Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. This strategic marketing is focused on writing and posting valuable content and is meant to attract, engage, and retain customers.
Like any project, content marketing can take time and work to do right. From creating the content to promoting it, there are a lot of steps involved. Plus, coming up with topic ideas isn't an easy task.
Moreover, it's crucial to keep the buyer's journey in mind when creating content. The buyer's journey refers to the steps a customer takes when making a purchase.
It's made up of six stages:
- Awareness stage
- Interest stage
- Consideration stage
- Purchase/Convert stage
- Loyalty stage
- Advocacy stage
Your content should always support the buyer at whatever stage they're in. To make things easier, here's a guide on how to create content that matches where the audience is in the buyer's journey.
The Awareness Stage
In this stage, people are aware that they've got a problem. For example, they know they need SEO help because their traffic has been declining steadily. But they don't know much about what SEO is or how SEO marketing works.
Also, these people have got a lot of questions. And the best thing to do is to investigate their problem. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they would search for online.
What kind of questions would they be asking? For example, "What is SEO or search engine optimization?" or "How do I improve my website's ranking on Google?" And where do they go to find answers to these questions?
They turn to Google, social media, or niche forums. So, jump on forums and research around the web to find out what kind of content you could create to help these people.
You could, for example, write a blog post titled: "What is SEO and How It Can Help Your Business," or "How SEO companies can help your business." These posts should answer their questions and help them understand what they need to do next.
Essentially, create content that:
- identify their problem
- give answers to their questions
- help them understand their options
- and provide a way for them to take action.
Remember that problem-aware individuals aren't necessarily ready to buy yet. They're still in the information-gathering stage. So, your content should be focused on education rather than selling.
Also, they aren't dummies. If you try to sell them something, they'll see right through it. So, don't do that. And if they find content that's truly helpful, they'll remember you and come back when they're ready to take action.
The Interest Stage
People now know that they have a need or problem, and they're starting to get answers to their questions. For your potential customers to reach the interest stage, they have to compare different solutions and decide your offerings are the best fit for their needs.
Let's say, for example, your prospect's problem is this: " We need to gain more website traffic for increased leads and sales." However, they don't have the resources to do it themselves.
The possible solutions include:
- Hire an SEO company that can help with optimizing their website to rank higher on Google.
- Work with a lead generation company that can help drive traffic to the site through paid ads or other means.
- Learn SEO and do it themselves.
To attract prospects to the interest stage, you need a strong, compelling, and unique selling proposition. At Progeektech, we say, "Rank #1 On Google In 90 Days or Less" and "using our solution, you will be able to increase your website traffic without having to spend a lot of money."
We emphasize and stress out our selling proposition in our website content, such as the product page, homepage, and pricing page. Plus, we do it with blog posts, as well.
Once prospects checked out the site and read some of the blog posts, they should be able to understand what we do and how we can help them with their problem. If they're interested, they'll stay on the site to learn more and say to themselves, "this solution is a contender."
The goal here is to convince site visitors to enter their contact information so that you can nurture them. And to do that, use the following content examples:
- post-click landing pages that explain the offer in more detail but don't ask for too much information
- free trials or demos of your product
- lead magnets, such as an eBook or checklist, that prospects can download in exchange for their email address
The Consideration Stage
Ideally, by this stage, you have turned prospects into leads. You've gathered information about them through forms, cookies, or other methods, and now you need to convince them that your product is the right solution for their problem.
The consideration stage is typically the longest stage of the buyer's journey because there are a lot of things going on for both the prospect and business. First of all, earning an email address does not automatically mean your prospect is going to buy from you or be a customer.
In this stage, you're trying to know more about your leads beyond just their contact information. You want to know if they have the budget to buy your product, what their timeline looks like, or if they have purchasing power.
And to figure these things out, you need to check out your email analytics to see what's working and what's not. Are people opening your emails? What are they clicking on? What is their favorite content?
From that, create segments of your leads , so you can send them targeted content. If you see that people are interested in case studies, for example, but not webinars, send them more case studies.
Remember, the goal is not to sell in this stage , but rather to build relationships and create a foundation for when they are ready to buy. Also, while you try to learn more about your new leads, they're trying to assess if they can trust you, if you understand their needs, and if you can provide a solution.
To give your new leads a chance to evaluate you, showcase the following content:
- detailed case studies that prove you have experience with their specific type of problem
- testimonials from happy customers who have faced similar challenges
- blog posts that show you understand their industry and what's going on in their world
- analyst reports or other research that proves you are up-to-date on the latest trends
- master-class webinars that show off your thought-leadership
In the consideration stage, you need to layout all the edges that set you apart from your competitors so that your prospect can see you're the best possible solution to their problem. For example, if you're the only company with a certain feature, or if you have awards that show off your expertise, make sure to include that information.
Also, this is the stage where you need to be very strategic in your content and offers because you want to provide as much value as possible without giving too much away. You want to keep your prospect's attention without coming on too strong.
The key is to provide value and build trust so that when they are ready to buy, they think of you first.
The Purchase/Convert Stage
In this stage, your potential customers know they have a problem, and they start researching solutions to their problem. They know who you are and know that your offerings are a potential solution to their problem. For example, they now know that you're an internet marketing agency and offer whatever they are looking for (Services, process, communication, expertise, skills and results).
Generally, they're on the brink of making a decision and are looking for that last bit of information that will help them choose. Providing proof that your product or service can solve their problem is essential. It's because that's what they're looking for right now—solutions that work.
Success stories, case studies, special offers, discounts, and trials are perfect for this stage. By sharing stories of how you've helped others in a similar situation, your potential customers will start to see how you can help them too.
For example, if you're a digital marketing company or an SEO consulting agency, you could write a blog post titled: "How We Increased Traffic by X% for Our Client in Y Industry."
For example, if you sell software that helps businesses streamline their operations, your case studies should share how your product has helped businesses achieve their goals. Or, if you're a web designer, your portfolio should show how you've helped businesses achieve their desired look and feel.
The key is to focus on the results you've achieved for your clients and how those results can help them too. If you can provide potential customers with the information they need at this stage, you'll be well on your way to closing the sale.
Your new leads' careful examination or exploration of your offerings is high in this stage. Their wallets are within reach. However, to persuade them to open it, you'll need personalized content that speaks to their unique needs and interests.
Often, it involves a conversation with sales. Hence, you need to make yourself available and be responsive to their questions. In fact, 62% of prospects say it's "very important" to get in touch via phone within five minutes of submitting an inquiry.
Also, 83% of people need customer support before purchasing. Aside from phone calls, you can also provide support via email, live chat, or social media.
Take note that your sales team does not have to introduce this late in the funnel. They can already do so in the Awareness or Interest stages , but in a non-selling way. For example, they can provide additional resources that help answer their questions.
The best content for this stage includes:
- customer stories that show what others have done with your product
- a free trial or a discount for your product
- demo videos that show what your product can do
- a FAQ page that answers common questions about your product or service
- free tools and resources
All these must be persuasive and personalized. It should answer your leads' concerns and objections. It should also be easy for them to consume and understand.
Your content at this stage must also move your leads closer to becoming customers. For that, you need to include a strong call-to-action (CTA) in every piece of content. It could be a "Buy Now" or “Sign Up” button. Or it could be a form that asks for their contact information.
The CTA should be visible and easy to find. It should also be relevant to the content. For example, if you're sharing a case study, the CTA could be "See More Case Studies." Or, if you're giving away a free guide, the CTA could be "Download Now."
Remember, the goal at this stage is to get your leads to take action that will move them further down the funnel.
The Loyalty Stage
The loyalty stage is when your customers are repeat purchasers for your brand. They're the ones who are always quick to leave a review or post about their experience on social media.
And this is the stage where you want all of your customers to be because they're the most valuable. They're low-maintenance and generate positive word-of-mouth.
One happy customer can generate as many as ten referrals. Imagine if all your customers were at the loyalty stage. You'd never have to worry about marketing or acquiring new customers again because you already have a built-in base of raving fans.
Here are a few ways to turn first-time buyers into lifelong customers:
- create a loyalty program
- use status updates, emails, and in-app messages to keep your customers updated
- have a help desk or customer service team that is always available to answer any questions
- send out promotional offers and discounts to keep your customers engaged
- have a social media manager who interacts with your customers on a daily basis
- send out tailored content that is relevant to your customers' interests
The key is to ensure your customers are always happy and satisfied with your product or service. Make them feel special and appreciated, and they will stick with you for life.
The Advocacy Stage
The advocacy stage is the final stage in the buyer's journey. Advocacy happens when your customers become your biggest fans and promoters. And what do fans do? They talk about you—to their friends, family, and colleagues.
Advocacy is the most powerful form of marketing because it comes from a trusted source. And it's completely free. The best way to encourage advocacy is to make it easy for your customers to share their experiences with you.
There are a few ways to do this:
- make it easy for customers to leave reviews on your website or social media channels
- encourage customers to share their experiences with you on social media
- run a referral or ambassador program
- write content that promotes customer stories and case studies
When your customers decide to become advocates for your brand, that's when you know you've built something special.
Anyone can create content that roughly talks about what your potential customers want. But it's another thing to have a strategy and understanding of how to create content that speaks to each stage in the buyer's journey.
Creating helpful and relevant content at every stage is how you'll turn casual readers into raving fans and, eventually, customers. And that's what content marketing is all about.
If you're just getting started with content marketing or looking to step up your game, work with us. We are an SEO company offering the Best SEO Services in Los Angeles, CA, and we're confident that we can help you reach your goals.
We can help you create successful SEO campaigns and online marketing campaigns, do link building, social media marketing, and content marketing. Call our Los Angeles SEO agency today!