I was chatting with a prospective client recently regarding his digital marketing strategy. During the discussion, he mentioned that he had invested in content creation some time ago but expressed concern that despite the hours dedicated to creating great content, his business wasn’t seeing an uptick in sales. I listened as he expressed his frustration regarding the stagnant sales that his company was experiencing in lieu of the additional investment. What I realized as he shared some of his company’s content was not that his content was poor quality or not of interest, as I initially suspected, but rather his content assets were out of alignment with where the customer was in the buyer’s journey. I realized that he was using the wrong content asset at the wrong stages of the marketing funnel. It may seem obvious, but without a careful content strategy which leverages the customer buying journeys, it can be easy to miss the mark and turn off potential customers in the process. So let’s dive into the best content for driving results at each the three stages of the buying funnel.
Driving revenue is the top priority of any marketing strategy, or at least it should be. Revenue is ultimately how marketing effectiveness is judged. However, it is unrealistic to think that all content should drive revenue. Instead, content creation needs to be carefully aligned with where your customer is within the marketing funnel. This can be identified based on the content that they are consuming.
Awareness: A great example of awareness building content is blog content. Blogs are ideal in this regard. This asset is used to cast a wider net or engage people who are unfamiliar with your product, service or the solution that you offer. These customers are looking for articles or information which is relevant to the problem that are trying to solve, their needs and wants. As such, they are true top of funnel prospects that aren’t yet ready to buy. Showing these potential customers’ a webinar or another content asset that is farther down in the funnel will not result in the desired outcome or sale. The blog could also lead to additional content consumption which drives stickiness as well as moves the customers through the journey into the evaluation stage, but it is important to remember that a blog is an awareness tool not an evaluation or closing tool. The same applies to other awareness content assets such as podcasts or print magazines.
Evaluation: Once the buyer has become aware of your product, service or offer, they move into the evaluation stage. In this stage, customers are looking for more detailed information to help them make an informed decision regarding your offering. A survey is a great example of a content asset that fits the needs of a perspective customer at the evaluation stage because it offers additional insight and a more customized approach. For instance, if you are selling a line of facial moisturizers, a survey inviting customers to see which moisturizer is best for their skin type would not only drive engagement, but it would likely separate your brand from others by offering a customized solution. Another strong content asset for the evaluation stage is a software download because it entices the customer to move farther down the buying funnel.
Conversion: This is the buyer’s journey which receives the most attention because a marketer’s largest objective should be to drive revenue, but this stage also requires the appropriate content asset to close the deal. Once the customer has reached this stage, the last thing you want to do is distract them from making the purchase with a busy landing page or other content which competes for their attention. This is where a content asset such as a clean, easy to understand, detailed product page outlining your product or service benefits comes into play. The customer wants a reason to buy, and this is where you show them that reason. Another excellent content asset for the bottom of funnel is a product or service comparison sheet because again it provides assurance right when the customer is ready to purchase.
Of course, there are other content assets that you can utilize at various stages of the buying funnel. To assist you with finding the best content for each stage, we created this free quick guide, The Best Content Assets for Each Stage of the Buying Funnel specifically designed to help businesses put the right content in front of their customers at the right time. Click here to download our free Quick Guide.
Thinking of and implementing a content strategy that is geared to meet the needs of your customers at each of these stages, can be the difference between sales growth and sales stagnation. It is not enough to just create great content and hope that customers find it at the right time and place. Rather, it is about structuring a content strategy that offers the right content asset at the right time based on your customer’s needs. That equates to value, and value is what ultimately drives revenue. A continual commitment to providing valuable content through each stage of the customer journey will always lead to happier customers, and ultimately, more revenue.
If this is your situation, then you should probably stop reading now. My wife and I were married for seven years before we realized we had been having an affair for almost as long.
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