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Using Content to Move Prospects along the Purchase Path
Six Content Strategies for Advancing the Commitment to Purchase
Use direct advertising and direct mail to attract prospects to content related to your product or service. The direct responses will begin two-way communications and the sales track. The developer of a knowledge engineering methodology markets seminars on its expertise to engage new prospects.
Adapt your content to the different ways people digest information. Let them choose between print, video, audio, or interactive formats. Let thorough readers choose technical articles and comic-strip-type readers choose a newsletter. For maximum response, offer a catalogue of content choices. Draw conclusions about a prospect's needs from the type of application story they request.
Here direct mail offers of content can be used to engage prospects and to develop exchanges of information with them to learn more about their needs. In turn those information exchanges will lead to personal contact. One objective of a Compete with ContentTM strategy is to maximize resources by using more cost-effective impersonal media such as mailing to prime prospects and gauging their interest until they are interested enough to make comparisons and proceed with a buying decision. Then it is time to use the more effective, more expensive personal media such as a visit by a sales consultant. Today, technology and the increased availability of data about individual organizations make it possible to finely target individual prospects, so that fewer resources can be used to attract the attention of qualified prospects and a greater amount of resources can be used to gain their interest -- to ?cook the leads.?
Use credible content in self-published articles or newsletters to quickly generate inquiries directly from prospects. Sell the same or similar content to trade publications to establish third-party credibility over time. A process manufacturing software developer distributes the positive comments of industry analysts and users in its new release while waiting for the monthly trades to provide coverage.
Relationship marketing is an integrated marketing communications approach to individual, targeted prospects. With a steady diet of your content through various media, prospects will come to accept your credibility and mentally place your firm on their short list to meet a need when it arises.
User quotes, case vignettes, project photos, application stories, seminars and workshops, and even user group meetings and industry trade shows where users interact with each other can accomplish this.
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