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The Importance of Content That Aligns with The Buyer’s Journey

Should I change my marketing target segments?

At 11outof11, we sometimes hear this question from clients, especially if the marketing content they create falls short of achieving their desired return on investment.

Our answer? Before you change marketing target segments, make sure the content you create aligns with every stage of your prospects’ decision process for making a purchase – otherwise known as the buyer’s journey. This includes the time they research your company and evaluate your offers before committing to do business with you.

To help make sure your content is buyer-journey-approved, you want to understand:

  • Your ideal audience and what’s important to them.
  • What the buyer’s journey looks like.
  • How your marketing messages can help move them along that path and ensure your brand is the best choice for them.

Once you’ve got all that down, you can use the intelligence to inform a strategy for using content that:

  • Leverages what you know about how your audience thinks, the answers they’re looking for, and how they go about finding a solution.
  • Engages prospects where they are on that journey.
  • Identifies the best places to run content so your audience can see (and consider) it.
  • Builds trust with your audience as a brand authority.

According to HubSpot, this is why at least 60% of marketers consider content such an important part of their overall strategy.

Content Ideas for the 3 Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

Stage #1 - Awareness

People at the awareness stage are looking for answers that meet specific queries, needs, and problems. They’ll use your content as a resource to educate, provide data or insight, and offer opinions about the best solutions. When your content is helpful and interesting to them in this way, they can travel to the next stage of their journey. This list of awareness-stage content types can help.

  • Blog Posts – When you publish blog posts on your website about topics your target audience wants to learn about or understand, it’s not difficult to see the alignment. These assets can be easily discovered by search engines and promoted across other channels.
  • Social Media Posts – In addition to cross-promoting other content, creating content specifically for your social media channels can reach a larger native audience overall. Because of social media’s shorter, quicker format, you can create tidbits of good information for your audience to snack on.
  • Whitepapers – A whitepaper offers specific information from your company that can’t be found anywhere else. Your audience will want this exclusive information, so whitepapers are a valuable download for them to go deep into a topic they’re interested in.  
  • Ebooks, Guides, and Tip Sheets – Think of ebooks, guides, and tip sheets as more actionable forms of whitepapers that offer in-depth or exclusive information. These are also great downloadable content that can attract audience attention.
  • Checklists – Who wouldn’t want a cool visual tool to help find the way through complicated tasks with ease? Checklists are helpful freebies for almost every one of your prospects who need to tackle the many moving parts of a project like buying a home, changing the oil in a car, or setting up a new computer.
  • How-To Videos – A video demonstration helps make learning a new skill or how to solve a problem more accessible to your ideal audience.
  • Simple Tools – Tools like budget calculators, video timers, online calendars, call recorders, alarm clocks, rulers, password generators, and more are not only accessible helpers for your prospects, but they often provide customized answers or recommendations as well.
  • Educational Webinars – In addition to providing in-depth and/or exclusive information, web seminars offer an opportunity to introduce your leadership and subject matter experts to your ideal audience.

Stage #2 – Consideration

People at the consideration stage are appraising potential solutions for their specific challenges. They’ll use your content to find reasons why your brand, product, and/or service is the right fit for them. When your content can build a relationship with them as well as nurture and build trust, they can travel to the next stage of their journey. This list of consideration-stage content types can help.

  • Case Studies – Because a case study shows how and why you achieved results for a real customer with your solution, with detailed information and quantitative data, it can convince your prospect that it will work for them, too. Case studies can be convincing during the decision stage as well.
  • Product Comparison Guides – Since people are still considering what they need, comparison guides are a quick and useful way to help them decide.
  • Free Samples – If your business is tactile in nature, getting a free sample of your product will confirm and enhance what your digital content is claiming.

Stage #3 – Decision

People at the decision stage have chosen the answer to their query or the solution to right their challenge. They’ll use your content to evaluate which company is worthy of their business. When your content provides specialized offerings, mitigates their objections or hesitation, and even goes beyond their expectations, your prospect is on their way to becoming your customer. This list of decision-stage content types can help.  

  • Free Trials or Live Demos – There’s a reason why new vehicle test drives are golden when it comes to sealing the deal. A free product trial or a live service demo can show a prospect that this is what they’ve been waiting for.
  • Consultation Offers – This is a win-win situation: Your prospect gets something of value, like actionable advice or something else, whether they decide to buy or not. You establish your authority in the marketplace and build trust in your company. If they decide not to buy, those seeds have been planted for a possible deal in the future.
  • Coupons – If a prospect is worried about price, a coupon that offers a price reduction can convince them to buy anyway.
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11outof11 Knows List Targeting and Audience Segmentation

When you need help tailoring your content to meet the needs of prospects at different stages of their buyer’s journey, connect with 11outof11. Request a complimentary call with an 11outof11 expert. Contact us to learn more.

Topics: Content Marketing, Digital Marketing