Content Marketing and the Buyer’s Journey

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Effective content marketing takes the prospective buyer on a journey. The seven steps of the journey are similar to Joseph Campbell's hero’s journey, which powers the storylines of Star Wars and The Matrix.

Ordinary life. The starting point is to understand the day-to-day experience of your prospects. More important, the contextual worldview of your prospects will tell you what journey they seek.

Problems and desires. Everyone wants something more. What’s the benefit your ideal prospects seek, and how can you educate them toward solving the problem or satisfying the desire?

Call to adventure. What’s the spark that will convince your prospects to transform? How can you motivate them to go on the journey?

Facing resistance. What objections do your prospects have to taking the leap? Is it too hard, too expensive, too time-consuming?

A mentor appears. At this point, your content appears to help. By understanding your prospects’ worldview, problems, desires, motivations and objections, you deliver content that perfectly facilitates the buyer’s journey.

Paying the price. In any hero’s journey, the time comes when he or she must face and triumph over adversity. In the buyer’s journey, your prospects realize (thanks to your content) that they also need your paid solution to achieve their goal.

Changed for the better. The buyer’s journey and transformation are completed, thanks to your solution. The word-of-mouth potential here is high, but it’s also likely started with the sharing of your content.

According to a study done by the Corporate Executive Board, 60 percent of the sales cycle is over before a buyer ever speaks to a salesperson — thanks to the buyer’s self-driven online research and requests for recommendations.

Make sure you show up sooner than others as the wise mentor with your content. It can make all the difference. That’s why content marketing works.

Related: The 5Cs of Really Great Content Marketing

Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger, CEO of Copyblogger Media and editor in chief of Entreproducer.