Reaching B2B buyers requires creating content that speaks to specific pain points and challenges. That means not only targeting specific buyer personas, but also creating content with different stages of the sales funnel, or buyers’ journey, in mind.
Someone who isn’t yet actively seeking a solution needs different content than a prospect who is comparing options and nearly ready to make a purchase decision.
Spear and Uberflip point out in the infographic below the importance of creating content for all stages of the sales funnel, from top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) awareness content (which may barely even mention your brand, but build thought leadership and authority within your industry) to the testimonials and buyers’ guides that are key at the bottom of the funnel.
TOFU content to include in your overall content marketing campaign plans should include both owned and earned content: blog posts, awareness level video content for your website and social media, and thought leadership articles placed in industry media.
The infographic specifically calls out survey reports, which have been a strong source of content for many JONES partners over the years (learn more about how West—now Intrado—and ACI Worldwide used survey data to fuel entire campaign strategies for several years). The benefit of surveys includes offering readers, and publications to which you pitch bylined articles—information and data that can’t be found elsewhere.
And those data points can be used in multiple ways, from the non-promotional bylined articles, to lead-generating complete reports gated behind landing pages, and infographics and videos that gain increased engagement on social media.
As you move down the funnel, consider adding in case studies and testimonials that showcase how other companies successfully solved their problems with your product or services, along with webinars to provide leads with detailed information and answers.
The middle of the funnel can often be overlooked, as marketers focus on either brand awareness or bottom-of-the-funnel content to close deals. Don’t lose leads by failing to provide more specifics and/or asking for the sale before they have the information they need.
Each level of content should be designed to further engage leads, moving from educational and non-threatening to more solution-focused as leads express more interest in the specifics of your solution.
Find more ideas for content at all levels of the sales funnel in our quick-reference download. It provides a visual guide for the content most effective for building awareness, addressing the questions of consideration, guiding a decision and providing continued support after the sale.
You can also see how a complete campaign, with a variety of content formats and distribution channels, looks in action by downloading Creating A Winning Inbound Program to see how one of our clients adapts the same message to reach multiple audiences.
If you are struggling to put together a strategy that engages prospects and leads at all stages of the sales funnel, let JONES provide suggestions for the kinds of content you need to convert at each level. Schedule time in my calendar for a no-obligation consultation—I always love talking content with fellow marketing pros.