How Content Is Changing And What Marketers Need To Know [Survey Data]
Content marketing is hitting a very important inflection point. What do you need to do to keep up with its development?
Most brands got on board with content marketing by creating general, untargeted content. Now, those brands are evolving past that; they’re creating content that maps to the position of the buyer in his or her journey.
(The buyer’s journey refers to the buyer’s progression through a research and consideration phase, culminating in a purchase.)
Brands’ new content paradigm recognizes that a “one-size-fits-all” approach may be insufficient. After all, a buyer’s content needs differ based on where in the buyer’s journey they are.
For example, in the “develop interest” phase, the buyer may need a blog post about how to solve the problem they are facing; however, in the “make purchase decision” phase, they may need information on why your solution is superior to the competition.
This new paradigm is a conversion strategy. Content not only maps to the specific needs of the buyer based on their position in the buyer’s journey, but it is also designed to move the buyer through to the next phase of the journey, all the way through to purchase.
87% of Marketers Have (Or Plan To Have) Content That Maps To The Buyer’s Journey
At Conductor, where I am Director of Research, we are in the final stages of a study that takes a broad look at how the changes in digital — consumers’ ability to interact with brands on their own terms, the brands’ content imperative, etc. — are impacting the modern marketing organization. Most importantly, we’re focusing on what marketers need to know to adapt.
Among other questions, we asked 187 marketing executives from a cross section of B2B, B2C, and agency companies about their approach to content that maps to the buyer’s journey.
Eighty-seven percent (87%) said they now have content that moves buyers through the purchase funnel, or they plan to have it in the next six months. It is clear that marketers understand a shift in how we approach content has occurred.
92% Agree Measurement Of Progression Through The Buyer’s Journey Is Important
Marketing executives understand that the way we create and target content has evolved. They also understand they cannot simply create content for the buyer’s journey without measuring its impact. Does it effectively push people to the next stage of the buyer’s journey?
Ninety-two percent (92%) of executives agree that having a way to measure the progression of the buyer through their buying journey is “important” or “very important.”
Combined, all this data serves as a resounding announcement of marketers’ intention to evolve from broad content to specific, targeted content, fortified by comprehensive measurement of what does and does not work to move buyers through the purchase funnel.
Take Steps To Shift To The New Content Paradigm
As marketers, it is important that we stay on top of the trends that signal a shift in how we operate. The data tell us that the industry is shifting to a targeted content model. To begin to make that shift with the industry, we can start to ask ourselves key questions like:
- Who is my audience?
- What are the challenges/desires that motivate them to seek out my product?
- What are the unique challenges they are looking to resolve at each step of their buyer’s journey?
Begin to develop answers to these questions. They’ll start down a path of developing content that maps to the specific stages of your buyers’ journey. If you’re successful, you will find that buyers will progress through the journey to “purchase” at a rate greater than before.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
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