Blog

Building out a B2B marketing department

February 25, 2021
📗 Field Note

Are you the first marketing hire, and trying to get all of your programs running? Here’s a quick sketch of how to start.

  • The first two people you need are product marketing and demand gen. If you have a demand gen background, hire a product marketer. If you have a product marketing background, hire demand gen. Both of these people will need to stretch into (or hire contractors for) adjacent areas. Your PMM will need to do a lot of writing, and your demand gen person will need to do some marketing ops and analytics.
  • Next, figure out messaging and positioning and, depending on the company, some basic field enablement. A reasonable guess at messaging and positioning will make your content and demand gen programs much more effective and useful over the long term.
  • Then, you’ll need a topic strategy. Here’s how to get from positioning and messaging to content. A topic strategy is your decision about what small number of topics you want your brand to be experts in. It will lay the groundwork for your content marketing.
  • By the way, we’ve put together a rigorous, but simple, process for figuring out your keyword strategy. SEO should not solely determine your topic strategy. But you can use your keyword strategy to get started with your topic strategy.
  • Next is to start producing content. Distributing your content will be a key part of this. Distribution means getting your website into a place you feel comfortable with, but it also means spinning up demand gen and community engagement experiments. Here’s more about how to do that.

Simple, right? Of course not, but we’re always happy to brainstorm about specifics, use the chat button if you’d like to set up a time.

How to serve language-specific sites

February 22, 2021
📗 Field Note

If you’re publishing copies of your sites in multiple languages, you have several options for how to organize the site for your users. But you should probably use folders. For example, https://ercule.co/jp. Here’s why:

  • Having all pages on the same domain usually corresponds to easier maintenance and deployment. And if you have separate domains, you’ll often end up with separate Wordpress installs, for example, to back each one. And that means inconsistency and poor user experience.
  • Keeping everything on your main site means that all backlinks point to the same domain. That means everything on your site benefits from better link equity.
  • Having all your sites on the same domains means that cookies can be shared across sites. For example, a visitor to ercule.co who switches to ercule.co/fr can still be retargeted and can be easily tracked with the same analytics trackers.

There are some alternatives, but we don’t recommend them.

  • A different top-level domain, e.g. site.de. These domains can be hard to acquire in every relevant country, and their authority profiles have to be built up separately in Google.
  • A different subdomain, e.g. de.site.com. While there is some debate, in our experience backlink equity is not transferred as well across subdomains.
  • A URL parameter, e.g. site.com?lang=de. Google explicitly recommends against this.
  • Automatically serving different versions of the site to different users. This is very, very hard to do reliably and is also not recommended by Google.

You can see Google’s advice here, which has a little more detail but is very similar to what we said above. A couple of last notes:

  • Don’t forget to use an appropriate hreflang tag on each page.
  • You can use the International Targeting report in Google Search Console to troubleshoot.