A Conversation with Fara Rosenzweig of ManyChat
In today’s MarTech conversation, we chat with Fara Rosenzweig, the head of content at ManyChat, a leading marketing platform that provides automation for B2B, eCommerce, and influencers.
Fara speaks about her role as head of content at the company. She discusses her approach to running a content team, the importance of developing an expert-level understanding of the product, and the constantly evolving nature of content marketing.
ManyChat is a chat marketing platform. We help businesses connect with their customers through automation using platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram direct messages, SMS, and email. Through different automations, our drag-and-drop platform allows customers to build the personalized conversation that they want instantly and without any coding.
We’re five years old. Globally, we have a team of a little over 150 now—and we’re growing quickly. Right now, we are remote. Even pre-pandemic, we were an international company. In the U.S. and North America, we were mainly in San Francisco, but now, because of the pandemic, people have been able to go elsewhere.
We want to help as many businesses as possible connect with their customers. Our goal is to continuously grow and improve the product and improve product features. As far as the product roadmap, we have a lot of really neat things coming up over the next year.
In terms of competitors, we do have quite a few—this is a hot space. I tell a lot of people that chat marketing and mobile messaging are not going away. It's going to be part of a marketing team’s strategy over the next several years. We do have a couple of direct competitors, but I look at them and think, “Okay, this is a healthy challenge. They're doing something; what can we do differently to make our product easier? What can we do to convey the message that chat marketing is the next big thing? What can we do to educate our customers?” So, when I look at our competition, that’s what I'm looking at. I think competition is great because it humbles us and keeps us balanced. It allows us to make sure our product is good.
I report to our head of digital marketing, and she's responsible for our entire marketing team. I am fully responsible for all the content that ManyChat puts out.
We have a blog program, we have a video program, and we have a social media program. We also manage PR and podcasts. It's a never-ending job and I’m constantly talking to everyone: I talk to product, I talk to customer success, I talk to customers, I talk to our paid media team. I'm touching every point, and I don't think that's how content was 10 or 15 years ago. But it's cool that it's evolved that way and that I really get into the nuts and bolts of what's going on at ManyChat.
Our content team is growing rapidly, so now I'm taking a step back and doing more of the strategy work. We're producing a lot of video and a lot of blogs almost every day. Mike Yan, our CEO, is on podcasts a couple times a week and doing lives on Instagram and Facebook. So, I have to take a step back from the actual writing and video editing stuff. I'm now relying on the team.
We have some in-house writers and in-house videographers, and we have a lot of freelancers to help pick up those pieces. Our writers partner with our product marketing team, so they become subject matter experts in our product and really understand the nuts and bolts of it. They can then share that information in our articles and teach people how to use the product. On top of that, we work with an SEO vendor to make sure we're optimizing our content and getting it out to people who we might not even know are potential customers. A content program is like a 1,000-piece puzzle.
I try to break up my day. I spend the first hour or two going through Slack messaging and emails, just getting caught up on what I missed overnight because we do deal with international people. I also set aside about an hour a day to look at what trends are going on in the content world, in chat marketing, in e-commerce, and on social media because we target these different audiences. We're trying to become subject matter experts, so I have to educate myself on these trends. Then, of course, there are Zoom meetings galore. Then the rest of the day is spent managing our editorial calendar, checking in with the team, removing any blockers that they need help with. And I spend about an hour a day looking at analytics. Then, in the last few hours of the day, I’m actually producing the work that I need to get done. So, there’s never a dull moment.
In terms of tools, for SEO, I use SEMrush and MarketMuse, which are my favorite tools. We use Google Analytics and Google Search Console. We use Sprout Social for social media. I look at YouTube Analytics, and I look at Wistia Analytics.
Our content program needs to support the overall company-wide goal, which is growth. So, I break that down: If we have this number that we need to hit, how are we going to do that? I look at the patterns of our growth with SEO and I set a goal at the beginning of every quarter that we want to reach.
As far as other metrics that I look at within the internal content team, there’s our engagement time spent. If users are reading articles or watching videos, that means they're engaging and they're learning something—eventually, they are going to click over and sign up. My goal is to make sure they don't leave. Of course, we track conversions. I look at how many free registrations we have and how many pro account conversions happen through content.
So, there are a lot of numbers that I look at every week, every month, every quarter, but at the end of the day, I need those numbers to go up, because then our team is doing a good job at producing the right content for the right audience.
I think the main challenge is just educating people on chat marketing. Since we launched Instagram in the past several weeks, people have said, “Oh, it's a bot. Instagram doesn't like bots.” So, it's educating people: We're not a spammy bot. My job is to make people less intimidated and educate them on the benefits of this automation and tell them that it's not a bot; it's actually your voice. It's just our software, our technology that is automating it and giving it your personality.
One success has been our interactive content piece. Interactive content is not new, but at ManyChat, we’d never tested it out. The performance of it just blew us away. It's constantly ranking in Google searches and the signups have been incredible.
As the marketing team, we do a lot of pilot programs, and there was some on-demand type content we were trying to produce. We noticed that there was a lot of dropoff—people would sign up and not watch it. So we thought, “Okay, what's the messaging? What can we do differently to actually help get people to watch some of the stuff?” So, again, everything is going to have a learning curve to it.
There are so many places where we can get content. It's on social media, it’s on different apps for news content. We can get 30-second videos all the way to hour-long videos on websites, on social media, even on traditional television and streaming apps. The types of content we're digesting have vastly changed and where we're digesting content has totally changed. And I think that's really exciting. Who knows, maybe one day it's going to be a hologram that comes out like the Jetsons on your phone. There's virtual reality content—that might become a form of how we educate people in the B2B space. It's just ever-evolving, so I have to be flexible.
And I do think B2B brands are going to become content creators and media hubs. Salesforce just launched a streaming app of content. Long-form content, I think, is coming back slightly because people are home and are able to spend more time with content.
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