Selling Guns to Gandhi: Getting Content Buy-In - Pubcon New Orleans 2014

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Creating, managing and distributing useful, usable content on a regular basis is hard enough, but have you ever tried to sell it? …

Creating, managing and distributing useful, usable content on a regular basis is hard enough, but have you ever tried to sell it?

Agencies and in-house teams alike are having a hard time getting buy-in for meaningful content initiatives that provide tangible value for their target audience. All too often decision makers tie our hands, focusing too heavily on what competitors are doing instead of highlighting their unique value in a way that resonates with the people that matter most: Customers.

This presentation aims to provide actionable tips, tactics and real world use cases for selling strategic content to the people who write the checks.

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  • Selling Guns to Gandhi: The Art of Content Buy-In by Steve Floyd – CEO of AXZM – www.axzm.com/about/steve-floyd
  • No, I’m not selling any guns (and certainly not to Gandhi) but it can certainly feel that when you are trying to get buy-in for strategic content initiatives.
  • I got your attention though!
  • That’s the whole point. You need to stand out among all the other voices in your organization, or your strategy will get pushed to the side for another shiny object.
  • Let’s be honest here, planning and executing a content strategy is hard.
  • Getting buy-in for that content strategy can be even harder.
  • If we want buy-in we need to learn to keep it simple.
  • Or you may never get the approval you need to implement your strategy.
  • We give them all this stuff…
    - STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWS- BRANDING / STYLE GUIDES
    - CONTENT AUDIT / INVENTORIES- QUALITATIVE / QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS- KEY MESSAGE ARCHITECTURE- USER / BUYER JOURNEYS
    - CONTENT MATRIX- CONTENT FLOW DIAGRAMS- METADATA STRATEGY- CONTENT TEMPLATES- WIREFRAMES (HIGH & LOW RES)- CONTENT GOVERNANCE MODEL
  • And this… Content Matrix
  • And this… Mind Maps
  • And this… Content Audits
  • And this… Personas
  • And this… Content Templates
  • And this… Governance Model
  • And that is all great (and necessary).
  • But, why are we surprised?
  • When no one gives a shit.
  • Or when stakeholders react in a negative way to the extra work you are putting on them? Work they of then do not fully understand.
  • When senior management and co-workers hate you for trying to take over their content?
  • All they want is a website. Why all the fuss?
  • Content strategists know these deliverables are absolutely essential, but it’s not hard to see why there is no buy-in.
  • This obviously puts us between a rock and hard place.
  • The key is…
  • Balance.
  • Proactively condense and centralizing all your documents in one place for your team is a good idea. This will grease the skids adoption of your strategy.
  • Give your stakeholders the cliff notes that speak to their initial pain points and KPIs while getting the approval you need to move forward. There is such a thing as too much information.
  • I know. Sounds like a great theory, but how do I actually do that?!
  • Exclusive to Big Design conference, I give you….
  • The Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet – Client Profile & Insights– axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • The Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet – Client Profile & Insights– axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • The Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet – Key Messages – axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • The Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet – Personas – axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • The Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet – Content Audit – axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • The Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet – Editorial Calendar – axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • If we really want buy-in we have to prove our value to the people who write the checks.
  • You will need ammo to do this. Here it is…
  • Use every tool in your arsenal (you’re going to need it) and arm yourself with a full clip of data. This will help better inform your content strategy and give you confirmation that the opportunities are there - http://axz.mx/best-tools
  • Use Google Analytics to track every interaction with your website, so you can continually improve the user experience and conversions. You can also prove the value of the campaigns you are working on with campaign URLs - axz.mx/g-analyze
  • Set up a Google Analytics dashboard for your company website and track the data points that matter most to your business - axz.mx/ga-dashboards
  • Use Raventools to manage your ongoing content marketing, social, email and paid efforts. There are also a host of other tools that help you quickly fix technical SEO errors and custom branded reports for your boss / client or customers. - axz.mx/r-tool
  • Use SEM rush to get traffic estimates on keywords, spy on competitors ad spend and generate reports based on this data. - axz.mx/sem-rusher
  • Use the Content Analysis Tool by Content Insights to Audit large amounts of content - axz.mx/c-insights
  • Use Screaming Frog to audit your content on the cheap (FREE & Paid versions) - axz.mx/scream-frog
  • Let data guide the way, it will set you free - axz.mx/data-sets-free
  • Your data better be right on the money though, at least if you are going to prove your value, so make sure you do away with vanity metrics that don’t matter to the stakeholder’s bottom line. If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.
  • The C-Suite speaks in the language of money.
  • They see all this web stuff as a utility of the IT department (but it’s not).
  • Learn to speak the language.
  • Be a chameleon and adapt to your environment. Try to understand what makes the stakeholder tick and what they value. Even go as far as to match the style of dress that your stakeholder is most comfortable in. If they are super conservative in $10,000 suites, it’s probably a good idea not to show up in cargos and flip flops. The same could be said about stakeholders who prefer a more casual style. Don’t show up over dressed or you could alienate yourself. It’s all about listening and building trust, so anything you can do to make that process easier do proactively. It will make the process of buy-in go much easier when the decision maker is bought into you, not just the strategy you are trying to get buy-in for.
  • Once you know what makes them tick and what channels they value most, play to those key interests and sell your strategy around it. For example, if they are all about social media and branding but think SEO is snake oil, skew your presentation towards branding and social. The same could be said about stakeholders who value SEO & PPC to drive sales, but think social media is a waste of time. Make your presentation SEO centric.
  • How you present your pitch is everything.
  • 95% of presentations completely suck. Ask yourself if you would buy into the idea you are selling when you look at your presentation. If you can’t design something yourself, pay someone who can. This is a huge factor in how your strategy is perceived.
  • Create an experience, not just a pitch. Weave elements of story telling into your presentation that weave all the stakeholder’s biggest organizational pain points into an easily digestible solution. Again, keep it stupid simple. Use metaphors and parables to drive your point across for things that might be over their heads.
  • Use TinderBox to create, track and manage interactive presentations. - axz.mx/tinder-box
  • Use BidSketch to create secure, scalable web-based proposals that will speed up your response times and set yourself apart from all the other paperwork on their desk.
  • That’s the whole point. You need to stand out among all the other voices in your organization, or your strategy will get pushed to the side for another shiny object.
  • We need to sell content strategy in engaging, useful and relevant ways…
  • Just like the content we advocate.
  • “First they ignore you, Then they laugh at you, Then they fight you, Then you win.”- Mahatma Gandhi
  • Credits:
    SLIDE #9 - So You’ve Heard about Web Content Strategy. Now What? by Nell Kauls
    SLIDE #10 - Web Strategies Sites Content Matrix
    SLIDE #11 - Using Mind Maps for UX Design by Catriona Cornett
    SLIDE #12 - Content Inventory – Degree Programs by Russ Beeson
    SLIDE #13 - How User Personas Can Improve Your SEO Strategy by KISSMetrics
    SLIDE #14 - Content Templates to Get Your Clients Thinking Content-First by James Deer
    SLIDE #15 - Governance Model for SharePoint 2010 by Microsoft
    SLIDE #54 - Academia Sucks the Soul Out of Design The Presentation Designer
    SLIDE #57 Developing an Experience Strategy in 4 Parts by David Armano
    *All Photos Are Property of The Respective Copyright Holder
  • Resources:
    Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Business, Brand & Benefits by Rahel Anne Bailie & Noz Urbina
    Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy by Ann Rockley
    Selling Content Strategy by Karen McGrane
    The Business of Content by Melissa Rach
    Selling the Value of Your Content Strategy By Steve Walker
    Content Strategy: 3 Ways to Get Buy-In from the Corner Office by Ahava Leibtag
    Pitch Before You Plan: Selling Content Strategy Internally by C.L. Kennedy
    2 Foolproof Methods for Getting Content Marketing Buy-In by Joe Pulizzi
    Why Your CEO Doesn’t Care About Content Marketing by Chris Winfield
    Selling Content to the C-suite Ahava Leibtag
    Starting Out Organized: Website Content Planning The Right Way by Kristin Wemmer
    Selling Content Strategy: A Continuous Process by Rick Allen
    Prove Content Marketing ROI to Your CEO: 4 Values to Communicate by DJ Miller
    Getting Internal Buy-In For a Content Marketing Strategy by J-P De Clerck
    Content Marketing: How To Sell Executives On The Idea & Cost Greg Shuey
    How To Get Your Breakthrough Ideas Approved by Decision Makers by Charles Purdy
    Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath
    The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Jey Pandian
    Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet by Steve Floyd
  • About MeFor the last decade I have been creating digital marketing solutions for businesses large and small. In that time I’ve learned a few things about the governance and creation of web content and how that content ties into other marketing channels. Content is often swept aside as the last part of a project, when I believe it should be one of the very first things addressed (even before design).

Transcript

  • 1. axz.mx/c-matrix
  • 2. axz.mx/m-maps
  • 3. axz.mx/c-audits
  • 4. axz.mx/persona-ux
  • 5. axz.mx/c-templates
  • 6. axz.mx/govern-it
  • 7. axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • 8. axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • 9. axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • 10. axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • 11. axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • 12. axz.mx/super-awesome-csw
  • 13. axz.mx/best-tools
  • 14. axz.mx/g-analyze
  • 15. axz.mx/ga-dashboards
  • 16. axz.mx/r-tool
  • 17. axz.mx/sem-rusher
  • 18. axz.mx/c-insights
  • 19. axz.mx/scream-frog
  • 20. axz.mx/data-sets-free
  • 21. axz.mx/ru-experienced
  • 22. axz.mx/tinder-box
  • 23. axz.mx/bid-sketch
  • 24. SLIDE #9 - So You’ve Heard about Web Content Strategy. Now What? by Nell Kauls – Link SLIDE #10 - Web Strategies Sites Content Matrix – Link SLIDE #11 - Using Mind Maps for UX Design by Catriona Cornett – Link SLIDE #12 - Content Inventory – Degree Programs by Russ Beeson – Link SLIDE #13 - How User Personas Can Improve Your SEO Strategy by KISSMetrics – Link SLIDE #14 - Content Templates to Get Your Clients Thinking Content-First by James Deer – Link SLIDE #15 - Governance Model for SharePoint 2010 by Microsoft – Link SLIDE #54 - Academia Sucks the Soul Out of Design The Presentation Designer – Link SLIDE #57 Developing an Experience Strategy in 4 Parts by David Armano – Link *All Photos Are Property of The Respective Copyright Holder
  • 25. 1. Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Business, Brand & Benefits by Rahel Anne Bailie & Noz Urbina– Link 2. Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy by Ann Rockley – Link 3. Selling Content Strategy by Karen McGrane – Link 4. The Business of Content by Melissa Rach – Link 5. Selling the Value of Your Content Strategy By Steve Walker – Link 6. Content Strategy: 3 Ways to Get Buy-In from the Corner Office by Ahava Leibtag – Link 7. Pitch Before You Plan: Selling Content Strategy Internally by C.L. Kennedy – Link 8. 2 Foolproof Methods for Getting Content Marketing Buy-In by Joe Pulizzi – Link 9. Why Your CEO Doesn’t Care About Content Marketing by Chris Winfield – Link 10. Selling Content to the C-suite Ahava Leibtag– Link 11. Starting Out Organized: Website Content Planning The Right Way by Kristin Wemmer– Link 12. Selling Content Strategy: A Continuous Process by Rick Allen – Link 13. Prove Content Marketing ROI to Your CEO: 4 Values to Communicate by DJ Miller – Link 14. Getting Internal Buy-In For a Content Marketing Strategy by J-P De Clerck – Link 15. Content Marketing: How To Sell Executives On The Idea & Cost Greg Shuey– Link 16. How To Get Your Breakthrough Ideas Approved by Decision Makers by Charles Purdy – Link 17. Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath – Link 18. The Win Without Pitching Manifesto by Jey Pandian – Link 19. Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet by Steve Floyd – Link
  • 26. Steve Floyd Founder / Principle at AXZM twitter: @nawlready phone: (214) 272-9109 www.axzm.com For the last decade I have been creating digital marketing solutions for businesses large and small. In that time I’ve learned a few things about the governance and creation of web content and how that content ties into other marketing channels. Content is often swept aside as the last part of a project, when I believe it should be one of the very first things addressed (even before design).