Episode 003

Christopher Carfi

Sr. Director of Content Marketing at GoDaddy

GoDaddy’s Sr. Director of Content Marketing

Talks Analytics and Lead Gen

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About This Episode

On this episode, we talk with Christopher Carfi, head of global content marketing for GoDaddy. GoDaddy has over 18 million customers worldwide with 77 million domain names under management. Content marketing has been a huge part of their growth.

Over Christopher’s career, he spent nearly 10 years as part of the advanced technology group at Andersen Consulting/Accenture, has headed up product, marketing, and product marketing groups at a number of early stage companies, has been a startup founder; and was part of the early team at Ant’s Eye View, which was acquired by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Tune in to learn how Chris shares specific and actionable tactics that he and his team apply to GoDaddy’s content marketing strategy to remain top of mind.

What You’ll Learn

  • [01:04] Christopher shares his background
  • [05:13] The ins and outs of GoDaddy’s blog, ‘The Garage’
  • [06:21] The types of content marketing that Chris manages at GoDaddy
  • [09:20] The exact “obsessive tracking” strategies GoDaddy has implemented to analyze, optimize, and improve their content marketing results
  • [10:50] The top recommended tools for tracking your content marketing efforts
  • [11:29] The latest trends in the content marketing space
  • [14:47] How to turn YouTube views to leads
  • [18:39] 1 actionable thing to implement within the next 48 hours for your content marketing strategy

About Shaina

Shaina Weisinger is the Founder and CEO of Repurpose House, which turns long-form content into optimized videos and images for high engagement social media strategies. Shaina has a background is video production for digital marketing and is on a mission to show content creators the untapped potential and repurposing power of the content that they already have. She has taught about content in many publications including DigitalMarketer, Inc., and Startup Nation, and continuously offers valuable takeaways by interviewing industry experts from world recognized brands such as Godaddy, HubSpot, MarketingProfs, and more through her video podcast, The Content Coalition. She loves to laugh loudly, be obnoxiously competitive on the volleyball court, treat her dogs as her kin, and recover from tripping on or running into almost everything within a five-foot radius. Learn more about Shaina here: ShainaWeisinger.com

Read Episode 003 Transcriptions

Christopher:                          The thing that we started a lot of our process with is always the simple but really, really hard question of why, um, you know, we get, we get requests all the time. It’s like, oh, we need a piece of content for X. Okay, why? What is, what is the goal, what are you trying to achieve with it? And really how does it, how does this investment of time and resource and energy going to meet the three different audiences that you’re trying to support?

Shaina:                                      I’m Shana. I love dogs. I trip a lot and I happened to have a knack for making some pretty sweet videos for businesses, but the more videos we made, the work questions I got about how video and other content can be leveraged to make a bigger impact in their marketing. I mean 44 percent of marketers say that producing content is their biggest challenge. Get content marketing is 62 percent less expensive than outbound and produces three times more leads. Now I know a lot, but I certainly don’t know it all. So I made it my mission to talk with content, kings, Queens, and bosses to learn as much as I could about crushing content marketing and I’m taking you along with me. Welcome to the content coalition. Hey guys. Thanks again for joining us with another episode of the content coalition today. I’ve got Chris Carfi here from GoDaddy. He is the senior director of content marketing over there. Chris, thanks for coming onto the show today. Happy to be here. Thanks for the invite. Yeah. Awesome. So your experience is like you are a tech nerd, right? Like you have. Tell me a little bit about your techie side.

Christopher:                          So yeah, now I’m original a degree in comp side. Spent first foundational years of my career actually doing the early, early ai stuff before anybody cared about it. I’m like three waves ago when I was going to be the next thing I helped build one at the time, this was like early nineties, one of the biggest expert systems that was out there and somehow got into marketing and it’s been crazy. But. But no, it’s been fun because now able to really blend both of those sides, you know, the tech tools as enablers, but at the same time it’s like, okay, how do we actually use this stuff to connect with customers? So it’s, it’s been fun to be able to sort of engage both sides of my brain.

Shaina:                                      Yeah. Right. And it’s funny because for a long time tech really wasn’t involved in marketing and now we’re in an era where there’s so much you can track and just everything’s digital so it’s probably just the obviously the perfect time for you to get involved with years ago. But I mean for awhile there, what was there even really a space for a tech savvy guy in marketing?

Christopher:                          Well, it always worked out because I was in, I was always in tech companies. A Chicago boy originally made it out to the west coast in the, uh, in the late nineties and started working for a startup that was doing some really cutting edge at the time tech stuff, but also needed marketing help. And so it was one of the early folks there and got to help really build that company and at the same time build skills on both sides, which has worked out pretty well. Well, tell me about your journey to go, Daddy, what were you doing before that? So I’m long and checkered past a few big companies. Um, some big consulting work, a couple of startups, couple of which did okay. A couple of which are a big smoking craters up and down highway one a one. And um, ended up getting a call from an industry colleague who had started working here probably about five years ago and talking about some of the changes that were going on, the complete 180 on the brand that was taking place, you know, and now you know, has been completed and a lot of ways.

Christopher:                          But I was like, oh, this is kind of an untold story and a really unique opportunity where you have a really large organization that is. I’m doing a bunch of stuff that is foundational to a lot of the technology that we all use every day. And at the same time, still has been around for 20 years, has that kind of stability and it was a really interesting combination of both the, um, sort of scrappiness of a startup and at the same time the stability of a company that was run by grownups and it was like, okay, this is really cool. And so yeah, jumped on it and have just been having a blast ever since I’ve been here. About four, four and a half, almost five years now. Yeah. So when you came, when you came to go daddy, where did you start? So started out, I’m looking at it, came in a it or not as a consultant, trying to think about what’s the best way to engage with our communities.

Christopher:                          Have both web designers and developers, but also all of the folks who are really entrepreneurs and trying to figure out what is this, you know, they’ve got this idea of this thing that they want to do. What’s the way that we can start to connect with folks? And in doing so, we really, at that time it didn’t have, um, a muscle did not have a capability around any kind of content marketing. We did not even have a blog when I got here, like at all. Um, and so and so started working on that and it’s really just been an organic process over the last, you know, four and a half years just really starting to build that up and be able to connect with customers and hear their stories and share a lot of those stories, which has been where a lot of the really fun, interesting stuff is, is taking place.

Christopher:                          The storytelling is really worth that in marketing. So I’m with you 100 percent on that. So the blog is the garage, right? That’s right. So it was, it was kind of multi multifaceted. So on one, uh, at that time we were doing a lot of auto sponsorships and stuff. So there was a little bit of a tie through there. Um, the other part was the fact that a lot of the great companies all started in garages, um, and so, you know, folks out there tinkering and hacking and trying to do something really interesting and trying to create something new from, um, you know, the piece parts that they pulled together and that was really the inspiration for it in our international markets. We do call it the blog because garage does not mean anything and you know, Turkish. And so we’ve, you know, we’ve standardized on that, but that was where that, that particular seed of the idea came from.

Shaina:                                      That’s awesome because I was talking to Sarah about the Danica Patrick ads that you guys are doing too. And I was like, oh, that, that kind of, that was about five years ago, something like that. So that may have actually, you never know. Right. Um, okay. So you are senior director of content marketing that is a huge, massive, like umbrella of so many different forms of media. Right. So, um, can you just break down, because we’ve talked to a lot of people who are very specific niche in content. Just break down what content marketing for you and your position means, like what types of content are you managing?

Christopher:                          So as far as what types of probably breaks down into three or four different dimensions. So one is the types of customers we’re trying to connect up with and that’s, you know, is it a general entrepreneur audience, is it somebody who might be thinking about building a website and making sure that they have all of the, you know, the tools and help that they need in order to do that. Is it somebody who is thinking about online security and making sure that those things are in there, so on one dimension it’s content around those particular types of customers and sort of where they are in their journey. The second is what’s the content format and so is it written content? So we’ve done a lot over the last couple of years on the content marketing side to really bolster everything that we’re doing on the written content side through the blog and related channels.

Christopher:                          Additionally, doing a lot more in 2019, going to continue to expand what we’re doing on the video side as well through both conversations like this as well as the video that might be done in particular to answer particular customer needs. So we’ve got that second side of it, which is really all around the, the format the content is in. And then third is geographically where are we doing that? So we are in dozens and dozens of countries around the planet right now. The blog itself, I think we’re in like 14 or 15 countries and I think we’re in about eight different languages and so a spinning all of that up as well. And it’s, it’s fun because again, that, you know, that nerd side, this is just a really cool fricken set of puzzles, challenges to, to work out. It’s like, okay, how do we get all this stuff to work together that does it in a way that is, um, that is right and natural and a good user experience.

Shaina:                                      Yeah, that’s incredible. You guys are every eight languages across dozens and dozens of countries. That’s incredible. Okay. So knowing now that it’s pretty much every type of content that you, you, you’re managing here across multiple languages and countries, you know, 44 percent of marketers say that creating the content is their biggest struggle. I mean, in my case we create a ton of content, but for me it’s more about like, okay, now we have all of this stuff in a google drive folder. Where are we placing it? How is it going to be effective on this platform versus that platform, you know? And then the step beyond that that you want to make sure you set up before you start placing everything is tracking, like knowing what your content is doing for you. And I, you know, I saw that that was one of the heavy hitters in your linkedin profile and that’s what I really wanted to geek out on. You Geek out with you on because if you’re a data guy and a tech guy, then tracking has to be something that you get super pumped about.

Christopher:                          So we do, um, obsessive tracking of all the things that we’re doing. We’re looking at a number of different things. We’re looking at overall traffic, we’re looking at the organic traffic that we’re getting and we are just living in tools like google analytics and data studio sets of dashboards set up that am just obsessive checking, you know, multiple times a day, but it gives a really good insight into what customers care about because that’s what we really should be doing. That is who our customer is, our customer and so we need to make sure that what we’re creating is, is relevant to them and so we’re, you know, we’re tracking things over time. We were looking at what are the things that are taking off, we’re looking at how long does it take for opposed to start to catch fire in organic if that is what we are trying to optimize for. We do a lot of work on looking at historical data and use that to try and project, okay, well if we write an article of this type on this topic for this audience, where do we think it’s going to land as far as how successful it’s going to be in how many people are going to see it naturally and organically. And so that tracking really is a big part of what we need to do in order to do our jobs correctly.

Shaina:                                      Awesome. Are there any specific tools that you’re just jazzed about that helps you guys with that?

Christopher:                          The thing that we’ve probably used the most recently has been, um, data studio and it’s really cool because it lets us visualize things in ways we hadn’t been able to before. We’re tying a lot of things into google analytics and so it just lets us slice and dice and do comparisons and such and we’ll look at the particular metrics that we’re interested in in a pretty straightforward way. And once those things are all set up, it automatically updates. And so that’s, that’s probably the one that I spend the most time. Awesome. Um, are you seeing any trends that have been really successful that maybe surprised you or even something that you’re like, Oh yeah, I knew that was gonna work. It is, it is interesting trying to go back on a regular basis and look at what is working for various audiences. And so one of our big metrics is organic traffic and so obsessively going back and checking, okay, for, you know, this type of customer intent, somebody who’s trying to solve this problem, what are the types of things that are ranking well out there either on Google or on Youtube, you know, number two, search engine in the world and trying to understand what is the, um, what is the type of stuff that’s working?

Christopher:                          So a few, you know, go back a bunch of years. It almost didn’t matter what kind of content you had as long as you had a lot of it. Um, and so it was really easy to sort of game the system as it’s gotten more sophisticated as the algorithms for ranking have gotten a lot better. Now it’s much more around, is this really the definitive article around customer intent? So for example, right now if you go in and you type in how to start a website, that is not anything about Godaddy in the intent, it’s I have this problem, how do I solve it? And in the, you know, the top one, two or three results, you will end up on one of our articles that I think, I forget word count, it’s like 75,000 words or something like that, but it is literally the, a to z Tome on here’s all the stuff to think about it.

Christopher:                          It’s like, okay, why am I doing this? What are the goals that I’m trying to achieve? How do I set things up? Am I going to do this myself or am I going to work with a web designer or developer to do it? How do I create content, how do I keep my content updated? And it really goes through and is a, you know, an ebook or book length piece of content that is the definitive answer to how do I started website. And so those are the types of things that seem to be working. Now we’re starting to see more things like that on the video side as well, so it used to be, um, you know, the really short, flashy, buzzfeedy, styley type of video where the things that everybody was talking about, if you look at what actually answers the question, we’re now seeing things that are much longer than that 10 minute, 15 minute range. But again, they are the deep definitive answer to that thing and it kind of makes sense. You know, if you were going to do a how to do project at your house, you’d want the person who actually knows how to do it and takes you through it step by step. We’re seeing the same thing with online presence and online success and all the types of things that the entrepreneurs we’re working with are trying to do as well.

Shaina:                                      You all should know at this point that you have to be repurposing your content. You need to be taking your audio, your blogs, your podcast, your videos, and turning them into smaller bite size snippets for social media that are video, that have optimize thumbnails, that are images that say really amazing stats and things that your guests have said. If you’re not repurposing your content yet, then you are behind the game, so that is why I created repurpose house to literally take this piece of your content game off of your hands and to do it for you. So if you know what you should know that you need to be taking all of your existing content that you worked so hard on and probably spent a lot of time and money on. If you know you need to put that out into the world so that it’s able to be engaged with and the right way for the right platforms.

Shaina:                                      Then you need to sign up for a purpose. [inaudible] DOT com. One low monthly fee gets you as many assets as you can handle to put onto your social media calendar and start driving traffic to all of your lead Gen landing pages, websites, blogs, wherever it is that you’re taking traffic that actually gets them to convert. So check out the link in the description. We’ve got a really cool deal for you right there. It’s [inaudible] dot com. But make sure you go through the link because you’ll get a really cool promo code. You said you guys have more video that’s in scope for 2019, right? How, what is your. So you’re loading the video, you’re talking more organic search here where, you know, how do I install x, Y, or z? Right? And it takes you to youtube because I would rather watch a video than read text, you know, that’s just the nature of most of us now. Um, so how are you then turning that youtube view into any sort of lead generation?

Christopher:                          So it depends on the, it depends on the video and there are a number of different ways to do that. So you can work in as part of the video, it can be a follow along with this process and so in that case it’s not lead Gen and nurturing as far as here’s how you do it and follow along and follows these steps in as part of that you’re probably going to need some sort of tool in order to solve the problem. And so we just take it through it, but it’s not a. it’s not a heavy sell, it’s not an ad, it’s not a commercial, it’s just a solution to the problem. So that’s one. The second is always looking at folks who are in market and audiences for various things and so we’re appropriate. I’m doing retargeting as well. Those are probably the two primary ways that we’re doing it.

Christopher:                          The other is in addition to the deeper kind of how to video. The other thing that we’re doing a lot more of now is the more cereal or episodic type of content. So we have a series we’re doing now called school of Hustle that is all interviews with folks who have built and companies some, again, super successful, somehow euphemistically a lot of learnings that have have come out of that and in that way the way that we’re doing is building up that subscriber base and having people tune in repeatedly as a result of, of that series and that way we’re more top of mind. So when they do, when a customer or prospect does have an opportunity that we’re a good fit for, we’re more top of mind. So it’s less an old school, you know, hey let’s do a drip campaign type of thing. But just making sure that we’re being helpful and useful.

Shaina:                                      Yeah, that’s amazing. So are you doing that? It was a school of school of Hustle, hustle. Are you making that gated content?

Christopher:                          No, it is all up. It’s up on Youtube, it’s up on facebook and we’re, you know, we’ve got snippets of it that are up on instagram. So we’re, we’re also looking across platform on.

Shaina:                                      That’s awesome. So when you say that they would subscribe or opt in or whatever, is it just a pop up or your hey, if you want something here to give us your email address or how’s that working for you to build the list?

Christopher:                          Yeah, it’s even less intrusive than that. It is, you know, subscribe to the Youtube Channel, subscribe to our insta stories and that way we’re just more top of mind and becoming part of the daily process that folks are going through when they’re thinking about, okay, how do I continue to make this venture that I’m working on more successful?

Shaina:                                      Yeah, I love that. I think that one of the things that it’s hard for some marketers is they want an immediate results of something like they want and often or they want that email address or the phone number and in some cases that works. It depends on the kind of content you’re giving, but I’ve just, I love hearing like big successful companies who were like, no, you just need to give value. You just need to help them in their life somehow because when they need your service, then you’re the first person that they think of because you’ve been so helpful along the journey so that, that’s amazing. So what’s, um, one thing that I like to offer at the end of these episodes, and it doesn’t have to be the end, but I’m just going to ask you now, since we’re in the midst of a fun conversation, um, what is one thing that somebody’s listening can implement in the next 48 hours without the help of a team of 50 that’s realistic, that, that can push them ahead of what they are today in their content marketing?

Christopher:                          You know, the, the team of 50 thing is interesting because our team for content marketing, we could fit in a medium size rental car. So we are super, super, super lean and the way that we’re doing things and do things very well in that scale, so does not take a huge team, does not take a huge investment. If you want them to do something in the next 48 hours, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Number one, figure out, okay, I am trying to solve, I have this problem. Go out and type that question into the various, whether it’s on Google or on Youtube, what it would be, and take a look at what is, what is coming up and use that to sort of get some insights into what could be the type of answer that folks are looking for. If you don’t have the time to create, um, a long form piece.

Christopher:                          Another thing you can do that’s very straightforward is the old school kind of roundup posts. So if you wanted to do a text based posts, if you wanted to find the, you know, if you wanted to answer a particular question, instead of I’m deeply researching everything, find the 10 or 15 best answers out there and write quick post that summarizes all of that. So have the first, you know, have your, your spin on why this matters and why it’s important and why these are the 15 best resources. And then pull a paragraph, do a paragraph, write a paragraph on each of those out there, linking out to the original source, which is the, you know, the right thing to do and then wrap it up and that way you become super helpful in very short order because what you’re doing is you’re providing the insight and the curation and the links to the best stuff that you as an expert have found out there that you found interesting. And so that’s something, again, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time to do it and that’s something that you can do in like an afternoon.

Shaina:                                      I love that because a lot of us don’t have time to be like, that’s 75,000 word blog post. At least you can take the highlighted resources and be like, here you go back into it real nice and you’re good to go. That’s awesome. So one last thing to piggyback on that. You were saying that your entire content team can fit in a small vehicle slash van or whatnot. So. So how do you guys create all of this content then? Like, do you do it in house or is it coming from.

Christopher:                          Yeah, so we have, um, again, we’re, we’re super fortunate in that we have access to an incredible external network of customers and part owners and freelancers and experts, all of whom have their own expertise. So if we know we need a piece of content on topic x, we say, okay, now here are three people or five people who we have worked with in the past who are experts, true experts in this area, and let’s reach out to them and say, Hey, are you interested in doing a piece on topic x? We pay all of our freelancers, you know, we’re not doing the old style. Oh, you’ll get exposure. It’s like, yeah, people literally die of exposure. Um, and so we, you know, we pay all of our freelancers, but that’s, you know, that was how we were able to do it. And I think um, you know, over the last four years we have somewhere between four and 5,000 pieces of written content that is all, you know, long form definitive content that we have built using, using that model.

Christopher:                          We have a really, really efficient system and process and workflow for working with those folks and making sure that the copy is great and the editing was great, the visuals are great. Um, and once that, once that train is moving, uh, understanding where the things are on the editorial calendar and just executing to the plan, once you know, you’ve done it for a week or a month or a quarter, it just becomes second nature. It’s like, okay, here are the five things we need to get done today, here with four articles we’re going to put up. They were all written in, completed two weeks ago because that was the plan and that’s where they were on the editorial calendar and then they go up and they go live and it’s really getting into that rhythm and process and making it as, in some ways this going to sound weird, making it as mindless as possible. It’s just like, okay, that’s the way we do it. In the end we have shown that we can execute at volume and it’s speed and equality and doing that way and so we just keep doing it.

Shaina:                                      Wow. It’s amazing what just since like very, very stringent scheduling can do.

Christopher:                          Yup. Well it’s like, it’s like the old thing, it’s like, okay. So you know, for folks who, uh, you know, when to university your room was never any cleaner than finals week because it’s like, okay, I got all this stuff to do, I’m going to go do that. And so it’s, it’s in some ways the same kind of thing.

Shaina:                                      Yeah, you’re right. Well, is there anything else that you think that the folks out there who are listening, watching, um, should hear that you, any big piece of knowledge or something fun that you want to share at the end of this whole deal?

Christopher:                          Yeah, I mean, the, you know, the thing that we start a lot of our process with is always the simple but really, really hard question of why, um, you know, we get, we get requests all the time. It’s like, oh, we need a piece of content for X. Okay, why? What is, what is the goal, what are you trying to achieve with it? And really how does it, how does this investment of time and resource and energy going to meet the three different audiences that you’re trying to support? Number one is first and foremost the customer. So is this actually going to help the customer or is this more self self promotion and stuff that nobody cares about? So does it meet the customer’s need to, is it going to affect something positively for the business because you know, that is why we are doing this and we have to think about that as well. And then third, again, in the last few years in particular, especially for things that are tailored toward toward organic, can we meet the needs of audience one and two and at the same time meet the needs of whatever the various robots are that are crawling in ranking and optimizing the content that’s out there. And so trying to find that balance point between those three is the thing that we do with every literally every piece of content we create, be it written or at a video.

Shaina:                                      Awesome. Well this has been amazing. Thank you Chris. I really appreciate it. As a friendly reminder to everybody as your one thing to do in the next 48 hours, go google a question, you know that your customers have and go write that article taking the best pieces that you find. So Chris, you’ve been great. Thank you so, so much and thanks everybody for watching and for listening. Thank you for the invitation. This was fun. Of course. Thanks. Thank you so much for checking out this episode of the content coalition. Now, whether you’re listening or watching, make sure that you subscribe to the Youtube Channel and to whatever platform you’re listening to it on because you’re not going to want to miss out on the incredible things that I’m learning with these amazing content marketing pros. So make sure you subscribe and we will talk to you next week.

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