So you’ve decided to jump on the content marketing bandwagon. That’s great! But now what? All too often I’ve seen companies adopt content marketing as a concept without considering the strategy behind it. While content creation is indeed the foundation, the act of creating content does not constitute content marketing. The type of collateral you create and its purpose needs to be carefully considered. For every piece you publish, ask yourself…
- Which buyer persona am I targeting?
- What stage of the funnel does this piece address?
- Does this piece answer my persona’s push-backs?
- Am I doing all that I can to push leads down the funnel?
Content should always be created with the buyer’s journey in mind. I’d like to take this opportunity to review each stage of a typical journey and it’s corresponding content assets.
The Awareness Stage
In the Awareness Stage, also known as Top of the Funnel or TOFU for short, people are just getting to know you. Your relationship is very fresh so don’t scare them off with a marriage proposal. Use your blog to suggest a coffee date. The aim of TOFU content is to answer questions and establish thought leadership. You can offer a piece of gated content but don’t shove your brand in their face. At this stage, you can begin to introduce your position or address common sales questions. However, try to keep the company out of it.
The Consideration Stage
The Consideration Stage, or Middle of the Funnel (MOFU…I know what you’re thinking), is when your leads are official MQLs. Think of this as the dinner and a movie invite following a successful coffee date. At this stage, you can start offering product and service information. In our case, as a marketing services company, we would introduce the process for creating the Content Marketing Blueprint. This is also the time to address some of the push-backs that the sales team has been reporting. For example:
- Your service costs too much
- I don’t have the capacity to implement this myself
- Your company is too small
By addressing push-backs head on, you can pre-empt resistance and show your leads that you aren’t afraid to talk about your feelings- or theirs.
The Decision Stage
Once leads have reached the decision stage (Bottom of the Funnel or BOFU), they are officially sales qualified. Congratulations! It’s time to move in together and go shopping for the ring. Now is the time to talk up your greatest assets, share those case studies, and highlight why leads should choose you over the competition. At this stage, you’re ready to pass your leads on to sales and hope they accept the proposal.