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Why Brands Should Invest In Content Marketing – Kameron Jenkins

In this episode, we talk to Kameron Jenkins of Shopify. Kameron shares her best advice on content marketing and SEO for ecommerce brands.

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About this episode:

In this episode of The Ecommerce Insights Show, we sit down with Kameron Jenkins, a digital marketer who specializes in content marketing and SEO. Kameron is currently the Content Lead at Shopify where she leads a team that focuses on audience growth and session growth on the plus and retail blogs. We talk about putting together content marketing strategies for ecommerce brands, how to build a team and everything else you need to get started with your own content marketing strategy.

In this episode, you’ll learn about:

  • Team structure, roles and budget for content marketing strategy
  • Privacy concerns and cost per acquisition – investment in content marketing
  • Distributing content efforts across TOFU/MOFU/BOFU for new brands
  • Writing articles that will rank and drive traffic
  • Minimum viable SEO for startups

So if you are interested in learning more about content marketing and SEO, then this episode is for you.

Learn more about Kameron and her resources here:

Want to be a guest on our show? Have feedback or ideas for how we can improve? Send your thoughts over to podcast@thegood.com. We’ll be keeping an eye on that inbox. 🙂

The Ecommerce Insights Show is brought to you by The Good, a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) consultancy specializing in helping ecommerce businesses accelerate their growth through better research, testing, and design. Learn more about our team, our work, and our services at www.thegood.com.

Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] James Sowers: So here’s the question. How can you, commerce leaders make sure that they are producing a great product, providing a world-class customer experience responsibly managing the finances and still reserve time, energy and resources for marketing their products. My name is James Sauers, and you’re listening to the e-commerce insight show.

[00:00:16] The podcast that gives you specific, actionable advice for growing your e-commerce business. Every Monday, you’ll get a conversion rate optimization tactic that you can implement quickly to make your business 1% better. Every single. Every Thursday, we sit down with industry experts to go deep on a specific aspect of running a successful e-commerce business.

[00:00:34] It’s the perfect blend of learning and application, which means that you maximize the value of every single minute you spend with us. We’re just as committed to growing your business as you are. So if you’re looking for a partner to help you crush your revenue goals, you’ve come to the right place, roll up your sleeves and grab a notepad because it’s time to get to work.

[00:00:56] Kameron welcome to the e-commerce insight show. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day. I know it’s earlier in the morning for you, so we’re going to get you bright eyed and bushy tailed. Hopefully you got coffee on one side, get some water on the other one to stay hydrated. Uh, but I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to join us, to talk about all things, content and SEO.

[00:01:11] I know you’re the content lead over at Shopify, and I’ll let you tell us a little bit more about maybe a couple sentence overview, who you are, what you do, and what’s got you excited to fire up your laptop.

[00:01:21] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah, thanks for having me. Um, yeah, my name is Kameron Jenkins. I like you said, I’m the content marketing lead at Shopify or one of them.

[00:01:28] I lead a team who focuses on audience growth and session growth on the plus and retail blogs specifically right now. So that’s our main directive right now. One thing that has me excited is building the team. So it’s a fairly new team in formation and we’re kind of doing things that are very foundation building.

[00:01:45] So. Excited to do that. I’ve gotten to do a lot of hiring and onboarding and process building and set up. And you wouldn’t think that at Shopify, because it’s been around for a while, but new team new start and it’s been really exciting. Yeah,

[00:01:58] James Sowers: that’s awesome. I definitely wanna get into that. Cause I know team building is one of the topics I want to cover for our audience.

[00:02:03] I know a lot of folks probably. Aren’t too far along in the process, or maybe haven’t even started with content marketing. So they’re going to be like, Hey, who do I get to do this? Maybe I’m a solo founder. I’ve got to wear a lot of hats already. Maybe I’m not the best writer. So how do I make that happen?

[00:02:17] Really interested to get your experience and your expertise in that area. So maybe to go a little bit deeper on your background, I did a little bit of research. I saw it kind of started with this creative agency experience and then have moved more recently. To kind of the software or the platform world focusing on B2B.

[00:02:31] Tell me a little bit about the journey and how you landed at Shopify. Right? Every big recognizable brand, large team really establish great opportunities. So congratulations on that, but maybe just like the high level overview of your last few years and why you’re attracted to coming to Shopify, maybe that’s you get to build your own team.

[00:02:46] I’m sure that’s a big part of it, but what else is great about.

[00:02:49] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah, definitely. So I did start in the agency world. I pretty much right out of college, got a job at an agency and I was there for six and a half years. So I spent a long time there and I really liked my time there. I think one of the things I liked about it was I was surrounded by like people.

[00:03:04] So I think one thing about in-house is that sometimes you’re making the. One who does what you do, especially in startups, or if you’re at a bigger something like I am now you have the chance to be surrounded by more people that do what you do. But I think at an agency, it was really cool to be able to kind of.

[00:03:20] Wrote with a company as well. It started small. Um, I think I was like employee number 50. And when I left, they were like 700, 800 people there. So I got to grow. The company, ended up leading a team in my last couple of years there, um, as leading with that SEO and content arm or one of them there. And so that was what kept me there a long time.

[00:03:38] I really enjoyed like going from, you know, kind of building up my skills in SEO and content. You know, steering the ship, so to speak. So that was really fun. And the reason I left was, I don’t know if listeners are familiar with MAs, but it’s a pretty big, like, you know, voice in the SEO space and the content marketing.

[00:03:55] And so I saw an opportunity to leave for a position at MAs. They kind of positioned it as, Hey, if you loved teaching people about SEO, like we have a content marketing position open where you can do exactly that. And I was like, sign me up. This sounds great. So ended up working out. I joined there, it was a contract position.

[00:04:13] So I fully assumed I was going to go back to my agency after that actually, but my agency reorg and et cetera, I didn’t end up working out. So. Started on my own. I was doing a lot of consulting and freelancing and one of my clients ended up hiring me full-time and so I was back again and the kind of like in-house SAS content marketing space.

[00:04:33] So MAs right. To modify, those are two kind of like SEO, SAS, and so back-to-back experiences there. And then, yeah, I landed at Shopify after someone from Shopify slid into my DMS on Twitter. So it was kind of one of those situations where they’re like, Hey, we’re building. The retail side of the business, and we need someone to kind of own content marketing there.

[00:04:53] It seems like you have experience running teams and building out content programs, which I did. So it seems like a really good fit shop if I was doing really exciting things at the time. So I was excited to kind of join and see that growth.

[00:05:06] James Sowers: Yeah. Yeah. And they’re still doing a lot of exciting things. I mean, Shopify unite just happened lots of big announcements there.

[00:05:10] So, uh, congratulations you for a hitching, a, uh, grabbing a seat on the rocket ship, basically, you know, I’m sure there’ve been a lot of changes between kind of the B2B side of things. And not that you work directly with brands now, but Shopify at large, a lot of people think of them as a B to C company, which are really not, but, you know, there are a lot of brands represented there and I’m sure.

[00:05:29] As you write about the retail space or Shopify plus, especially you’re starting to interact more with those brands and figure out how they’re using Shopify, what they like about it, maybe what could be better, that kind of thing. So what is kind of that transition been like for you in terms of learning a new space in e-commerce and maybe even getting a little bit more distribution between that B2B and B2C mindset, like talking to customers, not just other brands, other company.

[00:05:51] Yeah,

[00:05:51] Kameron Jenkins: it’s definitely interesting switching industries, for sure. I mean, like you can have skills as an SEO and a content marketer, but you kind of have to relearn everything from scratch when you switch industry. So that was one thing that I, I was expecting, but then realizing it and actually being in it as a different thing.

[00:06:07] So just kind of building that foundational knowledge of a different industry. That’s a big learning curve. So learning how to guess I’m still in B2B, but learning how to talk to people who are in the commerce space. Physical in-store or selling online or a mix of both. That was definitely a big transition for me.

[00:06:25] And I loved it. I mean, it’s definitely exciting to see how Shopify is helping people along that journey. Like you can see people who started like selling in their garage in their spare time and are now on Shopify plus thirties and like enterprise scale merchants. And it’s fascinating to see how, you know, that growth can happen on a platform like Shopify.

[00:06:44] So I’ve been really excited about. To be a part of that. You don’t quite see that same side of exciting levels of growth in B2B, at least always in mind.

[00:06:54] James Sowers: Yeah, I think B2B is ahead of e-commerce in a lot of ways, like customer research, email marketing, kind of those post-purchase experience like flows.

[00:07:02] We’ve talked to some experts about that, and I might even love content marketing in there. I feel like the software world has been leaps and bounds ahead of e-commerce in terms of leveraging se. Leveraging content has kind of this long-term play foundational lead generation aspect. More of what I hear in the e-commerce basis, pay for ads, you know, place, product with influencers, get referral relationships going, that kind of thing.

[00:07:23] Where do you land on that? I know you don’t interact with brands a whole lot, so I’ve got that caveat there, but like, do you think it’s kind of underrepresented in terms of the broader marketing strategy? Or do you think it’s about right? Or maybe I doubt there’s too much emphasis given to it. So I’m guessing it’s going to be one of the other two, but what’s your perspective now that you’ve been at Shopify for what?

[00:07:38] Nine months or so? Yeah, I think

[00:07:40] Kameron Jenkins: it makes sense, actually. I mean, when you think about a lot of software, maybe not all software, but a lot of software, the buying cycle is a lot longer. And when you get into businesses with a longer buying cycle, you need to do more convincing. You have a funnel that you need to move people down.

[00:07:54] Whereas a lot of products, not all of them, but again, a lot of products they’re very much. You see it, you buy it. And there’s not much of a consideration phase, again, that differs depending on your price, plane. And if you’re trying to disrupt an existing industry where you’re in commodities versus more custom boutique type of products, like there’s lots of differences there, but I think that’s one of the main reasons why B2B may seem like a head of e-commerce when it comes to content marketing and SEO.

[00:08:22] It’s kind of by necessity. I mean, they’ve had to, uh, deal with people that have, like, I know my last company and, you know, things like Shopify plus the buying cycles really long it’s months and months long, whereas a product is a little bit more transactional, which is a pretty good fit for ads. So I think it’s kind of natural not to say that content marketing can’t help e-commerce brands at all, but I think that’s what I’ve seen is like the reason why B2B might seem more advanced in their using content marketing more than, than.

[00:08:51] James Sowers: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I mean, even for a higher ticket item, you pretty much know how you’re going to use it. Right. And how it applies to your day to day life, how you’re going to get value right away. Whereas on the software side of the platform side, it’s like maybe I’m going to write a check over the next year for thousands of dollars, even tens of thousands of dollars for some software.

[00:09:08] It’s like that’s a more discerning purchase process. Really understand how to use it because it’s more complicated than a backpack or even some kind of like scooter, right. A couple thousand dollars screw to that. You’re going buy. Like, I know how to use that. Pretty much. I’m going to get in, started up, ride it around where my helmet, that kind of thing was software.

[00:09:24] It’s like, I want to make sure that I’m going to be able to apply this to my business and get something out of it because it’s a more significant investment. Right. So it’s got more of this like funnel approach on the software side. If you were to put yourself in the perspective of an e-commerce brand, like, would you even bother as the content lead to break it out into top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel, or would you really focus on like those purchase intent keywords kind of lower volume, but more relevant?

[00:09:48] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah, I think, you know, and I hate to say it depends, but I’ll clarify. It does kind of depend on your business model. Like I think in general, like the, like you said, the more complex a product is, or maybe a brand is trying to disrupt an industry where people are just loyal to like a specific product and they don’t really, it’s like you buy clean expert tissues and that’s what you buy.

[00:10:09] But if something like DTC tissue company came around and they’re trying to disrupt that industry and might take a little. More content marketing to do some convincing and you might want to focus on more. Hop mid funnel keywords, but yeah, I think like top mid bottom funnel keywords, or like categorizing them that way.

[00:10:27] I know some people take issue with it. I do think it makes the most sense when you go like talk about longer buying cycles, but yeah, when it comes to like, e-commerce, I would just focus on things like, yes, that are close to your product. That’s your product pages, your category pages. But if you’re especially trying to reach people who.

[00:10:44] Need some disrupting and, and are very loyal to something else. Or you want to do some kind of like thought leadership around, like, I know branch transparency is really important and for e-commerce businesses right now, you might want to do some like content marketing and thought leadership around why that’s important.

[00:10:58] Um, you need to communicate that in a longer form way. That’s probably, I think just as important as your more transactional keywords, for sure. That’s just on what you’re trying to do.

[00:11:08] James Sowers: Right. That makes a lot of sense. I mean, maybe there’s some world consumable goods, like nutrition or maybe self care items that need a little bit more education around how to use them.

[00:11:17] But for the most part, it’s like let’s dial in those product pages and style in those category pages and try to rank for those categorical terms that I think folks would use in that search field, right. To try to find a solution to their problem. I’m curious when you think about content marketing and you can describe this in the context of what you’re doing at Chubb.

[00:11:33] How do you think about the relationship between content or SEO? I’ll just lump those two together and other separate disciplines, but let’s put those two together as kind of a functional area of the business. How do you think about those in relationship to all the other marketing and growth efforts that are going on pay per click?

[00:11:45] I’m sure Shopify is running ads, you know, that kind of thing. Where do you envision yourself sitting amongst like the broader marketing or growth strategy?

[00:11:53] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah, it’s really, it’s a good question to ask because I think. Because we look at all of our channels, like on a plate in front of us, where do we see them all almost as equal, whereas they do perform like they’re tools that perform different functions.

[00:12:06] And so when it comes to keeping sea and other types of page by advertising, I definitely see those as more like immediate, you need immediate returns. You need that to turn on and off quickly. We have a lot more flexibility. It’s in a lot of ways more attributable you say, this person clicked on this ad, bought this product.

[00:12:23] It’s very like Bing bang, boom. You can kind of tie it all together. When it comes to content and SEO, I definitely see that as more of like a, you know, a longer-term play, something that can help lower your customer acquisition costs. Something that can do a lot of brand building, not to say I can’t do growth because if you do SEO on your product pages, that’s obviously a little bit more transactional, similar to.

[00:12:44] Uh, PA dad, the difference being it doesn’t stop when you stop paying for it. It’s definitely something that can keep increasing after that initial investment. So that’s one reason that it’s a great way to lower your customer acquisition costs in a world where costs are constantly rising for things like ads and on the platforms we’re advertising on or in a lot of cases becoming less effective.

[00:13:08] And so I think it’s, it’s nice to have like content and SEO in the long game running in the background. Then it’d be like your support net and safety net, even when you paid up.

[00:13:18] James Sowers: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And, and, you know, I think there’s a higher likelihood that someone who comes in through an article is going to join your mailing list or something.

[00:13:25] They become more of an owned audience. I kind of hate that term because it makes it, it kind of implies you own the people, you don’t own the people, but like you have ownership over managing those relationships versus paying for ads. And once that dollar, once that campaign is run, the dollar is gone. The person, if they didn’t convert is also gone for the most part.

[00:13:41] So I like, I like content has a longer term play there. During your time at Moz and modify when you’re on the software side of the house, which you still are, but where did your leads come from? If you had to distribute like other marketing channels and content, how much lead or prospect acquisition, or even sales did content account for if you’re in your best estimate versus some of those other marketing channels in a software.

[00:14:03] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah. So at MAs I think the biggest difference is the price point of the products. So Mazda is a little bit lower of a price point. And in that sense that it was really effective to do content marketing is really effective to do SEO, and they did a lot of community building as well. I think a lot of people, in fact, to know.

[00:14:21] More for their blog and their videos, then they do that their software. So funny enough, but I think like you’re playing a volume game when you’re talking about like lower price points. It’ll like start free trial type of software. You just, not a lot of people in there to try to start a free trial, whereas you have some.

[00:14:39] But if I, or Shopify plus it’s a higher price point. It’s definitely something that you don’t need as much volume. You want to focus more on those, like very intentional keywords, more bottom of the funnel thought leadership. You don’t maybe need as much content you need, like less, but thought leadership, more particular kind of explainers.

[00:14:57] Your product, which won’t be as high volume, but you don’t need it for something that, you know, you have like a very strict qualification criteria for your customers. So you don’t need a lot of volume to get, to get what you want. So I think that’s like the biggest difference I saw there on the software side was just like, what’s the price point?

[00:15:14] How many people do we need to fill kind of our funnel and that differed between, you know, a starch retrial type of business model and like a, Hey, talk to sales 10 business.

[00:15:24] James Sowers: Yeah. I think where that question came from is like, I think about the last year and the shock that happened to the economic system around the world, really due to COVID.

[00:15:31] And even now we’ve got Facebook, privacy concerns and iOS privacy concerns like cost per acquisition is going up in some of these paid channels. And I bet a lot of businesses are sitting there saying, man, I really wish I would have invested in content and SEO a long time ago because I’d be reaping those benefits now in terms of.

[00:15:45] Foundational traffic eyeballs to my site, a safety net of sorts. I know you mentioned that on a podcast with Amanda Natividad for a growth machine. So like, did you go through any of that experience? I know that was kind of 20, 20 straddled your time at Botify and converting to Shopify, I think. So.

[00:16:01] Did you see any of that on your side or even among the customers for the businesses you were working.

[00:16:05] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah, definitely. I mean the software company I was at free Shopify definitely struggled. And that was because of a lot of their customers, particularly they had customers in the travel space, which is not a time you can do about that.

[00:16:20] Right? Like the travel space has just hit were really, really hard. But I think we found that, you know, a lot of those customers, the ones who weren’t super diligent about focusing on that side of the strategy definitely got hurt the most and that, you know, by consequences. The business that I, within them up.

[00:16:36] Cause they, you know, were like, Hey, we got to cut all of our vendors. We have no money. We’re laying off our staff. So we felt the, you know, the residual consequences of them not investing as heavily in that side of their strategy for sure. But yeah, it wasn’t as direct. It was kind of like we saw our customers suffering for those reasons.

[00:16:53] James Sowers: Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, maybe we’ve, we’ve built the case for investing something into content and SEO is kind of this safety net or a longer-term play a foundational lead acquisition strategy. So I’m curious, when you came in to Shopify, I’m guessing they already had some progress on at least the retail blog and the plus blog, because those were fairly established businesses.

[00:17:13] Let’s assume that you come in and there is no team. And they’re like, we want to launch a new blog for retail. Where would you start content strategy wise team wise, like as the leader of that function inside of the organization. 62nd game plan.

[00:17:26] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah. So I did kind of do that to a degree. Yes. The retail blog existed, but it had been a little dormant for awhile.

[00:17:33] So I did kind of come in with yes. Some legacy content. There’s like a different strategy there, but really coming in and just deciding like, what is the retail content strategy? Like blink slate. What should I do? So I first started and would always recommend starting by talking to all of the necessary stakeholders, which I would consider people like your customer success team at Shopify as a merchant success team, getting to know the actual people that we want to bring in talking to sales.

[00:17:58] What are your disqualification criteria? What are the. Retail fit merchants, getting to know the merchants through the lens of like people in sales and product marketing, getting to know the product through product and product marketing. Those are some of the most important foundation setting things you can do.

[00:18:14] Cause you really want to build your content strategy around who your customers are and what your product does for them. What benefit it delivers for them. And when it comes to setting up like an SEO focused content strategy, which is what I was going to do on a retail, because we do it’s very heavily self-served.

[00:18:32] Even though we do have a sales team for that as well, we did want volume and we did want to build up that side of the business. So it was really important to do a lot of keyword research. We did keyword research around things that our merchants told us around things that our product did. So in that way, we’re not just researching random keywords.

[00:18:49] It’s very keywords that are very relevant to things that we heard from the mouths of our customers and things that are directly related to what our product does. And so that was kind of the. Staff. It was really necessary to get to know our products, get to know our customers and then build a strategy around that based on keyword research.

[00:19:06] But again, through the filter of things that our customers actually wouldn’t care about and things that our product had an answer.

[00:19:14] James Sowers: Yeah, that’s really smart. Cause I think that a lot of people assume, you know, I started this business, I had the problem, I solved my scratch, my own itch. I know my customer.

[00:19:22] Right. And that’s probably the case, but customer preferences change over time. You add new products, you attract new customers that are in like adjacent niches or industries or communities. And so I think it’s important to always go straight to the source. Right. Because. The easy route is to hop in H refs and put in some competitor sites and figure out what they’re already ranking for.

[00:19:40] And just try to target those same things. Like that’s cutting the corners, but you miss a lot of the nuance and the context, like if you ever sit down and ask a family member to search for something and say, just open up Google and find me like the biggest elephant that ever lived, you’d be shocked at what they type in and how they describe it in their brain.

[00:19:56] And that’s like, you’re not necessarily going to get that kind of like detail from just by looking at HF. So I think it’s really smart to go straight to the source and talk to the customers, whoever they may be in your case, that’s merchants, in a brand’s case, that’s actual consumers who have bought the product.

[00:20:08] The next best thing I think is customer support and sales, which you mentioned as well. So that’s kind of the, the tip for the listener is like, if you can’t get customers on the phone, you don’t have the right incentive or it’s hard to get their attention in a survey. Just one. Go to customer support and sales.

[00:20:21] They’re the frontline leaders in that area. And they probably know it’s not the best source of material, but it’s the next best. Right. And that’s where you’d start. So, so you have kind of these topical ideas, right? And I’m guessing I’m picturing like a mind map and you’re like, okay, they’re big five or six big categories that everybody wants to know about.

[00:20:35] And then branching off of those that are like sub categories of each one. How do you translate that into actual keyword research? And do you target. Hi competition, high volume keywords that everybody else is targeting, or do you start with kind of lower competition, but maybe ones that have more commercial intent or they’re really focused on a specific thing.

[00:20:53] How do you distribute your time and effort across those?

[00:20:55] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah. So I would say if you’re in a business setting where you have like a tighter qualification criteria, like maybe more enterprising, like that’s something where I tend to start a little bit more niche in the keywords and a little bit longer tail.

[00:21:09] So there would be less volume, but more highly relevant. And then I would maybe, you know, branch out from there and go start from like the more niche, like lower volume, but high intent keywords. And then. So up the finalist from there. If you’re trying to get a lot of volume, I definitely think that you would want to go for keywords that do have the highest volume, but again, You have to have that net and that filter of like, okay, we’re catching things, more filtering out things that we know doesn’t match our audience.

[00:21:34] So yes. Do the keyword research, but keep in mind your target customer, because something could have really high volume, but it might not be relevant to who, you know, your customers are. So that should definitely get filtered out when you’re doing your keyword research. But again, it’s kind of like, I would take a different strategy.

[00:21:49] If you needed more volume versus you needed, you have like a strict qualification criteria, which again, I think is a little bit more of like a, a B2B mindset to be in. So if you’re trying for volume again, like yes, go for keyword volume, but always make sure to filter out the things that aren’t relevant, because you’re going to get frustrated.

[00:22:06] Your traffic increasing, but your conversions not necessarily increasing at the same rate or even close to the same rate. So you’ll notice that I think over time, if you’re doing it right, you’ll see that your sessions are gaining traction, but your conversions are also gaining traction if you’re doing it right.

[00:22:22] That kind of should be the thing that you see in your day.

[00:22:26] James Sowers: Yeah, I see that even on the agency side, running our content function is like traffic generally has been up into the right consistently over the last few months, but I don’t really report too much on that metric. I want to see traffic to key pages, service pages, free landing page, tear, down requests, you know, stuck score quizzes that we have, these proprietary things that we do.

[00:22:43] I want more signups. I want more conversions on those. And so I’m in Google analytics, paying attention to those numbers. Not necessarily. Top line traffic, because all website visitors are not created equal. In that regard. I’m guessing in your role, you do a balance of more commercial intent. Maybe isn’t the right word, but specific pieces around trying to get a sign up, right.

[00:23:01] A free trial or something like that. Someone to, to join the retail where the Shopify plus space. And then there’s also this more thought leadership where it’s like the goal is the read, the share the engagement. So, how do you distribute your time between those two efforts? Because I think a brand owner would be experienced in the same thing.

[00:23:15] Like how much of my content should be sell, sell, sell, try to get you to buy this product because I’m writing a detail about it versus how do I educate you about skincare in general, sustainable manufacturing practices, whatever the case is.

[00:23:26] Kameron Jenkins: I definitely say that when you’re first getting started, I would focus on that more.

[00:23:30] And it’s like, not like sell, sell, sell, but more closer to that type of content where you’re really trying to sit at the bottom of the funnel and move people. Right. For that a transaction, if you are a little bit more mature and you’ve been doing that and you want to see what more you can get, then I would say, yeah, expand to that more top of funnel stuff and get a reader.

[00:23:48] On my team right now on the plus blogs and the retail blogs, we kind of have one of each. So we have someone doing like thought leadership, very like very top of funnel, like feature stories, that type of stuff. You have someone doing like the SEO, the volume play like educational content. And then we have people doing product focused content.

[00:24:06] So we kind of have people sitting at like every stage doing their thing and each stage kind of funnels people readers to the next. So say for example, we have like an SEO educational article. The CTA will probably go to something a little bit more mid funnel, like a product, like a feature explainer or a feature, how to, so they kind of all like hand off to each other, like pass the Baton to each other, to move people down our funnel.

[00:24:32] So I think it’s important to have a little bit of each, if you can, like, that’s it, you know, I would say maybe your most. Stage, if you have the resources to do all of those things, you’d ideally have someone plugged into each of those spaces, passing the Baton to the next phase of content so that it seems more natural for them.

[00:24:49] Sometimes when you’re reading content, it can seem a little jarring to have like a whoa, okay. By now, right in the middle of some thought leadership. So I think being a little bit more nuanced about that and gently guiding people through your funnel through things like soft conversions. It doesn’t always have to be like a buy.

[00:25:04] Now it could be like a learning more. It can be subscribe. I think that’s a really good one and maybe an undervalued one where you get people’s email address, they subscribe to your content, you can nurture them. You now own that audience and you can kind of send them via email, any kind of message you want.

[00:25:20] So we tend to do that as well. We have subscribed to our blog and then through that, we kind of have more educational content, but also we’re kind of trying to nurture them toward a conversion through our email

[00:25:31] James Sowers: lists. I think that’s another reason it’s important to start with that customer research and get those big bucket categories.

[00:25:37] Cause then you can, this is almost a whiteboard exercise, right? I got a big six foot whiteboard over here to my side, but I’m like, all right, here are the categories. Okay. Under each one, what is the thought leadership content related to this? What is the more transactional content? What is that kind of middle of the funnel where we don’t necessarily want a hard sell, but willing to get them into our network.

[00:25:53] Somehow, that kind of thing. You start to map these out and then you open up your favorite tool and you start to drop them onto a calendar. And all of a sudden you have. Intentionality around when you’re publishing pieces and that helps you distribute the love right. Across all the different categories you want to, because if you’re, you’re kind of winging this and you’re sitting down with your team and like, what are we going to write about this week?

[00:26:11] And you just get in a room and try to figure it out. That is more of a scattershot, like shotgun approach. Right. And it’s just not as effective as more of a sniper rifle, like target, we’re writing about this topic. It fits in. Like we know based on what we’ve mapped out. We’re going to check all the boxes eventually.

[00:26:23] And there there’s a systematic way to doing this. Would you say that’s fair? Is that something that you do when you’re planning out your content calendar for the Shopify blogs? Is that a strategy you use?

[00:26:32] Kameron Jenkins: Definitely. I definitely see it through more of like a mental grid then, you know, it’s funny, like when we’re talking to people, other people at Shopify or people who aren’t on a content marketing team, it’s a really common to hear that.

[00:26:44] I don’t know how you guys keep thinking of ideas. Like, and it’s that amazement, because I think if you were just sitting down in a room every week and going, like, what should we write about everyone? Like, and trying to do like an ad hoc approach to that. Then I think that it would seem like you’re pulling stuff out of nowhere and it might not be.

[00:27:02] Organized, you might run out of ideas faster, but when you have that kind of mental map of like, okay, here’s our funnel, whatever that might look like for you. And here are the topics that we want to own. There’s so many ideas. I mean, he would almost never run out of ideas to write.

[00:27:15] James Sowers: Right. And in an e-commerce setting, I mean, you wouldn’t do that with your products.

[00:27:18] You wouldn’t just like create a product because you think it needs to exist. Hopefully you would talk to customers. You’d find the need. You’d like validate whether or not you can actually manufacture it and find the right material sources and all that stuff. Like you would just go to market every week with a new product, without anything, any evidence to back it up.

[00:27:32] Right. So treat your content marketing the same way, I guess, would be my advice. So let’s say we’ve got our strategy and our keyword research down. How do you go about writing a piece that like has a good chance of ranking? Where do you start using. Articles that are already ranking for that term and kind of try to reverse engineer their success and then build your plan based off of that.

[00:27:48] Or like what’s Cameron’s approach to writing a piece or getting someone else to write a piece that’s actually going to rank on the first page and drive traffic.

[00:27:55] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah. I typically start with, so depending on what your keyword is, I try to just build the outline first. I think that’s really. Once you have that kind of research outline, you can kind of plug in things in there that make it unique and stand out.

[00:28:07] And the answer to queries really well. But I start by building the outline so that I actually know where I’m going and make sure all of my bases are covered. So when it comes to building the outline, I typically take the main keyword. I plug that into a keyword research tool, and then I see what related things people are asking.

[00:28:22] So if it’s about inventory management, I guess what are the main questions people have about inventory management? Learn that through keyword research, you can also not only keyword research, of course you can absolutely listen to your customers and see if they have the same questions needed to have more nuanced questions you can plug in onto your outline as well.

[00:28:41] It just depends kind of what channel you’re going for. I’m speaking through the lens, mostly of SEO, but there’s definitely room for other types of content and other types of distribution channels. But I would definitely take the approach of like, okay, what’s our main thing that we’re talking about here.

[00:28:55] And what kind of like sub questions do people have within that category? And using that to build out my outline. And then once I do that, yeah, definitely. I want to answer that question as best as I possibly can, because that’s what it takes to rank, right? Like Google wants to serve up content that best answers those queries.

[00:29:12] So I’m not going to focus on, you know, including this keyword a certain amount of times or making sure I plug in keywords in like special places. I’m going to mostly focus on answering that question to the best of my ability and making this different and unique from anything else. On the first page. So baseline table stakes, answer the question, but then to rank and do well, go above and beyond by including things that only you can include.

[00:29:36] So you are unique POV as a brand floats that only you can get from thought leaders, either in your space or adjacent to you plugging in proprietary data. That’s another way like to make content stand out. So yeah, kind of starting with that baseline table. Here are the main questions. People are asking, answer those, but then kind of like making it unique and your own by including things like data quotes, like things that only you can kind of talk about when it comes to this.

[00:30:03] James Sowers: Yeah, I love that. And it reminds me like when we do tear downs of websites and we see an FAQ section, we always say, Hey, the frequently asked questions. Section is where a good content goes to die. Like take those questions, reformat them as a statement and make them a headline, a four section on your product page.

[00:30:18] And that’s it. Like you proactively address the question so you don’t need the FAQ. So. Or if you have it down there at the bottom, it’s repetitive, but you’ve already addressed the question of higher to kind of incentivize that purchasing decision. It sounds like a similar strategy here where it’s like, do your keyword research, talk to your customers, you’ll get questions out of that.

[00:30:33] You get those search queries, but then kind of re-engineer those as statements and those become kind of your section headings. And that’s how you build your outline. And as long as you address those reliably, and then later. Kind of that proprietary stuff that only you can produce, whether that’s research or, um, data analysis, customer testimonials, you know, whatever manufacturing processes, like your unique spin on things.

[00:30:52] That’s, what’s going to separate you from what’s already ranking and hopefully help you climb up into the top five where everybody wants to be. Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. Okay. So we write the piece. How do you think about promotion and distribution? How do you get it out into the world? A lot of people just hit publish.

[00:31:05] They might send it to their email list. They cross their fingers. Like maybe they send out a tweet or two, you get this big spike right. Of readership, right on day one and day two. And this long tail kind of dry. Do you do anything at Shopify to try to like, get some more bumps and have it looking more like a rollercoaster and less like, I guess a ski slope or one of those ramps, right?

[00:31:20] Like you don’t want this big dramatic drop-off and then a flat line you want kind of consistent traffic over time. So how do you think about distributing your content and extending the life cycle?

[00:31:29] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah, I mean, that’s kind of the beauty of SEL and why I like it so much is that Google is your distribution channel.

[00:31:34] You can do no work. And it’s just there when people Google that keyword that you targeted it around. So with SEO, instead of that, like initial spike, and then you kind of see it. You should see if you’re doing it right. You should see an up into the right, like gradual growth. And now that will decay over time.

[00:31:50] You know, Google wants to keep their search results fresh and your information can go out of date. Your competitors are kind of always buying for your spots. You might start to see decay over time, but in general, the life cycle of your content should be like a slow and steady, gradual up into the right kind of growth versus like it’s spice.

[00:32:07] And then it drops off. Other distribution channels. Now that’s not to say that, like when we write content focused on earning traffic for, from Google organic, that we don’t distribute other ways. Like we also want to get as much out of it as we can. So we will put it in like our prospects newsletter. We will put it on social media.

[00:32:25] Other places that we know our audience is, but if we are writing something for the express purpose of ranking in Google, That Google is our distribution channel. And that’s what we are relying on primarily. And the beauty of that yet is that it just keeps earning traffic over time with the, after your initial investment.

[00:32:44] So you don’t have to keep constantly like doing work to get that traffic. It’s like you did the work upfront and now you planted the seed and now the tree is going to grow on its own. I mean, I’m going to water. I’m going to make sure it like is maintained, but generally it’s going to keep growing. So I think that’s what I liked the most about, um, content focused on search.

[00:33:02] You know, people Googling or doing the work for you, they’re finding the content, but yeah, that’s not to say that other distribution channels aren’t important. Like I said, I managed a team of people that do more than just SEO focused content. They do thought leadership, in which case that’s, it’s become really important for us to put like a little bit of paid spend behind boosting those on social media.

[00:33:21] Organic channels are really important as well. Email newsletter to our own audience. That’s been really effective for those types of things. Pieces. So yeah, we do definitely do other types of distribution, but yeah, with SEO content people, Google does a lot of it.

[00:33:36] James Sowers: Yeah, that’s the beauty of SEO, right. And it keeps happening for the lifetime of that article.

[00:33:40] So I definitely want to get into how you track the performance of each piece or the content marketing effort at large. But first, if we’re going to use SEO as kind of, um, our defacto distribution strategy, right? This is kind of a black hole learning how to do SEO. But for the listener, if we wanted, there is kind of like a minimum viable set of activities you can probably do to make sure every piece is in the best position to rank possible.

[00:34:03] What is your advice for folks around that? Because I know it’s probably not as simple as like, make all the lights in the Yoast, SEO, plugin green, like maybe it is, but there’s probably something a little bit more intentional and strategic you can do to check those boxes, to make Google happy and put yourself in a good position to have that piece.

[00:34:20] Right.

[00:34:21] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah. I definitely think that it’s funny. There are definitely those things that you can track and everyone kind of wants to make your channel trackable, like Greenlight, Greenlight, and you know, you’re taking all of the boxes and that feels really good, but that’s kind of like the, you know, you’re making it work.

[00:34:36] It’s just not broken. You have to also like go above and beyond, not above and beyond. So this is also table stakes, but I’ll say this, that when it comes to writing for search, it’s mostly about taking something that has searched man finding a query that has demand people are actually searching for it.

[00:34:52] And then answering that question with content, that’s pretty much it. I mean, yes. You also want to make sure like your title tag is descriptive. Like, cause that’s what people are going to see in the search results. You’re going to want them to click on that, right? It should be descriptive. It should be appealing to click on.

[00:35:06] So you want to focus on that stuff as well. The things that use will tell you to do have those versus not having them. There are technical things like making sure your page, isn’t no index because then Google will not show it because you’re telling them, don’t put this in your index. Like there are technical things like that that would be barriers to entry, but the most important thing, when it comes to writing content, that’s going to rank.

[00:35:27] Pick a topic that has demands and answer that question really, really well.

[00:35:32] James Sowers: Yeah. You want to be somebody’s favorite piece or the most informative piece on the subject matter. And that’s really the differentiator between, because those are the pieces that somebody is going to share, right? And then you get back links, which are also a ranking indicator.

[00:35:44] And so if you do your very best work and you serve your customer, just like every other aspect of your business, you’re probably going to end up in a pretty decent place. At least that’s what I’m hearing from you. Awesome. So we published, we did our technical SEO, whatever we’re going to do. And the last question I have for you is how do you track performance?

[00:35:59] I think maybe the important mindset shift here is like, if you’re used to, if you’re an e-commerce brand used to seeing results in hours, maybe ad campaigns or days we’re talking more like weeks or months for SEO, probably. Right. Unless you have some really established authority and you can start ranking really quickly because of that.

[00:36:13] But what’s your, your advice for kind of maybe tracking the return on investment. So there’s two pieces of this. There’s like, how is the article performing. In terms of traffic. Right. But there’s also, how is it performing? How do we make sure it’s actually attracting customers, not just readers. And so how do you think about those two problems separately?

[00:36:28] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah, I would definitely say like one of the. Things that I see that I would caution against is looking only looking at your traffic in aggregate. It’s not bad. We look at our traffic in aggregate, but we don’t only look at our traffic in aggregate. So I think that’s where people tend to come up with the assumption that like, oh, SEO takes a really, really long time, like three to six months.

[00:36:48] And it’s like, What do we mean by that? What are we actually looking at? So I think it’s really important to look at your traffic on a page level basis. So if you write an article, how is that article doing, not your site overall for one keyword, you want to make sure that you are tracking on a page level basis.

[00:37:04] Because if you’re say you have like one keyword you want to rank for, and you’re publishing all of these blogs, you’re like, oh, why isn’t it moving the needle on this keyword? It’s like, ’cause, you’re not really writing those blogs for that specific keyword. You’re writing those articles for, you know, specific queries that are different.

[00:37:19] So you want to actually look at the performance of those individual pages and I think you’ll see a lot more success, um, that way than you will, if you’re just kind of looking at like a handful of keywords and seeing like, oh, how is my site performing against these keywords? Or how’s my traffic doing over.

[00:37:35] But yes, it does take time for sure. Not something that you should expect. I think if you are updating existing content and we tend to see returns a lot faster, so if you have content, that’s not really doing that well, but it’s existed on your site for awhile. We tend to see that those perform well in a couple of days or less, even sometimes just depending, obviously on the quality of, of how you’re doing that.

[00:37:58] In general refreshed content that’s already existed has a higher or a quicker rather return on investment than brand new content, because that does take time. And it also depends on the authority of your domain. So I know a lot of people joke about the fact that like, oh, content marketing at Shopify is probably easy because your domain is so strong.

[00:38:16] Yes. And no it’s different depending on what section of the site you’re writing on. If you’re kind of verging on a new keyword versus something that your site kind of already is very established for. I think that also plays a role. So if you’ve not done any kind of SEO or content marketing before, yeah.

[00:38:31] You do have a lot more ground to cover before you probably see those. Yeah. When it comes to actually like revenue, when tying that to the other side of the point where it’s like, we don’t want just sessions. We want people actually converting on our site. I definitely recommend whatever tool you use for this.

[00:38:48] I think a lot of people defacto kind of just use Google analytics. That’s great. If you do. I think it’s really important to set up your goal conversions for a non e-commerce site, but it’s, e-commerce conversions for an e-commerce site. So set those up so that you can actually see in your Google analytics or.

[00:39:05] Which channels are driving the most revenue. Like you can actually see that in Google analytics, if you set it up. So I would definitely recommend doing that because then it’s attributable it’s, you know, obviously not looking the same way as, as paid advertising does where it’s like someone clicked on this and that person converted, but you can see in general, This content and this channel is driving X amount of revenue.

[00:39:26] Um, and that’s really important. If you want to keep maintaining your investment in a channel, you have to prove that it’s actually making money. You’re not just setting up.

[00:39:34] James Sowers: Yeah, you probably have to make your peace with some level of ambiguity here too. Right? Because attribution isn’t perfect for any marketing channel.

[00:39:40] I mean, even Facebook attribution, they over-report, or under-report all the time. And if you publish an article, it’s not necessarily, if they don’t buy right there on the spot while they’re reading, but they see an ad for you later, then that purchase gets attributed to the ad. But the article played a role in that.

[00:39:54] Right. And that might be. All the education they needed, they just needed a more direct call to action through the ad to actually make that purchase. So I think it’s got to, you got to do your best to quantify it, but know that there’s probably a lot of other sales happening that you don’t have visibility on.

[00:40:08] Right. Because it’s not easy to track that back all the way back to an article and you have multiple touch points that you have with a customer.

[00:40:13] Kameron Jenkins: Nothing is perfect. And I will say to you that. Multifocal attribution’s against you like assisted conversions as well. Which again, it’s super important, but yeah, you’re right.

[00:40:23] Like just going into it with the expectation that nothing is perfect in terms of attribution, but we can get.

[00:40:28] James Sowers: Yeah, and more swings at the bat. And the form of more visitors to your site generally tends to make sales increase over time. And some portion of that is probably attributable to the content efforts.

[00:40:37] So I would think so, at least. Awesome. So we talked about strategy, we talked about kind of the process of actually putting content out into the world. I’m curious about your team when you came in and set things up, it sounds like you had a great deal of autonomy and independence to make that whatever you wanted to make it.

[00:40:50] So I’m curious, what does your team look like in terms of roles, number of people, what they’re working on, that kind of thing. And even down to, if you want to get into the tech and the tooling and the software you use, that’s a hundred percent okay, too. But I’m thinking if somebody else wants to stand up a content marketing function at their e-commerce brand, what does that look like at Shopify and maybe what’s transferable to the e-commerce world?

[00:41:09] Kameron Jenkins: Definitely. So my team currently, our content marketing team. Fairly large in terms of content marketing teams. So I would say that this is probably like the most fully fleshed out version of a content marketing team. So take it for what you will. We definitely have different arms for different kind of functions or goals that we want to achieve.

[00:41:27] So I’m overseeing the program. That’s responsible for audience grows. So we want to grow our number of qualified, obviously visitors to our plus and our retail blocks. So that’s what my team. We also have teams that are responsible for more of like the conversion side of things. So people who are doing like gated, uh, eBooks and webinars and more of those like campaign like conversion campaigns.

[00:41:51] Projects. We have a social media arm. That’s also under content marketing. I know that’s not always the case that every company, but social media is under content marketing for us. We have a video producer who does video content and we have, um, which is fairly new, but a product focused arm of our team.

[00:42:07] That’s more focused on like feature adoption. They obviously are like helping us with our growth goals as well. You obviously want that top of funnel content to be relevant to the product. So we work really closely together. These two groups. So that’s kind of how, like the team is structured in terms of like, here are the different programs and they each have their different goals.

[00:42:24] And then under my program, we have two people focused on the plus blog. Two people focus on the retail blog and we have people focused on SEO content and have people focus on like that thought leadership to have type of content. So my team really sits at like the top of the funnel and we have two main kind of ways you do that thought leadership and kind of like SEO, organic rankings type of.

[00:42:47] James Sowers: Yeah, man, that sounds more like a media company. In some ways, it sounds like you’ve got like some, some branch inside of MTV that you’re working with or something he knew you got videographers and multimedia content and graphic designers and stuff. So a spoil of riches right over there for Cameron at Shopify.

[00:43:02] But I think like in terms of, if you were to do like minimum viable content team, or like, what are those essential roles for the early stages? Assuming a founder doesn’t want to also be the content marketing. I imagine you need some kind of project manager and at least one writer. Right. But you know, how do you think about that?

[00:43:16] If you were starting up at a scrappy e-commerce brand today, and you want to go back to that startup world that you used to live in, what would you advise the founder to do in terms of just getting the essential stuff?

[00:43:24] Kameron Jenkins: I would definitely start with someone who could own content marketing. So like a single person, who’s a content lead.

[00:43:30] Whether that’s like head of content, content, lead, whatever you want to call them, someone who’s in-house who has experience running a content program. They’re going to kind of serve as like your primary editors, someone who’s going to build your content calendar. Who’s going to manage those systems. And it’s going to kind of control your content strategy.

[00:43:48] They’re going to build it and decide like what gets published, what doesn’t. And I would say when you’re first getting started, that person is probably going to, it’s probably wisest to outsource a lot of the actual writing to trusted freelancers. So, um, I know that’s what I did in the beginning before we had people in house on site.

[00:44:05] It was me. And then I found vested freelancers. I would brief them in on basically like, Hey, these are the things we want to write about based on our strategy. And I would kind of Dole those out to the freelancers and manage that at the time I was using air table to manage the program. And it was kind of like a dual editor, project manager, content strategist type of role.

[00:44:26] And I think that’s what I would look for if I was like an e-commerce founder and I wanted to get into content. That’s the kind of person that would be looking at.

[00:44:34] James Sowers: Yeah, it sounds a lot like an air traffic controller, right? Like the planes are the writers and this person just sitting in the tower saying, okay, you’re clear to take off you.

[00:44:40] Hold on. It’s not your turn yet. Right. All right. This one’s coming in for a landing. Now we’ve got to publish that one. They’re just kind of managing traffic. Right. And making sure that the wheels run smoothly, I guess. So to speak, I’m curious, where do you go to find writers? Right. Shopify slid into your DMS.

[00:44:54] And that’s where the real recruiting happens on Twitter. Right? Maybe not in a job posting on LinkedIn or indeed how you recommend finding qualified writers that have experience and that maybe fit within a budget. Right? Because the best ones have probably been offered great jobs at Shopify or a company like that.

[00:45:07] So assuming that they are not doing stuff on the side of moonlighting, if I wanted to find a freelance or a contract writer to help me out with my content marketing, where should I be?

[00:45:15] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah, I definitely was lucky enough to kind of be connected with a few freelance writers, right from the get-go. And then they typically have really good at networks of other trusted freelance writers.

[00:45:26] We’re very aligned with their philosophy. So if you find one, you’ll find many kind of thing. I would definitely recommend if you are looking for a freelance writer, finding someone. Specializes in the type of content you want to do as well as the industry, the industry is really important because I think maybe even more important than type.

[00:45:43] And I’ll say, for example, like if you’re doing SEO content, you might not need someone who specializes in SEO content. Cause you’re going to brief them in on the outline. Here’s exactly what you need to do. You want someone who has connections and hands, uh, knowledge of the industry that you want to reach, which is something that’s much harder to teach because you can break them on, on the other type of thing.

[00:46:03] So I would say places like Twitter and LinkedIn are great places to search for people like that because often freelance writers will describe themselves that way. Like, Hey, I specialize in SEO, SAS. Like that’s what I would have said when I was at Moz or. Or, Hey, I specialize in e-commerce freelance writing and you can usually find networks of people that way, and they can recommend other people to you.

[00:46:24] So that’s definitely what I would recommend. Additionally, you can look at places that you admire for their content marketing and see who writes for. It’s another great place to find people. Like I know one of the things that I did when I first joined Shopify and it was working on the retail blog was I looked back into some of our archives and I was like, wow, these articles are performing really well.

[00:46:43] Who wrote them? It was a freelance writer like, Hey, are you still available? Let’s bring you back on. So I would definitely recommend, um, finding at least one or two trusted people. Then they usually have networks of people who are like-minded.

[00:46:56] James Sowers: Awesome. So it takes a little bit of like work, a little bit of like hustle, but once you find those first few key team members, they generally know somebody and can make referrals.

[00:47:04] Then you expand out from there is what I’m hearing. Awesome. So to go back to my air traffic controller analogy, I want to bring this thing in for a landing of just a couple more questions for you. If somebody is listening there and they’re not running the company, Maybe their marketing lead and they want to start doing content in any commerce context.

[00:47:20] What advice do you have for them in terms of like making that pitch to the founder, right. Building the case for content as something that’s worth investing in and can actually drive more sales for the business. I know you didn’t have to do that Shopify. They were already bought in, but if you put yourself in that position, what advice would you give to somebody who has to go pitch content, marketing and SEO as an effort to their founder or their.

[00:47:38] Kameron Jenkins: It’s a great question. I think it can be hard. It can be difficult to make the case to someone who’s maybe a little bit more like closed off to the idea and they, they aren’t necessarily bought in. I would probably start by saying that like, Hey, if we want longevity, this is something that we should invest in.

[00:47:56] You need your short-term plays and you need your long-term plays just in business in general and content marketing and SEO can definitely falls into that more. Long-term place. So I think that’s something anyone can understand, right? If you put it into that category, like, Hey, we’re doing paid ads, we’re doing influencer stuff.

[00:48:11] We’re doing the more like short-term stuff. We’re not doing anything on the longterm play side of things. They should understand like, oh yeah, we need to be building brands. We need to be building our established strategy or longevity or long game strategy. As well, so hopefully they’d understand that. I would also kind of maybe tell that person like, Hey, cost per acquisition, like ads, ad prices are always going up.

[00:48:34] We want to lower our customer acquisition process. Something like founders and, you know, people who are more on the finance and business building side of things will always understand like, definitely. Lower our customer acquisition costs, but I would say that, yeah, content marketing fills that need as well.

[00:48:48] That’s definitely something that can help in that area. So we don’t want things that are just going to increase our customer acquisition costs. We’re going to want marketing strategies that help lower that over time. And that’s definitely where kind of content fits into that journey. So yeah, those are maybe like the two things I would say.

[00:49:02] It’s a great for the long game you need both, and it’s also great for lowering your customer acquisition.

[00:49:08] James Sowers: Yeah, it’s about balance, right? Short-term versus long-term and also like, yeah, we’re investing spend in Facebook or other kind of channels, but we also want something that we own is kind of a redundancy, something to fall back on.

[00:49:18] So I think that’s a really compelling case you built there. Thank you for that one fun question. Before I let you go. Is there like a technology or a trend that’s maybe out on the horizon for content and SEO that you’ve got your eye on, that you’re excited about that might shake things up a bit and make your job more interesting or make you more effective in your.

[00:49:34] Kameron Jenkins: I’ve definitely seen a lot of, you know, people talking about like the machine learning side of things. I think any industry, it gets advanced enough when people start talking about like how to automate it. And I think that makes maybe some people a little scared, like, oh, am I going to be automated on the job?

[00:49:48] I would definitely tell content marketers like, no, but that could probably help them move faster. There are a lot of different technologies. I know that build like automatic briefs. I think for me, I’m one of the. Skeptic side of that in the sense that like, I would still want sound like manual, like oversight of that, but at least it could like speed up a lot of that process and you can do like the final 10% of the human intervention that needs to happen to actually make it good.

[00:50:14] So I think there are a lot of technologies out there that are just making it easier for content marketers to move faster and scale faster. I would just caution against over-relying on those things, because that that’s, when content can kind of get commoditized, everyone’s using the same tools, then content might all start to look the same.

[00:50:31] That’s definitely not what we want. So I think that’s also the exciting challenge to like, how do we strike the balance of using these tools to make us move faster, but not give up the uniqueness and the things that make our content special and actually effective. So that’s going to be a really interesting challenge for content marketers.

[00:50:48] I think in the next couple of.

[00:50:50] James Sowers: Yeah, that’s really insightful. I’ve played around with a couple of those and I find that for long form stuff. It’s good to get words on a page. Right. And just get you some clay that you can mold. And so maybe it makes you a little faster in that. But I don’t think it’s there in terms of like replacing humans.

[00:51:02] So if you’re a freelance writer listening, like don’t worry, your job is still intact in my opinion, at least. But I think they are great for coming up with like headline options and ideas for ads. If you’re going to boost an article on Facebook or something like coming up with that, copy, you know, you have one version of the title that’s published on your site, but in the SEO metadata, without getting to know.

[00:51:19] Like you can show different things in the search results, or you could build a Facebook ad and like, if you want five different headline options to test really quickly, those tools are great for just like coming up with those for you. Right. Cause some people aren’t feeling super creative, especially after you just, you know, dump 2000 words onto a page if your heart and soul.

[00:51:32] So really stewed observation that I’m excited about those tools too, and I’m sure they’ll just continue to get better. Right. Awesome. So Cameron, thank you so much for your time today and sharing all your expertise and your experience with us. Where can folks go to learn more about you personally and or to follow your journey?

[00:51:45] Building the content team over there at Shopify focused on retail and Shopify. Yeah,

[00:51:49] Kameron Jenkins: Twitter’s probably the best place right now. I have a website it’s very out of date. Don’t go there. But my Twitter handle is Kammy underscore Jenkins, Kammy, spelled K A M M I E underscore Jenkins. That’s pretty much where I hang out these days and publish stuff about content and what I’m doing at Shopify.

[00:52:05] And when I’m thinking about

[00:52:06] James Sowers: the. Awesome. So what I would say is set up alerts for Kammie on Twitter and get all of the updates. And that’s where you get the content marketing insights passively. You could check them whenever you want. It’s almost like a blog, but not quite right. Awesome Kammie. Thank you so much for your time today.

[00:52:21] I really appreciate it. And look forward to having you back again, soon to get maybe into a little bit more of the 200 or 300 level SEO type stuff. Cause I’d love to help folks kind of evolve over time, but we need them to get started first and we gave them that foundational insight and material to get started today.

[00:52:33] So thank you for.

[00:52:33] Kameron Jenkins: Yeah, thank you for having me.

[00:52:36] James Sowers: Hey everybody. This is James again. And before you go, I just wanted to invite you to join one of the coolest things I get to work on. As director of marketing here at the good it’s called the e-commerce insiders list, and it’s a private version of this podcast feed that gets you access to tons of additional bonus content, like extra interviews, Q and a sessions, website, tear downs, and anything else we can dream up.

[00:52:54] It doesn’t cost you anything but your email address. And we promise to always respect. This is just our way of forming strong relationships with our listeners and making sure that we produce content that is actually valuable to you and to your business. If you’re interested, you can join the rest of the e-commerce insiders by going to the good.com/podcast and dropping your email into the form at the top of the page, we’ll follow up with directions for how to access the private feed, and you’ll be off and run.

[00:53:19] Like I said, this is one of my favorite things that I get the opportunity to work on because it lets me interact directly with e-commerce founders and leaders. Just like you. If you’re interested, I’d love to see your name pop up in my notifications until then keep an eye out for the next episode of the e-commerce insight show.

[00:53:33] And we’ll talk to you soon.

James Sowers

About the Author

James Sowers

James Sowers is the former Director of The Good Ventures. He has more than a decade of experience helping software and ecommerce companies accelerate their growth and improve their customer experience.