[Podcast] Ep 9 – 5 Stages of Awareness for Content-led Growth

A couple of weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of hosting Corey Haines on my podcast. My chat with Corey was insightful no doubt and I’m stoked to share what we discussed! A lot went down – right from the 5 mental models for SaaS content marketers to the types of emails that you should be sending and my personal favorite – content that gets users to take action!

About the Episode

Mental models go way beyond your conventional marketing hacks! They are a trusted framework of principles used by many marketing greats. Mental models help you make better decisions – to put it simply, they are everything you need to hit it right outta the park!

As Corey explained to me, what’s paramount here is identifying the stages of awareness that your audience falls into, trust me that’s half the battle won! What most marketers often do is take the traditional route of the funnel, they design content strategies that cater to the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.

“One of the common misconceptions, something that I don’t like about the funnel approach is that usually you sort of break it out between content types of mediums. Your blog posts are top of the funnel, your case studies are middle of the funnel, your demo calls or webinars are bottom of the funnel. That’s not really what’s going on! Your webinars could be top of the funnel, case studies could be top of the funnel and your blog posts could be bottom of the funnel.”

As Corey rightly pointed out, tailoring content that will speak to your users just gets a whole lot easier once you have the stages of awareness sorted. Let’s dive right into it. 

1. Unaware: First up, we’ve got unaware. Typically, in this stage, your target audience does not know that they have a problem or a need or the slightest idea that they could do things differently.

2. Problem Aware: Now, in this stage, the people you’re dealing with are for sure in search of something, in particular, something that can be changed or optimized.

3. Solution Aware: In this stage, you’re dealing with people who already know that there is a solution out there, but they’re not sure which one. So they are in the process of comparing different ideologies and ways of doing things.

4. Product Aware: This stage houses a bunch of folks who are aware of your product and how it would help them. They are trying to educate themselves on all the things they need to know about you before making a buying decision. 

5. Aware: These are people who know who you are and know that your product is ideal for them. They are those who hop on a sales call, apply a coupon code or sign up for a trial.

“You can break up your content strategy into one of these 5 buckets. The fun part is, your content is going to serve multiple needs to help make people more aware – the goal is always to make people more aware!”

Key Takeaways

Corey also shared his expert take on content that will drive action. Here you go:

  1. Introduce ideas, build curiosity and affinity through your emails. Here’s what you need to do – send content that people want to subscribe to and nothing else.
  2. “Most content and landing pages are solution-oriented but they don’t tell people how they are solving problems. This is why every SaaS company ends up sounding the same.”
  3. To sound credible you’ve got to include features along with benefits.
  4. The 3 ingredients to getting people to act on your content are creating dissatisfaction around the problem, creating a desire for a better state, providing a plan of action, and a realistic way to get there.
  5. Lastly, incorporate your product into your content.
  6. One of the things that I think I’ve learned is that if you can articulate and describe the problem, then people will trust you to give them the solution. But you always have to give empathy, you have to help people to understand that you know their problems and what they’re going through very intimately because they know that you understand them. And, of course, now they can trust you to give some sort of solution because you understand them.”

Well, that was just scraping the surface, there’s a lot more that I’d love to share. Go give this episode a listen and you’ll know what I’m talking about!

About the Author

A marketing enthusiast, Corey is the founder of Swipe Files, a website with a handpicked collection of content and courses that will help you win your marketing battles. 

Formerly the head of growth at Baremetrics, Corey has also consulted the likes of Savvy Cal, Evercast, Riverside, and Beamer, to name a few.

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