Yesterday we talked about the benefits of content marketing. The value becomes even clearer when you realize how powerful content can be in closing sales. You can use content marketing more effectively if you recognize the stages customers are going through during the buying process.

sales cycle tips

The Sales Process

  • Awareness stage: Realizing they have a problem that needs to be resolved

  • Consideration stage: Having a clear idea of what the problem is and researching possible solutions

  • Decision stage: Deciding on a vendor who can best resolve the problem

The sales process continuously requires top content and certain types of content will resolve different problems. You need to know what content to provide your customers for each stage, to best address their needs and move the sale forward.

Content during awareness stage

The prospect is looking for information that can help them grasp the problem better. Along with in-depth articles and blog posts, the following content will help explain the need and provide some research:

  • E-books

  • Research reports

  • Whitepapers

These content types educate the prospect and add context to the problem.

Content during consideration stage

In this stage, your potential customer knows there is a problem, and is looking for solutions. Along with the articles and blog posts that make up each stage, your content should help the prospect understand the problem and potential remedies through the following:

  • eBooks

  • Whitepapers

  • Case studies

  • Podcasts

  • Webinars

Potential solutions to each problem are revealed through this content, and your company is seen as a thought leader in your industry by the prospect.

Content for decision stage

The content provided in this stage is a differentiator. It should speak to your prospects and should define your organization – why is your company the one to choose?

  • Feature differentiator sheets

  • Vendor comparison guides

  • Granular product literature

  • Webinars

  • eBooks

  • Whitepapers

  • Case studies

  • Podcasts

  • Demos

Of course, these are all guidelines. I’ve used Demos in the Awareness stage and eBooks across all stages. What you need to think about is which type of person will be viewing the content (persona), where they are in the buying cycle, and tailor the content to their particular needs. Know that you will need more content for the awareness stage than any other, and that as your prospect moves further along the sales process, that the offer should be more tailored to their persona.

If this is confusing, don’t worry, it was confusing to all of us when we started. Content marketing isn’t rocket science, but it is alot to keep up with. From landing pages and CTAs to great offers and keyword strategies, there are alot of moving parts to a content marketing strategy. We are a content marketing agency and we understand just how much work is involved.

But, because we recognize the value and have seen it deliver targeted traffic and increase sales for so many clients, we make sure to make time to adhere to our own editorial calendar too.

To see if content marketing could be of value to you and your business, request a free assessment.

Talk to our team now