Today, content marketing has become more intriguing than ever, given the number of marketing messages received per person every day. On one side, you could say – “Ah, yet another piece of promotional content to create” or you could sit up and say “Okay, I’m here to solve a problem” and diligently look at connecting with the reader by understanding what they want at a given point in time.
Being meaningful was never so much at the fore, as much today as more and more customers are looking at brands to “play the coach” with their content, than trying to sell their wares. While there is much talk about how big the content needs to be, should it be snackable pieces – it is important to take the horses for courses approach. There is no excuse for not knowing your customer.
Mapping content to the buyer journey by stage
The buyer’s journey, at a high level, starts at the awareness stage, moves to consideration and then to the decision stage. Then comes a supremely critical stage, where your prospects have become your customers – the Loyalty & Advocacy stage. This is the stage where companies can leverage the content to turn their customers into their evangelists but this is also where things tend to get tricky.
Let’s understand how we can actually map the right content at each of these stages.
Even before getting to awareness stage, the question to ask is – are we communicating to the right people? With the advent of artificial intelligence tools for prospecting, you can always identify your total addressable market and serviceable market by segmenting your prospects based on intent, product-fit, match with your existing customers and more.
In fact, a recent survey revealed that B2B marketers are inclined to invest more on AI when it comes to content marketing.
The idea is to create content that converts based on your understanding of the identified target persona. More importantly, to educate and create awareness that assist your prospects in making decisions. The format and the kind of content is then incidental. The most common type of contents that are generally used at this stage are webinars, slideshares, whitepapers, ebooks, etc.
Prospects are smart enough to evaluate and consume similar information from your competition, so the key is whether or not you are able to create that hook. This is where content marketing intelligence comes in handy.
During this stage, companies are trying to help the buyers to understand the various solutions to their problems and how closely their solutions fit to solve the buyers’ problems. This is when marketers seek to validate their positioning using case studies, demos, data sheets, and more. Fiind Smart Signals Platform helps you spark meaningful conversations with your prospects and customers with the help of intelligent recommendations shared, based on signals identified at the buyer level and at an account level.
The best course of action during the decision stage is providing customized and specific kind of content that help the buyers to take immediate actions. Compelling offers, Proof of Concepts, free consultations, discounts, etc. add great value in increasing the conversion percentage. The key however is how relevant the content is. This is where AI really can make sure you are relevant and importantly make sure that you are spending time only on the accounts that exhibit signs of conversion.
Loyalty and Advocacy Stage
Continuous and consistent engagement is the key to keep the customers happy and intact, as we know that the cost of acquiring new customers is comparatively higher. Content such as ways to get higher value from the existing products, new product features, releases, new ways of solving problems, etc will help increased customer loyalty. Nurturing these relationships is key and events such as Customer Summits, connecting at industry conferences, engagement programs and recognition help customer advocacy.
On a closing note, it is easier to move your buyers from one stage to another by understanding and responding to buyer signals based on both your internal and external data from sources. Marketers need to move from customer intelligence to situational awareness to enable great customer experience. Content is still king and will continue to be, as long as you are providing value and making sure it enables them in their journey.