Nobody rolls out of bed in the morning and decides, “Hey, I’m going to buy new software today.” Instead, they go through a path to purchase that involves research and evaluation before even committing to a sales call.
That journey is called the “buyer’s journey”. It’s a phrase coined by HubSpot and focuses on Inbound marketing, a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.
As part of this journey, prospects are looking for specific types of content that answer questions and provide insight.
Not only are they digging for the right content, but for the right content relevent for the exact stage they are at.
This journey can be separated into three distinct stages:
This first stage is called the awareness stage because it’s at this exact moment the prospect realizes they’ve got a problem.
For example, they’re struggling with manual data entry and need some sort of solution that can extract this data for them.
They may not even know what the solution is called, they just know they have a problem and set off to find something (or someone) who can help.
What type of content works best within the awareness stage?
- FAQ sections on your website
- Blogs that dive deep into specific problems
- Articles covering the basics for those new to the industry
- Call to actions that take them further and lead to more content
Good news, the prospect is aware they have a problem (e.g. manual, data entry takes way too long with lots of errors) and they understand potential solutions to that problem (e.g. capture software and workflow automation).
They’re now flowing into the consideration stage. It’s the stage where they actually start evaluating options that can solve their challenges.
Similar to the Awareness stage, the right type of content delivered at the right time can position your company and solutions as a top consideration.
What type of content works best within the Consideration stage?
- Videos: Videos easily explain your solutions in a visual and entertaining way
- Solution Guides: Provide a streamlined overview on your specific solutions
- Comparisons Grids: Prospects are interested how your solutions stack up against others
- Webinars: Webinars, either live or recorded, allow you to grow familiarity
- Trials: If possible, a great way for prospects to see the value your solutions provides in a more “hands-on” manner
We’re getting close! Now that the prospect realizes what their problem is and how they need to solve it, they enter the Decision Stage.
It’s where they’ll be making a vendor selection…hopefully that means you!
These prospects in the Decision Stage are qualified leads who’ll now look for the opportunity to try a demo, speak with your sales team or even request a quote as part of their final decision.
When were paling about this stage, it’s essential to provide content that moves them even closer to purchasing your solutions.
During the Decision Stage, here are some key componants to offer:
- Contact Forms
- Free Downloads
- Vendor Comparisons
- Case Studies
- Customer Testimonials
Keep in mind, the specific content you offer might differ from the lists shown above, but it’s a good guideline.
In the end, the content you offer is based on the information gained during the buyer persona research that allowed you to map out your content to fit!