“The world gives you value back when you provide value first,” is a quote from Ross Simmonds in our conversation on industrial product marketing and content marketing strategy for boring industries.
Dive into this episode to explore the art of marketing for industrial products. Learn how to create, distribute, and elevate your content to reach your audience effectively.
Discover the strategies that industry experts use to forge lasting connections and boost ROI that work even in less glamorous industries.
Watch the Podcast Interview on Content Marketing Strategies in Boring Industries:
Want more niche marketing insights on the Industrial Product Marketing vertical?
This episode is Part 2 in a multi-part series on Industrial Product Marketing.
To continue learning on this niche, visit:
• Part 1: The ULTIMATE Overview to Marketing Industrial Product | Industrial Product Marketing with Kelly Olson
• Part 3: Use Account-Based Marketing or FAIL! | Industrial Product Marketing with Thad Kahlow
• Part 4: B2B Content Marketing and LinkedIn Advertising | Industrial Product Marketing with Jim Londeree
• Part 5: Organic SEO and Paid Search in Industrial Marketing Mastery | Industrial Product Marketing with Justin Smith
A Few Highlights on Industrial Product Industry and Content Marketing for Boring Industries:
- 00:00 – Introduction
Introducing the importance of distribution in industrial product marketing and other “boring industries” that are often B2B.
- 01:30 – Content Lifecycle and Distribution
Content should be repurposed and distributed extensively to maximize its value over time.
- 04:49 – Collaboration with Niche Influencers
Collaborating with niche influencers, regardless of their follower count, can be highly beneficial.
- 07:30 – Influencer Marketing Strategies
Building relationships with influencers can lead to unbiased reviews and sponsored content.
- 10:45 – Balancing Personality and Authenticity
Brands in industrial marketing should consider their corporate culture and goals when showing personality.
- 12:26 – Differentiating as an Up-and-Coming Brand
New brands should strive to be innovative, authentic, and personality-driven to stand out.
- 15:43 – Strategic Content Distribution
Well-planned distribution is crucial for success with content marketing strategy for boring industries.
- 18:52 – Leveraging Industry-Specific Newsletters
Collaborate with industry-specific newsletters to share valuable content.
- 21:23 – Building Connections Over Constant Closing
Focus on nurturing relationships and providing value rather than pushing for immediate conversions.
- 23:48 – Recommended Tools – Canva
Canva is an efficient tool for creating visual content, especially for non-designers.
- 26:27 – Recommended Tools – Jasper
Jasper, an AI tool, augments content creation using copywriting frameworks.
- 29:01 – Embracing Content Distribution
Embrace content distribution strategies, as content remains valuable long after publication.
- 30:45 – Distribution Ideas Spreadsheet
Access a distribution ideas spreadsheet on Ross Simmonds’ website.
- 32:10 – Building Authentic Connections
Connect authentically with your audience and prioritize relationships.
- 34:25 – Differentiation in Industrial Marketing
Differentiate your brand by being innovative, authentic, and personality-driven.
- 36:00 – Closing Remarks
Recap of key insights and the importance of content distribution in industrial product marketing.
Take Action Now!
• Industrial product marketers, don’t just create content; master the art of distribution to maximize its impact. #ContentMarketing #IndustrialProducts
• In the age of connection, prioritize building relationships over constant sales pitches to earn trust in your industry. #RelationshipMarketing
• Canva is the secret weapon for quick and efficient content creation. Harness its power for your visual marketing needs. #ContentCreation #Canva
• Enhance your content strategy by repurposing and promoting older assets; content’s life cycle extends beyond the initial publish date. #ContentStrategy
• Explore AI tools like Jasper to elevate your content creation process and make it more aligned with copywriting best practices. #AIContent #Copywriting
About Host John Bertino and TAG:
A decade spent working for marketing agencies was more than enough to know that there are too many bad agencies and not enough objective marketers within them. John launched TAG in 2014 with the mission to provide brands unbiased guidance from seasoned marketing professionals at little or no cost.
TAG advises brands on marketing channel selection, resource allocation, and agency selection to ensure brands invest in the right marketing strategies, with the right expectations, and (ultimately) with the right partners.
TAG represents 200+ well-vetted agencies and consultants across the United States and Europe.
John’s professional background and areas of expertise include: Marketing Planning, Earned Media, SEO, Content Marketing, Link Acquisition, Digital PR, Thought Leadership, and B2B Lead Generation.
About Guest Expert: Ross Simmonds
Ross Simmonds is the founder of Foundation, a content marketing agency that combines data and creativity to develop and serve ambitious B2B brands.
Foundation provides content marketing services to organizations all over the world ranging from some of the fastest-growing startups & consumer products to the Fortune 500.
Ross and the team at Foundation have launched marketing initiatives that reach millions of people on channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In addition, they’ve planned, created and distributed content assets that have resulted in millions in revenue for a wide range of brands.
About Ross’s Company:
Foundation Marketing is a content marketing firm that helps B2B brands plan, create, and distribute content that shapes culture. The team is made up of strategists, writers, planners, analysts, directors, builders, dreamers, and more — who come together to help some of the world’s most ambitious brands unlock success on the back of content marketing initiatives that drive growth.
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Transcripts of Content Marketing Strategy for Boring Industries with Ross Simmonds
Note: This transcript has been provided to assist you in finding extra information specific to your needs and goals. We have not edited it line by line for grammar, spelling, punctuation, or spacing. Please forgive errors.
Ross Simmonds from Foundation Inc. shares effective marketing strategies, emphasizing storytelling, value to the audience, and strategic content distribution. Don’t miss out, subscribe now for tips on standing out in crowded markets.
0:00:00 Ross Simmonds: The King of Content Distribution
0:01:50 Introduction to Ross Simmonds and Foundation Inc.
0:04:00 Ross Simmonds’ journey into marketing and specialization in B2B
0:08:28 The Value of Content Marketing Strategy for Boring Industries
0:11:49 Diverse Content Formats for Industrial Industries
0:15:57 Boosting Inﬂuencer Content through Digital Media Ads
0:18:37 Differentiating as an Up-and-Coming Brand in a Competitive Market
0:23:16 Nurturing Contacts with Live Asset Announcements
0:29:44 The Shift from Closing to Building Connections
0:32:31 Canva’s Efﬁciency and Time-to-Value for Creating Visual Content
0:36:00 Industrial Product Marketing: A Recap and Call to Action
episode, Ross Simmonds, founder, CEO, Foundation Inc, content marketing ﬁrm, niche industries, industrial marketing, storytelling, value, audience, strategic content distribution, marketing strategies, tips, tricks, crowded markets, subscribe, free distribution techniques cheat sheet, content marketing strategy for boring industries
Ross Simmonds: The King of Content Distribution
[0:00] If you’re in marketing and you don’t know who Ross Simmonds is, then you might be living under a rock.
Seriously, this guy is everywhere. He’s like the preeminent king of content distribution.
He’s like one of these guys that you see on social, stuff looks cool, you decide to follow him, and the next thing you know, he’s the only guy gobbling up your entire social media feed. Yeah, that’s Ross Simmonds.
And we’re bringing you an exclusive with the champ himself.
Look, this guy can make anything sound sexy. Give them the most boring products in the world. I don’t care what it is.
Drill chucks, safety glasses, eye wash solution for the factory ﬂoor.
Did you know yours truly has personally marketed each one of those things in the past?
[0:42] Prescription safety glasses. Look, Ross is so good, you’re gonna be subscribing to this Amazon. And he goes deep. This dude talks about how to market a bag of sand. A bag of sand.
So what’s the key? Well, to start, it ain’t that lame blog ﬁve times a week using chat GBT strategy you’re currently using.
No, Ross is gonna get into it from leveraging inﬂuencer marketing, brand collaborations, product reviews, YouTube marketing for industrial marketers, and you’re absolutely going to freaking love it. I love it. Guys, do you love diving deep into different industry niches as much as I do?
Do you wanna get one step ahead of the other guy online selling prescription safety glasses? Oh, oh, oh, prescription safety glasses. Well, then you know what to do.
Hit the like button, hit subscribe, and get ready for this kick-ass episode with the king, Ross Simmonds from Foundation Inc. Let’s do this.
Introduction to Ross Simmonds and Foundation Inc.
[1:50] All right, and we’re back with another episode All right, and we’re back with another episode of the Niche Marketing Podcast, super excited about this one.
Today, our guest is Mr. Ross Simmonds, founder and CEO of Foundation Inc.
Out of the Canada area. Ross, is it Toronto? That’s right. Yeah, we’re based in Canada. We are fully remote, so we have teammates all over the globe, but Canada is HQ.
All right, great. Before we get into the content of the episode or the subject matter related to industrial marketing, could you tell us a little bit about Foundation?
Yeah. So Foundation has been around since 2014.
We’re a content marketing ﬁrm. We work with everything from B2B SaaS companies all the way through to publicly traded companies that have been in their industries for many years selling things like widgets and sand, you name it, all of the boring industries.
We’re B2B focused. We create content ranging from blog posts to to eBooks, to white papers, all the way through to product pages and landing pages.
And we also do distribution.
So taking those assets that we’re creating and helping brands spread them on LinkedIn, on communities and channels, on social media, but also distribution from a SEO lens with backlink outreach and things of that nature as well.
Okay, great. And I always like to get a little additional context on our guests themselves, personally. Let’s start a little bit with how you got into marketing in the ﬁrst place.
Have you always lived in Toronto?
[3:12] Are you married? Any kids? Tell me about those things. Yeah, so I’ve got three little ones and a wife.
I’ve been an internet geek my whole life. I picked up a computer when I was a young pup and have been obsessed with the internet ever since.
So I got into the wonderful world of marketing after running a marketing blog throughout my university time.
So I ran a blog in university that was about football. Fantasy sports is something that I’ve played for a long time.
I had a blog, wrote about fantasy sports, who you should start in your lineup, et cetera.
Started to attract eyeballs from people all over the globe. And I was like, wow, this internet thing’s gonna last. So I actually was able to pay for a good chunk of my tuition with that fantasy football blog.
[3:51] But as the trafﬁc went up, the marks went down, And my mom made me switch my blog from writing about fantasy sports to writing about my degree, which happened to be about marketing.
Ross Simmonds’ journey into marketing and specialization in B2B
[4:00] And it’s been marketing ever since. Started to write about marketing, started to get emails and DMs from people all over the globe, wanting me to come down and speak at events on marketing topics that I was writing about.
And that just completely opened up the doors of the opportunity to work with some of the biggest companies in the world on their marketing engines.
I found a specialty and an interest in the wonderful world of B2B, because I loved how linear and capitalism driven it was in terms of ﬁnancials and making sure that you were ultimately just getting money.
I loved on the B2C side, the emotional side of communication and marketing.
But I thought for me, I love the linear process of B2B marketing as it is related to showcase utility, Sell a story.
Drive a transaction, you get a sale, and then it’s done.[4:45] Versus on the consumer side, you have to tap into a lot of psychological triggers within humans and think about pricing and 99 cents versus 97 cents.
And I was like, this is too much for me. Let’s just keep it straightforward.
[4:57] And I’ve been in the world of B2B ever since. I must tip my hat to you that you’re doing a fantastic job with your own content marketing for listeners that don’t currently follow you.
There’s honestly few content marketers out there there that I think are doing as good a job as you are in creating short-form content assets.
I’m sure your long-form content is amazing as well, but I mostly get exposure to your short-form assets that you’re doing on social.
It’s really impressive. So maybe that’s a good ﬁrst question for you.
Just as you’re selling B2B, right? You’re selling marketing services to a B2B audience.
How are you keeping up with such regular content distribution and doing it in such a way that it looks like you’re spending months planning this stuff, but at the same time, you do it in this real natural, authentic, and almost, I don’t want to say carefree, but I’ll say carefree way, and yet it’s so good and so engaging.
I honestly am very impressed with the way you do things, Ross.
What can you tell us about your own content marketing strategy and how you managed to pull that off? I appreciate it. In addition to running a company.
[5:58] In addition to running a company, right? Yeah. 100%. So the ﬁrst thing is I have a great team around me.
At Foundation, we have a team of creators, distributors, and writers all over the globe, and having that team allows us to run a great engine, not only for us as a company, but also for our partners and our clients.
For myself and the way that I think about content.
Is really rooted in storytelling. So I’ve identiﬁed a handful of different stories that I wanna tell on a regular basis that I would consider evergreen in terms of what will resonate with the market and that actually can drive results for our business.
So I have identiﬁed these stories and on a regular basis, what we’re doing is we’re creating content that falls into these same stories.
[6:37] We’re slightly adjusting them. We’re big believers in the remix where we take something where it’s one story and we slightly adjust it, but we tell at the core, the same message over and over again.
So when you’re seeing a short form asset, very likely that short form video is actually coming from a paragraph that was in a blog post that I may have written two years ago.
So we’re constantly going back into our archives and looking at assets that we’ve created, that have resonated, that have drove leads, that have drive results, and then we’re repackaging them and bringing them to life in new formats, with new stories, with new messaging, with new creative to always be on in terms of the content that we’re telling.
There’s no question that by doing so, we’re able to be a little bit more proactive with our content assets. So we’re able to constantly have stories being told on our blog, on LinkedIn, on Twitter, on all of these different channels.
But in doing so, by being planned in advance, it opens up the room for reactive content.
[7:35] And the reactive content is when we’re creating stories that are more timely, that are more relevant today.
And to your point around being carefree, by having the stories already identiﬁed as the overarching messages that we wanna share, it opens up room for us to be reactive and just put up a one-off post that is more culture driven, that is more human driven, that tell a story around who we are as a company or who I am as a human.
Man, that’s good stuff. And I could talk to you for hours about content marketing, a content marketing business.
Perhaps I should have to have you back for when we do how to do marketing in marketing. That’d be one hell of a series, I think. But all right, let’s get into the crux of industrial and or manufacturing marketing, which we want to talk about today.
Some would say that unlike marketing, the industrial space is arguably not as exciting, or some might say somewhat boring.
The Value of Content Marketing Strategy in Boring Industries
[8:29] So let’s start there with, should you bother? Is [content marketing strategy for boring industries] even worth it?
Is it even worth taking something like, oh, I don’t know, janitorial supplies or sanitation supplies and doing content and marketing around it?
Is it worth it? And just what’s your take on doing content marketing in not so exciting industries in general?
Yeah, I think it can be worth it as long as you have the commitment of the team and the organization to say, this is something that we’re actually going to invest in.
A lot of organizations make the mistake of listening to a podcast, going to an event, hearing a speaker talk about marketing and content, and they’re like, okay, let’s try this.
Then they write a blog post, maybe for two months, they press publish, they don’t get traction, and they say this content marketing thing doesn’t work.
That is a big mistake. Let’s use that janitorial service supply industry as an example here.
If that organization says, okay, we’re gonna go in on content marketing, and they actually understand their ICP, they understand the buyer, the individual person who is going to make the decision to buy from them, they can create content today that solves problems for them.
[9:35] Those problems could range in a wide range of different spectrums around their actual day-to-day, their own career growth, their own ability to do the job on a day-to-day basis.
And if you can create content that helps them do those things, it’s going to give you brand awareness. It’s going to give you the ability to be on the radar for a company or for an individual that might not have heard of you before.
The biggest issue that a lot of industrial organizations make is they think that everything they create needs to be about themselves.
Let’s write a piece of content about all of the different rooms that we offer.
Let’s create a piece of content on our vast variety of different doors that we can install on a stall within a bathroom. those types of things.
[10:19] When in reality, what they should actually be creating content around is like, these are the things that you need to know before you start developing a certain project. These are the things that you need to know before you hire someone to install x, y, and z.
Because these are pain points that your ICP are looking to solve problems for, that you can create content for, that might not feel today directly related to your business.
But if you can create that content, you can offer them a checklist or a download or something like that. They download it, you get their email address, you can nurture that.
If you wanna be aggressive, send it right to your sales team, let your sales team jump in, start saying, hey, I saw that you downloaded this checklist, would be happy to jump on a call and share with you how we’ve gone through the process of helping organizations like yours do a certain thing.
Those are the activities that you can take as a content marketer, no matter how boring your industry is, to drive results. We’ve worked with companies that literally sell sand.
Selling sand to golf courses, selling sand to resorts, selling sand all around the world.
Very boring product. But if you think creatively around sand and the different applications, you can actually come up with some very interesting stories that resonate with your audience.
Whether it’s talking about the grade of sand or whatever it might be, There’s a ton of different ways that you can ﬁnd interesting stories, no matter how boring the industry is.
Diverse Content Formats for Industrial Industries
[11:49] And okay, sand, that’s a good one. And so I’m curious with the sand client or others you have, but maybe it might be easy to stick with that one.
What are some types of content?
And by type, I mean like format. So we’ve had a couple other guests on the show already talking about the industrial space, but we’ve gotten little in the way of types of content format above and beyond ablog post or maybe a white paper or ebook type thing.
What other types of content have you used in these quote unquote boring or industrial industries that went beyond a white paper or blog post?
Yeah. So there’s a ton. So we’ve come across everything from video content, podcasts, webinars, eBooks, research driven content, infographics, slide share presentations used to be really big.
We’ve leveraged a wide range of different content assets in the past that have drove signiﬁcant results. Whenever you can create a piece of content that stands out amongst the cloud of all of the other types, that’s where you can unlock some amazing returns, including things like inﬂuencer marketing and inﬂuencer partnerships, which is oftentimes in industrial, in industrial.
And I think that’s something that people underestimate, but every single day people are making very, let’s say gritty decisions around things that they need to do in the industrial space where where there are actual inﬂuencers who might only have 5,000 followers.
[13:13] They might only have 500 followers, but they have deep understanding of a tractor.
They have deep understanding of things that are industrial and that marketers would think, oh, no one’s looking for that.
But you would be surprised how many people are looking for answers to questions on YouTube surrounding these different things. We have one client who sold ballast and we actually found someone who was specialized in like ballast content.
And they were talking- What is that Ross? A ballast is the, like when you’re driving around through Europe, there’s oftentimes these little poles that like come up from the ground that stop cars from going into the crowds.
That’s a ballast. So there’s people who talk about the different types of ballast, the strongest ballast, et cetera. You partner with them because inﬂuencer marketing is so new to them. They’ve never heard of this idea that they can collaborate with the brand.
You reach out, you collaborate, et cetera. You can also sponsor their content.
Just get them to say this video was brought to you by such and such distribution company or such and such a product, whatever it might be.
And that gives your brand additional awareness. To double click on this just for a second, because I think a lot of people are always thinking an inﬂuencer has to be like the Kendall Jenner’s of the world with these millions of followers.
[14:25] All they need to do is have expertise that aligns with your buyers and the audience that you’re trying to connect with.
And then they have to have the skill set to develop content that is educational, entertaining, engaging for that audience.
If they can do that well, it means that they probably understand the channel that they’re creating content on.
And if your buyer goes to YouTube and they’re typing in, what are the best to insert your product category here, maybe this inﬂuencer shows up.
And that would have never happened before unless you reached out to them and said, hey, look, we’re with this brand. We want you to create a non-biased review of us versus this and this. Can you do that? They’ll do it. They create the content. They feel ﬂattered.
They’re amazed that anybody even followed their content because they’ve been doing it after retirement, after working in your industry for years.
And they’re like, whoa, somebody is actually caring about this stuff. They’re all in. And they’re probably gonna be biased towards the person that is paying them.
So the review content tends to go in your favor. You can also throw media money behind that to amplify it if you want it to have an immediate bottom line impact. Is this easy?
No, this is not something that you can snap your ﬁngers and make happen.
You have to do research. You have to understand your audience, understand the channels. You wanna do things like keyword research to understand whether or not they’re going to things like YouTube to actually even look for these things.
And then you ﬁnd partners who you can collaborate with to create that content.
[15:54] Good stuff. And you’re certainly the ﬁrst one to mention the use of inﬂuencers
Boosting Inﬂuencer Content through Digital Media Ads
[15:57] in this space. So I absolutely love that. You mentioned potentially putting some media money behind that. You meant, did you mean digital ads to drive?
That’s exactly it. So digital media ads, like you’re paying to actually boost it within YouTube or you’re sharing it on your own social accounts and then promoting it from there.
So if you send out a LinkedIn update and it’s talking about this piece that this inﬂuencer created, you’re gonna boost that piece to the people who you wanna connect with on LinkedIn based off of their job title, et cetera.
Okay, let’s go back to owned content. So I’m a brand in the industrial space and kind of the advice or the common advice from marketers is be authentic, show personality, but I’m nervous about showing too much personality.
[16:43] What’s your take? I know it’s always situational. I know it always depends.
But if I press you on this, what’s your take on showing personality and to what degree and how much? And if it helps to give an example, then please do.
For sure, I think at the end of the day, it comes down to understanding your corporate culture and your ambitions as it relates to where you wanna go.
So when you look at a company like Blendtec, if anyone’s familiar with Blendtec, they were one of the early blender companies.
They sold a ton of blenders. They were early. They were an industrial style blender. No one really- Blended cell phones. They put a cell phone into the blender, right? Exactly. So they started to think just ridiculously around the concept. They would blend CDs.
They would blend phones. They would blend iPads, laptops, all of the different things.
And they made an amazing splash on the internet because they embraced their personality, but it was true to them. They had a personality.
They’re as a brand represented this idea of being quirky and fun.
That completely changed the trajectory of their company and their business.
[17:45] Some organizations just don’t want to have that type of buzz and attention.
That’s okay. But if you are an up and coming brand who is trying to actually become the market leader. You’re trying to disrupt somebody who’s been around for 150 years.
I would say for you, it’s a necessity if you actually have those ambitions and you believe those ambitions to be truly the belief of your entire organization.
You have to ﬁnd ways to differentiate.
Everyone always buys IBM. That’s a saying that everyone has heard time and time again. IBM is actually doing a ton of amazing cool stuff, right? Bye.
Everyone is comfortable with IBM because they’ve been around for so long.
And for an up and comer, who’s trying to disrupt a giant like that, you have to do something that is worthy of getting attention.
Differentiating as an Up-and-Coming Brand in a Competitive Market
[18:37] Otherwise, everyone’s always going to go to the big brand, the company that is thriving and has already established themselves as a leader.
It’s so true, right? If you’re not saying something new or you haven’t carved out some type of unique positioning, then you’re just not saying anything at all. you’re just going to fall into the white noise of the space.
Which, and speaking of being disruptive in the space or getting your voice heard and having a voice in the ﬁrst place, it’s not enough to merely create the content. We have to be really smart about how we distribute it.
I’m curious if you could talk a little bit about distribution in the space and if there’s any speciﬁc company example you work with to help articulate the point, please.
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[20:20] For sure. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes a lot of brands make is that they invest a lot of time and energy in creating a white paper or creating a product guide or something like that, or a case study. I see this happen the most, where brands will create a case study.
They clap their hands, pop the bubbly, they think it’s a successful job because they press publish on a case study. That’s not success.
[20:42] Success is impressing publish on a case study, even though it might feel good that you talk to your customers and that you were able to get some interesting insights, press publish on them, you have to do something with that asset.
And the smart brands would view the day in which that case study goes live as the actual ﬁrst day in which they need to do something with that asset.
So they need to take that case study and think about how do we distribute this? Can we turn this into a blog post?
Can we take the videos that we use when interviewing our client and then turn those into YouTube videos?
Is there a few moments within that where there’s interesting clips and interesting sections where we can turn those into assets that go live on Twitter or on LinkedIn?
Is there a few one-off moments where we’re talking to our client and they have testimonials that we need to put on our homepage, on our landing page?
Is there a few moments where this case study is so interesting, we can tell a story that’s worth reading about on an industry blog?
And then we reach out to an industry writer and ask them, hey, we just did this case study, but here’s an interesting spin on the way that this industry operates. I’d love to chat with you about it.
These are the types of things that happen when an organization stops thinking that the content’s life cycle ends when they press publish.
They can also start thinking about newsletters that their audience might be subscribed to. Reach out to the owners of those newsletters and ask them to send it to their subscribers.
[22:04] But the difference is everyone knows that those newsletter subscribers will probably not send out just a blanket case study, but what they will send out is an educational blog post that talks about essentially the case study, features your client, tells the story, but makes it tactical in nature where the reader in your audience would ﬁnd it valuable. They’ll send that all the time because.
[22:28] I’ve worked in journalism worlds, I’ve worked in these spaces, and they want you to make their life easier.
If you can make their life easier by telling them what they can send to their audience this week, you are a goldmine to them. They want you to make their life easier, so send them valuable content, and then that can get distributed to their newsletter list.
And the cycle continues, right? It doesn’t end there. You can also turn that case study into a webinar.You can require people to submit their information to get access to additional materials surrounding the case study, which then sends them into your funnel.
Nurturing Contacts with Live Asset Announcements
[23:16] There is so much that you can do. I always tell people, go live, especially if you have an outbound sales team, whether you use Teams, whether you use Slack, whatever you might use internally, Salesforce, whatever.
[23:35] Make sure everyone on your sales team knows when that asset goes live so they can nurture every single person in their contact list with a quick note that says, hey, we just press publish on this case study.
I want you to to check it out, I think you’ll ﬁnd it valuable. No response necessary, hope you’re doing well.
Quick, easy, short, but it puts a touch point on the board that can open up additional opportunities for you down the road.
That is how marketers are supposed to be thinking because we have to also get out of the bubble of thinking marketers just do marketing things.
No, you are a partner to sales and you collaborate and work together to ensure that the organization is hitting your revenue and sales targets.
The only way to do that is under one roof.
Man, that’s gold. I love that. Boy, you gave me like 10 different things I want to follow up on. There’s a lot. Now I have to see if I can remember any of them. All right.
So I want to go back actually to the leveraging of other newsletters I thought was really interesting and put you on the spot a little bit to help break that down a little bit because I thought that was really good stuff.
So did you do that with the Sand client, for example, or the Ballast client?
So if I heard your example correctly, the Sand client maybe puts together a case study on how their Sand for playgrounds is better than the other guys stand for playgrounds.
And then he’s going to reach out to the mailing list of what, maybe distributors that distribute the product or, okay.
So, but even in addition, like I can get speciﬁc. So there’s one brand whose media engine I just love. It’s called industrydive.com.
[25:04] Some of your listeners have probably sponsored their content at some point. If they haven’t, then congratulations.
I just introduced you to an amazing opportunity. So industry dive takes a handful of different industries. They have transport dive, waste dive, utility dive, all of these different newsletters that specialize on speaking to speciﬁc niches.
They have one that is dedicated to healthcare, where all they talk about is healthcare and people in that space subscribe to it. They have a construction dive, where people who are interested in residential construction, commercial construction, subscribe to this newsletter.
If you have a product that would be relevant to that audience, you go to these newsletters, you look at the type of content that they’re curating on a regular basis, and you start to look for content market ﬁt. What does that mean? It means these are the types of content assets that this niche, this speciﬁc audience wants.
So let’s create content similar to it, and then reach out to utility dive.
If we’re in the world of utility, where we’re talking about grids, we’re talking about renewables, DER, all of that stuff, electriﬁcation.
[26:06] If that’s the world that that you play in, you’re gonna create content that Utility Dive typically will feature in their newsletter. Then you’re gonna reach out to them and say, hey, I know that you folks write often about grid resilience and all of these things.
Can you check out our new report that we created on the future of grid?
I really think your audience is gonna love this. You send them a note, you ﬂip it over to them, and then they feature it. I have zero connection to anyone over at Industry Dive, et cetera.They just have done a good job at making it easy for B2B marketers, for industrial marketers, for people who live in these more boring industries to ﬁnd exactly where their audience is and get stories in front of them.
That’s the playbook. They’re not the only one. Go to Google, type in your industry and newsletter. You might ﬁnd one individual sitting in their basement with a newsletter of 10,000 people just with a massive mailing list who’s running virtual events and things like that.
You can reach out to them and be like, hey, this is some content I think you might ﬁnd valuable. Or if you have budget, can we sponsor your content for a year?
And you’d be surprised how low price these are because a lot of these people have never gotten contacted in their life by some other brand or somebody else interested in working with them. It’s just like the inﬂuencer example you gave earlier, right?
Exact same place. It’s just text publishing versus like video publishing. 10%, yeah, exactly.
[27:32] I love it. Lots of good value there. Okay. And then something else that you mentioned earlier, I just wanted to riff on for a second, was going back to the sales and marketing team synergy.
And then you mentioned that the sales team can take that marketing asset, send it to prospects.
And then you said something to the effect of no action necessary, you just thought you might ﬁnd value, right? I thought this was great because the more.
[27:56] Incredibly skilled marketers I spend time with, I’m learning the beauty in the, oh, I don’t know, the not ask, the not asking.
Perhaps this is a byproduct of just where we are in the history of marketing and sales and the aggressiveness by which people are used to for marketing and salespeople.
In fact, in the past decade, the common knowledge was always ask for the close, ask for the conversion. And I think that was probably prudent advice at the time, but something about the way things have changed, I feel like it’s starting to turn that on its head.
And it’s almost, don’t ask and just provide value.
[28:34] And then try to… And as long as you’re tracking, right? Make sure you’re tracking in the background, opens and clicks and things like that. Then you can start to know who’s worth actually asking or soliciting for taking the next step. I don’t know.
Any thoughts on that? I just thought it was really poignant.
I think you’re spot on. I think you’re spot on with it. At the end of the day, some of the people that you’re reaching out to might even already be clients.
Like they might’ve bought from you two quarters ago and they might not be ready to buy now.
So what you’re doing is you’re setting them up so they don’t churn in two quarters from now when they need to buy again, when the RFP is over or they have a new RFP.
Like you wanna make it easy for yourself to get back in the door.
So some of the relationship building is key for those who wanna think long-term.
It’s easy to get caught up in this idea of always ask, but that can burn bridges, that can burn the relationship.
If you go into it with just that exclusive, It’s so aggressive and I know I’m Canadian so I probably sound, oh, this is just your Canadian coming over.
At the end of the day, I feel like if you go into it with those good intentions of just adding value, the world gives you value back and your leads, your prospects will appreciate you and they’ll see you at the top of the list when it comes time to actually talk to someone.
The Shift from Closing to Building Connections
[29:44] Yeah, maybe the days of ABC are limited. They always be closing.
Yeah, I think it’s shifted to always be connected, right? That’s where it’s at now. It’s like, you want connections.
It’s not always about closing. You just wanna be making those connections, getting touch points on the board. I always tell people, it’s like, some of your listeners will get this reference, but in The Sims, which is a video game back in the day that I used to play, everybody has a relationship battery, like a relationship meter.And the more positive interactions with you that you have with somebody in The Sims, the more that battery goes up and more trust you get and the better your relationship.
And I think in business, marketing and sales, it’s the same thing.
You’re starting at ground zero when you want to have touch points to increase your trust with these people you’re selling to. And that can happen through content creation, through storytelling, through emails, all of those different things.
100%. That’s good stuff for us. So with the limited time we have left here, any speciﬁc tools you would recommend?
You actually already gave some great publication recommendations, but any tools that you really like or even that just have impressed you recently for content marketers, whether it’s in the industrial space or not, we want to start to build a collection of tools amongst our guests and build a really nice repository or inventory that are relevant to a given space.
Cool. I think there’s two tools that I would recommend. One, a lot of your listeners might already be using and one might be new to a lot of people. The ﬁrst one is Canva. I’m a big believer in Canva.
I think it’s an amazing tool for design.
[31:07] Not a lot of marketers come from a design background and it can be very difﬁcult to create a great visual, but Canva makes it easy for organizations and I think it’s an amazing tool to use.
And then the ﬁnal one would be Jasper. So Jasper is a relatively new AI tool that you can use to create content.
So it takes the backend of essentially chat GPT puts it into a word processor and it helps you create content very easily.
So it helps make it easier using AI to tell the AI, Hey, I want a blog post written about ballots. It will create that for you. So I love Jasper and what it’s doing.
I view it more as a augmentation to great writing versus a complete replacement, but it’s deﬁnitely something that that I would encourage your listeners to check out.
[31:48] How does Jasper create value over and above a chat GPT itself, right? Because you can just ask chat GPT to create a blog post about balance.
It’ll do a reasonable job. How does Jasper improve upon that?
Yeah, so Jasper has deep rooted workﬂows associated within it that uses like copywriting frameworks and things like that.
So when you tell Jasper to write an intro, it’s using the AIDA model.
So attention, interest, desire, action. So it has that fundamental knowledge underneath it to ensure that you’re getting a better intro.
Or in your conclusion, it knows that it needs to leave people inspired.
So it’s wrapping a bit of inspiration into the ending. So it uses a little bit more insight from good old- fashioned copywriting best practices to make the content better.
Canva’s Efﬁciency and Time-to-Value for Creating Visual Content
[32:31] Yeah, maybe it’s a little bit more like for writers, by writers type thing, or just interesting. And the Canva recommendation is interesting too. I mean, Canva is great.
A lot of people love Canva. But coming from a guy like yourself that just pushes out tons of content, again, you’re really good at it. to hear that you’re like, Canva’s your shit.
That’s really cool. Or that’s really interesting, I guess, to hear.
Is it the efﬁciency or like speed to market, for lack of better phrasing, that Canva provides that makes you like it so much?
It is. You can download their app and within the matter of 10 minutes, less than that, create a piece of content that ultimately reaches hundreds of thousands of people if it’s good. right? Like I ﬁnd the time to value to be extremely short.
[33:13] You can literally be walking to your vehicle after being off, write up a quick post, save it to your phone, share it, add a quick caption, and then there you go.It’s an amazing tool to get directly to value very quickly. And maybe it’s harder to ﬁnd practitioners or excuse me, easier to ﬁnd practitioners to work on it, I’d imagine is part of it as well. Deﬁnitely. There’s a ton of of different templates that are available that are easily downloadable.
You can go on Etsy and ﬁnd millions of templates that will actually be very different from every one of your competitors because they might be using all of the free templates, etc.
Do you personally engineer your own Canva graphics, Ross?
Or do you have your team do it? The team mostly. And what they’ve done is they’ve set up a bunch of templates that once in a while, I’ll go in and I’ll throw in some text.
But for the most part, they’re taking my tweets, they’re taking webinars that I have, they’re taking speeches that I give, they’re taking clips from that, compiling it, and turning it into visuals and carousels and things like that on my behalf.
But once in a while, when inspiration hits, I’ll pull out Canva, I’ll drop in my own ideas and my thoughts, share it on social and do that organically myself.
I think that’s interesting. I was picking up on that in the way you were talking about it, in that even you personally will jump in and use it.
I think that’s saying a lot for a successful marketing agency owner.
I appreciate it. That it makes it so simple for you that even you’ll drop in from your phone, do ABCDFG, push posts, and there it is.
[34:38] If the founder or owner themselves are using something because it’s that efﬁcient, and it really speaks volumes about the time the tool saves. So that was fantastic.
Any ﬁnal words of expertise you’d like to impart upon our listeners, Ross, before we go, or do you feel as though you covered it pretty good?
I think we covered it quite well. I’d say there’s two things that I would just want to leave people with. The ﬁrst one would be embrace that idea of distribution. You probably have content that you published two years ago that drove results then that would still drive results now, but they’re not getting additional love and promotion that they should.
So deﬁnitely embrace and lean heavily into this idea of creating once and distributing forever. I think it’s a major opportunity.
I have a hundred different distribution ideas that I could share now, but I also have a cheat sheet that’s available on my site, RossSimmonds.com/distropack.
Strongly recommend people check it out. It’s completely free to download.
It’s a spreadsheet ﬁlled with a hundred distribution techniques that they can use. And then the ﬁnal thing that I want to leave folks with is go Eagles go, ﬂy Eagles ﬂy.
That is it. Oh man, it might be a little too soon, Ross.
I still got a little hurt in that super bowl. But there’s many years to come and I think it’s going to be a great team for years to come.
So I’m excited. Dynasty begins.
All right. Yeah, let’s stick with that. Ross, thanks so much.
You provided a ton of valuable information in just such a short period of time.
That was great. We really appreciate you and thanks for stopping by. Thanks for having me.
Industrial Product Marketing: A Recap and Call to Action
[36:00] I hope you enjoyed this episode on industrial product marketing.
Did you know we did a whole series on how to market an industrial product? Yeah, we’ve got it covered from every angle.
Here’s a link to the next episode and don’t forget to subscribe.
By the way, if you’re looking for a reliable marketing agency or freelancer to help market your industrial product, give me a shout. We represent a whole roster of vetted marketing teams with deep experience in the industrial products niche.
Or go to www.theagencyguide.com to learn more about how we match made brands with vetted marketing agencies at no cost. See you soon.