Inbound Marketing Fundamentals, Part 2: Customizing Your Content For Your Clients & Customers

In part 2 of this series, columnist Daniel Faggella discusses how to get results from all the stages of inbound marketing by creating content that speaks to everyone in your audience.


In my last article in this series, we covered a lot of ground on what inbound marketing is, the pros and cons and the stages a growing inbound marketing system goes through.

Today, we’re going to continue the discussion and break down how to go about crafting content that’s appropriate for the different stages of your segmented audience.

Let’s dig in!

The “Secret”

Okay, it’s not a secret, per se, but it will help you tremendously when going about your content creation. With a well-put-together content regimen, you can effectively reuse and repurpose the content found at different stages in your inbound marketing system.

Remember, there are essentially three types of content you’re going to want to produce:

  1. Content for education — People who are not ready to buy and are only somewhat interested.
  2. Content for considering options — People are interested and deciding on their options.
  3. Content for buyers — These people know they’re going to buy and just need the final push.

These three types of prospects are typically found in their respective mediums:

  1. Social — Usually people who are only somewhat interested and need educational content.
  2. Blog — Usually people who are interested and want to know more about their options.
  3. Email — These people have become leads, and you can push sales messages via email.

In general, the purpose of social content is to get people over to your excellent blog. The purpose of your blog content is to get people to give you their contact information and join your email list.

From there, the goal is the sale (without sacrificing the goodwill you’ve created, of course). The best news? You can then use email to start the cycle over again, pushing people from your list to your blog and back into your sales messages over and over again…

The key is keeping in mind at all times which segment of your list you’re talking to, and what you need to give in order to get them to buy or invest in your product. A lot of marketing problems can be solved if you just think, “What is the best thing I can do for or give this person right now to produce the desired outcome?”

This thought process will gradually lead people along the buyer’s journey toward the sale.

The Messaging Checklist

When you want to create content for your inbound system, always create the ideal “next step” for your leads and prospects.

Does this mean you will need multiple pieces of content that drive different kinds of leads? Absolutely.

If someone is ready to buy your workout program, they might opt in to your email list by simply buying your product. They’ll still need to be put on a follow-up system to get them to buy the next thing.

If someone isn’t ready to buy, but they’re interested in becoming fitter, they might opt in for a free report on how to lose weight. They’ll need their own targeted follow-up system to get them to trust you enough to invest in your products or services.

If somebody is not yet interested in buying, but they’d love to know how to cook less fattening foods, they might opt in for a “Paleo Cookbook” report. Again, they’ll need their own customized follow-up system that will educate them on why they need your workout system.

These are just examples, and there are dozens of ways to attract and convert leads through this inbound system.

The key is rotating the right kinds of messages to the right groups, so that you’re converting as many people as possible into buyers.

Remembering the three different stages, your only job is putting together your inbound strategy by effectively “pairing up” the right kinds of content to go to the right group of people in a way that is appropriate for the decisions and problems that they’re facing right now.

How To Talk To The “3 Groups”

The most helpful bit of advice I can give you in this article is what took me the longest time to figure out: The people in these three groups have different problems that they’re trying to solve.

You want to craft your content marketing to address and help individuals deal with their problems in each of your three core groups.

Your social messages are going largely to folks who aren’t yet aware that they need what you’re selling, and the main goal is to drive them to your educational pieces (blog).

Your blog content is going to be designed to educate people about why they need whatever it is you do and give them the chance to learn more.

Your email copy is going to create “authority” status, re-educate people on the value of your solutions and prove that you are the best (and only) option with which to do business.

Notice how each segment pushes people into the next phase of the buyer’s cycle; that’s the way it should be!

For instance, assume you are posting content on Twitter about special new fitness tips that work regardless of diet. These are designed to get people interested just enough to click that little link and go read your content.

Your content (video, blog post or something else) is all about how they can lose weight, get in shape and still eat what they like, simply by knowing (and understanding) how the human body really works. There is plenty of proof, plenty of educational content, and at the end, there is a link to download your free whitepaper: “The Ultimate No-Hype Guide To Realistic Fat Loss With Just Three Simple Daily Disciplines.”

I’m using this as an example to show you exactly how the flow should work. The person downloads your white paper, and all of the sudden they are a lead. Your content marketing has done its job, as it’s just generated a new lead from Twitter.

Now, we get into the email marketing piece, which is going to drive the new lead into customized and segmented email follow-up to get the sale.

Segmenting Email Content For Maximum ROI

In the example we’ve been using, the new lead is obviously interested in losing weight, and they don’t want to have to diet (We know this because of the white paper they downloaded).

Let’s presume that you’ve also got white papers about muscle building, toning, general fitness and lifestyle/dieting. The key to making this whole content regiment really produce profits in your business is segmentation.

For instance, each of your white papers (or lead magnets) should ultimately have its own separate “funnel” or email sequence. This ensures you are effectively converting people based on the things in which they are already interested.

At CLVboost (my employer), we have complete email sequences segmented and tailored down to the lead magnet and the goals of the individuals who downloaded them, and we have customized sequences that are designed to supplement live sales calls based on the information we extract over the phone.

Long story short, the more “customized” you can make your marketing, the better ROI (return on investment) you are going to have from your content marketing (inbound marketing) machine.

If you’re just tuning in now, I suggest going back to Part 1 of Inbound Marketing Fundamentals to read through these two articles again. Along the way, jot some thoughts down in regard to what your leads need to know to get to the next phase.

Then, plan to create that content (or hire someone to do it for you). You cannot underestimate the horsepower of a good, established content marketing regimen.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

(Some images used under license from


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