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Posted by Todd Hockenberry ● Apr 01, 2019

Three Myths We Believe About Content Creation

The way your customers buy has changed. That’s no secret.

But this is why marketing is currently having to step in to play a bigger role is the buying process. There’s actually research that shows that buyers today want to wait as long as possible before they speak to a sales person. It’s not that they don’t want to buy, they just don’t want to be sold to.

So what are we to do with this great reluctance?

We sat down with Doug Burdett, owner of Artillery Marketing and the host of The Marketing Book podcast. Doug works with small to medium sized manufactures to help them grow their business by generating more leads. These are companies that feel like they’re wasting money on marketing and are overwhelmed with how to get started.

But Doug’s company changes that by taking the fear out of building relationships with your customers and creating content that informs.

“In everything we do and everything we prepare, we need to do it in communion with the sales team and any customer-facing people at the company.” -Doug Burdett

The more industrial executives can stay up to speed on marketing and sales, the more effective they’re going to be. There’s a reason why the most successful companies are the ones with the deepest insights into their customers. There’s a great temptation to tinker with a lot of different tactics, but don’t be fooled, it all comes down to the intersection of marketing and sales.

And in that intersection, we often find great content.

Content is so important because it has allowed companies to cut out the middle man. They can now build and grow their own audience out of thin air without having to buy ad spots. In a way, every company is now a media company because they can attract and grow their own audience with content they make on their own. And a lot of times it’s cheaper this way!

It’s a paradigm shift. If you have information that is of great interest to your customers and you publish it, you’re likely going to see more traffic.

Here are two quick tips on creating content:

  1. Don’t talk about yourself too much.
  2. Offer people information that is helpful to some aspect of their life.

Oh, and remember how people will wait as long as they can to talk to a sales person? Guess what they’re doing in that in between period… that’s right, consuming your content. Searching for more information about you. So, are you going to make that difficult or easy to find?

Three Big Myths We Believe About Content

Myth #1

There are too many companies that won’t create content because they think, Well, people already know that! That is so false. You have a goldmine of information, and you have to step away from your expertise and realize not everyone knows what you know.

Here’s an idea to get you started: Get all the customer-facing people around a table. Sales, customer support, insights, etc., order pizza and then ask them, what questions do you all get every single day? What do you answer all the time? I’m willing to be you’ll walk away with 150 questions you can turn into content. And let me tell you, your customer will appreciate when you explain these things to them.

Myth #2

Creating content can feel intimidating because it’s often viewed as sitting down with a blank piece of paper and writing something. The reality is, industrial companies are creating content all day everyday. They’re answering customer questions by sending emails, creating presentations, connecting the dots between specifications and designs… all of that is content.

And don’t wait to share this information. Don’t wait to build a relationship with a customer before presenting them this content, present it upfront as a way to start the conversation.

Myth #3

Companies don’t want to give away their “special sauce.” I love how Doug said it: “you don’t have any special sauce!” Everything can be copied. The great differentiator is how you sell, so don’t be afraid to share.

What is Working Well Today

Don’t be intimidated by content creation. This is your opportunity to reach more people and build your credibility. Here are some tips from Doug on what he’s seeing work well today:

  1. Having and following a sales process: any system is going to be better than no system. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but when you have a system in place you’re able to see where things are breaking down so that you can more quickly address it.
  2. Knowing who you want to go after: people often came to Doug asking for help getting more leads. The problem was they had no prospecting going on and had no idea who they wanted to go after. As Zig Ziglar says, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”
  3. Getting found through organic search: can you guess how this happens? Yup, producing relevant content that your potential customers are searching for.
  4. Leveraging current customers: The very first thing a company should be doing is asking themselves whether they’re selling enough to their current customers. Are you engaging with them? Do they remember you?
  5. Reducing Friction: what are you doing to make it easy to buy from you, contact you, and are you providing helpful information?

What myth have you been believing? It’s time to put it to bed.


Topics: Industrial Executive