Content marketing is a powerful tool in B2B marketing, with nearly 77% of organizations reporting they have a content marketing strategy. One of the standout components of content marketing is the multitude of content types that can be created. The variety of content plays a large part in lead generation and nurturing throughout the buyer’s journey. Without different content to deliver to audiences, the buyer’s journey can be stagnant, and many prospects remove themselves completely or cease engagement. But, with so many content options to choose from, how does an organization know what to create and what to distribute to leads and prospects in the different stages of a buyer’s journey? This comes as a challenge to many, but the guide in this blog will ensure organizations create valuable content, distribute it at the correct buyer’s journey stage and ensure effective lead generation and nurturing along the way.
Know All Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
Before beginning a content marketing campaign or forming a content marketing strategy, it is important to have an understanding of your what the buyer’s journey looks like for your organization. In many B2B organizations, this comes down to three stages, awareness, consideration and decision. Sometimes organizations may include more detailed stages, but in a macro-sense, these three steps encapsulate the key actions prospects take in the buyer’s journey. Here’s a quick overview of each:
- Awareness: This is the stage B2B buyers start at or the top of the funnel. They are becoming aware they have a problem and are looking at various solution options. Much of this stage includes extensive research to learn which solutions will best solve their challenges.
- Consideration: This is the stage B2B buyers move to once they start considering the different options they have. Narrowing down by which solutions have the best features to fit the organization’s needs is often what it comes down to.
- Decision: This is the stage B2B buyers decide what solution to purchase. This bottom-of-the-funnel stage includes those that are serious about purchasing a solution for their challenges.
Consider the Various Content Types That Can Be Used
As you think about the complete buyer’s journey process, it starts with awareness and lead generation. It then moves into nurturing those leads throughout the journey, intending to turn them into a customer. First things first, let’s consider what types of B2B content are commonly used.
- Blogs and Articles: These short-form pieces of content might not generate leads directly, but they are valuable in the fact that they are widely used and can cover a range of topics.
- eBooks and Whitepapers: These long-form pieces of content are prime examples of lead-generating content and contain more in-depth information than a blog or article would.
- Infographics: Infographics provide a visual overview of a certain topic or maybe even your service offerings. They are easy on the eye and easy to obtain information from.
- Videos: Videos are another visual element that can convey key information about your organization or something that your organization is an expert in.
Align Content Types with Buyer’s Journey Stages
Now, it is time to align the content with the buyer’s journey stages. Here is a guide on what content to create and when to use it for more effective lead generation and nurturing in the buyer’s journey.
- Awareness Stage: To promote more awareness of your product or service offerings, using content that is easily accessible and ungated is the most effective at this stage. Content such as blogs and articles are most often found on a website, often one of the first touchpoints of a potential lead. Social media posts and press releases are also widely available and reach a broad audience, pushing the awareness even further and increasing the chance to generate more leads.
- Consideration Stage: Gated content is key in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. Now that someone has shown interest by reading a blog or engaging with a social media post, you want them to take the next step in their journey. This is where the lead generation happens, by filling out a form for various content. White papers, eBooks and guides are gated content essential to lead generation.
- Decision Stage: As a prospect reaches their ultimate decision to choose a product or solution offering, it is important to show content that will make an impact. This lead has seen basic content such as a blog, read more about their challenge in an eBook or guide and is now ready to see something more. Product demos or videos, decision checklists or even presentations are most effective at this stage. These types of content help put the lead in the shoes of someone who could be using the product or solution offering and imaging the potential results.
Content marketing is the foundational component of effective lead generation and nurturing throughout the buyer’s journey. Deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right audiences and achieve success. Looking to streamline your buyer’s journey? Aiming to create more valuable and impactful content? We’re here to help. Contact us today or request a free marketing consultation.