Content creation is simultaneously becoming more important and much harder.

Why?

Because modern buyers do 70% of their decision-making before they ever talk to a sales rep. Meaning potential customers have pretty much made up their mind about you by the time they reach your sales team.

At the beginning of the buyer’s journey, they are:

  • Identifying their pain points & educating themselves on the industry
  • Narrowing it down to 2-3 solution providers they think could be a good fit

And ONLY THEN are they engaging sales reps from those vendors.

Content fills in that huge gap between the top of the funnel and the first sales conversation.

Your content now needs to inform and educate customers, guiding them slowly down the funnel with relevant and personalized messaging.

When they’re finally ready to contact a sales rep, your team needs to be fully educated on their unique buyer’s journey, and ready to match the right sales content to the right buyer.

Sound hard?

It can be. Luckily, this panel of sales & marketing experts came together to share their insights into the changing world of content mapping.

HOW TO: Create content that reflects your buyer’s journey & enables your sales team

 

1. Invest in top-of-funnel content focused around thought leadership

Buyers at the start of their journey mostly want to educate themselves. In a noisy world, they’re looking for trustworthy content — make sure your brand is the one that delivers it to them.

If you’re stuck, survey 100 executives & leaders in your industry and compile their insights into content.


2. Browse product referral and comparison sites for insight into buyer questions & behavior

Referral sites tell you how current customers are using your product to solve pain points, while comparison sites tell you what features middle-of-funnel buyers are looking for.


Combined, these insights can be turned into highly-specialized content →

Capterra

Trustradius

G2Crowd


3. Monitor behavioral triggers to identify where buyers are joining your funnel

Assuming that all buyers enter at the top of your funnel is a huge oversimplification. In reality, they’re joining at every level, and have varying degrees of knowledge and brand awareness. You need to figure out what brought a lead into your lap, and how you can meet them there.


Behavioral data allows your marketing team to create specialized content, and your sales team to flexibly respond to buyers coming from different journeys →

Journey by CAKE


4. Learn how your buyers prefer to consume content, and build your portfolio to match

Buyers now expect persona-specific messaging, delivered in their preferred format. If a piece of content works for multiple personas, make it available in multiple mediums (eg. video, blog, & ebook)


Track how well your videos are performing with different personas to target the right buyers →

Wistia


5. Audit your content, identify top-performing pieces, and compile them in a single place

The marketing department is the content steward — removing content if it’s no longer helpful and training sellers to use the right content with the right buyer. You want to equip sales, not overwhelm them.


Use a sales enablement platform to deploy the right content to your sellers→ 

Highspot


6. Devote 10% of your resources to finding completely new sales & marketing strategies

70% of your time should be spent on proven strategies and 20% on improving those strategies. Encourage your teams to use the remaining 10% on wild, out-of-the-box ideas that keep them dynamic and innovative.

Expect many of these new ideas to fail. Fail fast and fail forward.