“Content is king” is a favorite marketing saying; we’ve even quoted it before, in an introduction to content marketing.
But it isn’t just a buzzphrase. In today’s business landscape, content—think blogs, whitepapers, checklists, videos, case studies, and more—plays a pivotal role in a prospect’s decision to buy. And when you’re missing content for your prospects to read, consume, and digest, you’re losing out on the opportunity to nurture these prospects into leads and, more importantly, pre-sell your prospects on why they should choose your company.
Think of your content strategy as a high-class, full-course buffet. When prospects go to your website, some may need just a little bit of content to whet the appetite, while others are coming to your site as repeat visitors and hungry for a main course. Make sure you’re serving everyone what they want to consume for every stage of your buyer’s journey.
If you’re ready to have more conversations with qualified, pre-sold prospects, read on to learn how to get started.
What is the buyer’s journey?
The buyer’s journey is the process by which a prospect becomes aware of your company, learns more about what you offer, and then ultimately makes the decision to purchase from you.
At Mojenta, we use the following six stages to describe this process:
- Awareness: “I need X. I’ll learn more about X so I can make an informed decision.”
- Interest: “I found these companies that offer X.”
- Consideration: “Out of all of these companies that offer X, I like Company A and B.”
- Intent: “I’ll probably go with “Company A or B, but I need to research more about what it would be like to get X from them.”
- Evaluation: “I’m going to speak to someone at Company A and B.”
- Purchase: “I’m going to go with Company A.”
How has the buyer’s journey evolved?
Before the advent of the digital era – when information became freely distributed through the internet and we developed laser-focused ways to target prospects – traditional marketing relied on broad methods to reach people: direct mailers, billboard advertising, pamphlets distributed at shows and face-to-face meetings, cold calling, and more.
These are all methods that reach people at the awareness, interest, and consideration stages. They don’t go deep into what the business offers or why they’re the right fit; they only create that initial spark of interest. A typical content strategy from this era relied heavily on high-level websites and collateral as well as advertising.
Businesses had to hope that out of the thousands of people that would see their content, a few of them would be the right people for their product and would then reach out to a salesperson. There wasn’t room to go in-depth into what the company offered; it was the salesperson’s job to relay that information to the buyer.
What does the buyer’s journey look like now?
The digital era has changed the way that we discover and learn about topics in all areas of our lives, and business is no exception. Information about any given subject – from SD-WAN to pandas in China – is readily available online, often free of charge. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, we’re often only a few seconds away from a quick online search.
Today’s telecom and IT buyers are much more self-sufficient. They not only discover potential solutions on their own, but also do as much research into potential companies as they can before contacting a salesperson. If you’re waiting for a buyer to discover you by happenstance, you’ll be waiting for a long time.
As the burden of awareness, interest, consideration, and intent have all fallen onto marketing’s shoulders, smart businesses have now diversified their content marketing to speak to these different stages.
Today’s data-happy digital era has also provided new insights into our customers and allows us to optimize as never before. Advertising on social networks, remarketing ads shown to previous website visitors, and search engine advertising can all now be more targeted and specific.
Instead of hoping one person sees your billboard, you can now hone in on your exact buyer persona target with a laser focus. Data analysis also allows us to see which kind of advertising and targeting performed the best, so you can show your ads to those most likely to convert.
How do I ensure that my content marketing meets the needs of today’s buyer’s journey?
Today’s buyers seek to be as well-informed as they can before they speak to a salesperson, and your content should help them understand why you’re a great fit. No matter how they find you, you’ll want to ensure that you have something for everybody – and that the content is as geared towards their exact interests and pain points as it can be.
Consider, once more, the high-class, full-course buffet that is your website, and take a look at what you have available for readers. Are you…
- Whetting the appetite of buyers in the awareness and interest stages with small, easily snackable pieces of content like social media posts, short blogs, videos, worksheets, and checklists?
- Encouraging prospects in the consideration and intent stages to sit and stay awhile with longer, more in-depth pieces like webinars, research reports, ebooks, whitepapers, and infographics?
- Sweetening the deal during the evaluation and purchase stages with case studies, testimonials, demos, and FAQs that tip the prospect over into the stage of complete satisfaction?
Not yet convinced of the efficacies of all-you-can-read content? Remember, too, that as the buyer’s journey has changed, so have buyers’ expectations.
Think about the last time you went to a website: in-depth information, testimonials, case studies, and more have all become the norm, and they also build trust. This shift has caused us to unconsciously think well of companies who help us envision a business partnership.
Ready to create your own content buffet?
We’ve got your back. Schedule a free telecom marketing consultation to learn more about how we can help you create the content your buyers crave and will keep them returning time and time again.