Content Marketing: The 5 Ws of Solving the B2B Purchase Path [Infographic]

September 12, 2016


When most marketers think about the buyer’s journey, odds are they picture some kind of funnel diagram. We can’t help it. It’s deeply ingrained into our collective subconscious.

The funnel is a useful way of thinking about the general way your content should move customers. But when it comes to the specifics, the buyer journey is less a funnel and more a winding path (the kind with no handrails and very few trail markers).

To make your B2B content marketing strategy more effective, it’s important to know what your typical customer’s path looks like. It’s much easier to meet them on that path if you know all about their travel companions, starting point, destination, etc.

In true old-fashioned journalist form, there are five “W” questions to ask when you’re plotting the purchase path:

1. WHO is in the buying committee? It’s more than just the final decision makers. Consider the people who will use the product on a daily basis, and others who can influence the decision.

2. WHY would each member of the buying committee consider purchasing from your company? What other options do they have? What information do they need to make a change? What obstacles keep them from changing?

3. WHEN is your buying committee likely to make a decision to move to the next stage? Make a note of potential trigger events (promotions, new hires, fiscal years ending/beginning) to get an idea of when change might be possible.

4. WHAT type of content is the most relevant for each member of the buying committee? The format is likely to be different for each. Executives may prefer white papers, while end users might be more likely to watch a video, for example.

5. WHERE can you reach your audience? It’s important to put your amplification effort and resources behind platforms your target readership are already frequenting. For example, knowing 80% of B2B leads are sourced through LinkedIn, it makes sense to focus your efforts there versus, say, Pokémon Go.

These five questions are vital to creating content that connects, and getting that content where it will have the greatest effect.

To help you remember the five Ws, we created this nifty detective-themed infographic:

For a thorough guide to content marketing success featuring advice from over a dozen brilliant marketing minds, download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing.

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