If we take a ‘customer-centred’ approach to our marketing at all seriously, we should use that view to guide the content we have in our marketing material. One way of doing this is to look at the ‘buyer journey’ and ensure that for every product or service, we’re offering content for each stage.
And what might these stages be? I don’t think we want too many, if we’re to make the task manageable, so here are three:
- Early-stage content – this is the stuff for customers who are new to the company, or new to the technology. It’s where we establish ourselves as authorities on the subject, and make our position in the market very clear.
- Mid-stage content – this covers the moment where customers are making comparisons. We can get more technical, and need to hammer home the benefits of our offering. It’s the ‘product page’ or technical brochure part of the journey.
- Late-stage content – this is where we close the deal by making it as easy as possible for customers to take the next step, whether it’s buying a product directly, requesting a sales presentation, or whatever.
An example of the website journey might be a panel on the home page saying ‘blue widgets’, taking visitors to a page outlining the ‘early stage content’ above, with links to background pages for those needing it. This would then clearly lead people to the product pages about individual blue widget ranges, and each of these in turn would have great calls-to-action to cover the final stage.
It’s a good exercise to take a single product or service, and put ourselves in the position of a customer coming into the website at stage 1, 2 or 3 with a notion that we might be the supplier for them. Do we have an obvious path to get to the right content quickly? If we do offer that path, are we then leading them intuitively to the next step, or steps? Give it a try.