70% of B2B companies are prioritising content creation in 2021 (CMI, 2020). The way B2B business is done has gone digital and content marketing is part of that change.
Content marketing allows you to increase brand awareness, share your brand story and values, educate buyers, drive leads and ultimately ROI.
But, how do know what piece of content is needed by the audience and when?
This blog explores which content is best suited to each stage of your buyer journey as well as ways to establish which stage a buyer’s in, to help you turn prospects into customers.
A buyer’s journey, sometimes referred to as a sales funnel, explains the journey in which a buyer goes through before making a purchase. It looks a little something like this:
At each stage the buyer is trying to gain new and specific pieces of information which will inform their purchase. Aligning your content strategy with your buyer journey will give you an asset for every occasion.
Learn more about understanding buyer journeys and how to make them work for you.
The pandemic was an accelerant for the omnichannel approach to B2B sales. So much so, recent research by McKinsey found that two thirds of B2B buyers prefer digital self-service as an approach. This highlights just how important it is that the content on your website is enough to get a buyer all the way through the funnel, without having to ask for help – if they wish.
In the early stages, buyers are looking for a solution to a problem or challenge they have and they might not necessarily know what that solution looks like yet. The objective here is to educate the buyer in how to solve their problem and show them you understand their pain points. Content here should not be too product-led of sales focused.
Educational and thought-leadership types of content are ideal for buyers looking to increase their awareness of a topic. They can come in forms such as:
- Social media posts
- Industry trends
- Reports and eBooks
- Short videos
Examples of awareness types of content:
In the middle stage, buyers know what solution they need and are considering solutions. This is where your more product-led content comes into play and an opportunity to portrait yourselves as the industry experts you are.
Consideration and comparison types of content are best served in forms such as:
- Comparisons guides
- Case studies
- Technical Whitepapers and webinars
- How to videos
Examples of top of consideration types of content:
In the bottom of the funnel stage, buyers are looking to make a purchase. Here they are looking for not only a solution that stands above the rest, but a solution that’s a good fit for them. It should be easy for them to get what they need, either through an online checkout or a free trial.
Conversion types of content typically look like the following:
- Free trials
- Consultation offers
- Data sheets
- ROI calculators
An example of decision content:
How do you know where in the buyer journey they are?
By using this approach, or a customised buyer journey of your own, you’re able to estimate where the lead is in their journey by the types of content they are consuming. Perhaps next time you’re reviewing your website content, assign each piece of content a stage. This could help you identify at a glance where buyers are in their journey and help you build next steps.
Another, newer way to identify where someone is in their buyer journey is by using an intent data platform such as Cyance or 6Sense. Intent data platforms use the many digital fingerprints we leave across the web and keywords assigned to buyer stages, to track people searching for solutions.
We use intent data for many of Modern’s client projects, leveraging the tools integrate the intent data with platforms such as LinkedIn to feed audiences content that’s appropriate to the buying stage they seem to be in.
To learn more about content strategy, mapping your buyer’s journey or leveraging intent data, get in touch, we’d be happy to talk.