Once upon a time the sole focus of content marketing was raising awareness for the consumer about the newest and best products. Now content must spur engagement, offer assurance, and provide knowledge and understanding. Simply publishing content and expecting it to do what it needs to do is not sufficient. You must establish a strategy for delivering content throughout the customer journey so that consumers have the right information at the right time.
Customers in the purchase stage have already read blog posts and articles and watched videos that have provided a basic overview of your products and services. Alternatively, some customers are looking for solutions to fulfill a particular need, and they’ve been researching varying options. Hopefully, customers who did research looked at some of your company’s in-depth content, such as white papers and case studies. They may have to look at other potential solutions before they make any decisions. If you’ve played your cards correctly, they’re likely to come back again to make that purchase or sign up for a service.
During the purchase stage, think about how you can set yourself apart from the competition. Offer rich, informative content that is unique and that demonstrates how you can solve real customer problems. Whenever you craft infographics, blog posts, and/or videos, make sure to use consistent branding and tone as you promote the content via social media for increased exposure.
Once customers are ready to bite the bullet and buy a product or commit to a service, you want them to be happy with their decisions. You also want them to make these decisions in a timely fashion. Sitting around and waiting for customers leaves you open to the risk of competitors stepping into the game and driving them to shop elsewhere. Offer clear, transparent pricing details so that there are no surprises. Instead of relying on sales reps to provide all of the content, as a marketer, take the initiative to present a complimentary trail, free consultation, or live demonstration directly to a customer.
As customers reach the buying stage, you can assist by providing relevant customer testimonials pertaining to products or services of interest. Look for content that describe the benefits of said product or service and that also describe the general benefits of working with your organization. Giving your customers some insight on what the experts say about your offerings can also be beneficial. Consider providing return on investment (ROI) analyst reports, request for proposal (RFP) generators and templates, and calculators. As these types of content tend to be dry, it’s important to look for creative ways to keep customers excited while they sift through technical details, such as an occasional joke or funny cartoon.
Building an effective strategy for providing content throughout the customer journey takes time, patience, and, often, trial and error. It can take multiple attempts to figure out what is and isn’t going to work at different stages of the cycle. Don’t be afraid to keep experimenting and maximize the tactics that do work well. Tracking the data behind the content with an online analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, will help you with the process of measuring metrics, tracking social data, and analyzing trends for improved SEO.