The biggest roadblocks with getting started in TAYA content

Posted July 8, 2020 in
Content Content
You've read They Ask, You Answer, and are ready to start writing Big 5 content and addressing the questions your sales team gets online. From someone who has helped navigate many companies through this transition, here are a couple of things you need to be aware of and create a plan to overcome. 

  1. Company-wide buy-in: They Ask, You Answer isn't a content strategy. It's a business philosophy that requires your entire organization to agree that the best way to increase sales is to become the best educator in your space. If this doesn't happen, you'll struggle to produce the quantity and quality of content that you need to. The sales team needs to work in lockstep with your content manager to provide great ideas for articles based on customer interactions. They'll also need to provide ongoing feedback on the value of produced articles and use them in their sales process. Your marketing team will have to commit to changing strategies to focus on answering sales questions. Your leadership team will have to create the space to allow changes to primary responsibilities to make a great TAYA organization. Without all parts, it's likely that you won't be able to create great results.
  2. Not having someone own the content creation process: Publishing 3 great blog articles a week is a full-time job. Even if you have a larger team writing articles vs. one in house content writer, you'll need a single person to manage the process. Using outsourced writers is more expensive and will result in more canned generic blogs.  A content manager is a dedicated internal position that you need to have in place. Without it, you won't be able to stay on schedule and produce great content.
  3. Not having a great idea of your ideal buyer: To create great content that increases sales, you need to know the factors that motivate your buyers, benefits that will solve their problems, and why they might choose another option. Buyer personas, where you create a fictional representation of a client, are a thing of the past. Talk to real clients and ask them questions that help identify motivations, problems, and why they chose you. This will allow you to create content that speaks directly to the needs and concerns of your ideal buyer. If you have loosely built buyer personas or think that your product/service is a great fit for everybody, the content you produce won't be valuable for anybody.
  4. Writing too much about how great that thing you sell is: Yes, articles should be able to be great sales pieces. But too often, new TAYA content producers don't successfully navigate the balancing act of showing the value of their offering and being helpful to a general audience. As you're starting to write TAYA content, you need to really focus on being educational and not creating an article that's a poorly disguised sales pitch. Think about who is reading the article and what they need in it to find it valuable. Make sure you address all those points and then position your pitch as the right next step for a small subsection of the audience (those that are a good fit for what you offer). Make the next step that you're asking someone to take a logical one in terms of where they're at in the buying cycle. Adding a call to action that prompts someone to request a quote on an awareness level blog is like asking a blind date to marry you. 

If you're on the journey begin implementing TAYA at your organization - congrats! These are some of the most common roadblocks that you need to be aware of. 

For TAYA veterans, what are some of the roadblocks that you've run into with your organization?
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Connor DeLaney
I definitely think the most underrated component of this is having that person who fully owns the process. I've worked with teams in the past who haven't had that one main person and deadlines get missed, content isn't polished, and they don't see the desired results. It's huge and the up-front cost is well worth the investment. 

Brian Casey  what are your thoughts on building up the confidence for content writers (especially those new to the industry or field) to work with SMEs or to write content that they may not be the experts in?  
Brian Casey
Shared this in another thread, but I think it's important to talk about in as many discussions as possible:

I think one of the biggest takeaways is first to recognize that you as a content writer aren't the expert and that you don't have to be. Sure, in time you'll learn more and more and grow your own expertise - but don't feel like you can't ask questions. If you're not able to understand and translate what comes out of the mouth of an SME - it's very likely that your reader isn't going to understand it either. After all, they aren't SMEs either.

I've had multiple clients tell me that by the questions that I ask because I'm confused reading their content they've felt empowered to have conversations and push back on internal experts to clarify things. Writers have told me they've learned more about that thing they sell in 3 months than in years of working at their company. 

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