Are you familiar with the customer decision making process for your company? Did you know that customers will be looking for either informational content, or decision making content depending on their place in the decision process?
If you want to market effectively to both information seekers, and those ready to make a buying decision, you need to publish a combination of both types of content. Read on so that you fully understand the difference and can create a content strategy that incorporates both types of content.
Informational content usually has one clear goal in mind: to provide an overview of a topic, brand, product or service which you offer. When people are in the early stages of the buying process, they aren’t necessarily looking for recommendations.
Instead, they are looking for general information about the topic at hand. If they are a complete beginner to the subject, this is the point of the customer decision making process where they often feel overwhelmed.
With the right type of informational content, you can nurture your potential customer, help ease those fears, and guide the reader into the next part of the process. Informational content does a few key things:
- Answers the initial questions that people ask when they are looking for the type of product or service that you are offering.
- Helps prioritize information that your target buyers need to know to make an educated decision.
- Clears up any misconceptions that there may be about your product, service, or brand.
According to the preliminary results of the ANNUITAS Enterprise Demand Generation Survey, only 29% of organizations align their content to the various stages of the buyer’s journey and only 38% develop content specifically for nurturing. This means marketers are using general content for a specific purpose. Unfortunately, with content relevance being so relevant today, this generic approach will simply will not work. – Carlos Hildago, CEO of Annuitas
Once you’ve added informational content to your website, you can switch over to decision making content to help turn those readers into true buyers.
Decision Making Content
Decision making content tends to go in more depth than informational content, which is helpful when influencing the customer decision making process. The information that you put into this content is specifically designed to guide the customer farther down the “sales funnel” towards making a decision, which will ultimately lead to making a purchase.
There are a few key elements that will help make your decision-making content valuable.
- Show the potential buyer why they should choose your product or service versus one of a competitor.
- Highlight the unique features that your brand offers that sets you apart from your competitors.
- Provide customer testimonials for third party credibility.
- Provide an easy way for potential customers to contact you for more information.
- Consider offering a free trial if is appropriate for your product or service.
- Include all information that is needed to make the buying decision.
The key to successful content marketing involves having the right type of content available for the customer at every stage of the buyer’s journey. When you understand the buyer’s decision making process, your content needs become significantly clearer.
Mixing decision making content and informational content will help you:
- Increase awareness of your brand
- Build credibility and trust
- Establish your and your company as a thought leader in your industry
- Generate leads
- Increase customer acquisition and retention.
A solid combination of informational content and decision making content will help guide potential customers through your sales funnel. Give readers the information that they need to learn more about the product or service and then tell them exactly why your particular product or service is better than the one being offered by anyone else.
The successful combination of these two types of content will not only lead to increased readers, but increased sales at the same time.
How to you combine informational content and decision making content on your website?
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