I was one of Jonathan Gandolf’s 100+ conversations that he had with marketers in the Fall of 2020 before The Juice name and company was even an official thing.
He was on a mission to source his network and request time to validate some of the problems that he was seeing in B2B marketing and discuss some of the potential solutions that he was looking to build. I saw the LinkedIn update that he was starting something new and when he reached out to chat I agreed instantly because my curiosity kicked in.
What was he building?
Why is he reaching out to me?
Is he going to try to sell me something?
These were a few of the many thoughts that ran through my head before we had our Zoom call.
I should probably give you context that Jonathan and I had a history together. We both worked in marketing at ExactTarget during the same time. We got to know each other by bullshitting about sports and talking about life. I don’t specifically remember too many conversations about B2B marketing, but we are making up for that now.
When the call started it was like old friends catching up.
Yes, there was a “pitch deck”.
Yes, there was a CTA at the end of the conversation.
But, it felt natural. We had an established relationship. Also, there was mutual trust.
When you’ve got a relationship and trust there are a lot of things that you can do.
Go ahead and ask your top marketing connection from another company the most ridiculous question that you can think of and see how she responds.
We just had our speaker drop for our company meeting this week and wanted to see if you could fly out here and join us on Thursday?
We are one more deal away from reaching our goal for the quarter. Do you think you could sign a contract with us?
Jonathan’s request wasn’t that complex, but it was still an ask.
Would you want to be a part of our ambassador program? Here is the pricing information.
A piece of me wanted to give Jonathan a thumbs up.
Another piece of me knew that the product he was building likely wasn’t for the audience that I was currently serving at my previous company.
I put him on hold, but couldn’t stop thinking about a primary topic that he was looking to solve with his company.
I went back to our team the next week and started talking with them more about content distribution and assessing our current performance.
I didn’t tell my team this at the time, but I gave us a C-.
We were really good at creating content, but pretty subpar at distributing it.
This might be a good time to define content distribution. I’m not going to go to Google and copy and paste what I find. I’m going to share the Modern Day Marketer’s definition here.
Content distribution is being on offense with the content that you create. It’s the art of finding communities, groups, and other channels where your customers hang out and helping them answer questions with content that you’ve built.
I kept thinking about content distribution and how we could be better.
This took time, energy, and resources.
It took a shift in mentality. It was stepping away from the content factory where we were creating for machines. It was stepping into a mindset shift of writing for people and obsessing on finding out where they hung out to learn.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it and then Jonathan reached back out.
This time it was a different request. He liked the energy that I showed and asked if I wanted to be the one to help evangelize what he was building. He wanted me to lead marketing for his new company. I slept on it and when I woke up I knew this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.
Flash forward 162 articles on The Slice (our blog), 87 3C episodes (our podcast), almost a year’s worth of The Blend (our newsletter), hundreds of conversations with Modern Day Marketers and I’ve learned one very important thing from the community.
Content distribution is the number one topic that Modern Day Marketers are thinking about right now. It comes up in almost every conversation that I am having and I’ve never spoken to another marketer who has it mastered.
It takes time
It takes resources
It takes alignment
It takes internal buy-in
It’s all of those things and more. Content distribution is an investment and it’s invigorating that so many marketers give a damn about it right now.
Let me make one thing abundantly clear here. Content distribution isn’t transactional.
It shouldn’t be treated as a batch and blast way to share your content.
Modern Day Marketers must be intentional and thoughtful with how your content is distributed.
First, be an active participant in the communities where you want to share your stuff.
This means answering people’s questions with your experience. It means sharing information.
It’s the foundational stuff that so many marketers forget about. It’s obsessing over building trust.
I don’t have this mastered yet and fight the same battles as you do every day.
I can tell you that it’s always worth my time to prioritize a half hour here and there to learning and sharing in communities like Superpath and Peak. There are so many smart people in these groups and if I do it right so many of the right people will give my content a chance.
I’m learning from people in these communities on how they are thinking about content distribution and sharing those stories back with my team. We are having frequent, cross-functional conversations on how we can begin to help support content distribution.
Last week was Board Meeting week at The Juice. Jonathan always does a great job of making sure everyone on the team contributes to the content that is being shared during this conversation. This quarter Jonathan asked me to record a quick video on what I was hearing from Modern Day Marketers on content distribution.
After I put it together and shared it with Jonathan in Slack I began to reflect on the process.
The topic that attracted me to the business I was working at was front and center.
In less than a year’s time this topic has been validated by my peers as something everyone needs more help with.
I’ve listened to that feedback, felt it for my own, and now I am taking it back to the team.
Will we create products to help support the content distribution experience?
Add it to the growing list of priorities.
The one thing that is for certain is that I will continue to use our content platform as a stage to share and host conversations on how we learn from others working through content distribution.
This article isn’t your Top 10 tips to become an expert content distributor.
Also, it’s not going to be broken apart and be the fuel for hot take central on LinkedIn.
It’s supposed to serve as a catalyst to start the conversation on what’s possible when a community of Modern Day Marketers are thinking about the same problem.
Just as I was inspired by the topic in my “interview” process I’d encourage you to begin the conversation with your boss and your boss’s boss on how you allocate resources to content distribution.
If you need my help just shoot me a message. My DMs are always open. 🧃
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