Hi Pedro! You’ve been a part of the Growth team for over 2 years now. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’d say my path, so far, has been filled with different areas of interest.
I’m part of the marketing team but I have a Degree in Biology and a Masters Degree in Forensic Genetics. In an alternate universe where I did not apply to Infraspeak, I’m now a little depressed, missing most of my hair and smack in the middle of a PhD on mathematical models for incestuous kinship tests, with degraded DNA samples, or something. I know, I know. It’s a little sad, but it’d probably be true.
I landed in biology almost randomly and a lot of it was due to not quite knowing what I was looking for at the time. To be perfectly honest, the thing I loved the most during my degree was the time I spent working on other projects.
Around that time, me and my friend started an entertainment and comedy blog that ended up gathering tens of thousands of followers and over 13 million page views in a year. That ‘adventure’ ultimately made me more interested in content and marketing (and content marketing) so I started developing some of the skills I now use daily. From copywriting to SEO, including, of course, some extremely unfortunate and inadequate wordplay.
Meanwhile, I went through a phase where I thought Forensic Genetics was exactly what I wanted to do. I finished my Masters’ Degree (top of the class!) but then I realised I hated it and if i had to hear anybody mentioning ‘DNA Samples’ to me again, the next DNA the police lab was going to analyse was mine.
With that in mind, I decided to dedicate myself to what I had enjoyed doing the most until then…et voilà! Shortly after, my name was popping up in Duarte’s (Duarte Silva, Chief of Staff) inbox.
I was also part of the communication team, as a volunteer, of Associação Animais de Rua (an animal protection organisation) for several months, which is something I’m still very proud of.
Before Infraspeak you had a comedy project and now you work in content management. How was it having to adapt to topics such as facility or maintenance management with that kind of background?
Adapting was fairly simple. I had never written about maintenance before, but that’s the case for many other topics and the solution is always the same: start writing! A competent content creator needs to be able to adapt to different subjects, positionings, voicing or target-audiences. All you have to do is to study, get creative, and be consistent. I didn’t come to Infraspeak because I’m an expert in maintenance. I joined the team because I’m a good content creator.
However, the way you phrased the question demonstrates the ‘apparent’ distance between facility or maintenance management and comedy.
I say ‘apparent’ because in reality, it’s not quite like that. I believe it’s always a good idea to make marketing and content with a touch of humor, even in B2B communication. Behind every desk at any company is someone who enjoys laughing and seeing themselves in a joke, or in a funny anecdote related to their job.
In industries with a tendency for technical content and boring messaging (I’m not going to say that’s our case, but it is, totally), humor can very well be a differentiating element that allows you to gain your market’s attention or even establish authority in a certain subject since you don’t often joke about something unless you’re comfortable with the topic.
In my case, I think I didn’t just adapt to facility management through humor, but I was also able to use it to shape Infraspeak’s tone of voice, which is something I consider extremely positive.
You work in SEO which for most people. might as well be a made-up word. This is your chance! Tell us what you really do for Infraspeak (no making up new words, please).
Before I start, I want to mention that several people mix ‘SEO’ with ‘CEO’ which is amazing because I always think that I’m managing Infraspeak’s CEO and have been able to, slowly, make him a little better. You’re welcome, Felipe (Felipe Ávila da Costa, CEO).
In a nutshell, my work in SEO is to increase the volume and quality of Infraspeak’s website traffic, doing what I can to make us rank better in the organic results for relevant keyword searches. This organic positioning and the subsequent conversion that derives from it, allows us to reduce our average cost per lead and in some cases, become our main source of inbound lead generation in the long term.
For that to be possible, it’s absolutely necessary to create quality content that satisfies the search intent (the reason why a search happens) and that is optimised according to Google guidelines. At the same time, we need to make sure our content is well aligned with our brand and Infraspeak’s goals, so that we can create opportunities to increase conversion. You can reach this balance with a solid content marketing strategy and a lot of research on the interests and pain-points of our market, our industry and our competition.
In addition to SEO, I’m also responsible for planning, producing, reviewing and managing all content Infraspeak produces, among other things. I do Product Marketing and I’m occasionally used as a human Google Translate with the main difference being that I get sad and cry every time someone asks me to translate something.
And in your opinion, what’s the importance of a solid content marketing strategy in reaching our company’s goals?
A content marketing strategy only works if it’s focused on the client and his or her problems. If you only talk about yourself, you’re losing ground to those who are actually solving those problems. From the moment you create content that offers solutions for problems, entertains or informs, you’re also creating additional value and showing authority in a specific topic, which creates a trusting relationship with your customer. This increases your chance of conversion and contributes to accurately position the brand as an industry reference.
Infraspeak’s content marketing has to always be focused on understanding and satisfying the needs of our audience and our clients. Understand what’s the type of content industry professionals want, fine tune our strategy based on the feedback you receive and provide them with those solutions. Of course, distributing content is also key because not everything you do should be published or distributed across all channels. One of the most frequent mistakes in Content Marketing (and I’m guilty of this myself) is to spend a lot of time, effort and money creating amazing content and then fail at distributing it properly.
Remote working is not something uncommon at Infraspeak, mainly due to how loud Customer Success keeps blasting Carl Cox while the rest of us tries to work. With COVID-19, remote working became mandatory. How did you adapt?
In a way, it was very easy to adapt to go fully remote and a lot of it was because I already did it regularly. I’ve been productive and I think I benefit from the asynchronous communication that comes with it. I’m someone who enjoys thinking before saying anything so when I don’t have the time to do that, I don’t get to contribute as much as I’d want (which is another way of saying I may not contribute much at all).
For the world in general, I think that the main challenge is to separate the personal life with your work life because suddenly, it’s all in the same space. For me, the main challenges are mostly physical, from having a bad posture. I don’t have a good chair at home, nor the right office equipment such as a more elevated second monitor. When I realise, I have my head around the same level as my chest which, when you consider my spine is made out of pasta, creates the perfect conditions for a lot of back pain. I swear most of the time I look like three kids in a raincoat.
My neighbours also enjoy very loud music and the occasional hammering, for some reason, which ends up simulating the experience of working right next to Customer Success. I admit I sometimes miss not being able to write because the wall behind me is gently and rhythmically hitting me in the back like I’m in the middle of a mosh pit at Tomorrowland.
It’s like going to physical therapy, just a lot more awful.
And what do you miss the most?
I’d say the thing I miss the most is the comfort and work conditions I had at the office and, of course, the long discussions about ridiculous ‘what ifs’ we used to have when we were supposed to be working.
Last but not least, our new office is open and Sofia Matos (Head of People & Culture) has given you unlimited budget to pick three things for the office. What do you choose?
If you consider what I just said, the first thing would be a full-time massage or physical therapist. The second thing would have to be one of those machines that shoot ping-pong balls at you so I could replace Francisco (Francisco Sousa, Brand Marketing Executive) when he’s not at the office. Ideally with a varying difficulty so I can set it on low for additional realism.
Lastly, an entire wall made by Vihls with my face on it so that I can remind Sofia to not give this kind of freedom away so easily.
Pedro Machado is Infraspeak’s Content Manager. Thank you, Pedro!