Dani Peterman, Brand Marketing Lead

Posted on Feb 12, 2023

Episode: S03E03

Podcast Guest: Dani Peterman
Role: Brand Marketing Lead
Company: Coho.ai

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Social media. You either use it or you’re….probably not reading this. But just like eating pizza – sometimes many times a week – does not a pizza chef make, so too posting crappy posts once a week does not turn you into a social media guru. Especially not one like Dani Peterman. He’s had hand’s on experience crafting company brands on social media that seem like they have way, way more resources behind them than I’ve come to learn. And they’re fun to follow too! So in this post, I got him to share his playbook (which is shockingly simple), explain a few tricks of the trades that make brands take off, and talk about his tool stack (spoiler alert, it’s just LinkedIn’s native tool and some productivity tools). Give it a whirl and then check out:

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Eytan: Can I talk about macaroni and cheese for a second. It’s my comfort food. And I like making it almost as much as I love eating it.

[00:00:12] But there’s one time right after my daughter was born, a friend brought over Mac and cheese and it blew my mind. It wasn’t fancy. It was just made perfectly. Pasta so El Dante, I had to learn the term El Dante. So for the next 20 minutes, I’m going to talk about the perfect Mac and cheese, the importance of emulsifying sauces, why high quality, cheese matters and more.

[00:00:32] But I’m just kidding. That’s another podcast. But in this episode of marketers and capes, We’re going to take something commonplace, something you use every day, the Mac and cheese of marketing. And we’re going to talk about how a Michelin star chef would approach it. If my analogy is getting you confused. It’s me not you. Whom I ate and Bachmann the host of marketers and capes. Today, we’re going to take social media and crack it wide open with an expert. My social media skills or like my Mac and cheese. They’re good. But they’re not great. Like my aunt Louise, who is commenting well in her eighties. And her still pale in comparison to Danny. So stay tuned. We’re going to talk about Danny’s playbook that has enrolling with tens of thousands of followers.

[00:01:14] The skills, a social media expert to come packing and more, but first meet Danny.

[00:01:20] Dani Peterman: My name is Danny Peterman. I’m currently brand marketing lead at Coho, which is a small startup of almost 20 people. Most of my career has been in organic social media first at an agency with clients, customers and then two companies with a, with another one for a few months doing it in-house. The big one was WalkMe and recently I moved to Coho from Lusha started from scratch there. Really got this LinkedIn page with 2,700 followers, something like that. And grew it to 35,000 organically. Now just trying to build coho from scratch in terms of brand, social content, pr everything in, in anything.

[00:02:08] Eytan: Social media is not just an auto-post to my space. When you update your tumbler, it’s gone beyond that. Here’s how Danny explains the role of social media to his grandma.

[00:02:19] Dani Peterman: I think at this point my grandma has a Facebook account, so she knows social media in this like essence that things are happening, online, conversations are happening, and you wanna be a part of it. You wanna be a part of it. As an individual and you wanna be a part of it as a brand, as a company.

[00:02:35] That is the basic premise of it, just to be part of the conversation. And once you kinda understand that level, you can understand on a deeper level that no one likes a person that only talks about themselves. Just like no one likes a company to be part of the conversation and just, just advertise about themselves because it’s just not interesting.

[00:02:59] And so that’s a second layer to it. And I guess the third one, which I understood over time and. , I guess it can only come after doing it for a while, is that when you do, when you’re running ads you have a certain, you build a an audience, from the get-go what the audience size is, whether you are using Google or Facebook or LinkedIn for your ads or whatever.

[00:03:26] And pretty much. You reach out to them, they will convert, a certain percentage will convert and they will become your customers. Great, wonderful roi. Positive, perfect,

[00:03:38] but only with brand. You can reach new audiences that you didn’t expect to reach because they weren’t in your target audience that you’ve built from the get-go or that LinkedIn built for you or Google built for you and.

[00:03:53] For that, you need to provide value, you need to provide content, you need to provide, you need to be part of a bigger conversation than just, here’s what my service can do for you. This is very it’s a very limited conversation. And so if you come to me and say, Hey, Danny, wanna be on my podcast, great.

[00:04:10] I say, yes, and this is where it ends. Wonderful. We got a nice conversation. You get a piece of content, I get some exposure out there. Wonderful. But what if we become friends and we start a monthly conversation about our issues, then suddenly it becomes a much bigger thing that the fact that I was on your podcast or that we had some, like a business relationship, it becomes much bigger with a much more potential.

[00:04:36] And you never know where it leads. But the problem is that it’s hard to track.

[00:04:40] Eytan: So just to recap, step one, talk. Step two. Don’t just talk about yourself and step three, engage.

[00:04:47] Of course that’s easier said than done. So here’s Danny’s playbook. Or macaroni recipes since I’m in the mood of dragging out a tired analogy for way too long.

[00:04:58] Dani Peterman: So I think the first thing is heavy research. If you haven’t started it already, like the posting, it’s okay to wait a bit like the goal isn’t to. Just, ah, here’s 50,000 posts about this topic. That’s not the goal. The goal is to tell the story of the company and of the industry and of the pain points that your audience is looking to solve.

[00:05:21] And for that you need to know How to actually, understand this new industry. So for me, one of the things that I do, I did here and I did done in the past is just make my LinkedIn feed a learning feed. So I just connect with all the biggest influencers in this industry.

[00:05:39] Even if I find the content, somewhat boring, sometimes it doesn’t matter. I need to see what they’re talking about. So I’ll talk about that as well. And at LU it was salespeople. Like my whole feed became of the sales tips, sales insights, reports whatever. And now it’s more customer success and product and growth because that’s what coho is solving.

[00:06:02] So I just Googled top 50 customer success influencers and just connected with all of them at once. People see LinkedIn as this yeah, it’s a social network obviously, but to me it’s like a, it’s al also a learning tool , I’m always on LinkedIn and. It just becomes part of your day.

[00:06:19] Like between task, I kinda glance into LinkedIn, I refresh the page, send me, I see a post. I’m like, oh, okay. That’s interesting. I’ll remember that.

[00:06:27] Eytan: Okay. Pause this go follow the top 20 folks in your space. Zone out and your LinkedIn feed for awhile and let’s move on to part two.

[00:06:36] Dani Peterman: In terms of actual kind of efforts on the platform. It depends on how much time you have and how much resources you have.

[00:06:43] So to me it’s always choose a cadence stick to. and then ramp up when you have more time and opportunity to do more. So can you, after, let’s say two, three weeks of research post once a week, most people can, do you have design resources? No. Okay. Start with the text post. Start with the poll.

[00:07:07] Start with three tips. Start with, work with what you got. . You start with that. You build a calendar every Monday. That’s my weekly post. That’s it. Start with that. Carry on with your day. You have other tasks and some. Then you see, okay, I have more time. Can you boost it to two posts a week?

[00:07:29] you can, great, can you make a mix out of those? Can one be text, one be an image? Can one be a poll? One be a link to a, an interesting article or to your blog post, for example. So once you do okay, two times, two posts a week. One is a text, one is a blog post, one is a poll, one is a PR article.

[00:07:51] Now we have two weeks worth of content. All different from each other, the posts, and now you can even duplicate it. Okay, so the next text post will be only in two weeks. So people start to get different kinds of content and it doesn’t feel like you’re hammering the same point with the same format again and again.

[00:08:13] Eytan: So you have your cadence, your occasional format mixes, and now you start to introduce your unique take.

[00:08:19] Dani Peterman: I’ll just say this kind of goes against that, but if you have something that’s unique to you, some resource, let’s say you came in, social is non-existent, but the blog is big and there’s many readers. . Wonderful. Use that as your main resource. Take insights from there. Take infographics from there.

[00:08:37] Create polls based on certain blog posts. Wonderful. If you have a big company, like one of the things I’ve done at Lusha was, okay, I didn’t have any resources, but we had employees there was like 70 employees when I joined. Okay. Maybe writing content with employees is your resource. Great. We started right, helping employees write, and the first quarter we did that, we had 300,000 impressions on LinkedIn from the employee posts.

[00:09:05] Eytan: It’s kind of scary how simple Danny makes it sound. It’s marketing mastermind a second to learn a lifetime to master. So let’s level up. There’s two general themes that Danny kept on coming back to in our conversation. One finding a controversial edge and two: sticking to real-time marketing. Let’s start with controversy because if it works for the evening news, it works for me. And like the evening news coverage of an election, we start with a poll.

[00:09:31] Dani Peterman: The thing about polls is that it’s a good way to be somewhat controversial. Because you’re splitting the answer. And if there’s any topic within your industry that’s, there’s opinions here and there. And the good thing about a poll is that you can choose like right in the middle and a little bit to the right, and right in the middle and a little bit to the left. For example, like one of the best polls that we had at Lusha, we were helping, like we had prospecting tools, right? So we helped people reach out to audiences and I asked how much time do you spend researching a prospect before you reach out to now you can do the brackets, you can do zero to 10 minutes or 11 to 20 or, and then everybody will just be zero to 10.

[00:10:14] or you can do zero to three or four to six, and then you’re right in the middle that people are like, ah, I need to put my opinion on this. But even if you don’t do polls per se, this is just the format, right? Just that. , somewhat controversialness, whether you’re writing a post, a blog post, or a social post, or you’re doing a PR with the thought leadership or you’re helping your CEO write a social post. It needs to be something that’s just a little bit, on the edge of the normal opinion and it’s like the opposite of SEO content. Because SEO is usually more generic and it needs to just, have all the keywords and everybody needs to kindly agree on it. And so for it to be as popular as possible within the search rankings and stuff like that, but here it’s no, this is a one of a kind.

[00:11:06] Thought or an idea or a little bit of being on the edge goes a long way because it compels people to comment.

[00:11:12] Eytan: Finding controversy doesn’t just mean pissing people off here is an amazing example.

[00:11:17] Dani Peterman: I think the biggest one was recently that we had the data video that kind of took over and went viral in Israel. Our HR recruiting team said we need to recruit data people. So we just sat down with the creative team and, worked hours on, on thinking of ideas and angles and all that and suddenly I really remembered this setup because, One of the guys are actually videographer, Gil.

[00:11:45] He said, but wait, how do you say it? Data or data? It was just like a joke, like on the fly thing. And I was like, whoa, wait, I’ve seen memes because I live on the internet. I’ve seen memes talk exactly about that. And it goes back to the split having different opinions on the same topic kind of thing.

[00:12:03] I was like wait. , there’s memes about it, and again, didn’t see the value in it, but the third person who was like our team leader, Shai, he came from like advertising agencies and he knows how to spot a good idea and he was like wait. He pointed something you said The conversation already exists.

[00:12:22] Let’s just hammer, go right deep into it. And so it was like this magical moment. And we just did the whole thing in-house. We wrote the script. We used employees. We found all the content, we edited in-house, everything was in-house. And it just went completely viral with over half a million views. The LinkedIn exploded.

[00:12:45] All the PR agencies, all the, sorry publications posted about it. And then last, a couple months ago, we won the best video of the year for employer branding,

[00:12:56] Eytan: one other thing that came up a lot is that social media happens in real time. So that’s where social media experts need to live.

[00:13:05] Dani Peterman: So be prepared. to, to ha to do things on the fly. And it’s not easy because you like to plan things and you have a calendar and all these, everybody wants to be like neat and organized and all that.

[00:13:19] But I can tell you that when I was working closely with the design team I always ask them in advance for less than I would need be. Meaning let’s say I know that I have two posts this. and I can ask for two designs, but I always asked one design because then when I come to them like, listen, something happened. Something’s in the news. I want to comment now.

[00:13:46] 2023-01-17–t09-03-00am–guest436466–dani-peterman: Like,

[00:13:46] Dani Peterman: I need a design now. 95% of the time, designers were like, we’re on it

[00:13:54] Eytan: Speaking of that living in the now there’s three other things that popped up as important for quality social media marketing. Learning the lingo, taking advantage of internal assets, and tooling.

[00:14:05] Dani Peterman: When you work with these kinds of cadences, it’s very much like a routine. You wake up in the morning, you brush your. . You get dressed. You don’t feel like these things took resources from your mind. It’s all automatic. You just do it. You wake up, you just do it. And so once you have cadences of content creation, of publishing, dates of, it’s just there.

[00:14:29] It’s just you know that every day, half an hour will go on creating today’s post and it’s just there. And you move on and it takes time to get into it. Like the first post that I worked on took time because I needed to learn the language. I needed to learn the audience, and I could sit a full day on two posts. By the time I left, it was like, I had days of oh shit I need to post something today. And it was like 10 minutes later I had something.

[00:14:56] Eytan: Okay. So if we’re talking about needing to find something to post today, The search should begin with a very Zen within.

[00:15:04] Dani Peterman: I used to do like the social media of PWC Israel and I had so much content in my hands.

[00:15:10] It was wonderful because they’re constantly putting out reports and predictions and all these McKinsey type of very big corporatey places. They have so much to work with and I do have comments and if I was their social media person, maybe I would’ve done things differently but sitting on this wealth of data and insights, it’s just amazing.

[00:15:33] And I think there’s so much that can be done with it because at the end of the day, for a social media person, there’s this tension between what do I lean on that’s already happening in the company and I’m the person that’s putting it out there, and what do I need to create on my because I don’t have other things to lean on. Like I, I feel like every big company, the social media person has very little room to think of original ideas that are not based on something that’s already happening, because a big company has so much stuff going on then your job should be to focus on how do I take everything that’s happening here and make it interesting and make it creative and put it in the the best way to, to attract as many eyeballs as I can.

[00:16:19] Eytan: And since I’m a tool nerd, I asked Danny what he uses. The man’s a purist though for which my credit card will thank him.

[00:16:26] Dani Peterman: so I I’ve tried different tools over the years for like scheduling and analytics and all these things, and I just found that social media is flexible and keeps changing all the time that all these tools That are integrate with one platform, they don’t necessarily integrate with the different platform that or your analytics change because the native platform changed some of its analytics. Even at peak activity at Lusha, I was posting once a day, four times a week. So if I’m only posting once a day, I can just go natively and post it.

[00:17:07] Eytan: Ultimately though everything needs to make dollars in order to make sense. And social media can be kind of nebulous. You can’t just get paid in likes. So how does Danny justify his social existence or social media existence? Really really well, actually.

[00:17:22] Dani Peterman: I don’t know how to I. Put a number on it, but I know that I’ve been tagged in more conversation on LinkedIn than I’ve ever before. I’ve been reached out to my messaging inbox. When I say, I mean like a C E O or a C M O saying. Oh, I saw your posts, or, oh, I enjoy your content. Or suddenly I get invited to speak at an event that I’ve never been invited before. I remember the president of Lusha, which we were working on his LinkedIn presence, he used to tell me that the investors of the company, every time they meet they’re like, oh, really? Enjoying your content. , you get this, I like to refer it as like the oil in the engine of the machine. Like when you build an engine, you don’t put the oil from like the first moment. You first need the parts. So it’s okay, you build the machine of like leg gen and SEO and everything technically stands, but now like where’s the. How will it run fluidly and get you the best results? And for that, you need someone who can write, someone who can understand the audience, someone who knows the the language, someone who can do things on the spot and make quick pivots. Someone who can be of help to many different departments.

[00:18:41] So if it’s the PPP C then maybe help them write copy. If it’s for content and the distribution how do you distribute that content throughout the, the web the whole connection of pr, social content, thought leadership, all these things go together as well. So you just see more and more connections. And I’ve been, for me it was always, Put the, like tentacles of an octopus into more things. And by the time I left Lucia, I was doing social and helping with creative. And I was in charge of employer branding. And at the end of the day, even if you can’t measure, and we could somewhat, it would be silly to say, oh, this person is not ROI positive for my organization. And even maybe the biggest thing about it is that you work without a budget. Like , my budget was very limited, mostly for tools and and maybe certain subscriptions to certain websites.

[00:19:40] Eytan: Ultimately the most interesting part of this interview for me is that much like most of marketing, this is not rocket science. Danny’s entire strategy, which has proven to work again and again, is listening, finding the right wedges for content, leaning into them and adding some creativity. The Mac and cheese analogy does work just as well here as it works for my dinner. The ingredients are simple, but to do it really well, you need to do it deliberately and consistently. you can follow more of Danny’s stuff on LinkedIn, obviously where he practically lives. My name is Aidan Beckman. You can find some of my stuff at Backman dot. And I’ve got some Mac and cheese to make. Maybe it was some controversial ingredients like basil. Or Bazell who time to make a video.