Picture this: you’re a hot new B2B tech company with a really cool product. As a marketer, it’s your job to create materials for emails, social media, events, the website, and the sales team to educate the world about why they need this new solution. So you write the content, design the one-pagers, send the blasts…and crickets.
What are you doing wrong?
Chances are you’re not aligning your content with the stages of the software buyer’s journey. See, marketing technology solutions requires understanding the specifics of how someone goes from realizing they might have a problem to signing on the dotted line to implement your tool for their organization.
Hold up. So SaaS marketers need to do it a little differently? Content Matterz CEO and Founder Cara McDonald, firmly believes we do.
Once again, I sat down with Cara to broaden my perspective and dive deeper into the strategy behind the content marketing work that helps our technology clients connect with their customers. (I’m fortunate to get 1:1 mentorship and brainstorming time each week with Cara, but if you’ve missed it, here and here are a few of our other conversations).
If you’re hoping to learn more about why understanding the buyer’s journey is so dang important, I invite you to explore some of the highlights from our conversation below.
Why is understanding the SaaS buyer’s journey so important?
So the secret sauce (yes, I’m spilling Cara’s beans) of Content Matterz and what we bring to our clients is not only the expertly drafted content but the strategy behind it. A huge part of that lies in alignment — we match our content to the buyer and exactly where they are in the buyer’s journey.
When deciding to make a big purchase, whether it’s personal or for business, all buyers go through a decision-making process that helps them understand, compare, rationalize and ultimately take the risk to pay a large sum. Because these decisions can carry heavy ramifications, particularly when their job is on the line, it’s important for marketers to help them navigate comfortably with all the information they need to progress.
How does Content Matterz use buyers’ journeys in campaigns?
One of the main reasons we use a buyer’s journey for campaigns is to ensure that for each part of their trip, we’re providing helpful, meaningful content that gives them everything they need to follow a logical path toward a purchase. In the end, if we’re not looking at the buyer’s journey as a whole, we might be getting the message wrong or at least missing significant parts of what buyers need to hear to feel comfortable taking the next step.
We specialize in SaaS, software and technology because we have grown to know this particular buyer’s journey really well. While journeys can and will vary by industry, many of the basic tenets of the stages are the same. Our experience allows us to create strategic plans, content and advice because of our deep familiarity with how buyers make purchases in this space; it’s a considered process, and usually has a BIG price tag.
Before our writers even take pen to paper to draft the content, our strategists identify where in the funnel our target audience sits. We want to craft the marketing materials that will reach them exactly where they are and help move them along to the next stage.
What does aligning content to the buyer’s journey do?
Our team develops content in a particular way because we want our clients to drive actual revenue and attract prospects that will be good customers for them — the ones that will stay for the long run. Our work with content is to get people warm and ready so that the salespeople have an easier, faster job.
Something we say to our clients is that we’re trying to save your sales team — one of your most valuable assets — time. We don’t want them talking to prospects who aren’t ready or even interested because they got bullied into taking a meeting. That’s not a good use of anyone’s time. We want them closing deals or negotiating contracts and doing all the final selling against competitors that only salespeople can do.
The rest of it is accomplished by marketing (and can be done really well, so long as it aligns with the buyer’s journey).
What does marketing without buyer’s journey consideration look like?
Oh, rant time! I keep receiving sales emails from people that I don’t know with a product I have never heard of, and they drop, “Let’s have a meeting. Let me have 15 minutes of your time.” That’s like asking to put a ring on it when I haven’t even met you yet. This tactic doesn’t work because there’s no reason for me to give up any of my day yet.
A better approach is to offer value first. Give your prospects the information they need, stories they’ll like, and data that helps them do their job before you ever ask for anything in return. Then, when you do ask for something as valuable as somebody’s time, they’ll have a positive association; they’ll have interacted with you and established a level of trust.
Does this take time? Absolutely. Is it worth it? I think you know the answer.
When you follow a process to build up awareness, and education, and trust and consideration — you take the time to treat your prospects well and approach them the right way — your results will follow.
Heck yeah, I’ll take a meeting with someone I trust!
What experiences have helped you hone the SaaS buyer’s journey?
Longer ago than I care to admit, one of the first software companies I worked for had an enterprise customer audience. Our product had a price tag of $2 million+ and a long, drawn-out sales process. We were having trouble disrupting what the customer was doing, so we had to work really, really hard to create a strategy that would not only change their line of thinking but convince them to try something that could be a pretty big business upheaval.
Previously, there’d been no attention to the buyer’s journey at all. There also wasn’t any education into the sales process. Everyone was just, “Get a demo, get a demo, get a demo.” Nobody was getting a demo. So, we created materials that raised awareness and were fun to look at as well as campaigns that were engaging, followed by more product-focused things later.
The results were very telling; once people were ready to engage, they were prepared to listen. You just had to give them things that met them where they were instead of jumping straight to the thing that everybody in sales wants: *the meeting*.
Use a GPS for your content marketing to successfully navigate the SaaS buyer’s journey
Once again, Cara left me with a lot to think about regarding the buyer’s journey, content marketing, and how to better connect with B2B SaaS audiences (and of course, a recommendation for a must-hear Lizzo song). Marketers must understand their buyers, how they are using the materials, what level of depth of details or specifics is necessary for each stage of the funnel, as well as know how to move prospects along to get that sale closed.
For a small marketing team that’s also working with the sales department, getting it done and getting it done right, well, the challenge is real. Luckily, a content marketing agency partner can help you reach your destination in whatever capacity you need.
Whether your content strategy needs a full-scale trip planner, a front-seat navigator, or just some company for the ride, Content Matterz can help you create marketing campaigns that grab prospects and ferry them through the complicated B2B buyer’s journey from start to finish. Connect with us today to see how our team can be your content marketing GPS (or passenger DJ, we’re good at that too).