76% of buyers prefer different content at each stage of their research. (Pardot, State of Demand Gen 2013)
It’s a significant stat, and one that many businesses have begun to catch on to. Buyers have come to expect content that’s both relevant to their needs and specific to their stage in the sales cycle. And that means sending the wrong content at the wrong time could leave a bad taste in your buyer’s mouth — and potentially even cost you the deal.
So what types of content are buyers looking for at each stage?
In general, it’s safe to assume that your prospects are looking for resources that progress from general and educational to granular and product-specific. It’s common sense: when a buyer first sets out to research a product, they’re looking for basic overviews and impartial thought leadership—content that speaks to their pain points without the sales pitch. As they move closer to the point of purchase, they’re seeking more product-specific information; comparing different solutions in search of the one that will best meet their needs. We’ve put together the chart below for an idea of what types of content are best for each stage of the sales cycle:
But this month we’re all about personalization, so we encourage you to delve a little deeper into the specific needs of your buyers—and our 2014 Content Creation Guide can help. Before you can really understand your buyer’s journey, you first have to understand your buyer, so start by defining your buyer personas and their specific needs in the worksheet below. And be sure to download our complete Content Creation Guide for more worksheets and best practices!