Good content marketing agencies should do more than just produce content; they should understand how buyers make their decisions, how they move through the sales funnel, and how to maneuver prospects from leads to customers. A successful content marketing agency knows how to create content that maps to each stage in the buyer journey and sales funnel. Content that resonates with specific areas of these stages helps keep prospects interested in your product and will move them through the full cycle—all the way to a rewarding sale.
The Buyer Journey
The buyer journey maps how your customers experience your product marketing. There are three broad stages of the buyer journey: early, mid, and late. Each of these stages matches a section within the sales funnel that explains the buyer’s behaviors.
In the early stages of the buyer journey, consumers are gaining exposure to products and developing a real need for services. They are looking for educational content, testimonials, and even product reviews to get a sense of your brand.
In the mid stage of the buyer journey, they are delving deeper into specific companies that appear to meet their needs. In this stage, prospects are looking for content that helps them develop specific company comparisons while also detailing individual features of your product and a justification for purchasing your solution for their original need.
The last stage of the buyer journey revolves around the final decision to purchase or pass on your product. In this stage, prospects are looking to change from a lead to a customer. They are looking for content that includes demos, implementation guides, and best practices for your product.
The Sales Funnel
The buyer journey and sales funnel are extremely fluid. A general sales funnel also has three stages that are directly related to the buyer journey and necessary content.
In the first stage of the sales funnel your prospects are looking to gain awareness of your product. The prospect has developed a need and is seeking companies and information to satiate their demand. In the awareness stage of the sales funnel, prospects are looking to narrow the field of eligible companies while gaining awareness for your product. Good content should provide basic awareness about who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
The second stage of the sales funnel is interest. During this stage, your prospect has decided your company likely can provide a solution to their problem. They are looking for specific information on products so they can compare and justify their final purchasing decision. This is the stage where people begin to reach out to salespeople or initiate contact with the company.
The final stage of the sales funnel is the decision and action phase. In this stage, the prospect has decided to select your company. They are looking to discover content that shows them how your product works and why it’s better than your competitor’s.
Your content marketing agency should understand both the buyer journey and the sales funnel in order to provide you with content that fulfills all types of prospect needs. When your agency can provide you with a variety of content that fits each stage in the buyer journey and sales funnel, you are more likely to move prospects from interested consumers to dedicated customers.
To move prospects your content must be relevant, immediate, and robust. Content that is relevant drives prospects to stay engaged with your company. Good and relevant content pushes prospects to keep researching and reviewing your site instead of seeking another company for their needs.
Immediate content means you have both value and promotion in your marketing. Prospects can gain something immediately from coming in contact with your content regardless of the platform they discover it on.
And lastly, your content needs to be robust! Meaning there is more than one content option for each stage in the buyer journey or sales funnel. If someone is looking to research your product, you should have social media accounts, a blog, and testimonials instead of just your website’s ‘about us’ section. Moving prospects is all about understanding what they need from your content, as well as delivering valuable, useful, and diverse information.
Good content marketing agencies know that the first two stages of the buyer journey and funnel are the responsibility of a solid content marketing strategy. This knowledge is key to creating content that serves your prospect at every level of their journey. Make sure your content marketing agency understands your customer’s journey to purchase. If they do, their suggestions for content marketing strategies will be effective in turning leads into loyal customers.
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