With research showing that only 2% of sales happen after first contact and 80% of happen between the 5th and 12th interaction, it is imperative that we consider the stage at which our potential customer is at in the buying cycle when creating content. Senior Online Marketing Executive, Mike Hall, explains in more detail.
“Hello and welcome to another edition of Coast TV – I’m Mike Hall and today I thought we’d have a look at Matching Content with Buying Stage.
So this is in the context of a content marketing campaign – we see a lot of people creating content but taking a little bit of a scatter-gun approach to it, so they’ve jumped upon the content marketing bandwagon which is fantastic, but they perhaps haven’t put a great deal of thought into where in the buying cycle the person they’ve created that content for actually is.
80% of sales (it is said) happen between the 5th and 12th contact with an organisation – only 2% happen after the first interaction, so really we need to be nurturing that entire buying cycle and making sure that we create content that covers everything from the early stage right through to that late stage.
To give you a real life example of this, I recently took up golf, and I needed some golf clubs. Now I didn’t really know anything about what clubs there were and all that sort of stuff, so I was very much at this early stage. At that stage what I’m looking at is what brands of golf club are there, which brands are good for beginners, what sort of prices are we looking at, that sort of stuff. Then as I move on to the mid stage I’m looking at perhaps a little bit more in depth stuff like length of club, the advantages of a short club over a longer club and perhaps the grip, that sort of stuff – maybe what sort of accessories I might need. At that point, once I’ve got all that information, I’m then in a position where I might be ready to buy. At that point I might go and read some reviews, I might perhaps buy a magazine and see what they’re recommending in there or go into the pro shop and ask and find out what they recommend. That’s a real good real life example of an everyday scenario of a buying cycle, and that can very, very much be applied to content marketing. Everyone that buys a product or a service is going to go through this early, mid, late stage system, so we need to make sure that we’re creating content that caters for everyone.
Now we (a couple of months ago) created a content marketing guide, and within that guide this is one of the points that we talk about – I’ll include a link to it below after this. The example we give is a cloud computing company and how they might create content to cater for their customers. Now in the early stage we want to look at stuff that’s investigative, it’s helpful, educating, it’s introductory, so we’re looking at things like “What is Cloud Computing?”, “Cloud Computing Explained”, “The Future of Cloud Computing” – this is very much geared towards people that are perhaps not even the buyer – the actual decision maker, these might be influencers that we’re looking at, and they might not properly understand what cloud computing is so we’re educating them. As they move on they understand what cloud computing is, we need to make them aware of the types of solutions that there are – we’re shaping that solution, we’re giving them further information and choice – “How Prepared are you for Cloud Computing?”, “Types of Cloud Computing”. At the late stage, once they’ve got all this information which they need to be able to reach that late stage, that’s when we want to be helping them to buy and providing them with proof, that’s what they’re after. “Buyer’s Guide to Cloud Computing” or “How to Integrate Cloud Computing into your Organisation”, perhaps even case studies at this point.
Now the reason this is so important is because if you show someone at this early stage a case study, it’s not going to make any sense to them, there’s no context for it, so it’s not going to be that useful. Similarly, if you were to target someone at this late stage with “What is Cloud Computing?”, that’s not going to be of interest to them because they know what cloud computing is, they’ve reached that decision, that point where they even know what types of cloud computing there are – they just want to buy, so we need to be really thinking about where in that buying cycle they are.
Now as I say, this is one of many tips and guides within our content marketing guide, I’ll link to it below, as always we welcome any questions or comments or anything like that, I’d be happy to reply to them in the comments section below. That’s it for now – I’ll look forward to seeing you again next time.”