Content Marketing Meets Purchase Process [Chart]

5 Reasons to Use Content Marketing

At every step of the purchase process, content marketing provides prospects with useful, branded information in a variety of formats. As a result, consumers can efficiently choose the optimal product to meet their needs while marketers work to enhance customer relationships.

In addition to laying out marketers’ goals and customers’ objectives at each step of the  buying cycle, the Content Marketing Meets Purchase Process table shows the type of information prospects seek and the formats options available for marketers.

Content marketing by information by format

How to decide which content marketing to create

As a marketer, you can’t provide all of these types of information across every format. So, how do you decide which information and formats to create? Here are five points to consider when making your decision.

  1. Show and tell. Regardless of where they purchase, most customers start their shopping online. The use of content marketing gives prospects a fuller understanding of the product in a variety of formats. For example, customers find 360° views and videos particularly useful.
  2. Supply useful information. This is especially important for complex products that customer might not understand. Marketers can provide How to videos, bulletin boards, eBooks and/or webinars to explain how to use them.
  3. Answer questions. Consumers won’t buy until you overcome their objections and respond to their queries and issues. Understand that answers can come from your organization and from other consumers via social networks, blogs, Twitter and boards.
  4. Get graded. Invite customers to contribute to the conversation. Ask purchasers to review and rate your products. Understand that consumers don’t trust advertising, they trust other consumers. Many retailers find this to be a must-have.
  5. Celebrate loyal fans. At a minimum, thank customers and members of your community. Give fans a place to strut their stuff. It can be a member’s gallery or a board to discuss the topic of the week.

Content marketing is an important element in persuading prospects to purchase. Remember, most consumers must see a message at least five times before they believe it.

Which forms of content marketing do you use to persuade shoppers to purchase? How effective have they been in helping convert prospects and reducing time-to-purchase?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: Lars Plougmann via Flickr

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  • http://www.thepanamericans.net Mark Robertson

    Heidi,

    Thanks for the streaming 101. I’m considering the cultural power of the autonomous consumer, and how it makes the “free market”something exciting. I go back to the Greeks agora (literally, crowded marketplace), and think about how our choices are similar.

    I have been writing/thinking about how I’m more likely to brands with a story/style–usually ones that have a mosaic of values (not just efficiency & $$). For example I avoid “Dasani” water here in Brazil and buy the local, “Indaía.” The latter has cheaper packaging and costs R$ .20 more per small bottle. But they have local grit and compete with Coke…and they have pictures of local sculptures–something of the story of local Brazil.

    My last post describes a similar story about Chilean Carménère wine http://www.thepanamericans.net, (a candide consumer’s perspective on good marketing).

    I especially appreciate your tips re: “show and tell” (especially show), as well as “celebrating” fidelity. These are the human soul of selling.

    I’d love to hear a pro’s take on “mythodrama” and marketing.

    Thanks,
    Mark