What Are You Offering? The Science Behind Offer Creation

Leighton Engage
People in a conference room

You can’t just sit down at your desk and nail down an offer for your inbound marketing strategy. Well, maybe you can. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to give you the results you’re looking for. You need to focus less on what you’re saying and more on these two crucial questions:

  1. Who are you trying to speak to?
  2. Why should they care?

To do this, you have to consider all the vital details like the buyer persona, the buyer’s journey, and the funnel—never forget the funnel. Bringing these elements together for your content strategy will ensure your offers are relevant to your users.

Offers and Content Strategy

Person explaining something to a business teamImagine walking into a car dealership "just looking" and the sales guy repeatedly shoves the 2018 model pricing guide in your face. I'm guessing his call-to-action might fall flat on its face. It might even turn you off enough to take your business elsewhere.

Is this because the pricing guide is bad content? Not at all. It's because the offer and call-to-action are completely out of line considering who you are and where you're at in your buyer's journey. You don’t care about the guide. You’re there to window shop. And the sales rep didn’t properly evaluate where you’re at in the buyer’s journey.

The Buyer's Journey

The buyer's journey is the hypothetical path your ideal customer will take from randomly Google-searching a problem to sealing the deal and buying from you. There are quite a few steps, twists, and turns between those two, and a great buyer's journey will detail them.

Provide Value

Once you understand your ideal customer's buyer's journey, you can use it to develop your content strategy. Do particular questions come up at certain points? Create some engaging content that answers those questions. Does your ideal customer have one big hesitation during the consideration phase of the buyer's journey? Address that hesitation as part of your middle of funnel offer.

The offers you include as part of your marketing strategy should always bring value to the user. You need to ask yourself, “Why should they care about your offer?” You should know too that at each stage of the buyer's journey, the tools and information your ideal customer values will be somewhat different. Understand what exactly those tools and pieces of information are and deliver.

Start with Your Persona

In order to create an offer that speaks to your ideal customer in a helpful, educational, and interesting way, you must first understand who they are. Do you have an idea of them in your head? Some businesses are crystal clear about who their ideal customers are. And others have no idea.

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of a single, ideal customer for your business. It incorporates any and all information about them, everything from demographic information to educational background, along with personality traits, workplace frustrations, and watering holes. If you were unclear before about who they are, maybe now you have an idea on where to start. The more you know your buyer persona, the more detailed their buyer’s journey will be.

As you develop these, always remind yourself of who you’re trying to reach and why they should care about your offer. This will address the obstacles that separate them from becoming your customer, which is what the inbound marketing process is all about.

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