Awareness and lead-gen tend to soak up most of the attention surrounding the content
. Because awareness is how you get started, and lead-gen is where you
want to go.
It is, in fact, possible to create content that combines awareness and lead-gen while
skipping over consideration entirely. And yeah, you can do that, but it takes a special
piece of content to do it well (like a very good whitepaper or e-book). But most awareness
content is not special (by definition), making good consideration content indispensable.
And like middle children everywhere, consideration is both indispensable and ignored.
But first, a few definitions. Awareness content talks about a problem or issue your customers
are facing, while consideration content talks about the solution (i.e., what you sell), but
it doesn't ask for contact details. Lead-gen content asks for those details, and it can be
paired with awareness or consideration in a single piece of content (or sometimes both).
Why You Need More Consideration Content
There are three primary reasons why you probably need more consideration in your content mix.
1. Funnels Should Be Funnel-Shaped
A B2B content marketing funnel should resemble its metaphor (you'll need a killer sales team
or some other overwhelming competitive advantage if it doesn't), narrowest at the bottom and
getting wider as you move up, Thus, you should have more consideration content than lead-gen.
However, this won't happen if every piece of consideration content you make also asks for
contact details (which is more like
a marketing straw than a funnel). It also won't happen if
you mostly make awareness content, and maybe a little lead-gen, but with no consideration to
2. Buyers Can't Differentiate Products & Vendors
Marketing materials like product pages or brochures tend to be shapeless infodumps with a lot
of details conveyed in a relatively tight space, and no clear differentiation between the
details that really matter and details that matter less, especially when it comes to
differentiating one model from other models, or you as a vendor
from other vendors. In short,
customers can't tell products apart, or their vendors apart. They need more meaningful education
before reaching the decision stage.
3. Your Leads Will Be Better Quality
Without that aforementioned product/vendor education, whatever leads you do manage to generate
might not be as good a quality as you were hoping for. Because those leads will need to take
up your sales staff's valuable time having things explained to them that they wouldn't
otherwise. And if that lead hears something that's a dealbreaker, that time has been wasted,
and you've likely done a competitor's job for them. But if that lead is better educated
through consideration content, the odds of either happening decrease.
How To Create More Consideration Content
First, it's important to remember that consideration content doesn't have to mention a
specific product/solution model by name. Sometimes it might be a category of products/solutions
that you sell. Or it might be more generic, covering all the products/solutions you sell. It
also doesn't have to mention a product/solution by name, as it might only cover a small part
of it (a key feature or technology that gives you an advantage). And now, the options.
Problems Your Solutions Solve
This might sound like awareness content, but awareness content focuses on the problem, while
consideration content focuses on the solution, while also mentioning the problems your XYZ
model solves. For instance, if you sell Oil & Gas solutions, awareness content would be
"Problems Faced By The Oil & Gas Industry" while consideration content would be "How The XYZ
Solves Problems For The Oil & Gas Industry." The former focuses on the problems, while the
latter focuses on the solution.
And if you're still fuzzy on why the latter also doesn't count as awareness, there are two
reasons. First, if a piece of content does vital education about the problems a solution
solves (instead of just mentioning the problems in passing), it could qualify as both
awareness and consideration (solution guides often do this). However, in the real world,
content that does this much hard work will typically also go for the lead. While if it
doesn't do any real awareness education, it may send you to a product page instead (unless
And second, remember the title is "How The XYZ Solves Problems For The Oil & Gas Industry."
If a prospect reads that title and chooses to continue reading, they've entered the
consideration stage of the marketing funnel (assuming they're already on the buyer's journey).
And once they reach that stage, they won't go back up to mere awareness, even if they consume
pieces of awareness-only content at some future point on the journey, or consume other info
from you about the problems faced in their industry.
Therefore, it is possible for prospects to skip over the awareness section of the content
marketing funnel entirely and go straight to consideration, and prospects do this all the
time if they already know you before the buyer's journey begins. However, that doesn't mean
you should always try to do this, as education work done by awareness content can be vital.
Speeds and feeds can overwhelm non-technical people. But put products, or product categories
(i.e., SME vs enterprise) side by side, and those details get easier to digest because you've
provided some sense of scale, and you'll save your customers' time by minimizing their need
to shuffle about your website reading repetitive or irrelevant information on multiple product
pages. Two birds, one stone.
Special Features & Technologies Your Products Use
When you create content focused on a certain product/solution feature, or some proprietary
technology you use, or some other competitive advantage you have, your audience interprets
this as confidence that you think it matters and is a difference-maker (even if it isn't).
Of course, if it isn't that special, show restraint (i.e., maybe one blog). But if it really
is a difference-maker, write the hell out of it, especially if it's superlative (i.e.,
best-in-class). Prospects love superlatives and remember them.
General Product Education
If you sell a product that is not well understood, or is otherwise niche, and you'd like to
make it less niche (a good B2C example would be home theater projectors), you might create
content that educates about all the products in that category, not just your brand's. Of
course, such content runs the risk of creating a sale for a competitor instead of you, so
if you don't also include or explicitly steer the prospect to a lead-gen form, you should
at least steer them to something more directly product-related, like a product page or
A product selector is basically an online questionnaire, where the prospect answers a
series of multiple choice and yes or no questions about the needs and conditions of their
business, eventually leading them to whatever product you want to present as the best match.
They require a bit of coding skill, so not everyone uses them, but product selectors are a
very good way to engage with eager prospects who lack the time or patience for a lot of
"How To Shop" Guides
This is a stealthy method for getting consideration content in front of people who would
otherwise still be very much in the awareness stage. If customers have never bought the
type of product you sell, they may be quite ignorant of how to evaluate it. A guide can
help shape their perceptions, or reshape the perceptions of those who are more familiar
but have never read a proper shopping guide.
This is more of a media/analyst relations function than marketing. However, marketing
can help out in two areas. One, by creating a short reviewer's guide that focuses more
on key selling points you want noticed than a standard user's manual would. And two,
marketing can help find influencers to review products. These might be people who
frequently leave comments on your blogs or social media posts. Or you can even send out
an email to your blog subscribers asking if anyone wants to be a reviewer.
How Much Consideration Content Do You Need?
This is one of those "it depends" questions. But as stated before, you definitely need more
consideration than lead-gen (constantly asking for contact details makes your brand look
used-car-salesy), and less than awareness (you'll look impatient and risk discouraging
followership and subscribership if you're always trying to push a sales pitch).
Beyond that, how much consideration content you need really depends on you. The greater the
number of strong and clear points of differentiation/advantage (or intended perceived points
of differentiation/advantage) in what you sell, the more consideration content you'll need.
Also, if you sell something truly unique or special, you should have quite a bit of
consideration content so that you can adequately explain it. If you're not really that
special, you won't need as much, because you'll mostly be in a fight won or lost through
sales, price, or brand.
And speaking of brand, the strength of yours plays a factor here. A stronger brand doesn't
need as much consideration content since persuasion is as much about the brand as the details
of the product, while a weaker brand needs the product/solution to add its own voice to the
argument, giving prospects a little extra push down the funnel.
That's it for the consideration stage of the content marketing funnel. To learn more about the
) stages, follow the links.