This three-part series discusses the content that serves you and your customers from top to bottom of the funnel. Click here to start at the beginning with Marketing for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey Part 1: Awareness or read about mid-funnel content in Marketing for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey Part 2 of 3: Consideration.
You’ve captured their attention with awareness content and loosened the status quo, and you’ve given them more information with your solution content. You’ve developed your leads into prospects who are much closer to becoming customers.
But first, you need to cheer them on to the finish line with decision content, when they’ll select a vendor. Now you can let your hair down and tell them all the nitty gritty details you’ve been dying to share about your products and services. Here are some popular formats for late-stage content.
Case Studies & Case Study Portfolios
It’s awkward to hear anyone sing their own praises, and that’s why so many B2B marketers celebrate the case study format. They’re typically structured as problem/solution, detailing a client’s success story and the role you played in that success. These spark potential buyers’ imagination when they can see themselves in those successes.
That’s why we often encourage our clients to compile a number of their best case studies into a larger case study portfolio, where readers can skim for the story that’s most relevant to their pain points, their industry or their interests. You could also shake things up and produce your case studies in video or audio formats. Whichever shape they take, they’ll find a good home on your website and as sales enablement tools.
Assessments, Calculators & Benchmarking Tools
These are quizzes’ more mature cousins. They can delve into more questions and answer in greater depth to support a richer and often more tailored content experience. Use them to prove the value of an investment, earn buy-in from stakeholders and support buying committee discussions about ideal solutions. These can also be used as mid-funnel content, and you should almost always gate them.
Decks & Demos
Your product or service will dictate whether or not demonstrations are useful. If yours is a particularly intricate solution, video is frequently the best way to quickly communicate complicated processes with visual help. Whether a video or a deck, your late-stage content goes the last mile to demonstrate value with product comparisons and proof of your value. Brand them well and work closely with your sales team to empower them to close the deal. Almost always gate them, as these late-stage buyers are hot leads worth immediate follow-up.
Whether you use them in text or video formats, testimonials from satisfied customers can be embedded in emails, websites or content assets to underscore your value and help overcome objections. We’ve even used ours on a tradeshow booth background.
Catalogs & Product Pages
Catalogs may be stand-alone assets or delivered as a product or solution page on your website. Their aim is to showcase the top features and benefits of your offerings so that prospects and customers can shop and select them quickly and with confidence. As buyers create their own paths to purchase, these may also serve as mid-funnel assets. If viewers download your catalog, you can anticipate that they’re nearing their decision.
Equip your sales team with content that complements their efforts and helps them complete the stories they’re telling. Battlecards can help them clarify the nuances between your solutions and your competitors’ alongside comparisons and pricing. Personalized videos can help them deepen connections to win trust.
Tutorials & Certifications
Classes and credentials are particularly effective for loyalty and retention marketing, but they can also play a role in decisions. They might take a class that ultimately convinces them to trust your solution. They might not be ready for coursework, but seeing that it’s available could give them the confidence that you offer the training and support they might need in the future could tip the scales in your favor.
Again, many of these content formats are flexible enough to adjust to different stages of the buyer’s journey. What matters is that you shape the content based on its goal, and that you develop a library with options in all three stages of the funnel to guide your leads to become prospects and, ultimately, customers.
Content4Demand specializes in B2B content creation and strategy, and we’ve helped top mid-size and enterprise brands develop incredibly effective content marketing programs in a variety of industries. Click here to connect with us for answers to the content marketing challenges you’re facing now.
Holly Celeste Fisk is an accomplished marketing pro with 20+ years of experience in B2B and B2C. She’s responsible for Content4Demand’s internal marketing efforts, managing everything from content creation and email marketing to events and sponsorships, blog publishing, website management and social media presence. When she’s not working, you’ll find her sliding into third at softball, buried in a book or practicing her Italian.