Relevance is the key to creating content for demand generation that impacts lead generation, lead nurturing and lead scoring. Relevance does not only mean writing a paper that is only useful to someone who wants to buy your product or service. Not all prospects are ready for this content or trust your company’s information. Instead, you must create multiple pieces of content relevant to buyer roles and buyer stages, enticing a lead to engage with your content multiple times during the buying cycle.
When we speak of buying roles we are specifically talking about the procurement responsibility of the prospect. Typically this describes their level of influence over the purchase, like user, influencer, or CXO. Mapping your content to buying role is important because prospects find content targeted to their role or industry much more valuable than generic content.
According to research firm MarketingSherpa:
- 82% of prospects say content targeted to their specific industry is more valuable
- 67% say content targeted to their job function is more valuable
- 49% say content targeted to their company size is more valuable
- 29% prefer content targeted to their geography
Buying stage describes where your prospect stands in the buying process. This is important to content marketing for demand generation because it will impact the type of content the prospect is likely to consume. The content someone finds relevant changes as they move through the process. You must have the right information available to that prospect so they can further develop their interest in your product or service.
- Educational pieces work well during the early awareness stages. With these pieces, you are simply educating people and sharing best practices.
- Industry-specific pieces work well just as prospects start looking for a solution. Examples can be industry overviews, analyst reports, buyer’s guides, etc.
- Solution-oriented and company-focused materials are appropriate for prospects engaged in an active buying cycle.
In this section you will be able to map your buying processes and stages to your current content to see where you are missing key demand generation materials that need to be developed by your marketing team.
Most companies will have at best two or three pieces of content for each cell, and will have many blank cells at the beginning. That’s fine – you can get started with the content you already have. Over time, you will want multiple pieces of content for each cell, so use the blank spaces to build out your content roadmap.
Be sure to provide enough detail about topic, format and length to help ensure that the information makes sense within the context of your overall plan.
Insert the stages of your company’s buying cycle up top:
Insert your company’s buyer roles here where it says A, B, C and copy over the buying stages from the first chart:
Finally, let’s map your content into the cells of the matrix. For each grid box be as specific as you can about your content and list as many resources as you can that would be relevant for each person and buying stage.
Want to find out more information on how to create content for demand gen? Download our new ebook, Creating Content That Sells: A Guide to Content Marketing for Demand Generation to find out more!