In this article, I will go over mapping out your content strategy and how to best target buyers in each stage of the buying cycle. The growth of email marketing and marketing automation platforms makes content key for any organization, small or large.
First, identify your audience. Every marketing initiative launched should have a target audience in mind and writing, building and publishing content is no different. Decide who you want this content to be consumed by and tailor your messaging to appeal to that group.
Next, decide what your goals are for that content. Do you want to attract new buyer, influence an opportunity, or are you just interested in getting your name out? In order to fulfill these goals, different types of content are needed. I’ll go over a few different types of content, and what is most useful for each goal and stage of the buying cycle.
Your first step should be collecting all the different kinds of content that you have. Map out the content based on the level of the sales funnel, and what buying stage they are in:
Top of funnel - Consumers are looking for easily readable “nuggets” of information at the top of the funnel. Infographics and blog posts are great content for this. They can be easily and quickly read, without too much information, and as the prospect moves further into the funnel, the content size, information and complexity will increase. Relate with the prospect: do they have a business problem they don’t even know about?
Middle funnel - The third party affirmation stage is one of the most important and overlooked kinds of content. If you are involved in a very expensive purchase, the amount of research and need for third party validation grows exponentially. For example, who do you go to when you are evaluating whether or not to make a purchase? Most likely, you turn to a friend, colleague or a trusted source. If trusted analysts and sources are posting about your products or services, re-post that (with permission). Third party assets are great content to share on social media, your blog and your website.
Bottom of funnel - The bottom of the funnel content is where you can start using more in-depth and self-promotional content such as case studies, guides, brochures and pricing pages. This content should be used to make purchasing decisions, and persuasively show why your company is the best choice for the customer’s problem.
A great tip if you lack smaller pieces of content is to take that 20 page whitepaper or guide and break it down into more “bite size” pieces for the top of the funnel. You can never have too much content!