Your sales funnel is the lifeblood of your success. Leads come in, and you work your sales magic to get them to the Closed Won stage as efficiently as possible. But how often do you think about your lead’s state of mind throughout that process? Are they familiar with your company and the services you provide? Or are they new to the world of cloud communications and trying to figure out what it’s all about? In both cases, it’s essential to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes to ensure you are speaking their language the buyer’s journey so you can go on to convert them into customers. Mapping content to the buyer’s journey is all about publishing the right content, at the right time, and sharing it with the right people.
Understanding your buyer personas is the crucial first step to mapping content the buyer’s journey. Your buyer personas tell you more about your audience, how they make decisions and where they seek information so you can develop content that speaks directly to them. What are their pain points? What makes them tick? Are they more focused on financial or operational benefits of cloud solutions? You can create a stellar demo video for your product, but sharing it at the wrong time or with the wrong audience is useless. Following your buyer personas and the buyer’s journey will ensure the time and money you invest in creating great content pays off.
The Buyer’s Journey
Simply put, the buyer’s journey is the research and decision process of making a purchase, from the point of the view of the buyer. It is broken out into three stages:
- Awareness- Buyer is experiencing a problem and doing research to educate themselves on their problem.
- Consideration- Buyer has identified their problem and is evaluating all possible solutions to their problem.
- Decision- Buyer has decided on their solution strategy and is narrowing down the specifics- vendor, product, pricing.
To better understand how to map content to each of these three stages, let’s follow one of your buyer personas, we’ll call him Bob, through his journey.
Bob runs a small consulting firm and begins to notice a drop in morale among his staff. His team travels frequently for work and is also expected to be in the office when they’re not on the road. He knows he needs to make a change if he wants to keep his employees, but isn’t quite sure what that looks like. The content that will engage Bob at this first stage, includes educational pieces that help him define his problem:
- Tips sheet on how to reduce employee burnout
- Blog titled “Top 5 Ways to Reduce Work Travel”
- Whitepaper titled “Seven Technology Considerations to Reduce Business Travel”
After doing some research in the awareness stage, Bob knows the frequent work travel is causing his employees to burn out and starts looking into ways to reduce travel for his employees. At this point in his journey Bob is looking to narrow down his list of possible solutions. Helpful content includes:
- Case Study on how businesses like his have seen success after implementing a video conferencing system
- FAQ sheet on video conferencing technology
Now Bob has decided to he needs to invest in a video conferencing system, but wants to learn more about the specifics of the technology available and the advantages different vendors offer. Bob is looking for content to help him determine which vendor and product will best meet his needs, leading him to his final decision. Helpful content includes:
- Side-by-side product and vendor comparisons
- Customer testimonials
- Free video conferencing software trial
Knowing what type of content to deliver at each stage of the buyer’s journey is half the battle. Utilizing this strategy to convert leads into customers is really what it’s all about. That’s where technology platforms come into play. While CRMs are great, they can’t track your potential customer’s engagement with your content. Marketing automation platforms, like HubSpot, can give you valuable insight into your potential buyer’s behavior and help your sales team engage with them at the most opportune time. By using tools like HubSpot, you can score your leads based on their behavior, set follow up alerts for your sales team, and automate lead nurturing workflows to deliver the right content at the right time.
Mapping Content with Conversion in Mind
In our example, if Bob visits your website, clicks a call-to-action to and gives you his contact information in exchange for downloading your eBook on video conferencing. With the help of HubSpot, you can add Bob to a lead nurturing email campaign and your sales team knows a lot about Bob through his behavior before they even reach out to him. Without the data to back up your marketing strategy, your playing a guessing game.
Understanding your buyer’s journey and creating content that speaks to your potential customers at each stage is an essential piece of a well thought out content marketing strategy. By doing this you can develop a relationship based on expertise with your potential customers and strategically nurture them to convert them into customers.