There’s no argument that frequent and quality content is essential for any business to be successful online. But even the businesses that do adhere to this often forget that creating content isn’t limited to targeting customers in the purchase stage of the customer lifecycle only. It’s easy to forget that customers are varied and are each at different stages at different times. That’s why content that’s customized for each stage of the customer journey is essential to executing inbound marketing effectively and successfully.
HOW CONTENT HELPS ATTRACT
When it comes to attracting traffic to a website, there are a few pieces of content that can assist in attracting the right people. These are the ones that are more or fewer strangers at this point, but have nonetheless established that there is a problem and are about to start looking at their options for a solution to their problem.
At this stage, it’s important to create content that addresses some initial questions these people might be having (i.e. What do I do next now that this problem has occurred? What are the immediate steps I need to take? What options are available to me? How soon do I need to make a decision? etc.). The best forms of content for this stage includes:
- Lead-nurturing emails
- Optimized web pages
- Social media posts
In creating this content, it’s important to remember that people in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey are just seeking information. They want to see what they’re options are without being pushed to a hard sell right off the bat.
HOW CONTENT HELPS CONVERT
Once you’ve successfully attracted potential customers to your site, it’s time to start engaging and converting these strangers into qualified leads, as they’re now in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. At this point, these visitors have begun doing their research, but are still figuring out what they should do next, whether that means to buy your product or service, or go with another solution altogether. They’re asking questions like: Can I handle this problem on my own? Should I hire someone to do it? Should I use X competitor? What are the pros and cons of each?
The best forms of content for this stage are:
- Forms (to fill out and submit in exchange for premium content)
- Calls-to-action or CTAs (i.e. “Download Our Free Toolkit”)
- Landing pages (pages that visitors land on after clicking on a CTA)
- White Papers
- Lead-nurturing emails
With this content, it’s crucial to keep in mind that visitors are still unsure of whether they should hire someone to help them solve their problem or not. They’re also in the middle of researching their options, so again, they aren’t yet ready to be pushed into a hard sell. Another thing to note is that the term “convert” in this instance refers to converting strangers into qualified leads, not sales just yet.
HOW CONTENT HELPS CLOSE
After engaging visitors and converting them into qualified leads, it’s now the right time to transform those leads into customers. At this point, these leads have decided that they want to hire a business to help solve their problem, but they just aren’t sure yet which one to go with. They might have questions like: Which business can I trust? Which business has the most experience or credibility? Which business can I afford?
The best forms of content for this stage include:
- Lead-nurturing emails
- Informative, entertaining guides
- Interactive Web tours
- Featured testimonial and case studies pages
- Easy-to-digest pricing guides or calculators
At this point, your efforts can be a bit more direct. You have more freedom to speak about your business and how it’s the right choice for these visitors, as opposed to previous stages that focus on simply providing helpful information that educates and eventually guides them down the path to your business.
HOW CONTENT HELPS DELIGHT
Once these visitors have become customers, you can then use content to delight your customers. At this point, they are already customers, but you have the opportunity to make them into your brand evangelists. You want to provide them with content that encourages a long-term relationship.
Types of this content include:
- Calls-to-action with social sharing options
- Other content that continues to entertain or educate
These forms of content help delight customers into wanting more of what you have to offer and will likely promote your brand to others. Be sure not to neglect this audience, as they are just as important as the others.
All in all, great content can help your business at all stages of the customer lifecycle—it just depends on its context and how it’s presented. If you’re interested in inbound marketing and how it can benefit your business, send us a message! We’d love to chat.