Ross Simmonds – Creating and Distributing Stand-Out Content – InnovaBuzz 329

Ross Simmonds

Ross Simmonds, Foundation Marketing

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Ross Simmonds, a digital strategist and entrepreneur with a passion for technology, communications and good coffee. He has spent the last ten years working in communications and digital marketing. He’s launched and built multiple companies, invested in startups, speaks internationally, published a book on entrepreneurship and blogs regularly at RossSimmonds.com.

Ross is the founder of Foundation Marketing, a content marketing agency that combines data and creativity to develop & serve ambitious brands. His customers are all across the world and include 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 our discussion, Ross and I talked about:

  • How to produce engaging, stand-out content and how to then distribute that content
  • How to repurpose your content in multiple ways to both extend its reach and effectiveness
  • Why the concept of customer journeys is better than funnels

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Content is king. Create great content and the world will be yours. @TheCoolestCool on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Ross Simmonds of Foundation Marketing

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Content is king. Create great content and the world will be yours. Create good content and the results will follow.
  • Content distribution is where the life cycle of content begins. The key is distribute that content more effectively across a wide variety of different channels.
  • If your content is not resonating with people, it is because you are not reaching enough people. Getting it in front of the right audience is key for your content to take off.
  • Nobody creates things just for themselves. You create with the intent of seeing some response from the community. You have the responsibility to spread that content and get it in front of more people.
  • Majority of people are silent consumers. They are going to consume that content and get a lot of value. They will remember you but that’s just how far it will go. That is still adding value to a lot of people at scale. 
  • Keep going. Keep putting in the work and view it as an investment. 
  • Your content is an asset. It is an asset that you’ve invested in. Continue working on that to start to generate dividends from it. The longer they exist, the longer your rewards are going to be as well.
  • Every platform is different. Every platform has different types of content that are more likely to resonate with an audience, because people go to these channels for different things.
  • People go to LinkedIn because they want to connect with other business professionals. They want to learn. People go to Facebook because they want to be distracted and entertained. Hence, educational content does extremely well on LinkedIn and entertaining content does extremely well on Facebook. Short snippy content does better on Twitter.
  • Think about your audience first and try to uncover the things that are keeping them up at night, and then figure out what type of content can you put in front of them that is going to catch their attention and make them want to read your piece.
  • Educate, engage, and entertain. Your content has to do one of these three things. If it doesn’t, then, it’s probably not worth publishing.
  • Embrace your frenemies. Embrace the people who are in your circle that you can consider as your first level connections. Share your status updates with them so they’ll know that you’ve just put up a post because you cannot just rely on the algorithm to serve your content. Email them that you’ve put up a post and would love to get their feedback on it.
  • Connect with people in your industry to engage with your content, and all boats will rise at the same time. Interacting with each other’s work allows you to grow at the same time.
  • Research. Start by understanding who it is that you are trying to reach. Join those groups and start to get a better sense of the best practices for how people are interacting in that community, and then, apply that knowledge to your own distribution strategy.
  • It’s better to be really good at one channel before you start jumping in and being mediocre on all.
  • Do at least 80% of the things that you are doing every single day to drive results. 
  • Look at the top pieces of content that generate a lot of engagement in different channels, and use that to determine the topics and themes that its community wants.
  • Spend time diving into the various assets that are working on these channels and start thinking about what goes into the content that is actually resonating with its community. Create that content and go back to these communities where you did all of your research, and watch that content generate the traction and engagement that you are hoping for.
  • Keep being curious. Gather information from different sources. Read different books and study different industries. Don’t just solely focus on your own specific niche. By  being curious, you gain inspiration from a variety of different places and it allows you to craft something that is new for your audience.
  • People will more likely resonate with content that is a bit different and a bit more YOU. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and to show things about your content that are completely different from the competition. 
  • When you have the commitment to create things that are slightly better and different than what already exists, it gives you an endless amount of room to improve, innovate, and create things that have never existed within your audience’s life cycle of consuming content online.
  • Video and podcasts are two of best types of content. They also do extremely well when it comes to repurposing. 
  • Look for snippets or sections of your video or podcast and repurpose those in ways that can be re-shared on other channels.
  • Create a distribution and repurposing engine. Create it once, repurpose it, remix it, and revise it, for the rest of your life.
  • One tweet can change your life. One podcast episode can change your career. All you have to do is to put in the time and energy to make sure that your content gets in front of the people who can make those changes happen.
  • Inspire other people to do the distribution for you. Make it easy for them to promote your content.
  • A customer journey can start and exist at various points. 
  • Customer lifetime value is a long game. You want to continuously build that relationship. It is not over when they buy.
  • Treat people who helped you get to this point before you help people who have never given you anything. Prioritise and help your loyal customers.
  • Worry about the people who actually care about and love your business. There is value in getting new people at the door, but you have to take care of the people who are in your house first, before you start welcoming strangers at the door.
  • Focus on adding value first without any expectation of what’s going to happen. When you have no expectations and you add value to the world, you would be blown away and will become very happy when you see the value that the world gives back to you.
Your content is an asset. It is an asset that you've invested in. Continue working on that to start to generate dividends from it. @TheCoolestCool on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Ross’ answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Constantly reading. There’s nothing better than learning and reading. Expose yourself to new ideas and concepts regularly, and it will open your mind to new possibilities and allow you think to differently.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Being one with nature.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Google Sheets
  4. Keep project/client on track – Communication
  5. Differentiate – Find the one thing that you really love and own that thing. Find that thing and talk about it often. 

To Be a Leader

Create content that your audience wants. Distribute that content in the communities where your audience is spending time. Find the things that make you different, and lean into it. Embrace it and don’t be afraid to make mistakes along the way. At the end of the day, experiments are key to innovation. If you can experiment, you are going to have a competitive edge over the people who are not willing to do so.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Ross through his website and on Twitter.

Suggested Guest

Ross suggested we have a conversation with Executive Performance Coach, Dr Julie Gurner. So Julie, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Ross Simmonds.

Links

Cool Things About Ross

  • He loves traveling.
  • He has spoken at conferences around the world ranging from Stockholm & Seattle to Toronto & London.
  • He was Vice President of the 2009 Most Improved Society – The Sobey School of Business, Marketing Society.
It's better to be really good at one channel before you start jumping in and being mediocre on all. @TheCoolestCool on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is a transformational marketing strategist, podcaster, speaker, the chief innovator and founder of Innovabiz who partner with innovative, exceptional business coaches and consultants to enable you to build visibility, professional credibility and a deep connection with your ideal, dream clients, so that you will achieve growth and be able to make a difference to more ideal clients. Jürgen's mantra is Let's Make Marketing Human again. He believes that marketing is the art and science of creating and sustaining exceptional, remarkable customer experiences and relationships. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, as well as on Innovabiz' Twitter, Facebook, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Tales of Marketing Transformation Show and his personal Photography website.