Here’s a hard truth about marketing … You can produce tons of B2B content – even great content – but if it’s not relevant to your target audience, you’re wasting your time and resources. In the latest TechTarget Media Consumption Research Brief, B2B technology buyers stated that “media is only effective if the information that it features is relevant to their research and is helpful for them during the process.” If your content isn’t relevant, they’ll search elsewhere to find answers. The #1 way to improve your marketing ROI is to align your content with what your audience wants to know during each stage of the sales cycle. Below are the key traits of early-, mid- and late-stage leads, along with examples of B2B content that will move them through your sales cycle.
1. Early-Stage Leads
Who are they? Early-stage leads are gathering information about a challenge that your product or service addresses. They may not have a full understanding of their problem or know exactly what they need. Early-stage leads often don’t have buying power but are compiling information for their bosses.
What types of content do they want? Early-stage leads are looking for information that will educate them about their challenges. You don’t want to push your solution at this stage, but rather to educate leads so they will see you as a trusted advisor. Provide them with educational white papers, case studies, articles, blog posts, videos or webinars.
2. Mid-Stage Leads
Who are they? Mid-stage leads have identified their problem and are researching solutions. They have probably visited your website, subscribed to your e-list or downloaded your content.
What types of content do they want? Leads at this stage want proof that you can solve their problems so they can build a business case for your solution. Provide them with content that demonstrates your ROI, such as case studies or video testimonials.
Mid-stage leads may also want to learn about more about your solution. Now is a good time to provide them with demo videos, product brochures and data sheets. Just be sure that all your content focuses on your customers’ needs and the ROI you can help them achieve.
Webinars and white papers can also educate leads as they move further along your sales cycle.
3. Late-Stage Leads
Who are they? Late-stage leads are customers who are ready to speak with a sales representative. They’re in the final stages of their research and are comparing you to your competitors.
By this stage, you’ll know who has the power to buy your product or service. However, you may learn of other stakeholders – such as end users, financial directors or senior executives.
What types of content do they want? Leads at this stage have key questions that could make or break the sale. They may ask why they should buy your product over your competitors’ products. They also need proof that your solution is reliable.
Your content at this stage should answer these questions. You can provide late-stage leads with a comparison of how you stack up against your competitors. You can also offer them personalized webinars or one-on-one product demos.
You should also create customized content for all the key stakeholders you will meet during this stage. For example, CEOs need proof of your ROI. Meanwhile, end users want to know that your product will make their jobs easier.
Of course, you may find overlap between these areas. The key is to create content for all your leads so they can find the information they need to make informed buying decisions.