We are all about writing about content as it relates to the stages of the buyer’s journey around here. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why would the bright and creative minds at AGENCY H choose to dedicate so many different blog posts to this topic?” Well, dear reader, the answer is quite simple: because it’s THAT DANG IMPORTANT.
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In terms of results, any attempt to to develop a content-based marketing strategy without a firm grasp of the stages of the buyer’s journey would be worth zilch, nada, nothin’, zero. You get the idea. Without guidance from the buyer’s journey, you’re content ain’t worth much.
In inbound marketing (that is, getting buyers to come to you), knowing where your potential lead falls in their buying process is imperative and it should inform everything you produce for them to read. This means that all of your content should be thoughtful, deliberate, and sensitive to your buyer’s specific place in their journey.
With that in mind, here are some (more) tips to help you match your content to the buyer’s journey.
Refresher course: What is the buyer’s journey?
As an avid fan of this blog (please be an avid fan of this blog), you’ll remember that there are three key phases of the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes that they have a problem.
- Consideration Stage: The buyer defines the problem and identifies different solutions.
- Decision Stage: The buyer selects their ideal solution.
Each step has particular needs and goals. As such, any content written should be specifically geared to where the client falls in this journey.
Content writing: awareness stage
During the awareness stage, potential buyers are not interested in hearing a pitch or otherwise being pressed to purchase something. They are likely doing preliminary research, just happened upon your brand, and are reading something you’ve posted to learn more about their problem and how they might go about solving it. Hopefully you’ve offered them something of value here, as this is often the first step in forming a relationship with a potential client.
This is a perfect opportunity for your company’s blog to shine. The platform of a blog allows your company to get its name out there and generate brand awareness. It shows any potential buyers that your company is an engaged voice of authority within the industry and stays up-to-date.
Another important feature of an ongoing blog is that it allows your company to be optimally searchable online. Having pages of blog posts on your site can greatly affect how high up your websites ranks on search engines.
What you should never include during this stage is include any sort of unexpected “gated” content. That is, don’t try and get anything from a potential buyer at this point, not even an email address, by keeping them from the sort of material they’re used to being able to access. While you can (and should) include gated offers alongside your blog content, any hiccups in the user experience at this stage will likely result in an immediate closing of the browser tab or rapid clicking of the back button.
Content writing: consideration stage
At this point the buyer is ready to narrow down their search to solutions that they feel might meet their personal or organizational needs. Throughout all of this stage, content needs to feature actual solutions to specific problems that your company offers, as the buyer is now ready to really pit brands against one another.
All of the content in the consideration stage should demonstrate specifically what your practice features. It should be writing done at a professional, industry-centric level and demonstrate your particular expertise. Industry reports, case studies, whitepapers, and e-books are all great examples of consideration-stage content.
Often, the content in the consideration stage has been made available by that of the awareness stage. For example, you might include a CTA in your blog posts linking the buyer to your free ebook or webinar. This is how you get the buyer to keep reading.
It is also acceptable — imperative, really — to ask for something in return for consideration-stage content. That is, in exchange for the free ebook or webinar materials, the buyer should give you their contact info (an email at the very least). This is how you can stay in contact with patients and continue to nurture them through the funnel until they are ready to make a decision
Content writing: decision stage
At this point, content should give the buyer all of the information they are looking for in terms of making a purchase. This means that any content should be 100 percent transparent and go into detail about any products and services that your company offers. Content writing here should focus on being thorough and comprehensive.
Good decision-stage content could include anything from help and support documentation, testimonials, how-to posts or videos, pricing sheets or anything else that helps the buyer understand the offerings. Remember, the prospect is about to purchase something from you — failing to give them the right details at this stage could result in losing to a competitor.
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