Product-Led Content

The Fall of Content Factories and Rise of Modern Day Content Distribution in B2B

Brett McGrath

Jun 21, 2022

The Fall of Content Factories and Rise of Modern Day Content Distribution in B2B

I AM A CREATOR.

I’ve worked in a lot of different marketing functions. I’ve learned a ton from all of these experiences.

NOTHING….I mean NOTHING defines me more than being a CREATOR. 

I get excitement in my stomach when I create. It’s not just the end deliverable that motivates me. I love the entire process. I think investigating is interesting. I love facilitating conversations to unearth topics. Don’t even get me started with distribution…more on that later. 

I AM A CREATOR because I’ve got ideas. 

I AM A CREATOR because I’ve got a point of view. 

I AM A CREATOR because when my content resonates with a specific group of people there is no better feeling. 

It’s a rush. If you are a CREATOR you know what I am talking about. 

We used to be able to level up our brands simply by creating a new content piece and hitting publish. There’s been a seismic shift in B2B content and those days are gone. It’s not doom and gloom though. 

We all have the opportunity to be creators who separate and resonate.  

It wasn’t long ago when there wasn’t any space for the creator in B2B. The runway for opportunity and to be seen is limitless. I’m going to spend the rest of this piece sharing my thoughts on the shift, giving you an example of how we are helping at The Juice, and inviting you to a collaboration to learn more. 

ARE YOU A CREATOR?

Let's go. 🧃

The Rise of Commodity Content 

I can vividly remember being at my first job in B2B SaaS when content marketing was becoming a thing. 

I’d read HubSpot’s State of Marketing Reports and there would be more of an emphasis on content marketing with each new edition. All I had to do was start looking at the seats that were filling up around me on the marketing team. Content marketers were being hired to produce content to fuel inbound marketing. 

The first content marketers would take their seat and make an immediate impact. 

The content marketing function evolved into content marketing teams.

These teams churned out dozens of pieces of content each week. 
Google rewarded the content for consistency, keywords, and optimization.

The leads started flowing in. Content marketing was not only creating content, but the function was creating a ton of new leads for the sales team. We were getting new customers every day because of content marketing. 

The problem? Every B2B marketing team was doing the same thing.

It didn’t happen overnight. It happened over a course of time. 

Everyone started playing the same game and content became commoditized. 

The content engine turned into engines and these engines helped the content factories humming along. The quality of content went down. We started to see how many keywords we could jam pack in one blog post and we’d hit publish for the placement…not for the consumer. 

This game is still being played today and part of the reason our audiences are on content overload. 

The proliferation of the content marketing role paired with the desire to hit the algorithms for placement has had a side effect that few anticipated when our content engines started…

OUR FUTURE CUSTOMERS ARE DROWNING IN CONTENT! 

Want to see for yourself? 

Search Google for a marketing topic you are trying to learn about. The results at the top are likely the content teams who know how to play the game the best. This doesn’t mean that it’s the highest quality content option. In fact in many cases it’s likely some of the worst. 

This is a big reason why we are building The Juice (Not a member? Sign up for free here). We want to deliver the highest quality B2B marketing and sales content for our members without any bullshit. 

No forms. No pop up ads. No traps. 

We are prioritizing aggregation and access to great content. 

We are working damn hard to contribute to a better content experience in B2B and a better way, but aren’t naive to think content factories won’t continue to churn out low quality content that contributes to the problem. Here’s another visual for your viewing pleasure. 

Scott Brinker’s Martech Map becomes even more insane each year. You’ve got to smash the zoom button 3-5x just to make out your company's logo. The birth and growth of new Martech companies doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. So what’s that mean for creators? 

It means each of these dots has a content marketer and many likely have content marketing teams. 

Every day new content is being published by these dots and it’s being fed to Google. 

If you move past all of the ads there are 9 spots on 1 page of a Google search. Every company in each of these categories are focused on the same keywords. There’s more competition than ever before. Everyone is jockeying for the same spot to earn the attention of your next customer.  Creating content used to be the way we’d differentiate from our competitors. Now it’s table stakes and we need to be smarter about the delivery. 

Brands who are all battling for the same keywords fall victim to a majority of their content going unseen. Think about all of the time. Think about all of the investment.  Think about all of the resources. 

WE ARE CREATORS. We want to be seen, but today we have a better chance of ending up in internet purgatory than ever before. We went through a big shift when we started building out content marketing teams. If you haven’t noticed, let me be the first to introduce you to an undeniable shift that is happening right now and WILL help you break through the noise. 

We have entered the era of modern day distribution and you have the opportunity to be one of the first. 

Don’t get it twisted. This isn’t the same thing as paying for a bunch of shitty leads from a content syndication program. This is being on offense with your content. It’s delivering your fresh content to the right people at the right time and through the right channels. 

Let me show you how we are building to help support this shift and help more content marketers turn out the lights of the content factories that they’ve been running. 

The Juice for Content Distribution 

Earlier this week I gave one of my favorite B2B marketers, Nick Bennett from Alyce access to his Creator Page (follow him!) and decided to record a quick Loom to show him how it works. 

If you’ve graduated from your role at the content factory and are in the content distribution game then this likely resonates with you. It’s not about just hitting publish and hoping for the best anymore. There’s infinite competition for keywords and we need to be in the content distribution game in order to stand out.

When I get done with this article I know it’s not over. It’s my job to make sure this piece not only doesn’t go unseen, but gets views from the right type of marketers. That’s why I proactively engage in the communities and channels where our future customers exist. It’s not a batch and blast strategy. It’s about customizing your message and delivery to potential consumers in that channel. 

There are so many channels to pick from, but my feedback would be to focus on the few that will produce the highest quality engagement. For me, that’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack communities, The Blend (sign up here), and most importantly The Juice🧃.

I know my job is to hype the place where I work. That’s the role of the brand guy anyways, right? 

But, seriously The Juice is the most important channel in my content distribution checklist because of the audience. It’s exclusively B2B marketing and sales professionals who want to grow. They’ve got LinkedIn for the hot takes, they’ve got Twitter for the threads, they’ve got communities for the peer-to-peer camaraderie, and now they’ve got The Juice for the right type of content to level up in their role. 

The Juice has changed for the better in the last 1.5 years I’ve been working here. My favorite update has been around the emphasis of content distribution. If you are a customer of The Juice or a creator you can distribute your latest and greatest pieces to our audience anytime that you want. 

Also, if you have a Creator Page and own a brand page you can now distribute your content to both audiences at the same time. This means followers of your individual page and followers of your company’s page can get access to your latest content directly to their inbox.

How’s that for content distribution? 

We want to be your new favorite content distribution channel. We want to help support your growth initiatives with brand awareness, audience growth, content distribution, and supporting your sales team. 

If you are interested in learning more talk to my teammate Kate. She’ll listen to what you are trying to accomplish and see how we can help. If you are interested in learning more about content distribution you can register for our event with Ross Simmonds and Foundation next week. 

 

We are all CREATORS. The shift is here and the opportunity to stand out is to become a DISTRIBUTOR, too. 

Not a member yet? Join The Juice and start learning from creators and brands who are pushing B2B forward. 🧃

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