After generations of being exposed to blatant sales attempts and various forms of traditional advertising, the modern consumer has become increasingly skeptical of brand messaging. In fact, a McCann survey found that 42% of Americans find companies less trustworthy than they did 20 years ago.
As it becomes obvious that the older forms of promotion are becoming less effective, the need for quality content marketing is at an all-time high. One of the primary objectives of branded content is not to exclusively showcase end results, but to educate prospective buyers on common issues and present innovative solutions in a meaningful way.
With this concept in mind, a successful content marketing strategy is one that is properly synced up with the buyer’s journey.
#1 Get Personal
The consideration stage is where shoppers are looking for more detailed information. Therefore, your content should work to address specific needs while slightly shifting to a more sales-oriented approach. In essence, your messages should be more direct in a way that nurtures an individualized relationship. While your content should still be highly educational, the people in this stage of the journey are looking to confirm you are an expert source and truly understand their concerns.
For starters, your touch points should be personalized with a more “human” tone. This can be in the form of custom emails or landing pages. Then, you need to outline the next steps and the benefits for continuing the process.
According to a report by Infosys, 59% of customers claim that personalization plays a role in influencing buying decisions.
Essentially, this is where you need to bridge the gap between the broader content, used throughout the awareness stage, and the content geared to invoke further action.
#2 Offer Free In-Depth Content
Another major objective of the consideration stage is to build trust. To do this successfully, you need to be focused on demonstrating a profound level of attentiveness to the pressing needs of your prospects. Sales should not be your primary objective right now.
Creating actionable content in the form of e-books, webinars, case studies, comparisons, etc. that address possible solutions is a fantastic way to cover your bases and showcase your worth.
The content you provide here needs to prove you have the answers to solve common issues in the field. Your expert knowledge and professionalism needs to be obvious from the start.
Throughout the content, they spare no expense in diving into each and every aspect of running a successful webinar from start to finish. In addition to the step-by-step process of building the content, they share professional tips on how to make it resonate with viewers. For instance, they discuss the benefits of using industry experts as guest speakers.
What’s more, they show real success stories from people who have used the platform and advice to grow their business.
There is no question that webinars are a superior medium to communicate and inform, and can prove to be a game-changer in improving sales. True, hosting webinars can demand more in terms of time and resources. But, it’s important to think of this content as the final piece of the puzzle that creates paying customers.
#3 Use Solution-Based Keywords
As previously stated, content in the consideration stage is meant to effectively turn interested minds into clients. Prospects have identified their grievances and are in the process of narrowing down their options.
With this in mind, your content should be optimized with keywords pertinent to the different solution types you offer. For instance, consider using terms related to keywords like:
Your objective should be to make it easy for people to find your messaging on the web and identify ways in which you can solve their problems.
Start by taking your “term categories” and plugging them into a keyword research tool. An SEO tool suite such as SEMrush is great for this purpose. Then, create a larger pool of keywords and see which ones hold greater value.
The more your product or service offers, the more in-depth research you will need to conduct.
Keep in mind, you will most likely find terms that are incredibly competitive. These will cost A LOT and fail to provide significant value. Try to get granular with your approach. After all, your potential customers are looking for granular solutions.
#4 Be Responsive
It’s safe to bet that people will take their time to shop around. Chances are, they will have a plethora of questions before deciding to spend their hard-earned money. Therefore, being easy to reach needs to be a top priority throughout your content strategy. Otherwise, you are essentially serving your precious leads to competitors on a silver platter.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to be alert to answer questions 24/7. But, your responses (during business hours) need to be fast and interactions should take place in real-time.
For this purpose, many businesses are implementing a live chat function on their website.
These days, many sites, especially in the SaaS space, have a live chat feature directly on their homepage where visitors can ask questions about any aspect of the product. Additionally, some of them might require users to submit their name and email address prior to the interaction, which in turn, helps capture more leads.
At the end of the day, simply being easy to get in touch with can do wonders to build trust and bring interested prospects to the next level.
Content marketing requires a very particular approach, regardless of which stage your leads are in. While each business has their own unique approach, the general objectives to educate, nurture, and validate decisions remain constant.
The content you create for the consideration stage must adhere to a fine line between building trust, and encouraging purchase options.
Ultimately, people should not have a shred of doubt that you are the answer they’ve been looking for when it comes time to make decisions.