There’s a fundamental shift occurring in the marketing world. A shift in approach and methodology that we at Verge Pipe Media are embracing whole-heartedly. This shift is Inbound Marketing.
Inbound Marketing is promoting a company through various forms of content which serves to attract customers through the different stages throughout a purchase. These stages are referred to as the Buyer’s Journey and this journey is the foundation to this new methodology.
In this post, we want to take a quick look at this journey. We also want to provide you with some practical ideas for how your company can create content to match each stage of the journey. Matching your content correctly allows what you produce to gain better qualified leads for your brand.
The Buyers Journey
Awareness – At this stage people are beginning to recognize that they have a problem. Maybe it’s that they have a fever, their throat is sore and want to know what’s wrong with them. Or a mother has been thinking about taking a family bonding trip, but isn’t sure where to start her research. They are aware they want or need to take some action and are ready to research what to do next.
Consideration – At this stage they are fully aware of the problem they are facing and are actively looking for a solution. They’ve figured out they have strep throat and they want to know their options for relieving the symptoms. The mother would be looking to find options for the best family bonding trips in their area.
Decision – They have looked at a number of brands to find the best one that fits their needs. In the case of the person with strep throat, they can visit a physician, go to the ER, or visit an easy access clinic. They will be able to decide what fits their insurance plan. The mother would have her list of local options and would be able to make a decision based on the family’s needs and price range.
What Content Goes Where?
By now you’ve gathered how specific content offers are more relevant to buyers at specific times during The Buyer’s Journey. That basic premise is true, but now let’s discuss how you as the marketer can decide which one of your content offers to choose for each stage.
You will need to have a firm grasp of your buyer personas and how their behaviors may differ during the process. This will help you to determine what specific content types are most relevant to them along the Buyer’s Journey. Below is a quick reference guide to help you plan your proper content types.
Awareness – Content should be vendor neutral and include words like troubleshoot, issue, resolve, risks, improve, upgrade and prevent. The type of content produced should be in the form of analytics or research reports, white papers, eBooks and basic educational content.
Consideration – Content should be mostly vendor neutral and help explain available methods to solving a problem. You should include words like solution, provider, service, tool, software and device. The type of content produced should be in the form of comparison white papers, expert guides, videos and other live interactions.
Decision – Content should be VERY vendor heavy and provide documentation, data, benchmarks and endorsements to recommend your product as the solution to the problem. The type of content produced should be in the form of vendor comparisons, case studies, trial downloads, specific product literature and live demos.
It has been proven that leads nurtured with targeted content produce and increase of in sales opportunities of nearly 20%. So it goes without saying, that using the tips above can help you produce and deliver the right content at the right time.
From here, work to map and catalogue your entire content library as it stands currently. Look to see if you have the proper content for each stage. Re-categorize items into the areas mentioned above and mark down pieces of content that need to be produced. While this step may seem laborious, there are many examples of content inventory worksheets offered by Hubspot that can help with this step.
We hope this brief rundown on producing content for the buyer’s journey is helpful. We can’t stress enough that matching your content correctly to each stage will help you gain better qualified leads and better sales opportunities.
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This blog was originally published for Verge Pipe Media.