The Content-Product Continuum.
Excerpted from our Guide, The Definitive Guide to Accelerating the SMB Buyer’s Journey. Download it here.
If you follow this site regularly, you’ll realize that we keep coming back to three important ideas: 1) SMBs are looking to solve pressing business problems first, 2) not every prospect is ready to buy today, and 3) your product often becomes relevant to an SMB at the end of the sales cycle as a solution to their problem. Taken together, these ideas strongly suggest that you need to have content for every stage of the buying cycle, not just the close, and that your content can’t just focus on your product or service.
To illustrate this, we’ve developed the concept of a content-product continuum that parallels the buyer’s journey:
Particularly in the beginning (at the top of the funnel), most SMB prospects are focused on the day-to-day trials of running their businesses. Your content is the opportunity to show how you can help them, and to position your brand as a source of useful information. Only once you do this are they likely to identify themselves, sign up for your publications or events, and open the door for you to reach them with additional content down the line.
As the prospect moves down the funnel, your goals become to nurture the relationship and accelerate their journey toward the close. Your content can become more product-aligned by connecting the dots between what is important to your customers and how your products and services help them run their businesses. Be sure to focus on benefits, not features, and show how your product or service solves specific problems that your SMB customer is looking to address.
Further toward the bottom of the funnel, your content can continue to become more product-specific, answering common objections, providing comparisons and other information to the point where your product becomes the natural final step in the customer’s search for a solution.
The key to effectively market to small and midsize businesses is to develop a comprehensive content strategy to accomplish these objectives.
This article was excerpted from our eGuide, The Definitive Guide to Accelerating the SMB Buyer’s Journey. Download it here for more on how to do this and how to develop content for different stages of the buyer’s journey.