Ep 048 - This Organic LinkedIn Page Strategy Is Crushing with Mikhail Myzgin of Slice

November 24, 2022

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In this episode of Confessions Of A B2B Marketer, I'm joined by a sophisticated LinkedIn marketer Mikhail Myzgin of Slice. We get Mikhail Myzgin to share how he runs b2b marketing for an Industrial manufacturer named "Slice" by using their LinkedIn company page to drive BIG engagement with their very specific customer persona: safety managers.


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Episode transcript

You are reaching your audience, right? You create that brand affinity, but how exactly you justify the whole project.

Hello and welcome to this episode of The Confessions of a B2B Mark podcast. I'm, I know you're gonna love this episode. It's really one of the reasons why I'm in marketing in the first place, is these small, like niche strategies that enable a tiny. Super engaged, excited, niche to jump in, collaborate, give their opinion about something, and then use that to leverage and get attention for your brand.

Like everybody out there in the world is interested in something. So even if you think your product is in a super boring niche like safety technology. Like we're about to dig into people that work in safety, like safety managers spend eight hours a day at their job doing their thing. They get interested in it because that's human nature.

And then they can't, they have no one else to talk to about this apart from other safety managers. And maybe they don't know many of them. And so when they can meet and engage with other safety managers, that creates typically, or can create content if it's done on the internet. And then if your brand owns that content, then you're gonna get awareness very cheap.

And so that's what we're gonna be digging. On this LinkedIn page strategy with Michaela of Slice. Let's jump into that chat right now. Michaela, thank you for joining. Thanks for having me, Tom. So we met on LinkedIn like two weeks ago, is that right? Sounds about right, because of a very insightful LinkedIn comment.

You left on my post about LinkedIn. That's right. We do run a lot of ads related to our company page. Mm-hmm. , which is what I wanted to dig into first, but I think it's good to give the audience a bit of context like you and Slice, just so people understand where this. Valuable knowledge is coming from.

Okay. Yeah. I run B2B marketing for company called Slice, which is industrial manufacture, so not a SAS company. I think it's worth pointing out because SA seems to be everywhere and some people even assume that B2B is the same thing as sas. So we sell physical products to many, many different big companies.

So basically the same thing, but there are certain aspects that make this type of business look very different from sa. But in any case, it's B2B long sales cycles and complex. Journeys, all these things like buyer committees, all that stuff applies. Got it. Yeah. And uh, nicotine is a big, big, big part of our marketing and company page.

Is also plays a key role in our marketing, which is exactly what I wanna do. This episode, I want it to be like the go-to resource for anybody who's looking to use the LinkedIn company page, not personal page, but uh, to grow or like help with their B2B marketing. So can I first like come at you with an objection as to why maybe you wouldn't want to do anything with a company page?

Go ahead, . So I think the obvious objection that I think most people listening will be aware of is the lack of reach on organic posts from company page versus personal page. Yeah. I think this objection is coming. Not the correct use of company pages as a tool on LinkedIn. There is a key difference between personal pages and company pages as I see it.

And the key difference is that company posts can be promoted so you can pay money. So that's a business, right? So you run marketing, you have money to spend your budget, so use it. This confusion between applying the same. Approach and to promoting personal brands and company page. It doesn't work you. You can't look at company pages exactly the same way as your personal brand or personal pages and apply exactly the same technique and then, oh, it doesn't work.

And then people would use different justification. As to why they don't want to proceed. They would say things like, well, people like to buy from people and they lean towards, they double down personal brands and things like that, which I think it's just not a lot of people figured out how to properly use company pages.

But I would ask like, okay, personal brands are great, but they also present risk to business because shocking news are people leave companies. What are you going to do? Like if you create this dependency that a lot of your marketing, a lot of inbound, that you get through personal brands, you create this dependency on personal brands and then people leave.

What are you going to do? Can you just that easily replace it? And the big difference, the big advantage of the company page that you create an. That belongs to a business, and if I leave, nothing is going to break at Slice. Assuming you've documented everything you're doing properly, but yeah, that's, you threw back at me a very valid objection actually that I wasn't really considering.

But if we can zoom out then, and I would love for you to break down the strategy that you've used cuz in the comment that you put on my post, you said that the LinkedIn page has grown two K to AK followers in eight. So I'd love to know content, how much paid we're doing host schedule. Okay, so I'll just start.

Probably when I started, I started with just trying to figure out what, how I want to shift marketing because things were designating and I knew something has to change. I was looking on LinkedIn consuming different information, and I came across. Notorious term B2B media company for B2B marketing. I know a lot of people don't like it.

I liked it. I didn't know what that means, what this term mean. It was fine by me because I was just intrigued by it. I was like, there is something to it, and what it did for me. It just prompted some thought process inside my head and I probably took a few months to. I just thinking about it, I wasn't in a rush and eventually I created to process that slice that propelled our company page to where we're now from being a standard company page where we would occasionally share a link to a blog post.

The usual stuff. So basically we started experimenting with content and that content that we posted on our company page was in a form of pictures where we would have a question that I knew that our target audience, it was very relevant to them because they were like conversations. There was debates around such around these questions.

And I wanted to see what really resonated most with them, and I promoted them. I promoted them using LinkedIn ads, and some of these posts gathered literally hundreds of comments. And so I knew what topics resonated. Most initial insights into the questions I took from interviews. I spoke with some of the not only customers, right?

People from our audience. I didn't really care whether they were customers or. Just people from our target audience. And so the interesting thing about that experiment that lasted over several months was that for me, the discovery. Comments under our post. Some of the comments were gathering a lot more engagement than the original post.

So somebody from our audience would comment something under our post, and this comment would get 200 engagements. And I was like, wow. And so for me that was a discovery. People from our audience want to hear from their peers, not from. They want to hear from their peers. And so we created a show based on this experiment where we first invited those people who commented and their comments created also for engagement.

We invited them on the show, we interviewed them, and that's where we started to create, uh, content machine production. What they call we have, we record interviews with experts from our audience. And this is something that most people will be familiar with. We break them down on clips, right? We post them daily on LinkedIn on our company page, so no personal brands are involved, and we promote each one of them using LinkedIn ads.

Now, there are some specifics we need to dive into, like exactly how we do it because. Certain aspects that matter. Yeah. Can I just jump in though? I understand that now we're getting questions from the interviews with the commenters that came onto your show and then you get the clips initially, where did you get the questions from?

Initially? The questions I got from interviewing, interviewing people from our audience. So we just spoke about different things and I had a few hypothesis like what might be interested them, so I was just trying to talk about their. Without mentioning our product, our solution, anything. Right. Because I was trying to figure out what they care about.

Yeah. And these people, you just reached out to 'em, called on LinkedIn and you're like, will you jump on a call with me? Correct. Nice. I would just find somebody from our audience. I know they're from our audience. I would just send them a message like, would you be open for a 30 minutes interview and here's how I'm going to compensate your time.

That's. And can you just give an example of a question just so there's some context for theAudience? So that was about a year ago. So that questions were specific to our audience. Well, I go on here. What if the Pollyanna effect and how does it affect safety management? Yeah. So in this case, it's already a clip, right?

So it's something that we was produced as a result of our further exploration and interviews. But the initial questions were trying to figure out what resonates with the audience. So they were different questions. What would literally like post anything that you would think maybe this would be interesting.

And so some of them were about using soft skill or people skills. In your day to day job. Right. And it's like, how does this resonate? Right? And we would look at the reaction, and so we ended up creating show that was dedicated to using people's skills for our audience. When you say show, do you mean an episode or like a whole show?

A whole podcast. Right. The whole podcast. So what we like the human side of safety. So our audience is safety managers and our podcast is dedicated to the human side of of safety. So we'll look into things like people skills, psychology, behavioral sciences. And that kind of stuff. So we don't go to everything.

We approach it from a specific point of view. Got it. Makes sense. But let's veer away from the show for now and focus back on the page. Right. So we have, we've done interviews, non-public ones to understand what the good questions are. We then, are we answering the questions in text posts or video posts, like the initial ones that you promoted?

The initial ones were just picture. Which I just created in Canada, like five minutes. Basically it's just a question. I put it in a square image and post it, and then I would, uh, $100 behind as ad spent. And it's just a question. It's not the answer, it's just a question. Yes. This is very nice. And just a question, because usually what I see marketers think about thought leadership, and you have to educate the.

But because I was approaching now, let me just step back. One realization that I made even before that is that our solution is only a very small part of what our audience has to deal with on a daily basis. And only small part, like really small, like less than 1%. Like who is going to dedicate their time to something that signific.

I always like to give an example of a social media scheduler for marketers. Like, are you going to spend time to listening to a showed to a product that is a social media scheduler? No, it's only a small part of your job. You don't want to spend time to that. I want you to keep them engaged daily. How can they keep them engaged daily with something that takes only a fraction of their.

Daily, it's not possible. So I needed to come up with something that is really, that takes their, grabs their attention on a daily basis. That's something that they have to apply all the time at their job. Cool. So something broader, like a challenge or a controversial opinion in the world of safety management.

Correct. Got it. Okay. This is super cool. So you're creating that question. Well, like you're working out the question by through the interviews you're creating the question in Canva, you are then posting that organically to the page, but then you're boosting just a hundred dollars. You're saying, am I right in assuming that the targeting on LinkedIn is gonna get you like pretty close to the by persona?

Like I assume there's like safety manager job titles you can target. Yeah, so I use job titles as a primary. Targeting option. And I also specify geography. Mostly it's job title. It's what we use as a primary key targeting option. Got it. It's very simple, but it's very effective. It's very simple. Yes. Now I wanna dig into a couple more points around this.

One objection that maybe the uh, CEO would give you is that he would be like, awesome, we're growing the page, we're getting followers. Who it seems like they could be buyers. But then how are we gonna convert these people? That's a really good question, and that's interesting. When I started, I didn't know how to do that.

I was just trying to do something different. I knew that this is the way, because you are reaching the audience, right? You create that brand affinity, but how exactly you justify the whole project. So at some point, now, let me state the problem first, how I actually realized that I needed to change. So, Now first clips that we started to promote on our page were getting a lot of attention.

People really liked them and we started to get feedback. The feedback was kind of almost devastating for me because people were saying that, oh, everybody knows Slice videos. People would say from our audience, but nobody knows like what Slice does. And I was like, wow, that's marketing nightmare. Like what I'm doing here because it's all nice, but you are a business at the end of the day.

Right? So that I started to think like really hard, like what should I do now? And what I did is at the end of each clip, we a short video telling exactly what slides is and what we. And exactly how we help our audience and we add those clips at the end of every video. And only after that I realize, so this is what the B2B media company is.

We basically create media, and then we have placements, which we don't need to buy because we're all. But we still, I am a media company. I am a media buyer, but I buy it at $0. And so this is the justification in my case, the justification for the CEO is that instead of going to industry, publications, industry media and paying them thousands and thousand, And tens of thousands of dollars.

We reach the same audience to our own content at zero cost and only cost is our production team, right? Plus the, the A spend initially to go the followers, right? That, but also if you pay somebody like an industry, a media company from your industry, as with any ad. , when you stop, you stop. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But in our case, We own the media, we continuously can reach our audience for sure. It's like, especially in a time of crisis right now when there is a lot of conversations when marketing budgets getting smaller and smaller and people are cutting on that spent, in our case, we don't need to do that because we spend $0 on ads and we serve ads daily, right?

So of course we have budget because we need to go back. How we use paid media on LinkedIn, right? It's not that simple. It still shows how exactly our, uh, content strategy works on LinkedIn. Yeah. So I found one of the question posts, and I'll just describe it for the listeners. This is a year ago. So in the text of the post, we just say, as a safety manager, how important is it to work directly alongside your employees?

I love this. Great question. Then there's about like eight hashtags also. Great. It's gonna help with organic reach. Then the image, interestingly, has no slice branding. The header is like Workplace Safety Chat, which I guess is just like the title of this series, right? Then it's the same exact same text question, and then in the bottom, in smaller text it says, share your experience in the comments.

Now this has 116 likes, 46 comments, six re. I'm just gonna read part of one of the answers. Now. This answer got 10 likes. Like so many economists above have mentioned, it's a balancing. And then the comment goes on for like a hundred more words and that gets 10 likes. And you have people replying to that comment saying, well, relationship building with workers, it's very important for a safety manager, it's critical for the supervisors.

I just love seeing this kind of like, these people obviously love like the world of safety management and you're just giving them a place to like engage and talk about the thing they. It's such a powerful strategy. I really like it. I have a couple of clarifying questions though, so we can assume here that roughly like a hundred dollars were spent to boost this one.

I guess you can't remember the exact amount you spent on each image, but it's around, would it be around a hundred? Probably. Yep. Cool. Around $100. Yeah. My question is, I had to scroll for a long time. To get here. Cause it seems like you're doing now, you're doing the daily videos from the interviews that started eight months ago.

Question number one. Why are we not doing the question images anymore? And just for the benefit of the audiences, the, the videos, they still are questions, but they also have the video of the person answering the question. But is there a reason why we're not just doing the image or the question anymore?

Okay. So it's a good question. I don't think I have a very good answer for you because you can still post something. I think we. Some questions, some way in between, we are preparing a new formative content for LinkedIn page, which will be. Discussions around books that are popular in this sphere and also some other stuff.

So our videos, if they resonate with the audience, they get a lot of comments under them. So we definitely have videos that got dozens of shares and thousands of comments, but you don't want to. So we produce so much content, we never repurpose our. Because we have more clips than we publish, so we have clips.

I like a backup in case we don't have, but we produce more clips than we publish. So we don't want to overwhelm our audience and publish more than once a day. And I dunno a good answer to this question, like what is. How often should you publish on your page? But we stick to one post a day and we have enough of this content that also gives people food for thought, and if they don't agree, They do comment on our posts.

Right? So it's still kind of the same, the discussion space for our audience. At least that's how I want that to be. Cool. Are you currently paying to promote the videos? Yes. So the original idea is that we pay for to boost our videos. But with time, we would pay less than less. Initially, I want you to arrive at like that.

We don't even pay anything at all, and it would be just all organic at this point. I'm not sure if that would be possible because we definitely have all these eight thousands people follow who follow our page. And if the content is great, our post gets a lot of engagement organic. Now when we post on our page, we never boost immediately.

It always sits there several days because this way we're able to see what's the organic performance, right? Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's not great, which is understandable. It's like how all content works, right? You can't get great organic engagement if you post daily for every single post, but sometimes it blows.

We have a really great reach in these cases, but after several days we add those paid support for our posts and man time. Almost all our posts accumulate some engagement, right? More or less. But that's kind of the approach. I think that we will keep at least some budget, probably indefinitely, but I dunno, right?

Things change. So we'll see about. Nice. I think this is absolutely genius and here's what I love about marketing is, I don't know, it's quite hard to explain, but how some, like everybody's really interested in something. So if you can somehow as a brand, like tap into the thing that your customers are like super interested about and then allow them to either consume your information or even better, like give you or contribute information that's just gonna give your brand all this attention around the thing they're really interested in.

And then if your product helps them, like solve their problems, then that's how we make this profitable. And I think this is just like such a good example of doing that. Cause it's super niche, right? It's like safety at work. So, Is there anything we're missing from this strategy that you haven't told us?

I think I wanted to add is the importance of the content production machine that I mentioned because we produce so much content that we can publish daily. We have been publishing daily for since day one of the show without exceptions, and we will continue to do so. We have a bunch of shows recorded for the future.

And this has been such an important element because if you really want to turn your marketing into this media, kind of like Project asset company, there has to be those processes that. Run smoothly. Right? So to give you an idea what it is on how it looks on our side, we have a host for the show and we have a writer who actually.

Watches the episodes and come up. The writer needs to come up with a title, right? Writes LinkedIn posts, show notes, and all that kind of stuff. Then we have a video editor and we have audio editing team. We have, uh, marketing operations manager who runs all the processes and publishes some of the posts manually, some of them not manual.

But we ensure that we have the all the processes running smoothly. This is a big, big part of doing this well because if you don't have processes established, at some point you will be overwhelmed by something else. You will get distracted, then you will need an iron will to get back on. Which is not always possible.

There could be, I dunno, like macro economical events that prevent you from doing something, anything. But because we have those established processes, no matter what happens, we just keep publishing. And that I think also an advantage. You see some of the podcasts, some of the projects that happen in other companies, but you see so much inconsistency, so this has to be really, really done well.

I mean, processes. This is super important, Michael. I've been writing notes and I've got six things I like. This or like six like almost marketing lessons that you've implemented here that I just wanna highlight for the audience. So the first is the kind of like outside the box genius thing that's really enabling your ideal customers to engage with each other.

And as they do that, giving you attention through the LinkedIn algorithm. So that's the first thing. Second is I think obviously there's a risk with building an audience or follow a ship on someone else's platform. So your shift from doing that on the LinkedIn page to now having the RSS feed for the podcast, which I think is genius as well.

Next is your strategy of like posting organically, seeing what gets traction, leaving it a couple of days and then just boosting the ones that are getting traction is really int. Next. You and your team obviously know the importance of like good systems and habits because you're totally right. If, let's say if someone's off on a holiday or you're really busy, you stop posting and then you lose all momentum.

Next is your, the focus on the roi. Like you guys saw that you were getting attention, but then no one really knew about Slice. So you put in, and I saw this just now, like a three second clip at the end of every video just to make sure everyone knows what Slice is. And then finally, this may be the most.

If you really think about it, that whole strategy of the images was just a great guest sourcing approach for the podcast, right? So now you guys don't have to spend time or effort finding guests because you have them down on the LinkedIn page. So that's the things I like about this. This is exactly why I started this podcast, if to uncover like small niche, but very effective B2B marketing strategies.

So I wanna thank you for commenting on my post and enabling me to find this. And I wanna thank you for your time and being so generous of sharing this with the. Thanks for having me. It was fun. Everybody go, and maybe you don't wanna follow it because we don't wanna mess up the follower ratio with like BT marketers, but you can if you want, slice on LinkedIn and then if you just search for Michaela Slice, I guess on Google, they'll probably be able to find your LinkedIn profile if anywhere else.

Well, you have a podcast as well. I do. I do. Called Marketing with Ethics. It calls Ethics in marketing. Ethics in marketing. So everybody open the podcast app. Don't Google but write I Ethics in marketing and follow Miguel's podcast. Thank you so much for coming on. Thank you.

All right, thanks so much Tole. Go check out Slice on LinkedIn to check out these video clips and to check out those images. If you have any feedback on the show, please go to Apple Podcast. Leave an honest rating or. I read them all. I'll read them out on this show and I'm giving you a shout if you can do that.

Finally, we must give a shout out to our awesome sponsor, H four Fs Webmaster Tools, Google that, go and get the tool for free. You just have to connect your Google search console, and then you can get backlink tracking your health and keyword tracking for free. You don't have to pay anything. I do it for all my sites.

Thank you so. For listening.

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