Understanding the Buyer's Journey
Whenever you start any kind of marketing tactic you should have a buyer persona in mind. Who is this for? Why would they want it? How is it bringing value to their every day life? If you can't answer these questions with reasonable answers, start again.
That's part 1, the other part that we tend to forget to concentrate on is where this person is at in the "Buyer's Journey." The Buyer's Journey are the thoughts and actions a person makes before they make a decision to purchase your product or service.
Typically we think of three different stages:
AWARENESS (Top of the funnel)
"My knees hurt when I run. What's wrong with me?"
At this stage the person has realized they have a problem or want something. They start researching solutions to their problems or needs.
When thinking about this stage as a marketer, you need to realize that the answer might not be so obvious to the person that your product or service is a solution too. For example, if you're a sneaker company trying to get a person with sore knees after they run to buy new sneakers from you, you might create content on symptoms of knee issues when you're running.
That content looks like: research, analytics, ebooks, educational content, etc.
CONSIDERATION (Middle of the funnel)
"Aha! I may need new sneakers that offer more support."
At this stage the person has realized exactly what they want or need. Chances are there are many options for them out there. They are now researching and considering all of their different options that solve their problem or want. For example, if you're that same sneaker company, you would want to create content that talks about the different types of brands of sneakers you offer that are good for runners with bad knees.
This content looks like: materials comparing one to another, doing deeper research about a product or service, user reviews, etc.
DECISION (Bottom of the funnel)
"Based off of user reviews, price point and style, I can pick from these three brands."
At this stage the person has done enough research to conclude more specifically what the solution to their problem is or what is and they have a few options in mind. In the snaeker example, they've most likely narrowed it down to one to three different types of sneakers that they are considering buying from. As a marketer, you need to convince them, subtly, why your brand is the best.
This content looks like: one product vs another, case studies, special offers (i.e. in the sneaker case, ability to try for two weeks to decide if they are helping), available support for last minute questions, etc.