Providing the customer with value and understanding what their needs are important in content marketing. Content marketing plays a role in building trust and credibility, developing a community or relationships with an audience, lead generation and solving an audience’s problems. By now we can all agree that having a content marketing strategy can play a part in a brand’s marketing success.
Customers have different needs at different times; therefore, content marketers should take into consideration creating content for different stages to improve customer satisfaction. Remember to keep in mind that when consumers look at a brand’s content, they may ask themselves “what’s in it for me?” The content your brand creates should be able to answer that question otherwise a customer may feel the content you provide is not valuable enough and as a result, they will move on to a brand that will answer what they are looking for. With that being said, this article will walk you through one of the problems faced by content marketers in 2022. The problem is aligning content with customer journeys.
Understanding customer journey and customer journey mapping
Before we move forward with this discussion let’s first explain what a customer journey is. According to Salesforce (2018), a customer journey is a map of the route a customer takes from the time they first encounter your brand to the time they make a purchase. Basically, the customer journey tracks a potential customer’s interactions with a brand before ultimately making a purchase. These interactions could include, a person discovering your brand’s offering, visiting your brand’s website or checking product reviews before the consumer decision-making process.
Tracking the customer journey is not an easy task and can get tricky along the way. This is because a lot of research is required to determine what a brand’s leads does before making a purchase. It is important never to assume that every customer will follow the pattern of your brand’s customer journey mapping. Leads approach the buying process in different ways.
Three typical stages of customer journey mapping
- Awareness stage: Discovery of a problem. This is where an individual will seek information to understand the problem.
- Consideration stage: Finding solutions to the identified problem.
- Decision stage: The consumer is at a point where they will decide which brand or business will best solve their problem effectively.
Now that we have an understanding of what customer journey is we can carry tap into understanding the importance of aligning content with customer journeys.
In order to gain more value from content marketing, it is essential for content marketers to map out a content marketing strategy that is based on research and actual customer information. This will help with creating content that resonates best with the customer during the different stages that lead to customers arriving at the consumer decision-making process.
The whole point of aligning content with the customer journey is so that brand’s come across as helpful to their potential customers and not annoying. It might happen that people would rather avoid talking to sales professionals throughout their buyer journey. So, that’s where you the content marketer come in. Your brand’s content will provide helpful, relevant content along the path that your customers will likely take.
Effectively aligning content
The awareness stage aims to highlight the problem that a person is experiencing. It may happen that potential customers don’t even know that they need a solution yet. So, it falls on the brand and content marketer to educate them. This is the stage where most of the content should be broad. Brands should introduce solutions and different problem-solving concepts.
The consideration stage is where brands should begin to address the consumer’s perceptions of the product or service offering. Make to take an honest assessment of things from the consumer’s point of view and address the objections that the buyer might be feeling. In this stage, content marketing professionals should focus on solving the potential customer’s problems. This will make the potential consumer more aware of the brand’s offering. Content must continue to educate the potential buyer on how the brand’s offering works. This will alleviate the problem discovered in the awareness stage.
This is the consumer decision-making process. At this stage, the potential customer has already decided to make a purchase. So, it is vital to now feed them with content that will help them finalize the decision of which brand to make a purchase from.
Research comes into play during this stage because brands need to ensure that they are using the language and vocabulary that will help the potential buyer understand that a brand’s product or service is best suitable to help solve the buyer’s challenge.
Does your brand’s content resonate with the buyer?
Sharing content aligned to the right stage of the buyer’s journey is key, however, it is also necessary for brands to consider the content consumption habits of their target audience. Would your audience appreciate video content, podcasts, images or blogs? Those are important factors content marketers should take into consideration when putting together their content marketing strategy.
Wrapping up final thoughts
Aligning content with customer journeys is one of the challenges faced by content marketing. With that in mind, moving towards an audience-centric content marketing strategy is a current trend content marketers should jump on. In order to achieve this, content marketing professionals should consider placing customer insights and needs ahead of the brand’s internal demands. Make the consumer a part of the conversation. Filling the gaps in providing value to the customer can ultimately play a role in a brand’s ROI.