Hello, I'm Kerry Guard and welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.
Today, I’m joined by Xuan Liao. Xuan filter company for zero dollars to exit all on the back of a rock-solid SEO strategy. Xuan joined JOLT Advantage Group, and she helped them grow from zero dollars to an exit where they got bought by another company in 2021, all on the back of a rock-solid SEO strategy.
I have met many CMOS if you've been listening to the show for the last four years, and I've met some people who believe in SEO, but none that solely depend on it. It's a fascinating conversation that I have with Xuan, where she lays out how she did it, the important pieces you need to make it happen, the consistency you need to do it, and how to stay on top of it. Because that's the tricky piece with SEO, especially as the industry continues to change. You need to change with it not just how Google changes through our algorithms, that's part of it for sure, and how the SEO industry changes, but how your own industry changes in the way that people come to find your product that's going to help with this specific problem that they're having. If the keywords you use today aren't necessarily the keywords you need tomorrow, and if SEO takes time, how do you stay on top of that? Xuan tells you exactly how to stay on top of it.
Xuan Liao is a strong believer in passion, persistence, and continuous growth, three of the essential drivers in both my personal and professional life. With a multicultural and entrepreneurial background and vast professional experience working in international organizations, she has built a unique profile that caters to fast-paced, rapid-growth global enterprises. Her core expertise revolves around B2B marketing, with a heavy emphasis on the technology domain.
I hope you sit down with a pen, notebook, or laptop keyboard. You're gonna want to take notes for this. It's just action-packed with tips back to back on how Xuan took this. Hang on to your hats. Here we go.
Let's take a listen.
Kerry Guard: Xuan, thank you for joining us at Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.
Xuan Liao: Thank you so much for having me, Kerry.
Kerry Guard: I'm so excited to have you. Before we jump in, tell us your story Xuan, what do you do? And how did you get there?
Xuan Liao: I am currently the American CMO of Roboyo. We are the largest Intelligent Automation services provider in the world. We provide consulting implementation and management services for Intelligent Automation technologies. Some of them will be robotic process automation, intelligent document processing, process mining, conversational AI, and business process management. But many of those technologies that are just accelerating the digital transformation of organizations across industries and geographies and helping our clients adapt to the future of work with the human plus mindset where we can truly empower our human talent with digital assistants to minimize any sort of high value, high volume when doing repetitive, and just those manually intensive work. So, we're trying to take the robot out of the human, and we're going to allow our workforce to focus on higher-value strategic words that will drive transformation for the business.
Kerry Guard: That sounds so counterintuitive. I want to hang out there for a second because my brain can't help but be curious. But before we get there, how did you get here, though? What were you doing? Did you set out to be a marketer? Or did you happen to become a marketer? What's your story?
Xuan Liao: Yes. A little bit about my background. I started my career as a marketing intern at Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company. I'm originally from China, but I grew up in Colombia. My first professional experience was in Colombia. I started my career in marketing as an intern in the pharmaceutical industry. I quickly climbed the ladder there, too, with the goal of becoming a marketing product manager. But to be in that position, I also needed field training. I got my experience in sales as a pharmaceutical sales rep. Quite an interesting experience, but it teaches you a lot about how hard sales can be. And that's how I had my career started. And then, I moved to the US, took a global internship opportunity to come to the US, and joined a consulting firm. So that was my first dive into the technology industry.
I joined as a YubiKey developer, a simple technology for which you create content, like technical writing instructions for Oracle Applications. And obviously, I didn't have any technical talent. The reason they hired me was because of the languages that I had. They needed to translate a lot of the content we created to like Chinese, Spanish, and English. The right profile that they were looking for. A few months after I joined the YubiKey developer role, I was able to transition to a marketing role as an opening peer on time for the marketing department. I quickly migrated to marketing in the IT industry. I learned my way across digital marketing, lead generation, why SEO is important, social media, etc., So that was my first dive into marketing in the technology industry. In the middle of 2018, we started to see some of my partners and seeing the transformational potential that robotic process automation will bring to organizations and how fast it will grow to become a commodity in the coming years.
In early 2019, we co-founded JOLT with four of my business partners, and it was completely a bootstrapped startup. We didn't have any external investor funding, so many of us had to wear multiple hats to cater to different sides of the business. I was a one-woman band. I also had to be HR in recruitment, which was quite a hefty task due to the nature of the consulting business and how much work it relies on staffing and recruitment. But on the marketing side, I work with the designer, who, funnily enough, was the wife of one of our co-founders because we didn't have enough budget to hire a designer. I worked with her and a web developer from Romania, whom I hired for work. And the three of us were to launch a brand new website together. We didn't have any budget whatsoever, apart from the investments we made in the CRM, which in that case was HubSpot, and Zoominfo as our database. I knew back then that I needed to rely on something other than ads to boost our domain authority or our website traffic. So I had to get creative and resourceful to drive organic growth, and I fell behind the competitors with a sizable marketing budget. And from my experience at the previous companies that I worked at, I knew the importance of content and how content would drive organic traffic and lead generation. So due to the lack of budget for ads or anything else that we could put up back then, I did my research, wrote all of the organic content on my own, and designed it on Canva. I didn't have any in-house designers, so I had to leverage whatever tool was available to me with my basic design skills.
And I just published weekly digital content that could be in the form of blogs, white papers, ebooks, or infographics, and we will also do monthly webinars. I also learned how to use video editing tools to create explainer and demo videos, which I knew would drive traffic based on the educational angle of the content versus the sales pitchy marketing stuff we typically see out there. So that's how I started marketing at JOLT Advantage Group, and I hired my first marketing team member in mid-2020. And from there, our content volume escalated. The quality of the content also escalated because I thought that the content I designed on Canva could have been better looking or that the videos edited in Camtasia were the most professional-looking. Having someone on the team with specialized design and video editing skills was a huge boost to the volume and quality of the content we were publishing on the job website.
Kerry Guard: I don't know this. You're trying to skip ahead here because we'll get into the beautiful depths of what you've covered. But I love your story about what you've done before co-founding the company, JOLT, and all that you've done in this sort of hybrid of marketing, development, and sales helped you come into JOLT in a really powerful way. Did those three things come together for you?
Xuan Liao: Absolutely. From the experience that I had gathered from the previous organizations, especially working from the marketing side in the IT industry, I learned that we cannot rely on our consultants or our technical experts to write the content for us. I will often see from some of the other marketing folks I've worked with that they will just sit and wait until somebody delivers them the content, and then they will make a study and publish it. And that slows down through the lifecycle. So while I knew that I couldn't walk the walk, I could learn how to talk the talk and learn with just the materials from our proposals. These white papers initially existed in the organization, so just know more about the technology and how we should be positioning that in the educational content we create. So why can I not build a technical demo on my own? I can do the end-to-end work on creating a piece of content and being able to publish it for the website. Understanding and skill sets that are not tied to just marketing are important for folks in any industry. You have the industry knowledge to create impactful content for marketing.
Kerry Guard: From a sales perspective, to be out there talking to your audience about how that content is landing, you've just happened to have the best of all worlds, which not everybody gets to have this front-row seat, pretty.
Xuan Liao: Absolutely, with my bike on. And that's a very good point, and I'd like to highlight it. One of the key things in how I work is that I would never want marketing to work as a siloed team to make things pretty versus working together with sales as a revenue team. That means marketing is not only involved in creating the branding content and generating top-of-the-funnel leads. We're embedded in the sales cycle to ensure that we are creating specific content that caters to our client's interests during the sales cycle to get the revenue at the end. It's very important for marketing professionals to also be very much exposed to the sales cycles, part of some of the sales presentations, and client-facing opportunities, just so they can have the understanding of the boots on the ground versus designing and making things and creating digital teams on the website.
Kerry Guard: Before we dive into the heart of our conversation, which is where you are leading, spoiler alert. A quick question for you in terms of what you're facing right now and we're going to get into a lot of what you're doing right now. But before we get there, in terms of just what you're doing right now, what's one challenge you're currently facing, like something that's keeping you up at night that's making it hard for you, and in your way of thinking, you're like, "I just need to solve this problem"?
Xuan Liao: I'm sure there are many challenges. But the one that keeps me up at night is email deliverability and getting folks to sign up for demand generation events we're hosting, whether virtual or in person. In the B2B sphere, which is highly competitive in our industry, our typical target audience and ideal customer profiles are getting bombarded with cold emails and outbound prospecting activities, and it's getting harder and harder to stand out amongst the dozens of marketing emails that our audience will receive on a daily basis. We often have similar calls to action to attend a webinar or an in-person event. And honestly, folks are also getting webinars out. I cannot see through another hour-long webinar. We're seeing a huge drop-off from the registrants that sign up for webinars to the live attendees. Folks prefer to see the on-demand recording versus a live session, which takes away the actual traction or the sales traction that we will get in the volume of sales leads we can hand off to convert into revenue. It's a tricky arena right now to navigate nowadays. We've also email deliverability and the performance of the emails we send out because it's one of our biggest weapons in the marketing arsenal. Many say that email is decreasing in performance and the results that he's driving versus the previous years where people were just used to sending out 10s of 1000s of emails on a daily basis and not getting punished at all. The main thing is the email side, we're sending out emails, but the engagement levels are dropping as the year goes by. We're seeing that performance is dropping month after month, and we're having a harder time driving folks who take action.
Kerry Guard: I gotta say, we're seeing it too. We don't have a huge newsletter volume, but it feels like I fell off a cliff, which is hard. I'm not looking for stone-cold solutions here, and you've figured out the world, but just out of curiosity, are you thinking about pivoting? Are you thinking about what comes next? Or are you figuring out how to make this work? What is your approach to the problem?
Xuan Liao: I'm in the middle of trying to figure this whole thing. I am navigating different potential solutions and vendors out there that will allow us to figure out email optimization methodologies. I remember back in 2020, I had my first abuse desk ticket from HubSpot, which someone saw as one of our emails. He did not subscribe back then, so he went to HubSpot and created an abuse ticket that went back to us.
Nowadays, I would not risk being banned from the CRM if you were not allowed to send any cold emails. So I had to pivot back then and just go out and figure out what do I do if I'm not able to send out cold emails from the CRM platform, and what does it mean to send cold emails from the outbound perspective using our old server, and what are the different key factors that drive email deliverability. I learned about IP warming or domain warming. There are so many technical terms you need to make sure it set it up correctly on the domain side that would not hurt your reputation moving forward. So that's one aspect of email deliverability. And on the other side, when you're sending emails from a CRM or marketing automation platform, you're most of the time sharing the IP and the server with multiple tenants. It's not a one-shot solution for all because half of it is the health of the email domain. The other one is the server's health and the IP where you're sending the emails. We're trying to just kind of piece everything together right now and understand it, and doing a few tests in regards to see list that we can test out and see where we do it, how much inbox placement we're having, which email provider we're having the most difficulty getting through, and which are the filter companies, because we're not only looking at just the email providers, like Google Business Suites, Outlook365, and a few others from the B2B side. But then most enterprise organizations will also have a number of filter companies that they hire to generate that additional filter and make sure that they don't get bombarded every day with marketing emails that are relevant to them. And that's a lot of moving pieces that we need to figure out, test, and optimize to see if, after all of those efforts we're going to have a different result. So that's where we're in the middle of figuring this out.
Kerry Guard: I'll follow up with you and learn how that's going.
Xuan Liao: Some steps, tricks, or backpacks are from your organization or your blind base. I would love to hear also ideas.
Kerry Guard: Definitely. Listeners, comment away. Let's talk about what we want to talk about today, which is your co-founder of JOLT, a robotic automation platform that does all these amazing things. Can you give us an example? because it's probably a competitor, but it's all I can think of off the top of my head. Is this like an Alexa? The voice operations automation piece of being able to talk to something and then respond and do something for you?
Xuan Liao: Yes. Let me just dial back a little while we do because we're not a software company; we're a services company. We're a pure play automation services provider. We specialize in all of the automation tools that I mentioned earlier in this interview: robotic process automation, intelligent document processing process, and finding conversational AI, which is exactly what the example that you're giving me, which is Alexa. This technology is tied together, creating the hyper-automation that organizations can leverage to drive their digital transformation. As a quick example, robotic process automation was the original technology that drove this whole hyper-automation movement. In essence, it automates any means and high-volume, extremely operational, and repetitive tasks. It's how do I rephrase the swivel chair activity, such as data entry, finals department. Martha, in accounting, has to deal with this number of invoices that she receives over email on a daily basis. She just has to grab the invoice and read the data because many invoices are scanned documents, so they're not structured data.
You can have the system automatically identify the data. You have to have a person read the data, and then enter that data into the enterprise systems, like ERP, such as Oracle, or SAP. All in multiple, and most organizations will have multiple systems and multiple sales systems, resource planning systems, and logistics systems. Most often, the person doing all this manual work will have to just extract the data from one piece of content, then navigate to multiple systems to manually enter all of the data relevant to the different fields, and then do that all day every day. The goal of robotic process automation is to remove all of this manual and repetitive work that you can code into automation. Say that we create a process definition document when we identify the diagram of the process. How does this process work? And what are the different variations once we identify the step-by-step of how this process is done manually? We're able to use robotic process automation and many other technologies, like intelligent document processing, that can read unstructured data. So put that all together. In essence, when the email lands in Martha's inbox, Martha no longer has to open the email, download the PDF, read the content and then upload it to the different data systems she typically will have to populate. We will have a bot. Automation will be triggered once an email enters the inbox. Automation will download the PDF and use intelligent document processing to read the content from the scanned invoice, then extract the data in the body. We will use intelligent document processing to extract the data and then navigate to multiple different systems in their ERP or their CRM. And then, it will go and populate all of the data fields that require using the content that intelligent document processing technologies extracted from the original scan invoice. So I hope that makes sense of the issue portion of it.
Kerry Guard: Now, that has a ton of sense because we talked about automation all the time and repetitive tasks, but what you're talking about is so much more complicated in the fact that the tasks are repetitive. The data is not necessarily the same every single time. You need a system to pick up on the nuance of the data and how it shifts around to then be able to make it automated. You need someone to, or system or product or what exactly your company does create the system for you so that it knows all that nuance and can automate it in the long run.
Xuan Liao: Exactly. And the margin accounting type example is just the tip of the iceberg. There's much that you can so many opportunities that you can discover with automation, initially, marketing in the front office activities was not a very good target for automation, because of the different complexity levels and the different decision-making that is involved in the exception levels. But I have found a lot of marketing tasks that I used to do in a very operational mode, and I can automate that. I'll give you an example. Because I know that we have a lot of CRMs and marketing automation tools that already provide the automation that our day-to-day operations require. They are things that you can rely on the automation and the embedded automation features that these tools provide. One of those examples is the contact or company records duplications. HubSpot has this feature, which is very nice and automatically identifies potential records. That might be a duplicate, and you could write company names that are similar or domain names that are similar, etc. But HubSpot can only identify them, and they can take the top action to merge those records because they don't know if that's the same contact or a company record. So often, we will have to spend manually reviewing every potential duplicate, and then click on merge those duplicates if there was a duplicate record. And so I knew that if we could, if I can code automation that has the logic filters that we as humans use to identify whether a record is duplicate or not, then I can have the buck click on the merge bottom or discard born based on that logic. I wouldn't have to spend an hour out of my day or my team's time to do this repetitive work on a day-to-day basis or a month-to-month basis. And that way, we were able to optimize the contacts we have in our database and avoid or minimize the number of duplicates we have in the system.
Kerry Guard: Yeah, that makes so much sense. Let's talk about your company recently got bought, what happened?
Xuan Liao: Let me see the timeline here. By early 2021, we became a mini target for one of the largest. Back then, he was one of the largest Intelligent Automation services providers in Roboyo, and now that we emerged, we are the largest. They are a German-based organization with a very significant clientele in Europe, flagship clients, and a presence in the US, but not as prominent. The brand positioning of the thought leadership ranking was not as high as JOLT. We were the ideal M&A target for them at the time to expand towards the Americas because we also have a very sizable team in Mexico. We covered both North America and Latin America with JOLT.
Kerry Guard: The story of how you made that happen is fascinating because you said in your journey that you are a one-woman marketing show, and you started to give the game away when we talked about how you did it. Let's go back there. Let's revisit that for a second in terms of SEO. You figured out that you didn't have the money to compete with these big brands in terms of getting found and building that cloud, so you leaned into SEO. How did you know to do that?
Xuan Liao: How did I know to do that? That's an interesting question. I don't know how that came. I learned from my previous organizations in marketing roles that organic content would be the biggest inbound lead-generation driver. And that's probably because when we were awarded HubSpot, back then, in my previous organization, I learned a lot about inbound marketing. I learned because back then, we were already seen how email performance was already dropping. We were figuring out how to generate leads if the email is not the main driver and how we generate leads if we don't have enough budget for ads. So that's when I started to learn about it. Content king. Video is queen. Content that we can put out from the digital marketing perspective, as well as webinars that are just zero dollars in costs, all of these things that we don't need to incur in any sort of marketing-specific expenses, were going to be the main drivers for us back then, as a bootstrap, bootstrap startup.
JOLT went from a bootstrap startup to a 20 million M&A target in two and a half years. In the way we did it, the main drivers for that hyper-growth we experienced were mainly coordinated sales. Marketing and channel strategy with marketing played a big role in our market positioning and the thought leadership that we established in the industry. And an industry that has become extremely competitive as automation technologies shift from emerging technologies to now must have almost a commodity for every organization that needs to survive in the digital era. Going back to hold the whole thing of how I did it was being resourceful and creative. If you don't have certain resources, what is the best way to generate results by tapping into the lower costs point of entry platforms like Canva, that's $12 a month for design videos? I spend 1000 or 2000 for the Camtasia licensing. I was able to create all the content by myself without relying on external agencies or hiring a significant team.
Kerry Guard: HubSpot was probably your biggest expense.
Xuan Liao: Oh, yes, exactly. HubSpot and ZoomInfo were essentially our customer acquisition costs, plus my salary and the team's salary.
Kerry Guard: That's amazing, though, and I love what you're saying about content. It sounds a little bit of your sweet spot, though, like where you said it. You talked about your history, your journey of content, and your ability to really understand the industry, to then write about it in such a technical industry. I don't know. Often, marketers hire technical writers to be able to, product marketers, or even engineers to write this kind of content. So, for you in learning about this industry in such a technical way, where did that come from? Was that just hours and hours of research? Or was that just a happenstance of your history?
Xuan Liao: With my exposure to sales from an executive role perspective, I was able to be in all different parts of the business and not just be in a silo marketing side of it. By being in different meetings with executives, clients, sales reps, and partners, I was able to capture a lot of knowledge that many pure marketers would not capture in their day-to-day. I think that's one of the biggest differentiators as well, in the profile that I have. I said before, I can walk the walk. I don't need to necessarily talk to. I can talk to talk, but I need to walk the walk because we have the technical experts and the delivery team to do that. But as long as I understand the challenges, opportunities, and benefits of the solutions we provide, I can articulate it in layman's terms that are often more powerful than attack megalitres.
Kerry Guard: I just want to sit here for a second. You said three things, challenges opportunities, and…
Xuan Liao: And the benefits.
Kerry Guard: And then put it in layman's terms. I feel like we get so stuck. Sometimes I'm trying to sound smart.
Xuan Liao: Exactly. Especially for someone that often struggles with English, and I sometimes feel awkward if I'm not able to express something articulately in any English. I spend a lot of the time figuring out what's the best way that I can express myself without coming off too technical or awkward, and what is the main interest from the client side, because I think that's one of the biggest values differentiators from a good salesrepresentative versus a bad sales representative.
A good sales representative we're not going into a client conversation talking about how good our company is. A good sales representative will do the research in advance and understand who's he talking with the company that he's talking to the challenges that the company is experiencing at the company level or the industry level, and be able to find some articles out there, specific to the company and pick up those specific terms that their industry or their company uses very often and go into that conversation with the same language that the customers are used to hearing and using on a daily day basis, is going to stand out from your average salesperson, or marketing pitch. I think that's what stands out. Some of the good presentations I've seen are some of NASA’s presentations.
Kerry Guard: I love what you said about going out and understanding your audience. Do you find that everybody is a relatively new-ish industry, that category you're part of, or even potentially building? Do you find that everybody from a customer standpoint is speaking about it the same way? Or do you need to tailor the messaging client to client because they're still wrapping their heads around it? What does it mean for them?
Xuan Liao: The analyst firms, like the gardeners, the foresters, the Everest, they're always going to be coming up with new terms for the industry to drive from a marketing perspective. Every three weeks, we're like, "Oh, it's no longer hyper-automation; it's process automation." "It's no longer digital process automation; it is now intelligent process automation." There are a lot of new ones in regard to the automation industry and how each vendor partner and the client will refer to different technologies. But at the end of the day, we just need to make sure that we're talking in the same language that the clients are used to, not only of the technologies that we offer but also of how we relate it back to the client's goals and challenges and how our solution ties back to and benefit our clients so that they can be the heroes in their organization.
Kerry Guard: I love that. I'm curious, when you're saying all this, how forced this is, and how all these different platforms are changing. They're the key, the definitions of what these things are. How does that affect your SEO strategy if it's constantly changing, but SEO takes time? Because that's really what you've built JOLT on an SEO strategy.
Xuan Liao: The core technology names would not change; what changes is the umbrella that ties the technologies together as the digital transformation goal. And so, we need to make sure that we only focus on just driving one keyword across our website or different channels where we have a presence that we are driving keywords across the spectrum. We have technology names that will never change, such as "robotic process automation" (RPA) and everything else. We will continue to add all like the OCR or intelligent document processing or object character recognition, but it evolved to be a more cognitively driven OCR, which is now called Intelligent Document Processing. As long as we have the most up-to-date names of each of the technologies and also have the multiple different technologies, the keywords that package is altogether as a team, and make sure that it's embedded across different content pieces, not only in the headers and sub-headers but also, in the body of the content and social media tags everywhere. If possible, we can mix it up; that will be more helpful and open up the exposure of our content to the Google indexing box.
Kerry Guard: Content is king. Did you say video is the queen?
Xuan Liao: Yes. That's how I say it. But I don't know if that's an industry acceptable.
Kerry Guard: Oh, it's acceptable here. I'm curious. I have a lot of questions about video peace. Are you doing a lot of videos?
Xuan Liao: Yes. Yes. I just hired someone who is dedicated to video editing. At JOLT, we produce a lot of demo videos as well, because one of the things that oftentimes marketers will mistakenly put their focus on is driving the grind and asking, "Who is Roboyo?" or why we are the best?" Those videos will probably be found only when people are doing branded keyword searches. If people want to know about Roboyo, they will just Google Roboyo. And that's going to be a very small sample of the audience that you will get versus the content that is addressing a subject that people are interested in learning more about some more of the educational angles.
If our content is tailored more towards the type of educational topics that people are interested in Googling, such as the non-branded keywords, that's one of the things that I think we did very well job. If I go to my Google Search Console, I can see that only 3% of our traffic is driven by branded keywords, while 97% is non-branded. That means that a very large audience, the new audience, is continuing to find us when they're searching to learn about what RPA is or how RPA help contact centers and sub-subjects and topics that are very specific to their needs. They can find that in a fine job, whether in a demo video of how RPA will work with IVR or other technologies to fully automate the end-to-end contact center experience. So they can see the video, and then within the description box of the video, they can convert it and go to our website to request a live demo or a consultation with one of our experts. So that's the way that I see video driving traffic on the website, as well as off the website.
Kerry Guard: I mean, that's a huge link, building opportunity when you talk about video and YouTube.
Xuan Liao: Absolutely. We're doing a lot of link building and backlinks because email is declining in the form. We're trying to get creative. How do we expand the exposure of the events that we're doing or the content that we're doing?We're constantly figuring out ways to create backlinks in third-party sites. If I'm hosting an event or landing page on our website about an event, not only want to have that as the only page where people can find the event, I will go to the event and I'll create an event there and link it back to the website. I'll go to a meetup and I'll create a meetup there and link it back to the website. I'll go to LinkedIn events and create an event there. So as with many other third-party channels, I can create a backlink toward the main one; it will be a differentiator for folks struggling with getting their content and events out there.
Kerry Guard: Alright, last question for you, because we could talk about this all day. But I think this is really helpful. This gives people just enough to get started; then maybe we have two. We talked about writing content, video content, and backlink consistency. This is such a hot topic right now in terms of how often you do things you mentioned early on in our conversation. What are you doing weekly? Are you doing it weekly?
Xuan Liao: We used to do that job weekly, and we're also ramping it up on the royal side. We're doing weekly blogs, and we're also releasing or trying to release at least every week a demo video as well as any other content that gets created because we have so many events regionally as well that there are so many event landing pages that get created for webinars or in-person events. There's also different collateral like infographics and ebooks that will be downloadable, gated content. And those are the ones that, at the end of the day, are going to generate the most leads.
Kerry Guard: A lot of work, and you were a one-woman show. You started this journey as just you. Now, how big is your team?
Xuan Liao: Well, I have a fantastic team in Mexico—great content creators that help across the spectrum. When I hire someone, I don't necessarily want to just put them in a box and do one thing. I like to give them the opportunity to be exposed to many different aspects of our marketing here. I would like everybody to know how you can post a landing page. Originally, our job website is built in HubSpot, so everything was integrated. Now, the Roboyo website is on WordPress. We have to integrate the forms into the website. We need to also teach the team. Now you know how to create a landing page in HubSpot, how to create an email, how to create social posts, how to create contact list reports, etc. Now, we need to learn how to create the same landing pages in WordPress. Every single one of my team members should know how to do everyone's thing, every single one of them should also know how to upload videos to YouTube, how to create line presentations, how our cell cycle work, and every kind of detail, business-relevant information. I would like them to be exposed so they're not just the design team.
After our merger with Roboyo, they have a very big team in Europe. We now have dedicated people that do SEO, website maintenance, campaign management, and event management, and they also work with a number of external agencies. Our capacity ramped up. There's a lot of work to be done. I don't know if I mentioned this, but Roboyo went through the rebranding, and then we have to build up the domain authority with new content that we need to migrate for a job and, at the same time, the fresh content that the royal brand needs, so there's a lot to do this year. Next, to get to our goal, which is becoming the number one organic search result for our target keywords on the Roboyo.
Kerry Guard: This is an unbelievable story of how you are able to do this, from bootstrapping to being a one-woman shell to using SEO and content, from blogs to videos. Building your brand on the back of SEO is incredible. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Before we go, because you're more than a marketer, you have fur babies, and they make you more than a marketer. I have three questions for you to allow people to get to know you better. Are you ready? My first question is: have you picked up any new hobbies in the last two and a half years of COVID that you didn't have before? Or that maybe you dug into it a bit more?
Xuan Liao: Yes. I'm a very outdoorsy person. When I first moved to the US, I lived in Lake Tahoe, close to the outdoors and the mountains. My boyfriend convinced me to start mountain biking during COVID. So that was one of the hobbies I picked up, and it's not for the faint of heart. It was quite a journey to become an intermediate writer after a year and a half of doing it. Also, we picked it up with my boyfriend because I was initially going skiing. Since he didn't have skiing or snowboarding experience, we decided to get into snowboarding together, which was a wonderful experience. Now that I live in Colorado, I can continue to do both. I just need to find time to do it.
Kerry Guard: You're a little busy right now with all the travel that the world has opened back up, and you were traveling. It’s good to have you on. Thank you for joining me and for sharing your journey.
Xuan Liao: Thank you so much for having me. I hope it’s going to be an interesting one for your audience.
Kerry Guard: It definitely will be.
Keywords across a spectrum. I just loved how Xuan put it that way—messaging keywords and keeping up to date on the industry. It's a tall order to stay on top of the ever-changing world of not only technology but how people are searching for it and what they're looking for. Xuan said it. Content is king. Video is queen. If you could do both, what a royal flush there. I am inspired. I'm excited.
I am a big believer in SEO. Being a digital marketing agency, we heavily rely on SEO for our clients to help them build that strategy to create that momentum for them. It's very unusual, and you come across somebody who's done it on their own to the extent that Xuan does, and it's just absolutely inspiring.
Thank you so much for joining me. If you'd like to learn more about Xuan in the company she's working for, definitely find her on LinkedIn. Check her out, hang out, and get to know her. Ask her further questions to understand how she magically made this thing happen. It was a ton of work, and I'm sure she'd be happy to share more about how she made it happen.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders. If you found this conversation with Xuan Liao, please subscribe, share, and like. I appreciate your support.
This episode was brought to you by MKG Marketing. Our agency accelerates the mission of cybersecurity vendors via SEO, digital ads, and analytics.
It’s hosted by me, Kerry Guard - CEO and co-founder of MKG. Music mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.
If you'd like to be a guest, please visit mkgmarketinginc.com to apply.
Xuan Liao is the Chief Marketing Officer at Roboyo.