With inbound marketing, helping your prospects navigate their way through their buyer journeys requires a dedicated focus on strategy before tactics. In addition to refocusing all of your marketing messages on your prospects and their pains, you need educational content to help convert prospects into leads (and eventually into customers).
As I mentioned on Monday, blogs are the cornerstone of your inbound marketing content strategy. In addition to blogs, you also need to offer your prospects other types of educational content.
This content helps you obtain your prospects’ contact information (to use for lead nurturing) and gently guide and educate them on ways to address their pains, eventually leading them to contact you directly.
But how do you know what content to offer your prospects? Study your buyer personas to determine which types of content to include in your inbound marketing strategy.
How To Incorporate Your Buyer Personas Into Your Content Strategy
As you decide which content pieces to offer your prospects, ask yourself the following questions:
What education levels and job titles do my prospects typically have?
How much time do my prospects have to digest the information I’m offering?
Where are my prospects in the buyer journey?
This information helps you decide what types of content your prospects are likely to download and read all the way through.
Matching Content Types To Your Buyer Personas
When it comes to written and visual content, you’re typically aiming for prospects in the awareness and consideration phases of their buyer journeys. (Once your prospects are in the decision phase, it’s usually better to offer them a free consultation with someone from your sales team.)
For prospects in the awareness and consideration phases of their buyer journeys, you have several types of content to choose from:
Tip sheets are perfect for prospects who don’t have a lot of time (or the inclination) to read and research ways to solve their pains. These sheets are usually between one and two pages and offer easily digestible, actionable tips for the reader. Tip sheets are usually best for prospects in the awareness phase of the buyer journey.
If your prospects are in the awareness phase of their buyer journey, but have the personality type and time to read longer pieces of content, e-books are a great option for your content marketing strategy. This type of content is especially helpful for prospects who must make convincing arguments about the need for your service to others in their organization. Inbound marketing e-books range from anywhere between six and 20 pages and often include graphical examples as well as written copy.
If your awareness-phase prospects like to read, but only have a limited amount of time to do so, you should consider whitepapers for your content strategy. This type of content is the perfect hybrid between the quick, helpful information offered in tip sheets and the in-depth analysis and thoroughly reasoned arguments of an e-book. Whitepapers are typically between four to eight pages long.
Case studies are best for prospects who are in the consideration phase. These studies allow you to closely analyze ways you’ve helped specific customers in the past. Offering case studies to customers too early in their buyer journeys could appear self-promotional, but, once you’ve built enough trust, your prospects want to know more about the specific ways your business helps customers. The length of your case studies should correspond directly to the amount of time and attention your prospects have, and may be anywhere from one to 20 pages.
Because webinars typically require your prospects to devote an hour of time to watching a live or recorded video of your subject matter experts and partners speaking in detail, they should be reserved for prospects in the later stages of the consideration phase.
Infographics are rapidly becoming one of the most popular types of content to include in inbound marketing content strategies. Infographics are a perfect way to engage prospects who have a limited amount of time to spend with your content. They offer in-depth, but easily digestible information in one visually pleasing graphic. This type of content is great for prospects in the consideration phase.
You likely have multiple buyer personas you’re looking to attract with prospects in different stages of their buyer journeys. Offering varied educational content in your inbound marketing content strategy helps convert prospects into leads and leads into customers.
Start Today Tip – Remember to consider your time and budget when deciding which content pieces to offer. E-books and infographics are both great ways to engage prospects, but creating them takes several days between writing, editing, designing and developing. Make sure to factor in the time your staff has to create your offers as you consider what content to produce.
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