How B2B Brands Can Create Content For Boring Industries – In Just 7 Minutes with Ross Simmonds

Check out episode
  • Learn why knowing your audience is key to content marketing success
  • Discover how to take an audience-first approach to your content and create product/story fit
  • Learn how you can create better content that stands out above the noise and get more traffic

Resources/Links:

Summary

Ross Simmonds is the founder of Foundation Marketing, a content marketing agency that combines data and creativity to develop & serve ambitious brands. Foundation Marketing provides content marketing services to organizations all over the world ranging from some of the fastest-growing startups & consumer products to global Fortune 500 brands. Ross and the team at Foundation have launched marketing initiatives that reach millions of people on channels like Instagram, Slideshare Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

In this episode, Ross shares how he helps business owners build a content marketing engine that’s fueled by research and data—and that gets results.

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 01:12 – Ross’ ideal client: “Ideal client has to be B2B brands recognizing that could be anything from SaaS to manufacturing companies.”
  • 01:27 – Problem Ross helps solve: So, the problem that we solve is the fact that a lot of B2B brands struggle to create content that’s engaging, that’s worth talking about, that’s worth sharing. And we help them develop strategies and also implement those strategies so they can create content that’s worth sharing, worth reading, worth linking to, and worth talking about online.
  • 02:41 – Typical symptoms that clients do before reaching out to Ross: “So, there are typically three different things that are oftentimes happening. One is the fact that they internally feel the pain of constantly writing the same things over and over and over and over and over again, and getting tired of doing so. Their customers, their subscribers, their followers, are being met with the same content because they’re not thinking outside of the box. And they are feeling that pain because they can’t come up with new ideas. Another symptom that is often happening is a reduction in the amount of engagement that they’re seeing on both their social media channels and the content that they’re putting out there. They’re not seeing as many people sign up for their newsletter, they’re not seeing as many people link to their articles, to their content. And that’s also a symptom that is often happening when organizations are not thinking outside of the box with their content. The final one would just be a reduction in traffic. So, they’re seeing a decline in the number of people finding their content organically through social because they’re making the mistake of creating content for robots over-optimizing and not creating content for people.”
  • 04:15 – Common mistakes people make when trying to solve that problem: “So, two of the biggest mistakes include always looking at their competitors for inspiration. And then the second piece that is oftentimes a mistake is only talking about their product and actually what they do.”
  • 05:10 – Ross’ Valuable Free Action(VFA): You take that insight around why that piece of content is at the top, and you create content about that and that’s going to be interesting content to your audience that they’re going to be interacting with.
  • 06:17 – Ross’ Valuable Free Action(VFR): Get Your Free Guide: Promote Every Blog Post You Publish For Free (80+ Tips) to help you spread your content like wildfire after you hit publish: https://content.rosssimmonds.com/distropack-b
  • 07:18 – Q: “What is my favorite beverage?” A: And that, without question, is coffee. I’m a very highly caffeinated person. I also run a coffee company on the side. There’s nothing better than just a cup.

Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“You have to ensure that your content is reaching the right people.” -@TheCoolestCool Click To Tweet

Transcript
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Tom Poland: 0:09
Hello everyone, a very warm welcome to another edition of Marketing The Invisible. I’m Tom Poland, joined today by Ross Simmonds. Ross, good day, a very warm welcome. Where are you hanging out, sir?

Ross Simmonds: 0:19
I’m hanging out in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Thanks for having me on, Tom.

Tom Poland: 0:22
Halifax, Nova Scotia, all the way to Castaways Beach in Queensland, Australia. Great to have you on the show, really interesting title that you’ve nominated. But first of all, for those of you don’t know Ross, he is the founder of Foundation Marketing, it’s a business to business Content Agency, my God, the world needs you, that helps ambitious brands generate leads, traffic, and sales through content marketing. He also has one of the best Twitter handles in the world, which is TheCoolestCool. It wasn’t in his bio but I thought I’d add it in there. He’s also come up with an incredibly interesting title which is, “How Business to Business Brands Can Create Content for Boring Industries.” Quite a challenge. So, Ross is going to tell us how to do that in just seven minutes. Ross, your time starts now, who’s your ideal client?

Ross Simmonds: 1:12

Ideal client has to be B2B brands recognizing that could be anything from SaaS to manufacturing companies.

Tom Poland: 1:17
And what’s SaaS?

Ross Simmonds: 1:19
SaaS is software as a service.

Tom Poland: 1:21
Thank you. All right. And what’s the problem you solve for? That’s question two, six and three-quarter minutes left.

Ross Simmonds: 1:27

Yeah. So, the problem that we solve is the fact that a lot of B2B brands struggle to create content that’s engaging, that’s worth talking about, that’s worth sharing. And we help them develop strategies and also implement those strategies so they can create content that’s worth sharing, worth reading, worth linking to, and worth talking about online.

Tom Poland: 1:43
So, give us an example of the type of client, the industry types you work with. Is it IT? Is it, what is it?

Ross Simmonds:1:48
Yeah. It’s a wide mix and the vast majority are definitely in the software space. So, they’re everything ranging from an early up and coming startups to a fortune 500 software company that’s been around for decades trying to just further nurture leads and build relationships with their existing client base. And then we go outside of software, and sometimes we sell things that are a little bit more boring, things like dirt, detractors, you name it, things like more traditional.

Tom Poland: 2:12
Like actual dirt. Right.

Ross Simmonds:2:13
Actual dirt. Yeah, it can actually be made quite interesting.

Tom Poland: 2:18
Fascinating. So, the specific your meeting is you’ve got someone who probably feels they don’t have what I call a magic, they can’t really make a song and dance about it. But you kind of bring that to life and show them how to do content marketing for them and generate real results. Thank you for that. Five and a half minutes left. So, question number three is, what are some of the typical symptoms that your ideal clients are experiencing before they find your solution?

Ross Simmonds: 2:41

So, there’s typically three different things that are oftentimes happening.
One is the fact that they internally feel the pain of constantly writing the same things over and over and over and over and over again, and getting tired of doing so. Their customers, their subscribers, their followers, are being met with the same content because they’re not thinking outside of the box. And they are feeling that pain, because they can’t come up with new ideas.

Another symptom that is often happening is a reduction in the amount of engagement that they’re seeing on both their social media channels and the content that they’re putting out there.

They’re not seeing as many people sign up for their newsletter, they’re not seeing as many people link to their articles, to their content. And that’s also a symptom that is often happening when organizations are not thinking outside of the box with their content. The final one would just be a reduction in traffic. So, they’re seeing a decline in the number of people finding their content organically through social because they’re making the mistake of creating content for robots over optimizing and not creating content for people.

Tom Poland: 3:41
That’s engaging and interesting. All right. All right. Well, are a lot of your clients are they from market quite a technical background?

Ross Simmonds: 3:47
The vast majority do. So, one of the issues that a lot of those types of organizations make is they get caught up in the features, they get caught up in the fancy technology not realizing that oftentimes that’s not what people are really that interest.

Tom Poland: 4:01
Very interesting. Question number four, thank you, and four minutes left, what are the common mistakes that people make when they’re trying to solve this problem? So, before they find you, they’re going to try stuff because they know they’re not getting the response. They’re not getting cut through. So, what are some of those common mistakes they’re making?

Ross Simmonds: 4:15
So, two of the biggest mistakes include always looking at their competitors for inspiration. And then the second piece that is oftentimes a mistake is only talking about their product and actually what they do. So, a lot of organizations take inspiration from their competition. And the competition has been around just as long as they have, and they’re probably making some mistakes. Yeah, they’re writing the same content as them as a result, they’re not looking outside of the market for inspiration on what is actually the best in class content marketing. On the flip side of that, a lot of organizations get caught up in this idea of just writing blog posts about new hires, about them raising money, about new features that they’ve launched, new product, verticals, and they don’t actually educate people on anything. Those are the two most common mistakes.

Tom Poland: 4:57
Fantastic, and very succinctly put. Thank you. Question number five, three minutes left, what’s the one valuable free action that someone could take who’s got this problem? It’s not going to solve the whole problem, but it will take them a step in the right direction.

Ross Simmonds: 5:10
So, I think a lot of us over-optimizing, think too much around all of the fancy new tools that are out there from Snapchat to TikTok, to all of the Instagram’s and the fancy new tools that’s going to come out next week. What we often overlook is the value that is found in online communities and actually talking to our customers and getting closer to them. If you go into an online community, it could be an old online forum, and some people are like, “Wow, forums are dead.” No, they’re very much alive. If you go into one of those forums, and you sort the content by top post, what you’re going to see is the content that that specific community that that audience that you’re trying to reach actually engage with the most because if it’s the top post, I mean, it generated the most traffic and it generated the most comments. Therefore, it’s a great piece of content. You take that insight around why that piece of content is at the top, and you create content about that and that’s going to be interesting content to your audience that they’re going to be interacting with.

Tom Poland: 6:00
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Perfect. And it sounds so simple when I hear it, and yet I wouldn’t have thought of it. Thank you for that. That is indeed a very, very valuable but free piece of advice. Question number six, one minute 45 seconds left, one valuable free resource that we could direct people to this kind of help them even more.

Ross Simmonds: 6:17

So, when you create all of this content, you can’t just press publish and hope that something magical happens for your company. It’s the same idea as if a tree falls down in the woods and nobody’s around, doesn’t make an impact, doesn’t make a sound.

You can’t know unless you hear it unless you’re there, and unless you find it. The same thing works with content, you have to ensure that your content is reaching the right people. Which is why I’ve developed this resource called the Distro Pack, which people can access at rosssimmonds.com/distropack, which is 85 different ways that you can spread your stories more effectively and b2b organizations can spread their stories to their audience in a wide variety of different ways.

Tom Poland: 6:53
Perfect. And we’ll publish that link under the video. If you’re on a podcast. a little bit slow this time, Ross. What’s the link, please?

Ross Simmonds: 7:00
Rosssimmonds.com/distropack. Distro is D-I-S-T-R-O.

Tom Poland: 7:06
And Simmonds was with the D, and distro, yes, D-I-S-T-R-O, pack, P-A-C-K. Perfect. Thank you. A whopping 45 seconds left for the last question. Question number seven, what’s the one question I should have asked you but I didn’t.

Ross Simmonds: 7:18
So, the one question that you didn’t ask what you should have is, what is my favorite beverage? And that, without question, is coffee. I’m a very highly caffeinated person. I also run a coffee company on the side. There’s nothing better than just a cup.

Tom Poland: 7:30
You liked it so much, you bought the company. Ross Simmonds, thanks so much for your time. Cheers.

Ross Simmonds: 7:34
Thank you so much for having me, Tom.

Tom Poland: 7:37
Thanks for checking out our Marketing The Invisible podcast. If you like what we’re doing here please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave us a review. It’s very much appreciated. And if you want to generate five fresh leads in just five hours then check out www.fivehourchallenge.com.

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