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Targeting content and calls to action: Where are your prospects?

You probably hear a lot these days about targeting mobile consumers and how important tablets and mobile devices are becoming. The contention is that knowing where your prospect is when he or she is interacting with your content becomes more and more crucial as mobile devices – and mobile networks – grow. Seems sound, though I’d suggest you check your analytics before you devote resources to mobile users. Mobile is growing very quickly, but you’ll probably find that mobile traffic is still 10% or less of your audience, and an even smaller percentage of your conversions.
However, there’s another important way to look at where your prospects are, and mobile devices have nothing to do with it.

Intel Mobile Device
Photo credit: Frank Gruber

Where Is Your Prospect?
The metric I’m talking about isn’t location, exactly. Or, it’s not physical location. Rather, it’s where your prospect is in his or her buying cycle. It’s not physical; it’s mental and emotional.

At first glance, this can be a difficult question to answer. (We’ll come back to how your content can provide insight here.) But it is worth thinking about.

  • Are they just beginning to investigate the issues? It’s possible they haven’t even fully begun to understand the problem they’re facing?
  • Or have they already figured out what the problem is, what it is costing them, and (therefore) what budget would be appropriate for them to allocate to solving the problem?

These are two very different mindsets and two very different sets of information those prospects are likely to be looking for.

How Do You Stack Up?
With that in mind, take a look at your website. What calls to action does it display? If all you find on your site are generic links to your contact page, that’s bad. Prospects who are early in the buying cycle aren’t going to want to make the time or mental commitment of talking to you just yet. And you’ve given them no other options.

Or does your site have only the usual, “sign up for our newsletter” blocks? That’s even worse, as now you’re leaving late-stage prospects out in the cold. (It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a site with no access to a contact page, so my example is a bit of an exaggeration, but we still see sites with poor access to contact points.)

In the middle of the spectrum are prospects who are looking for more in-depth information but who still aren’t quite ready to commit to a conversation. For them, case studies, product comparisons, and similar content will be most effective in encouraging engagement and moving them further through your sales process.

Tackling The Problem
Addressing this issue takes some work, but it’s not complicated. Be sure that your content calendar includes regular creation of material that appeals along the full length of the buying process. This includes your website and blog(s), your email newsletters, social media, and any other channels you use for lead generation and customer acquisition.

Be sure to pay attention to your analytics, as well. Content created specifically for particular stages in the buying cycle can tell you about your prospects and where they are. When paired with a CRM tool (Salesforce, for example), gated content can help you track aggregate demand for content at different stages, individuals’ locations in the process, and even how quickly prospects typically move from one stage to the next.

As your prospects move from one stage to the next, you can ask for greater commitment from them as you provide more information to them. Done correctly, you’ll be moving them toward your conversion target at a pace they’re comfortable with.


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Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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