In this article, we'll tell you how you can engage your customers with the right content at the right time with consumer journey-based content strategy!
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Here's How the Consumer Journey Drives Content Strategy
What is the consumer journey?
The term consumer journey may sound intimidating, but it's a fundamental concept every content marketer should know and make the most out of.
The consumer journey describes the stages people go through to discover, consider, and buy a product or service from a brand.
Think about the last time you bought something. Do you remember how you ended up buying it? You likely went through the consumer journey without even knowing! Seeing a pizza on television, realising you're hungry, finding your local pizza store using your phone's browser, ordering through the website, paying with PayPal, meeting the delivery guy at the door, then eating the whole pie and having a big ol' nap – that's a consumer journey right there!
What are the stages of the consumer journey?
The simplest way to understand the consumer journey is through these three stages:
- Awareness: The consumer has a problem and needs to solve it ASAP!
- Consideration: The consumer looks for ways to solve the problem.
- Purchase: The consumer chooses one out of the many products or services they think best solves their problem.
Here's what the consumer journey of an up-and-coming baker might look like:
How does it affect my content strategy?
So far, we've talked about what the consumer journey is from the customer's perspective. Let's talk about it as content marketers this time around.
The consumer journey has a massive effect on your content strategy. To be more specific, the stage where your customers are at dictates the content you'll offer.
At each stage, customers expect specific information. If, for example, your blog article doesn't deliver what the reader is looking for, you'll have a hard time moving your prospects to the next stage of the journey.
That's a lost sale opportunity. You don't want that.
So, how do I know what stage my audience is on the consumer journey?
Identifying the stage your target audience is on the consumer journey is key to developing a high-converting content strategy.
Customers in the Awareness Stage usually do these things:
- Search for broad keywords you're ranking for
- Read your blog posts
- Comment on your social media posts
At the Consideration Stage, they'll most likely do the following:
- Search for niche keywords you're ranking for
- Spend time on your Products or Services pages
- Read case studies and customer reviews
When your audience is at the Purchase Stage, here's what you can expect from them:
- Request for a product demo or free sample
- Send you inquiries about product or service subscriptions
- Ask about your pricing and modes of payment
Once you've identified where your customers are at in the consumer journey, you can create content according to their informational needs.
What kind of content best fit each stage of the consumer journey?
The kind of content you publish should complement the stage your audience is at on the consumer journey. Here's a breakdown of content and formats for each step:
At the Awareness Stage, your customers aren't looking for your specific brand yet simply because they don't know who you are.
To understand how people think in this stage, you have to broaden your thinking. This means thinking outside your brand or company.
Instead of releasing brand-specific content, try crafting blog posts or social media content that touches on your audience's problems. This way, you help capture your reader's interest.
Consider white papers, too! They're a great way to flex your industry expertise without name-dropping your brand, product, or service too early in the game.
Only when your customers are at the Consideration Stage do they find out about your brand. At this point, you can afford to be more brand-centric in your content.
It's essential to make sure you have content that educates your audience about you and what you offer. Crafting optimized product pages is the best way to do this.
Uploading case studies on your website also help audiences see how your product or service can help them. Publishing positive customer reviews is also a good source of social proof that what you offer really works.
At the Purchase Stage, a content strategy should make room for website content that details on pricing and payments. You can take this a step further by providing customers with a free quote!
If your business can afford it, you can also offer free product trials and demos. Videos that show how your product work also sit well with customers in the purchase stage.
The key at this stage is to make sure that the customers can contact you. And when they do e-mail or chat with you, you have the responsibility to reply promptly.
The graphic below summarizes the best types of content titles for every stage of the consumer journey:
Unlike the nine Rings of Power, your content strategy should not be forged in the dark! Understanding your audience's consumer journey is the key to creating a high-performing content strategy. Once you know the stage your audience is on down the line, it'll be easier for you to create content that delivers results.
Feel the need to align your content strategy with your audience's consumer journey? Contact us for a free quote today!