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How to Personalize Content to Match the Buyer’s Journey

Posted by Fred Scholl on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Topics: Sales Process

personalize-content-match-buyers-journeyWhatever product or service you’re selling, and by whatever means, there’s one thing that all salespeople need to keep in mind. It’s a simple principle, really: Give the right message to the right person, at the right time. There’s no point giving someone a sales pitch about a product that they don’t have a need for, nor does it make sense to ask closing questions to someone who may still just be window shopping. So it’s crucial to personalize the messages we give to each prospect.

This is fairly obvious when we’re talking about retail sales in a store. But it’s equally applicable to digital marketing, especially when we talk about content marketing. You may have built a great website, loaded it up with cool and interesting content, and you’ve got a blog going to keep things fresh. But not all visitors to your website are the same, and not everyone will respond to your content in the same way. Delivering the right content to the right person at the right time can have a great impact on your conversion rate.

There are a number of factors and a lot of data that can be used to categorize your prospects and decide what content to show them, including through which channel the prospect came to your website, and a variety of other personal and demographic data. In this post, we’ll look at the buyer’s journey and see how you can personalize content based on where someone is on that path.

The buyer’s journey is a framework that lets us describe a potential buyer’s progression from the earliest stages of doing research, through the decision-making process, and ultimately leading up to making a purchase. There are a lot of different ways to define that journey. Here is one way to look at the steps one takes in the process:

  • Website Visitor
  • Subscriber
  • Lead
  • Marketing Qualified Lead
  • Sales Qualified Lead
  • Opportunity
  • Customer
  • Former Customer

As you might imagine, a qualified lead should receive different content from that which you would deliver to a new visitor to your website, or your current or former customers. If you’re using HubSpot, as we always recommend, to manage your content marketing, it’s easy to customize the experience you present to each visitor to the site. For example, you can deliver different headlines, or even a different landing page, to visitors at different stages in the buyer’s journey. Or, for a new visitor, you may want to present a video showing an overview of your company and your product or service offerings. After you’ve qualified someone as a lead worth pursuing, you make want to show them more specific product information. And for someone who’s already a customer, it makes more sense to welcome them back to your site, and offer support or other services to complement what they’ve already bought from you.

Don’t forget that content marketing is all about engaging your prospects, and keeping them coming back for more. Understanding where they are in the buyer’s journey will help you identify what personalized content you can show them to give them an interesting experience, and to stay connected with them until they’re ready to buy.

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