Content strategy guide: Matching content to the buyer journey

March 7, 2014Uncategorized

New ImageIn this week’s content strategy guide we will answer the all-important question of what you should write about. We’ll also provide advice on how to match your content to the buyer journey.

Once you’ve identified your audience and given some serious thought to their pain points, interests and challenges, you can start thinking about how you’ll help them. What can you write about that is useful, valuable and interesting to your target audience? How do their challenges tie back to the solutions you provide?

Tip: Defining topics is about connecting the dots between your audience’s needs and the solutions you offer.

Matching content to the buyer journey

When deciding what to communicate, it helps to understand what stage of the buying journey you are targeting.

The typical buyer journey looks something like this:

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Go back to the objectives you set at the beginning of the strategy process and ask yourself what stage of the buying journey you want to target. Do you want to start a conversation with prospects who are not currently in the market for your product, but will be in future? Or do you want to capture late-stage leads and convert them into sales by providing information that will help them make a purchasing decision?

1. Early-stage lead generation and brand building

If you’re looking to attract leads at early stages of awareness and interest, your topics may need to be broader, so they have wider appeal to your target audience. For example, Optus Business Think Tank talks to small business owners about general small business issues, not how to select the right phone plan for their business.

Thought leadership content that provides unique insights and analysis could be the answer. Or you might consider creating content that will entertain your target audience and appeal to their sense of humour. These types of content will benefit from an amplification strategy that serves your stories directly to your ideal prospect, either on social media, in email marketing or via third-party content placement on high-traffic sites.

2. Content for consideration and action

If you’re looking to convert late-stage leads, you might want to provide information that is useful to help prospects make a purchasing decision. Determining topics can be as simple as thinking about the common questions that customers ask. These provide excellent fodder for content creation that relates to both audience needs and your solutions.

This type of content is perfect for attracting interested traffic to your website via search, creating warm leads that you can then work to convert. By targeting highly searched keywords you can create content for search engine optimisation (SEO). Late-stage content can also include practical assets such as case studies, buying guides and testimonials.

3. Putting it all together

Once you know understand how your content applies to the buyer journey and what you’ll talk about, you can decide on the best approach to amplification. Check out our previous blog, which explains the difference between creating content for search versus served for more tips.

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The key steps to developing your content strategy:

Nicole Stevens and Abbey Ford