Providing valuable content to users has become the new standard for marketing. But if you're only focusing on the awareness stage of the buyer's journey, you're missing out on connecting with prospects as they make their way through the sales funnel.
It's time to leave no stone unturned by aligning your content with the entire buyer's journey and getting your potential customers closer and closer to making a purchase. Let’s start by taking a look at the different types of content for each stage.
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1. Plan out your content
So, how do you know which type of content to develop for each stage for your company and your users? A content plan! Start by looking at the three stages of the buyer's journey and listing the key questions buyers might be asking as well as what type of content will speak to them at each stage of the journey. By using the content marketing funnel to structure your plan, you're able to ensure that all of your buyer's needs are covered in your content strategy.
The Awareness Stage is all about the buyer's growing realization they have a problem that needs to be dealt with. During the this stage, your buyer has just turned to Google to start learning more about their issue. Potential customers search for information about the topic at hand, which leads them to discover content like blog posts, news articles and ebooks.
Creating content during the awareness stage of the buyer's journey means providing informational—not promotional—material. To create content for this stage of the buyer's journey, consider these questions:
What are the pain points of my buyer personas?
How do my buyer personas learn? Do they respond better to visual content like infographics or are info-packed ebooks the way to go?
What information will help potential customers learn to trust my company and consider me an industry expert?
The Consideration Stage comes as the buyer begins to weigh the options on how to solve to their problem. They're looking at videos, listening to podcasts, watching webinars and checking out expert guides that will give them a deeper look at what solutions are available for them. To create content for the consideration stage, ask yourself:
How can I provide solutions to the problems my buyer personas are experiencing?
What other solutions might my buyer persona's be researching?
Why is the solution my company offers better than the other solutions out there?
The Decision Stage marks the moment when the buyer has decided on which solution they'll pursue. They've identified your company as having a product or service that might be useful to them, and they're considering whether they'll choose you or one of your competitors. Now is the time to have calls-to-action ready for them in the form of trials, demos, downloads complimentary audits and estimates. Ask yourself these questions when planning out your content:
How can I create specific content that will help buyers choose my product?
Why is my product more useful than that offered by my competitors? What sets it apart?
How can I offer more value to customers who are considering my product?
Graphic courtesy of HubSpot
2. Develop your content
At the heart of your content plan are your buyer personas. They are key to discovering the specific types of content you need and determining the behaviors buyers will exhibit when they visit your site. Your content plan has two important parts—the types of content you'll produce and the messaging for your content.
Types of content: This stage of your content plan is created by deciding what your buyer personas are really looking for at each stage and how you're going to deliver it. If you have a blog, how are you using it to bring in traffic? How are your blog posts tailored to each stage of the buyer journey? Are your buyer personas interested in podcasts? Do they need infographics to share with the CEO or finance departments of their companies in order to help them make a decision about budgets? Design a content plan centered around the content your buyer personas need to make an informed decision.
Messaging for your content: What message is critical to your content? You want to create a consistent message that spreads across all of your content in order to better inform the buyer and create an image of your company they can count on across every stage of the buyer's journey. Ultimately, all of your content should be centered around this key message. This doesn’t mean all of your content has to be produced around the same topic, but it must be succinct in overall brand messaging.
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3. Describe the Content Plan
Take a look over your existing content. Chances are, some of it can be repurposed for your new content plan. Other content may need to be created in order to fill in gaps and help close potential customers into sales. Describe your content plan clearly and create a timeline for introducing that information to your audience.
Creating content in alignment with the buyer's journey is the best way to move website visitors through the sales funnel, providing them with the information they are looking for and what they need in order to make a decision about your business. By creating content that is clearly aligned with each stage of the buyer's journey, you're able to nurture your leads much more effectively and efficiently. And, that's great news for your bottom line.