How to grow your business with content marketing – interview with Ross Simmonds, speaker at GPeC SUMMIT, November 2018

A blog article seems just another form of communication. Not to Ross Simmonds, Founder of Founders Marketing, who thinks the blog post is a key instrument that can scale a business.

Ross is one of the keynote speakers that will take up the GPeC Stage on November 13, at GPeC SUMMIT, and will bring you an actionable presentation on the role of the content for a successful digital marketing strategy.

Until then, we sat down with Ross for a long-distance interview. In the article below you’ll find out his input on:

  • What is a content strategy
  • How do you choose the right channels
  • How does SEO influence results
  • What KPI should you measure
  • How do you distribute content

Q: Everybody’s talking about content marketing, and each one of them has his understanding of the concept. How would you define content marketing?

Content marketing is the incremental development of assets that can assist a brand in moving their target audience through the buying cycle. Whether it’s an asset that attracts someone’s attention for the first time (ie. Blog post) or an asset that converts them into a customer (ie. Case study) – the creation of these assets and distribution of them is what makes up content marketing.

Q: What is the first thing you ask your clients before creating a content marketing strategy for them? Who is the audience that we’re trying to reach?

It has to start with the end user and the person on the other side of the screen. It’s in taking that approach that we can ensure that the content we develop & distribute is aligned with their needs, wants and interests.

Q: With so many social networks out there, it becomes tough for a business to have a presence on each channel. How should companies start? How should they choose the best channels to start on? Are there any tests they can run?

The best approach for a business to take when trying to identify the channels that they should be spending time on is understanding their audience. You need to know what channels your audience is spending time and unlock ways in which you can create and distribute content on these channels that resonate with them.

I believe that experimenting with multiple channels is something that brands should do regardless of their size and budgets. A large brand may be able to run a more systematic and data supported experiment than an up and coming startup but it’s through experimentation where breakthroughs happen.

Ross Simmonds - speaker GPeC SUMMIT noiembrie 2018

Q: How important is SEO in a content marketing strategy and how & when do you integrate it into your overall plan?

It’s very important. The vast majority of buying decisions start with research and the vast majority of consumer research starts with Google. You need to think about the way in which your audience is likely to search for your product all the way from the top to the bottom of the funnel.

From there, it’s important to understand what keywords someone might use when they’re first starting to consider a solution like yours and what keywords someone might use when they’re further down the funnel and begin to compare your brand with

Q: How do you measure the impact of your efforts, what are the KPIs you’re looking at to see if the blog or videos are performing well?

Here’s the thing: You cant add likes & followers to a financial statement. So for us… It all starts by understanding an organizations overarching goal for content and building KPIs around that.

If a brand wants to raise awareness; we focus on things like press mentions and the domain authority of the sites linking back to them. If a brand is looking to increase their sales; we focus on the number of marketing qualified leads that we can get into their funnel. At the end of the day… It always depends!

Q: What are the main tools you’re using to measure the impact on sales from your content?

Similar to the answer above… It depends. Some clients use tools like Chargify, some use Shopify, some use Recurly and others just use Stripe. It always depends on the client.

Q: Content distribution is the biggest challenge for all those businesses out there producing content. What tactics can they apply to get out the word about their content?

You’re right. Content distribution is a massive challenge for brands but it’s really one of the most important. I’ll be talking about this a bit more during my talk at GPeC Summit but want to give folks a few simple tips that they can keep in mind when thinking about content

First off – It all starts by understanding and knowing what channels your audience are on. From there, it’s time to look closely for the ways in which your audience are using those channels. As an example, Facebook is seeing a massive surge in the amount of people using Facebook Groups each month so that’s a channel I’d consider distributing my content in.

But you might be thinking: Facebook… That’s simple. Definitely. But how about Reddit? It’s a channel that most marketers are afraid to use
but our team at Foundation recently conducted some Reddit Marketing research and found it to be a very powerful channel for both B2B and B2C. The key is to understand the subreddits, the people in it and invest time and energy in spreading quality content in the right communities.

Q: Do you recommend paid advertising to promote the content?

Paid has to be a part of the mix in a world where algorithms are changing more and more. It’s not the ONLY way to promote your content but it can definitely be an effective one as you have control. You control the reach. You control the targeting. You control the channel. The key to quality paid advertising is identifying a channel before the competition.

Q: What can you tell us about content repurposing? How do you guys do it and are there any lessons you’d like to share with our readers?

After creating content for a few months (or even years) you start to build up a reserve of valuable content. Over time, you shouldn’t limit your content output to a single format; instead, you should diversify the types of content you’re putting out there for the world to
consume and share.

What do I mean by that? I mean that you should be creating content assets that aren’t just blog posts. Too many people make the mistake of assuming that blogging is the only type of content that a marketer can create. You can take those blog posts and turn them into other great content assets that will last years to come. For example:

  • Great videos
  • Interesting podcast interviews
  • Insightful Medium posts
  • Long form tweets
  • Unique data visuals
  • Impressive ebooks.

Once you’ve created this content, it’s time to start injecting elements of these resources into your blog posts and any other areas in which it makes sense online.

Q: For those reading the interview, could you please tell us three reasons why they shouldn’t miss your keynote at GPeC Summit November 2018?

That’s simple. First off – I’m going to be delivering some insights in this presentation that have never been shared on a stage before…

Second – I’ve been ranked the top speaker for delivering this exact talk at SEO & marketing events around the world so I think it’s going to deliver…

Finally, a lot of marketers like to go on stage and talk about high level concepts without ever getting into specifics that you can use immediately… In this talk; I’m delivering the latter. Actionable insights around how brands (both big and small) can
ensure that their content reaches the right people at scale.

We thank Ross for the precious insights and look forward to his presentation on November 13. If you want to step up your content marketing strategy, we recommend you check in at GPeC SUMMIT. Tickets are on sale until November 9.

Get ready to learn from the best. Join the eCommerce & Digital Marketing Event of the Year in Romania now!