No matter what you are writing, one of the first steps you take, before you write one letter on paper or press one key on the computer, is to consider your audience. Who will be reading your work? In content marketing, your audience is the buyer. However, not all buyers are the same.

Because there are several steps in the process of actually making a purchase, buyers at these different stages have different thoughts running through their heads. If you want to reach someone at a specific place in their journey, you need to meet them with the right answers… in the right format. (In other words- give them what they are looking for, where they are going to find it.) If someone doesn’t even realize their need for a product, you wouldn’t to start them off with a price comparison list. Conversely, if someone is ready to make their purchase, you don’t want to back them up with a survey leading them to discover why they actually need the product. (You might even change their mind!)

Let’s take a look at the buyer’s journey and discover what appropriate content would be for each stage.

Awareness

Some buyers do not even know they are buyers. They aren’t to that stage yet. Your first task at this stage is to get the prospective buyer to realize their need. The simplest question to ask at this point is: “Do you have a problem with_______?” Your audience at this point may respond with, “I didn’t realize I had that problem. I should investigate that more.” Ideally, that would lead them right to the next stage of the buyer’s journey: Consideration.

But for now, your audience is seeking to educate themselves about this problem. That’s a great time to get in front of their faces with short, but targeted publicity. Funny ads to catch their attention, or attention-grabbing blogs to aid in the research.

Types of content appropriate for this stage:

Well-written (concise!) blog posts with original research, white papers, informational videos, commercials, print ads, checklists, and social media posts.

Consideration

At this stage of the buyer’s journey, your audience’s interest has been piqued. They want to know more. It’s a great time to answer questions and start building a relationship. Show them that you have expertise in the field. Answer their questions and become their go-to resource.

Types of content appropriate for this stage:

Deeper blogs, ebooks, webinars, catalogs, free samples, tutorials or other informational videos.

Purchase

People at this stage of the buyer’s journey will most likely be making a purchase. They just need a little nudge to make the purchase from your company. If you have been marketing effectively to this point, your last step should be the easiest. A little hook should be all it takes to convert your lead into a sale. Content at this stage should be more personal and directly related to your company.

Types of content appropriate for this stage:

Discounts, guarantees, free trials, consultations, personal demonstrations, product literature.

It’s not easy to go through the buyer’s journey alone. That’s why you need to accompany your leads and make sure they have what they need to make the right decision to purchase from you. Need some help with that? We’re here for you.