How to Craft Content for each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

With easier access to information about competing offers and alternative solutions, B2B software buyers are more sophisticated and further along the Awareness, Consideration and Decision path before your sales team makes the initial contact — this is good and bad news;

A buyer’s journey helps your marketing team articulate the critical path a lead takes before making the decision to buy your product.


With easier access to information about competing offers and alternative solutions, B2B software buyers are more sophisticated and further along the Awareness, Consideration and Decision path before your sales team makes the initial contact — this is good and bad news; good if you’ve created the right content to help guide their decision, and bad if you haven’t.


The average software buyer also follows a more staggered approach to purchase decision making, particularly in the Consideration phase; more emphasis is placed on individual research, peer reviews and in some cases influencer recommendations to help them decide on a purchase.


The goal of this guide is to outline the resources and content you need at every stage of the buyer journey to help leads resolve any doubts about your product and get to a purchase decision faster, and with fewer distractions.

Why is this important?

A clearly mapped out buyer journey will enable your team:

  1. Create an inbound marketing framework that generates more qualified leads for your sales team
  2. Craft a highly effective content library that is targeted to each buyer persona at every stage of the funnel
  3. Build credibility as subject matter experts as it relates to the problem your product is designed to solve.

How to map your buyer’s journey

The first step in mapping your buyer’s journey, is to identify the persona(s) you sell to. First, ask yourself (or sales team) this question; what ideal customer profile (ICP) generates the most revenue for my company, with the least amount of effort, for the longest possible time? This is your ideal buyer.


The next step is to outline the 3 stages of the buying process — Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages — and include the content types that will help move your prospects from one stage to the next, until they arrive at the decision to buy your product. Let’s start by defining the 3 stages below:

Awareness: Prospects enter the awareness stage of the journey when they encounter the problem your product is designed to solve. This naturally leads to Google searches for questions and key terms relating to the problem, and available solutions that exist s today. Your ability to answer these questions, and subtly position your product as the best solution for handling the challenge, increases your chances of converting this prospect into a customer. One major pitfall to avoid in this stage is overtly pitching your product in your awareness stage content; this can be particularly off-putting, especially if you fail to directly answer the prospect’s questions. Here are some examples of awareness stage content to create:

  1. Long-form guides & E-books
  2. Educational blog posts that answers critical questions your buyers are asking online
  3. White papers
  4. Analyst reports & research regarding your industry or problem your product solves.
  5. Training programs targeting the end-users of your product. (E.g. HubSpot’s inbound marketing certificate programs)

The optimize your reach, share this content on the channels your buyers gravitate to when looking for educational content. For example, industry publications, forums, quora, etc.

Consideration: Once a prospect is adequately informed about the problem and the available solutions in the market, the next step is to evaluate each solution to find the best fit. You have 2 main responsibilities here;

  1. Make it as easy as possible for the prospect to evaluate your product without jumping through hoops. Here are a few ways to do that:
  2. Do not require demos before sign-up — High ticket SaaS products targeting larger enterprise customers tend to require demos before their product can be trialed. The idea is to limit the influx of unqualified leads, and keep the sales team focused. This can work against you if you’re a startup with limited resources, selling lower ticket software to small/mid-market companies.
  3. Do not hide your pricing — This is also very common with high ticket SaaS products. Again the idea is to squeeze site visitors down the path of booking a demo. However, prospects whose only sticking point is price, will likely gravitate towards products that are more transparent with their pricing.
  4. Consider freemium and/or free trials — Allowing prospects to actively test out your product before making a decision is arguably the best way to help them arrive at a decision faster; whether that decision is a yes or no.
  5. Use content to show prospects how you’re different from the alternative, and why your approach to solving the problem is better. Here are examples of consideration stage content to add to your library:
  6. Pre-recorded demos
  7. Product walkthrough webinars
  8. Product comparison charts/guides

Decision: Assuming everything went right in stages 1 and 2 above, your goal in the decision stage is to provide content that will drive home the points made in the consideration stage regarding the superiority of your product compared to the alternative. Let the prospect hear it from existing customers or unbiased 3rd party experts to eliminate any remaining doubt about your solution. Here are some examples of decision stage content to provide:

  1. 3rd party comparison articles, videos or podcast
  2. Support documentation
  3. Customer references and testimonials
  4. Case studies/customer stories
  5. G2 Crowd, Trust Radius, etc reviews

Conclusion

Prioritize aligning your content library to match the path prospects follow when discovering the problem you solve. This will ultimately result in higher quality inbound lead generation, and better sales conversion for your team.

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