ATTENTION! (...and how to get it)
In a world where we’re constantly exposed to marketing messages, are you managing to get enough valuable cut-through online? Or do you feel like your content is getting lost amongst a never-ending stream of sameness?
If you're ready to take your marketing to the next level, then this webinar is for you.
Webinar topic detail
In this 45-minute power session, we’ll share strategies and tips on how to create content and campaigns that leap out from the everyday noise and get you noticed (in a good way).
During this session, you’ll learn:
– How to make the most of the 8 seconds (max) you have to grab attention
– The psychological principles that will help you to stand out
– The types of content that cuts through the noise (and why)
– How to create content that people actually want
– Plus the tools you can use to turn initial interest into action
So, grab a coffee and join us for a session that’s guaranteed to be packed with expert tips and strategies that you can implement right away…
September 20, 2022 08:30 MST | 11:30 EDT | 10:30 CDT | 16:30 BST
Places for this webinar are limited, so please register for your free place now to avoid disappointment.
Joe: Hello and welcome to this Essential Skills Week webinar. I am your host Brand Awareness Manager, Joe Ducarreaux. The theme of today’s webinar is Attention (…and how to get it). In a world where we’re constantly exposed to marketing messages, are you managing to get enough valuable cut-through online? Or do you feel like your content is getting lost amongst a never-ending stream of sameness? As a marketer you have just 8 seconds to grab your prospect’s attention. So how can you best use that precious time? Joining me to discuss standing out in the crowd and more is a panel of excellent guests. We are joined today by Martin Boyle, Director of Brand and Communications here at Lead Forensics, Hello Martin.
Martin: Hello Joe
Joe: We have Taylor Setterfield, Account Manager for Leap Create
Taylor: Hi everyone
Joe: We have Ollie Biddle, Brand Experience Marketing and Content Manager at Collaborate
Ollie: Hi, alright
Joe: and we have Amy Kelly, B2B Tech Marketing Consultant and Board Member of Creative Edinburgh, a non-profit organisation which is the largest network of creatives in Edinburgh. Hello Amy
Amy: Hi Joe, how are you?
Joe: I’m very well thank you. All the better for speaking to you lovely people. All throughout this webinar we are going to be using the chat function, so if anyone in our audience has a question you’d like to pose to our panel please feel free to pop it in there. If we get time we’ll do our best to answer it but I think we’re going to have a lot of useful and valuable information discussion topics. So let’s start off shall we. The first question I’ve got for you people …..What was the last memorable piece of marketing that impressed you, whether that was targeted or not? Amy, let’s start with you.
Amy: I really believe a company that is doing amazing things in B2B marketing is Refine Labs. A lot of people may already be following them, they are headed up by Chris Walker, he has become a huge influencer. So a lot of people watching probably already know who he is. I think if we really look at what they have done it’s amazing because what they have done has really empowered the execs there to become influencers, very much talk openly and be more active at building their own profile. All of their content is purely educational and they hardly ever mention Refine Labs, they are always just talking about the problem. They are really focusing on how to help people and I think that’s done amazing things for their business and they talk about that quite openly. You know, the whole (inaudible) social element so whenever I think about what is really good marketing in B2B today I immediately think of Refine Labs and Chris Walker because I just think that ultimately when we’re coming down to just being human and we’re trying to take all the fancy tech away and we think about ultimately how do we connect with our customer, how do we understand what they are going through and how do we build the best campaigns possible. I think they’ve done that really well just putting themselves out there, those who work for the company so that when you’re working with them it is very much like a human to human experience. So nowadays whenever anyone talks to me about who do you see as really good at….who’s a brilliant marketing influencer on Linkedin, what immediately comes to mind….. I wish I could think of someone a bit more diverse……but it’s Chris Walker. So that’s top of mind for me and if anyone’s not following him right now I don’t know have you been hiding under a rock?
Joe: Absolutely, it’s a well worn adage isn’t it, people buy from people. If you’re putting your people front and centre, showing a bit of a personality is hugely powerful.
Amy: It’s P2P, not necessarily B2B.
Joe: Excellent, I love that, that’s fantastic. Ollie, we’ll come to you with the same question. What was the last piece of marketing that impressed you?
Ollie: It’s a B2C, it’s not a B2B but there’s a beer brand that I love called Dubell. They make a cracking peach beer if you ever fancy it…Sainsbury’s. They are only about 3 years old but their marketing strategy was basically to put their product in front of as many people as possible and now they are only in one store and they are the third highest pricing 330ml can of beer in the whole of the UK. The example for me was when they went down to Henley Regatta, took over a boat and put a DJ on it and just completely threw the whole event on its head. Chucking out beer cans to rowers rowing past and as a way of generating PR and marketing, it was absolutely on the nose.
Joe: That’s an amazing stunt. Do you know what, there’s a Sainsburys just around the corner from me so I might have to nip round to see if I can pick myself up a can of that. So Ollie in terms of, you mentioned it threw the whole event on its head, how does it make you feel about that particular brand when you see something like that?
Ollie: I think in terms of the marketing they’re doing and the way they are creatively putting themselves out there, their niche is very much centred around that Apres Ski and that is 18 to maybe 26 year olds with maybe a little bit of spare cash in their pocket. I don’t know if necessarily put myself in the that category, I’m 27 now but as someone who resonates and someone who has skied and can share some of their values it was just really obvious they didn’t have to put on a banner what value they’re giving to you. Just them going to somewhere like that and dressing up in funny outfits and putting a DJ on a boat, you just resonate and want to pop out and pick up a case of Dubell.
Joe: Absolutely, you can see why they picked that event, if that’s the profile they’re going after. Taylor, we’ll come to you. What’s the last piece of memorable marketing that impressed you, targeted or otherwise?
Taylor: Mine is a bit different. Mine was a TV advert when I was watching Love Island actually. It was a selfie advert by Dove. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s this young girl has uploaded a selfie and then they reverse it. So it’s her taking away the face filters, taking away the makeup and they focus on how social media has maybe negatively impacted young girls’ beauty standards. I thought that they way that the advert was created especially the way they positioned it within the Love Island break ….its all about influencers and people looking a certain way. I thought the way they positioned it was great and also throughout the advert it was just like a backing track, quite soft music. The whole reason it caught my attention was because I was listening to all these adverts with wild music here and there and then there was nothing and I was like ‘oh’ and I started watching and I was like ‘oh wow’ and I think the topic is great as well, empowering women.
Joe: Absolutely, I’ve seen the advert that you mean. Not to admit to watching Love Island or anything but it’s incredibly powerful, it’s quite moving and I think it’s a really powerful advert because you know as soon as you see she’s taking a selfie and then the makeup is being removed, you immediately know where the story of the advert is going and really does resonate. It’s a really powerful piece of advertising. I think that’s a fantastic shout, it’s a great advert. Martin, we’ll come to you, the last piece of memorable marketing that impressed you?
Martin: Just to pick up on what Taylor was talking about. I think the kind of emotional reaction for many is lost in B2B, at least there is a perception of that. Amy made a great point about its people to people. For me personally, I just love funny stuff especially for B2B. If there’s some funny stuff on social media, I’m an absolute sucker for it so short Tik Tok videos (inaudible) on Linkedin work a treat. I think they are some really funny influencers out there. There’s Will Aitken who’s been on this webinar series, Rob Mayhew who does kind of (inaudible) stuff, that’s really funny content. Another guy who I’ve been following is John Davis, he runs a company called Influicity. His posts are all little success stories and they’re about why things work and focus on individuals that have found success in maybe slightly unusual or interesting ways. It just gets your brain firing and common to all the examples that we’ve had, I just think we’re hardwired to appreciate creativity and that’s a big part of what makes you pay attention, it has to be interesting. We are talking about attention today so what we are trying to do as marketers is create mental availability in the minds of our prospects and our customers. Studies have shown where (inaudible) purchasers are quite pressed for time……… there is this idea of a logical and long sales process and all the rest of it, not necessarily with everything, some people are just really pressed for time….. people will chose a mentally available brand that’s good enough rather than do lots of research. You know, nobody ever got fired for buying IBM so if your competitors are going to be front of mind even if they’ve got a weaker product, you need to get your act together pretty quickly.
Joe: Absolutely. To your point about injecting humour into things, to give another example….. I think it might have been you who shared it with me Martin…..Chris van Praag, who is also a friend of the show and has been on a webinar with us before….he made this fantastic video which is doing the rounds at the minute. What he’s done, he must have done it on Emulator or something but he’s got someone playing Pokemon Blue or Red, it’s just to demonstrate that how effective his whole ethos with video is, sending video to clients because that’s what the algorithms are hungry for isn’t it…..so this Pokemon player gets into a battle and he throws the Poke ball and it says “player used Vidyard, its super effective” ………it was really powerful for me because it was super nostalgic because I grew up playing those games. So that was fantastic. Injecting humour into our marketing should be something we really strive for.
To move on to my next set of questions. I’m going to preface this by giving some examples of psychological principles which are applied to marketing. Just to make sure our audience are all on the same page, realise what I mean by the following questions. So examples of psychological principles used in marketing, things like
Reciprocity = a positive action in response to a positive action. So Martin tells me about a funny piece of content he’s using, I smile. It’s reciprocated.
Information Gap Theory = triggering curiosity with attention grabbing headlines creating desire to find out more. I think we’ve all seen those click baits……. 9 things to do this, you won’t believe what number 7 is! That sort of thing.
FOMO = fear of missing out
Loss Aversion = people tend to strongly prefer avoiding loss than acquiring more, that sort of thing.
So these sorts of techniques are examples of psychological principles for marketing. So with that in mind…which psychological principles have you seen most success with when leveraging your own activity to prompt action from your audience? So I think, Amy, we’ll circle back around to you to go for this one if that’s okay?
Amy: Yes, I think it’s a bit of a mix. I think the positive reaction in terms of the emotional engagement is always going to have to be there. You are always going to have to have some sort of emotional trigger within your customer for them to remember you. Obviously we want that to be a positive emotion. In the past the most successful campaigns that I’ve led on, have been when I’m driving something that is building together both the emotion part of it and also probably the information gap theory. Because I do think in the B2B world when you are thinking about whatever your ICP is or your ideal customer profile and you’re trying to build that in and you’re trying to understand what sort of content do they need, how can I help them……ultimately that’s the customer first angle of how to market within B2B, is always trying to think how can I help, how can I support, how can I delight, those kind of elements in a genuine, authentic way. Not just flinging stuff out there. Really trying to think what they want and that comes from talking to them in the first place. So once you are able to have both that element of emotion and also how do we engage them and educate them, provide some knowledge or inspiration. Ultimately, I think that can deliver some of the highest quality content. Previously, I was a Director of EMEA Marketing at User Testing, which is the platform that provides human insight. I massively recommend it, it’s a fantastic platform that allows you to gather feedback at scale and it’s very much focused on humans…..again as we were talking earlier, how to be human. So when I was there, I ran a campaign that was called the Espresso Webinar Series and ultimately that was as simple as something like this, having a chat with people but always bringing in people in that sector that were customer experience leaders, whoever was driving those changes. So that education combined with a really informal, light-hearted way of communicating with the people that came on as guests…..the community that we built just sky-rocketed, it became such a great way to engage with people in an authentic way. It was never selling User Testing, it was never trying to talk about the features of the product, nothing like that. It was just talking about the challenges that (inaudible) face at that time and bringing in people who really knew how to fix that. So that genuine, authentic way… getting back to what you were saying Joe, was having those principles in mind is you’ve got to have that emotion but in B2B you’ve really got to have that education especially if you are in a demand creation world and there’s not already an awareness around this need they don’t even know that they have. If you actually create that demand in the first place, you’ve got even more education to do there so that’s a bit of a bigger task. So I would say with that in mind that’s immediate when you said that, that’s what came to mind there.
Joe: Excellent, that’s a fantastic application of those two things. Taylor, we’ll come to you with the same question….psychological principles that you’ve seen most success with your activity.
Taylor: I will have to agree with what Amy says. I think it depends on what touch point you are at in the journey. So I see it as a bit of a funnel approach I think. At the top of the funnel, when you are increasing your brand awareness you might use something like Information Gap Theory. You want to have a point to capture your audience. At the consideration phase you might do something like Social Proof Theory to try and gain that trust and authenticity behind it. Then more at the bottom of the funnel using Fear of Missing Out, that’s definitely an approach at Leap Create we advise everyone to use at the bottom of that funnel to really get people over that line and convert them. So the way you can dial that up, you can introduce that at the top of the funnel but at the bottom of the funnel that’s where you need to be drilling in. You need to drill that up, whether it be ‘times ticking, not long left now’ or ‘you don’t want to be left behind against your competitors’. You want them to pick you over any other company. What is it that you are drilling into the pain point to make them release you have the solution to that. So I think it really depends on at which touch point the user is at in their journey.
Joe: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s crucial. Ollie, same question to you.
Ollie: I’m going to go down a different avenue I think. I would say that for us or me marketing at Collaborate, which is a brand experience agency….I would categorise it as creative curiosity. What I mean by that is, we as an agency are very lucky to work with brands…..Aston Martin, Goodwood, Louis Vuitton…we’ve got some great brands under our wing but the way that we market the business, we specifically just target brands that we want to work with. So as a team we’ll get together every month and say “hey guys which brand do we want to target this month”. We’ll call out one specifically and one campaign we’ve got running at the moment is we send these see-through locked boxes that have a QR code to get inside. It’s stuffed with sweets and goodies and bits like that with a personalised note in it. The only way they can get the code to get in is to scan the QR code on the top. We send them out completely anonymously, so there is no branding on it so if they chose not to scan the QR code on it they would never know who we were. Once they are inside, we tell them the story about our Finance Director picked you because she loves wearing your shoes or our Marketing Manager runs in your tops or whatever. It allows for just a really natural conversation. So that creative curiosity of who on earth has sent me this random box with chocolate and pot noodles in it then becomes a really natural, honest, human conversation.
Joe: Absolutely. It’s probably quite a powerful thing that, isn’t it. It’s almost saying “we’ve got a secret”, suddenly it’s “tell me what it is, I want to know”. To be fair, if a box showed up at my door with that exact thing, I’d be 100% I’ve got to find out what this is all about, definitely. That’s a smashing answer. Martin, round us out on this one.
Martin: If you’re in marketing you obviously need to be interested in people and what makes them tick. I think everyone is absolutely spot on. Amy mentioned community in her answer, humans definitely have a need to belong to something bigger than themselves even if its just social media page (inaudible). It’s the whole idea of connection. I think knowing the attention span is quite short is super helpful. If you want to get some attention, get to the point quite quickly, do something creative, do something original. All the stuff that people have mentioned, Information Gap, Fear of Missing Out, create intrigue….if you are sending an email you don’t want to give them everything in the subject line, you want people to open it and find out more. You want that little hook that makes people want to scratch that itch. We were at Ideas Fest earlier in the year, which is like an ideas festival which you might gather from the name. Our social media person, Gabby spoke to Steven Bartlett from Dragon’s Den, Director, The CEO, Thirdweb. He had used our product, Lead Forensics and did a really nice piece to camera for us so social proof from someone who’s really successful is also super powerful. I think just as Taylor said you can use that in the right place of the customer journey, it can be really powerful.
Joe: Not only was it a fantastic scoop that Gabby got but I was hugely jealous that she got to meet Steven Bartlett because being a podcast host as you might imagine, he is a hero of mine. Okay, let’s get to a meaty question then. How do you create B2B content that people actually want to engage with? I think we’ll start with Taylor for this one, how do you create content that people actually want to engage with ?
Taylor: At Leap Create we have this 360 approach that we take so the way that we’d start is by doing a discovery phase. So within that phase we will try to get into the nitty gritty of why we are here. We will work with our client and we will conduct primary and secondary market research. When it comes to the primary market research we might undertake interviews and workshops to understand what are the points that we need to bring to market. What is it about the product, the service, any part of the business that we need to bring out throughout the messaging and the creative. Then we’ll also do market research to try to understand what is actually happening within the market itself, industries, stats and figures that we can bring into this to understand what is performing well. After this we will then move into the content creation stage, so whether that means to do concept development behind it…..however we will pull out the key factors that were identified in the discovery phase into that content creation phase. The way that we do this is we usually go to market with not just one creative but we’ll go with a few different options. The reason being, which leads nicely into the next phase, is for optimisation purposes. So we’ll go to market and do AB testing, so whether that’s any platform, whether that’s paid social which we do a lot on or even on websites for example. You might start off having key stats on the top of the landing page and further down the campaign you might move that down to the bottom and put a video at the top to see which one is performing better with the users, to see which one is resonating better with the users. So it’s constantly this 360 approach. You take the insights that you gather with the tests and then you optimise the creatives based on that . So for example with paid social, you’ll go to market using industry specific imagery or people focused imagery. In regards to the copy it might be focusing on different points to entice people to go through to the landing page for example, or take the action you want them to do. By having this 360 approach allows us to create content that we know the audience wants and resonates with them.
Joe: Fantastic, that was a very in depth answer. Thank you very much. Amy, we’ll come to you. How do you create B2B content that people want to engage with?
Amy: I think Taylor got it spot on. You cannot create content that you are not sure that people want in the first place. You have to know your customers inside out. In the last few months, I started a consulting business where I am now meeting a lot of start up leaders and founders and once they have the product ready “its okay, we know we now need to raise awareness, what sort of content should we start creating”. That needs to come first around the customer, so that in depth knowledge and discovery as Taylor was saying, really trying to understand them. So spending a lot of time speaking to them directly, understanding their challenges, understanding where they currently consume the content, what kind of people do they follow to be educated and all of that kind of stuff. How do you build that in, how do you find partners as well to leverage your content because a lot of the time at an early stage when you’re trying to get it out there, even trying to decipher what that message is ……if you’re able to find similar vendors that can help clients at a different stage so they are not a competitor but you can partner together to co-create the content I definitely think that’s how you can create powerful and just more trustworthy content. We used to do that at User Testing a lot, was to create content with Content Squared, Qualtrics. These companies are really well known and to be able to co-create with a partner who is already talking to those customers, they have the knowledge, they understand which topics are resonating well and be able to help you create that together. Then keep an eye on what you are creating. So if you’re in a rush and you’ve just got to get stuff out there, if you know your customer well enough, you’ve got a good hunch and you’re able to get some stuff out there, just always be testing and learning. Always testing and learning, always sending out to your customers and getting their feedback…..”did this resonate with you? Is this good in your view?” Getting that feedback at critical stages. Always, as a marketer I think we’re guilty of just leaving the testing to different parts of the company or business insights, depending on how big your company is. But take responsibility for your content, always test it, always get the feedback on it so you can always make it better. So connected to what Taylor said, really knowing customer inside and out, being able to partner with someone and always testing and learning.
Joe: Yeah and not be afraid of the feedback and altering appropriately when needed. Fantastic, thank you Amy. Ollie, we’re going to come over to you, how do you create content that people want to engage with?
Ollie: For Collaborate, the nuts and bolts of what we are as a brand experience agency so for us it’s that in person experience. So I’m not challenging content, of course content has to be there but for us the way that we would produce our content is by first focusing on the experience. As a good example, we have just finished a busy weekend at Rival. We had nine activations, nine projects over the weekend and our job as an experience agency is to create those memorable moments for brands on site. In terms of the way that we would use that content afterwards would be just based around the creative input that gets put in originally. So for us it’s not necessarily about writing a blog post or sending the best email possible, it’s getting brands in touch with either B2B or B2C customers in the best way possible. They way that we normally wrap that up and measure the success of that is we heat-map and we have social analytics and data in that space. So then the content that we can use afterwards to sell our services to the next agency or the next automotive brand who might want to go to Rival next year, is we have a packaged up case study or a packaged up story of Aston Martin at Rival. Then we have the data, the heat-mapping data that shows passively how many people visited, how many stayed, how many returned and then for us the content really is just about again very conversationally explaining it afterwards. We aren’t in the market of trying to send out an email to 10,000 people with the hope of catching one fish, we’d much rather build a partnership with a large brand and that’s going to come from our first hand focusing on our experiences. That probably didn’t answer the question properly but…
Joe: No absolutely, you did. As you say creating the personable experience and being able to demonstrate this is how it was last time we did this, are you interested. No, I think that makes a lot of sense. Martin, let’s come to you.
Martin: Like the other guys have said you have to be crystal clear on your ideal customer profile, who they are, where they are. We’ve spoken a lot about attention grabbing content. Content that is new, interesting, fun will always grab attention but you want to hold attention as well. The most powerful way of doing that is creating a community so what you want to do is develop an audience that trusts you as a help resource for that audience. I think that something Amy mentioned right at the top around, I’ve forgotten their name…..the lot that are being ……Chris? Amy help me out.
Amy: Chris Walker at Refine Labs, he’s got over 100k followers on Linkedin now which is crazy.
Martin: Exactly! So I mean today is day one of Dreamforce which is the Salesforce community thing. They’ve got massive headline speakers, they’ve got Magic Johnson, they’ve got the Chilli Peppers playing. Every year they attract a big crowd, it costs a bit of money to go but they have positioned themselves as a thought leader and they are delivering for their audience, their people. It brings people in, it makes their customers sticky but they’ve worked on it for years and years and years. The first Dreamforce had 1,000 attendees and now it’s 170,000 so most marketing departments are not going to have that sort of budget but the point I’m making is basically you can always deliver value to your audience and put steps in place to start building that community. The other thing I would say is people, and again I think this is just built into people, people love stories pretty much since the dawn of time we tell stories. So have you got a story, does your brand have a story, can you turn something into a story. Your team, they’ve all got their own stories that they can share on Linkedin, them sharing their stories related to working at your brand will have a massive reach as well. It’s authentic, it’s relatable so if you’ve got stories to share and you’re building a community you’re on the right track. There are tons and tons of different ways to slice and dice and measure it…..enquiries per channel, are we creating a demand to get more opportunities, are we growing our social media engagement….everyone knows all these stats you can use for that.
Joe: Absolutely, creating communities is a hugely powerful tool at the minute. Just very quickly, we’ve had a question from the audience for Ollie. How do you come up with your ideas and what processes do you go through to get there?
Ollie: That’s more often than not from my own brain. One genuine piece of advice I can give for anyone who wants to do more creative marketing, especially if you’re……………….I have a marketing junior under me but basically I market the whole of Collaborate….. I don’t want to take this down a random rabbit whole but it’s to go running. I run in my lunch breaks nearly every single day and the best ideas come from when you just switch off. The number of times I’ve sat in this office and had to come up with something creative and it absolutely goes nowhere. But an idea in your brain and just go out for a run and if you don’t like running go for a walk but I’d advise a run….. and what was the second part Joe?
Joe: You’ve sort of answered it to be honest with you. It was what processes do you go through to get there but that process is running then….
Ollie: …..or it’s just getting out a giant sheet and writing your ideas down. It normally starts off with a word or just a post it note session. I mean realistically you can take inspiration from absolutely anywhere and just to resonate with what would I like. I’m not a traditional marketer in any sense of the word, I’m not degree qualified at all. I got my job at Collaborate by creating a video CV and dropping into the Owner, that was a couple of years ago now. That whole same ethos, I walked a six foot Darth Vader with a QR code on his chest into their Kensington office in London, got passed security and had a meeting with the VP of America so just be different.
Joe: That is fantastic! I tell you why that is resonating with me because in the next room I have a Darth Vader replica helmet and just look down there, there is Darth Vader’s light sabre so that would have worked with me as well. To your point on running, the number of posts I’ve seen particularly Steven Bartlett does this….his best ideas come to him when he’s in the shower or …. There’s a Japanese author called Huruki Mirikami and he’s just written a book called ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’. You’re nodding your head perhaps you are familiar with Huruki
Ollie: I know the guy, he runs 10 miles every lunch break or something like that.
Joe: Yeah, it’s sensational. Okey dokey…..What steps do you take when preparing your content plans to make sure it’s going to be valuable to your ICP? Taylor, we’ll circle back around to you on that one.
Taylor: I think this comes back to ensuring at the discovery phase you gather enough research at that stage. So the way that we would tackle this at Leap Create is that we would usually create personas for your ideal customer base. Within that you’d create as much research as you can in order to understand your audience inside and out. After you gather all of that information and you apply it to whichever your client is and what their service is, you can then work on the strategy for that to understand which are the best platforms to reach that market on. Once you know what the best platforms are you can work it back from there. You can do a concept development behind that or a campaign look and feel, you can then create content for those platforms whether that be social, website, email marketing. It just comes back to that optimization phase to make sure that you are reaching your ideal customer. You will know if you are resonating with your customer depending on if you’re sending everyone through to your landing page and the bounce rates are really high then you know that you are not targeting the right audience. One way that we find is a great way to make sure that you are targeting the right audience is by using stuff like paid social. So you have the ability to drill down to the different target segments and it’s actually scary at what level you can really target people on. So that’s a great way to ensure and once you know your target audience it’s just making sure you’re creating the right content to entice people. Once again it’s that 360 approach.
Joe: We come back to the wheel. Amy, we’ll come to you on the same question. What steps do you take when preparing your content plans to make sure it’s going to be valuable to your ICP?
Amy: So before I get into that I do want to make a recommendation for someone else who I’ve recently just discovered, who is a woman called April Dunford. I recently got introduced to her when she did a talk at Turing Fest in Edinburgh. What she really talks about it’s how hard it is to be a buyer. So again I’m talking about in the B2B space, probably more in the SaaS software space but when we talk within this as a marketer and we’re trying to be super careful about the content we create that’s not mentioning any competitors, that kind of thing and she hits the nail on the head with talking about how hard it is to buy nowadays. There’s too much choice! Coming from my previous role as Marketing Director at User Testing, I was constantly sold to everyday and it is overwhelming. So I think that empathy for the buyer straight of the bat when you’re thinking of the content for the specific buyer and what they go through on a daily basis…..the amount of emails they get, the amount of blog posts there are and all this kind of thing, have a bit of empathy for them, first and foremost. I highly recommend following April if you haven’t done so already, she’s got a book called Obviously Awesome which I’ve just ordered. There’s a lot of content out there already so it is hard to get out of this saturated market and then when you are creating a content strategy you’ve got to look at it from pillars……. is this to educate, is this to delight, is this to convert, is this to retain. We always talk about new customers but what about the customers we already have? We’ve still got to engage them, so what are we giving them? You’ve got to put that into those different pillars and then Taylor mentioned something very important at the beginning which is the funnel. So you are creating content not only for those personas, those pillars, those buyers but then also for those different stages. So it’s really overwhelming and I think depending on what company you’re working for….if you’re working for a massive organisation and you’ve got all these resources at play I’m sure its doable but if we’re talking to any start ups today, I completely empathise with you of how hard that is with limited resources and probably multiple buyers depending on what product your selling. Really trying to look at it with a business priority lens first. Ultimately, if I’ve got limited resources and I know I’ve got this one buyer that I want to get, it’s just getting right into what they need and how you can help them and how you can actually bring them through a journey. Something that marketers have to do now is take more ownership of the customers holistic experience. We do not think of ourselves as beyond just what we do in that one moment, or campaign that we launch, or that thing that we do. We’ve got to think holistically, what’s our part in the customer experience here. There’s probably far too many answers in this one question! I definitely think there’s a lot to think about there but ultimately it comes down to business priority and what do your customers want. Then go to speak to them and ask them what they want and build around that as well. I used to do that all the time. Get your pack of customers that you’ve got a really good relationship with and have them be your advisors. So I’ll stop there because I could carry on.
Joe: It’s unfortunate that we have a limited time on this because I’m sure we could all speak ad infinitum. Martin, you were really starting to chuckle there as Amy was getting into her answer there. What would you like to add?
Martin: I think she’s spot on. There are a load of things you need to consider. I can’t add much to that really. It’s all about getting attention and mental availability, can you solve a problem for the prospect. Lower down the funnel, Taylor touched on this stuff, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got the content that works for the prospects. Driving people to the website, that’s one of the places you want them really and now more than ever audiences, prospects, customers ….they self-serve. There’s a whole movement towards buyer enablement so you have to plan to make it as easy as possible for buyers to find what they want and to be able to get the answers themselves. I think it’s a great point you made Amy about empathy, absolutely you should be in the customer’s shoes.
Joe: It’s a 10 out of 10 there from Martin for Amy’s answer there. Ollie, lastly but no means least.
Ollie: I think our situation is really quite different, not to play devil’s advocate for second but we’ve gone down the route of creating pillars and funnels and what we are selling as a creative agency is an experience. It’s not a tangible offering to someone. So for me the content plan that we have is all based around our projects. I’ll use this example….. this is Aston Martin at (inaudible) last year. The plinth, the stage, is just part of the project but its two kids having an icecream, sat on the side just having a great time. In terms of the content we’re going to use for websites, for socials, for decks, anything like that……. for me this is the absolute nuts and bolts of it. It’s about working with the right photography team and again I know this is a little bit different. Working with the right photography team and building that experience (inaudible). Like I said we have gone down the route of trying to be more sustainable, we’re trying to be more innovative, all this kind of stuff. The more we have tried to talk about that stuff in terms of our content, the more the message has become diluted and as a creative agency if you really, really push it down to its core level …….and I think one of the points Martin touched on earlier about how you tell stories in your team and how you share stories of where your company’s going and bits like that…like you can tell from my see-through box campaign, it’s all just human to human connection. So if we can just make someone’s day a little bit brighter from seeing an image, for me that’s better than saying that was built on charcoal grey with 49mm screws, nobody gets it! So I would say just trying to creatively tell the best story possible.
Joe: That’s a fantastic picture you’ve got behind you Ollie, I really, really like that. Just a reminder that today’s webinar is brought to you by Lead Forensics, which is software in essence tells you who has been visiting your website and can even track specific journeys through your website along with providing you with valuable contact information so you can close those deals. If there is one key takeaway that you’d want everyone at home or work watching this to go away with, what would it be? So Amy, we’ll start with you, one key takeaway please.
Amy: It’s hard to do one! One key takeaway, we’ve talked about a lot of things today but I definitely think it would be to go back to the basics. Go to insights, go to customers. Figure out how you can be authentic, in an authentic market. There’s a lot in there, it’s saturated and people are sniffing out when they are being sold to so I’d say go back to the basics and figure out what works and get to know your customers better, put the work in and speak to your customers.
Joe: Fantastic Amy, thank you so much. Taylor, down to you, one key takeaway.
Taylor: I would …….it’s hard to think of one thing isn’t it………I would say get to know your audience. The more you know your audience the better content you’ll be able to create, which will actually resonate with them. Also, think outside the box. So many agencies and so many businesses nowadays are just reinventing the wheel. I know it’s easier said than done, think outside the box but as Ollie has shown us many examples so far….just challenging usual stereotypes of marketing plans. You’re not going to capture your audience in that way so be the disrupter, stand out from the crowd.
Joe: Thank you very much Taylor. Ollie, thinking outside the box…..one of your strategies literally was a box…..what’s you one key takeaway?
Ollie: I’d just say flip everything that you know on its head. You know burn the marketing books and find the most bizarre way to reach out to someone you actually want to work with.
Joe: Wheel a Darth Vader down the street and introduce him at a meeting. (laughter) Ollie, thank you so much. Martin, one final point, one key takeaway.
Martin: It’s obvious, putting yourself in the customers shoes but do that with literally everything you’re putting out there. Just look at it and go “is this interesting or does this bore me to tears?” Literally on everything and that’s a tough job but really that’s what we should be doing because we should demand more for our customers as marketers. That’s my point.
Joe: Excellent! That’s a fantastic one to end on. Guys, thank you so much for joining me for this webinar. It’s been a real treat speaking to each and everyone of you and I’ve really enjoyed myself this afternoon, I hope you have too. Join us again for the next Lead Forensics webinar, which is tomorrow and thank you so much, cheers.
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