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Content+Marketing=Engaging Buyers

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Engaging with buyers has become very challenging. Sellers may never know when a buyer is actively seeking for a solution to their problem if they ignore the importance of content strategy and search. …

Engaging with buyers has become very challenging. Sellers may never know when a buyer is actively seeking for a solution to their problem if they ignore the importance of content strategy and search. This presentation highlights the importance of content strategy and marketing, but also shows you how to create content that will engage your buyer. Talk to me if you'd like to know more about my approach.

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  • I am here today to share my unique view of what it takes to create the kind of content that is worthy of marketing.The great news about Content Marketing is that you can influence good practices no matter where you are in the process. If you are working with a small company, you may be able to influence the entire process. But if you are a consultant with a large company, you may be able to impact a part of the process. No matter where you are, you can still make an impact.Whether you are supporting outbound marketing or inbound marketing, we’ll talk about how you can impact the creation of great content for demand generation.I have had a great time experimenting and conducting content marketing at small and large companies and would like to share with you some tips on how to approach this in a way that is simple and core to the basics of content marketing.Content is nothing without marketing and marketing is nothing without content. That is why I call it “content plus marketing.” I believe that the essence of content plus marketing is sustenance. People need nutrition to survive and your prospects? They need to be fed too. Good content provides sustenance to your prospect.Sustenance is a great way to think about content. No one wants to eat junk food right? So why do we continue to push junk food on unsuspecting prospects?
  • So, content plus marketing is not unhealthy. It’s delicious. When it’s not delicious or healthy it lacks in relevance. It’s unexciting, and unappetizing.Really when it comes down to it, content that speaks only about the product has a place in the buyer cycle, but it’s not effective for the type of content+marketing that will help you generate leads and move a prospect through the funnel.We are always asked to produce product marketing collateral and while still important, it’s just not enough.So what is relevant and appetizing content? When do you know you have the right mix?
  • It starts with the ASK and delights the prospect with the answer!Back in the ‘old days’ before Google, Ask Jeeves taught everyone how to search. They rightly believed that people had questions and that by searching, they would find answers.Now we’ve come along way with search today, but the principle strands. With around 60% - 80% of buyers searching for answers online, without our awareness, and without needing us, we marketers are destined to provide them. This is our mission if we are to be effective in our demand generation efforts. Outbound marketing allows us to control our message and target customers, but it needs a strong Inbound strategy as well. By thinking about the inbound journeys we can create the type of content that prospects are looking for when they are looking for it. This is extremely important today when you consider the role of search whether the prospect is searching on Google and ends up on our website, we need to think differently about our marketing strategy now.No longer are we pushing our wares. We are now in the business of crafting delicious, edible, bite-sized morsels that make mouths water. And scattering these morsels as bait everywhere we can.The fact that our prospects are making decisions about purchases way before we are aware, well this is the motivation that we need to show up in the field where they are harvesting.
  • You’ve heard this over and over that content marketing is all about the 3 r’s.It’s my strong opinion that the 3 r’s are the outcomes not the objectives of good content plus marketing. Just saying “get down with your funky 3 r’s” doesn’t help you know what crop to plant and when to harvest it and where to sell it.You need to know what the prospect cares about, where they hang out, and when they are there.So now we are going to get into the fun stuff. How do you actually created great content+marketing outcomes?
  • So how do you create the right content?You start with the persona and identify his care-abouts.You identify his care-abouts by what he or she is asking.When you create content around the Ask, you become relevant and knowlegable.
  • So the Persona choices are important. You can’t really create content that is relevant to all your key personas. When you have selected personas, you most likely have a description of what they persona is like and what they care about.Now it’s time to identify what these persona’s care about when they are buying your category of product.So what is a persona? It’s a clear description of your target prospect. You will most likely have multiple buyer personas. Let’s look at some examples of personas.
  • Persona’s are getting a lot of attention these days and it’s important to understand who your persona’s are. A Persona is basically the definition of your target prospect, but put into terms of his psychographics and demographics. It includes what he cares about, his job role. When writing content, it’s important to know what your Persona cares about so that you can create a story that is compelling to your Persona. Most likely you will have journey’s designed for multiple personas. You’ll want a business decision maker persona journey, a technical decision maker journey, a influencer journey and possibly a branch office business decision maker journey.Each journey becomes a custom approach based on where that persona fits in the buy cycle and what they care about at each stage of the buy cycle.So now I’ve put together my five steps for content+marketing execution.
  • This is my favorite part of the presentation. It’s my 5 steps to creating great content marketing outcomes.First – pick the persona. If you have 3, then you need to create journey mappings for each personal.Second – for each persona, what are they asking at each stage of the buying cycle of funnel stage?Third – What are your answers for them? Fourth – Instead of creating a bunch of standard content, like datasheets, and product white papers, and general industry reports that support your strategy, and all the other junk food that old fashioned marketers still think works, we’re going to explore a new approach, so hold on. We’ll talk a lot about this gem.Fifth – Once you create all the answers in a bunch of creative ways you are going to slice them and dice them to feed all sorts of different formats like blogs, social media, mini papers, mini perspectives, video shorts, etc.OK, let’s find out how you can become a great farmer of delicious and desirable sustenance.
  • This is the most important concept I can communicate to you. It is in my opinion the singular most important first stage to creating great content.What does it mean to map each journey to 1 ask?It’s identifying what the Persona cares-about at each stage of the buying journey and providing answers to their questions and then promoting this content when and where they show up.
  • So let’s start the process of creating content.For this content creation use case, we are going to select the B2B technical decision maker. Often called a TDM. I have a lot of background on my TDMHe has been challenged by his CIO to reduce company travel costs by evaluating video conferencing. His CIO wants a recommendation in one month.It may be in your plan to anticipate that the CIO or the Business Decision Maker, may do his own research at some point and you’ll want to design a journey for this personal as well.So let’s start with the TDMs Ask:Can video conferencing help my company reduce travel costs?
  • When you approach the Ask, it makes it very clear how to create content based on ONE Ask. So here we are early in the buyer cycle.HOW CAN I REDUCE TRAVEL COSTS?Now we know how important search is to the process right? Everyone searches a lot before the seller knows who is searching. There are ways to annoy the “searcher” with banners , retargeting an d personalization. All attempts to lure in the buyer will be ignored without answers to his ASK.TIP:Do your own search to find out what your persona is finding when they are searching for answers.What happens when they do a Google search? Are competitors answering the question?What happens when they come to your site directly?What happens when they use search your site?
  • Now that Rex has checked out what video conferencing can do to reduce travel costs. He is seeing a lot of confirmation that it can, some say it can’t, but it’s looking like it might be a good solution.Now Rex wants to know what video conferencing solutions exist for B2B.He does a search and comes up with a whole list of companies and content based on solutions for business.Run this search yourself.What do you find?What are your competitors offering as answers?What is your opportunity to provide something delicious for Rex?
  • Now Rex is feeling like there might be something to this video conferencing idea. He is now ready to take a look.He’d like to see what is easy to consume. A video demo on YouTube, maybe he’ll find a couple of solutions in his Google search.He might even venture to a few websites and see what he can do to find out what these solutions can do and how they work.Perform this search yourself.What do you find?How do your competitors answer the question?How does your company answer the question?Do you have content for this Ask?
  • Now Rex is getting serious.He has to think about his network and if the solutions he is considering will even work in his environment. He’s not willing to take a big risk.Yes, perform your own search.What do you find?
  • What about a checklist of w
  • Transcript

    • 1. Cindy Nowicki Demand Generation & Content Marketing Expert
    • 2. What it’s Not • • • • • • • • Irrelevant to buyer care-abouts In the wrong place at the wrong time Product focused Company centric Boring Lacking in images Repetitive Brimming with frankenspeak
    • 3. What is content marketing? Content Marketing Starts with the ASK Delights the Prospect with the ANSWER
    • 4. Great Content+Marketing Outcomes RIGHT CONTENT RIGHT PERSON RIGHT TIME
    • 5. What is the right content? Focus ON THE ASK Persona Care-Abouts Relevant Answers
    • 6. Who is the right person? Pick BUYER YOUR PERSONAS
    • 7. Persona: Technical Decision Maker
    • 8. Create Content in 5 steps 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Pick persona Identify funnel stage Asks Answer the Asks Create bodies of content Slice and dice for channels
    • 9. Map EACH JOURNEY to 1 ASK
    • 10. Content Creation Use Case PERSONA Technical Decision Maker (TDM) THE ASK Can video conferencing help my company reduce travel costs?
    • 11. Can video conferencing reduce travel costs? EARLY Awareness/ Inspiration Ask
    • 12. Early Funnel Content Ideas • • • • • • Engaging, fun 1 minute videos on how to use video conferencing to replace travel, use on YouTube and website Turn visuals from video into still shots for use everywhere on website and social media, Tweets and FaceBook How to replace travel with video conferencing ebooks (6 pages, gated), offers via SEM, SEO, web page promotion, promote via social media 100 reasons why video conferencing is better than traveling white paper (4-6 pages, gated), ebook offer for outbound advertising Blogs about reducing travel costs, promote via social media Analyst papers that cover their perspective on what video conferencing can do to reduce travel, inbound offers via SEM, SEO, web pages
    • 13. What video conferencing solutions exist for business? MIDDLE Consideration/ Discovery Ask
    • 14. Can I demo video conferencing systems? MIDDLE Try/Evaluation Ask
    • 15. Middle Funnel Content Ideas • Ebooks and white papers that go into more detail about the value and benefits of video conferencing and how the company’s video conferencing solution meets the need (4-6 pages, gated) • Video demos of product in a real environment (3 minutes) • Customer success videos and content (<2 minutes each) • Promote content via FB & Twitter, use images from the videos and key call-outs, quotes, • Landing pages promoting the content
    • 16. Can video conferencing integrate into my network? LATE Design Ask
    • 17. How do I buy a video conferencing solution? LATE Purchase Ask
    • 18. Late Funnel Content Ideas • Compare models, compare competitive models via white papers or web pages • Customer success stories in video and documents • Configurators, base use case configurations (gated) • How to buy checklist (gated) • FAQ – typical questions that come during pre- and post-sales
    • 19. How to improve adoption of video conference system? POST PURCHASE/UPSELL Retention Ask
    • 20. Retention Upsell Funnel Content • Onsite training of staff • Meeting support services • How to tutorials and videos on – setting up a video conference – setting up a customer event – using video conferencing and recording to document training – using video conferencing and recording to share with those that couldn’t attend – using video conferencing to record training – using video conferencing to record company meetings
    • 21. How to Create Slice & Dice Content Content for 3 funnel stages: High, Middle, Low – High: • How video conferencing can reduce travel costs and get more done . – Middle: • How to integrate video conferencing into your network, reduce travel costs, and delight your customers. – Low: • Get the ROI calculator to see how much you can save on travel costs when using video conferencing instead. • Try video conferencing before you buy.
    • 22. Video Content Ideas Shoot b-roll video that you can slice and dice for many uses • • • • • • • Use the b-roll to create 1.5 minute snippets Use cases Customer testimonials Demos Product packaging “box opens” News announcements Much more
    • 23. Compelling Stats Percent of buyers searching online 67% Sirius Decisions - 90% Forrester 40% more stakeholders involved Demandbase 70% say vendors website most influencial
    • 24. Before you create any content, understand your Persona’s most likely ASK Then deliver the Answers Where your Persona looks for it.
    • 25. Avoid Creating the TYPICAL LIST of product, service, or solution level collateral and think you have what you need. IT’S NOT ENOUGH.
    • 26. How to Feed and Nurture • To nurture a Persona, you need to create sustenance • Answer the Asks throughout the buying cycle. • Otherwise you won’t be able to address their care-abouts.
    • 27. • “The handwriting is on the wall: search engines want machine-readable content to provide more precise answers to user queries. Users want personalized answers at their fingertips as they favor smartphones/tablets over desktops/laptops.” • Search Engine Land, Future SEO: Understanding Entity Search, Oct 7, 2013 at 8:54am ET by Paul Bruemmer
    • 28. “The handwriting is on the wall: search engines want machine-readable content to provide more precise answers to user queries. Users want personalized answers at their fingertips as they favor smartphones/tablets over desktops/laptops.” Paul Bruemmer, Search Engine Land, Future SEO: Understanding Entity Search blog, Oct 7, 2013
    • 29. Resources http://contentmarketinginstitute.com http://www.copyblogger.com/content-marketing/ http://contentmarketingworld.com/ http://www.hubspot.com (get on their list for excellent examples of the best content marketing I've seen) http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2013/04/17/index-content-marketing-softwarevendors/ http://promotions.prnewswire.com/rs/prnewswire/images/eBook_MultimediaContent.pdf

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