Types of Content you should consider at different stages of a buying cycle

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If you are a fan of Hubspot or have went through their course of inbound methodology you must have come across this:

Hubspot

Attract, Connect, Engage and delighting your customers is a difficult job and in order to that you need content at each part of the process.

Misconception about content marketing:

There are tons of myths people have in their minds regarding content marketing but the biggest misconception is that content marketing is all about writing articles and creating infographics with the whole and sole purpose to get links.

In reality, content marketing is an effort to engage people and if you get successful in capturing users attention through uniqueness and quality of your content links will naturally come your way as a byproduct.

So here comes the question,

 

How to do it right!

Buyers usually go through a process while they are making any purchase, known as the buying cycle.  This buying cycle can be well explained by the image below:

buying cycle

From awareness to persuading them to make a decision and then further converting customers into your brand endorser  there are different stages and at every stage there are different type of content that allow audience to engage with the brand so they can be prepared to step up to the next level.

 

Types of Content

The general answer to this question is “limitless” but when dug deep in to it, I found this interesting infographic by smart insight who classifies the content in to 4 major types.

Types of Content

At every stage, a brand needs to create different type of content in order to engage the audience and wheedle them to step up to the next level.

 

Content to Entertain:

Step one is to target your audience and make them aware of your brand. In the online world where there is ample of competition already available you have to invest some good money and create content that is entertaining as well as interactive.

One of the best examples for this scenario is Moz.com who did a fabulous job by creating a SEO Quiz that not only allows audience to interact with the brand but also help get a word out to the new and existing audience. You can create similar kind of content say a quiz, viral infographics, competitions, brand videos and more that allows the new audience to learn and have fun at the same time.

 

Content to Inspire:

Once audience knows who you are and what you do the next step of the buying cycle is to get them learn more about you and your service and how you can help them grow. This is the stage where they are looking for different content available on different forums to decide among options available.

At this stage, as a brand you should create content that is inspiring to the audience and allow them to stick with the brand. This includes reviews, celebrity endorsements, forum talks and more.

While I was working with Sophie and Trey, a women clothing boutique, I offer bloggers and people who already have relevant audience with free stuff that they can talk about  on their website. This allows new and existing audience to know you better also this add ups as good points in the eyes of your customers.

 

Content to Educate:

In order to get your audience know you better so that they can convert into lead you need to educate them more about your product, how many ways you can be helpful to them and what makes you better than the rest of your competitors. In order to do that you need to create lots of great content that educates a potential customer that can eventually convert him/her.

Some of the great and tested ideas can be ebooks, articles, events, infographics and guides related to the product that allow users to know more about the product or service you are offering and how it will help them grow.

While I was promoting the link building services for SEtalks.com, I co-authored a detailed book with Venchito Tempon about how to create an effective link building campaign for a business and how it can help business get better visibility in search engines like Google.

This allows the user to get learn more about building quality links and how links can help their business get better organic visibility in Google.

 

Time to Convince:

You have entertained your audience, inspired them and even educated them about your brand, now they are on the decision making stage. At this stage brand should convince their filtered audience that why and how you are the right choice for them.

In order to do that brand should create content like case studies, checklist, transparent processes of how you work, demos, pricing guides and more. This will allow users to make decision in your favor and go from their accordingly.

Neil Patel of Quick Sprout did a phenomenal job by including a case study on his blog. It says how I grew TechCrunch’s traffic by 30% in 60 days. This usually convinces the potentially convertible audience to convert in to lead and customer.

 

Converting potential audience in to customer is never enough IMO, in order to grow your business; you need word of mouth by your existing customers and turn them in to brand advocates. You can do this by providing excellent service/product and customer service that allows them to naturally share a positive word of mouth with the circles around.

 

How are you incorporating content marketing within your digital marketing strategy?

 

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    • AvatarAnna Morrish
    • January 21, 2015
    Reply

    This is a very interesting article. People often do not take in to consideration how they should divide their content to attract different audiences and to entertain those that are at different stages in the buying cycle. Something to add is how important targeting specific people is, creating a profile of your potential buyers is imperative before you begin this journey – Something we discussed on our blog here.

    • AvatarAnna Morrish
    • January 21, 2015
    Reply

    This is a very interesting article. People often do not take in to consideration how they should divide their content to attract different audiences and to entertain those that are at different stages in the buying cycle. Something to add is how important targeting specific people is, creating a profile of your potential buyers is imperative before you begin this journey – Something we discussed on our blog here.

    • AvatarAnna Morrish
    • January 21, 2015
    Reply

    This is a very interesting article. People often do not take in to consideration how they should divide their content to attract different audiences and to entertain those that are at different stages in the buying cycle. Something to add is how important targeting specific people is, creating a profile of your potential buyers is imperative before you begin this journey – Something we discussed on our blog here.

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