Many of our clients are planning their 2024 content marketing budget, which clearly presents a huge growth opportunity. According to the research firm Gartner, spending is set to hit $309 billion globally, up drastically from 2021.
But shockingly, only 30% of companies feel like they are using content marketing effectively. For most, this represents a considerable gap of untapped potential to engage a target audience and drive results.
So, what are the 30% doing right? One trend we believe in is supported by the Content Marketing Institute in a 2022 study. Their 12th annual study of B2B content marketing trends showed that businesses that created content specifically for each stage of the buyer journey saw a 25% increase in website traffic and a 17% increase in leads.
It is a very logical content marketing strategy when you think about it. Potential buyers are navigating complex needs, various stakeholders, and mountains of information. Their decision-making process is long, with evolving needs for information along the way.
The Benefits of Aligning Content to the Buyer’s Journey
Here are some of the benefits of aligning content to the buyer's journey:
- Increased lead generation: When you provide the right content to the right prospects at the right time, you are more likely to capture their attention and interest. This can lead to more leads being generated.
- Improved conversion rates: When potential customers are more engaged with your content, they are more likely to convert into customers. This is because they will have a better understanding of your products or services and why they are a good fit for their needs.
- Enhanced brand awareness: When you create different types of content that are informative and helpful, you can help to build brand awareness and credibility. This can make it more likely that prospects will choose your company over your competitors.
- Improved customer satisfaction: When you provide content that is relevant and helpful, you can help to improve customer satisfaction. This can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
Real-World Examples of Crafted Content for the Buyer’s Journey
Siemens: As a global powerhouse, Siemens isn't just manufacturing products; they're crafting captivating email stories. They use newsletters tailored to recipient interests for marketing and sales nurturing. These newsletters, rich with insights and tailored to readers, don't just sit in inboxes—they build connections. Dive into the digits? A cool 20% surge in lead generation and a 15% hike in conversion rates. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
Rockwell Automation: Rockwell doesn't just automate machinery; they've automated a killer marketing strategy. Spreading their magic through emails, tweets, and quality content, they’ve mastered the art of nurturing leads. Their secret weapon? A lead scoring system that fast-tracks the promising prospects. Outcome? An impressive 10% boost in customer lifetime value and a 5% ROI upswing. (Source: Manufacturing Business Technology Magazine)
Cummins: In the world of diesel engines, Cummins roars louder. And it’s not just their engines—it's their turbo-charged marketing campaigns. With compelling webinars, enlightening white papers, and powerful case studies, they’re not just chasing leads; they're sealing deals. The scoreboard? A roaring 25% uptick in closed deals and a 10% leap in customer satisfaction after implementing nurture campaigns. (Source: Aberdeen Group Blog)
How to Tailor B2B Marketing Campaigns to Your Buyer’s Journey
This is a step-by-step strategy to tailor B2B content marketing campaigns for every stage of the buyer's journey and ignite the fire to accelerate deals through clear, customer-centric communications.
Understanding your customers’ journey from the first time they hear about you to the point they contact sales is crucial. This means envisioning the ideal customer experience and meeting their needs at every step.
Awareness Stage: Inbound Marketing's Role in Introducing Your Brand
This is your customer’s first introduction to your brand. Perhaps they stumbled upon your blog posts, saw an advertisement, or heard about you from a colleague. At this stage of the sales funnel, inbound marketing is pivotal. Through value-driven content, you can pull prospects towards your brand rather than pushing your brand onto them.
Consideration Stage: Content Marketing's Push Toward Product Exploration
Now they're delving deeper, thinking about your product or service in the context of their specific needs. At this stage of the journey, your content marketing efforts should guide them, showcasing how you can address their specific challenges and provide the most value.
Evaluation Stage: The Dance of Decision-Making and Differentiation
They're on the cusp of entering the decision stage and making a choice. Your messaging during the evaluation phase should highlight what sets you apart from competitors, ensuring that they see the unique benefits and advantages of choosing your brand.
Developing Effective Content for All Stages of the Buyer’s Journey: Why is This Important?
The importance of the mid to late stages of the buyer's journey can't be overstressed. Unlike B2C, the B2B buying process is multifaceted. As we mentioned earlier, a purchase decision isn't made by one person—they're often the culmination of discussions among multiple stakeholders.
Content for the Consideration Stage: Crafting a Compelling Brand Narrative
- Differentiating Your Brand: Stand out by presenting what makes your solutions uniquely beneficial.
- Value Proposition: This isn't just about telling prospects what you offer but how it solves their unique problems and pain points. This type of content keeps them engaged and nurtured and brings them closer to becoming "sales ready."
Content for the Evaluation Stage: Strengthening Stakeholder Conviction
When prospects reach this stage, they're likely talking to sales and comparing their shortlisted options.
- Your Strengths: As the balance teeters between you and the competition, reinforce what makes your solutions superior.
Beyond Awareness: Lead Nurturing Through the B2B Marketing Funnel
Even after sales have made their pitch, marketing plays a crucial role. Tailored content should reinforce the value proposition and aid the prospect in championing your best solution to their team.
Building the Business Case: Empowering Internal Brand Champions
After the sales team delivers a proposal, nurture prospects by reinforcing your value. Give stakeholders data to help your “champion” sell your solution internally.
Create Content That Bridges Different Stages of the Buyer’s Journey: A Free Template
Support Sales Enablement
Once a lead connects with sales, use tailored 1:1 content like email templates. Provide assets to help build the business case and sell internally. Marketing and sales alignment is key for conversion.
Need Help Creating Content for the Buyer’s Journey? Content Marketers Can Help
Juggling all the buyer’s journey stages and ensuring content aligns can be overwhelming. If you're stretched thin, don't hesitate to consider external agencies specializing in content strategy.
Ready to elevate your B2B content strategy? Schedule a call with one of our strategists today and let's ignite that fire in your buyer's journey.