The buyer’s journey in today’s digital world looks quite a bit different than that of the past – which means today’s content needs a facelift in order to capture your audience’s attention.
The focus, these days, is on the deliverance of timely, relevant content – but what does that mean, exactly?
The modern sales funnel is driven by content marketing – or, simply put, the ability to provide your audience with content which adds value to their lives, and informs the decision-making process. The trick lies in providing the right content – at the right time.
Smart sales professionals and marketers understand the journey of their prospective clients. They know the stages their audience will pass through in the course of their consideration cycle, and can recognize which phase the buyer is currently experiencing, to provide appropriately tailored content.
For most industries, the journey of today’s buyer can be defined in three stages: Awareness, Comparison, and Commitment. We’ve outlined these three stages – and describe the kind of content you should be offering in each.
Consider this your introduction. In this phase, potential clients or buyers may or may not be familiar with your products or services – so you’ll need to educate them. Some may have identified their needs, but some may just be beginning the process of exploration – either way, they need to know that your company is a ready and available resource, with expert advice on their industry.You can increase this awareness amongst your prospective clientele by providing content which outlines the basics of your industry, answering common questions, detailing the solutions available, and providing information regarding the standard cost of your product or service.Your content should focus exclusively on adding value to your prospective customers, by providing them with rich, informative content which empowers them to make an informed assessment of their needs.This process of exploration may take some time – so your goal in this stage should simply revolve around maintaining the customer connection by adding value. Supply your prospects with a steady stream of valuable content via social media posts, blog articles, and informative updates, and eventually you’ll connect on a level that guides them further down the funnel.
In this stage, your buyers have already confirmed their needs, and are seeking to identify viable solutions. Often, they’ve established a basic familiarity with your industry and competitors, and are looking to determine which providers can best meet their needs.
This is where you need to provide content which differentiates you from your competitors, by focusing on your strengths, emphasizing your unique characteristics, and diving deep into the aspects of your product or service which truly separate your brand from the crowd.
This can be accomplished by providing your prospectives with more in-depth content, in the form of whitepapers and case studies (yes, buyers still read both of their content types), or informative events such as webinars, product showcases, or demonstrations.
Additionally, research articles, blog posts and other resources from third-party organizations. It’s one thing for you to advise on trends and news of note. It’s even more effective to advise with resources, which are unrelated to your organization, supporting your words and actions.
You’ll nurture prospective interest through the provision of well-planned content, and gain the ability to accurate gauge lead interest by tracking interaction with materials, or event attendance.
By the time you’ve reached the commitment stage, your prospective clients should be clear on why your product or service is the best solution for their needs. Which means now is the time to focus on content which includes a clear and definitive call to action – and if you can offer any additional enticement, now is the time.
Promotional specials, free trials, or discounts will sweeten the deal, and reinforce the desire to make a purchase. With that said, there’s a time and place for discounts, but don’t be too quick to offer them (that’s a separate blog post in itself).
This is also a great time to emphasize your own commitments – specifically, your dedication to customer satisfaction. Let your prospective clientele know you intend to stand by your products and services, by reiterating your commitment to quality.
Provide them with clear and concise information regarding any warranties or guarantees – and make sure they are aware of any additional resources offered, in the form of ongoing training, education, or support services.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know exactly which needs your clientele is seeking to fulfill – so make sure your communications reinforce the perception of your product or service as the best solution, and you’ll gain the commitment you seek
It’s also helpful to set accurate benchmarks and outline a standard of measurement, so you can track the effectiveness of your communications. This will help you remain clear on what’s working (and what’s not) so you can polish and hone your future communications.
For more information on improving your sales effectiveness, contact me today: Karl.Gustafson@salesfitrx.com
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