How to Write Content Your Audience Needs (and Wants)
Javi Calderon, Content Marketing Manager, Real Magnet
Many organizations in the early stages of implementing their content marketing program struggle to determine the right content to post and send to their audience.
Website traffic, email and social data might suggest that one style, medium, or channel is more effective, but does it really achieve the goal of nurturing your audience and generating sales leads?
In this post we’ll explore a simple content strategy framework for mapping content to stages of the Buyer’s Journey that will help you consistently develop content that your audience needs as they traverse the various stages of the prospect – customer – service provider relationship.
In order to ensure that you’re providing your audience with the right information at the right time, you’ll first have to determine where they are along the buying cycle. Start with a simplified model, and you can get more sophisticated as your content program matures.
Here’s a simple, three stage Buyer’s Journey:
- Awareness. The prospect is unaware they have an issue or need, and/or have never heard of your company.
- Evaluation. The prospect is aware they have an issue/ need and are starting to gather information.
Purchase. The prospect has honed in on a few potential providers and is considering making a purchase.
Now, put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and consider what type of content you would need at each of these stages in order to move forward.
In the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing, LinkedIn’s content experts outline three types of thought leadership content that all organizations should be developing. Each type is an ideal fit for prospects in one of our three stages of the Buyer’s Journey.
- Industry Thought Leadership. This content covers topics like industry news, trends and best practices, casting a wide net that is relevant to anyone who is interested in your industry.
- Company Thought Leadership. Not surprisingly, humans like to follow and do business with companies that seem more human. Show off what makes your company unique, your specific approach and strengths in the industry, and any leaders or experts who make your company special.
Product Thought Leadership. Here, you are answering specific questions about your product: what does it do, how is it better, what problems does it solve, how much does it cost, and what options are available. This content is specifically designed to sell your product or service.
By matching the three types of thought leadership content to your Buyer’s Journey stages you’ll have a framework for a content strategy that will enable you to consistently deliver relevant and useful information to your prospects when they need it. Your industry content will attract and inform anyone with a general interest. As they move to the evaluation stage, those who want to learn more about you will find value in your company thought leadership content. Finally, those who are truly interested in making a purchase will engage with your product and pricing related content.
Implementing an effective content strategy will help you raise awareness for your company and product, establish your company as industry experts, provide your prospects with timely information that helps move them along the Buyer’s Journey, and keep you top-of-mind when they’re finally ready to make a purchase.
To learn more about aligning your marketing to stages of the Buyer’s Journey and creating audience personas, watch our webinar with LMO, titled The Art and Science of Segmentation.