Content Marketing and the Customer Journey — What’s the Connection?
Marketing has several purposes, but its most common use is a lead generation and driving new business. But how do you overcome the challenge that is lead conversion? Content marketing. In this post, we’ll guide you through creating the right content for the right time and beginning a customer journey that ends in a lifelong relationship.
What is Customer Journey?
A customer journey is a process a buyer goes through to decide whether or not to purchase a product or enroll in a service. This journey consists of three different stages: awareness or discovery, consideration, and decision. We’ll break them down here.
Discovery/Awareness Phase: The discovery/awareness stage is at the beginning of the marketing pipeline. Your customer has realized that they have a pain point, or a problem and need a solution.
Consideration Phase: Next is the consideration phase or middle of the pipeline. This is the stage when customers begin doing their research, exploring their options, and deciding which product or service is best for them. Approximately 81 percent of consumers conduct intense online research before they buy.
Decision Phase: And at the end of the pipeline is the decision phase. Here is where your customer makes their final decision to go with their choice. If you’ve done your content marketing correctly and convinced the customer why your company is the best option, that choice should be you. But if they decide not to go with said product or service, then the customer’s journey circles back to the consideration phase and starts again.
Defining the Stages of Your Customer Journey
It’s common knowledge that you should never go into anything without a plan. This fact is especially true in marketing. How do you expect to successfully guide your customers down the pipeline if you can’t captivate them and get them to see your company as an option? It’s vital that when you develop a strategy, it aligns with your potential customers.
Consider what a customer journey looks like for your company. Think about who your target audience is. What would their pain points be? Create a buyer persona to help you determine your ideal customer. Why? Personalization. By knowing who you want your customers to be and what they’re looking for, you can successfully align with them through content. Just keep in mind that not every customer journey is the same. Some clients will have a linear journey, and others may have a circular journey.
Align with the Customer Through Content
We’ve all been the buyer at some point in our lives. So, we know how important it is to make the right decision. Why not help your potential client make the best decision for themselves or their company? It’s reported that 60 percent of consumers have a positive gut feeling about a company after reading content posted on their site. This number is evidence of why it’s crucial to have content that provides valuable information to help make the best purchase decision.
The customer journey and content marketing should have a parallel relationship. As the customer moves through the pipeline, the content you produce should be there to guide them. Providing impactful content also gives potential customers confidence in your company and encourages them to see you as an authority in your industry. And as they consider options for solutions, your company becomes a frontrunner.
Here are a few examples for each journey stage:
Discovery-based content: The content produced for the discovery stage of the customer journey is geared toward making the first impression and helping the customer realize an issue or pain point in their lives. Revealing these problems through content that aligns with problem promotes awareness, drives urgency, and sets the customer journey into motion. Impactful content marketing includes research reports, editorial and educational content, and white pages. We also suggest improving your organic search engine rankings to build brand awareness and drive more customers to your site.
Consideration-based content: The consideration stage is arguably the essential one in the customer journey. This stage is when your customers are exploring their options. And because of this, they’re more receptive to the content available to them. Here is where content such as product demos, guides, live demos, case studies, and podcasts prove the most impactful. You’re aligning with your potential customers by highlighting a solution: you.
Decision-based content: During this final stage, customers are ready to make their purchase. They’re gathering last-minute information to help reinforce their decision. This is where content like testimonials, product reviews, live demos, and product comparisons shine. They’re excellent ways to solidify the customer’s decision to purchase your product or service and get them off the fence.
Continuing the Connection
After making the sale, the customer’s journey doesn’t end there. Next, the customer moves into the engagement side of your marketing efforts and to the fourth stage, called loyalty. Content marketing is still a useful strategy in this stage. Whether your customer recently made the purchase or is a longtime customer, they’re always looking to see the continued value in what you offer. Sometimes this stage is called advocacy as well. This stage’s importance is that you don’t want your customer to buy the product and never engage with you again. You want them to become active and longtime users of the product, even going so far as to become advocates for your company and the product you sell.
Great ways to help your customers continue to see the value in your product are best practice tips, product updates, inviting them to be beta users, newsletters, user guides, and promotions.
Joseph Studios: Connecting Brands and Consumers
Providing quality, valuable, and impactful content for each stage of the customer journey can be tough, but you don’t have to navigate these waters alone.
Our team of marketing experts here at Joseph Studios is at your service! We’re here to help you better understand your customers and build content that captivates your audience through their journey.
Contact Us and let’s work together to make your brand shine.