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Get Relevant: Match Content to Buying Cycle (Part 2)

Last week, we talked about matching content to the buying cycle. In this post, we'll look at some specific examples of content you can build to help the buyer work through the purchase process.

As with all your marketing content, it's critical that you have a good grasp of your prospect's profile. You should be monitoring (or participating) in the professional organizations that serve your prospect's industry and/or role. With a clear understanding of their problems, you can offer empathy and solutions through your content.

Problem Recognition
The prospect has a problem and your goal is to help him understand that he's not alone. Make a list of common client problems that you solve to focus articles and blog posts. 

  • Monthly newsletters to your prospects and customers should include articles and case studies that highlight a client problem and your solution.

  • Blog posts should address a single problem and include key words that a prospect would use to start a search.  If you serve local businesses, include your town name in the posts. If you serve a specific industry, use the industry terms.

  • Whitepapers or industry reports with a non-product approach describing a common problems and potential solutions demonstrate your expertise early in the process.

Understand Possibilities
All three of the suggestions above can be used to educate the prospect on options, but now you can get more specific. Add screenshots to a blog post or include a screencast link in the newsletter to better serve these prospects. 

  • Videos and screencasts demonstrate how your solution solves the problem. Buyers will want to see the user interface or the business process flow.

  • Attend trade shows to meet buyers face-to-face. Listen carefully to each prospect to understand where they are in the buying process and provide the appropriate support.

  • Webinars and seminars should be focused on specific solutions to one or two problems common to an industry or role.

  • Use case studies of your clients that describe how you solved their problem, including the value to their business.

Compare Solutions
When the buyer is ready to compare solutions, this is the time to focus more on your capabilities and potential fit with their business.

  • Show videos with interviews of your leadership, employees and customers.

  • Promotions offered by you or the vendor can help to tip the scale in your direction. Get creative with training and service promotions that will ensure project success to gain another reference client.

  • Use fact sheets with clear functionality and service definitions so the client can compare apples to apples with other vendors. Outdated solution overviews and fact sheets don't reflect well on your business. You should already have this content on your Web site, but a downloadable PDF helps the prospect build a presentation for decision makers.

  • If you have a Silver or Gold competency, clearly explain the commitment required to achieve that status on your Web site and in your literature.

Make a Selection
How can you help your prospect answer "yes" to the question, "Am I willing to risk my job to make this purchase recommendation?"

  • Proposals that clearly spell out the responsibilities of both parties will help to set client expectations correctly.

  • Sample project plans from previous engagements can illustrate the commitment that will be required from both client and vendor.

  • If you are engaging in a big project, offer to hold a webinar for end users explaining the project and the outcomes when the contract is signed.

Through each step of the buying process, you can augment and fine tune the content you have already created. There's no reason to reinvent the wheel, but it's important to consider each step to support your buyer's decision process.

Have you matched your content strategy to buying cycles? Comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on October 19, 2011


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