On this week’s episode of Performance Delivered, we speak with Maggie Mistovich, the Vice President of Marketing at TextUs, a leading business-class text messaging software. TextUs is the world’s first real-time communication platform designed to dramatically improve how businesses communicate with their leads, candidates, and customers.
Maggie has over 15 years of experience directing marketing programs in a variety of industries and holds an MBA from the University of Colorado Denver, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
We chat about her career beginnings in yoga apparel and hotel marketing, as well as:
- The similar objectives of B2B and B2C marketing
- Minimizing unqualified leads and maximizing the sales funnel
- Social media as a holistic marketing strategy
- Which platforms are most effectively used for which purposes
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
- Twitter @symphonicHQ
Voiceover: This is Performance Delivered. Insider secrets for digital marketing success with Steffen Horst and Dave Antil.
Steffen Horst: Welcome to the Performance Delivered Insider Secrets for Digital Marketing Success Podcast, where we talk with marketing and agency executives and learn how they build successful businesses and their personal brand. I’m your host Steffen Horst. The topic for today’s episode is social media, organic and paid. Here to speak with me is Maggie Mistovich who is the VP of Marketing, at TextUs a leading business class text messaging software. It is the world’s first real time communication platform designed to dramatically improve how businesses communicate with their leads, candidates and customers.
Maggie is a tenured marketing professional with over 15 years of experience directing marketing programs in a variety of industries, including lifestyle consumer brands, major hotel chains, and most recently b2b SaaS. She holds an MBA from the University of Colorado, Denver, and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She also played division one soccer while at IU PUI. Maggie, welcome to the show.
Maggie Mistovich: And surprisingly, most people may not know this. IUPUI was once a question on Jeopardy because it’s the longest named University in the US. So it’s Indiana University, Purdue University at Indianapolis. So fun fact for your back pocket next time you have trivia.
Steffen: There you have it. Well, interesting. You played soccer, very close to my heart as a German. I get up every every Saturday morning at 6:30 to watch my favorite team play. You following still a lot of soccer?
Maggie: Here and there. I mostly watch our US women’s national team. You know, I’ll dabble when they NBC will show Premier League games here on Sunday morning. So a lot of times we’ll have a little coffee watch a aame. So I don’t follow it super closely. But you know, primarily watching watching the gals on the national stages. You know, I try not to miss a game when they’re on they’re on. So fun to watch.
Steffen: And they’re doing quite well, as far as I remember.
Maggie: They are. They’re they’re still winning, and winning big, which is great.
Steffen: Well, you know, Maggie, before we explore today’s topic, I would love to find out more about yourself. Um, tell our listeners about how you got started in your career, especially on the marketing part of your career.
Maggie: Yeah, of course. So I studied marketing in college. And so it’s kind of a natural transition, after graduating to, you know, kind of apply that skill set. I wouldn’t say that I was looking for any thing in particular in terms of industry or role, I just wanted to kind of, you know, get my feet wet in a marketing role. And I moved out to Denver shortly after I graduated, and started working for a yoga clothing company that was based in Colorado, but sold globally. So we manufactured here, and sold, you know, online, and various yoga studios. We had a retail and a wholesale component.
And so I stayed with that company for eight years, they were called Be Present. And really just kind of worked my way through the ranks, so to speak, initially in digital and then was my last role there was as Director of Marketing. Once I left Be Present, I found myself in hotel industry. So for the last five years, had been working on digital strategy for a portfolio of roughly 60 hotels with a local management company here called Stonebridge companies.
We primarily managed Hilton and Marriott properties, but also some soft branded hotels, which is when I say soft branded, it’s a lifestyle brand hotel, which has its own kind of identity, its own messaging, its own branding, so real fun from a marketing perspective. But supported those hotels that are at our corporate office with their digital strategy. And most recently moved over to TextUs. I joined text us in September of last year as VP of Marketing. So you know, totally different industry from the hotel world.
But I’m now working on overseeing marketing programs for a b2b SaaS, essentially, we do text message, we have a text message platform that integrates with a lot of different applicant tracking systems and CRMs, and are really trying to scale up the business. So good, exciting, step forward for me. You know, and it’s it’s a new, new adventure, to say the least. But it’s exciting to get a chance to sort of, you know, build a team from the ground up and a marketing program from the ground up. And that’s, that’s where I’m at today.
Steffen: Perfect. Well, can you can you talk a little bit about the differences from a marketing perspective between you know, when you were at the lifestyle brand, when you were working for hotels, and now for b2b Saas. Where are the differences there from a marketing approach, marketing perspective in general?
Maggie: You know, it’s interesting when I when I started the interview process at TextUs one of the things that I spoke with the CEO about was that, you know, I was coming from really a b2c background, you know, there were some b2b in there on the hotel side, but primarily, it was a b2c play. Moving into b2b, one of the things that I told him, I was like, you know, I truly don’t think there’s that big of a difference. And the reason I say that is, you know, maybe the channels are different, maybe the content’s a little bit different, but the overall fundamentals in terms of delivering the right messaging to the right person at the right time, like that still is, you know, the same across industries.
And that’s how I view it from a marketing perspective. You know, I, I think on paper, like maybe I wasn’t the best fit as for this particular role when it came to having a b2b background, because I did not, however, because I think truly there that, fundamentally, b2b and b2c are the same, it’s just a matter of the aesthetic and how you deliver it. And that’s kind of the approach that I’m taking now is that, at the end of the day, like you’re creating content for a person on the other end, and it’s just a matter of speaking to that persona that you define. And I, you know, I like I don’t like to delineate it too much, frankly, which is, you know, hopefully, the right way to look at it.
Steffen: Yeah, yeah, I think I hear you. I mean, you know, you still have to identify your audience, right? Who who’s the most efficient people? Who do you talk to best to? And what’s the best message to engage with them? And what channel do you want to engage with them at the end of the day.
Maggie: Right. Right.
Steffen: And that holds true in b2b and b2c. Now, b2b obviously has has one more prevalent element when it comes to kind of getting to the bottom line, which is this kind of a sales funnel, you know, you have the marketing funnel, where you start to engage with people in and generate leads. But then when it comes to the sales funnel, obviously there there’s some work there to be done, too, because the leads have to, you know, have to be worked, and then hopefully, at some point become come sales. Is there a difference there that you have to pay more attention now? How marketing and sales work together? To get the most or the best outcome?
Maggie: For sure, yeah, one of the one of the things we’re really hyper focused on right now is this, like quality over quantity, when it comes to our funnel, you know, we have some really great kind of groundwork laid for attracting people, you know, to our website, or to our content, and starting to generate those top of the funnel leads. But what we noticed was that they weren’t always converting at a rate that that made a lot of sense, right?
Like, if I get 1000 leads, you know, at the top of the funnel, but at the end of the day, we’re only pulling a small percentage of those all the way to the bottom, like, I don’t really want those 1000 leads, I maybe want 500, I maybe want 250, you know, so a big part of kind of fine tuning this quality over quantity has been having that dialogue with the sales team to say like, when they get one that’s unqualified, like, what were the characteristics that made that lead, you know, not a good lead. Just simple things like using free email addresses, you know, Gmail, Yahoo, whatever, we’ve noticed a lot of those were unqualified.
So we started doing things to try and limit the amount of those leads, and really without that feedback from the sales team, you know, I’m not the one talking to the customer at the end of the day or doing the demo. So that dialogue has been super important, as we sort of, you know, fine tune that funnel.
Steffen: Yeah, I love that you said quality over quantity. And I mean, that’s something we here at Symphonic Digital preach a lot, because I still hear way too often lead generation and let’s maximize lead. And I always say to to our clients, I say look, you know, would you rather have 100 leads that converted 1% or 50 leads that converted 4%? You know, it’s it’s, it’s the end goal that counts, it’s how many sales? Are you able to get out of your media investment? Not the intermediate goal, elite.
So I love that you’re focusing on that because I think especially small and medium sized companies are still focusing on the wrong thing or haven’t even figured out their sales funnel part to measure how successful they are. You know, they don’t have the feedback part. They they don’t know what is the conversion rate between lead to mq or marketing qualified SQL sales qualified and an opportunity and sale. That’s where it starts when you need to know your numbers. So I love that. Now, obviously, today, we want to talk about social media. So let’s let’s kind of slowly move over there. Talk to me about why you think social media is an important part of a holistic marketing strategy.
Maggie: Yeah, social media. I think we’re closing in on like 4 billion users across platforms. I mean, it’s an insanely large platform, you know, and from a from a marketing perspective, you know, I look at it as a giant database. It’s it’s a lot more than I always say to like my colleagues, it’s a lot more than just babies and puppies on your social media feeds like this is a platform where people have given information take Facebook, for example, about what hobbies they have and what kind of companies they like and where they live and you know, all kinds of demographics that’s just like right at your fingertips. And so when we talk about particularly, like from an inbound marketing strategy perspective, you want to be able to, like, deliver that content, right person, right place, right time, you know, and social media is such a easy nimble tool to just pump that content out to exactly the audience you define, you know, so, I’ve looked at it as an extension of our own channels, you know, obviously, we want to publish a blog, and we want to push it out through email to our database.
But we can give that content more life by, you know, utilizing our social platform to push it out, you know, so it’s just, it’s kind of just an extra layer on top of it, where, you know, when when I plant content, for TextUs, there’s always, you know, kind of that baseline strategy of, okay, we’re going to put this on the blog, we’re going to send it to a particular segment of customers. But I’m always posting that organically and sometimes paid on our social channels, because why not? Right? Like, it just kind of gives it more life that gives it more present, and gives us an opportunity to reach not only our current customers, but those that look just like them. So, you know, I feel like it can’t be ignored. It’s an easy way, like I said, just to continue to give that content more life and reach more people.
Steffen: Yeah. Is there consideration on your end in regards to the platform, you are posting that content, on their platforms, where you say, hey, you know what? I’m now obviously focusing on b2b for b2b perspective. Pinterest. Not going to work. Right? I solely aware solely focusing on LinkedIn, or are there other platforms that you consider and if so, how do you decide which platform to post the content on?
Maggie: Sure. Yeah, I mean, primarily, it’s for us, LinkedIn and Facebook. I post all the same things on Facebook that I do on LinkedIn, you know, there’s this, I don’t want to say misconception, but, you know, b2b marketers love LinkedIn, like that, that’s, you know, they love to use that as the primary social channel. And we definitely see success there. But I feel like you’re missing an opportunity if you’re not also pushing it through your Facebook page as well. Because a lot of times, you know, when I think about some of the decision makers that we’re targeting, where we do a lot of business with in healthcare and healthcare staffing as an example, a lot of the people that are making decisions, particularly when it comes to healthcare staffing, and scheduling are oftentimes like, you know, nurse supervisors, and they don’t spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, frankly, if you’re in a hospital, you’re not really on a computer much at all.
And so, you know, I think of utilizing, you know, more than one one social channel is important, because you think about, like, you come home from work at night. And sometimes people just sit on the couch and scroll through Facebook kind of mindlessly to catch up on the day, like, that’s a great opportunity to just get your name in front of somebody. So I think there’s a lot to be said, for using multiple platforms, particularly, you know, Facebook, LinkedIn are the two we use most heavily. We lean on Twitter, more for customer support, and kind of quick answers and status updates on the platform. So that’s not so much a content push, but more, you know, customer support type of play, you know, when it comes to some of the newer forms of social media, like, I mean, admittedly, I am not no expert on TikTok, I don’t even have it, I’ve never used it.
But that said, you know, if I’m a consumer brand, and I’m trying to reach a lot of users that are on that platform in a specific age group, I might start thinking about pushing content through there. So you know, from a b2b perspective, it is a little dry, right? We kind of stick to the main Facebook and LinkedIn to push content, but there can be a play made for any social platform, you just got to really sit down and evaluate like, is this going to meet my goals? Is this going to get to my audience? So yeah, I mean, I think there’s there’s a there’s a layering that can be done there based on the type of content and your audience.
Steffen: Yeah. I love that you said Facebook because I have this conversation with clients, our b2b clients quite often, where it’s like, well, why should we be on Facebook? You know, it’s not a business platform. Well, you know what everyone I mean, everyone on this day decided to leave Facebook has a profile on Facebook and as you said, people sometimes mindlessly go on there and just just scroll through their newsfeed to catch up on what their friends that are not close by are doing you know. And even if you do it from a retargeting perspective, not from a prospecting perspective, I think there is a lot of value in in Facebook at the end of the day.
Steffen: Now from a from a paid perspective, right so we talked about so far is the organic side you use your Hootsuite or whatever you use to to distribute your content to social platforms, but from a paid perspective, when and how do you make a decision on whether to boost or sponsor your content?
Maggie: You know, I I’m a big believer in paid even if it’s like boosting a post for $10 right like your organic reach is so so minimal, I think it’s somewhere around 2%, it might even be less now, I haven’t even seen the latest reporting on that. But, you know, I, I build in a social media budget monthly. And for me, it’s, it’s something that, you know, if we want our content to reach the right people, like, we’ve got to put money behind it regularly, I will create kind of larger scale campaigns around certain buyer personas, if, if it’s a vertical that we’re really trying to get into. So as an example, you know, we publish an infographic, and it speaks really directly to corporate corporate HR, let’s say.
So, rather than just post that and like, let it ride on Facebook, most of the time, what I’ll do is create a look alike audience either based on our current customers, or that that ICP, you know, where I want to get in front of, you know, HR leaders in certain industries. And I can boost it on Facebook for, you know, a few $100 in a monthly campaign, and they might find that infographic super useful. And so, for the most part, I mean, I’m boosting almost everything we post, you know, unless it’s unless it’s just like a really small piece of content that we’re, we’re publishing just so the page doesn’t go dormant.
But I think, you know, if you want to have that reach, you want to have that engagement, you want to leverage, like, all the power that social media provides, you’ve got to be willing to spend money on it. And simply having a profile is not enough, even if you have several 1000 followers, most of them are not going to see it. So, you know, you spend all this time putting together this content and conceptualizing, you know, what it’s going to be and the strategy and who it’s going to speak to, you know, even just a small, you know, 10, 20, 50 bucks behind a single post will have really significant impact in the end. So, I’m boosting just about everything these days.
Steffen: So what you’re doing there? What is your goal with it? Is that, is your goal reach? Or are you also looking at people engaging with the post and reaching out to talk about your product? Because I think,
Maggie: A little bit of both, that kind of just depends on the type of content. So you know, we’ll we’ll create a strategy for the month, around content, where we’re hitting different parts of the funnel. So it’s pretty simple, usually, like top, middle or bottom, we don’t really delineate beyond that. But if I’m crafting a top funnel, kind of awareness generating piece of content, right, maybe it’s just general facts about the industry and kind of how we fit into that as a company. And typically, from there, we’ll look for just more reach and engagement. Rather than driving leads, we’ve noticed, like a lot of our leads actually come from direct the direct channel to someone just typing the URL in the, you know, in the bar and hitting, enter.
And so there’s a lot to be said, for just generating that awareness, especially from a b2b standpoint, on social media. One of the things that I’ve talked to my CEO about is, we’ve just, we’ve called it marketing dark matter, which is, you know, you put you kind of put some information out into the universe. And maybe someone sees it scrolling past their feed, but they don’t click on it. But then later down the road, they actually search for us by name, you know, this is the billboard effect that we, that marketing used to be, you know, decades ago. So it just kind of depends. So if we’re, if it’s top funnel, it’s more of that billboard effect, we just want to get reach.
If it’s, let’s say, if it’s a webinar, and we want people to convert right there on the page, you know, we’ll really, really scale down the targeting to like very specific personas, so that we get them to click on that, you know, that registration link, for example. So it just kind of depends, I like to keep, you know, a bit of different content on our schedule that hits different areas of the funnel throughout the month, so that we’re not, you know, solely focused on one versus the other. But, you know, typically, that top funnel is more, it’s more reach, whereas bottom funnel you’re looking for, like, those actual click throughs. So it just kind of varies.
Steffen: Yeah. Now, you just said that you usually see, you know, conversions coming through someone typing in the URL or probably searching for company’s name. Or you’re looking at your data from an attribution perspective to look at, you know, what part do the content postings play in the overall scheme of driving people down the funnel?
Maggie: Yeah, so we’ve, you know, we’ve got a pretty, I guess you could call it robust tracking, with a lot of the content we’re pushing out. So, you know, we’ll create we use HubSpot. So pretty much every piece of content is built into a campaign with, you know, the right tracking URLs, and we can look at recent conversion events if we have the people on our system, right. So like, if we know that they interacted with some of our content on Facebook or LinkedIn, for example, because you know, we’ve got pixels on the site for both of those so we can get sense if they’ve seen that content if they’ve interacted with it if they clicked on it, and then at what point did they get to the site? And what’s their? What’s their flow look like on the site? Are they looking at one page? Are they looking at multiple pages?
So yeah, I mean, we try to, we try to hit on all those, you know, different kind of conversion events, when we can, obviously, it’s not always that simple, you know, sometimes someone might interact with us, you know, on social, and we’ve not yet captured their information. So it’s not quite as granular in that sense. But, you know, we do try to look at the types of content that tend to give us little spikes in traffic. And we do see that from time to time, like, we’ll push something out on a Wednesday, you know, and we noticed kind of this increase in both organic and direct traffic. And while it’s not necessarily tied directly to that click through, we can infer that maybe there was some positive impact have there. So, you know, we kind of look at things a few different ways. It’s not always a perfect, you know, report where you can see the direct click, but there are times when you can see that correlation. If some, you know, content goes out, and then we see a little bit more traffic.
Steffen: Yeah. A few seconds or a few minutes ago, you said, you know, obviously, from an upper funnel perspective, you’re more looking for reach. Obviously, the closer someone gets to the bottom of the funnel, it’s probably more conversions. But in general, what what are the pertinent KPIs, you look at when you evaluate the success of social media?
Maggie: Well, with some of the, you know, I’ll use the upper funnel as an example. Like, we just we want to get in front of as many people as we can, because we you know, the our offering is business texting, which is not necessarily something that people even know that they need. So we feel like we’re kind of shepherds of the industry in the sense where we want to give people some awareness about what it is business texting, we can do. And so a lot of times with stuff like that, I’m just looking at, you know, what our overall impressions are engagement I look at as well, although, with, with a piece like that, you’re not often getting it get a ton of clicks, but there may be some more shares in there.
And so, you know, very basic, we’ll just look at reach for those types of pieces of content, we’re gonna get down the bottom of the funnel, you know, now we’re talking about specific use cases, how can we help your business? You know, so then at that point, it’s like, what are the click throughs? You know, then I’ll go into HubSpot. And I’ll look at the campaign metrics and see, like, did we generate actual new contacts out of this new leads, and get a sense of, you know, which content is actually pulling people all the way through to our website, at the end of the day, we want to request a demo, you know, so we’ll look at those numbers as well.
So kind of tracking those conversion points throughout. But at the end of the day, with that lower funnel content, like, if I can go into you know, my CRM and see that we, we got five new contacts, let’s say some piece of content, I know, then that that’s something we can kind of rinse and repeat right, scale up and do something similar next time because the methodology worked.
Steffen: Yeah, I think, you know, it’s, it’s quite important for companies to understand that, you know, depending on what funnel or part of the funnel you are engaging with, or you want to engage with, the content has to be different, right? You cannot expect from a general, you know, topic piece that is on the upper funnel to generate a lot of leads, you know, there there are other forms of content, you have to develop in order to generate that. Now that we talked about content, how do you build engaging content for social media, Maggie?
Maggie: One of the things when I when I first joined text us, I really wanted to, you know, as a, as a consumer, kind of marketer, my background, I really wanted to kind of take the traditional b2b content and just make it what I call like more snackable, smaller snackable easy to share types of content with more visual around it. So, you know, we have a lot of like case studies and white papers, and, you know, stuff that is like very text heavy, and it requires a lot of reading. And it does a great job of speaking to our, you know, our buyer personas. But even in a b2b setting, you’re pretty hard pressed to serve someone, a three page case study and expect that they read the whole thing.
And so, you know, one of the big efforts we have in place now is kind of repackaging a lot of this content into these smaller snackable infographics and, you know, customer quotes, things that show the use case, easily and usually there’s a picture or some, you know, like with an infographic, there’s more visuals involved, because they’ve been proven to be very engaging, you know, across all platforms and industries. But, you know, I think it’s important to remember, at the end of the day, like I said earlier, b2b versus b2c, like someone’s, there, the person on the other end, who’s gonna read and digest that content, and you want to deliver that in a way that is welcoming and engaging. And then a lot of times, you know, the, the long blog posts and the long white papers Not always going to serve that need, especially from a social media perspective. So our focus has really been on that, like snackable, quick, easy to digest content.
Steffen: So do you create different content for social media compared to for getting search results? Because obviously, Google has this idea that, of course, they want to have quality, but there should be a minimum number of words in order to be ranked higher in search engine results, and how do you how do you take care of that balance?
Maggie: Yeah, so so as I’ll take an infographic for example, we’ll put that on our blog. So we, we share it on social media, we actually share it as a blog post, the blog post itself, you know, the meat and potatoes of that blog post is the infographic but there will be, typically what I’ll do is I’ll extract a lot of the text out of that infographic and make a kind of a short intro to what it’s going to say, ahead of ahead of the infographic and a blog post. So I like doing like top five list top 10 list things that are like bulleted, easy to read, you know, explain a couple of different use cases. And then you get to the bottom of that blog post. And there’s the infographic.
The other thing I’ll do, because we are sharing it on social media, we use WordPress. So you can add a featured image to your blog post that’s like perfectly formatted for sharing on social. And so I’ll, I’ll take a snippet also of that infographic and create a featured image that is, you know, engaging kind of introduces the topic. So that way, when you’re scrolling through LinkedIn, when you’re scrolling through Facebook, you it is a link that we’re sharing, but you’re seeing like that image for, so there’s a lot of kind of different ways to layer these, these more visual pieces of content and make sure that they’re meeting, you know, the needs of our search engine ranking, meeting the needs of formatting when it comes to social. So there’s a few different ways that we, that we do that so that it’s, you know, easy to share across platforms.
Steffen: That makes that makes a lot of sense. Now make it looks like we’re coming towards the end of of our recording. And I have one last question for you. How can marketers leverage paid social to reach new customers?
Maggie: I mean, I think the biggest thing is really leveraging the targeting capabilities, you know, their Facebook, especially, I mean, LinkedIn, LinkedIn does a great job as well, particularly on the b2b side, it’s just very expensive, you know, cost per click tends to be really expensive. One of the things coming in to TextUs, that I was adamant about with like using Facebook more, because there’s so much data in there, you can create look alike audiences, you can target by, you know, job title, location, I mean, you can slice and dice their audiences as many ways as you want.
And so it’s, I find it a great way, particularly for that top top of funnel awareness driving piece to like, get in front of, you know, these verticals that we’re going after, simply by using the targeting capabilities that are available, you know, create, you can create tons of different audiences in your ad platform to easily boost posts to those particular audiences, to make it easy to just push some content out, put 20 bucks behind it, target it toward that audience who already created. So, you know, I think I can’t stress enough like, even this, Facebook doesn’t seem like a natural fit for your line of business. I mean, they’re, they’ve got billions of users and people sit, you know, they spend a lot of time scrolling through their feesd. And so simply just getting in front of those audiences is its low hanging fruit to leverage that those capabilities.
Steffen: Maggie, thank you for joining me on the Performance Delivered podcast and sharing your knowledge on social media. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation. And if people want to find out more about you and TextUs, how can they get in touch?
Maggie: Yeah, so I’m on LinkedIn, Maggie Mistovich. The last name is m i s t o v i c h, I think I’m the only one. So if you search my name, you should be able to find me. So feel free to add and just put a note that you heard me on the podcast. Would love to connect and talk more about anything we we mentioned today. And then TextUs is textus.com. You know, certainly would love to talk shop if there’s anything related to the TextUs platform or how it can help your business. You know, there’s there’s tons of information on the website, I encourage you to go to the blog, you can see a lot of the content that we talked about today. So yeah, that’s it.
Steffen: Perfect. Well, thanks everyone for listening. If you like the Performance Delivered podcast, please subscribe to us and leave us a review on iTunes or your favorite podcast application. If you want to find out more about Symphonic Digital, you can visit us at symphonicdigital.com or follow us on Twitter at Symphonic HQ. Thanks again and see you next time.
Voiceover: Performance Delivered is sponsored by Symphonic Digital. Discover audience focused and data driven digital marketing solutions for small and medium businesses at symphonicdigital.com.