Content marketing for your customers’ journey
You’re creating great content. You’re promoting it in all the right channels. But you’re still not getting the right results. Why? It’s probably related to your customers’ journey.
The customer journey is an often overlooked element of effective content marketing, and if you’re neglecting it, the chances are that it’s at the detriment of your campaign’s future success. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Your Customers’ Journey
The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your business or brand. It includes every touchpoint and micro-interaction that occurs, from first becoming aware of your business, to becoming a loyal customer. If there is a disconnect between your content marketing and your customers’ journey, it renders your marketing strategy completely ineffective.
Customers expect content to be relevant, easily-accessible and there when they need it. To give you an example, a prospective customer isn’t going to be interested in watching your product testimonial video before they have heard of your company. At that particular stage of the journey, you need to be focusing on brand awareness instead. Sounds obvious, right? Yet so many businesses are getting this wrong.
How to Synchronise Content to Your Customers’ Journey
In order to get content in sync with the customers’ journey, we undertake a five-step process. The result of this will be a visual representation or journey map, that can be used to guide your content marketing strategy.
STEP 1: Choose Your Scope
Journey maps can be created at either a micro or high-level, depending on your needs. If this is your first time, start with a high-level map as it is less labour-intensive and gives you a good starting point.
There are a variety of free templates and software programs that will help you create your journey map. You can access our free template here.
STEP 2: Create A Customer Persona
In order to understand your customers’ journey, you need to first understand your customer. Create a customer persona, complete with their name, age and profession, and go a step further by listing their motivations, needs, pains and challenges.
Of course, a customer persona is only worthwhile if it’s accurate. You can ensure this by conducting research, undertaking face-to-face interviews with customers, and most importantly, walking a mile in their shoes. By putting yourself in the position of your customer, you can find ways to better meet their needs and deliver a remarkable experience.
STEP 3: Map The Steps
Next, map out the activities, touchpoints and micro-interactions your customer has during their journey. Creating a journey storyboard is helpful to add a visual element and ensures that it can easily be interpreted by those new to your business.
STEP 4: Determine The Message
At each of the steps you’ve identified in your customers’ journey, what is the key message you need to get across? Spend some time to really define exactly what information is valuable to the customer at each step, and what will help guide them through their buying journey.
STEP 5: Tailor Your Content
You’re now ready to begin matching content ideas to each step of the journey map, tailoring the content around the messages you identified earlier. Targetting your customers with the right types of content as they move through the journey map is a key part of any successful campaign. For example, a product video is going to get much better traction at the decision stage, than it would do at the awareness stage.
Here are just a few examples of how to use content most effectively:
- • Awareness Stage: free resources, blogs, brand awareness videos, thought leadership content.
- • Consideration Stage: promotional content, explainer videos, podcasts, webinars.
- • Decision Stage: case studies, product videos, testimonials, FAQs, technical sheets.
- • Purchase Stage: setup video tutorials, personalised content, sales toolkit, community invite.
- • Loyalty Stage: customer success content, exclusive content, useful add-ons, referral programs.
Refining Your Content Marketing Strategy
Good content shouldn’t be published as part of a “set it and forget it” process. Instead, once you’ve created, published and promoted your content, the fun really begins. By running performance analysis and measuring the impact in real-time (not just at the end of the campaign), you can optimise your content, making changes as you go for the best results.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – content is only as good as your strategy and how relevant it is to your audience. With targetted content designed to fall in line with the optimal positioning on your customers’ journey, you can be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.