By: Kristin Kovacich –
New technologies, platforms, social networks, products and companies pop up daily, creating new marketing challenges for businesses. Banner or print ads alone just aren’t cutting it. And today’s consumers aren’t settling with just being sold to, they want to be entertained, informed, etc.l. To stand out in today’s market, companies need to create effective content and also be strategic about tailoring the content so that it connects with the consumer at the right stage of the sales relationship.
Stage 1 – Unaware
Build brand awareness by creating content that will provide value so that the consumer associates your brand with that value. Establishing yourself as an expert without explicitly selling to the consumer lays a foundation of trust that encourages them to find out more about your company.
Types of content: Native advertising in a publication, social media updates, creating something that will be shared socially (inforgraphic or lists), white paper
Stage 2 – Interested
Ok, you have their attention. What else you got? You need to show them that you are the expert in what they are interested in or that you know what their problem is and you’ve got the solution. A related but alternative approach is to upend an existing belief or teach them something new. Teaching customers something new about their business readies them to appreciate the unique value of your solutions.
Types of content: Webinar, video product spotlight, email campaign, white paper
Stage 3 – Considering
The customer acknowledges you as an expert and has their eye on your product as a potential purchase. This is where you need to communicate the benefit of your product over your competition. What makes you stand out? This is your time to shine. Identify your benefits and prove your value with qualitative and quantitative evidence. Be sure to not only explain the future gains of utilizing your product but how it will alleviate current pain points.
Types of content: Case studies, customer video spotlights
Stage 4 – First Time Customer
Nice work, they bought your product. Now it’s time to show them they made the right decision and you’re in it for the long run. You want to be the first thing they think about when they think about your industry and the only one they trust to help them meet their needs. Establish yourself as a thought leader by delivering more value-adding content and expert advice that can help them stay informed.
Types of content: Webinars, product and service reviews, infographics, thought leadership Videos, research studies
Stage 5 – Return Customer
You’ve nailed the first four steps and now the customer is engaging regularly with your brand. They trust you and your product so this is your chance to turn your customer into willing brand ambassadors by delivering content so valuable they can’t help but share it.
Types of content: social media updates and shares, microsites, webinars, product and service reviews, email campaigns, videos, case studies, slideshares, events