6 Surefire Steps to Content that Generates Demand and Drives Revenue
In the B-to-B world, when it comes to generating demand, content is king. Not brochure-ware, but content that speaks directly to your prospects, propels the conversation and advances the sales cycle. Authors Ann Handley and C.C Chapman build a compelling case for it in their new book, "Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business." This article is a crash course on creating a visual framework for planning your demand generation content in six simple steps.
Step 1: Rethink the Purpose of Content
Content created for demand generation should invite online behavior that reveals where the prospect is in the buying cycle, and then allow you to follow up with a targeted automatic or manual response.
For example, most prospects who view white papers are early in the buying process and not ready to talk to sales. In contrast, a prospect looking at your "dry as toast" data sheets is deeper into the buying cycle and may be ready to talk to sales.
Developing content for demand generation is also about offering the smallest exchange of value that sets up the next behavior. Think about "chunking" down the content and re-using as much as possible. A long white paper might be published in five parts, and a key report might be released in three parts, each allowing you another glimpse into the prospect's behavior. You can also reuse any of these pieces in a variety of campaigns.
Step 2: Map a Basic Buying Cycle
In demand generation, you should always be trying to figure out where in the buying cycle prospects are so you'll know how to interact with them. Map out a basic buying cycle. For example, the grid at right uses the stages awareness, discovery, comparison and contract.