How to Leverage User-Generated Content with Mark Kilens, Ep #82

How to Leverage User-Generated Content with Mark Kilens, Ep #82

Mark Raffan

How do you leverage user-generated content to scale your content quickly? Mark Kilens founded HubSpot Academy, the #1 source of inbound marketing education. Since then, he joined Drift and grew their Insider community to over 50,000 members. One of the ways he scaled these communities—and therefore their brands—was through user-generated content. He shares how you can enable your communities to create content in this episode of The Content Callout.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:02] Why Mark created Hubspot academy
  • [6:10] How to create massive amounts of content
  • [8:11] Partner with your customers to market your brand
  • [11:05] Learn more about Drift Insider
  • [14:55] Content needs to be integrated across verticals
  • [20:56] How to connect with Mark Kilens

User-generated content is the best marketing

Mark emphasizes that you need to focus on who you’re creating content for, have a plan to distribute the content, and get it in front of the right eyes. Content marketers don’t spend enough time doing that. Secondly, you have to systemize processes to help you create content. HubSpot had a content marketing and education team but they aren’t the primary people that create the content.

Their role was to enable their partners or customers themselves to be the subject matter experts in their community. HubSpot Academy helped disseminate the knowledge to a broader audience. Why use user-generated content? Because you want the most passionate, thoughtful, and intelligent person to teach other people about a topic. If you’re not passionate, you won’t create the best marketing.

Partner with your customers to market your brand

The voice of the customer is the most critical thing for B2B brands to focus on. Brands need to embrace it. You can make your go-to-market stronger and more efficient if you capitalize on your community. User-generated content is a facet of community growth and marketing. You want the trust developed from the voice of the customer more so than the voice of an employee.

One of the most important teams—rarely ever invested in—is the customer marketing team. That team helps introduce your internal teams to your customers. They help build customer excitement and enthusiasm. They help you learn from your customers. They’re invaluable. So what outlets do you give your customers to participate in?

You can feature them in a webinar, class, blog post, eBook, and more. For every asset you create, you always want a customer involved. You can enable them to talk about your brand through a review site and community forum as well. When you partner with the customer to create user-generated conten, it’s better for both parties. It also makes it significantly easier to scale content.

User-generated content needs to be integrated across verticals

Marketing leadership needs to come together to create a unified go-to-market plan for marketing that is unified with the whole business. That includes a content strategy. How does your content align with the revenue marketing strategy? What are you writing the content for?

Content is both brand marketing, revenue marketing, and customer success. Can you use a piece of content across each vertical? Or is it just for branding? There’s not enough strategic thought put behind how to get the maximum ROI from a piece of content. It’s missing in most B2B businesses and startups.

Your content needs to fuel company revenue

The whole point of a content team is to provide the fuel needed for a revenue engine—both marketing, sales, and customer service—to be able to do their jobs. If you solely focus on things like budget, having the expertise in-house, who will create the content, how it will be distributed, and how you’ll forecast the pipeline numbers from a piece of content, etc. you’re missing getting more juice from the content. You have to repurpose it.

They’ve used one piece of content at Drift—that’s only been updated once—to generate well north of $30 million of pipeline. The ROI was over 3,000%! It’s a cornerstone piece of content that the revenue and demand gen team loves. So they create assets from it to use in different parts of the customer journey. Your strategy needs to focus on the assets that matter the most and how the content will be the most effective.

Resources & People Mentioned

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Mark Raffan

Mark Raffan

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and lover of marketing and influence. Mark built the #1 negotiation podcast in the world and is an expert negotiation, influence, and persuasion coach that has coached executives and their teams in some of the largest companies in the world.