content ideas

I’ve written, talked and filmed a lot over the last few years about why manufacturers need to publish their insights.

But today we’re gettin’ tactical.

Some things are better shown in video than in writing. And this one of them. So in the video below, I’ll take you through how to conduct a content strategy workshop inside your company.

The purpose is simple:

To generate a wide range of content topics that’ll engage the right people from the right companies with yours.

We facilitate these workshops all the time and I’m going to show you exactly how to do it.

So watch and learn. Then go make it happen!

Here’s what I’ll cover in the video

We’ll start by breaking down the characteristics of the types of companies you want to target at an account level.

For example, are we creating content for tier 2 automotive parts manufacturers in the US and Canada? Midwest injection molders that do $20M+ annually? Food manufacturers who sell high-end, low volume products into specialty stores?

The more specific you can be, the more relevant, valuable and engaging your content will be for them.

And that’s what this is all about – creating value for your best prospects and customers.

Next, we’ll break down the characteristics of the individual buying process influencers (or buyer personas) inside of those exact types of companies.

Who are the ones experiencing technical problems they need to figure out? Plant Managers? Process Engineers? Operations folks? And who else will influence the buying process as the sale progresses? Senior Engineers? Procurement (duh)? The C-Suite?

Each of these people care about different things. Plant Managers need their machines running smoothly to mitigate downtime. Engineers need CAD models and technical specifications to help them deliver their solutions. CEOs care about total cost of ownership and ROI.

You’ll document as many of these issues, goals and common questions as possible on the spot.

Finally, we’ll start applying content ideas to each of these topics.

The process is simple. But it’s super effective.

So get to it. Watch the video below. And then finish up with my recommended next steps and tips that follow.

What to do next

Now that you know how to conduct the workshop, below are a few considerations and next steps.

But first, here’s the spreadsheet from the video.

Go ahead and make a copy for yourself. No form fill required to download it. (Note that you’ll just need to be signed into your Google account to access it since it’s a Google Sheets file).

Get the right people in the room

When we run these workshops for our clients, we make sure the CEO/President, the VP of Sales, the head of Marketing, a few key Sales people and ideally a few technical professionals (often Engineers) all attend.

More often than not, I’ve found this is the group that knows your customers the best. They interface with them regularly and know the ins and outs of their challenges and goals deeply.

You’ll want to lean on their expertise.

Block a full day

Nail tab #1 from the spreadsheet (ideal accounts) in the morning and tab #2 (personas) in the afternoon. Fill in tab #3 (content topics) as you go.

Give it the time it deserves and you’ll walk out of there energized with 25-50 great content ideas that will resonate with these exact individuals.

Prioritize your ideas after the workshop

You can’t write 25 blog posts or film 50 videos at once. So which should you prioritize? Which will have the most impact and are the most feasible to produce?

Order them accordingly, pick the best 5-10 and get ready to do the work.

Put a camera on your subject matter experts. Then interview ’em

Look at the list of content topics you’ve chosen to pursue and identify the deepest experts inside your organization for each.

Then interview them one by one.

Ideally, you’ll schedule a handful of interviews the same day and invest a few thousand dollars to have a professional videographer put a camera and lights on them.

Now you’ve got insights in video format that can be used on your website, on YouTube, in the social channels, in paid ads, etc. You can have them transcribed and use the raw text or hand the transcriptions off to copywriter to turn them in written content for white papers, blog posts, and other applications.

In this episode of the B2B Growth podcast, I broke down how to do what we call “Knowledge Extraction Day” if you want to learn more: 3 Benefits to Content Creation “Batching”.

I also recommend reading this article by our Senior Copywriter Toby Wall to guide you: How to extract expert knowledge from your team and turn it into incredible content.

Good luck making it happen.

And shoot me a message on LinkedIn if you could use some more guidance!

A Worksheet for Organizing Your Content Ideas

Here's the exact spreadsheet we use to run content strategy workshops with our clients. Watch the video above and then put it to use!

Make a copy of the spreadsheet