Content Strategy

How to Master Content Distribution with Ross Simmonds

Jimmy Daly
December 20, 2021

Ross Simmonds is most famous for …. many things. He’s the founder of Foundation and Hustle & Grind, a Twitter celebrity and YouTuber, and a prolific blogger.

A few weeks ago, a thread on content distribution took off in our Slack community. Several people mentioned Ross as the expert in this area. So, I reached out to Ross to see if he’d be open to an informal office hours with our members. And, thankfully, he was!

Below is the recording of our office hours. Make sure you check at Ross’ work at the links above. And here are some of the resources mentioned in this recording:

And here are a few of the questions that Ross answered:

On content teams, who do you think is best suited to take ownership of distribution? Especially since distribution takes time and nurturing relationships.

Ross: It's a tough question because a lot of content teams aren't built for distribution. It's a separate kind of role where you create the blog post, you create the asset as a content marketer.

Then it's going to the distribution expert who is taking that asset, writing the LinkedIn updates, writing the answers to the questions that they've identified on Quora, where they'll be able to plug and reference some of these pieces.

That said, if you're early stage and you don't have the resources to bring in an agency, tell your content creator, maybe they shouldn't create so much content. Maybe they need to create content that promotes. And if they're writing this piece, they've probably become an expert in that piece. So it's an easy layup for them to write the LinkedIn update or Twitter thread.

Any guidance on communities where SMB owners might be active? Alignable seems to be the best space, but curious if anyone knows how to really leverage this space or others like it.

Ross: I'm not familiar with Alignable, but I do know that Facebook groups are the one of the most underrated opportunities that exist today in business. The vast majority of small business owners are inside of Facebook groups, and the key is to go out and find them.

I can guarantee every single country, city town place on this call right now, if you go to Facebook and go to the search bar and you type in entrepreneurs, you will find a group that is local with entrepreneurs and small business owners in it. Especially after the pandemic, there were a bunch of groups where entrepreneurs and small businesses started to gather to provide support and relief to each other.

If you can find these groups, there's an opportunity. There's an opportunity not to go in and start spamming, but to instead listen, see what their problems are, and then start solving them and giving them valuable content that would help.

For audio distribution for our podcast we currently use, do you have any recommendations for video distribution similar to Anchor?

Ross: I don't think there's a video distribution channel that I've come across similar to Anchor. And I think the reason is that the vast majority of video consumption is happening directly on native social platforms, as well as on YouTube. So there's not really a way for a third party, like an Anchor to exist in this format because it goes directly to the network.

So you do have to put it together and just like upload it here and there in the traditional way. Also keep in mind the types of video content that works on Twitter is different from Instagram, which is different from a Story which is different from Tik ToK, which is different from YouTube.

The formatting of it is also very different. So I don't think that tool exists yet. I don't know if that tool will ever exist based off of the challenges of like cropping videos and things like that.

Any specific tips for tapping into Reddit? Would the approach be to have someone who authentically engages in a few specific subreddits with a branded username?

Ross: If it's your own business, use your own name. Don't even brand it, just go in as a human. If you are working for a brand and you aren't the owner, then you should have a branded account directly for your engagement under the company. So it would be company name-Ross or Ross-company name.

Now here's something that you have to keep in mind. You can't use Reddit just for capitalism purposes. You have to use Reddit and convince Reddit that you are human. So when you're in these communities, you can't just go in and plug four links every month.

You have to use your branded account to add comments to other things happening in that space. So if you have an SEO tool, you're going to go into an SEO subreddit, and start answering questions that have people have without even mentioning your product.

Just add value to those communities, the same way that you should be doing in Superpath. You're not plugging anything. You're just adding value. And then from a distribution lens, when you do have to promote something, you can come in and the audience and community, isn't going to be able to go to your history and be like, this person is a leech who wants to take take take, they're adding value.

What role should other members of your organization play in sharing content on platforms(such as sales reps, engineers, etc)?

Ross: You need to start at the top, right? When you look at companies who are best-in-class at this, companies like Gong who have done a really good job at getting their entire team to talk about their brand and their mission, their vision, et cetera, it starts at the top -- the entire team embraces the concept.

What you have to shift the mentality to is an idea that every single asset you produce, every asset that a engineer promotes, that a developer promotes, that a C-suite exec promotes, is an investment, an investment that can ultimately drive returns for the company.

How do you manage with Facebook groups where restrictions are heavy? Ex. We’re restaurant-focused, but any groups we’ve been able to join are filled with selling spam. The ones we’d want to get in for actual value we can’t seem to get in.

Ross: The one easy way, which requires a different type of resource is you pay to play. So you sponsor content that's going to go into the community. You pay to actually get access to it.

For example, we were trying to find an VA and the traditional channels for finding a great VA that could work with us was like very difficult. So I found a Facebook group where it was a bunch of VAs who were focused on their career and their development.

I sent a message to the owner of this group and asked if he could post my job posting if I sent an e-transfer for $250. We had amazing candidates within 20 minutes. So if you can pay to play, that's one approach to distribute your content in these groups.

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