Welcome to the fifth and final instalment in our blog series on how content turns unaware customers into aware ones.
If you haven’t read the other blogs yet or to remind yourself what they cover, you can find them here:
- Completely Unaware → Problem Aware
- Problem Aware → Solution Aware
- Solution Aware → Product Aware
- Product Aware → Most Aware
In this blog you’ll learn how to use content marketing to support the last part of the sales process before a prospective customer decides to buy; making them aware of the price and terms of the deal.
You might think this is a simple step, but it’s possible to fall at this hurdle and lose prospects, even if you’ve prepared them well with your content. It’s about framing and — where necessary — explaining your pricing.
If you’ve followed the steps in our previous blogs, you will have already created content which explains the benefits to the customer of:
- Solving their problem.
- Using the type of solution you offer.
- Using your specific offering.
As a result, your content should have moved them to a place where they can imagine life free of their particular problem; with your solution to thank!
The types of people reading content at this final level could be previous customers, individuals who have been doing research into solutions for a problem which is new to them, or prospects who have already gone part of the way down the sales funnel but not converted.
They know the solution you have to offer. Now the only obstacle is the matter of price and terms.
So, what’s the approach to take at this stage with your content?
Value Is the Key
The key word for this stage is ‘value’. To make a sale, your customer has to believe that they are receiving value by buying your product or using your service.
We’re not going to turn this into a guide on how to price your offering, but here are a couple of main areas where pricing can be an objection and how you can frame your messaging to reassure your prospects.
If your offering is expensive: Making a big purchase can be scary. Whether it’s a one-off or going to be a regular outgoing, people can baulk at the idea of shelling out serious capital for your offering.
But if your content contains regular reminders of the benefits they will experience (and the pains they WON’T experience) your prospect will be able to overcome their own objections.
This is all tied into your overall brand and positioning. For example, Belgian beer brand Stella Artois has used the slogan ‘Reassuringly Expensive’ to justify its cost.
That said, most businesses won’t have huge price discrepancies between them and their competitors. And if you are a lot more expensive than your competitors, then your content should explain and justify that discrepancy in a way that makes sense to your prospects. Focus on your world-class expertise, bespoke approach, unbeatable components, or whatever makes you a cut above the rest.
Ultimately, there will be a point for each prospect where they won’t be able to justify a higher price, but the effectiveness of your content can raise that barrier significantly.
If your offering is inexpensive: Past a certain point, an extremely inexpensive offering can create worry or suspicion that it is cheap or too good to be true. As the saying goes: ‘buy cheap, buy twice’.
You need to avoid the danger of your pricing devaluing your offer in the eyes of your prospects.
If your offering is at risk of this, it’s important to explain in your content how you can offer such an affordable service or product. It might be through operational efficiency, economies of scale, removing intermediaries from the sales process, or something completely different.
The goal is to reassure your prospect they won’t be compromising on quality by choosing you, which they might regret at a later date. As with every other stage, by improving your prospect’s awareness, you move them closer to becoming a customer.
The Terms: Putting the Customer First
Often, it’s not just a company’s product or service that is different. With the growth of cloud-based SaaS products and other digital tools, it’s increasingly the way customers access products or services which is the real USP for businesses.
Let’s look at one of those approaches which can cause objections;
The subscription or retainer model is a key part of many of these offerings, which can put people off due to the level of commitment required for 6 months, 12 months, or longer.
As a business offering a subscription or retained service, the main benefit is obvious: delivering a consistent revenue stream. But this isn’t the message that will win over prospects. Instead, focus on writing about how your offering will deliver increasing benefits over time, as opposed to a one-off or repeat business approach.
Here’s another example; payment terms.
Lots of businesses offer 30-day, 90-day, or longer payment terms. But what if you’re one of those businesses that requires payment upfront? It can be a challenge, especially if your competitors offer more flexibility around payment.
In this case, your messaging could say something like:
‘You might think it’s unusual that we demand payment upfront. In fact, it’s better for your business, because we spend less time chasing late payments and more time delivering a great service for our clients’.
Reframe everything around the benefit to the customer.
Sweeten the Deal
Sometimes your prospects need a little extra encouragement to make that jump and become a customer.
That’s why it doesn’t hurt to include the occasional offer or promotion in your content. They don’t need to be front and centre, but you can mention a discount or trial offer in posts targeting prospects at this stage, to help bring them over the line and strengthening the CTA in the process.
Now, don’t issue discounts too often; that will devalue your offering. Ditto, don’t include these offerings in your content aimed at raising awareness for prospects at the earlier stages of their journey! Its not relevant at that stage.
Over to You
Armed with the above information, and with a bit of planning, you’ll be able to create a range of content across platforms that moves your prospects along the process of awareness to becoming customers.
So get out there and start winning those prospects!
If you need help in turning your prospects into customers through quality content, get in touch with Prize Content and find out what we can do for your business.