14 Dec Fitting Content into the 5-Step Buying Process
You hear a lot about content marketing these days, but not much on conversion—making it work so your target buys. We know how it works with advertising. Your banner or TV spot runs with an offer of some kind, the target responds to buy and the sale is made. The purest form of this may be a TV spot telling you supplies are limited, so act now and call an 800 number.
But there’s a reason they call it content marketing and not content advertising. Content is not a simple offer you make with a campaign. Instead, it’s a steady form of engagement, a nurture if you will, that lets you reach out to customers with a different type of value designed to inform or educate that’s not just a special offer.
So How Does Creating Content Work for My Company?
The way content works to convert shoppers into buyers is by fitting into the typical 5-step consumer buyer process. Backed by significant consumer research, the 5 steps are:
- Problem Need/Recognition
- Information Search
- Evaluation of Alternatives
- Purchase Decision
- Post-Purchase Behavior
Content falls into step 2. So how do we kick this off? Most likely, a Google search—which we know is the basis of a billion-dollar industry called search advertising.
So let’s say our target is looking for car insurance—cheap car insurance. Take a look at a screen shot of this kind of search:
A bunch of ads clamor for your attention, but they all look the same. Where to click first? But what you didn’t see amidst all of these ads is information on how to get cheap car insurance. This is where content can stand out. It stands out first by not looking like an ad or a website summary for a company.; it also stands out by providing information. For example, an article titled “Keys to Cheap Car Insurance” not only stands out from ads, it will also speak to a specific information-gathering need a customer has. So they will click to learn more…and now you have their attention and interest.
Give them what they want—show them several ways to pay less for car insurance. Play your role in the information-gathering stage, and do it with a variety of content on the web page that is related to their interest. This keeps them reading. To convert, you have a number of options:
- A banner with a discount offer on car insurance
- A related story on how to quickly bundle insurance to drop rates—which you can help with, promoted with a prominent banner
- A tool that allows them to price out rates
- A questionnaire that lets them see the discounts they qualify for
- A free consultation to help them get the best rate
- An offer to subscribe to a free newsletter to save on life’s biggest expenses
Any of these will solve the customer’s need for information and lead them to reach out to your company to learn more. However, this is just a piece in the content puzzle. The way to make content work is to generate a stream of information so that customers can find you in dozens of ways during the information-gathering purchase process. Each way needs to have a conversion tactic in place so your sales team can start talking with a customer. With content, you have a chance to not only draw in the customer but also plant your brand’s flag so you rise to the top during the evaluation phase that comes right before the most important part – the purchase phase.
Contact us to find out how we turn this intel into captivating content that will pack your sales pipeline with leads that convert to revenue.