February 23, 2015 Rhea Ford

Aligning Content With Buying Cycle Stages: A Quick How-To Guide

Statistics reveal that over 70% of the buyers use search engines at the beginning of their purchase process. Of these searchers, most have the intent to buy, but only a few are qualified (less than 50%). It has also been shown that lead nurturing by way of content marketing can generate 4-10 times higher response rate compared to e-mail marketing.

For these reasons, a whopping 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing to attract potential customers, generate leads and close sales. However, quite shockingly, only 9% of these marketers think that their efforts as ‘very effective’ and 33% of them consider their efforts as merely ‘effective’.

So, What is Causing This Gap Between Efforts and Results?

The trick to making the most of your content efforts and marketing dollars is to align content with the different stages of the buying cycle. Unfortunately, most companies focus their content entirely on the purchase stage of the cycle, and fail to create content to engage throughout the buyer lifecycle, right from awareness through advocacy.

Research has shown that only 43 percent of the B2B marketers tailor their content for the various stages in the buyer cycle.

 

What is The Buying Cycle?

Customer Buying cycle

  1. Awareness: At the top of the funnel, the leads have become aware of a need that must be fulfilled, or they have become aware of your product or service.
  1. Evaluation:At this stage, the leads have become aware that your product or service could fulfil their need, and they are now evaluating your offering to determine whether it is the best choice.
  1. Purchase:The leads are now ready to buy your product or service.
  1. Retention and Advocacy: After the purchase, the customer has to be retained, and turned into a satisfied customer who advocates your offering to other prospects

How To Map Your Content To The Different Stages of Buyer Cycle?

Most companies find it hard to determine what type of content they need to create for a particular stage of buyer cycle. Here are some things that you can do to make sure that your content is aligned properly with the buying cycle stages:

 

Start With a Clear Strategy in Mind

When our clients come to us for content writing help, they often want us to start straightaway with blogs, white papers, or articles. However, over all these years, we have realized that these random and untargeted efforts do not deliver desired results. The better way of doing things is to first devise a strategy that encompasses various facets such as points of differentiation, buyer cycle stage, messaging, and other key points. Once the strategy is in place, we move on to the next step.

 

Create a List of Questions

An important step to mapping content to buyer cycle stages is to understand the key challenges that the prospects face through their buyer journey. A simple way to do this is to ask the sales team about the questions the prospects often ask about the product or service.

Align the Questions with Buyer Journey

Depending on the key challenges faced by the prospects in a particular stage of buyer cycle, you should look for ways to offer content that helps them overcome these challenges. For example, top of the funnel prospects may just provide their e-mail id, so you will have to communicate accordingly. On the other hand, the prospects that are already at the purchase stage may be ready to divulge much more information. So, it is important for content marketing team to bear these fine details in mind.

 

Make Sure Your Content Answers This Question

Now that you know what questions you need to answer and how, its time you get the content writing team into action and have the keyword optimized content prepared.

 

Top of Funnel

  • White Paper
  • E-book
  • Educational webinars
  • Checklists

 

Middle of Funnel

  • FAQ
  • Case studies
  • Product webinars
  • Demo video

 

Bottom of Funnel

  • Live Demo
  • Free Trial
  • Consultation

Are you managing and marketing your content the right way? Need help with creating some killer content that aligns with your customer’s buying cycle? Get in touch with our content writing team now.

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