This concept is called delivering content in context and it helps your inbound marketing effort to accelerate lead generation because it puts your content in the hands of your prospects at exactly the right time in their buying process.
The easiest, fastest and most effective way to do this is by mapping your content to your prospects' buying processes. This can be a complicated exercise but here is a simple and fast way to do it.
If you read our blog post on content mapping, you might remember we showed a buying process with six steps. For today, let’s look at one with just three: early, mid and late.
For prospects in the Early Stage, it’s likely they are doing research and might be just starting their search for a company like yours. It’s also reasonable to assume that the person doing this search might not be the decision maker, but that doesn’t make this company any less of a lead.
For prospects in the Mid Stage, it’s likely they are aware of the competition, they have probably talked to a few of your competitors, they might have already downloaded other educational materials and they are trying to wade through it all to make a good purchase decision. It’s more likely that the actual decision makers are now involved.
Prospects in the Late Stage are spending a lot of their time looking at the details of the purchase including specifics like pricing, delivery options, payment terms and contract details.
To effectively map educational content to each of these stages in the buying cycle, document the questions your prospects ask during each of these phases.
Early Stage – How much does your service cost? How do you compare to the competitors?
Mid Stage – Who would I actually be working with and do they work in your office, at home or overseas? Do you offer any controls or guarantees if something should go wrong? What is the specific process like, if we work together?
Late Stage – Can I speak with some references? What other businesses in my industry or my size do you work with?
Then, through the magic of Reality Marketing and inbound marketing, these questions are transformed into titles for free reports, tip guides and eBooks that help your prospects feel good about your products or services.
Early Stage –
- 5 Tips For Figuring Out What I Might Cost You to Outsource Your Payroll
- An Insider’s Guide To Payroll Services – What Every Business Owner Must Know
- Is An Outside Payroll Service Right For Your Company? – A 10 Question Quiz
Mid Stage –
- The Three Secrets Large Payroll Provides Don’t Want You To Know
- The 8 Questions You Must Ask Before You Select Your Payroll Provider
- Uncovering The Required Checks And Balances To Deliver Correct Payroll Every Time
Late Stage –
- A Case Study – How ABC Restaurant Improved Employee Moral By Outsourcing Payroll, HR And Benefits
- A Case Study – How ABC Company Saved $10,000 A Month By Using An Outside Payroll Service
- A Reference Reel With Video Testimonials From Real Customers Telling Real Stories
Now you know what material to send to your prospects depending on where they are in the sales process. You also know, based on what a website visitor downloads, exactly where in their own buying process they might be. If visitors are downloading case studies or watching your Reference Reel, they are probably pretty far into the process. If they are downloading the Insiders Guide, they are probably just starting out.
Both are going to be good leads, but now your sales teams know how to proceed in guiding them through the process.
Start Today Tip – Collect these questions for your business and your sales process. This is an incredibly easy process. Just ask your sales people what they hear from prospects during each of the three stages. Then answer those questions with your educational content. The rest works on its own. Now prospects will convert more readily which means more leads for your business. Start today so you see the results tomorrow.
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