Journey into Tech
Hi Fara, tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to take up the role at ManyChat?
Great question. I never imagined being in the world of technology. However, over the years, I’ve had to learn how to use various technologies to improve content creation efficiency and distribution. As I grew in my career, I discovered more and more technologies to be successful—and I found the technology fascinating. So, when the opportunity to join the ManyChat team came up, I first dug into the world of Chat Marketing, Bots, and Facebook Messenger.
Again, I thought this was a very neat channel for content marketers to learn. It was new and interesting. I immediately saw the value that I could bring while learning more about technology, and now I’m hooked. It’s fun to be part of a team that is constantly innovating, listening to their community, and teaching people. Hearing back from our community about how our product helped change their life is priceless.
As a woman leader in the Chat Messaging industry, what are the most unique challenges you face at your workplace? How do you tackle these?
I am fortunate that I have not faced many challenges. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or I haven’t experienced it. What I’ve learned is that at the end of the day, numbers speak. So I know I need to do a good job to reach my goals and show the numbers. And that’s what I focused on. I have spent time learning how to voice my opinion in a respectable manner and not be afraid to speak up while learning other team member’s opinions and trying to understand where they are coming from.
Now, beginning my career is a different story. I was nervous to voice my thoughts or even say “No”. I do think this comes with experience, but also having a support group to help you navigate these challenges. I do participate in women’s networking groups as well as speak with some mentors. My advice to other women who experience challenges, do not let this deter your goals. Keep your chin up, find your support, learn, learn, learn and hit your numbers.
Oh and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. I was the worst at this. I was so scared to say “I don’t understand this” and then go off and try to figure out what someone meant. Don’t waste your time! Now I say, “I am not understanding this” or “Just to make sure I have this right, blah, blah, blah”. I actually was taught this from a Senior Editor when I was working as a journalist to understand the quote from an interview. And, I use this to navigate my day-to-day now.
How do you analyze your content in comparison to Facebook Messenger, RingCentral, and WeChat? What makes your content unique?
I look at what content did we share and how did it perform. Is it clicked? Did it drive traffic to the site? Did the user ultimately take the action we wanted them to take?
What is ManyChat and how you help businesses monetize Marketing campaigns?
ManyChat is a Chat Marketing platform that is used by over 1M small businesses and 200,000 Marketing agencies around the world. ManyChat helps small businesses grow by making it easier for them to manage and personalize customer conversations across channels and turn them into loyal relationships through a single platform.
We help businesses send messages and promotions through chat, automate and personalize customer responses, or connect them to a live agent if needed. In addition, we integrate with tools that SMB owners already use like Shopify, PayPal, HubSpot, Facebook, and Google to help drive results at the best return on investment.
The coolest part about ManyChat is that whether our customers need to use us for booking an appointment, sending a purchase confirmation, or responding to common customer questions, we help them manage conversations across SMS, Facebook Messenger, and e-mail all in one place.
When you look back into the past, which Content Marketing platforms and tools do you really miss having or working with?
To be quite frank, I use a little of this and that. I still love a good old word doc to write my content. Google docs is a great tool too because it allows me to collaborate with the team and edit at once. I still have an actual dictionary on my desk, I love looking up things in there instead of the web. Of course, I find newer tools amazing because it makes me and my team more efficient.
What drives the current competition in the ‘Content Economy’? What lessons did you learn from your journey at ManyChat?
I’m a storyteller at heart. So when I first think about the Content Economy and competition, I think ‘What can we do as a brand to define our content and set us apart’? And the first thing I think about is “our story”. I don’t care what the subject is, you have to find the story. You have to find something to grab the attention in this heavily populated digital space. You can give me a fork and I can then think of 50 different story ideas that go beyond just the object you see. I take this approach with content.
In addition, I listen to our community and look at the data. I can’t find my story without listening to what the community wants and what is performing well (thank goodness for analytics!) That brings me to SEO….can we have an hour of lessons learned here? I don’t care what industry you’re in, you need to have a digital presence and get on the SEO train. Here’s a little secret, SEO will also give you new story ideas. So you can figure out what’s being searched, create stories around while answering your community and reaching new audiences thanks to Google searches. Win-win.
In every idea executed, there is always a lesson. Whether its how to be more efficient in creating the content or distributing it, there is something to be taught. If our community still has questions about a specific product feature, I know I need to do a better job in our story. While it’s great to look at what performed well and double down on those efforts. It’s also important to look at what did not perform well and make tweaks to see how you can turn that around. Take risks and learn.
Tell us how you work with technology. What Marketing, Sales and Messaging tools do you use for your business?
Technology is a big part. From tracking tools to task management, I use a handful of tools to be successful. If you’re not using Google Analytics, start now. It’s so helpful to understand your audience. I use Moz and Ahrefs for SEO as well as Market Muse and Answer the Public (an amazing free tool to gather topics ideas). I’m a big Google Sheets and Google Doc gal, it’s excellent for group collaborations. Of course, I use our own product ManyChat for all things Chat Marketing.
Tell us something that fascinates you the most about creating content for ManyChat. Which industries and titles subscribe to your Chat Marketing solutions?
Learning our customer stories and sharing it with others is the best part about creating content for ManyChat. There are so many fascinating stories. Like one of our experts used to be a Cytogeneticist found ManyChat, quit her job and now runs a successful Chat Marketing agency.
Another, a school teacher was looking for extra income because she was struggling to get by. Discovered ManyChat and started using ManyChat to build a jewelry side business. Long story short, after two years, she quit her teaching job to turn her side hustle into a full-time job and she now has financial freedom as well as more time for her friends and family. I find these stories makes creating content more exciting because :
a) We can share these cool stories.
b) We can create content that teaches people how to use our product better so they can scale their business and earn more revenue.
Insights and Predictions
One epic moment from the decade (2011-2019) that changed your outlook into tech landscape –
Look at how far social media has come. I’m dating myself here, but social media did not exist until I graduated from college. So in my career, I saw the evolution of how social media and it really took off over the past decade with so much media. Now you can be your own video producer, musician, photographer, mini-celebrity, etc. It’s a place for people to voice themselves and for businesses to connect with customers on a more friendly level. And look at how immediate things are?! You can get connected to business or celebrity instantly.
What are your predictions for your industry and technology markets for 2020-2024?
Thank you, Fara! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Fara is the Chief Content Officer at ManyChat and brings over 15 years of content experience. Her love for storytelling has earned her an Emmy Award, and she’s been featured in many publications.
Specialties: Web/Online Publishing, Social Media Content, Concept Development and Strategy, Writing/Editing, Manage Content, Video Series Production/Broadcast, SEO, Content Partnerships, Editorial Calendar
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.