Putting the Customer First
Now, more than ever, today’s customers are more discerning and it’s not just about your competitors. They have access to a wide variety of information at their fingertips and can easily compare products and services from different businesses. With limited time, budget, and attention, businesses need to do more than just offer a good product or service. One of the most important aspects of a great customer experience is content. Content can be used to educate customers, build relationships, and drive sales. It can also be used to shape the customer journey. Failing to do so could result in lost revenue and growth. So, how do you manage to capture your audience while transforming them into your customers? You put their needs first.
The best way for a business to position itself is to solve the needs of its customers. That said, in order to achieve optimal positioning, it’s vital for a company to effectively articulate the pain points that it solves. This is where content comes into play, as marketing efforts help or hinder brand awareness. It’s one thing to drive audiences to your content. But to convert readers into customers, that takes fine-tuning and understanding the customer journey.
The customer journey is the path that a customer takes from first learning about your business to becoming a loyal customer. We break it into five stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, use, and advocacy.
Leverage content at each stage of the customer journey to:
- Attain awareness: Content can be used to introduce your business and its products or services to potential customers. This can be done through blog posts, articles, social media posts, and other forms of content.
- Generate interest: Now that potential customers are aware of your business, use content to generate interest in your products or services. For example, highlight information about the benefits of your products or services, or by sharing customer testimonials.
- Drive consideration: As potential customers journey through the pipeline, considering your products or services, deliver content experiences to help them make a decision. Case studies are a phenomenal method for highlighting customer challenges while positioning a business as the solution.
- Close the sale: Once potential customers are ready to buy, it’s time to sign on the dotted line. And, content is key to getting to the finish line. Design your content to deliver clear and concise information about your business and how it can fulfill a need.
- Nurture relationships: After the sale is closed, leverage content to nurture relationships with customers. We’re not talking about spamming them with emails, but rather sharing targeted content that speaks to their needs. For example, providing customer support, sharing educational content, or simply staying in touch with customers up-levels the customer experience.
- Drive advocacy: Happy customers make the best evangelists. The ultimate goal of any customer journey is to drive advocacy and when customers are so happy with your business, they are willing to recommend you to their friends and colleagues. In this stage, use content to drive advocacy by sharing customer testimonials, offering referral bonuses, or simply making it easy for customers to share your content with others by adopting social media.
Effective content strategy shapes and influences the customer journey, creating a positive experience that will lead to repeat business and referrals.
Not sure where to start? Here are some tips for using content to shape the customer journey:
- Be relevant. The content you create should be relevant to the interests and needs of your target audience. This will help you to capture their attention and keep them engaged.
- Make your content easy to find. Your content should be easy to find on your website and social media channels. You can use search engine optimization (SEO) to make your content more visible in search results. Make sure you’re using best practices in website design to drive visibility on your site.
- Promote your content. Once you have created compelling content, you need to promote it to generate viewership. Automate your content through social media, email marketing, and other channels. Let technology do the heavy lifting by highlighting your content.
- Measure results and impact. In order to improve, It is important to measure the results of your content marketing efforts to see what is working and what is not. You can use analytics tools to track website traffic, social media engagement, and other metrics. By knowing where you’ve been and how you’ve done, you can significantly improve your roadmap for the future.
Content has always been a mechanism for creating satisfied and repeat customers. But in order to tap into its benefits, you have to put the customer first, which starts with the customer journey. To achieve great results, the customer journey strategy has to be enveloped within your content strategy. Create targeted content campaigns for each stage of the customer journey. In doing so, content is at the helm of the customer journey shaping a positive experience that will lead to repeat business and referrals.