Content Marketing Materials for Each Stage of the Buyer's Journey
BY: Alex Lynch | 7/12/22
Your Content Marketing is Crucial for Generating Conversions
Creating a content strategy can be tricky. Sometimes it may be difficult to find time to create content, so you simply don’t. Other times, it may be tempting to push as much content as you can at prospects. Unfortunately, neither of these methods is a fruitful strategy. A prospect may benefit from different information depending on where they are in their purchasing journey. The buyers’ journey, or a buyer’s path to purchase, is categorized by HubSpot into three stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Certain types of content are more effective at nurturing a lead in different stages of the buyer’s journey than others. In fact, certain types of content are completely irrelevant to prospects in certain stages of the buyers’ journey. Employing the right content at the right time is the key to a successful content marketing strategy.
The awareness stage is the first stage in the buyer’s journey. Here, the prospect knows they have an opportunity to improve or a problem to fix but don’t know exactly where to look to find solutions. In this stage, your goal should be to create awareness of your business and its products/services. The best content to release during the awareness stage is content that will address general questions about your services or product lines. This content includes but is not limited to whitepapers, thought-leadership pieces, infographics, blog posts, social media posts and educational content. This type of material will not only make the buyer aware of your business but also of what your business has to offer that could help prospects reach their business goals.
For example, if you own a growing wedding planning business, during this stage it would be best practice to deploy content about how a wedding planner is helpful and how using one can help you avoid common wedding day mistakes. This will make the prospect aware of your wedding planning business and what services you offer. If the right materials are deployed during this stage, the buyer should have a good understanding of your business, allow the buyer to see how your offerings are relevant to their needs, and soon enter the consideration stage.
The next stage in the buyer’s journey is called the consideration stage. In this stage, the buyer is looking for a way to capitalize on an opportunity, looking for a solution to a problem, or looking to fulfill a need. During this stage, the need or problem has already been identified by both the buyer and your business. For example, someone who recently purchased a television may have identified a need for something to watch on their new TV. If you owned a streaming service, you would use information about what shows are on your platform or the benefits of streaming instead of cable TV to prove to the prospect that your service is a viable and worthwhile option. Content released to the buyer during this stage should go more in-depth on product/service offerings, company culture, key differentiators and maybe even include some competitive analysis to prep the buyer for the decision stage. Make sure this content is tailored to the buyer’s identified need or problem. Additionally, consider employing podcasts, personalized emails, case studies, free samples/trials, and comparison whitepapers. This will help you express your business’s value and expertise to the prospect.
The final stage in the buyer’s journey is called the decision stage. In this stage, the buyer is communicating more with the sales team than the marketing team. However, it is still important that the right marketing materials are presented to the buyer to aid the sales team in closing a deal. The buyer is now preparing to make the purchase decision and is likely comparing similar vendors and reflecting on past research. Now is the time to present them with any last marketing materials that prove your business has a comparative advantage over all other options. Now would be the perfect time to employ vendor and product comparisons, consultation downloads, trial downloads, and specific product literature. Using the streaming service example, this is when you would show cost comparisons to other streaming services and cable TV. Also, keep in mind that buyers must be nurtured post-purchase as well. If you wish to keep this client coming back in the future, consider releasing content on product maintenance, news within your company, and FAQs.
Even if you are releasing the right types of content at the right time, you will still have to break through the clutter. Brands like Chipotle, have taken to social media to create content that is both funny and interactive. The popular Mexican fast-food chain often uses popular sound bites on TikTok to entice and entertain its younger audience. Buyers love to see businesses interact in a human way because it is refreshing and surprising. Chipotle has mastered this amassing over 36 million likes on the TikTok platform.
Additionally, Shopify, the number one e-commerce platform for all businesses, has a “Business Encyclopedia and Business Glossary of terms” that they use to educate leads. Not only does this bolster their credibility, but it also serves as a unique form of content marketing that you can’t find anywhere else. Shopify and Chipotle are examples of exemplary content marketing because they have found a way to create and distribute memorable and unique content. These two have certainly broken through the clutter.
Remember, your content is what influences the buyer’s decision and it is important not to rush, but nurture the buyer at each stage of the journey. Having a great team or partner at your side throughout the process of content creation and distribution is essential to the success of your strategy. If your team could use some help creating content or employing a successful content marketing strategy, contact us today.