can be fabricated. You still don't trust a brand that only has three reviews, right?

Jon Busby: Like,

Jared Bauman: and so you just think about, The marketing side of your brand and the way that Google wants to look at content. I mean, I'm not, again, I'm not trying to tell people how the algorithm works, but from a trust standpoint, we do see the signs, these signs do make their way into what Google establishes trust in.

And it makes sense. That's the great thing about it.

Jon Busby: I mean, yeah, so true. So we, we talked a lot about brand and, and the impact those trust signals can have. Like most of our clients are now thinking, especially this time of year, like, how does that translate into demand? Like, how does that translate into, into some kind of ROI?

Um, and brand is obviously one of the hardest things to measure, like what's the risk of neglecting these signals? Even if you have an established brand, like what's the, what's the risk to your business? Um, if you're not doing this.

Jared Bauman: Well, if you're not focusing on creating a brand that's built on value, that's built on something unique, that's built on, you know, changing people's lives in some way, shape or form, changing other businesses, the way they do business.

If you're not going to build it on that, then you're still going to have to get customers, right? So what are you going to do? You're going to, uh, the PPC media. Uh, you know, there's a variety of ways to get that. But I mean, let's be honest now more than ever, uh, that, that stuff changes on a dime, you know, algorithms change.

And I would say the same about Google, by the way, that those algorithms change. Uh, but if you're in PPC, like we're seeing the, the, the, the headwinds in PPC, um, for a variety of reasons, which we can talk through and, and, and even larger scale media buying. So the alternatives are no better and they're far riskier, right?

Because at the very end of the day. When you, when you, when you do build a brand, like it's, it's more than just, you know, like going back to my Alfa Ron example, like I, I wouldn't be bothered if they move locations, it's not dependent upon their location. I wouldn't be bothered if they had to redo the inside of their restaurant and I can only sit outside for a while.

It's not about the inside of their restaurant. I wouldn't be bought. You know what I mean? Like they have a brand, right? And the brand can weather storms that come their way versus if they were just a brand, a restaurant that only relied on the sign flipper on the corner, like. You know, all the city has to do is come in and say you can't do sign flipping anymore And they don't have a business anymore, you know And so to back to that same point like it's all hard work no matter which way you're going to go on it But at least at the end of the day when you build a brand you have something more that is harder to take away And can

Harry Radcliffe: can it be taken away can trust be revoked?

like um You know, is there any chance that a established business, if they were to delete their Instagram or something of the sort, do they slide down the scale or does Google kind of go, yes, trusted. And then you're in a group of trusted people.

Jared Bauman: Yeah. Well, it's, it's, you know, I mean, yes, it can be broken and yes, it can go away.

Um, but yeah, you, the, the, the more trust you've created. The more, the more forgiveness you get, you know, and how do we see this? Well, one great way is we see that brands, uh, websites that have been online for a longer period of time, get and weather more storms than newer websites, right? So if I'm working with a 20 year old website, I know that I have.

A much greater permission slip in terms of what we're able to do than if I'm working with a brand or a website that's six months old, right? And why is that? Well, because Google has just been able to see the longevity of that business over time for a much more substantiated period of time. And so they have more trust for that brand.

And so, um, yes, trust can get certainly can get revoked. We see that all the time. Uh, well, not all the time. I'm being, uh, that's a euphemism. We see it sometimes, for example, when like, um, uh, a brand has a really great website and then it, you know, maybe gets turned over into a different, uh, owner's hands and they start selling links on it or they start putting spammy links on it and they start putting the wrong thing on it, right?

Like, that's when trust can get really revoked very easily. And then you see, you know, we talk about, uh, A bad profile, you know, or, or a spam you passed to a domain and that can actually follow it forward into, into its future. Right. So it can get revoked just like, um, just, just like, uh, just like you would expect it to be.

But certainly the longer and the more trust it's been created, the more forgiveness that is given. I think,

Jon Busby: I think the bit that I find interesting here that we have to, you know, it's so obvious when you say out loud, but we have to keep reminding ourselves of is, you know, obviously in the buyer's mind.

We, we say you should invest in brand because then when the right, when they're thinking about your product, when they've, when you're in that, in B2B, we tend to talk about the market being split 95, five, right? Your target market, only 5 percent are actively looking for a solution at any one time. But when they're in that 5%, they think of you first, you get shortlisted, you know, you get to be part of the conversation.

That's how we tend to think about investing in brand. But if you don't do some of these trust signals we've talked about, and you don't invest in you. Invest in it that way, then, you know, you will see your PPC and your ads perform worse, like your, your demand generation activity will end up costing more money because Google, Jared, correct me if I'm wrong on this, right.

Google looks at some of the, looks at your bounce rate on your, on your landing pages and looks at how people engage, engage with your content. And if they're not engaging with it. You know, potentially, cause you've not spent money on brand, then they will start to drop you down that, that list. And they, and if you don't have these trust, trust signals, they will start to drop you down that list as well.

And it, it will cost you more. Um, I mean, I'm sure there's probably more to it than I've just said, said there, but it feels like it's so obvious when you put it out loud, that you should be looking at these trust signals and investing in your brand.

Jared Bauman: Yeah. Google does look at, you know, on page metrics. I mean, we've done this for a while, but they finally actually confirmed it for us last year, uh, in 2023, which is wonderful.

You know, it's like, ah, finally I can say, I told you so. So rare these days, but yeah, I mean, yeah. Things like exactly bounce rate, um, you know, time on page, uh, Uh, these sorts of things, right? Because it's important because they don't want, and you'll see this sometimes where, like we'll publish a new piece of content for, for someone, for a client.

It's for a website maybe that, that, you know, is ranking decently for other content. And we'll publish a brand new piece of content and we'll see it, um, at some point, perhaps spike up into the top 10 results, uh, for its target keyword or for some keyword. And we'll see it sit there for a while. And then you'll see it bounce down a little bit.

Um, and, and, you know, Google is very well known that they're trying to, that they will test content to see how it does and how it performs in the SERPs and watch how it does, because they know the percentage of clicks that each, you know, for each SERP, for each result, they kind of know the percentage of clicks that go to number one and go to number two and go to number three, and they know they have data, they have so much data, so they can pay attention and get, they can learn a lot about the content and how good it is, how much it, you know, Appeals to your target market just based on these kind of on page metrics.

Now, how much they use that compared to other signals don't know. Right. And I, I'm sure it varies, you know, like building links is very important in a large scale. Having links pointing to your site is a big sign of, of, uh, of confidence to Google having, you know, good content that that's targeting the right search terms and all the other SEO things we hear about.

So it's not to, to throw out all the other things and say, it's just about. About this idea of brand, but certainly it does play a role.

Jon Busby: Yeah. Yeah. No, fascinating. So I just, I just bring us to a close, you know, we've talked a lot about SEO, uh, you know, SEO strategy today. We've talked about some of the things that brands could do.

Like it's constantly evolving at the moment. We've just gone through some of the, probably the most disruptive year in tech with AI, but also disruptive amount of Google updates with the HCU. And, you know, with, with the March update now, um, you know, we've This is, it's constantly evolving. How can marketers stay on top of their strategy?

Um, apart from obviously listening to niche pursuits, which is one thing they can do.

Jared Bauman: That'd be great. Yeah. Well, we are trying to always be publishing, uh, content on the niche pursuits podcast twice a week now. So once a week we go through the news of the week. So if you need to get your news fix and need somewhere to go, that's a great episode that drops every Friday.

And then every Wednesday we do it interviews with, you know, people that are succeeding in different areas. Uh, online. I mean, obviously like it's becoming more and more, uh, specialized, you know, your online marketing approach, you know, so, uh, maybe 10, 15 years ago, you could hire a marketer and ask them to do a bunch of different things.

And more and more now you need kind of experts in different camps. And so, uh, you know, lean, think about that in terms of your business. Like, you know, it's becoming more and more expertise driven, whatever you're in right now. Um, I think that, um, Uh, focusing on engagement metrics is more important than ever before.

Uh, so, you know, uh, don't worry as, you know, back, Harry, back to your question, like don't worry as much about how many LinkedIn followers you have versus how much engagement your LinkedIn posts are getting, you know, uh, how much is it driving traffic to your website? How much is it driving social engagement?

You know, Uh, I think the metrics need to shift a bit more when it comes that, and I think, and I'll just say this because I, I work with, you know, we work with 30 or 40 brands a month right now. And I think the biggest gap I see when brands come to us is thinking through the different stages of the buyer journey and producing content, not just blog content, content holistically that meets.

Every single journey, right? You know, you have the classic kind of, I think HubSpot popularized it. Top of the funnel, right? The tofu, the bofu, the mofu. So we have top, we have middle, we have bottom of the funnel. And I think that so many businesses miss, many just go for a bottom of the funnel content. And so you go to their website and they have pages.

They have content, they have videos, they have stuff, but it's only serving people who know they need that solution. And are just trying to figure out if that's the brand. But as you said, John, you kind of touted like the, the 95 percent versus the 5%, like your brand has such an opportunity to meet people at the top of the funnel when they are still just trying to figure out what that product is.

Jon Busby: Yep.

Jared Bauman: And in the middle of funnel where they're like, do I need this product? Do I even need to think about this product? And if I do think about it. Do I think about this one or do I get a different one? Like, and your brand has such an ability to create stickiness, to create a brand. When you meet people at the top of the funnel, at the middle of the funnel, it's hard to really create brand effect at the bottom of the funnel when they're so focused on what they now need.

Right. And so I think holistically, if I could kind of give that one piece of advice, like think through the whole buyer journey, every one of those funnels and try to be The brand that people want at each of those stages, that can be very difficult, right? Cause that's, that's a, that's a lot of work, but if you can be a brand to someone at the top of the funnel, if you can be a brand to someone at the middle of funnel, and then also be there when they know what they need at the bottom of the funnel, I think.

You know, I think that's a great way to approach marketing going forward these days.

Jon Busby: I, I could not agree more. And I think that's the biggest opportunity for most B2B mark, B2B marketers today is are you thinking about the right kind of content that everyone needs? Are you thinking about how they might find, find that content?

Cause I tell you what, you know, white papers just don't, you know, a white paper doesn't cut it anymore. A spec sheet doesn't cut it. Like you want, like think about what they might find useful and then start producing that. And that is you, that is gonna be absolutely key. And that's, that's what got me excited first about, you know, being, you know, finding my side hustle or finding my my B2B, uh, you know, content strategy.

Because I think that's, there is such an opportunity now if, if, if you are coming into it, I think one of the biggest problems, and this is, this is me gonna be getting on my soapbox, is, is, you know, quarterly reporting and Wall Street and how big brands are run is. Kind of in conflict with the kind of investments needed to invest in this level of content.

Like if you're looking at true top of funnel content, you need to be thinking, right. You know, and you, and you want to optimize it for SEO. Like this is not something you can do inside of a quarter. It's something that will take you 18 months to invest in, to build, to learn. And I think that's in conflict with how many brands do the reporting and therefore that's why they don't invest in it.

It's very hard.

Jared Bauman: No, you're exactly right. It's a complete investment. It's a mindset shift for many brands. Right. Um, you know, but I mean, like you have, uh, it's, it's hard because you have to get the buy in. Um, but you know, again, like you can still, like a lot of brands will, will invest in this while still, you know, Investing in PPC to meet the needs today, but it's about the mind, the mindset change that you can have and how you view the longterm of it.

And it, and again, you know, but the benefits to the brand can far outweigh, I mean, just even to your point, like starting a podcast, that's a very top of the funnel thing to do.

Jon Busby: Yeah.

Jared Bauman: Right. Like you didn't get a client. The first podcast episode you published, I'm willing to guarantee it. I just, I know, but like, it's a long, it's a long road, right?

You know how to start a podcast because you guys did it, but that's a very top of the funnel thing to do. You are meeting people before they even know they have a problem and they're looking to learn and you can create so much through the podcast. As just one of many, many examples, right?

Jon Busby: Yeah, yeah. And I completely agree.

And there's, but I think podcasting itself is also much more nuanced than many people realize. Like there is, there are different approaches that you can take with it. And it's not about, you know, it's, you won't get the same numbers that you would do on a blog or on a website or anything else, but it, it's, it's.

The numbers you do get, they're engaged listeners, right? They are engaged. There are people that are, that are there wanting to listen to every word and they will tend to pay attention to it as well. So I think it's, it's quite often we, we say it's underrated as a medium. Um, I think we've also found that podcast listeners tend to earn more and spend more.

Um, which is, uh, which is also another great stat that we like to, um, like to tout that doesn't mean if you listen to podcasts, you automatically start earning 10 percent more, um, doesn't work that way around.

Jared Bauman: Well, I remember the, and I, we could do a whole podcast episode of what I'm about to say, cause I get fired up about this.

Let me tell you, but. Like remember that when you start creating top of the funnel content, it actually completely changes the entire flywheel of, of, of content that you create. Like this podcast episode that we were just doing, it's probably going to be about an hour. This could, for me. Turn into several emails that I send out to my newsletter.

It can start turning into many multi, uh, multiple blog posts. I could turn this into a small short form, YouTube videos, shorts that go on YouTube and long form. Uh, we could put that on Tik TOK. We could embed those videos into relevant content. We, I mean, I could go on and on and on. We could, we could build lead magnets from this.

We get like, and it just came from, you know, doing an interview. Right. And in theory, the purpose of this is trust building. I'm going on a podcast. I'm talking about digital marketing because I'm a digital marketer and doing this, not only it's fun too, but for the brand, for me, it's building trust. But going all the way back to what we started talking about, I'm doing the things that I know my customers want to hear me do, right?

They want someone working on their SEO on their business, who is trusted enough to be on other podcasts about it, right? I'm doing the things that I know my customers want to see in a trusted source for them. And look, what is it actually doing in the end? It's creating a ton of valuable content that I and my brand can go on to use.

And so it's all full circle here. We are, and it's all full circle again.

Jon Busby: I don't think enough people think about content marketing and the strategy behind it. Like I think it, it tends to actually funny story talking about content marketing. I got fired up about this, about. Five, six years ago. Um, I was like, I need to understand more about it.

Like, I'm not a copywriter by trade. I'm, I'm, I'm a techie, right? So I can write code, but I, I'm not great at writing copy, but I was like, I need to learn more about this. I turned up at an event and I remember sitting, I signed up to a content marketing event and the first speaker got up and went, Oh, everyone will know like this content marketing funnel.

Right. And they started talking and referencing this book. And I was like, I have no, I turned to the person next to me. I was like, I have no idea what I'm, what is going on. She was the next speaker. Um, like, but, but that, that whole, I mean, talk about getting yourself out there and putting yourself in different situations, right?

That event, which had nothing to do with my discipline, um, taught me, you know, I'm, I got to meet the, uh, a brand called gather content. Like they do content operations, which is something if you've not even heard of will blow your mind. If you ever need to build anything digitally, like. And that completely changed how we were able to deliver three or four projects later down the line.

So I think people just need to take chances as well. Jared, it's been a real pleasure having you on the tech marketing podcast today. This has been really enlightening and all the best on your trip over to, to come over the pond to see us. Right. I will not be on

Jared Bauman: any subways though. I've, I've checked that box.

Now speaking of box checking, no subways, undergrounds. Got

Jon Busby: it. It's all, it's all on the grounds. Um, but no, good, good, good luck when you're over here and, uh, good luck on your mission, of course, to, to, to hit your goal for public speaking this year and, uh, yeah. Thank you for joining us,

Jared Bauman: John. Harry, it's been a pleasure.

Thank you so much.

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