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From Prospect To Client: How Content Influences The Sales Process

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Written by: Paula Taylor | Econnexx

From Prospect To Client: Content creates a whole new world of Sales opportunities

Inbound and content marketing is about attracting strangers from across the Internet and nurturing them to become delighted clients with the use of marketing automation processes.

But how do you attract these strangers, and then build the necessary credibility and trust that is essential to a long-term business relationship? The answer is content.

Content in all of its forms, e-books, white-papers, blogs, case studies, videos, and infographics are how organisations are capturing attention, building credibility, and eventually closing sales. In this blog post I would like examine how you can use specific types of content to positively influence the sales process at every level within Financial services.

Mapping Content To The Buyers Journey

To effectively use content throughout the buying process you must first understand the stages that your buyers go through when making a purchase decision. These purchase categories can be broken down into three basic levels:

  1. Awareness Stage: In the awareness stage the prospect realises that they have an issue that needs to be resolved. So they start researching to better understand and frame their problem.
  2. Consideration Stage: In the consideration stage the prospect has a clearly defined idea of the problem. Additionally, they have researched all of the potential solutions to the problem that they are facing.
  3. Decision Stage: This is where the buyer has evaluated all of the different solutions and now has to choose a vendor to help them solve their problem.
     

Understanding the high level stages that your buyers go through allows you to better map content to each one of these stages. Individuals that are working through a purchase decision will be looking for different types of content depending on where they are in their research process.

Content for the Awareness Phase

In each stage your potential client will be looking for different types of information. As stated above, the awareness stage is when the prospect realises that they have a problem. Additionally, this is when the prospect starts researching the issue that they are facing.

At this point the prospect is looking for educational content to help them frame the issue. So it’s essential for financial firms to produce content that will help the prospect better understand their problem. Content that helps advance the prospects goals at this stage are things like:

  1. eBooks
  2. White-papers
  3. Research Reports.
     

This content helps to educate the prospect and brings context to the issue at hand. 

Content for Consideration Phase

Once the prospect has a clearly articulated idea of the problem they are facing they move from the awareness stage to the consideration stage. At this point they are looking for content related to solutions.

The prospect wants to understand all of their options relating to their issue and what type of financial services will solve their problem.

It is important to produce content that resolve their issues. Such as:

  1. Service Specific Guides
  2. Personalised Nurturing Emails
  3. Service Related Video Content
     

By producing this “middle-of-the-funnel” content we help further educate prospects on potential solutions.

Content for Decision Stage

The final stage in the buyer’s journey is the decision stage. At this point in the buying cycle the prospects clearly understand all aspects of their problem, and potential solutions for helping them resolve their problem. It’s the decision stage where the prospect makes a determination on the right firm to help them solve their problem.

In this phase firms need to be producing content that promotes their organisation and entices the prospect to make a decision and make contact:

  1. Granular Product Literature
  2. Service Differentiator Material
  3. Testimonials/Special offerings etc.
     

This content will help you promote your service while demonstrating relevance to the needs of each prospect.

The Bottom Line

The shift in buying behaviour has mandated a shift in the way that financial services firms need to market and sell their services. Additionally, it has elevated the importance of content at every stage of the sales cycle. Smart organisations are taking time to clearly understand the purchasing decisions of their buyer persona’s, while mapping highly relevant and educational content to each stage of the process.

If you would like to find out how we utilise content along with inbound and automated marketing to deliver significant results for financial firms? Download our free guide – How we deliver more clients & revenue for financial services firms by clicking on the link below:

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