In the past, it was easier for a company to attract new customers with minimal content marketing and advertising. But, over the last ten years or so, the buyer’s journey has transformed into an experience. If you want your company to stand out as an industry leader, you need to implement a well-devised social media and content marketing campaign to reach more potential customers. Consumers today want businesses to share their journey so they feel like they’re a part of something bigger. If you’re ready to start providing value and improving the buyer’s journey, here are four things you need to do.
Understand the Buyer’s JourneyA buyer’s journey is the journey a prospect takes leading up to a purchase. Anyone working in sales or marketing should understand the process so that they can use the best content marketing techniques to ease the customer into the next phase of the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey, or sales funnel, includes the following stages:
- Awareness: You make your prospects aware of your company; you show them it exists.
- Discovery: You get your prospects interested in your company and its products and services. You share valuable and educational content related to a problem your prospects might have.
- Evaluation: Your prospects start to evaluate your company, your products, and your services after receiving a proposal or quote.
- Intent: Your prospects have the intention of buying from you, but they haven’t actually made the purchase yet. Your prospects most likely want to gather more information before they make the purchase.
- Purchase: You finally close the deal with the prospect, and they officially become a customer. This is the best stage to ask for referrals, reviews, or feedback.
- Loyalty: You turn your one-time customer into a loyal customer that comes back later to make more purchases. This stage is a great opportunity for upselling other products or services you might have.
Create a Content Marketing PlanCreating a content plan means writing out exactly what kind of content you plan to create, how you’ll promote that content (on which social channels), and how often you’ll create that content. Will you publish posts on Medium, share videos on YouTube, curate content on Facebook, or re-tweet the latest industry-related news on Twitter? Regardless of which social channels you use, make sure you have a plan. Creating a content calendar can help you keep track of your ideas and plan your content ahead of time, so that you’re not always scrambling to figure out what to post or publish. But, don’t try to create a content calendar for the full year. Instead, focus on the next three months. That way, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and still stay flexible in terms of what goes into your content calendar as you move forward. Make sure you understand exactly who your target audience is before you create any content. Understanding this, as well as understanding the buyer’s journey, can help you create content that has a lasting effect on your potential customers, so that they keep coming back for more. That means repeat sales and a boost in revenue. It can also help to create buyer personas (fictional characters that represent your ideal customers). Several factors go into making up a buyer’s persona, including:
- Education level
- Annual income
- Marital status
Create Great ContentOnce you know who you’re writing for and have a better understanding of their online behavior, you can begin to craft content with them in mind. That means creating content that customers can relate to – content they’d find useful and valuable. You need to create content that helps improve their lives in some way. Make sure your content is both entertaining and engaging, and that it has plenty of visuals to make it easier for people to absorb the information. Consider using the following in your content marketing campaign:
- Email marketing
- Case studies
- Blog posts
- Online courses