Your customers use Google to search for answers to problems you solve. Appearing on the first page – even better, in one of the coveted top three positions – increases the likelihood that they find you instead of your competition. What do you need to do to appear in search results, capture their attention and drive them through your sales process? Consider creating content for each stage of the purchase funnel.

Content for Questioning

Awareness stage content needs to answer questions. In this stage, your customers aren’t sure if they need you, your products or your services – but they do need an answer. Use the keyword research you’ve conducted around your brand, products and services to help you identify what questions your customers are asking. Then, create deep content, such as case studies, how-to blogs and Q&As, that answer your customers’ questions.

Read Greteman Group’s primer on keyword research for search engine optimization if you still need to complete the keyword research step.

Make your awareness content work harder by transforming your case study into several infographics you can share across your social channels. Increase the power of your how-to blog by putting a tutorial video on YouTube. Turn your text-based Q&A into a podcast to distribute through smartphone applications.

Content for Considering

Business-to-business audience and high-net-worth individuals conduct 20 hours of research, reading three to five pieces of content, before contacting a company about business and luxury products and services. These audiences know what they need, and they’re deciding which company to contact. To capture them, you need to produce content for the research and consideration stage.

Consideration content needs to provide customers with in-depth information about your products and services. Create product descriptions, service walk-throughs and comparisons to other solutions. Again, extend the work of that content by transforming it for your other channels. Written product descriptions and service walk-throughs become demo video content on YouTube. Gate your comparison content with a form and turn it into a lead generating drip campaign through email marketing.

Content for Purchasing

Customers in the purchase stage usually have the answers they want – and a product, service or brand in mind. Hopefully, your content to this point has convinced them you’re the best solution. But if it didn’t, you have this last chance to persuade them to purchase with content created for that specific purpose.

People ready to buy might read reviews and watch testimonials from other customers. Reviews are powerful search results – and Google serves them up directly in search from trusted websites like Yelp and its own reviews – but you can’t count on third-party review sites to be accurate or positive. However, you can rely on what you produce. Interview your customers and create testimonial videos optimized for the purchase funnel. Put them on your website and YouTube. Create short snippets of those testimonial videos for your customers to post on their own social channels.

Organic search drives traffic to your website from people who are actively seeking you and the products and services you offer, which makes it one of the most important channels for lead generation. Capture your potential customers by producing content for each stage of the purchase funnel. Extend your content across your other marketing channels, including advertising, email marketing and organic social media, which will in turn feed more authority to your organic search.

This column originally appeared in the September 6, 2018, issue of BlueSky News.