B2B Marketing Strategy

Don't Yadda Communities and Curation in B2B Content Marketing

Brett McGrath

July 13, 2021

Don't Yadda Communities and Curation in B2B Content Marketing

I met another content marketer yesterday. 

The story that I am about to share is important for both marketers who produce content and those who consume content.

This is a story about the power of community and curation. These two concepts are super forces in B2B marketing right now.

Not enough people are talking about them. 

When I joined the team here I knew I had to find out where all of the B2B content marketers hung out and listen in. It had been nearly a decade since I was speaking to my people and I needed to understand what they gave a sh** about or my content would suck.

There have been several Zoom meetings and Slack conversations where I’ve told my new team that since we are a content company the last thing we can have is bad content. 

The first moves that I made was to dive in head first into the “traditional” networks to listen to the conversations. 

Here’s the the basic stuff that I did first: 

  1. Make sure Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic was still a thing and add every company’s blog who fits our customer profile in my Feedly app
  2. Audit my personal Twitter and start following people who spend a lot of time talking about B2B marketing and content - S/o to @Dmurr68. He’s good at “Marketing Twitter”
  3. Follow (not requesting to connect - there’s a freakin’ difference!) people who I was reading on LinkedIn
  4. Evaluate TikTok for B2B content 
  5. Evaluate Instagram for B2B content 

The latter two I’ve identified as greenfield opportunities for our podcast The 3C Podcast: Curating Content Creators. I just started pages on IG and TikTok. I’m going to test them out and see if I can connect with other content creators, but it’s too early to provide any tangible results.  

I don’t want to discount digging into social media, creating feeds, and testing new channels. 

This is foundational work that any content marketer should be focused on every day. 

I do want to spend the rest of this post sharing my thoughts on the power of communities and how they can help drive curation. 

First Move: Find where my people are hanging out 

I’m fortunate to be in pre-launch mode with this company inside High Alpha which is a B2B Venture Studio. There’s a lot of benefits that come with this partnership: great mentors, resources to help accelerate production, and most importantly a network of amazing marketers in similar positions as me. 

A few weeks ago I sourced the High Alpha Marketers Slack group for recommendations for content marketing communities that I should know about. 

Shout out to Emily for the recommendation on the Superpath’s Content Marketers Slack Community.   

I had spent a day running into the wall trying to find the right community. 

Most places were asking for payment before I stepped foot inside? 

What’s up with that? 

That wasn’t the case with Superpath’s group. Jimmy Daly is Superpath’s Co-founder and CEO and extremely active in the group.

When I mean active I’m talking about facilitating conversations, sharing open job requisitions, and welcoming new people to the group. 

He’s an excellent community manager and I’d bet pretty great at leading their company, too.

This group is so focused on helping that I still don’t know what the Superpath product does.

That’s a good thing, but you better believe that based on this experience it will be something I research as we are getting up and running. 

Next move: Participate 

My main objective for finding a community of content marketers was to have a place where I could listen in and gain a deep understanding of the priorities, trends, and upcoming roadblocks for these people in 2021.

We are developing a product around helping content marketers get their content to the right audience at the right time. I could guess what I think is important to content marketers abound, but it’s a way better idea to listen in.

This group is broken down into my channels like #askaquestion #career-advice #promotions and #mgmt to provide some structure to finding the information that any content marketer would need.

I did a whole lot of listening in the first week of joining and then I started to share my work. My intention wasn’t to generate new leads with my pieces, but to gain a reaction.

I let people know that I started a new podcast for my company and even got people letting me know they listened to it during their walk at lunch.

This group provided me with a sense of connection that I had not felt from a marketing community in a long time. 

I wanted to meet everyone. 

I wanted to learn what they were working on. 

I wanted to see if anyone wanted to be on the podcast.

I was reading other people’s work and it was fantastic. 

I didn’t have to battle the SEO algorithms of Google to find good content. It was being curated to me by people in this group.

The best part is that I am getting the chance to meet the people behind the content. Not just the companies.

This is critical. People buy from people and this fireball of community and curation had my mind in overdrive when thinking about the marketing that we were putting together at Fathom.

Final move: Connection and Curation 

I had 7 minutes before my next meeting and I decided to jump into the group to see what people were talking about today.

I slid into the promotions channel and was hit with a post that was titled, “The State of Content Marketing 2021”. 

We’ve all read these types of “reports” before. 

Typically, they are a bunch of graphs about nothing and business jargon that doesn’t make any sense. 

They finish with some hook on why you should check out their "revolutionary" company. 

Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. 

The reason I decided to click in to this post was because the author posted, “All feedback welcomed 🙂”. 

My mindset was that if I wanted to give back I would read the post and offer my feedback. 

When I clicked into the post. I was hit like a TON of bricks when I read the opening paragraph:

There was something about the honesty that led this post that was different and just felt right. 💯

I’m not going to provide commentary about the entire post, but I think it’s really good and you should read it. 

I commented below and the connection with it’s author Dom Kent was made.

After I reread the post I decided that it was a good idea to share in my company’s marketing Slack channel. 

And then a few hours later our CEO Jonathan decided to share and curate this post to his Twitter audience.

I was shook by all of these crazy exchanges, shares, and connections.

It impacted me so much that I decided to make authoring this post a priority as I started my day. 

I’m left with 2 main concepts that I want to share with you:

  1. Community: Marketers….specifically content marketers NEED to be active in communities. Find the group that works for you and learn. It’s a fantastic way to meet other like minded people, test your content, and learn.
  2. Curation: There is so much noise in B2B marketing. People consume content from people and sources that they trust. Lean into making curation a part of your content strategy. It not only helps elevate others in your space, but also gives you the opportunity to meet some amazing marketers.

I’m better for joining this group. I’m glad I connected with Dom and his content.

We can never lose sight of the importance of human to human connections. 

We are trying to get as many marketing and sales pros as possible to join our waitlist to be the first to check out how important curation is to our company. Join the waitlist to help us kill forms and terrible SEO experiences we all have to go through when we are trying to learn. 💯

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