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Oct. 21, 2019

141: How Can Marketers Stay Ahead in a Rapidly Changing Industry? [Yam Regev Interview]

141: How Can Marketers Stay Ahead in a Rapidly Changing Industry? [Yam Regev Interview]

If you are a marketer, especially a digital or social media marketer, it really gets more and more difficult with each passing day to keep track of all of the changes going on in the world of marketing as well as all of the excellent and insightful blog content that are being published. From following social media feeds to subscribing to RSS feeds and newsletters, all of us marketers have our own system that we have created to try to cope, but this approach may not be ideal, especially for the subject matter that we are less familiar with.

This episode #141 features an interview with Yam Regev, CEO and Founder of Zest.is. We discuss all of the changes in marketing that marketers need to be concerned about, how can marketers consume all of the blog content that is being published on a daily basis, as well as how a combination of Community + Content + AI utilizing the free Zest.is app can help support today's marketer. You can access Zest at https://zest.is

As mentioned in the intro, I do host livestream shows with some of the top thought leaders in marketing infrequently, so if you are interested, please make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so that I can let you know the next time I record one. You can do so by going to my website and entering you email address on the sidebar widget or the one at the bottom of each page: https://nealschaffer.com

 Key Highlights

[02:57] Introduction of Podcast Guest, Yam Regev

[03:48] What Is Zest?

[08:32] The Heart and Core Of Zest

[14:00] Ways Yam Prevent And Control Bad Content In The Community

[17:15] The Learning Management Aspect Of Zest

[18:49] User's Feature Fit

[20:11] Our Email Feature

[23:10] Does Zest Offer Certification Programs?

[26:55] New Emerging Topics That Are Critical For Marketers

[27:59] The Reality Of Marketing Industry

[30:35] What Zest Provides

[31:13] 2 Key Areas Marketers Need To Be Top Of The Game

[32:35] How Can Marketers Consume Blog Content That Are Published Daily

[35:59] Built-in Feedback Process

[39:40] Most Searched Tags

Notable Quotes

  • We feel that we live in a huge global shift, right in the way that we consume content. And it seems that the way that we expect content to be to be it needs to be more personalized, and on demand.
  • The cheaper it is to create content, the accessible the internet gets the more content and information that will be.
  • But when we want the content, when we have 15 minutes, because we're on a train, or whatever it might be, we want to be able to consume it in depth then, and therefore that makes sense to your platform obviously serves those people better.
  • So long as you have really smart people at Google, trying to improve things and change things, things are always changing.
  • The content creators themselves are creating a lot of content, but they're not necessarily updating the old content, which Google I get gives really, really good authority to If that old content was able to generate a lot of backlinks and engagement.
  • I think that's the core issue with Google is that even if you find a great piece of content, we tried to be relevant and even knowledge building for you, you know, some maybe someone worked quite hard to get these results, and to target us specifically.
  • The way that you consume a knowledge or the way that you prioritize what content you want to consume, should be we can call it social, socially based, based on a lot of parameters, but also about who you are, well, what is your surroundings? What are the kinds of people that you want to be like?
  • What we understood is that if the community is so integrated within the solution, and also spreading the world, for this, it can be bad. 
Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

This is the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help sales and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners, build, leverage and monetize their influence in digital and social media. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast. This is your host, Neal Schaffer. And this is episode number 141. As some of you might know, I like to mix up my podcasts still do a lot of solo podcasting, which is how this podcast originally began. For those that remember, it was originally called Social Business unplugged. But I have been doing a lot more interviews, as there are just so many compelling experts out there that both want to be on this podcast, as well as those I want to learn from. So this is a special interview that I did over a live stream. Now I do these periodically, I'd say every six to eight weeks, I pick a week. And I do for one a day, four or five for the week. So make sure you go over to Neal Schaffer calm, you sign up and any one of the widgets, there's that you can get an informed the next time I do these live streams, and therefore you can engage in real time and get your questions answered. This particular interview was with yam Raghav, who is the CEO and founder of zest, which is a content marketing, I guess you could say a curation tool. It is zest, z st.is. Now, I do not know about this platform until fairly recently. But those in the know, know, and what yam has built as a very, very unique platform, which really helps marketers stay ahead in a rapidly changing industry, which also, by the way, is the theme of the podcast interview what we talked about. So some of the things we talked about, you know, what is changing in marketing that marketers need to be concerned about? How can marketers consume all the blog contents being published on a daily basis, I think this is something that we all struggle with, and how zest.is can help support today's marketer with its unique combination of community and content, and artificial intelligence. Needless to say, there is something missing in the world, between the blogs, like Neal schaffer.com, the newsletters, and really giving marketers a way of leveraging the wisdom of all the other marketers as to what content they should read, to stay ahead of the game. And that's where zest comes in. So if you are a marketer, like I know many of you listening to this podcast are, I think you're really going to enjoy this interview. So without further ado, here is my interview with him. Good morning, good afternoon. Good evening to wherever you are in the world. This is Neal Schaffer. So today I am very, very excited to have a special guest Yammer gaff, who is the CEO and founder of zest. Now, those of you that know me know that at the core of everything I do, whether it's consulting, or speaking, or this podcast, I really do consider myself an educator. And I think that zest is an amazing platform that is offering all of us marketers, and ability to really grow professionally. So I'm going to let our guests do a little bit of introduction about himself and also about the platform. And then we'll get into our main topic, which is how can marketers stay ahead in a rapidly changing industry? Yam shalom, thank you for staying up so late to speak with us from Israel.

Yam Regev:

Oh, it's my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me here, Neil.

Neal Schaffer:

So tell me zest? How do you describe it to those in the audience?

Yam Regev:

Yeah, we spent a little bit about this. Neil's This is a knowledge building platform for professionals. Currently, we cater only to marketing people or marketing professionals. This is the first vertical that we decided to focus on, you know, just as a short background, so for everything. So we feel that we live in a huge global shift, right in the way that we consume content. And it seems that the way that we expect content to be to be it needs to be more personalized, and on demand. There are two huge brands that I believe who lead this kind of trend, like Spotify and Netflix, and you get it on demand, you know, even what is the match score for the content? To get? You know, as professionals, we asked ourselves, mainly Dan, my co founder, how come the tendency to like to professional content is not getting the same experience as the entertainment content can give for its own users. And basically, those are the same users right for Spotify, Netflix and professional people. And then then what happen is that we asked ourselves how we can get know what is good content, you know, in a war in the world. Everything is out there, right? The cheaper it is to create content, the accessible the internet gets the more content and information that will be. So when we Yeah, how are we going to to understand what is good content for professionals subset, first of all, we need to, you know, focus on one vertical, which is marketing vertical, as I said. And the other thing is that we need to understand what type of content should match or should give added value for, for the users themselves, we understood that we cannot aggregate the web, right, we cannot be another aggregator that you have, whether that's good for consumers and non professional people. But for professional people, you need to understand the bonds and appreciation levels that each user have with with its potential surrounding profile. So, the first physical touch point for content to get into this is those people and beautiful users who just suggest content they believe that other community members should consume. So that's the first filter touchpoint, this is our content get into this, then we have machine learning, who knows, you know, the sifting through the content and understand what is good, and what is not that good, what is more fluff against actionable, what is all there against more way more relevant and new, and what to get distilled in then being matched by by, by, by soul by artificial intelligence for each end user. And in that way, we've been able to create some sort of micro learning Pass, which is being distilled and matched individually, for each end user creating, you know, we'll have to say that we build your knowledge away from the content noise, right? So normal FOMO, normal, been swamped with content, you don't need to go to those resources and to be bombarded with RSS feeds and newsletters and all that you have one source of truth for professional knowledge, and it's leading within zest.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. Yeah, correct me if I'm wrong, but it's absolutely free to join and become a member of the community. Yeah,

Yam Regev:

so totally, totally free, we have our premium subscription as well. But um, the the platform is free and will be free forever.

Neal Schaffer:

Right? So let's take a step back. This is obviously focused on marketers, so I think marketers in the past, how do we, how do we get new information? How do we keep on top of what is changing the world, I think there have been a few platforms that have tried different things. So we had stumble upon, right. Some of the things you like, we have the idea of algorithms and social networks, we have the notion of groups. So LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, we have the notion of lets us all collect our own RSS feeds and put them together in a bundle and monitor RSS feeds. So I think that there are several techniques that marketers have used over the past several years to try to, you know, for myself, it's the same thing, I curate content, because I share content about marketing. But it also helps me keep on top of what is going on. So you what you are saying with your platform, as you're saying that it is the wild west out there. And the only way to have a high quality experience in terms of finding content, the right content, to help you grow, is to have a community approach is to I won't say it's like a Reddit upvote. But to have some some sense that there is a community of people that are passionate about the same things that other marketers are in terms of, you know, staying up to speed, and they are helping to vet the content and only sort of share and thumb up content that they truly feel is is worthy of being shared to other Qt community members is that sort of the heart and core of what your platform is about what you said

Yam Regev:

originally, so then the platform itself. So the idea is, is an ideal kind of network effects kind of products, right? The more users the louder, the better the product the product gets for for everyone. Sure, but let me take you one step back just to better understand maybe the the vision and solution itself before diving into the product. So just like in the as I mentioned before, Spotify for entertainment, we believe that vision wise, there should be zest for professional knowledge. Now, the way that you mentioned, I believe most of us are still using today, you know, such like a curation and content sharing and being discovered content and all that the whole show the whole great, it's like a painful reality that we all live in, and we shouldn't accept it. Not at all. If I'm as a professional, I'm not talking about myself as a co founder entrepreneur or a CEO but as a marketing professional. If I'm wasting 9.5 hours a week sifting through content then saving and bookmarking even and right I'm not sure how your bookmarks look like I know that my use bookmarks you too. I have one folder called Mastery then I have sub folder must match with and then absolutely, you know you gotta save Alright, so we call that those kinds of tools and products content gradients, right so you you find content, you bury it over there. You feel good that now it's very and that's it, but you didn't solve your pain yet, right? You're chasing your own your own tail. You know, eventually that's what we're trying To solve, and we said that, yes, we can do it. By using community or tribe, the way that we call it of people will be integrated fully within the solution itself, their machines and AI and everything we learn now, professionals are consuming knowledge. So we don't need just to know what is knowledge, we also need to know how professionals are interacting with knowledge, and now exist in light, the mobile app that we launched last month. So we can connect the two huge challenges together and try to match the best content for each for each end user. And there's the machine have learned how professionals are consuming content through this. And when they want to receive it, how many pieces of content they what is their consumption patterns? And I think that that everything that we need to remember is that and you said it as well, Neil, is that the way that we appreciate each other either personally or professionally, this is how we are authorizing the content that's been shared with us. I appreciate you very much, thankfully, to the professional being of yourself. And now we're getting to know each other personally as well. Right? So if you initial content edit directly with me on the web, and I have this professional appreciation level for you said, All right, Neil, Neil, he knows he knows what what he speaks, and they walk the talk, and I am going to consume the content that you share with me on social media. So that's exactly what this does. But in a huge, really huge scale. Imagine yourself being a part of the biggest slack group on so the biggest Whatsapp group of owners with the best minds in marketing, I can promise you that you will never do a blind chair you will read, you know, a nice title and then you will share the link on WhatsApp, you will not make a fool of yourself. Same goes with zest, right, you will not share content that you think that no one should consume it. And that's those kinds of professional feelings or professional interaction interactions. This is how we build the product on those are on the psychological kind of mindsets. And this is what we believe should lead to a new age or era of not content discovery, but content been enlightened through the content that we share. So it's not just for you. But also you can share the content on Slack and Trello that you find on on Zesto, it will get into your team's workflow. And it means that the content have a lot of added value for you and for your team, then you've been appreciated by the ole by all the old teams and I think, you know, there is a huge challenge in front of that will definitely go through

Neal Schaffer:

excellent. We are talking about how marketers can stay ahead of the curve. Yam is the founder and CEO of zest is Gan, which is a really exciting platform, really, you can call it a platform, you can call it a community, but it's all about helping you find the best marketing content to help you stay ahead of the game. So yeah, I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, basically, what you've done is you've created a mini social network with a Facebook type of newsfeed that is going to help you discover the content that the algorithm things you need, based on your previous engagements, with with topics keywords and with people in the community. Is that Is that what it is? In a nutshell?

Yam Regev:

You can you can definitely call it that way. We just say that our algorithms are designed to give you content that you need, not the content that you want.

Neal Schaffer:

Gotcha. So let's take a step back here. So you have I don't expect that you have the exact number of people in your community. But you said anybody can join the community. So let's look at on the flip side, I'm a marketer, and I want to use this to drop links, which obviously you do not encourage, how do you vet bad content or content that really isn't authentic to the objectives of your community? In other words, there is a human. And this is something that obviously with the fake news we've had here in the United States and around the world, actually on Facebook, and what have you. This is something that even the social networks have had a hard time doing right of vetting out the content that could be harmful to the community. So what are the things that that does to to prevent that,

Yam Regev:

right? So it's all about the human aspect of a obssessed. Basically, you know that we are not only phytolith already, but we will unify to two aspects. So that's cognitive tech and AI, with community content curation. So those are two elements we combined together in order to find what we define a what is knowledge, right, which is some some sort of the holy grail of the web. Where do we structure the machine learning in the past day one of our fields is that today, we know we created some sort of a gradient between what is content and what is knowledge, what is what is content is being distilled out of the only procedure, and what we define is known as something that is actionable in depth. insightful, you can call it also relevant and fresh, probably long form kind of a content either it's a podcast videos or textual content. So these have those are the general parameters, attempt that content to be distilled in and then being matched to each and use it at the right The right time. But I think that when we go, you know, step back, and we'll ask ourselves, how did we stop? So we had hundreds, a few high, you know, hundreds of volunteers, were passing the first day one of the fields to actually review the content that other people are suggesting, and then vote on it. But it's not really vote, because you need to add some sort of reason for why you reject something. And the reject reasons themselves are valid, you know, it can be not marketing related, it can be a 404 page, but it also will be those news items. For instance, I believe that obssessed if you search through the feed, you'll not find a lot of news items. But what you will find is that how people took news items, let's say, Google is changing their algorithm, for instance, probably again, and again, so you'll not find the news item from x publisher, you know that this is what happened, you will find this beautiful piece of actionable or PubMatic kind of content from someone either at an agency or product company or whatever, they understood there is a change in the those SEO algorithms, they read the news somewhere, and then they did something in that perspective, that caused the rankings to write to increase or decrease. And then they write about it, you know, whether it's a blog, post, podcast, or video, and then that's probably what we'll get distilled in possessed. That means the content that gets distilled in is really actionable, kind of content with something that you can actually do after it not just read and say, Alright, okay, now I know it. Now. Now you know it, no, you can actually exercise what you what you read, and you can get it into your workflow on you know, Asana, Trello, Slack, whatever.

Neal Schaffer:

And because you, you sort of filter out the news, then the content becomes sort of evergreen, deeper content. And this is how you evolve into a type of learning management platform, that you begin to acquire community vetted content. So if you want to learn more about, you know, Instagram marketing, you already have a library of vetted content that's been approved and has gained a lot of respect in the community. And so now, so you know, I know that I get these email, notifications, desktop skill, maybe you can go into a little bit further detail about how now I know how to, you know, we all know how the community works. How does that sort of learning management aspect of your platform

Yam Regev:

work? Right. So, you know, first of all, I think that, you know, I think it was a year ago, that we decided to create our newsletter. It was a great newsletter, and we had a great open rate, I think it was around 60, or 70%, open rate, and 20 to 30%. Click through rate. And it was well designed with a lot of HTML in it and all that, but something felt wrong. We said that it doesn't make sense that it's one newsletter and Fatone, there are so many different views of so many different people in the different 11 careers. We cannot just blast them, and hope that they will get it something is wrong. It's not our proposition. It's not in our agenda. So what we did we just smoldering we killed it in one day, we automatic, a nice blog post when quite spreadable was in the industry, because who is killing the newsletter if it's if it's so great, right, and then another eight months to teach the algorithms, what is, you know, we can call it great match score. So I'd like to give one piece of content with given profile user. And since we and once we started to test it, and to see that we get high match score from our users, I will just say one thing about it is that our users, everything is transparent and open exists, we have a lot of users who are helping us be on the user advisory board. So they are helping us to think about the roadmap, business models, partnerships, collaborations and stuff like that. So everything is open and and users are really integrated within it. And when we launch new stuff, we have an in depth procedure that helps us to get into what we call a users feature fit. Right, so no product market fit, especially to start with because it's so huge and unachievable at the beginning. So you think it's a global fuse users, we introduced them to the feature you tried for a few days or a few weeks, you get feedback. And then what we did is that we have future tribe thing, right? So then we get a few hundreds of 1000s of users, we ask them if they can help us with testing the feature, then you build it up, you know, the beginning you have been slaughtered. Right? It's not even good. So as an MVP, but you can hear the lingo. You can hear the shotgun of the users, you can hear you understand, what is the mindset, what are their expectations, then you can really sharpen things up together. In the meanwhile, that's I think what's so works good in invest, is that you retain those users who have so integrated within the flow, and they become your own speakers, right? They they speak about this for others because they're experiencing other kind of experience with this. It's not just content discovery or knowledge building. You're still interacting with the team. You've been part. They're part of the whole world of the world. and even business roadmap and marketing roadmap and everything. So then till we got some sort of good Mexico, not just on our end, but also is the user said, then we release the feature for everybody. And the feature that we call, as you said, is what we call the our email. It's the upskill. Email, de-skill email takes in consideration, the way the tags that you follow people who follow you people that you follow your career paths, if you're if you're connected with LinkedIn. So we can see your career paths, your title, your geolocation, none of parameters, attempts to understand also what you save on this, so we can, we will surface it for you one piece at a time. So we will remember that you saved it. And that's one step closer to build, you know, the perfect knowledge building platform for for marketers, that will be that will give you some sort of holistic solution for the way that you consume content and becoming a mental envision. And he also sells.

Neal Schaffer:

So you have you built sort of a way of categorizing based on your LinkedIn profile and keywords. And based on what you're doing in the platform, these are the articles you need to read to become a better master at a certain skill. And if you're a master at this skill, Next, you'll want to master this skill. So we recommend this content is that sort of what's going on as well.

Yam Regev:

Because A is the you know, as you all know, this buzzword in a T shape and T shirt professional writes, We understand what is your the T lag. If that makes sense. Then what is the flip farm to table right. And then we know that if you are a content marketer, and you choose to to upskill your content marketing knowledge, for instance. So we know that probably you're leaning also towards to SEO and social, we will make some sort of a healthy mix for you. And I will just go back to my previous example. Now after we speak with each other, we get to know each each other, you know where I am in my career paths, what I'm leaning towards to what I want to be professional in, you know, maybe tomorrow you will show me a link, just with me a link and you know what I want to consume it on the spot, I'm not going to waste any time. But as I said, this is exactly what what this does. So it's your best, I don't know how to call it maybe I'm a teacher, we need to build trust with each other. And this teacher now tells you that you need to read two articles today. And tomorrow, you can rest and the weaker and the week after we should consume two videos in one podcast. If you opened up this mobile app on weekends, and you asked not to get content in weekends, you will get a smartphone over there that says you promised not to work or not to consume knowledge during weekends. You know, you'll have some a nice emoji over there. And we will not sell you with content unless you want to change preferences, of course. So it's all it's all about that right? We don't need to push users to consume more content, it's not more. So the quality, it's not the quantity, but the quality. And it's so it's so clear with things. So you get really high quality content that was distilled by community and the community of machines. And eventually, we are matching the right amount for you the right the right time. And I believe that this is our friends walk together, right. So right from approach.

Neal Schaffer:

So so it sounds like you know, if I'm a marketer, and I want to stay at the top of my game. There's also on the other end of the spectrum. So we talked about the wild west of RSS feeds, and you know, just searching on social media. On the other hand, you have actual certification programs, when marketing professionals are looking to change jobs, for instance, getting this certification can be can be, obviously a very, very great thing. What you're offering is something that's sort of in the middle, I'm taking it based on AI and machine learning, based on previous engagements that is going to, you know, obviously help you become deeper and broader in those skills. But you don't have plans to offer any certifications of any sort, I assume, correct?

Yam Regev:

I'll tell you what, it's done. Right. It's open for discussion yet. But I will tell you that I was a complete disaster related to my studies, whether they are on a universities, which I didn't manage to finish my degree over there. And on score, which is I don't even know what I needed to call me just wasn't for me. And when I started to learn, for my degree, I learned East Asian Studies and I tried to learn economics, but it was a complete disaster. Now I understood that it's not for me. And then what happened is that I co founded the web marketing agency, which was quite big and got to few millions of failed course, ecommerce to two wheels. I didn't learn management, I didn't learn marketing, I didn't learn anything. So you cannot see all the scars on my face. But it's true. It's from experience. And by reading a lot of micro pieces of content. Now I try to take online and offline courses. I'm dyslexic in this perspective as well. I cannot start and finish and I can tell you as someone that has been most of his life as a co founder or you know executive, even if I have those courses They are scheduled within my my calendar, these will be probably the first ones that I will cancel anything, you know, so that's it. And also I today I cannot see myself having, I don't know, one hour or two hours to sit and watch a video on only on Linda or Coursera or whatever, again, those solutions are great, they're not fit for me, not for my pace, not for my capabilities also, probably. And I'll tell you another thing is that I don't think that you can learn today, today is you know, when we mentioned a Spotify, Netflix, you cannot be in geo studies can you cannot do it in a pinch kind of manner. And for me to have a course of 16 hours of clinical divided one hour or two hours, it's very binging for me to I need to chew my content in small pieces, and in to be exactly what I need at the right time. It's while there is I found myself just creating this network of professionals that I work with, and they shared with me some articles. And these were the best content pieces of content that they got, you know, those influencers, they follow those Twitter lists, Facebook groups, and so you find the way, but it's still not structured. And this is why we created this solution.

Neal Schaffer:

Gotcha. I think a lot of us do consume content in the way that you mentioned not in one or two hour, you know, Sprint's but more little bite size here and there. But when we want the content, when we have 15 minutes, because we're on a train, or whatever it might be, we want to be able to consume it in depth then, and therefore that makes sense to your platform obviously serves those people better. So, you know, we've talked a lot about your platform, and we've hinted about some of the things. So obviously, you see all the different marketing topics, and you have all the data on what people engage with when it comes to marketing education, what have you. So just getting back to, you know, sort of the agenda we set ourselves out for today. Are there specific things changed in marketing that marketers need to be concerned about? Or is it just a never ending cycle that we are in with so much content and so much information? Are there a few topics that seem to be very, very hot on this platform right now, or new topics that you see emerging that you think are are critical for every marketer to understand?

Yam Regev:

Right? Yeah, that's a great question, Neil. And, and I think that is a big ground, on the web based professions, whether they are a marketing sales, you know, support customer success, or those new New Old or New Age kind of professions, you cannot go to them and a doctor and look for content over there. Even if you go to those fountain of knowledge, fountains of knowledge solely over there, you will probably find, you know, a lot of content is probably not not relevant. By the way. Same goes for courses, right, we discussed about courses before, in marketing. And even, let's say, if it's not something very general and basic, to create more advanced kinds of materials, they probably will get will start to get outdated in a matter of two weeks, three weeks after you create your your beautiful course. So I think that again, same same goes with our professions, we live in this sort of, as I said, in beginning, painful, painful reality. So on one end, it's an ever changing, ever evolving kind of industry. If that makes sense. On the other end, you have so many because of that maybe you have so many sources of content mentioned before. So that's, that's that's the reality. And as we also agreed, the more time goes, the more content that will be created, the less or maybe the loss of productivity will increase for us. web professionals, again, whatever marketers or not. So I think that that's something that we need to understand even if we are kicking off our careers right now as marketers, or as experienced marketers in different fields. That's the reality, I don't think that it will stop and, you know, the future will will not bring something that is new. So it's getting new all the time. Right. So that's that's the that's the reality, right? This is the, this is where we live. I mean, I believe that you agree with me, right?

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And you know, I focus more on the social, but just for a general marketing, even when you talk about SEO, which is a concept that's been around for 20 years now, if not longer, obviously, the algorithms are always changing. They're always trying to improve it. So so long as you have really smart people at Google, trying to improve things and change things, things are always changing. When you get the social media. If you look at the functional changes that Instagram does on a weekly basis, it's it's really compelling. I mean, I remember in the early days of LinkedIn changes were very few and far between that when there was a change in the platform, you could write a blog post about it, but now you'd be doing it on a weekly basis with some of these platforms. So and they're all competing, right? And I think that's also what's driving this competing for our time and for our attention. So as a marketer who wants to better leverage these platforms? Yes. And it's funny because you know, the the the knee jerk reaction for us is we want to learn something, we'll just do a Google search, but Google will still show results. from five years ago, that that might be completely irrelevant. Now, I as a blog owner that have deleted out all my blog posts regarding Google Plus, but I don't know if every blog owners done that, right. So the content creators themselves are creating a lot of content, but they're not necessarily updating the old content, which Google I get gives really, really good authority to If that old content was able to generate a lot of backlinks and engagement. Right. So it's interesting paradigm that we're in. And you're right, yeah, I mean, it takes us longer, we have to know who are the trusted sources. And it takes us longer to actually filter. And I think that's obviously what what Zess provides is that filtering, there's no one perfect filtering, but you do have machine learning and AI to give it a personalized experience. But yeah, that is definitely a struggle. And obviously, when it comes to from my perspective, being really deep in the trenches, your marketing, I would say definitely, that's the visual platforms, and just visual content creation and the process of creating visual content, like you could easily create a blog post on a weekly basis, it still struggled for many, many businesses. And that that, to me, is the area that I think that obviously influencer marketing, writing a book on the subject is the other area that I'm looking at. But with visuals and influencers, those are the two key areas where I think marketers, you know, need to constantly keep keep on top of the game, because it's still changing. We're still, we're still publishing case studies today that that, um, there's still case studies to be published. And that can really help people and really help businesses so that that's sort of my take on the industry. But yeah, you know, the content creation process, for me is the way that I, I stay up to speed. And obviously, after this conversation, I'm going to be jumping on this asked, and seeing how I can work that into my process as well and learn a few skills. So you know, changes the constant. And because of that, and because there's just so much content out there, it's it's, it's a necessary evil that we need to be constantly on top of our game. So I actually did a podcast episode on this on how to update your old content. And I am a big fan of sem rush going to give a shout out to them. There's a few different SEO tools you can use there. But I I love sem rush and I did a free social media marketing course with them. If if you want to I take get a certification, you can check that out as well. There's I have a data driven approach to see what content may not be performing which content is competing with other content with high views. So but at some point, we really do need to either update or redirect that old content, because it's not, it's not going to serve us well as content creators. And it's not really helping the community. But getting back to that the second point, how can marketers consume all of the blog content that's being published on a daily basis? And what you're saying is you can't what you're saying is you need to tap into a community of experts that's going to help you discover what are the bare minimum things that you need to read on a daily basis? I assume that's your answer, right? Yeah,

Yam Regev:

exactly. I did. I don't even know that. But you know, for your previous question. So I totally agree with what's going on and Google, right, if you get all those all kinds of results and stuff like that. Moreover, I think that's the core issue with Google is that even if you find a great piece of content, we tried to be relevant and even knowledge building for you, you know, some maybe someone worked quite hard. And you know what I mean, to get these results, and to target us specifically, in that, again, it doesn't mean that it can or should hold some sort of knowledge bending, or added value for you. Right, but we understood as you know, SEO is how to manipulate algorithms a little bit. We create content for the sake of creating content, we know what is the light, density for keyword stuffing and all that. So something is wrong, it's okay for consumers. I think it's really bad for for for professionals, I cannot say that Google solution is bad, of course. But I think that we can do a much better job by going vertically, vertically and focus on one thing, and then it's related to your last question. Is that, yes, your the way that you consume a knowledge or the way that you prioritize what content you want to consume, should be we can call it social, socially based, based on a lot of parameters, but also about who you are, well, what is your surroundings? What are the kinds of people that you want to be like? What are the kinds of people that you are hanging out with professionally while I'm speaking? So I think that that, we need to see how we are calculating all of those things together, you know, to create a lot of added value for each for each end user. And that's what's better than the added value, which is so missing in so many other platforms.

Neal Schaffer:

Another thing that's missing a lot of platforms and one of my favorite things to do. So I like to look for content, lots of different platforms, so I spend a lot of time on Instagram. In fact, Instagram is probably the number one network. I spend time on these days.

Yam Regev:

He says this By the way, sorry to cut you off, but Instagram, it's the most central on this so

Neal Schaffer:

not not surprised. I share A lot of content and curate a lot of content on Pinterest. And I have noticed over the past few months, this shift to Instagram as well. And me writing my influencer marketing book I mean 80% of influencer marketing budget is going to Instagram. So there's a few reasons why I'm doing this. So I love looking for social media stuff on Instagram, and I will follow few hashtags, you know, Instagram marketing tips and Pinterest marketing tips. You have one to be you know, Instagram models, posting photos and using that hashtag right. And I love reporting back to Instagram do not show for this hashtag. And I, I love doing that it makes me feel good that I'm improving the community, right and what we all see. I'm curious, therefore, on your platform, because Google search does not have the ability for me to say, please hide this in search results for the future. You know, on the front end, yes, you have a community there there thumbing up or vetting content on you know, as you go through the process, though, can users report back and say, You know what, this content really isn't good. Or maybe it was good a year ago, but it's not relevant today is that sort of feedback process built in? Yeah, we had a few

Yam Regev:

volunteer Scouters, who call them Scouters. So they scour through the feed for content and children gather, that still such such content that get in the find its way to the, to the stream to the content stream itself, these people, which are really contributing from their own time, they have direct access to the team itself. But any any user on this, it's good to remind me that because we definitely need to improve it is that can flag any sort of content. And then to say why the content is not that good, we get a lot of this, which is great. So that's, that's one thing, that the thing is that and then I'll try to wrap everything together is that a content that is not that good, or Evelo added value, you don't need to say anything about anything about it, you can, you can go to the data. And you will see that those kinds of senior marketers or profiles clicked on this content, and then they bounce back, that they bounce back four seconds after or they didn't scroll through most of the page volumes, so then you understand that there is not a lot of added value of it or something is wrong, then it's been automatically flagged by the machine, then the team, consider, we call it professional interaction, eventually, it's not the amount of likes, again, we don't have likes on the platform. But we can compare it to other blogs who talked about likes, fives, shares, comments and stuff like that, you know, very not, we can say it's just for the way that professionals are interacting with the content. And if there are a lot of shares on Facebook through this to give an article, I can guarantee you and that's deep, you know, an insider is that you need to do internal slack shares, comparing the wait for 10 or 12 Facebook shares within this. So we feel if someone is sharing their content through the rest on Slack and Trello. And all that, which is an option, it means that something is very valuable in this in this piece of content, right? In the even make sense, you will not make a photo of yourself in your Trello board, you know, in front of the on the team mobile over, we can also see and understand what are the cloud people are creating through this doctrine on Slack? So we can understand what are the knowledge graphs that they take for take from those pieces of content. And that's for later one kind of feature. So that would not have comments will have key takeaways. The premium users will be able to put in then you will not need to go to with all content probably. But you can see what is the community and again, the machines will do something and filtering for the community grabbed so as you'd like to know that to put medical practical knowledge that they consumed on the article.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, that's really compelling. You know, yeah, I'm it's funny, you You tie into something that I talked to a lot of social media dashboard companies and you know, tools, vendors, and I'm always telling them, You tell me, what if my content performs well, don't just show me, you know, the analytics, and then tell me what I need to blog more about, or what I need to curate more on, right? So you actually have, you know, you should offer a URL shortening service around zest and the analytics that use your platform allows marketers to use for their own content, that'd be really compelling. I'm sure you have a lot of business plans there. So don't want to add roadmap, but But that's really compelling. So you mentioned Instagram being the number one search, is there any other data since those that have invested an hour, their time to listen to this any other data you can share with us today? Hey, if you're a marketer, and you're not tapped into, you know, this subject, this is, you know, what are the other highly searched terms? And what are the terms just over the last year or two that you've seen gone down on the other end

Yam Regev:

to Yeah, I will show you guys all the data. I think what's really interesting is that the most search kind of a tags that we have another thing about keywords, but a tags is everything related to word of mouth. So it could be a referal in viral kinds of things. So you know, those are the keywords People use, okay, the more and more traction we get, the more users that are exist, the more they understand how we build this initiative, we started how we grew it. And we based our traction on three main things and we discuss it before the meeting. It's mainly about word of mouth. So, you know, we are speaking like we are I know like HubSpot, but we are two co founders, him have three more people who just getting bold, and a lot of black circles around our eyes, you know, we just want to create beautiful product, what we what we understood is that if the community is so integrated within the solution, and also spreading the world, for this, it can be bad. But Walden can be good worlds. And in our in our favor, we can say that the word of mouth is good is almost 70% of the overall traction that we that we generate, especially within companies and teams. So we got a lot of videos of people shooting their the home screens, and the computers of their colleagues, and phone and mobile screens and all that. So when there is no one in the room, you can see that all the screens are open, we say that if it's a mobile, you know, desktop, and I think that's the best word of mouth, then we asked the users, a lot of user surveys, so as the users why. So they said, first of all, the UI is quite good, I can say maybe even more than good. So people want to show it. So it off, you can say. And then it also makes them feel, maybe the others feel they are smarter, because they are gaining knowledge in the best, the best kind of way. So they just leave this open on the screens. Right. So that's the classic example for word of mouth, I can tell you that a few few months ago, a user shootout, a jingle, for this. So it's really catchy, you know, we thought it was super cool. It's a you know, it's a cool, goofy dude with a black shirt and Skeletor on his shirt. And you know, he's really authentically things about that. And then it started like competition of jingles between users who create create the best jingle for, you know, we didn't do anything, it's just the sort of effect right of movement effect. But for that the other two channels that we work with are a publication or content marketing and influences that we work with. And when, you know, we could say, open influences or publications of mentioning they're still there, they can choose an article that got approved and distilled in within the content stream that we can increase the exposure of this one. So everyone all sides of getting added value, we're not manipulating anything, or create or using ADS, or stuff like that. So this is the way that we, that we group, and the best example was months ago, two months ago, before we launched the mobile apps. And over there, we found something that really solved the pain for a lot of users. And that's how we are all self learners. And we said a different self learners, it doesn't mean that we need to be alone. So we created the movement of tribal self learners, that's about what it's all about tribal self learners, you don't need to be alone, we do it all together. And then each one of the users, we created some sort of beautiful banner for them. And each one of the users at work wanted to be part of the campaign, just shared on on Facebook or LinkedIn, the self learning story, now they go themselves. And then I said to the day that, you know, your KPIs, like five posts, eventually they were more than 300 posts from different users, we started to get a lot of reach out from users who say why I'm not in them in this campaign, I want to be also in it. And you know, it was really, we created some sort of big movement of users who just wanted to be part of the solution and what we, what we reflect and what we have to fight, that we're going to empower each other, and especially on you. So that's a great example, for community growth, or community led kind of platform that relies on its own users to not only become better product wise, but also to grow and track more new users in

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, yeah, that's, that's a fantastic case study of its own. And it's funny when I do a lot of, you know, speaking, and one of the areas I spend a lot of time is Japan, where they're actually a little bit behind on digital marketing in general, believe it or not, especially on social media marketing. But when I talk about influencer marketing, they get it really quickly. And the reason is, you know, when I talk to all these business owners, I asked them, How did you start your business? How did you get going? It's all word of mouth, right? That's how businesses usually start. Unless they have huge VC, you know, funds that they can do a lot of paid advertising at the start, but for most businesses is word of mouth. And I think that as I almost done writing my book and influencer marketing, that most companies want to go outside of their community for ideas and promotion when their best promoters are actually part of their community, their their, their fans, their their customers, right. And I think that what you talk about is also something that I recommend, we can consider each one of those people now because you have a marketing platform, some of those people might actually be influential in their industries, right within marketing. But you know, those are your influencers. And even on Instagram, these days, a nano influencer could come down to someone with 500 followers. But the 500 followers, they, they're, you know, they're strong in a niche, it's a strong community, the social algorithms will actually give them more impressions, percentage wise, because they are smaller rather than a larger entity. So yeah, you've been able to tap into that, and, you know, campaigns, you know, share a blog post, it's all it's all stuff that I think is really relevant to any business to think about a way. So when you talk about, well, you know, word of mouth being a very popular search term. That was the end goal of social media in general, right was, hey, if someone likes something on a Facebook page, and it gets into the feed of the friends of fans, it goes viral. And, and I think obviously, that's very, very hard for companies to do without tapping into other people. Now, it's not going to happen organically, and even paid with the way that we shut out just that sponsored, as one of my clients said, and it's a millennial render the social media, if we boost the post, it's going to make us look like we're desperate, which is the impression that many may get from a paid advertisement, really, the only way forward is through inciting word of mouth through other users. And that's where it's going to be influences, whether your customers, whether they are influencers, that do not have brand affinity with you, or whether they are employees when we talk about employee advocacy. So that's the conclusion I've come to. And that's why I'm, you know, devoting so much in writing this book, and it sounds like it's also been the secret to your success. So now, it's been fantastic. Yeah, one thing that we did not cover. So if I want to learn and get exposed to great marketing content, what are the features if I wanted to shift to using Zack as my content creation platform? So yes, I'm going to go through to learn. But as I mentioned, my own process is I'll aggregate RSS feeds, I'll categorize them based on keywords. And then I'll look at each category and try to stay up to date on what the filters show me from all these, I probably have 80 or 90 Different RSS feeds in my aggregator. So but, but this is also within a social media tool that I'm able to easily share and schedule social media. So it's part of my process. If I use ask, How do I then take that content that I really like and share it? Is it basically I go to the blog post? I'm just natively sharing it from there? Or does this have any built in social sharing tools?

Yam Regev:

Yeah, so that was fun. We have a few products, right? We have one new tab extension, which was our CO product they till they one month ago, okay, our growth went a seal there. Most of our users there, we didn't mention it, we have a little bit more than one other 1000 users. Again, we're still using still using the Chrome

Neal Schaffer:

extension. And these are 100,000 marketers, not just users, but they're all like us, right? Yeah, yeah, it's compelling.

Yam Regev:

Most of them from the US a lot of a European guys, Asia, but um, yeah, a lot of you know, all of them are marketers. And you know, we live by the internet, the whole of 1%. This is our benchmark. So 99 one, right? Actually, 90% of them are consumers, 9% of them, contributed the content 1% them, help us help us even in the past, to make sure that the content has been distilled correctly, and they moderated the content. So this is a great benchmark to try and stick to. And I think that, if it's on if you use the Basel extension, so we also have our own icon on your browser. And then you can, from any page, you can share what you want. And wherever you are. And if you want to contribute to the to the tribe into the community. We have also a web real real web a product, a web based product, which is a the URL is distilled.this.is. So it's exactly like the Chrome New Tab extension. But it's just sit on the web, and under under the subdomain. And WWF suggest the link, CTA. And we released the mobile app, which is our core products now right now for iOS and Android. But we released an MVP was defined that we cannot release it without the suggestion option there without being able to contribute your content. But we're reading it right now. So once you once you will consume content on your mobile and you want to share it to the rest, I believe I need to ask my co founder and CTO right when we're going to launch this feature. But I assume within the next two to three weeks, where you will be able to share any kind of content Tuesdays through your mobile device without needing to go to some weird subdomains and above all, tomorrow, I think will be maybe autumn Oh, next week. So I believe that we're going to launch and our superior contributors webpage, which is something that people wanted to have, because we understood that people will be involved in what we do. And that's I think, genuinely like for everything I do if you give them my money, fame, of good cause. So we cannot pay right now at this stage. And we understood that people are Using this 1% and 9%, right from the 99. One, a model. So the 9% of people who want to get a little bit more fame to pay their own professional profile on zest through this, and they, of course, we get more exposure for the content have been suggested and the proof, but we never said, you know, Well done, guys, you're the best whatever a database contributor in the past week, you have the highest suggestion score. So just score with a simple score that they calculate, you know, how many, how many pieces of content you contribute and got accepted, compared to the total accepted articles that you contributed on this. So I think tomorrow next week, we'll have a term. And finally, which is great, because we are here to, you know, amplify and empower our users. And that's something that is twofold for products. By the way, what's the what we're doing in content marketing, for instance, I'm writing on social media today, another few tech publications, you will see whether it's a content marketing that we do, or PR marketing that we do, or whatever, you will say, quotes and names and links to profiles of test users. Again, it's all about empowering the users, we see ourselves just the facilitators of the community, or the or the brand, or the product in the platform. So we're just here to facilitate others and really, to empower them. So we're giving back saying, or credit wherever we can.

Neal Schaffer:

So I understand now that I can use the Chrome extension and your mobile app at some point, too, if I find something on the internet that I want to contribute to zest that I get, but what about within zest, I find great content. And I want to schedule that directly inside zest to share in social media, ideally, with sort of a scheduler, is that a functionality that you offer? Or what you're saying is we're just exposing this great content. After you read the content, please share it with whatever social media tool that you use, which which which of the two is is your, your solution,

Yam Regev:

right, that feature suggestion, we have it on a on Asana, I can say that it's on the roadmap, but I cannot see us get into it that early. So you still cannot a your content. What other social media platforms like you do is I don't know where buffer on and stuff like that. I think that it's all about internal content consumption. Yeah. Right. That by that will be able to expand to give other kinds of a other kind of fair solutions. And so yes, I hope that we'll get there and soon. And for that, we need more firepower. And you know, this is why we are fundraising. We have some fundraising insults and all that. So

Neal Schaffer:

yeah, yeah. Because I'm trying to remember the the platform that did that where you share content, and instead of going to the page, it could take people back to that content on zest. So it could be a natural way to obviously get amazing amount of awareness and traffic back to your site, whether you want to add an extra step into allowing people to see the content and having to, you know, be a gateway. That's that's a whole philosophical issue that I'm sure you'll have to deal with. But yeah, it would be great if there was a way to schedule but on the other hand, the core really is that you're going to consume that content. So why would you actually go back to zest to schedule that if you're already consuming that somewhere else? So that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, um, I want to thank you for being our guests. You talked about Instagram, one of the things that a lot of us talk about an Instagram marketing is actually training our community. So our community may not be used to swiping up, right, it's not a natural thing to swipe up in order to access a link, but we have to remind them and tell them and educate them, in order that they'll do it. And over time they learn and they do it. Or maybe you'll for my own personal perspective, I don't post a lot of professional content on Instagram, but I've started to do that. And, you know, I asked for questions, you know, what do you think, should I do it, and slowly I do it. And I need to train people to to understand this is what I'm doing and to accept that content. And to hey, you know, this is another area where you can find my content on this topic. So I do believe that a lot of this is that that training aspect. And I believe you're providing a you know, an awesome platform that's going to allow us to use it in a very different way. Not in the same way as we think of another just ordinary content creation platform, but really, as a learning platform. So I think that those 100,000 members that are already active members have gotten that for those of you that haven't, you're just gonna have to check it out. You have any closing notes,

Yam Regev:

just keep on learning and then going I think that's the that's the main thing a use others to do it in the scene that that's the best for for success. Yeah,

Neal Schaffer:

a event that I went to in Tokyo, which was focused on marketing education. The analogy was marketers like samurai and you always need to be sort of sharpening your knife because you You never know who's going to hire you where you're going to end Right. And I think that in today's in today's world, obviously, you know, what's the average time that a CMO is that a company is what like, you know, 18 months I forget what it is. So I think as marketers, we always need to be honing our skills, sharpening our knives, testing out our you know, whatever it is, whatever military analogy you want to use. But But yeah, we always need to be doing that. So thank you for creating an awesome platform. Once again. It's that's that is. Thanks. Again, thank you all for listening and for your content and engagement. And if there is someone you'd like me to interview for the show or for the live stream, feel free to drop it in the comments, either here or on the blog post or even on the YouTube channel. The um, thank you again. It's been great having you on and everybody, wherever you're on the world. I wish you a great social day.