The purpose of any top-notch marketing strategy is to continue building brand awareness and consumer engagement, with the ultimate goal of bringing on new clients and growing within your current customer base.
According to an IDG report, “59% of marketers are making lead gen their top priority in content marketing.” However, the outcome is only as good as the content provided; you get what you give. Appealing to diverse companies and industries in one piece of content can be daunting, especially when you’re at different levels in the relationships; from strangers to loyal customers.
Dana Rothman, Marketo, says “today’s consumers don’t respond well to self-promotion. They don’t want to be sold to; they want to be educated.” With that in mind, here are different types of content to get in front of your prospects at different stages of the buying cycle.
Content to boost recognition
Content to use: blogs, social media, keywords, press releases, web page, webinars
The prospect has no knowledge of your company, what it does, or who can use its products or services. On average, a person will only glance at a post for two seconds before they decide to click or keep scrolling. This makes the subject/topic of content crucial in order to grab and hold attention, enticing your target audience to engage.
Content to drive consideration and ‘sales ready’ leads
Content to use: eBooks, webinars, reports, whitepapers, guides, short videos
You’ve grabbed their attention. Great, now what?! Now you need to relate to where that prospect is in their buying journey. Show them that you understand the pains and challenges that they’re faced with, and that you look at solutions for those pains/challenges through a different lens than your competitors, ultimately separating yourself from the competition and helping your prospect understand why your approach is the way forward. This is a vital component in gaining prospects’ trust. And now more than ever, people buy from people that they trust.
Content to accelerate opportunities through the pipeline
Content to use: webinars, longer videos, podcasts, case studies, subscriptions, assessments
At this stage, you’re beginning to drill down into your business case. You’ve attracted the prospect and peaked their interest, so keep building. Dive deeper into how your products and services can help them with the challenges that they are faced with, ultimately allowing them to see ROI on the back-end.
This is a very important piece of the process. Unfortunately, too many marketers think that once they get to this point their work is done, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Having the right piece of content at this stage could be the difference between an opportunity getting stuck in the pipeline or one that crosses the goal line and becomes a win.
Content to up-sell your customer base
Content to use: virtual events, webinars, trials, demos, consultations, estimates/quotes, appointments, coupons and promo specials, emails
The most strategic B2B marketers today put a big emphasis on increasing relevance within existing accounts. Many times, your best prospect is already a client and unfortunately, too many B2B marketers forget that and miss out on an opportunity to substantially grow revenue.
If you’re currently driving value for your customers, they’ll be excited to hear about your next big idea. For instance, webcasts and virtual events have proven to be great platforms to touch your customer base in a more cost effective, measurable way, introduce them to the latest and greatest of what’s going on in your organization, ultimately creating new opportunities for your business in the process.
Sometimes the best opportunities are staring you right in the face. You just need to know how to market to them effectively!