Every potential customer goes through a buying process before making the decision to purchase from you or a competitor. If you don't understand the buying process for your business, and what your target demographic goes through and thinks about when buying your product/service, then you are missing out on crucial content marketing opportunities. A great way to engage in content marketing is to answer customer questions, and to provide the information that potential customers are looking for when going through the buying process. If you're the one who provides that information for people, you build that trust and that brand awareness that makes generating a lead and a sale that much easier. After all, the businesses that are the best educators are also the most successful.
If you're already engaging in content marketing, then the chart above is an excellent reference tool to use when determining your specific customer concerns, and where you may fall short in the content you're providing. You need to have content for every section of the buying process. If you're doing well at the top of the funnel, then you might want more middle of the funnel content that addresses buying criteria or guides buyers through your products/services.
This chart is also useful in gauging your current content marketing strategy. If you have offers and content that isn't generating leads like you have hoped, it could be because it doesn't fit with the buying process, or that it isn't matched with the right part of the buying process. If you're trying to push a free trial or a coupon as a top of the funnel offer, then you won't get a lot of conversions because most of those people are nowhere near ready to buy, when a free trial or a coupon is better meant for that that are considering you as their vendor.