Content is king. But in the age of social media, content distribution wears the bigger crown. As a marketer, Google, Facebook and all the social platforms play a huge role in getting your content out to your audience. However, those platforms are becoming more and more destinations and their algorithms are decreasing the value of your content, because they want people spending more time on their sites.
Since new and desperate times call for new and smart measures, businesses are forced to focus less on creating content and more on distributing it. Ross Simmonds is 100% on board with this new content marketing strategy and shares his tips on how to better distribute content using Reddit and Facebook Groups.
Ross Simmonds is the Founder and Digital Marketing Strategist of Foundation Marketing, a Canadian content marketing agency that helps B2B brands and enterprise companies tell great stories through content. Ross was a guest speaker at GPeC SUMMIT November 2018, where he gave us insights on how to give more life to your content. Learn more in the interview below.
GPeC: What are some new alternative channels that the e-commerce owners could use in order to better distribute their content?
Ross Simmonds.: One of the channels that I think a lot of e-commerce marketers are underestimating is Reddit. There are lots of subreddits which are, essentially, communities of people with a very specific passion or interest, where they go every single day to talk about certain things.
GPeC: What is the right way to enter Reddit communities as a marketer?
Ross Simmonds: Before you go into these communities, I always recommend that you sort of act human and comment on a few things like you would if you were a person, and use that as your starting point. You don’t want to go in and just start submitting a bunch of links. You want to become a part of the community, add value, have conversations and then, from there, you’ll be able to start driving results.
GPeC: What does it take to build your trust in the Reddit community?
Ross Simmonds: You don’t want to just go in and submit content for the sake of submitting it. That’s a one way street to getting banned. You need to understand what your community wants, what your target audience wants, create that content, distribute it, and then, if you add value, then the world gives you value back.
If you can put up 5 or so posts that are actually of high quality, that people resonate with, then you’re off to the races and you can start to pretty much engage anywhere.
GPeC: What are some best practices when you want to distribute content on Facebook Groups, especially when you’re not an admin of the Facebook Group?
Ross Simmonds: To start off, you have to read the rules of each Facebook Group, because, like subreddits, each one is different. Once you understand the rules, if it says that you’re allowed to promote things, then you can promote them directly in the feed. But what I have found to be the most successful opportunity of Facebook Groups is actually in the comments. So, if somebody puts up a post and they’re asking a question, you’re going to add value by responding to their question and then, in your answer you’re going to reference your own content.
People are less likely to think of you as a spammer or somebody who’s a marketer and they’re more likely to view you as somebody who is just adding value to the community. When they see you respond and you add value first, you’re getting a bunch of thumbs up from the community. Then you can link to your blog post if they want more information, so, that’s just a nice value add.
GPeC: Should one hire a Community Manager to do the online distribution or can this be externalized to somebody outside the company?
Ross Simmonds: It can be done both ways. Through my company we do content distribution for brands and organizations where we act on their behalf when we distribute into all these different communities. But you can also train internal staff members to do this stuff, whether there’s a Community Manager, Social Media Manager etc. If you’re a small e-commerce brand, even the owner of the company should be thinking about how they can be in these communities and build relationships. You’ll be surprised like the type of people who are in these groups and on these communities, are often the types of people that you want to build meaningful relationships with.
GPeC: What would you recommend in terms of creating an editorial calendar for the business?
Ross Simmonds: For me it’s all about planning in advance for key dates. One of the things that we often forget is that key dates are always going to be the same, no matter what. We all know when Christmas is coming, we all know when every big holiday is coming. So, if you can create content based around some of those things that are fixed dates, start to develop that in advance and when the time comes to share that content, you already know exactly what you’re gonna share.
The best Romanian and world-famous speakers keynote at GPeC SUMMIT in Bucharest, Romania. Wil Reynolds, Jono Alderson, Karl Gilis, Gerry McGovern, Ian Jindal, Steven Hoober, Hannah Thorpe, Dennis Yu are just a few of the big names speaking at GPeC SUMMIT on May 27-28, 2019.