The best content marketing plans in the manufacturing space are built on a deep and well-developed understanding of what often is a very complicated buyer’s journey. That’s why target personas and the corresponding buyer journeys serve as outstanding platforms for editorial and content plan ideation and creation.
To build a great content plan for an industrial business, you, the marketer, should start by interviewing your customer-facing team members and your best customers. An informational interview will allow you to learn why your customers are choosing your company and what kind of journey they took to become a customer.
The takeaways from the interviews serve as the foundation for persona development, and the creation of buyer journey roadmaps. If you've never put together target personas or buyer journey roadmaps before, then you're going to need some help. Check out this article on how we build buyer personas.
Here’s an overview of our buyer journey development process for the clients we work with:
Schedule a workshop, inviting all customer-facing people from client’s staff.
Use a Columbus approach of audience self-discovery, helping remind them why inbound is important, appropriate, and valuable to their business.
Set expectations that everyone in the room will be participating in some role of content creation, distribution, and promotion.
Review target personas, focusing on key questions and pain points.
Segment persona questions by buyer journey phase (awareness/consideration/decision), working on them in chronological sequence.
In the awareness phase, provide preliminary topic categories to help the team focus their thinking.
Divide the team into small groups, giving each group specific assignments around topic categories.
Ask teams to present and explain their work, encouraging them to illustrate with examples from actual prospect or customer experiences.
Close the workshop by reinforcing the importance and value of their commitment, and reminding them of all the benefits their organization will realize from their commitment.
You can emulate this 9-step process and create great content plans yourself, but if you've never done it before, we suggest taking a more in-depth look at every step of the process. Check out our holistic guide to business blogging and content planning below!
Posted by Greg Linnemanstons With 18+ years in senior management roles at Fortune 500® and medium-sized companies, Greg has deep marketing and sales experience with CPGs and manufacturing. He leads strategic initiatives with clients and is involved in developing client inbound marketing plans. Greg holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Lawrence University.