Types of marketing content to create at all levels of the buyer journey: You’ve read about it on blogs, heard it on podcasts, and watched it on videos.
Excellent content is the secret ingredient that walks consumers through the stages of the customer journey into the sales funnel and drives conversions.
Remember, producing marketing content aims to engage and entertain your readers and prospective clients. But your readers and potential customers are at various levels of interest and knowledge.
So the content you produce must vary according to their levels of interest. This exercise involves developing a detailed content creation strategy to determine which content types you should publish at every stage of the buyer journey.
How can you create content that applies to the various stages of the customer journey? What types of content should you be producing to ensure that you address all buyer journey stages?
This article will look at:
- Definition of Customer Journey (What is a Customer Journey?)
- Why Understanding The Stages of The Customer Journey is Essential for Growth
- Types of Marketing Content for All Stages of The Customer Journey
Publishing the proper content asset is vital for meeting your content marketing objectives since they impact various parts of the sales funnel.
Table of Contents
Definition of Customer Journey
Customer journey meaning: the buyer journey is the potential path buyers go through to commit to your brand and become customers. It describes consumers’ purchasing processes — the steps they take to become aware of your product or service, all the way to action.
Savvy marketers map potential customers’ processes (on-site experiences) before purchasing. Every step the buyer makes in his journey takes him from one stage to the next until he gets to the bottom of the funnel (BoFu), where he buys your product.
Nowadays, users will research a product or service online, examine the brand reputation, and compare similar products before deciding on the best solution to their needs.
These developments that lead to their becoming aware of your offer and making a purchase is the customer journey.
Why Understanding The Stages of The Customer Journey is Essential for Growth
The buyer journey extends from three to over a dozen stages. But they’re typically categorized or compressed into five levels under three primary segments. This blog post will draw attention to the three primary interest levels.
So, understanding these stages is essential as it helps you become a seasoned marketer. You can create marketing content types that entice prospects as they go through their journey stages and increase engagement and conversions.
Moreover, knowledge about the customer journey stages will help you sort leads into applicable segments and deliver top-notch customer experiences at all interest levels.
What are the three core stages of the customer journey?
As mentioned above, there are over a dozen customer journey stages potential buyers go through before conversion, classified into three key levels (TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU).
Here are the three primary stages and how to visualize them individually:
- Awareness stage (ToFu): Here’s the top of the funnel (ToFu), where consumers become aware of your brand and the challenges they want to solve and express interest in your product. This level is where lead generation occurs.
- Consideration stage (MoFu): Consumers move to the middle phase after showing interest. At this level, buyers consider your brand a potential solution to their problems. So they examine your offer and compare alternative brands. This stage is where lead acquisition happens.
- Purchase, Decision, or Conversion stage (BoFu): Consumers at this stage of the sales funnel or customer journey have done their homework, research, evaluation, comparison, and the like. Now they are at the bottom funnel or decision stage of their interest because they are ready to take action. Here is where lead conversion processes transpire.
With knowledge of these various phases of the consumer path, you guarantee you’re not missing out on any opportunity to interact with prospects at any level of interest.
You also ensure you deliver optimized and customized customer experiences. The sales acquisition funnel helps you determine what content to produce.
For example, potential customers at the top-level (awareness) stage do not need marketing materials designed for those in the BoFu stage. Why? Because they are at varying interest or knowledge levels of the customer journey.
Types of Content for All Stages of The Customer Journey
Savvy marketers and brands deliver content formats that address the needs of readers and eventual customers at various stages of their journey.
The content you publish may negatively or positively influence readers’ decisions. So here are the different types of marketing content formats you should prioritize based on each customer journey stage.
Types of marketing content for the awareness stage
1. Authoritative content
Known also as expert and Pillar content, authoritative content appeals to readers because it displays a quick overview of your brand, products, or services. It also establishes you as a subject matter expert in your industry.
As regards other TOFU content pieces, the target of authoritative educational content is not to sell your services but to educate readers about what you know.
We see several company blogs and websites publishing authoritative content. For instance, look at HubSpot’s blog or website, and you will find countless guides on multiple industry topics.
These content materials help them attract thousands of visitors and inbound links per month while building brand authority and credibility.
The expert content can be ebooks, blog posts, infographics, educational videos, and the like. The idea is to make more people aware of your brand.
2. Social media videos
Social media videos are another excellent type of marketing content for the awareness stage of the customer journey. Why? Because most consumers at the top funnel (TOFU) are unsure which product or service is the best solution for their needs.
Creating educational videos for social media will appeal to consumers and answer their queries. With video, you can concisely present your messaging that grabs viewers’ attention within a few seconds.
This content asset allows you to condense information into digestible snippets that keep viewers entertained and engaged.
According to recent data, video content is the next big thing in digital marketing. The survey by Wyzowl reports that 93% of businesses use video content marketing to increase brand awareness. Also, 87% of marketers say they used videos to generate significant ROI.
Given this, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and others are thriving with videos, forcing platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to embrace video content marketing.
Indeed, the research mentioned above made more interesting findings, such as:
- 87% of businesses increase web traffic due to video
- 82% of brands increased website dwell time with videos
- 94% of marketers state that video enabled them to increase consumers’ understanding of their products or services
- 86% of marketers generated more leads with videos
- 81% of brands used video content to boost sales
- Over 90% of businesses value video content as a crucial part of their marketing strategy.
Examining the report further, you will see an overwhelming ratio of marketers who plan to use videos on various social media platforms in 2022 and beyond.
But the videos you post must be engaging and solve a problem. Then social media algorithms will push your content to the top of users’ streams and increase your exposure.
3. SEO content
SEO content publishing is a unique way to naturally attract more visitors to your sales funnel and make them aware of your business.
But to get results, you must use an SEO approach or copywriting for SEO to optimize your blogs to show up on SERPs. According to Statista, online users spend an average of 155 minutes and 37 minutes, respectively, on the internet, based on devices in 2021.
Interestingly, most of these users search for information to solve a problem. But with more content published daily, they face the challenge of information overload.
People get so overwhelmed with content that purchasing decisions become difficult. Data by World O Meter suggest that at the time this article was written, content marketers published over 6.2 million blog posts.
So it’s an understatement to say that consumers get overwhelmed with information. That’s where SEO-driven content comes to the rescue. Your blog posts and articles must be well-optimized to rank on searches and make more people aware of your business.
Remember, your blogging objective at this point is not to persuade readers about how your brand can help them. Your target is to draw more readers and prospects to your brand by giving them free value and helping them to connect with your business better.
4. Expert roundup posts
Expert roundups are valuable types of marketing content that feature multiple specialist contributors on a given topic. These experts contribute insights on a selected topic or question relating to your industry and consumers’ pain points.
This type of content is effective for the awareness stage for many reasons. But here are the two main benefits of expert roundups posts:
- Expert roundups attract tons of web visitors/traffic: Roundup blog posts are so effective because the experts who contributed to the content will send traffic directly to the page and your blog by sharing the content with their social followings. People love to share these types of content because they’re compilations of intelligent insights from knowledgeable people.
- Build authority: Expert roundups are beneficial because they help you build authority by association. When your target audience notices you in the company of industry influencers and thought leaders, many will want to associate with your business.
These experts are knowledgeable people your audience looks up to for helpful information. So, collaborating with them on content is valuable to building awareness and interest in your brand, product, or services.
Types of marketing content for the consideration stage
Excitement occurs at this funnel stage because consumers who land here have shown interest in your brand. So, you want to build relationships with them and drive leads. The following content formats will entertain them.
5. How-to blog posts and videos
How-to blog posts and videos typically attract DIY readers and visitors who want to solve their problems. They are efficient content formats for this customer journey stage because how-tos demonstrate how a person can do something to solve a pressing need.
And since the topics you publish relate to the services you offer, it quickly moves consumers from the TOFU to the MOFU. Potential clients consider working with or hiring you to handle their tasks at this stage.
Also, as you constantly provide quality written and visual how-to content, you become a valuable resource. Your audience and prospects see your know-how in your published content and build beneficial relationships.
Keep in mind that videos are more engaging, personal, and memorable and can quickly build trust. This undertaking will move prospective customers further down the sales funnel, where they may eventually convert or refer to your services.
6. Original research
Apart from how-to videos and text content, original research reports are ideal marketing content for the middle stage of the customer journey. Original research is influential since it builds on existing research on a particular topic and answers specific questions on the theme.
It makes your blog or website the primary source of industry data. This content type gets many mentions, establishes your expertise, and attracts quality inbound links.
Content marketers and creators in your niche will always link to your research document and mention you, which helps build your reputation and drive traffic to your site.
The trust element in the research will persuade customers in the middle of their journey to move to the bottom of the sales funnel.
An excellent research report produces new knowledge and is consistent, transparent, and replicable. The transparency and replicability of the document are essential as they allow other research institutions and individual marketers to examine and reuse the finding.
For this, many will give their email contact to get their hands on the research content. Seeing that the report is consistent and transparent builds trust and convinces users that you know your game.
Such marketing content gives you an edge over the competition and makes you stand out.
So, do your research, produce persuasive marketing messages, and publish your research report in multiple formats to align with the different stages of the customer journey.
7. Welcome email sequences
Consumers and B2B marketers who gave you their emails for your research material or other reasons want more from you. They believe you’re a thought leader but are not entirely convinced.
After receiving their contacts, send them welcome series of emails with links to more helpful content. You can also send tripwire sales messages to win buyers for your low-ticket products or services.
Since they showed interest in your content and services, use email sequences to strengthen engagement and build relationships. It’s about using marketing automation by your email service provider to promote your content, engage consumers, and nurture them to boost ROI.
Consequently, your welcome series will trigger email sequences that’d help you build empathy with subscribers, drive traffic, and boost conversion.
8. Live events & educational webinars
For a good reason, live events and educational webinars are the last on the content list for the middle stage of the customer journey. Consumers at this stage who attend a live event or webinar are at the bottom of the sales funnel.
So attending a webinar or live event provides attendees with excellent opportunities to interact with you one-on-one. It also allows you to repurpose your content, present original research work, and join forces with industry experts on marketing materials.
Furthermore, live events and webinars offer you the chance to build trust with your target audience by being honest, transparent, and valuable.
And while webinars & live events build brand awareness, they can increase conversion several folds and attract new leads and customers. For this, 95% of marketers view webinars as a critical part of their marketing strategy.
Also, according to data by CMI, 58% of B2B marketers confirmed that live in-person events and webinars are among the top content marketing assets that generated the best ROIs in the last 12 months.
Did you know? 92% of webinar attendees say the question and answer sessions at the end of webinars benefit them greatly. The Q&A session provides opportunities for attendees to ask follow-up questions and receive answers directly from you.
Therefore, allocate time to answer questions from attendees at the end of your webinars and live events.
Content for the decision/purchase stage of the customer journey
9. Case study articles
Case studies are unique types of marketing content that identify a problem, display a detailed account of the issue, and demonstrate how your product or service solved it.
Consider a case study, a conflict, and a solution to help you understand the power of case study content marketing.
You can use a case study in the middle funnel (consideration) and at the bottom funnel (action/decision) stages of the customer journey. This content format helps convince readers and prospects that your solution (product or service) works.
Here is an example case study by Matt Woodworth:
According to the case study, Matt used his SEO services to help an eCommerce client increase revenue by 3x in three months.
The case study article established that Matt met or achieved results for his client by applying the solution to the problem, which in this case means using his services to meet the client’s goal.
This content format appeals to readers’ and eventual customers’ emotions because it presents detailed information with measurable data on how you solved the problem. It helps provoke readers to take action and convert.
10. Landing pages
Landing pages are practical content marketing tools that encourage readers and site visitors to take action. By providing information about a product or offer, a landing page persuades visitors to convert.
The conversion is usually to qualify leads (lead generation), email sign-ups, or make sales. As a result, copywriters design landing pages with a single objective — conversion.
A well-crafted landing page has limited navigation and clarity to help visitors focus on the target and avoid distractions.
However, any website entry point is a landing page. But in this case, I’m referring to a campaign landing page with a specified traffic source and target goal.
The exciting thing about landing pages is that they try to bypass the sales funnel and get site visitors to take action the first time they land on your page.
11. Free trials & live demos
The best way to know if you want to buy something is to take it for a test drive. Taking the product for a spin increases the customer’s desire to purchase or pay for the service.
If you have ever bought a car from a car dealer, you may have experienced this marketing hack, which works with excellent results. But car dealerships are not the only industry applying this marketing tactic for growth.
Digital marketers and companies use test drives, termed “free trials,” to increase sales. Omnisend does it well with its onboarding system.
The company invites visitors to use its product for free with the option to upgrade later. Also, the brand allows users to request a live walkthrough demo.
You will be inclined to upgrade to a premium plan when you’re through with the live demo or use the services for a few months for free.
Omnisend and other businesses using this tactic know that providing free trials straight up is critical to attracting more customers and increasing sales and conversions.
Wrap-up: Types of Marketing Content for The Customer Journey
Every successful business has a stable sales funnel developed around the customer journey. But for your marketing effort to be profitable, you should know your target market well enough.
Knowing your audience helps you develop an inbound marketing strategy that lets you publish content that excites them no matter their customer journey stages.
So, know your target buyer and create a customer journey map around user intent. Then produce a robust content marketing strategy to develop content that addresses each stage of the customer journey. Did we miss anything
Moss Clement is an expert business writer─providing article & blog post writing, ghostwriting, content marketing, proofreading, and editing services for B2B marketers. Moss works closely with B2B marketers, helping small & medium-size businesses build their online presence and brand reputation by delivering quality content that converts.