You’ve probably heard of the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey, and we all move through it on a near-daily basis. But have you taken the time to think about the important role it plays in the experience you provide for your customers?
The consideration stage sits in the middle of the buyer’s journey and plays a crucial role in positioning you as a viable option for prospects. It’s the point in their journey where they’ve identified their problem and are ready to explore every potential solution.
In this blog, we’ll explore the consideration stage and the vital role content marketing plays during this period. You can take what you learn to improve your middle of funnel content and position yourself as a strong competitor moving into the decision stage.
Have you read our blog about creating effective content for the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey? It provides an overview of the buyer’s journey, buyer personas, and what you need to know about awareness stage content. Check it out!
What is the Consideration Stage?
Prospects enter the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey when they’ve pinpointed a specific problem. In the awareness stage, they realized there was something in their life they wanted to change. Now, they’re ready to learn about all of the possible solutions to solving that problem. Many buyers take the time to review several options in depth before moving on to the decision stage.
It’s important to remember that consideration stage prospects are focused on finding potential solutions, rather than making a purchase. If you want them to seriously consider you as a potential solution, demonstrate empathy by showing them that you understand their problem.
Why is Content Marketing Important In the Consideration Stage?
The best way to demonstrate empathy to prospective customers is through strategic content marketing. Don’t push your brand prematurely or go for the hard sell with invasive, aggressive advertising. Instead, provide educational content that explores all of the potential solutions to their problem. Ultimately, your goal is to make the short list of options they’re considering as they move into the decision stage.
How to Create Effective Consideration Stage Content
You know that your consideration stage content should impartially educate prospects on potential solutions to their problem. But how can you go about creating that content? It all begins with understanding your audience.
Start by thinking through all of the different options your prospects might consider as the solution to their problem. Can they solve it on their own, or do they need outside help? Is the solution sold off-the-shelf, or is it customized to their specific needs? Try to put yourself in their shoes. Which questions are they asking? What are their most pressing concerns? What are their deal breakers?
Identifying the questions that prospects ask themselves in the consideration stage can help you stick out in their minds moving into the decision stage. You’ll be able to create messaging that speaks directly to their concerns and narrow your target audience to qualified leads who can actually use the solution you have to offer.
Questions to Ask Yourself As You Create Consideration Stage Content
It’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate when creating content for the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. Your goal is to provide prospects with as much detailed information as possible about each of their options. To do so, ask yourself the following questions about your prospects’ problem:
- Which specific solutions are they researching?
- How do they go about researching these solutions?
- How will they decide which solution is right for them?
Answering these questions helps you nurture relationships with qualified prospects who are most likely to buy from you. And research shows companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. Ultimately, focusing on your prospects’ pain points allows you to subtly position yourself as the best solution moving forward.
What to Avoid When Creating Consideration Stage Content
The most important thing to avoid in the consideration stage is being pushy or salesy. Instead, nurture prospects strategically and consider the long game. Provide them with relevant information at the right time to stay top-of-mind as they move towards the decision stage. Here are a few things to avoid as you create consideration stage content:
- Producing content that sounds like an infomercial
- Overselling or underselling your brand
- Overtly promoting yourself as the best solution
- Creating content that’s too general to provide value
What Content is Most Effective During the Consideration Stage?
There are a variety of types of content you can leverage to your advantage during the consideration stage. We’ll take a closer look at a few consideration stage content examples below.
Live Webinars / Product Demonstrations
Webinars and product demos provide a valuable opportunity to show prospects how your offerings work and benefit their lives. And because they’re online, webinars are accessible to everyone, not just those who can travel to an in-person seminar.
These include things like Ebooks, original research, how-to guides, tip sheets, templates, checklists, and slideshares. Providing valuable information free of charge not only helps you educate prospects, but presents you as a trustworthy authority that has their best interests in mind.
Videos can be a concise, visual way to explain your products or services. And in some cases, they’re a more effective way to tell your story than blog posts, articles, or case studies.
Testimonials / Customer Reviews
Testimonials provide valuable social proof from people who have actually used your product or service. And studies show that a whopping 90% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Prospects are more likely to listen to their peers than aggressive marketing pitches, making customer reviews the perfect way to establish trust.
Case studies are a great way to showcase your past successes to prospects. They’ll be able to see exactly how your product or service benefitted a past customer, helping you build credibility. Proving your worth also helps improve your reputation and grow brand awareness within your industry.
If possible, offer qualified prospects a free trial of your product or services. This demonstrates goodwill and positions you as a trustworthy candidate in their search for the solution to their problem.