A large part of the marketing department’s work today consists of creating content that facilitates the sales department. Whether it is about creating interest or building knowledge with your leads or customers, the content needs to be accessible and well thought out. But what kind of content is needed to drive leads and customers into the buying process? Here’s an overview of how you can leverage content to generate leads!
Today, people want to learn and educate themselves about something rather than being sold to. It is about being a natural source for information that offers both value and support all the way through the customer journey. Whether you already have a library full of material to pick from, or if you are just about to start producing content, it can be good to think about what kind of customers you want to reach with what type of content. Where are they in the customer journey and what kind of content and channel is right for them right now?
Step 1: Get customers to discover you
The first step in a buying process is to make customers aware of your existence. One question that can be useful to answer is how you work to reach people who right now do not know you. Here it becomes important to awaken the curiosity of your leads and to show that you understand their problems and challenges.
The barrier to clicking on a post from a company you do not recognize is probably higher, and therefore the content also needs to be easily accessible and be easy to consume. Short, quick-read blog posts with tips and maybe humor that you share on social media is a way to gain insight into what topics your target audience is interested in initially. You have the opportunity to build on this during the entire customer journey.
Step 2: Win the comparison
Once the customers have discovered you, it is time to get them to consider you as a supplier. You have shown that there is a solution to the problem, but how do you show that you are the best solution to the problem? Show that you are aware of the challenges in the industry and that you also know what alternatives are available for solutions. This is not about telling that you are better than your competitors but showing how your leads can solve their problems with the help of your product. What benefits does your product have for customers? Here it becomes important to think of “effect” rather than “product advantage”. What effect does your product or service have on your customers?
A guide or a white paper can be a great way to add value to your leads. A good way might be to use your social media to drive traffic to a download form on the website where your leads can access the material. This way you will also have access to the e-mail address to continue sharing your knowledge in the next steps.
Step 3: Get leads to convert
Once you’ve shown that you understand the challenges and shared your tips, it’s time to get your leads converted. Depending on your sales process, it may be about getting people to book a meeting or phone call rather than having someone sign a contract. They are also about showing the benefit of acting now, rather than waiting. Maybe you have a product that you can try for free for a limited time?
Some examples of content to try in this phase are having a customer testimonial page on your website. This really works throughout the entire customer journey and can be spread on your social media. Letting other customers tell you how they solved their problems using your product builds credibility. Depending on how much information you have collected so far you may know the industry affiliate or the size of the company which can be good when you want to customize what content is sent to the right person.
Step 4: Build loyalty
It is easier to process existing customers than to acquire new ones. Therefore, it is important not to lose touch with – or, in the worst case, forget – your current customers. They will also have to renew contracts and may also be able to buy more services or products. Focus on content that provides inspiration, builds satisfaction and increases the number of users. Give tips on how customers can use your particular product or service in a different or more advanced way to get more impact. A reminder in the mailbox can make a big difference and also makes you aware of the customers’ consciousness.
As can be seen above, there is a large amount of content to produce and share. If it feels overwhelming, it may be a good idea to start by thinking about what steps your customer journey consists of and how much commitment is required for each step. Then start from that when you decide which step you need to prioritize right now. The advantage of lead generation and management is that every step is measurable and therefore it is an advantage that the customer journey consists of many small steps instead of a few large ones.