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eBook: For Compelling Content, Let Your Buyer Be Your Guide

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Your buyers are the source of the insights that will differentiate your content and clarify all marketing decisions. Understanding how your buyers make their decisions, and how to persuade them, will …

Your buyers are the source of the insights that will differentiate your content and clarify all marketing decisions. Understanding how your buyers make their decisions, and how to persuade them, will make your job easier and more rewarding than you ever imagined. View this eBook and learn:
- Three must-follow rules for successful buyer-driven content marketing
- Details on how to discover and act on the Five Rings of Insight™
- Templates & tips for capturing insights from interviews with buyers

"This is a must-read for anyone involved in messaging, content, sales enablement or strategic marketing." - David Meerman Scott, Bestselling Author of "The New Rules of Marketing & PR."

Published in Business , Technology
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  • 1. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put these rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personas do you need? Using the information in your content strategy About the authors HomeFor Compelling Content,Let Your Buyers Be Your GuideContent marketing is on everyone’s mind. “We need more content.”“That’s great content.” “How can our content be more engaging?”“Do you think 6 pieces of content will be enough?”Sound familiar? However, you’re probably not looking for these answers fromthe one expert whose perspective is most relevant. Your buyers are the source ofthe insights that will differentiate your content and clarify all decisions.
  • 2. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketingThe 3 rules of buyer-driven The 5 insights that put these rules to work for youcontent marketing So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personasThere is a reason that buyer personas are becoming a hot topic among marketers. do you need?Researching and documenting your buyer persona, a detailed profile of an example buyer Using the information inthat represents the real audience, can help to inform – and transform – your content your content strategystrategy in ways you may not have thought possible. About the authorsWe hope you’ll enjoy learning about the connection between buyer personas and content Homeand will take advantage of the tips and tricks contained within. 1Rule #buyer is the center Let’s face it, your buyer does not come to This is not really new, but an additional work and say, “I don’t have any problems. trend is emerging, with buyers of even I think I’ll read a bunch of marketing complex B2B products decreasing their Your material to figure out how I should spend engagement with your sales people until of your universe my day!” they’ve narrowed their options to just a few solutions. When buyers find your content it’s because they have become aware of a So now more than ever before, your particular challenge and are evaluating company’s success requires content available options. If your content isn’t that is grounded in deep insight about easy to find or doesn’t provide the your buyer’s decision to choose you, a answers they’re seeking, your buyers competitor, or nothing at all. Only then will move on to a different provider who can you help buyers see that your product, is more helpful. service or solution will make their life easier in exactly the way they imagine. Therefore, content marketing must start with the buyers’ perspective. >>
  • 3. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put these Let’s take a look at what happens when content rules to work for you is built without the buyers’ perspective: So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personas If Christina the marketer builds do you need? content without the buyers’ Using the information in perspective, she begins with your content strategy what she knows – her product. About the authors Christina is a wonderful writer Home and she pens a well-written piece that focuses on the pains the product solves. Matt loves it and the designer pours it into a gorgeous layout.Christina also knows thatMatt, the Product Manager, Sounds like a great piece, right? Not so much >>wants to highlight the latestand greatest features andfunctionality that have beenbaked into the product. The matrix of how the product fares relative to the competition is up-to-date and Christina and Matt are aligned around the pain points that the product solves.
  • 4. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put these Let’s take a look at what happens when content rules to work for you is built without the buyers’ perspective: So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personas If Christina the marketer builds do you need? content without the buyers’ Using the information in perspective, she begins with your content strategy what she knows – her product. About the authors When pain points are generated Home from the features of the product, the piece is reverse-engineered from your perspective, not the buyer’s.Christina also knows thatMatt, the Product Manager,wants to highlight the latestand greatest features andfunctionality that have beenbaked into the product. When someone picks up your marketing materials you have 30 seconds or less to convince him or her that you can help. The buyer is saying, “You better tell me something from the beginning that blows my mind, changes my world, or makes me say, ‘Where have you been all my life?’”. To achieve this, you The matrix of how the buyers. Your buyer, not your solution, needs to be at the center of better know your your universe! to the product fares relative competition is up-to-date and Christina and Matt are aligned around the pain points that the product solves. Rule #2 >>
  • 5. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put these rules to work for youRule #2 aligned So how do you discover the 5 insights? Get everyone How many personas do you need? around what the buyer cares about Using the information in your content strategy About the authorsThe fact is, most B2B products can do a bunch Homeof stuff for your buyers. So, when you only havea sentence (or even a paragraph) to convey theproduct’s value, which part do you write about?It may seem like the only option is to generalizeor take the content to a high level, but this isunlikely to impress a buyer who has a very realand specific need. The answer lies with being completely clear about what each of your buyers wants to know at each step in their evaluation process. For example, consider the buyer who has an initiative such as “we will have our widgets integrated by 2015.” The poor guy charged with widget integration doesn’t have the full picture yet. He will find out more about the issues he needs to resolve as he moves through each stage in the buying process. He is looking for information that will give him confidence that he’s on the right track. This is when he comes to you hoping to learn how your technology is going to address his ideas about the problems related to widget integration. More >>
  • 6. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing As content marketers, we’ve found ourselves in the The 5 insights that put these trap we call “A bunch of smart people agreed on this rules to work for you piece, so it must be good!” So how do you discover the 5 insights? We may be justifiably pleased with our creative prowess. Our abilities for How many personas Making Stuff Up (MSU, for short) are top notch. After a long, productive MSU do you need? session, we share our writings with the Product Manager, whose version of MSU Using the information in is somewhat different than ours. We also show it to our boss and a colleague, who your content strategy both provide feedback. Legal has to give it a once-over and we show it to Sales. About the authors After ten reviews, the end result was defined by the MSU of the loudest person, Home or stakeholder compromises have watered the content down to generalities. This process virtually ensures that we’ll fail to help our buyer learn about our superior approach to integrating his widgets. Short of having a panel of buyers review every piece of content you create, what are you to do? Buyer personas will get all of the stakeholders throughout your company aligned around critical insights about the buyer you’re targeting with your content. Personas – factual personas based on This result requires something very different engagement with real buyers – tell you from internal agreement about your persona’s everything you need to know about how role and job description. your buyer makes the decision to choose you, a competitor, or to do nothing at all. If you don’t engage directly with your target buyers for your persona development, there is They guide your content based on real no guarantee that it is the least bit accurate. insights into your buyers’ needs for the In fact, the persona will probably sound a lot MSU Session = information to make a particular decision, like the MSU you’re used to.Making Stuff Up speaking more forcefully than your product knowledge or the loudest person’s MSU. Rule #3 >>
  • 7. The 3 rules of buyer-guided 3Rule #the jargonese content marketing The 5 insights that put these rules to work for you Lose So how do you discover the 5 insights?In 2000, Stephen King, prolific author of thriller novels, penned “On Writing, A Memoir How many personasof the Craft”. In it, he tells the story of how his passion for writing helped him recover do you need?from life-threatening injuries after a car crashed into the bicycle he was riding. Using the information inRelevant to our work as writers and marketers, his book validates a common your content strategyproblem. When King writes a novel, he employs a methodology to ensure About the authorsthat he test drives the novel through the lens of the reader.This is his process: Home He writes the whole novel He stashes it away for a while – during this time he shows it to no one As marketers, we don’t have the luxury of waiting 90 days to publish A  bout 90 days later, he takes a new piece of content. Yet, Stephen King tells us that successful it out of hiding and reads it as publishing requires someone to assume the role of the reader and take if he’s the reader a fresh look at the content. It’s tough to let go of the writer’s perspective on a piece where you’ve invested a lot of time. When you’re the writer and the material is fresh in your mind, you’re no longer a credible judge. You can trick yourself by Then, he sends it reading your content backwards and find typographical errors, but this to his editor doesn’t ensure that your writing is something the buyer wants to read. More >>
  • 8. X The 3 rules of buyer-guided Avoid Jargon content marketing 10% The 5 insights that put these rules to work for you So how do you discoverRobust holistic the 5 insights? How many personas High-level do you need? Using the information invalue-added your content strategy flexible About the authorsnimblescalable granular Stephen King notes that when he goes back to read his novels, his goal is to eliminate at least 10% of the words. Home actionable integrated He peels away unnecessary adjectives, glittering generalities and any extraneous words. His goal is to get to his point using as few customer-centric words as possible. This is the opposite of what we learned in school, where we were generally praised for flowery vocabulary. In marketing, Dynamic however, you don’t get points for vocabulary.innovative In marketing, jargon makes you sound long-winded and boring. Since your only goal is to have your audience read your content and geographically dispersed be persuaded, you want to act like you have a bank account in which you have a limited supply of words that cannot be replenished. Use results-driven them up too fast and you’ll be overdrawn! revolutionary seamless superior What does your buyer need to hear to be sustainable Thoughtful user-centric compelled to take the next step in win-win 1 the buying process and how would they like you to say it?1 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_corporate_jargon
  • 9. The 3 rules of buyer-guided * content marketing * The 5 insights that put these * rules to work for you * * So how do you discover * * the 5 insights? * How many personas * do you need? Using the information in your content strategy About the authors Home By revealing the buyer’s perspective about what they want to hear from you and when, buyer personas literally take the guesswork out of content marketing. No The answer lies in the buyer persona; an longer caught in the cycle of endless opinions based on MSU, a content marketer archetype of the buyer that the company can become very precise about what to say and how to say it, even down to the right hopes to persuade to choose its products, words to use. services or solution. Imagine working with your buyers’ questions right next to you as you write. You hand off your content to reviewers who have that same buyer profile sheet for Specific insights into your buyer guidance. Equipped with these tools, your reviewers can focus on a particular personas deliver the answers you need. buyer’s perspective, making changes that would improve the chance that the target buyer would read it and be persuaded. Content writing is like sculpting a piece with the buyer in mind, massaging the thoughts you want to convey into a shape that the buyer will like. With well-built buyer personas, this is relatively easy to accomplish.1 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_corporate_jargon The 5 insights that help put these rules to work for you >>
  • 10. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that help put The 5 insights that put these rules to work for you these rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personas Applying these rules for content marketing requires new approaches to the writing do you need? process. Before you begin to write, you will need to research and develop real insights Using the information in about your buyers. your content strategy What specifically do you need to have for such a revealing buyer persona? When marketing teams About the authors realize how little they actually know about their buyers, many react by rushing madly off in all directions in search of information. It’s all too easy to get distracted by irrelevant, extraneous and even trivial Home information about the buyers. We’ve actually seen teams get bogged down in debating whether the buyer persona is male or female. Core Buyer Personas While buyer personas can include other details, there are just five insights – we call product connections them the Five Rings of Insight™2 – that you must have to make good decisions about the content you need to develop. Let’s Priority Success Perceived Buying Decision talk about each of these and what they entail. Initiatives Factors Barriers Process Criteria Insight #1 >>2 Five Rings of Insight is a trademark of Buyer Persona Institute.
  • 11. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing Priority Success Perceived Buying Decision The 5 insights that put these Initiatives Factors Barriers Process Criteria rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights?Priority Initiatives How many personas do you need? Using the information inThis first of the five Insights identifies the three-to-five problems or your content strategyobjectives where your buyer persona is dedicating time, budget or political About the authorscapital, without regard to your business or the problems your product solves.Your buyers currently believe that these Initiatives are the most essential areas Homethat impact their job performance or company success.Do not confuse Priority Initiatives with pain points that you reverse-engineeredbased on the capabilities of your product or service. For example, your marketingautomation product might help the marketing executive measure the activitiesthat have the most impact on revenue. But this is not a Priority Initiative until Tips and Examples: Avoid reverseyou’ve confirmed that this is currently among that buyer’s highest priorities for engineering. You know your buyer’s Priorityinvestment, and that this is the way that buyer describes this initiative. Initiatives are reverse-engineered when they are…When you capture the Priority Initiative insight, you can easily focus your demand 3 Derived from the features and benefits yourgeneration activities on the most receptive buyer personas, relying on factual product deliversdata to know which of several different types of buyers should be committed to 3 Filled with jargon words: “Buyers need anaddressing your solution’s problems. easy-to-use, scalable, enterprise wide...” 3 Your internal stakeholder’s vision for where theYou will gain this insight by understanding what caused recent buyers to evaluate market needs to goyour product/solution. Something occurred at these companies to trigger theirsearch for a solution like yours. When you understand the events or conditions that 3 Invented during a team strategy meetingcause actual buyers to take action, you have a strong foundation for content with 3 High-level, obvious goals such asscenarios that say “You may have not experienced this yet, but it’s coming soon. ‘grow sales’ or ‘reduce expenses’Here’s how to avoid it.” Insight #2 >>
  • 12. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing Priority Success Perceived Buying Decision The 5 insights that put these Initiatives Factors Barriers Process Criteria rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights?Success Factors How many personas do you need? Using the information inFor every Priority Initiative that you will target in your marketing, this your content strategyinsight identifies the tangible or intangible rewards this buyer persona About the authorsassociates with success. Specifically, Success Factors tell you how a particularbuyer describes his or her expectations for the results your solution will deliver. HomeSuccess Factors resemble benefits, but benefits are reverse-engineered from thecapabilities the product can deliver, while Success Factors are results that actualbuyers describe.Sometimes we find that a buyer has tangible metrics for success, such as growingrevenue by X or reducing operating costs by Y. For a B2B buyer, a tangible Success Tips and Examples:Factor might be about improving the throughput of the company’s network by Don’t confuse Success Factors with25%, reducing network latency and increasing people’s productivity. benefits. They’re more specific than that. When a good sales person first meets with aBut even if the buyer doesn’t have a measurable objective to achieve, there is prospect, he doesn’t try to explain each of yoursomething at stake for them. For example, for B2B buyers, the wrong decision solution’s benefits – that would annoy the buyer –could result in job loss, while the right decision could enable a promotion or major and it’s even worse when you try it in writing.career move. The Success Factor insight tells you which  For both B2C and B2B buyers, examples of intangible outcomes are most valuable to this type of buyer successes include impressing peers, widening their sphere and why, so that you know how to develop of influence, or increasing their ability to control simple, persuasive messaging and content that something specific in their environment. You’ll want won’t annoy the buyer. to understand this in as much detail as possible. Insight #3 >>
  • 13. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing Priority Success Perceived Buying Decision The 5 insights that put these Initiatives Factors Barriers Process Criteria rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights?Perceived Barriers How many personas do you need? Using the information inThe third insight is about your buyer’s Perceived Barriers. It tells you your content strategywhy buyers would choose a competitor’s solution over yours and why About the authorsthey sometimes decide to do nothing at all. HomeThe Perceived Barriers Insight is one of the most important for content marketing.It tells you exactly where and how your content needs to reassure a buyer whowould question that your solution or company is capable of helping them achievetheir Success Factors. Tips and Examples: To understand theThe most useful part of this insight reveals the buyer’s perspective about the Perceived Barrier insight, imagine the scenariopersonal or business obstacles that will interfere with their chance to achieve that you want to bring home a new puppy.success. For B2B buyers, examples might relate to the need for business process You really want the puppy and you’ll be rescuing itchange, gaining acceptance from end users, or other politically-charged issues. For from a tragic situation. What would your spouseB2C buyers, a fisherman might be concerned about making a case to his wife that a or significant other say if you called them and toldnew boat is more important than remodeling the kitchen. them you were going to do that?Other Perceived Barriers may result from this buyer persona’s prior experiences You’d know in advance what their objectionswith your product or company, or with other products that have similar would be and would have prepared a point-for-functionality. Peer or expert feedback about your company or products can feed your point plan to overcome their objections. Yourbuyer’s concerns. You should also expect to gain Insights into product or company- content will probably not deliver these exactspecific Perceived Barriers that are no longer (or never were) factually correct. points, but your overall strategy requires that you know how to “position theThis tends to be the most overlooked ring of insight because it’s the bad news; puppy” at this same level of detailthings that people don’t want to talk about. Yet, your ability to identify and for your product and buyers.understand your buyer’s Perceived Barriers, addressing them proactively in yourmarketing content, sets your content apart as a source of competitive advantage. Insight #4 >>
  • 14. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing Priority Success Perceived Buying Decision The 5 insights that put these Initiatives Factors Barriers Process Criteria rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights?Buying Process How many personas do you need? Using the information inThe fourth insight is about the Buying Process, or what some are calling your content strategythe buyer’s journey. It tells you what your buyer does to identify alternative About the authorssolutions, weigh his or her options, and make a decision. It specifically identifies theprocess your buyer personas will follow to explore and select the product, service, or Homesolution that can overcome their Perceived Barriers and achieve their Success Factors. ? If you’re marketing a complex solution, you already know if several buyer personas have an impact on the decision, but... Do you know which type of buyer is most positive or negative about your approach? Do you know what sources each buyer trusts to answer their questions? All of this is captured in the Buying Process insight. It is here that you document each step in the buying process, identifying each of the buyer persona(s) who are critical to the decision to proceed to the next step, what role each plays, and the resources each consults to find answers to their questions. More >>
  • 15. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing Priority Success Perceived Buying Decision The 5 insights that put these Initiatives Factors Barriers Process Criteria rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personas do you need?Below is an example of a Buying Process map, completed with fictitious data for a smallbusiness that is evaluating its options to purchase new laptop computers. Using the information in your content strategy About the authorsInsights clarify marketing investments Home Buying Key Conv Key Decision Resources Sales & Process Step Personas Rate Criteria Buyers Consult Marketing Assets Trigger Small biz 75% Lightweight, WSJ article, PR and social owner Brand name LinkedIn group media Research Office 20% Battery life, Online reviews, Use case studies, manager Size/weight Blog posts blogger outreach Tip: Once you establish Assess Office 80% Keyboard feel, Apple store, POS displays, the insights and the Buyers’ manager Screen resolution Best Buy sales training Process, be sure to document Negotiate Small biz 65% Cost trade-offs, Supplier websites Comparison the resources the buyers utilize on owner Extended warranty pages their journey. This will inform a map of content that will Implement Office 40% Start-up time, Using experience Customer manager Tech support feedback program support buyers in their decision-making. You can also use this step to audit your current content’s usefulness and identify gaps in your deliverables. Insight #5 >>
  • 16. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing Priority Success Perceived Buying Decision The 5 insights that put these Initiatives Factors Barriers Process Criteria rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights?Decision Criteria How many personas do you need? Using the information inThe fifth and final insight is Decision Criteria – it tells you which your content strategybenchmarks each type of buyer uses to evaluate and compare About the authorsalternative approaches to a problem. HomeYour buyer begins a search with a specific set of requirements, frequently derived fromonline research, prior experiences, and conversations with their peers. But as the decisionprogresses, your buyers will become more educated about their available options, refiningand altering their decision criteria. Capturing this information about each stage in theBuying Process helps you to ensure that the answers to the buyers’ specific questions arereadily available when and where they are needed.The Decision Criteria insight also helps marketers avoid jargon, such as “interoperable” or“scalable.” The Insight should reveal details about your buyers’ expectations for scalability, Tips and Examples:or any other capabilities they consider most important, plus an explanation of how the For the “flexible” example,buyer arrived at their conclusions that your solution, or your competitor’s was the best the Decision Criteriamatch for their criteria. Insight would specify which aspects of the solution F useful buyer personas, it is critical to include or this persona expected to be “flexible”, Decision Criteria insights from: and the process by which they determined that the chosen solution • Buyers who chose you is the most flexible. • Those who chose a competitor • Plus those who chose to do nothing at all So how do you discover the 5 insights? >>
  • 17. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketingSo how do you discover The 5 insights that put these rules to work for youthe 5 insights? So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personasWouldn’t it be nice if all the information you needed for your buyer persona came in a kit? do you need?Unfortunately, it does not. The insights you need are at the intersection of your buyers’ Using the information incore persona (see Core Buyer Persona) and the way they choose your specific product or your content strategyservice (Product-Persona Connection). The second template is most important to content About the authorsmarketers, as it tells you how your buyer makes decisions about your kind of solutions. HomeThere is simply no replacement for the work that goes into developing one.However, you may be surprised to learn that it is relatively easy to ask your buyersto reveal the insights you need. For most marketers, it takes just a few hours oftraining to learn how to conduct a specialized kind of unscripted, agenda-drivenconversation with your buyer that lets you probe for the details you need. After as few as six-to-eight interviews, you will know enough to have confidence in most of the decisions that Core Buyer Persona Template are currently dependent on MSU. Download Product-Persona Connection Template Download More >>
  • 18. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put these rules to work for youYou can guess the obvious pain points of your buyers, So how do you discoverbut your competitors have this same information. the 5 insights? How many personas When you ask probing questions, you will be able to glean a deeper do you need? understanding of how they evaluated and compared their options. Using the information in You will know what prevented them from fixing the problem until now your content strategy and the real reason they chose your competitor (hint: it isn’t price or About the authors features). And, you will know what is different about the people or circumstances that allow you to win a particular type of buyer’s business. Home You’ll notice our repeated use of the word “insights.” We chose it deliberately. The insights that make a buyer persona so valuable have a remarkable impact. Pieces of the puzzle about how your content can persuade a buyer to choose your solution will suddenly fall into place. A recent encounter at a business dinner was a fantastic example of the power of asking probing questions. During the dinner discussion, Wayne, a friend who is a master interviewer, was speaking with a new acquaintance, Sarah. Sarah mentioned that she was planning to paint her apartment that weekend. Wayne didn’t follow up with the obvious question, asking what color she would paint the apartment. Instead, he asked “How did you decide what color to paint the apartment?”
  • 19. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put theseYou can guess the obvious pain points of your buyers, rules to work for youbut your competitors have this same information. So how do you discover the 5 insights? When you ask probing questions you will be able to glean a deeper How many personas do you need? understanding of how they evaluated and compared their options. You will know what prevented them from fixing the problem until now, Using the information in your content strategy and the real reason they chose your competitor (hint: it isn’t price or features). And, you will know what is different about the people or About the authors circumstances that allow you to win a particular type of buyer’s business. Home You’ll notice our repeated use of the word “insights”. We chose it deliberately. The insights that make Consider this for a moment: a buyer persona so valuable have a remarkable impact. Pieces of the puzzle about how your content can persuade a buyer to choose your solution will suddenly fall into place. If Wayne had asked Sarah about the color she chose, she would have told him a color name and perhaps described the shade. By asking how she made the decision, Wayne engaged Sarah in telling her story, gaining real insight into her current lifestyle, how she makes decisions, solves problems, and thinks about her environment. The interesting question prompted an enthusiastic and animated response from Sarah, creating a rapport that allowed Wayne to ask even more interesting follow-up questions.
  • 20. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put theseEffective persona interviews encourage your buyers to rules to work for youtell you a story about what worked, and what didn’t, So how do you discover the 5 insights?as they progressed through their buying decision. How many personas do you need?You’ll find that the buyer will speak 90% of the time, Using the information inand, if you guide them with the right type of questioning, your content strategyyou will learn amazing things that the buyer has not yet About the authorsshared with anyone. HomeYou’ll understand how they talk about the various solutionsavailable to them and their perception of each solution’sability to address their problems.You’ll learn the words they use.You’ll know, better than anyone else, how your buyersmake the decision to buy your product or not.Imagine all the ways you can put that to use! Conducting the buyer interview >>
  • 21. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put theseConducting the buyer interview rules to work for you So how do you discoverIn interviewing your buyers, you’ll find that the buyer’s first answer to the 5 insights?any question will be the one that you already know. The insights you How many personasrequire will come from your follow-up questions. do you need? Using the information inConsider this common response to a question about how a buyer selected the your content strategysolutions to evaluate: “I was looking for something that would be easy to use.” About the authors HomeThe follow-up questions will get the buyer speaking for perhaps 10 minutes abouthis perception of your product, and each of the others that he evaluated.Questions such as these, for example: How much training What did you expect did you expect before These insights to be easy? it would be easy? are the exact information you want and desperately need! For whom should it be easy? Plus, each of the buyer’s answers to these questions will present options for additional probing questions, revealing additional How did you compare Who in your company important details. ease of use for each of was involved in the your alternatives? ease-of-use assessment? More >>
  • 22. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put theseConducting the buyer interview rules to work for you So how do you discoverThe need for probing questions means that youcannot gain insights from your buyer if youapproach the conversation with a script or list of 1 Follows an agenda NOT A SCRIPT the 5 insights? How many personas do you need? 2questions. You need an agenda, which is clearly Engages the buyer in telling Using the information infocused on the five insights. And then you need your content strategy A True Storyto learn to build your questions from the buyer’s About the authorsprevious answer.This is a skill set that takes a bit of practice tomaster. Marketers haven’t generally had a chance 3 Convinces the buyer to say more, endures silence Hometo hone these skills, so expect it to be a bituncomfortable at first. These Seven Key Attributes ofthe Buyer Persona Interview will get you started: 4 Prior responses SHAPE THE NEXT QUESTION 7 Key 5 Does not correct False Impressions s A ttribute yer of the Bu 6 Requires intense concentration, no distractions Person a w Intervie 7 Seeks ENDLESS detail about how a buyer decides Who should you talk to? >>
  • 23. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put theseWho should you talk to? rules to work for you So how do you discoverPersona interviews are easiest to conduct with buyers who the 5 insights?have just recently invested a considerable amount of time in the How many personasbuying process, or when the outcome of the decision has high do you need?stakes for that buyer. It is more difficult to engage buyers about Using the information indecisions that involved little research, or if the buyer would your content strategyfind it easy to replace the solution if they are dissatisfied. About the authorsFor example, buying a new Homebusiness book on Amazon isa relatively low investment andinterviewing the buyer aboutthis decision would reveal little. By contrast, the buyer who purchases a new enterprise software solution has spent months or even years in the decision process, and will be very happy to tell someone who is not in Sales about the agonies of that experience. The best place to collect insights is through win/loss interviews because these are people who have just been buyers. The conversation you will have doesn’t require the buyer to guess about how a decision might be made. You are simply asking them to tell you what actually happened and how they arrived at the final decision to select your solution, or not. This makes the resulting information far more reliable than it would be were you presenting a hypothetical situation and asking the buyer for a reaction. How many personas do you need? >>
  • 24. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketingHow many personas The 5 insights that put these rules to work for youdo you need? So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personasOnce you’ve conducted several interviews, you can do you need?begin to compare each buyer’s responses for each of Using the information inthe Five Rings of Insight. When you take this step, you your content strategywill often discover that you need to segment what you About the authorsthought was one persona into two, based upon a factorthat you had not even considered. HomeSometimes the opposite may occur. You may learn Similar insights = one Persona Connectionthat two buyers that you had always messaged andmarketed to separately actually make decisions Five Rings of Insight™ Small Company Steve Large Company Stevein the same way. In this case it is best to combinethe personas, as further marketing investments in 1. Priority Initiative Need to compete with Competition gaining on usdifferentiated messaging and content will not be the big guysmore persuasive. 2. Success Factor Reducing time to market Eliminate excuses from the by months engineering teamsFollowing is a chart showing the Five Insights for acompany that had always built separate messaging 3. Perceived Barrier Can’t afford major changes Need incremental approachand content for IT Directors in small and largecompanies. When they did their buyer interviews, 4. Buying Process Working with reseller, I Key to decision on short listthey discovered that on two of the insights, Priority make final recommendation and final recommendationsInitiatives and Perceived Barriers, the buyers wereso similar that they could build and execute a 5. Decision Criteria Training and Mixed technologysingle content strategy. implementation environment Most people rely on demographic information such as industry or company size to segment their messages. When you research your buyer persona, you have a chance to segment your buyers based on differences in the way buyers can be persuaded to choose your solution. This is a much more effective way to identify and influence the most receptive parts of the market. Using the information in your content strategy >>
  • 25. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketingUsing the information in The 5 insights that put these rules to work for youyour content strategy So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personasMany parts of your company can benefit from the insights you will glean from your buyer do you need?persona research. In your excitement about everything you’ve learned, it will be tempting to Using the information input together a bunch of PowerPoint slides to show Sales and Product Management everything your content strategyyou have learned. We caution you to move carefully in this respect. Using personas to guide About the authorsthe work in other departments is beyond the scope of this eBook, and is complicated, so we’llstick with the content marketing issues. HomeThe most important objective for your insights is to use them to improve your marketing content. But beforeyou blast off on writing, there is one more step – you need to define an overriding messaging strategy.The messaging strategy isn’t your actual copy, it describes your plan to persuade a particular buyer topurchase your product/service/solution. The messaging strategy template is in the appendix, and is fairly self-explanatory once you’ve captured the Five Insights from buyer interviews, but email adele@buyerpersona.com if you’re having trouble. The template captures the key factors you learned about what buyers do and don’t like about your solution, and why. With these thoughts in mind, you’ll identify the five points you need to communicate to reinforce what they like and overcome their barriers.Mastering Messaging StrategiesTemplate Download More >>
  • 26. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put these rules to work for you So how do you discover Tips and Examples: The Messaging the 5 insights? Strategy Template can be your source document for a macro messaging map for How many personas do you need? all of your marketing activities. This can help to drive alignment across Using the information in your content strategy a widely distributed team and help theThe messaging strategy, in combination with organization understand your strategy. You About the authorsyour completed persona worksheets, is now will want to identify critical messaging themesyour roadmap for anyone who is writing or and plot them across a timeline, aligning them Homereviewing any of your marketing content. with your PR activities, product launches, inbound and outbound demandThe templates for the Core Buyer Persona and generation activities, as well asthe Product-Persona Connection are supplied in-person events.for your use in the appendix. We hope that you have taken away new knowledge about how persona research and development provides great value for content creation and some helpful tips for doing this in your own environment. Understanding how your buyer makes their decision and how to persuade them will make your job easier and more rewarding than you ever imagined. About the writers >>
  • 27. The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketingAbout the authors The 5 insights that put these rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personas do you need? Using the information in your content strategy About the authors HomeAdele Revella Maribeth RossAdele Revella is a marketing keynote speaker, workshop Maribeth Ross has over 15 years of experience in B2Bfacilitator and author of The Buyer Persona Manifesto. marketing. With experience developing award winningA career marketer with decades of experience, Adele has programs and sales enablement in organizations bothapproached the discipline from all sides: marketing executive, large and small, Maribeth has a keen understanding of theconsultant, trainer and entrepreneur. benefits of buyer insights and has been involved in persona research for many different target buyers for severalTraveling the globe for more than 10 years, Adele introduced products.buyer personas to thousands of marketers through a two-day seminar she developed and led for Pragmatic Marketing. Currently the VP of Marketing at NetProspex, MaribethThrough the company she founded in 2010, Buyer Persona has been writing articles and speaking publicly about bestInstitute, Adele leads workshops for marketers who seek the practices for marketers, including her favorite topic: buyerconfidence to say: “This is what really matters to our buyers. personas. A career marketer, passionate about her craft, AppendixSo here’s the plan.” Maribeth recently conducted persona research on her company’s target buyer, the demand generation marketer.Contact Adele at adele@buyerpersona.com. Contact Maribeth at mross@netprospex.com. @buyerpersona @MaribethRoss ©2012 by Adele Revella and Maribeth Ross. Please feel free to post this e-book on your blog or email it to whomever you believe would benefit from reading it. Thank you. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution.
  • 28. Appendix The 3 rules of buyer-guided content marketing The 5 insights that put these rules to work for you So how do you discover the 5 insights? How many personas do you need? Using the information in your content strategy About the authors HomeCore Buyer Product-Persona Messaging StrategyPersona Template Connection Template TemplateClick here to download Click here to download Click here to downloadthis free template. this free template. this free template.