By now, you know your company can be the most trusted resource in your industry or field, and you want your team to be active participants who are excited to create the content you need to make it happen.
But how do you flip that switch?
To help your people catch the vision of the what, the how, and (most of all) the why of inbound, you need to bring everyone together with a workshop that focuses on the eight key principles of inbound.
However, know that all of what follows is completely flexible and can be tailored to the needs of your company. All that matters is that the workshop happens.
Principle #1: Your Buyers’ Expectations Have Changed (a Lot)
In order to understand how your buyers have changed, you are going to shift the thinking of everyone in the room into “consumer mode,” where they think about their own behaviors as a consumer -- not as an employee of your company.
Until your employees can acknowledge and understand their own shifts in purchasing behavior -- specifically, how they rely on internet research for purchasing decisions -- they won’t be able to effectively understand the needs of your buyers and customers.
Principle #2: How Google & Other Search Engines Work
Everyone should understand that, no matter how many times the rules or algorithms change, search engines have a single mission. To give searchers (their customers) the best, most relevant and specific answer to their question at that moment, as quickly as possible.
Principle #3: What Consumers Are Searching for & “The Big 5”
There are five different topic areas that are guaranteed to drive traffic to your website, convert your website visitors into leads, and create more sales for your company. “The Big 5,” as we call them, are:
- Pricing and cost
- Best in class
It shouldn’t take long for them to be nodding along in agreement and saying, “Wow, I do use these Big 5 topics all the time as a consumer. Now I see that my prospects and buyers are doing the same thing!”
Principle #4: Content Idea Brainstorm
Now that your team understands how consumer behavior has changed, the critical role search engines play in consumer research, and what your buyers are searching for, now it’s time to have your group answer the following question:
“What do we need to write about?”
To answer this question well, your employees need to:
- Apply what they’ve already learned about changes in consumer behavior and what topics they’re searching for online.
- Think about the questions, fears, and concerns they hear every day from prospects and customers.
Often, the folks on your sales team will be the primary contributors to this discussion, since they are probably the employees who have the most contact with prospects and your current customer base.
Principle #5: How Content Will Impact Your Sales Process & Closing Rates
“Why am I being asked to participate in content marketing?”
“What’s in it for me?”
These are the two primary questions you’ll need to answer in this section of your workshop. So, your job here is to show them what’s possible with inbound and content.
Principle #6: Why Everyone Will Be Critical to Your Success
Your marketing team is not the voice of your company.
(We’re a bunch of marketers saying that, too. Crazy, right?)
From this moment in the workshop on, the goal of your marketing team is to help your employees -- either those that talk to customers or are subject matter experts -- earn the trust of your audience by helping them create content.
Principle #7: Your New Editorial Process & Guidelines
Now, it’s time to talk about your new inbound infrastructure and governance. So, you’ll want to explain your new process and expectations by answering the following questions:
- “Who’s in charge?” (Hint: Your content manager.)
- “How often will I need to contribute content?”
- “How often will I need to work with someone in marketing to create content?”
- “What kind of content can I create?”
- “What are our editorial guidelines for blog articles?”
Principle #8: Looking Ahead to the Future
To end on a powerful note, we recommend asking your team one question at this point:
“What would prevent this culture of inbound and content creation from working in our organization?”