Create and target your content for customers at each stage of the buying process.
At this point, you’re probably finding yourself drowning in a sea of content that has seemingly no aim, purpose or plan, and you’re probably wondering when, or if, most of it will even be used. You may or may not have already established a ‘Content Strategy’, but let’s face it, it’s really just a list of social media updates and blog post ideas, isn’t it.
If you’re anything like me, this lack of focus and structure is likely to have you in a bit of a frenzy:
“What’s this whitepaper even for?”
“At what point do we send customers this explainer video?”
“We have a case study brochure?!”
Instead of just creating and sending out content to your customers at random, wouldn’t it make sense to assess what information they need first?
The best way to help understand exactly what a potential customer is looking for at a certain moment in time, is to look at what stage they are at in the Consumer Buying Process.
If the consumer has identified a need
While they may not have this need at the forefront of their mind, they understand that they could benefit from a certain product or service. At this point they haven’t started searching for extra information yet.
Your job, therefore, is to bring your product or service to their attention, reminding them that they have a need, and making them aware that your company/brand could fulfil this need. The sort of content that can help with this awareness includes:
– Social media posts and updates
– Printed flyers or posters
– Advertisements (online, TV or print)
– Blog posts
These types of content don’t have a lot of in-depth information, but they are rich in attention-grabbing ability. Ensure they include an eye-catching brand logo, photo or graphic, the brand name, the brand tagline, a brief description or image portraying the products/services you offer, and a strong Call To Action (eg. ‘Visit our website [link]’, ‘Call us on [number]’, ‘Get in touch [email]’).
If the consumer is researching information and different options
They’ll be delving in to facts and features. You need to make sure you’re ready to provide them with those facts and figures quickly and easily.
Having a free mail-order catalogue they can sign up for with the tick of a box on the website, or a whitepaper they can download within seconds, means they can access the information they want as quickly as possible. In the time they have to wait for something, they could be researching other companies instead, so the following types of content need to be pre-prepared and readily available:
– Re-marketing adverts (they’ve seen your website already, so why not give them a little extra fact or figure to encourage them to come back and find out more)
If the consumer is evaluating their options
They’ll want good, solid evidence and reasons they should choose your product/service. What benefits have you provided to previous customers? Do you have reviews, case studies or testimonials? What exactly can you offer them that all the others they have looked at can’t? How much is it going to cost them?
These questions can be answered in the following types of content packages:
– Information Packs
– Case Studies
– Pricing Options
If the consumer has made a decision & is making a purchase
It may seem like your job is done, but there are so many more touch-points where you can show off your brand, and even your other products. For example:
– Instructions (these can be branded, helpful, and personalised so that the customer feels like they are getting friendly advice)
– Upselling material (“You’ve bought this, but many of our other customers would recommend buying this complimentary item as well…”, you get the idea.)
– Hints and Tips (these will make your brand seem helpful and caring, and can also be used to upsell)
If the consumer is making a post-purchase evaluation
Again, your job is NOT finished. Post-purchase marketing is equally as important as pre-purchase marketing, and can make or break a long-term relationship with your customers.
They will be assessing the product/service, talking about your brand to their social circles, and may write a review or even a letter to your company. You need to be reminding them of what a great company you are, and try to mitigate any negative feelings they might have about you with:
– Customer newsletters
- News/Update emails (let your existing customers be first to know about company updates or product launches; it makes them feel special)
- Exclusive offers/content (give them access to their own customer portal with exclusive content, or send discounts for being loyal)
- Surveys (here is your chance to channel their negative emotions, if they have any, into positive ones. Show that you really value their feedback and that you’re already doing everything you can to improve)
Have I missed something? Let me know what other content you include in your content strategy!