Guide Your Buyer’s Journey Through Inbound Content Marketing
Content marketing has become an ongoing business process and a crucial part of B2B marketing strategy according to 73% of B2B marketers.
While content creation and distribution are top factors for success, 72% of marketers agree that a strategy for development and adjustment contributes enormously to success.
In creating a strategy, you must consider your target buyer’s journey. One reason that they might not engage with your content is because you provide it at the wrong time. That is, your target buyer is not yet ready to engage with or act on the content you provide. It is crucial that you understand a typical buyer’s journey as this will guide your strategy.
The buyer’s journey was the main topic of the HubSpot Inbound Certification training that I recently did. Rich with actionable tips, the course focused on how creating the right content drives sales by being relevant to the buyer’s journey.
Now, what are the stages of a typical buyer’s journey? They are:
Stages of a Buyer’s Journey
Let’s take these in turn.
Awareness is the stage where your potential buyer identifies that they have a problem. They might sense that something isn’t right, but they are not sure what it is. At this stage, your goal as a vendor is to help the potential buyer become aware of the problem such that they can define it.
Thereafter, they might start to look for possible solutions. They will want to know how they can solve the problem. Therefore, your goal at this stage is to identify potential solutions to the identified problem.
Now that the buyer knows the problem, and has considered a range of solutions, your goal is to give them the information they need to decide which solution to go for.
Do not try to sell your products or services at the Awareness and Conversion stages. In fact, try not to mention your company at all. Your role at these stages is the role of an educator.
Let’s look at examples of the kind of content you could create at each stage.
At the Awareness stage
Share content that outline best practice for instance, The Ultimate Guide to Writing Persuasive Landing Page Copy. This gives the target customer an overview of what an ideal landing page copy looks like. They then realise how they might not have been following best practices and hence, not getting optimal result. In this example, the target customer probably knows that their landing pages aren’t great but doesn’t know what they are doing wrong. Your Ultimate Guide helps to identify the problem.
At the Conversion stage
Your target buyer is looking for ideas to solve their problem. Let’s say the buyer has identified that they are struggling to generate content within their engineering business. They might come across 12 Engaging Content Ideas for Engineering Companies, which is packed with ideas for content formats that they could implement in their business. You offer solutions to an already identified problem.
At the Decision stage
The possible solutions are known but your target buyer is comparing options to decide. Testimonials, case studies and price comparison content are ideal at this stage of the buyer’s journey. A case study about how employee advocacy worked well in a technical setting might be the key to deciding to go with the vendor that implemented the programme or delivered the tools. Absolutely write about your business’ products and services.
You can also offer free trials and consultative meetings. Do you see how the awareness and conversion stages might not be the right time to offer these? I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences. Comment below 🙂
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