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Content Marketing: How To Create Content at Each Stage of the Buying Cycle

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 2:43pm

Although many businesses and products rely heavily upon SEO and keyword usage, it's simply not enough to engage potential clients. In order to achieve the highest level of success from your content marketing, you must also take the time to consider what it is that your customers are actually looking for. But you're not a mind reader, so how can you best anticipate consumer needs? By understanding the various stages of the buying cycle, you can create a content marketing strategy that will attract the masses to you and will influence them at the point of purchase. 

What is the Buying Cycle?

The buying cycle is basically a representation of where a consumer is at in the process of making decision to purchase a product or service. The three main stages are:

1. The Informational Stage - In this stage, a consumer is seeking out knowledge via informational content that will answer any questions that they may have. Though they may not be ready to make a purchase, these askers should not be ignored. If you are able to provide helpful answers to their questions, you will establish a sense of value and trust between yourself and a potential client. 

2. The Transitional Stage - These are the consumers who are looking to do something, ie: buying concert tickets or making a hotel reservation. Typically, by the time a person has reached the transitional stage, they have a solid idea of what they are hoping to find and they intend to make a buying decision should the find a match for their query.

3. The Navigational Stage - At this point, a consumer has already been to your page to seek knowledge or make a purchase, and is therefore ready to go back to your site in search of more helpful information. Here, an individual will intentionally navigate their way back to your page in hopes of finding more quality answers, products, or services.

Providing the Right Content for Each Stage of the Buying Cycle

In order to meet the individual needs of your clients and potential consumers, regardless of where they are currently located in the buying cycle, it is important that you are able to provide helpful content for every stage. Here's how:

Informational Content

One of the best ways to provide knowledge and useful information to your audience is through maintaining an active blog. In order to successfully address the needs of clients in the informational stage, you must pause to consider what sort of questions your consumer base may have with regards to your products or services. As an example, if you are running a home repair business that deals with HVAC equipment, your clients may ask questions about how often their furnace filter should be changed or advice as to why their air conditioner is making a strange sound. You can then plan to provide content-rich blog articles that address these types of questions, utilizing key words that will allow your customers to find the answers to their inquiries in your blogs. 

Transitional Content

In order for your products and services to be a match for what your consumers are looking for, your offerings and prices should be competitive. Examine the "about", "products", or "services" section of your page, and compare it against those of your competitors. If similar businesses are offering a lot more for a lot less, you'll need to do some reflecting. Promoting all of your goods and services to the max within the content of your page at a reasonable rate will increase the likelihood that you will meet your consumer's needs and that they will make a purchase from you. You may also consider including reviews and/or applicable awards and affiliations that could influence a customer's buying decision. 

Navigational Content

Individuals who return to your page are hoping to be wowed again by the information you provide and it is your job to meet this expectation. By monitoring which pages your consumers are staying on longest, which links they are following, and other useful data, it’s easy to develop content to match their needs and keep influencing buying decisions.

Are you taking advantage of the buying cycle with your content? Learn how content development services can help you with your content marketing needs by clicking here.  

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