A hands-on, half-day workshop that helps focus your leadership, sales and marketing teams on the needs of the buyer. We'll work with key members of your company to create and compile ideas for the laser-focused content that your customers crave.
Following the workshop, we will conduct customer interviews and craft a 90-day content marketing roadmap to kick off your next phase of growth.
Marketing has shifted from a paradigm of space to attention.
In the past, companies could get their message delivered to a relatively captive audience through a series of media gatekeepers that largely controlled the distribution of information. Examples include TV, radio, newspapers, trade magazines, printers, etc. trade shows.
If you bought “space” from a media gatekeeper, your message had a good chance of being seen by a majority of their audience.
And while those entities still exist, they have been marginalized to varying degrees by the internet. Now every person and company is a media company and can build their own audiences.
And thanks to technological advances, people can avoid with increasing success your unwanted, interruptive sales and marketing messages. A growing number of people now pay extra to actually avoid advertising.
Innovative manufacturers now acknowledged that the only way to break through and be found by the people they want to reach is to produce and distribute helpful, educational information of interest to their prospective customers.
They are producing content that shows they care about their customers and their problems first so that their customers will later reciprocate with interest in their company and products.
Marketing expert and bestselling author Seth Godin has famously said “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
The problem is that most companies struggle with empathy for their customers and their latent anxieties and desires and default to talking first about themselves and their products. That doesn’t work well.
In a half-day workshop with your management, sales people and other customer-facing team members, we will demonstrate how the gold mine of deep expertise they have can be turned into valuable information that, when published on your website will increase traffic, leads and sales.
By the end of the workshop we will have extracted a significant amount of information from your team members that can be turned into articles, white papers, buying guides, tip sheets and even sales emails to get your sales and marketing flywheel spinning.
But we don’t stop there. We then interview some of your customers to gain insights into their buying journeys, most of which occurs before they reach out to a vendor like you. These buyer persona interviews provide an almost unfair advantage toward the development of content that will help attract, engage and build preference for your company.
Just to make sure that the content will resonate with your customers and can gain traction quickly, we do a thorough analysis of keywords via a variety of search engine optimization tools so that your content can rise to the top of the search engines.
The final deliverable is a 100+ page document in slide format that includes company goals, workshop results, buyer persona interviews, secondary research and SEO analysis, 24 recommended blog post titles, 3 content offers, and email nurturing subject lines.
Typically this is enough of a content framework for a very strong quarter of activity to kick off a content marketing that will begin to attract more of the right kind of traffic, and generate better quality leads.
At this point you can have your in-house team implement the plan, have your own marketing agency implement it or decide if it makes sense for Artillery to do it.
Your management, sales team and any customer-facing personnel, particularly those who answer customer questions before, during and after a sale.
We learned this the hard way – to be successful, management and sales need to buy in to and actively contribute to this modern marketing approach. If there’s no buy-in from management and sales, you’ll be wasting your money. Also, the sales team and customer-facing employees are the richest source of information about your customers and the questions they ask.
We start by helping participants discover why content marketing is so much more powerful than other traditional marketing approaches. Most of the activities are related to gathering the questions that your buyers are asking at every stage of their buying journey. The insights from these questions help drive the creation of the kind of content that can improve your website’s ability to get found through search engines and be used by your sales team in prospecting and responding to inbound leads.
At your business or wherever is most convenient for your team.
Typically about 3½ to 4 hours. Mornings are better.
One representative from your company will need to complete the Buyer Persona Questionnaire, the Keyword Research Questionnaire and the Marketing Inventory.
We can bring all the equipment needed, but will coordinate with you beforehand about what equipment you have that we might be able to use.
The research focuses on three primary areas:
There are 2 primary reasons:
1) To ensure that the terms you use on your website are the ones that your prospective customers are searching for online. Often, companies use industry-insider terms that are not as common to their customers. While the terms you may use are correct, they might not be as familiar to your customers.
For example, a prosthodontist (a dentist who specializes in the aesthetic restoration and replacement of teeth) might use the word “prosthodontics,” prospective patients would use the term “cosmetic dentistry.” You want to make sure you use your customer’s language, which is not always the same as yours.
2) To find the keyword phrases for which you can rank well on search engines most quickly. When doing keyword research, there are two big factors: 1) the number of searches per month, and 2) the difficulty of ranking on the first page of Google for that term or phrase. By doing keyword research, you’ll be able to see which keywords you have a chance of ranking for with less difficulty that also have some indication that people are searching for those terms.
For example, if you run a store that sells running shoes (like the one in our building – not a client, but we are customers), you won’t have much luck trying to rank for the term “shoes.” It’s too competitive. But if you use a more targeted (i.e. long-tail) keyword like “men’s red running shoes,” you will have the double benefit of ranking for a term that is easier to rank for and is more relevant to what your customer is trying to find.
In Adele Revella’s book Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer's Expectations, Align your Marketing Strategies, and Win More Business, she describes buyer personas this way: “In the simplest terms, buyer personas are examples or archetypes of real buyers that allow marketers to craft strategies to promote products and services to the people who might buy them.”
To listen to a Marketing Book Podcast interview with Adele Revella about her book Buyer Personas, click here.
Most companies know a lot less about their customers than they think they do. And while salespeople and customer-facing employees have some of the best insights into the customers, those insights tend to be about after the customer has contacted a salesperson or has become a customer.
According to CEB, in a typical B2B sales situation, customers are reaching out to the vendor after they are at least 57% through their purchase – after they have done research online and via social media. Your employees are more familiar with the last 43% of the customer’s journey than the first 57%.
To have the best chance of getting found online while a customer is doing online research, you need to have insights into what the customer’s challenges and information needs are before they are ready to speak to a vendor like your company.
Additionally, the buyer persona interviews that we conduct do not focus on your company specifically. In fact, sometimes we interview buyers who considered buying from you in the past but ultimately did not. Those interviews are some of the most helpful. During the 20-30 minute buyer persona interviews, we focus on “The 5 Rings of Insight.”
We want to interview buyers who best represent the type of customers that you want more of (i.e. your ideal customer). That can be different from the customers you have a lot of. Also, if there is a buyer that represents your ideal customer that considered buying from you in the past but didn’t, those interviews often yield some of the greatest insights.
Yes. You need to contact the buyer and ask if they would be willing to be interviewed. We'll take it from there.
Up to four interviews.
The plan includes:
Key insights from the buyer persona interviews
SEO keyword research findings and recommendations
Competitive website analysis
Additional industry and customer insights
Recommended blog post titles for first 90 days (minimum of 24)
Recommended lead generation ebook titles for first 90 days (minimum of 3)
Email newsletter recommendations
An implementation estimate.
One. While CEB maintains (and we agree) that there are, on average, 5.4 people involved in every B2B purchase, the plan focuses first on your primary buyer persona.
Secondary content that targets others involved in purchases can be developed after the initial launch. Focusing on all the buyer personas at the very beginning needlessly slows down the entire launch effort.
One. While many companies target multiple verticals it’s best to start with one and then add others rather than trying to launch an effort targeting multiple verticals all at once.
The process is usually new and different for most companies who have been using more traditional marketing and it’s beneficial for the organization to go through this cycle with one vertical before adding others.
In slides - it’s easier to absorb all the concepts, information and recommendations that way. It’s typically about 100-125 slides. We present a draft and then a final version based on client input.
It’s one of the best investments you can make.
A recent survey by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs reported that 88% of B2B companies are using content marketing.
But only 30% say they are effective. And only 32% have a documented strategy. There’s a connection there.
Additionally, analyst firm SiriusDecisions maintains that 60%-70% of B2B content marketing is never used by sales. That’s another reason why sales needs to be involved in the development of the content (and why sales and marketing are having to work more closely together in general these days).
Before investing in a long-term content marketing strategy to build traffic, trust, leads and sales, having a documented content strategy will not only help to wisely invest your money, it will also have a dramatically positive impact on the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts.
We’ll need about 2 weeks after the last buyer persona interview is completed.
We’ll send you an invoice for the first half, and upon payment we’ll schedule the workshop.
Either a check or via our PayPal account.