So by now you know the importance of content creation. What you may not know is the importance of having this content organized based around a prospect’s buying stage.
Mapping content to buying stages helps you move prospects through the sales funnel, build trust, and ultimately increases the chances of them buying from you over a competitor.
Creating content just to create content is not going to be effective for your business.
Understanding the Buyer’s Journey
Remember, your goal isn’t to create content. Your goal is to create content that generates leads and sales.
In order to know what content to create that will generate leads and sales, you need to map your content to a buying process.
AIDA stands for awareness, interest, desire, and action. AIDA is a common buyer’s journey for a business. You have potential customers that need to be aware of you first and foremost. Then you need to have them be interested in you. Once you have them interested, you need to create a desire in them to use you. Lastly, you need to be the company they choose when they finally decide to act.
Your particular business may have a slightly different journey, but this walkthrough will point you in the right direction.
If you are a new business or suffering to generate leads, then you really need to focus in the awareness stage.
This is where you’ll need to create articles (blogs work here as well), ad copy, try hosting webinars (or even a podcast), and look for paid search channels. You need to generate awareness for your business before you can have people interested in what you offer.
Once you have them aware of your business and what you offer, your next goal needs to be to get them interested.
This is where your newsletter plays a key role. Preparing an education based series of emails helps earn their trust. Publishing regular blogging content that is helpful, NOT self-promotional, will help as well.
Now that you have their attention, you need to use things like white papers, ebooks, or even microsites.
As an example, if you have an agency, you might want to create a “Buyer’s Guide” to give your prospects something to think about.
These take more time and more resources to really pull together. However, they can go a long way towards moving them towards the action phase.
This is where the money is made. Do you have case studies you can share? Key testimonials or references are helpful here too.
Any comparative data you have between plans or pricing options changes their mindset from “should I do this?” to “which one should I choose?”
Mapping Content to Buying Stages
If you’ve already built up a library of content, start to organize it all by buying stage. Take those existing blog posts, infographics, whitepapers, and any other material and look for ways to repurpose them as part of an email drip to prospects in each of the buying stages.
This content serves as a great follow-up tool because you are giving your prospects something of value with every communication you have with them.
If you do not yet have a stable of content, then you want to prioritize what kind of content to produce. You can dedicate weeks or even months to a certain type of content (awareness for example). Your goal is to produce content that is for the top of the funnel and lets people know you exist. At this point, guest blogging would be something you should strongly consider.
If you are getting lots of traffic, but not converting the traffic into leads, then you need to develop some lead magnets (downloadable opt-ins) to get them interested in you.
If you have opt-ins, but you aren’t following up with them regularly, then you need to develop “interest” based content that will get them interested in using you.
Lastly, if you are having difficulty getting prospects to buy from you, then you need to focus on creating content for the bottom of your funnel.
When you have content for all stages, start back over at the top and start driving more awareness. You should also be looking to improve and update your other buyer stage content.
Putting yourself in the shoes of your prospect is a good rule of thumb. Step back and really evaluate what has been presented to your prospects. What questions would they have after seeing what you’ve presented? If I want to move them to the next stage, what content is missing? This should tell you where you should be focusing your content efforts right now.
Have other tips on a content strategy that you’d like to share? Post it in the comments below!
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