With the Value Proposition Canvas to the optimal B2B content
If you consider content to support a product that a company develops for potential customers, then it makes sense to use methods and tools for product development. Because tools like the Value Proposition Canvas can help develop effective content for content marketing and sales.
The advantage of the Value Proposition Canvas is its simplicity and logical structure. Based on a few criteria, the need of a potential customer can be identified and approaches for a suitable content offer can be derived from this.
The challenge is to find topics for content that are tailored to specific phases of the buying process (customer journey) depending on the objective. A potential customer who is looking for general information on a technical topic needs different content than someone who is looking for a solution to a specific technical problem.
How to use the Value Proposition Canvas to identify relevant topics and content for customer acquisition follows from the structure of the Canvas:
In the right part, the persona's profile is determined (jobs, pain, gain).
In the left part, ideas for content are compiled to match.
Ideally, the whole thing is done in a workshop with several brainstorming and analysis phases. It is advisable to involve employees in this process who know what makes the target customer "tick".
Ideally, the process is moderated by internal or external experts who are trained in deriving viable ideas for topics and content from existing knowledge about potential customers. The development of content approaches for content with the help of the Value Proposition Canvas takes place in three steps:
1. Define persona and phase in the buying process.
Questions: What role does the persona play in the company? Where is the target persona in the buying process? Is she generally looking for technical information on a specific topic or is she already researching solutions to a specific problem?
Example: Project manager in the electrical engineering department at an early stage of the buying process (top of funnel) wants to keep up to date with technology trends.
Background: In an early phase of the buying process, potential customers tend to need general technical information; in a later phase, content on specific solutions and providers is needed.
2. Outline the situation and needs of the persona.
Questions: What tasks does the target person have to do on a daily basis in a professional context? What factors stand in the person's way (pains)? What motivates the person to successfully master their tasks (gains)?
Examples: Customer demands on the project manager's technology competence are increasing (pain), the project manager wants to distinguish himself internally (gain).
Background: Both Pains and Gains offer points of contact for assistance and support in the form of content in the target person's everyday business.
3. Collect ideas for topics and contents
Questions: What topics and content can help the target person successfully complete their tasks? What topics and content help overcome pain or support gains?
Examples: "Expert interview with tips and insights for successful projects" (Pain), "5 studies every electrical engineering project manager should know" (Gain).
Background: It is important to find topics and content hooks that fit the needs of the target person and thus grab their attention. Creativity and lateral thinking are required here, as possible content approaches are often not obvious.
Important: Until now, working with the Value Proposition Canvas was about the content side. The question in which formats (professional articles, whitepapers, webinars, infographics, videos, etc.) the topics should be implemented only arises in the next step.
Requirements for working with the Canvas
"A fool with a tool is still a fool" - this also applies to developing topics and content with the Value Proposition Canvas. Working with the Canvas assumes that potential customers are to be reached with useful content instead of superficial advertising according to the principles of content marketing.
What is useful in terms of content marketing is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, everyone involved in the development of content must change their perspective, away from the viewpoint of their own company to the viewpoint of the potential customer who is to be addressed.
Furthermore, developing content with the Value Proposition Canvas is not about developing the "perfect" content in one go. Rather, the canvas should help to obtain information about the content development orientation in order to test it on the market quickly and with low risk according to the principles of lean content marketing.