The needs of the prospects during their various buyer stages are different than the needs of the prospect when they are trying to make a decision or they are just learning about your brand; your job is to connect the solution to their need to you. So your job is to connect the solution to their need to you, and do so through the course of your content.
- R-esearch and Evaluation.
- C-onsideration and Decision.
For this blueprint, let’s keep it simple. We’re going to create content for each of the three phases above. As you get better at creating content, as you get a more sophisticated sales approach in place overtime, you may want to get more granular in the steps that you’re creating content for. However, in the beginning, keep it simple to get started in that we’ll focus on awareness, research/evaluation and consideration/decision phases, so three phases of content in the buyers journey. We’ll create content for each phase to match the buyer needs at each stage and when I say “buyers”, I mean our avatar’s needs at each step to pull them into your sales funnel, and each stage reflects a different need.
The needs of the prospects and awareness stage are different than the needs of the prospect when they are trying to make a consider a solution and make a decision; your job is to connect the solution to their need to you. So your job is to connect the solution to their need to you, so through the course of your content the solution to whatever need or challenge that they have should be connected to your business ultimately. So, we use the ARC, the three simplest stages and significant phases of the buyers journey to start our content mapping strategy and planning.
Don’t boil the ocean in this beginning exercise and try to create all of this perfect content. Start with keeping it simple and developing content for those three phases and then again if you want to create more elaborate system later, that’s fine, right now start we’re going to start with the three. Here we go.
Awareness Buyer Stage Content Framework
The awareness phase in your content helps your prospect identify the problem that they have. Some prospects aren’t even aware of the problem that they have, others may have an idea of having a problem, but they don’t really know how to define it. Other prospects don’t really know the language of it, but they know that there’s something there. Your content will identify what that problem is and define the problem, giving the prospect language for it and empathizing with them about the problem by showing other businesses that also have similar problems.
Consider helping the prospect identify that there is a solution to that problem, and that people have identified this problem just as they have, and they have worked through it and found a solution. And then you want to leave them wanting more, the idea behind this initial piece of content is that “I’ve become more aware of my problem, I’ve become more clear that I have a problem, I’m also clear now that other people, maybe my competitors, my peers have found this solution.”
After your prospect consumes the content, they should be left wanting more. You want them to be left desiring and knowing what that solution is, how are other people are overcoming that problem and how can they do the same. As content at the awareness stage you should speak to prospects at a high level, you should speak to their goals, to their problems and the needs of a high level, we want to speak to essentially as high-level as we can related to the content that we’re creating. As an example, if I were creating content for marketing and marketing services, I’m primarily going to be speaking to the goals of revenue growth, business growth and things like that and speaking to the problems and needs related to that, so we’re going to speak at a pretty high level with this content.
Research and Evaluation Buyer Stage Content Framework
Once a prospect is aware of their problem and they are aware of a solution, they start searching for more information and solutions to their problems. This is the evaluation phase. In the evaluation phase we want to create content that helps them diagnose how the problem is impacting them. Here is what that problem is doing to you, here’s the impact that it’s having on you and your business that could be in financial terms, it could be time wasted, and it could be missing their goals and subjects like that.
While you are creating the content, help them clearly see that solutions can apply to them. That there is an answer for them, and then in doing so, you’re establishing your authority and the fact that you are a source of solutions.
We’re not putting this content out there just to be nice, we’re putting this content out there to pull people through the sales process and to give us the best chance at closing people on doing business with us, so we want our content to establish authority and establish who we are as a source of solutions.
Evaluation content should assist them in taking their first step towards a solution. Content that will help them diagnose the problem that they have, benchmark maybe against other competitors or peers. Again speaking in marketing terms you’re generating leads that X dollars per lead or you’re only generating X number of leads per salesperson on your staff and your competitors are getting 30% more than that.
Benchmarking is a very powerful way of getting somebody to realize that they need to solve a problem, also tools like checklists and blueprints, things that can help them start taking action towards this solution and various tools. Interactive tools work great. You see them of course in the marketing world and all kinds of different forms, it could be little pieces of software, it could be little calculators, I just saw great mortgage versus buy versus rent kind of financial calculator for people considering buying a home, that kind of online tool like that.
There are all kinds of things that you can offer here in this evaluation phase, but the idea is that you’re getting them were engaged in starting to find a solution for their problem and to really identify and acknowledge that they do have a problem that needs to be solved.
And Finally, the Consideration and Decision Buyer Stage Content Framework
At this point in the buyers journey, your content will be addressing a prospect who has decided that they have a problem and it needs to be solved. This content address the consideration and decision phase where you are trying to create urgency for them to find a solution and you’re trying to put timelines in place and move them towards actually sitting down with you and signing a deal.
The content will promote how to evaluate solutions, and you’re clearly not going to be the only solution in town, and they are going to come across competitive options while doing their research, so you want to give them content that helps them evaluate those solutions obviously in a way that’s favorable towards you. Steer them towards your solution as the obvious solution to their problems by establishing credibility, by establishing their expertise in your authority, you want to steer them towards you as the obvious solution to their problems. Ideally they go through this process of consuming your content and say wow! They’ll say to themselves “If I’m lucky enough to be able to work with this company, this is who I want to work with”; they really know their stuff that is the ideal outcome from having them go through all of your content.
Your content at the decision phase is a system in investing in a solution, testimonials, referenced clients, case studies, offering them some sort of one-on-one complementary consultation or discounted consultation, phone calls, demos; these are all things that help during the decision-making process phase 3 of our content.
Back of the sales funnel here; know, like, trust, try, buy and attention and interest, desire, action will essentially consolidated down awareness, evaluation and decision and creating online content for each of those phases. So that is our content strategy; we’re going to create content for each of those phases, we’re going to be focused very specifically on a single avatar and we’re going to create messaging that is directed specifically to that avatar, the challenges that they have, the goals that they have, the language that they use so that our content is going to be as effective as possible for that ideal prospect.
Again I encourage you in this process, keep it simple. Your first version of this; we should have one piece of content for each of those three phases, that’s it and of course you’re going to look at those three phases and think there is several other pieces of content I should have absolutely, but let’s get you out the door with three pieces of content one for each phase and then you can continue to build on top of that foundation as you go along.
Next up, let’s look at Avatar Development, so we speak to the right type of buyer with personalized content.
Originally posted 2020-04-05 20:12:46.