Content Mapping For Effective Lead Nurturing
It's important to understand that the biggest change today is that business to business buyers now have the ability to move themselves down and through the buying cycle at many times without ever talking to you or your organization. And, with all of the information and distractions online, its critical to find the best ways to get their attention as they are going through the sales process.
You have to get the prospect's attention with CONTENT. In many ways, it might be the only way to move them down and through the sales cycle. We need to capture their focus, and keep them there. One of the most important parts of lead nurturing is content mapping, and I feel that it is important to write a blog about it, as it seems to be one of the most overlooked aspects of the lead nurturing process.
To put it simply, content mapping is a strategy that produces the RIGHT MESSAGE at the RIGHT TIME to the RIGHT AUDIENCE. And, it's always about the buyer, not the seller. One report said that 70% of buyers agreed that relevant content was a key influence in their decision to buy. The need is stronger than ever to ensure that we keep prospects moving through the process online.
Content mapping is the process of understanding and organizing the channeling of information and content from your website, campaigns or blogs. After mapping out this information, specific "sets" of information can then be presented to prospects and visitors at the appropriate times during the sales cycle, and are a critical part of the lead nurturing process. It is considered the foundation necessary to optimize the channeling of content during the various stages of the buying cycle.
Here are some things you need to think about in relation to content mapping:
First, you need to understand the buyer persona and their profile. Buyers and prospects have changed, so we need to change in how we deal and relate with them, as well. Within the social media platform, you need to embrace personal development and get to know your buyers better, and this all starts with a profile. Get as good of a big picture view of the prospect as you can. Dig deeper to find out what motivates the target market that you are seeking - both personally and professionally. Some ways to profile a prospect include looking at databases with a customer base, go onto LinkedIn, read resumes - look for patterns.
Take note of their business perspectives and see what their opinion is of your company and product or services.
What is their assessment of risk? Look for areas that they need your guidance.
Find out who influences them. People are doing a lot more research online - a lot more talking, and a lot more sharing.
What is it that your prospects see as obstacles that could kill a sale? Focus on the prospects perspective, which really is all about the problem. Keep your focus on problem to solution solving at all times. All of this can be overwhelming, when looked at it in a broad sense, so break it down and focus on one problem at a time. Bring it down to its simplest form. You can always pull it all together to get a big picture view. Here's another interesting way to approach content mapping. Try to unlearn what you know about your products and services. It may be difficult, but it will help you create better content. Talk to salespeople. Your best resources for information are right there under your nose. Learn what kind of "lingo" is used by prospects when talking about a problem. Knowing their terminology, and ultimately what's really important to them will enable you to develop content that's really focused and "talks the talk" of your prospects. Determine, based on the information you gather, whether to use long or short contact forms, or whether webinars or white papers are getting you the most action. Think about the ways in which they are going to come in contact with your content - LinkedIn, RSS Feed. Always have your feelers out and pay attention to the "clues" that are provided.
Ok. Once you get your prospect's attention, think about using transaction points or "call to action" buttons. You need to think about this entire process in a connected way. **The roads that your prospects take should lead them through the process so that they can "self-educate" and "self consume". You want to be a catalyst to help them do this.
Don't be hesitant in asking experts for their input and knowledge for your content. Find people who are a fit with your industry and services. Map out a strategy. It's OK to use third party content once in a while, as long as the majority of it is yours. Pay attention to all of this. Content mapping is the glue that will hold lead nurturing together. Without appropriate content, lead nurturing would be nothing more than saying something nice when no one is listening.
As a 30-year industry veteran, Marco Giunta has always had a futurist look at IT, and worked with many of the leading companies in the Outsourcing industry, in the likes of Tata, Accenture, Collective Technologies, Storage Networks, Cordiant Communications, Decision One and IBM. Marco has held various positions of increasing responsibility in management, sales, technology, and business development covering Information Technology, E-commerce, Data Center infrastructure, Startup Companies and enterprise software and communications. Please read more in Marco Giunta's new book "Rethinking Sales" at http://www.rethinkingsales.com. You can also learn more about Marco at [http://marcogiunta.com]
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