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Content is the lifeblood of digital marketing. As a marketing leader, you know it’s virtually impossible to attract and convert buyers without producing assets like blog posts, videos, social media posts, eBooks, webinars, podcasts and case studies.
But creating high-quality content is also extremely resource-intensive. Given all the time, energy and budget you invest in producing content, it’s vital you make it worthwhile by giving your audience what they want.
Unfortunately, companies often create content based on what they think buyers want while neglecting real opportunities along the buyer’s journey
To help ensure your message hits the mark, here are five types of content proven to move prospects along the path to purchase.
Although senior leaders consume content, they’re rarely the person shopping for a solution — especially in mid- to enterprise-level organizations. Usually, the person who identified the need and has begun comparing options is lower in the organizational hierarchy and will have to sell your product or service up the chain. And the best thing you can do is help them prepare a compelling case to win over the ultimate decision maker and accelerate the deal.
For example, a project management software company might publish a blog post outlining the various points a buyer could make when presenting the software to the c-suite. Or they might share an eBook that offers a step-by-step plan for building a case, including a template.
People often seek educational, enriching content that provides visibility into current and future trends. Many buyers are looking for tips to help them outpace their competitors, grow their market share and strategically budget for success.
A data-fueled research report is one of the best types of content for delivering these insights alongside best practices and recommendations. And using first-party data such as results from a survey you fielded or aggregate user data (as opposed to third-party data from competitors and outside sources) will help position your organization as a thought leader and trusted authority.
Your organization may opt to publish an annual state of the industry report that illustrates changes in user habits over time and offers data-backed projections for the coming year.
As someone who has shopped for software, I can attest to the frustration of trying to find straightforward answers among vague and buzzword-laden product content. I know the pain points I’m trying to solve but often struggle to find succinct explanations for how a product will overcome those specific challenges.
Like most buyers, I crave clear and descriptive content, and when a company does provide these answers, I’m hooked and eager to discover more.
To this end, a software provider could publish mini demo videos that briefly illustrate how each of its product’s features works using screenshots and a jargon-free talk track. These can help whet a prospect’s appetite and encourage them to sign up for a more in-depth, one-on-one demo with a sales rep.
One of the first questions buyers ask is, “How much does it cost?” Like most smart shoppers, they often weigh the price of the product or service against its estimated value. But sometimes, it’s helpful to flip the script. Instead of focusing on how much they’ll have to spend for your offering, reframe the conversation: how much it will cost if they don’t invest in a solution?
In other words, provide content that demonstrates how much they’ll save by working with you rather than working with a lower-quality competitor or continuing without a solution.
For example, a sustainable energy provider might provide an ROI calculator that breaks down costs over time or publish a series of social media posts outlining the negative impacts an organization might experience by not upgrading to clean energy.
Case studies are an excellent way to showcase the incredible results your organization has produced for your clients. It’s the perfect opportunity to leverage storytelling to engage your audience and help them imagine themselves in your client’s shoes. But, despite all this potential, many case studies are dry, dull and unmemorable.
Instead of relying on uninspired, formulaic methods for delivering your success stories, consider reviving your case studies and transforming them into compelling tales produced for real humans. Use the story arc to shape the narrative, and build drama by describing the emotion behind the client’s pain points before identifying the solution or sharing results.
A medical device company could decide to launch a podcast or host a webinar where they interview successful customers using a journalistic approach.
In an era of increasing audience demand and ever-changing social media algorithms, it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of regurgitating the same information you’ve shared a hundred times before. But if you’re not delivering anything new, engaging and useful, your content will become lost among the millions of other voices vying for your buyers’ attention.
No matter the format or channel you use to deliver your message, it’s vital you keep your audiences’ needs and pain points top of mind. Focusing on creating these five types of content is a great way to ensure you produce content that provides authentic value to your buyers.