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1-2-3: How HockeyStack Built the Netflix for B2B Marketers

1 Idea, 2 Resources, And 3 Collaborators For This Week.

Happy Saturday!

The Collab now has 3,500 subscribers!

Really excited to share today’s issue with you. I got a chance to sit down with a close homie of mine, Obaid Durrani, the Head of Content for HockeyStack, to talk about how they leverage collaborators for their content.

As only a seed-stage startup, they seemingly came out of nowhere to be one of the most recognizable B2B martech SaaS companies in the space.

I learned a ton from this interview and plan on doing a longer, more formal interview with him for the soon-to-be established Collab Podcast.

If you’re a Founder or GTM leader with some incredible case studies leveraging fractionals, creators, influencers, or advisors for your growth, I want to hear from you! Just respond to this email and let me what you’ve done.

Together we will educate thee space on the power of collaborative growth!

Let’s dive in.

This issue of the Collab is brought to you by HockeyStack.

HockeyStack is the leading marketing analytics and attribution platform for B2B. Connect all your tech stack, analyze what’s driving revenue, and optimize your campaigns to drive more revenue.

The Big Idea

How HockeyStack Built the Netflix for B2B Marketers

Jared: I'm joined by Obaid Durrani, the Head of Content for HockeyStack. 

You've done some unique things in terms of content that I wanted you to unpack. Can you share how you’re leveraging outside creators with your content?

Obaid: It's all a part of an engine. When  I first joined Hockeystack, Emir and I both had this idea of creating the Netflix for B2B marketers.  My thought process behind that, like why should we do that is because like we all know everything's content. Whatever you want to accomplish, you have to do it through content.

If you want to build brand awareness, content. You want to create demand, content. If you want to enable sales, content. So it's all just content. 

So there's a lot of different purposes you can have behind the content. So Todd (Clouser) and I, he's currently at Audience Plus, created this framework called the Easy Mode Framework that is this eight part framework that  teaches companies and their internal marketing teams how to build media engines with their internal marketers so you don't have to hire an agency. 

You don't have to do all those things.  You learn this flame framework, you implement it, and you can essentially accomplish what HockeyStack accomplished and Lavender accomplished. And all these, you know, quote unquote B2B media companies.  

And so what I first did was I established the purposes of our content:

Let's make it simple again. So in my mind we need to make:

  1. Product-driven content: people need to know what HockeyStack is, how it works, how it can help them, and what outcomes it can achieve.

  2. Narrative-driven content: aside from people knowing how your product works, they need to know:

    - Why should they use this product in the first place?
    - What is it going to help them achieve?
    - What change or transformation is it helping them accomplish?

  3. Entertainment-driven content for people not in the market: regardless of how good the product related content is, people are only going to be interested in that if they're actively looking for such a product right now.

    Otherwise you’re not going to tune into it because you don’t care about that thing.

For the narrative-driven content, it opens up our audience because now we're talking about things that personally relate to  you as a marketer or as a marketing leader. 

But then there was this third layer of what we do for the people that are just not in the market right now that have no idea about this product that aren't for the moment, interested in this category or such a narrative. Maybe they're a bigger company and they have all of that stuff figured out. 

So for that, there needed a lane of content that helps us stay top of mind. 

I do that through entertaining content. After learning from the mistakes of other brands,  I understood the issue with entertaining content is, especially as marketers, we're so afraid to sell our product. 

The issue with entertaining content is it's usually built around some sort of clever or creative idea that may take off and go viral. But people forget to insert their product in it in a subtle way.  So, even though that content was really successful, it doesn't associate your product with any specific outcomes. 

So the whole purpose of this content is for you to stay top of mind. And then when someone's ready to buy, they immediately think of you.  

If that entertaining content that took off is not associating your product with any outcomes, it defeats the purpose of this content in the first place, because even though they saw this campaign from HockeyStack it didn't have  any sort of association with what HockeyStack actually does. So there needs to be this layer of entertaining content, but there needs to be some semblance of product association in it.

We need to tie our product to a certain outcome. 

Those are the three purposes behind our content: product-driven, narrative/category-driven, and entertainment/product-driven.

I just started creating content around all these things.  

At the time when I joined HockeyStack, we already had some sort of influencer play where we were paying people for sponsored posts.

I realized If I'm making all this content around these three different purposes, and we’re already paying people to create content for us, why don’t we just pay them to create their own series? This helped with accomplishing one of these three purposes. 

That's how we started using external collaborators to help us accomplish our business goals. 

I grouped content collaborators into four different types of collaborators: thought leaders, industry experts, content creators, and influencers. 

We wanted to balance out the numbers of folks we brought in each category and wanted to have them create the type of content they typically produced (vs having influencers try to create thought leader content or experts try to be content creators) along with what their audiences expect from them.

Jared: Who are some of the collaborators you work with?

Obaid: Todd Clouser, Tim Davidson, Brianna Doe, Camille Trent, Jay Desai, and others.

Jared: What do they get out of the relationship? Why do they lean into this and why is this a collaboration?

Obaid: Most of the creators that we started working with weren’t creating content for brands when we started. They’ve been able to get that experience and be a part of a movement. They find value in that. They’re excited to be a part of building the ‘B2B Netflix’. That experience and exposure being featured has been invaluable to them growing their personal brands and businesses.

We also pay them per video and they produce multiple videos per month so they are able to make a nice side hustle income from working with us. 

HockeyStack also aligns their business goals with the content they produce.

This strategy has helped them hit the goal of becoming a ‘recognizable brand’ in the space (as well as generating an incredible amount of pipeline) from their content efforts.

Click image below to check out HockeyStack’s ‘The Flow’:

2 Resources

I. Rev Tech Summit Spring 2024

I will personally be hosting a panel with fractional collaborators on February 21st. Sign up for free to explore insights on cutting-edge strategies to drive growth and maximize revenue from some of the top experts in the industry. 

II. VCs Elad Gil and Sarah Guo on the risks and rewards of funding AI: ‘The biggest threat to us in the short run is other people’

Last week, at our first StrictlyVC evening of the year, prominent AI investors Elad Gil and Sarah Guo joined StrictlyVC in San Francisco to talk about how they think about AI investing in a world where deals were getting bid up feverishly two months ago, and where reportedly, some startup teams are now looking to sell because of the costs involved with building their software.

3 Collaborators

I. Camille Trent

Camille is a content strategist with experience working in startups, as a lone wolf, and in an agency. Her specialities are category content, analysis content, community, social media, copywriting, event and podcast strategy, and content consulting. She’s built content at Dooly, KeyPlay, and Teal and is an advisor for Audience Plus. (follow her on LinkedIn)

II. Todd Clouser

Todd Clouser is the self proclaimed ‘Worst Marketer in the World’ (HockeyStack show) and Head of Audience Marketing at AudiencePlus. He started a media company in 2011 and grew it to 9M+ monthly views, $500k ARR in sponsorship revenue. He’s also co-created the Easy Mode framework from those learnings to help B2B companies build media engines that turn eyeballs into revenue which he’s currently helping companies to implement. (follow him on LinkedIn).

III. Jay Desai

Jay is the Head of Marketing at Captivate Talent as his primary gig. He’s also a collaborator with HockeyStack, founder of SummarAIze, and growth advisor. (follow him on LinkedIn).

1 Action to help the Collab Grow

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Reply to this email and let us know what you’d like to see more. And a big thank you to all who made it to this point.

Until next week,


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