In the past, it was easier for a company to attract new customers with minimal 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 content and social media 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 Journey
A 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 Plan
Creating 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
In-depth buyer personas also cover a potential customer’s likely fears, objections, likes, dislikes, motivations, frustrations, archetype, and level of familiarity with technology. By getting to know your ideal customers’ favorite places to “hang out” online, you can start thinking about crafting content.
Create Great Content
Once 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
You also need to make sure your content is immaculate, with no spelling or grammatical errors. Having content riddled with errors means no one is paying attention to your message; instead, they’re just trying to figure out exactly what it is you’re trying to say. Make sure to run your content through a spell checker. And, before you publish, use a tool like Grammarly to help you avoid spelling and grammatical mistakes in your writing that you might not catch on your own.
Repurpose Existing Content
Repurposing old content into a new format is something some of the top content creators and digital marketers do to boost search engine rankings and to provide even more value to their prospective customers. Repurposing content means taking content you already have and transforming it into something else. For example, you could take a series of blog posts and turn them into an ebook, to help you generate sales and boost your online reputation.
Repurposing content allows you to share your content for multiple types of customers. While some people watch videos to learn about a company, and some research its products and services, others might prefer to download a PDF to read on the go. Repurposing also allows you to reach people in places you might not normally be able to reach. For example, if you’ve never considered videos, you probably wouldn’t have a chance with people who mainly use YouTube for their research.
As long as you understand who your target audience is, which stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in, and how to create valuable content that’s engaging and entertaining in a format your audience prefers, you can conquer content marketing with ease.
Let us know how you are planning your content strategy or if you have some ideas to make your content strategy more effective. In the meantime, if you need help or more content ideas to create a successful content and social media marketing strategy for yourself, reach out to us at [email protected]