Whether you’re just getting started in inbound marketing or are a seasoned expert, there is one question you want to continually ask yourself – what are my customers looking for? The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, but ultimately, your customers are looking for content that provides them with answers to their questions or solutions to their problems.
They’re looking for content with a purpose.
Before we cover the purpose of your content, let’s look at two components that are essential to your inbound marketing strategy – and the content you create.
Buyer Personas & The Buyer’s Journey
We’ve covered both Buyer Personas and The Buyer’s Journey in past ‘Inbound Fundamentals’ articles, but let’s do a quick refresher …
A Buyer Persona is a representation of your ideal customer. While this persona is fictional, it has characteristics that are based on real data and knowledge of your customers. These personas are founded on behavior patterns, demographics, and buying motivators. They help you create content that is targeted directly to your customers.
The Buyer’s Journey is the path your customers take as they seek a solution to their problem. There are three phases of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, and decision.
- Awareness: Customer realizes a problem and needs to find a solution.
- Consideration: The problem is clearly defined and the customer is researching options for a solution.
- Decision: Customer has decided on the solution and is looking for the product or service that will adequately fit their needs.
As you can imagine, each of these phases requires different content that is focused on where the buyer is in the journey.
Content With A Purpose and a Solution
The best content you can create is the content your website visitors are looking for at that specific moment. As you create content, ask the question: How Will This Help My Buyer Persona?
If you don’t have a solid answer, your content isn’t well defined and needs to be more focused.
Here’s a quick example:
Margaret is looking for an accounting solution for her small business.
Margaret isn’t sure whether an online service is the best option for her, so she does an online search for ‘small business accounting.’ This search results in a broad answer to her question, mainly all the options for small business accounting. Through this search, she sees a blog article entitled ‘Why A Cloud-Based Accounting Software is Best for Small Businesses.’
Now that Margaret realizes that cloud-based accounting software exists and is a viable solution, she looks for ‘cloud-based accounting software for small businesses.’ That search will result in a whitepaper from a well-known financial expert as to the benefits for cloud-based software.
Due to her previous research, Margaret has moved into the decision phase and she searches for ‘Brand A vs. Brand B product comparison’ in which she finds a live demo for two of the top brands.
If you run a cloud-based accounting software business, your goal is to provide the blog article, whitepaper and live demo that Margaret finds in each step of her journey.
When you create well-defined content, you’ll be able to help your web site visitors realize along the way that you provide the solution to their problem.
Here are some more examples of content to use throughout a customer’s journey:
- Awareness (The Information-Gathering Phase): eBooks, editorial content, expert information, educational content.
- Consideration (The Solution-Focused Phase): expert guides, webcast/podcasts, whitepapers.
- Decision (The Data-Driven Phase): vendor comparisons, case studies, product literature, live demos.
Creating the content your customer is looking for isn’t difficult when you have defined Buyer Personas and understand where each of them is on the Buyer’s Journey. If you need help with buyer personas, understanding the buyer’s journey, or creating targeted content, Seapoint Digital can help you each step along the way. We’re online and inbound marketing experts.