beyond creation: maximizing the impact of your content

In this episode of Digital Banter, we’re thrilled to have Ross Simmonds as our special guest. We’re diving deep into the world of content creation and distribution, exploring a critical issue that often gets overlooked: the disconnect between content creation and effective distribution. Many brands invest significant resources in crafting top-notch content, meticulously researching their audience, developing personas, and addressing pain points and objections. Yet, despite these efforts, content often falls short because distribution is an afterthought. In this episode, we’re flipping the script. We’re putting distribution at the forefront of your content strategy, highlighting the importance of repurposing content to maximize its reach and impact. Additionally, we’ll delve into the innovative ways AI can streamline the distribution process, making it more efficient and effective than ever before.

Podcast Transcript

You’re listening to the Digital Banter Podcast, the show where we tackle the challenges of B2B marketing head on and aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. Join us weekly as we talk to industry leaders, explore opportunities that impact the bottom line, and rev your company’s marketing engine with actionable insights and tips.

It’s time to burn the old B2B playbook and build something that makes an impact. Here are your hosts, Andy and James.

What’s up everybody. We are back again for another episode of digital banter took a little hiatus, spring break, winter break, whatever you want to call it for the kids these days. Um, but we are back and we have an awesome guest with us today, Ross Simmons, founder and CEO of foundation market. Ross. Well, thank you for having me.

I’m excited to be here. I am [00:01:00] especially excited because James and I have both seen you speak about a range of content and topics and the passion that you bring to the stage. We know what we’re getting and we are excited about today’s episode for sure, man. I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled. I can’t, I can’t wait to dive in.

And I appreciate the kind words around the energy that I try to bring on the presentations. I was literally giving a keynote yesterday and uh, Afterwards, I was exhausted and I was like, I really do put a lot of energy into these things. And, uh, yeah, no, I’m thrilled to be here. Thrilled to, to jump into it with you guys, but thanks for the kind word.

You’ve got to, uh, you got to do the Taylor Swift workout where you sing and run on your treadmill so that you can, you can be ready for those. A hundred percent. I got to improve that. I definitely do. I definitely do. So I think one of the things that got us excited about having you on the show today is we’re a digital advertising agency at our focus point.

And with that comes a lot of strategic thinking and thought processes around. [00:02:00] Well, yeah, audience research and channels and things like that. But most importantly, content, what is the content, the creative that we are going to put into market and engage our audience with? And so many times on our side.

That distribution strategy is an afterthought. And I know that’s kind of the area that you are really passionate about is how do we, how do we think beyond creation when it comes to content and. I think just to lead that off, like, why do you think there’s so much of a disconnect between content creation and distribution?

Yeah, it’s a great point. The reason is simple. We’ve gone probably a decade or two now where a bunch of gurus, marketing experts, marketing leaders, tech leaders have gotten on stage, they’ve written blog posts, they’ve created landing pages, and they’ve preached at their top of their lungs, content is king.

If you want to win in the wonderful world of the internet. Content is king. Create more content, write more content, build more content, develop more eBooks, write more landing pages, write more blog posts in the world will be yours in the world. Listen, the world listened to [00:03:00] this dynamic in this story to a point where now the internet is the noisiest thing that anyone has ever experienced, where we are seeing more tweets, more Facebook posts, more LinkedIn posts, more videos, more live streams, more podcasts, more newsletters than ever before.

Every single day, more content is being produced every single second, more content is being produced. And thanks to these mobile devices, every single human can be a creator. So we’re going through what I believe is one of the most fascinating times because we went through a decade where content is can create, create, create was the narrative.

And now I believe we have to shift that narrative to recognize that all around the globe, lots of organizations, lots of creators, lots of marketers. Are doing great work, creating great things, but they aren’t getting the ROI out of the things that they are developing because they are on this hamster wheel of create, create, create, create.

Instead of taking a break and pausing and distributing those things that they already [00:04:00] invested in. There’s so much content that organizations invested in back in 2021 that they should be sharing in 20 24, 20 25, and 2026, but they won’t. Because they heard someone say content is king and they’re on that hamster wheel of creation instead of spending the time to distribute the things that they already created.

So when do you think that distribution should be brought into the conversation? Because I think there’s two parts of like distribution becoming the afterthought. One, I think that if it’s an afterthought, the actual format in which the content is. Presented to the audience can sometimes be a problem.

This is something that like we see in paid all the time, right? Where somebody invested a ton of money in an ebook, a white paper video, they hired a, you know, they spent 20, 000 on video and then they have like a little bit of money that they want to use to promote it. Like, how do you stop? Like, I guess like, where do you think that like that internal disconnect falls [00:05:00] between, uh, the, the distribution.

Strategy and the type of content and how that message is delivered. I think it starts with a deep understanding of content market fit and what content market fit is. It’s understanding the content that your market wants. Once you have that, you’ve essentially done the job as a researcher to say, yes, this we have validated through research that this type of content is something that the market wants.

That’s the goal. That’s the initial goal. Now, the second thought is how do we get this content to the market consistently? And that’s where distribution comes in. It’s not just a distribution is not just viewed as an avenue for content distribution should be viewed as an avenue for your product. For your revenue and for your entire business model.

So a lot of organizations make the mistake again, of thinking that this is an afterthought, but you need to be thinking very early about how to distribute your stories, [00:06:00] how to distribute your brand. And that comes from a deeper understanding of understanding where the audience that you’re trying to connect with is spending time online.

I think, you know, James, you and I have been talking about this a lot recently. Like when we think about that in the realm of B2B, like a lot of that comes down to silos and who’s doing that research and the outcomes that that research is expected to achieve. A great example there is like product marketing versus demand gen teams, right?

Demand gen is tasked with telling, doing everything you just said, getting the content out there in front of our audiences. But the ones that are crafting the content in a lot of those situations are the product marketing teams, because they are caring and talking to the customers or understanding about the features.

And they’re the ones that are basically just shipping it out and send it over to the DG team to get it, get it out there. It’s different research silos, right? So like demand gen is more focused on the stuff that you were talking about, like the audience, like where they hang out and how they consume information.

Because. Those are the distribution channels and the product [00:07:00] marketing team is like more focused on messaging, positioning that type of stuff. So it is a, I don’t know, it is an interesting dynamic. Yeah. I think the leadership really holds a lot of the accountability to ensure that. The entire org is aligned with understanding the distribution channels and distribution levers that you can pull within your various silo or function.

So within demand gen, it’s very rare that these individuals, for example, would be talking about SEO, but SEO is very much a distribution strategy. The same way that a content marketing team is not always in a lot of B2B companies like foundation. We work with B2B SAS companies as well. They don’t oftentimes.

Talk to social, like it’s mind blowing oftentimes to see it, but like the teams that are responsible for creating content aren’t connected to the folks that are leveraging social like LinkedIn X, all of these channels to promote the content. So they’re creating these pieces. And those pieces never make it to social and the [00:08:00] organizations are left wondering, why don’t we have any social referral traffic?

Oh, it’s because our content team and our social team are in these silos that don’t talk to each other. Oh, we’re not generating leads off of anything that content marketing is doing because content’s all focused on top of funnel. We’ve given them this organic traffic metric. So that’s all they’re caring about.

Instead of creating alternative pages, instead of working with demand gen to understand whether or not they can do remarketing on capture or G2 or anything like that, like it’s us. It’s such a fragmented industry in some ways where I think a lot of the onus comes down to leadership and leadership needs to say, okay, let’s take a holistic approach to this.

Let’s actually run. Planning sessions with all of our leaders on the different teams and get aligned on what our distribution strategy looks like. It’s not just, let’s go to chat TPT and ask for a chat, a distribution strategy. You need to be intentional with this. It requires research and it requires a lot of different minds to come together to make a good decision.

All right. I’m going to ask you like, uh, uh, we can go pretty technical here. If you want to dive into [00:09:00] tools, feel free to go off, but like, how do you approach audience research when it comes to distribution? Like, you know, I feel like that’s, uh, something that a lot of people struggle with, like what channel is our audience on, especially in B2B, like we always default to LinkedIn and paid search, right?

Like. How do you, how do you validate other channels? Yeah, there’s a lot of great tools out there that we’ve leveraged. One is audience with an S. So you’re able to plug in, for example, um, a social network for your own brand, a competitor’s brand, and it will analyze their following to give you insight into what newsletters they’re following.

Things like that spark Toro, which is a, um, audience research tool as well. You can plug in an actual domain of a website and it will show you what YouTube channels, your audience is subscribed to. It will show you what subreddits your audience is subscribed to. We were working with a, um, a publicly traded company.

They’re targeting a very niche B2B market caps in the multi billions. Like they’re killing it. And we did this research and we found that there was an entire subreddit that [00:10:00] was filled with, I think like. 50, 000 people that match their ICP and their brand was being talked about every single week. And when we brought this research in this insight, it became clear to a lot of folks, Oh, we should probably have a Reddit strategy.

Um, so the tools like SparkToro, like audience, but also just good old fashioned Google analytics can provide you with some very interesting data. One thing that we found recently with a lot of our clients is if you dive into Google analytics, You might start to see that there are various newsletters that show up as unique referrals of traffic to certain blog posts and assets that you create.

When you start to see that, that’s an indicator. It’s an indicator that your audience is likely subscribed to some newsletter. So what does that mean? It means you should probably sign the DMS of the person who owns that newsletter. And again, if you’re a large org, maybe you pass them information off to PR and they can manage the comms, but essentially.

Your audiences subscribe there. These newsletters might have 5, 000 people. But if those 5, 000 people [00:11:00] have the ability to sign your PO and to sign off on your RP. Okay, great. Those are the right people that you want to work with. So let’s sponsor that newsletter. Let’s build a relationship with that newsletter.

So we start to show up more frequently. So a little bit long story, getting a lot longer. We use tools like audience. We use tools like SparkToro. We use good old analytics. But we also enjoy It’s diving deep and just having conversations with customers. So you spending time to actually have those dialogues with your top customers.

And I say top customers intentionally because you don’t want to target everyone. And if you do that, you’re going to just get some probably mediocre leads versus the high value leads that you value the most. So running interviews with those individuals, turning on gong, turning on course, turning on chat, TPT, whatever you use to record that.

Take the transcript and start to run an analysis over things that are said frequently. And when you start to see a trend where these people keep saying that they’re doing a certain thing, or they’re struggling with a certain thing that can inform content you create, but you might also learn that they’re all subscribed to a certain Slack [00:12:00] group.

They’re all subscribed to a certain membership. Okay. Maybe we should be engaged in that world. One more insight around the research side that we have found to be ridiculously valuable is also looking at the actual reviews that customers are leaving on these platforms. Um, like G2, Capterra, TrustRadius, et cetera.

You want to gather all of that data. You can do a scrape where you scrape all of the reviews of your own brand or competitor’s brand. And then you run an analysis. You can use chat, GPT. Now back in the day, we used to write like Python scripts and run through it ourselves, but now you can upload it all to chat, GPT and say like, fine, for me, the most frequent and common issues that customers are having with this product.

Then you use that to inform content that you create problems that you articulate and copy and messaging, all of those things start to come out of it. So. At the end of the day, you just want to geek out. You want to geek out over this stuff, like get into the weeds, um, become, um, obsessed with the people that you’re trying to serve to a point where there’s [00:13:00] no question that you know, your buyers, you know, their habits, their pains, their, their problems.

So it’s undeniable that, you know, that you have content market fit. So I’m going to push you a little bit further on this one. Right. Cause everybody talks about audience research or talking to your customers, talking to you, like talking to sales, talking to CS, like everybody says like, Oh yeah, we need to have more communication.

Like, do you have any like specific questions that you always come to the table with? That are, you know, I’m, I’m even thinking like, Hey, if we were to like productize this audience research process, right. Are there a list of questions that you go through that you find most meaningful? Because otherwise you’re just kind of reliant on, like you said, like using scripts to try to pull out commonalities.

And I mean, if you’re listening to sales call every, they might all be different. And I think that people struggle to aggregate that data. The number one, Chris Walker always talks about self reported attribution. Everybody’s always complaint when they do self reported attribution is [00:14:00] that this data is all over the place and not useful.

So how do you make. You’re when you’re purposefully doing audience research, like how do you ask the right questions and what are some of the right questions? Yeah, I think Open ended questions are always the best and the reason why you want to ask an open ended question is because you want to let them just ramble and start to go off on their so to speak tangent and When you are doing the interview, you also want to be okay with a little bit of silence Because when you, when you ask a question, let’s say for example, when I’m, when we’re doing interviews with customers, we oftentimes will ask them like, how do, where do you get all of your information from to make a decision to buy?

It’s a simple question and it can go very, very deep in terms of like their decision making that can inform your entire approach. Sometimes people will just say, I talked to my colleagues, I talked to my peers and that’s the end of their answer that. Is the moment where you need to be comfortable sitting in silence for a bit and just staring at the screen, because what’s going to [00:15:00] happen after that through the silence is they might say, Oh, but half of my colleagues and peers are all in this Facebook group that we joined after we graduated from university.

A handful of us are CFOs at different publicly traded companies. And we’re in this Facebook group called CFOs insider. Okay. Interesting. So you’re able to get these insights by actually just shutting up after you ask your question and allowing the awkwardness to be there and live there and just wait and see what they say.

Because oftentimes marketers love to think we’re smart. We’ll come to assumptions and they’ll say, Oh, they said that they, um, get it from their peers and their colleagues. So it’s just word of mouth. Yeah. But where’s that word of mouth live? Is it inside of a Slack group? Is it inside of an email group that they created in Gmail?

Is it a private Facebook group? Where is this conversation happening? And the best way to get that info is to just sit in silence, answer, ask questions. Good questions and see how people respond to you. All [00:16:00] right, James. So next time you give me like a one word answer, I’m just going to stare at you. That’s great.

Do it, do it. I mean, how often do I give one word answers? I feel like that’s a rare, it’s kind of a rare occurrence. Oh man. Uh, all right. So let me, let me think here. So obviously we were talking a lot about research questions and things like that, but let’s flip the script here. Right? Yeah. A lot of time is spent crafting like the perfect content and in many of the eyes of B2B world, that’s a white paper, it’s an ebook, it’s long form content that is packaged in some capacity that is, we’ll say most likely gated behind a form.

Right. And that is not giving It it’s due deal. It do do opportunity to be successful. So let’s talk about repackaging content and using that audience research to really hit people with what they want to consume. Like, how do you go about kind of figuring that out, Ross? Yeah. So before you press [00:17:00] publish on a piece of content, you should already know the ways in which this asset is going to be distributed, promoted, amplified, repurposed, and repackaged across various channels.

The biggest mistake that a lot of marketers make, especially in B2B is they press. Publish on an ebook. And then they pop the bubbly and they say, congratulations team. We did it. That’s the celebration. You press publish when reality, that’s when the life cycle of that asset is supposed to begin. That’s when you should have already queued up in buffer, a bunch of content scheduled to go out on LinkedIn that is going to share snippets, screenshots of graphs and charts that might be in it that are going to hit people’s feeds.

Probably six times the month in which you went published on LinkedIn. In addition to that, you’re also going to have whoever the author was have a draft already written that they can hit publish on as an article, not only on your website, but also on linkedin. com. So now you have two pieces that are going live one on LinkedIn.

One on your website that are essentially going to promote this ebook or this asset that [00:18:00] you created. You’re going to have a typical introduction. You’re going to summarize some of the key findings. You’re going to have a call to action referencing why this ebook is something that you folks commissioned.

The research was valuable, et cetera, and why people should read it. That’s going to make up the blog posts. The title that you use on LinkedIn is going to be different from the title that you use on your website because you want both of them to rank in Google and you don’t want to actually cannibalize either of them when you show up in the SERP.

Once that piece is done though, you have to recognize that if you’ve already done the research to know where your audience is, it’s very likely that your ICP is spending time in different channels. They might be in a subreddit. They might be in a Slack group. They might be in a Facebook group. They might be in a discord.

They might be spread somewhere where a bunch of like minded people are spending time. So you’re going to take two or three of the stats that you have found in this ebook. You’re going to grab a screenshot and you’re going to share them natively within these communities. You’re going to say, Hey folks, we just did this research report where we found ABC EFG.

You share that. You say, thank you so much for all the value I’ve gotten [00:19:00] out of this community over the last few months. You stroke their egos. They’re now less likely to kick you out and say, why are you spamming us? You go in and you add value and you tell them what your lessons were by reading this stat and this data, and maybe even reflect on what you’re going to do because of it.

You press publish on that asset. It goes into these communities. You also have a little link at the bottom that talks about it. Or if you have done a good job, other people in the community are going to start to ask you, Hey, where did you get this report from? That’s when you link to your ebook and you send people off and on their way.

That is just a cheat code or a shortcut on some of the things that you can do. You can also repurpose the same thing on X with some tweets of the actual screenshots. You can have a thread that goes live on the same topic. All of these things are possible. Now, a lot of people are thinking, okay, Ross, but what about paid?

Don’t get me wrong. Paid is distribution too. I’m a big believer in organic, but I 100 percent believe that when you go live on that ebook and that guide, if you want to milk it for all it’s worth, you should be supporting [00:20:00] that asset. With paid media, anyone who has come into your pipeline that has not necessarily been closed should be remarketed with ads, trying to drive people to this asset.

And maybe they won’t download it. Maybe they won’t access it, but at least you’re putting it in front of them. So they are now able to be able to access it if they want. And you give it to your sales team and tell them to share it to them over email as well. And it might give them a touch point that leads to a conversation and a call.

So that’s the thinking that I would apply to any asset that you create in B2B. That is good. And I want to caveat that it has to be good because you don’t want to send people trash. You need to create pieces of content that are worth reading. But if you do that, then you should distribute these assets forever.

All right. So that was a ton of work that you just said there in one lab. So I feel like this is maybe a good. Pivot into talking about some of your favorite AI tools and way to make any, any I’ll say AI anyway, that you make that process more streamlined and [00:21:00] easier to execute. Cause a lot of times you’re talking about, you know, a couple of people responsible for all of those things.

And that’s a lot. Yeah, for sure. I think so. I’m a big fan of the work that’s coming out from companies like Jasper and Copy. ai. When it comes to those two blog posts that I described, I think you could probably create those in 20 to 30 minutes now on the back of these types of tools. So that, that effort used to take five to six hours.

Now you can get it reduced quite significantly. Um, and I think those tools would empower you to do that as it relates to the distribution of it within these different communities. Typically, my belief is that if you. You only can really execute that type of activity. If you have a community manager, or you’re a small enough company where the actual like person who created it is wearing enough hats where they’re scrappy enough to understand how to go into these communities and communicate.

Otherwise, you need a community manager who actually understands community. Um, messaging and storytelling, and then they can see that content for you. [00:22:00] A founder is always great to be the person who does it again at a smaller scale. But if you can get a founder into it, if you’re in the startup scene, like that’s a, that’s another play to it.

Um, as it relates to LinkedIn and social content on these channels, I think a lot of that. Can be done with AI. You can again, use extensions on things like Jasper to craft it at scale. But in addition to that, I think when you start to think about micro content, it shouldn’t take that much time for your team to create micro assets because you’re already pulling from that ebook.

So if you take that ebook and let’s say that you have no confidence in your own copywriting skills. Upload the PDF to chat. GPT chat. GPT can now read PDFs. You ask it to go through and to identify a few status updates that you can write. It’s not going to be great content. I will not say that it will be amazing, but it will be good enough for a lot of organizations at the same time, though.

If you have a social media management team, give them those screenshots of the graphics and tell them to [00:23:00] write copy that supports it. And they should be able to knock that out.

You hit the work question. Well, I’m so when you were going off, I’m like, I’m thinking, well, I’m interested, like, so I’m going to ask, I’ll ask you a question, right? But I feel like people are interested in this, uh, chat, GBT or Jasper. Ooh, you know, it’s a. Or something else. It’s a tough one. I think they both have different use cases.

So what I like about Jasper is, um, it has functionality that goes within the Google docs where you can actually create. So, um, that type of functionality to me provides a lot of value in terms of ease of use. Um, I also like some of the templates that it offers. I think that that’s valuable for a full on like programmatic SEO.

I think my favorite tool is copy. ai. Like they have this functionality called workflows where you’re able to now like build on top of different prompts and that [00:24:00] functionality is Absolutely ridiculous. Like I did a example a few months back where I was able to create 88 blog posts in the matter of like 10 minutes because of their tool.

Um, it’s just wild, right? Like, so I don’t think the end result don’t get me wrong. Is ready to go live and me be proud to say, yes, Ross demonstrated these pieces, but they’re good enough. If I was running like a small SMB company, I would own the SERP with some of these tools. Um, and then chat GPT, I think is, I’ve, I’ve always viewed chat GPT as kind of like, The goat in this space, but as of recently, I’ve been getting a lot of comments and people suggesting that I check out something called perplexity.

AI. I’ve not spent a lot of time with it. Um, I’m going to make that, like, my quarterly experiment that I’m going to dive into and and try to figure out, like, what am I missing here? But perplexity is showing up more and more as something that I need to check out. And then finally, the last AI tool that I’m going to plug just because I love it is, [00:25:00] um, 11 labs.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it, but 11 labs is an audio AI where I took all of the podcasts or I create like the greats and I uploaded my voice and it recreated. My voice. It didn’t pick up on my boots and stuff like that. Like the Canadian accent doesn’t necessarily come through. Um, but it was close.

It was really, really close. And then I combined that with Hey Jen and DID, which are these video deepfake solutions. And it created a fake me still not convinced that it’s me because like it had some weird eye things going on and the, the jazz hands weren’t real. Um, But we’re living in some fascinating times.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next few months, we start all getting a lot of outreach from people that we think are looms, but those looms aren’t real people. And they’re saying our names, but they never actually said our names. It’s just text, just like an email form in sales, like a CRM tool. So it’s, uh, it’s going to be an interesting few, few [00:26:00] months.

So I want to dive into a little bit, the, how this affects you and your business at the same time, because this is something that I’ve been thinking. Quite a bit about, right? Like you used to pay five to 10, 000 for an SEO agency to write content for you. And now. In theory, you can write a lot more content in a lot less time.

Yeah. How is that going to affect like the pricing of content creation in the future? Like, are you already seeing from your customers that they’re like expecting more out of you? Like, how do you think that’s going to affect the industry as a whole? I think. Due to the increasing rise of AI created content, which no one is going to deny is showing up everywhere, there is going to be an increase in mediocre content.

And because there is so much mediocre content that is flooding the internet. There is going to be an increased demand for excellent content and the brands that embrace [00:27:00] mediocre content will have mediocre results, but the brands that invest in taking mediocre drafts and turning them into excellent assets that their customers are going to say that was worth bookmarking.

I couldn’t have gotten that by just going to chat TPT and asking questions. Those are going to be the pieces that actually drive the most results. So yes, we have clients who have said, how are you folks leveraging AI? And the answer is simple. We use AI to accelerate certain elements of our process, but not to replace our process.

We still believe in human writers. We still believe in human editors. We do also believe in leveraging AI to get insights around the SERP faster, to write briefs faster, and to get insights about whether or not we are going to rank if we press publish on a piece or not in Google because of AI. In the past, I used to have to pull up a spreadsheet.

Open like five different URLs in the SERP and try to cross reference what every single title was. Now we can use tools like phrase [00:28:00] to analyze hundreds of URLs and get a better understanding of their word count, what keywords they go after, the frequency, all of that at scale. So that empowers our team to be able to create better content.

That’s going to drive better results in comparison to a lot of companies that are just. Plug and play with a lot of this AI driven content. We still have designers going in and adding custom illustrations and graphics to make our content best in class and essentially create real content excellence for the audience that we’re looking to connect with because that content is going to rank.

And amidst all of the noise in the industry about SEO is dead, AI is going to be the primary way in which people search. Folks, if you go to ChatGPT and you ask it for an answer, typically it’s going to say, I’m going to do a search for X, Y, and Z on Bing. Bing is connected to the content that is published on various websites.

The content that it looks at is content that was optimized by search. So it’s still connected. SEO, [00:29:00] optimized content, goes into Bing, goes into ChatGPT and gives you your response. So we can continue to go down this path of SEO is dead, SEO is dead. But in reality, The search behaviors may have shifted to a new place.

And at the end of the day, it’s still less than 5%, in my opinion, but that is still going to drive people back to search optimized content. So that was a long answer to a simple question. Which is how is it influencing our business? It’s influencing our business by allowing us to be more efficient. And it’s allowing us as an organization to double down on the idea that yes, we can create more content and we should create a lot of content, but that contents bar needs to be higher because AI can create Mediocre pieces of content, but if you want to stand out, you need excellent content.

And we try to create that. That was long, but you hit like five of my questions. I was writing down at the same time. So I love it. I love it. I love it. So who do you think is doing? [00:30:00] This best out there, like who’s killing it with their content strategy and more importantly, their distribution strategy. Yeah.

So on the content creation side, I’ll talk about a company that’s not even really in B2B, but it’s called Bankrate. So Bankrate is combining AI. And best practices to create great content. They have, I think I did a study, I did an analysis at the like mid of last year and I think they were generating, I took all of their articles that had the disclaimer at the bottom that said this was created with AI as an assistant and those pieces generate 7.

2 Million visits and it’s AI created. So they probably spent like less than a day to create all of these assets and they’re getting 7. 2 million visits on the back of this AI generated content. They are crushing it because they understand what Google calls doubly experience, um, uh, authority.

Trustworthiness and expertise. So if you have expertise, experience, authority, and [00:31:00] trustworthiness, and you demonstrate that in your content through an author page, and by actually having an author who has those things on a topic, you’re going to do well in search. So they’re crushing it as it relates to the pure play content creation side on the distribution side.

I think there’s a lot to learn in B2B from B2C. And I would say like in B2B. Most of the brands out there are not doing close to what best practices are like, we are still in the early stages of our industry. Like vertical video is still not really a thing. That’s wild. It’s absolutely wild. That vertical video is still not a thing in this space, but it’s true.

Like there’s not a lot of brands investing in that. There’s not a lot of brands even investing in like carousels. Like, yes, there’s a few best in class companies on LinkedIn that are doing it well. But they haven’t translated their success on LinkedIn into any other channel, um, which is a shame to see.

So don’t get me wrong. I love B2B. That’s [00:32:00] my bread and butter. That’s my world. We have some clients who are doing some amazing work in that space, but it’s very much you’re not, I’m not seeing yet brand that has transcended across all channels and knocked it out of the park. Um, it’s not happening yet.

Yeah. I mean, we see the same thing. It’s, it’s not even like resistance to change. It’s more so like just traditional mindset that hasn’t become contemporary. Yeah. A hundred percent. Your point about one channel is like, I’m like thinking of all the brands that I like look up to and respect. And it’s like, okay, I respect them on that channel.

I respect them on that channel. And. I don’t know. I think that everyone struggles with the cross channel stuff because again, going back to the audience research stuff, I think a lot of people don’t really know where their audience is. They default to the. LinkedIn and X, and I think that’s probably it.

Yeah. And a lot of them, I think like forget to play the long game, right? Like I think a lot of organizations are [00:33:00] so focused on hitting their quarterly targets that they underestimate the power of playing the long game and trying to actually tell a story across multiple channels. And that’s a shame, right?

Like, I think that’s a shame and I get it. I get it. 100%. You want your bonus. You want your end of year bonus. Those are the things that matter to you. But if you can set longer term perspective around your activities, you start to just do things differently. And that’s, um, that’s something that is required more in B2B.

Like you can see it in B2C like brand. And I think the reason why it happens in B2C is because sometimes these organizations have a competitive advantage over B2B where they connect with you on the heart. Right? Like they can connect with you emotionally, even as an employee to say, I’m working for Ben and Jerry’s.

I’m working for this pan company that is environmentally friendly. These things connect with me as a human. So I’m going to go a little bit further with my thinking. While [00:34:00] B2B you’re like. I want my e transfer. I want my wire. Like I want my paycheck, right? Like there’s, there’s not oftentimes organizations that connect with them on the heart.

And I know that, um, that’s a complete different side of our conversation, but I think that’s, that’s a part of the problem to build on that. Well, hang on James to build on that too, though, like the accountability of, of leadership comes into play there too, the constant changes that we all see.

Particularly on the B2B side of, of that, where, you know, we don’t have the actual numbers here, but we always say like CMOs last what, two years before they go on somewhere else. Like it’s the constant changing there that also just leads to that lack of long term vision. Right. A hundred percent. And I think it’s oftentimes a little bit of fear too, right?

Like as a CMO, you see those numbers. You’re like, okay, I’ve got two and a half years here. Max. If I make it past two and a half years, like I’m a unicorn. Okay. So what I need to do To last two years is I just need to make sure that sales is hitting [00:35:00] their target. I have to hit my pipeline targets. I need to show that I’m generating MQLs.

And if those MQLs aren’t actually converting, I’ve got about six more months to be able to play and play the dance and game until somebody actually starts poking around. Then they put me on a performance improvement plan and blah, blah, blah. Like it sucks, but that’s also real, right? Like that’s also real.

I mean, I think that there’s a lot of the heart stuff you mentioned, like does. Make a huge, I mean, we see it in like ad testing, like if you can use an emotional message, like that works in like, it works in ads, it works in B2B and that’s like, I feel like the thing that people forget is like you spend 50, 50 percent of your life working, like wherever you are, like you’re spending 40 hours, some people more, some people a little bit less, uh, working each week.

So like those emotional triggers work exactly the same as me, if I’m trying to buy new fishing gear. Here or something, right? Like, uh, and we’re just so focused [00:36:00] on like. The, the logical reasoning that you need behind, it saves time, it saves money, uh, it’s going to help you improve your process, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Which that’s the stuff that quite frankly, nobody cares about. It’s so true. We have a framework at foundation that we call the four E’s. And if a piece of content, whether it’s an ebook, a guide, an ad or a blog post, a landing page, whatever it is, doesn’t do one of these four things. We don’t create it. We don’t share it.

We don’t publish it. We don’t think it’s worth creating. It has to educate. Meaning it provides people with new information as to engage them. So it might have to, like, ask a question. It might have to, like, lure people in to start a dialogue. It has to entertain them, put a smile on their face, motivate them, something like that, or it has to empower them.

And it could empower somebody else. Like it could celebrate somebody within an organization. It could celebrate a customer. All of those things. But if you embrace the four E’s, I believe you can create great content and every organization [00:37:00] should ask themselves before you press publish, does this educate, engage, entertain, or empower people?

I like it. All right, Ross. So one of the last questions that we always like to ask is we’ve got our magic wand here, so what, if we give it to you and you can wave it to change one thing and B2B. Right now, what would it be and why I think if I could change one thing in B2B, it would be to end the constant narrative that X is dead.

And I’m not talking about X, the platform I’m talking about X as in insert channel here. You can win so many different ways in B2B. I know brands that are crushing it, but nothing more than a. LinkedIn strategy. I know brands that are crushing it with nothing but an SDR BDR strategy. They don’t distribute any content.

They do nothing that I just talked about and they’re winning. I know brands that are winning with just SEO. I know [00:38:00] brands that are winning with just social. So at the end of the day, all of these things aren’t dead. They might not work for you, but they’re not dead. Other organizations might be able to use them and find success.

And we need to stop with the narrative that certain things are dead. Yes. It gets clicks. Yes. It gets shared. But at the end of the day, there are a ton of different ways to win. And I believe that if I had a magic wand, it would be to shut up all of the gurus who’s always are using that track in that line to say that certain things are dead.

All right, man. Bring us on home with three actionable takeaways for our audience from today. The first one is going to be to start sharing some of that content that you created back in 2022, 2023, even stop getting into the habit of letting your content collect dust, reshare it, repromote it, remix it.

leverage it to its full capacity. The second one. Don’t be afraid of a I view it as an augmentation tool. Kind of like if I was Tony Stark with a lot more melanin and I put it on, that’s going to give me essentially [00:39:00] my ability to be the Iron Man like that play. Use it to augment you. It’s not a tool that’s going to replace you.

And then finally, the last piece of advice would be for leadership teams to ensure that you are thinking holistically of all of your organization, all of your silos and make sure that they come together To develop a strategy that is rooted in distribution that is not just rooted in their own KPIs, but for the entire organization.

Awesome. Ross, how can people connect with you and learn more about foundation marketing? Yeah, you can find me on all your favorite social media channels. I’m on LinkedIn. I’m on X, I’m on Insta. You can also just go to rosssimmons. com subscribe. I’ve got a book coming out in the next few months called create ones distribute forever.

Surprise there. Um, but yeah. Definitely check out the book, um, and subscribe to all the newsletters. If you connect with me on LinkedIn, be sure to mention that you heard me on this, uh, this interview and I’ll be able to accept that connection request. But thank you both for having me. This has been great.

I hope folks got a lot of value out of it and I appreciate what you all do for the [00:40:00] B2B community and for the industry at large. We need more content like this, more conversations like this. So thank you for sharing your platform with me and letting me come on today. Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us, Ross.

All right. Until next time, we’ll catch you guys later.

Thanks for listening to the Digital Vanter podcast. Make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss an episode. For more resources and to keep up with the show, visit dragon360. com. Until next time.

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