Every B2B buyer seeking solutions to their businesses hindrances progress through the three stages of a buyer’s journey: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage. If you produce the right content during each stage of the journey then you can nurture this lead into a buyer.
Tailoring your content to the relevant stages of your buyer’s journey is an essential part of lead generation. Knowing what information the buyer is looking for during each stage puts you one step ahead of the buyer.
What is content mapping?
Content mapping is the process of mapping out your content strategy to ensure its effectiveness as a lead generation tool. It ensures that you deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time in their journey.
Content mapping helps you to get the most out of your content marketing strategy by allowing you to tailor your content to the characteristics of a particular buyer depending on how close they are to making a purchase.
Developing buyer personas is the first step to tailoring your content to each of your buyers’ needs and interests. A buyer persona is a generalized description of your ideal customer. Depending on your business you could have various buyer personas. This is a valuable tool to have as it allows you to refocus your content to the needs of these specific groups of customers.
Create your own buyer personas using market research. Your current customers can provide you with invaluable information. Gather insights using surveys and interviews and use the findings to develop buyer personas that are relevant to your company.
Stages of the buyer journey
Understanding your customer’s buying journey is the next element of content mapping. I went into greater detail of the stages of the buying journey in a previous article so I will just provide a brief overview.
There are three stages of a buying journey:
- Awareness: during the awareness stage, the buyer becomes aware of an issue within their business
- Consideration: the buyer defines a solution for their problem. They conduct research to gain a better insight of the various solutions
- Decision: the buyer has defined the solution and must make a decision concerning the best means of this solution
Understanding your buyer personas and mapping them to each stage of their buyer journey helps to tailor the content that will be of interest to each buyer at the optimal time.
Your content during the awareness stage should focus on those at the beginning of your sales funnel. During this time, the prospect is only becoming aware of their problem.
Informative content pertaining to the issue at hand is what the prospect will find most useful during this time. Create content that addresses the issue. If the prospect finds your content to be educational they may move further down your funnel as they seek solutions.
The types of content recommended during this stage are blog posts, whitepapers, and eBooks.
The consideration stage is a chance for you to promote your product or service as a solution to their problem. The prospect is more than likely looking at other businesses and the products or services that they provide while making comparisons based on the quality and their budget. Avoid being too forward with a sales pitch, save that for the next stage.
Case studies outlining your success stories or demo videos of your product can be particularly useful during this stage of the process.
The decision stage is where your marketing efforts really come into play. Show them exactly what they can get out of your product. Engage with the prospect and encourage them to ask questions. Provide them with the information that will convert them into a customer. Offering the buyer a free-trial or free consultation can sway them in your direction. This is the stage where the prospect is ready to become a buyer. Your buyer.
The benefits of content mapping
Content mapping allows you to tailor your content to your prospects during the essential stages of their journey. Tailored content can help to nurture the prospect through your sales funnel and toward closing a deal.
Directionless content marketing can often result in failing to produce the right content for the appropriate stages of the buying process. Developing buyer personas and mapping the content can ensure that you produce the content in the correct format and share it on the social networks that your prospects are active on.
Put the effort into researching your consumers and developing the buyer personas. Developing content that is appropriate to them and of high quality increases their awareness and trust of your brand. In turn, this can effectively increase lead generation.