One of the best moments as a marketer is that “a-ha” moment of grasping the concept of informational vs. decision-making content and the importance of how they work together to optimize your content strategy. To see truly remarkable results, it’s not enough to post an in-depth industry report (hint: decision-making!) to your website, then cross your fingers that people will come to your site looking for this information, and then ultimately decide to purchase your goods or services. You must create a layered content strategy, offering informational pieces that help drive awareness, excitement and interest around your industry report. Your decision-making pieces can help with lead generation and closing a sale.
We could talk for days about layered content strategies, but first things first: what is informational and decision-making content, and why does it matter?
This is content that your intended audience finds interesting but would not necessarily base a decision off of. Think 101-level information that is very broad and oftentimes short. For example, a paint store could write an informational piece in the form of a blog post titled “The Top Five Paint Colors for Fall”. A recruiting firm could include a “Best Practices for Nailing the Interview” document on their website. A reception venue might share the top three questions to ask when looking for a place to host an event on their social media pages.
The broad nature of this content attracts a wide audience, which drives awareness and helps build trust around your brand. This content also serves as a great lead into decision-making content, which is the next step towards a sale.
This type of content is specifically designed to facilitate the path to purchase. Decision-making content is more in-depth, detailed information that someone further down the sales-funnel would look for and find value in. The information included in decision-making content is very focused and will help a person make a decision. It’s created for people who are already interested in what you have to offer (goods or services) and who are looking for very specific information. It’s perceived as valuable enough to exchange personal information (email, name, etc.) for. For example, if you are a reception venue, you will want a decision-making piece of content that includes pricing, capacity, limitations, and minimums to help party-planners decide if your space is right for them.
Decision-making content is going to inform and educate your audience on a specific topic, service, or approach. When creating decision-making content, consider what questions need to be answered or information needs to be provided in the final stages of the decision-making process.
Why it matters
Identifying your existing content as informational or decision-making will help you set expectations. If your information is 101-level, it should be shared as such, and you should expect it to create awareness rather than directly drive sales. If your Slideshare provides a very focused look on a specific topic, consider putting it behind a landing page to collect leads because the people who are going to view it are quality prospects.
Determining what type of content currently exists within your organization will also show you where there are holes in your strategy and additional opportunities. Do you have an awesome case-study that could benefit from a one-pager or blog post? Perhaps you can create a pre-recorded webinar to help people implement the learnings into their own business after they’ve read the case study.
What are some of the successes or challenges your organization is currently facing? Please share in the comments below: