In a previous post, we had a look at the five steps in the customer’s journey while briefly touching on the content and channels associated with each stage.
In this post, we will expand more on the tactics aspect. I will try to focus on how to formulate content ideas and generate content in relation to the customer’s journey.
Remember, we five stages a prospect goes through from start to finish: Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Conversion, and Retention.
‘Dating’ with Your Audience
To create a better picture of the content associated with each step of the customer journey let’s work out an analogy.
Let’s say you like a nice girl from school. She has no idea who are you, but you want her to be aware of you, to have an interest in you, to consider you as a good option, and finally convert her into your girlfriend.
And of course, on the 5th step (retention), you have to surprise her with flowers and other things if you want her to say ‘no‘ to the next guy (competition) that approaches her.
Let’s see how bad or how good is this analogy.
Content for Awareness Stage
At the start of the journey, the girl you like (the audience) does not know anything about you. You did your research and you find out that she has difficulties studying and passing exams. You want to help her solve this school problem.
How are you going to make ‘her’ aware of you?
Well, at first you smile and say something brief like ‘hello, how are you? My name is …. ‘, right?
You don’t jump straight away and tell her you want to help her passing exams. You need to build this up.
Therefore, at the awareness stage you want to be as brief as possible. Don’t take too much of her time.
For this first step, you create content that is brief: short format video, images, gifs, banner ads, social ads.
Content for the Interest Stage
The girl (audience) is now aware of you. If you get her attention again she will remember you from when you said ‘hello’ at the awareness stage.
How are you going to make her have an interest in you?
The girl you like (your audience) crosses paths with you again. Now you will have a more thoughtful conversion with her. You want her to know you better. You want to discuss your reasons, about your story and about your values and beliefs. What is your style, what are your goals, and why you do what you do?
So for the interest stage, you want to provide value to your audience. You also need to prove your authenticity and that you have your own voice and personality.
At this stage you can create content such as long-form videos, blog articles, white papers, podcasts, ebooks, infographics.
Give your audience reasons to want to know more. Do research on what they need and deliver that wherever they spend their time: Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, forums, groups, etc.
Content for Consideration Stage
If you did a good job now she is interested in you. She asks herself – is this guy legit or he is a bluff interested in one-night stands?
She will find that out from her friends that spend time with your friends, right? If you ask her for a date now you look impatient, you look suspicious. So we still need to build this up.
How you build your reputation before knowing you?
On the consideration stage in the customer’s journey, you want to focus on content that shows you are not a bluff. The audience will ask her best friend (Google) for more information about you.
For this stage, you create content that proves your expertise and trustworthiness. You publish case studies, tutorials, FAQ pages.
Working with influencers
I will make a segway here and share some ideas in relation to working with influencers.
The common practice is to contact the influencer offering money in exchange for exposure to your brand. I would highly disapprove of this tactic because of two main reasons.
1. First, an influencer who would accept money so easily means that he doesn’t care about their audience, which will translate into their audience not caring about their recommendations or adverts.
2. And two, if an influencer really cares about their audience is a little bit offensive for you to offer money to buy their audience out.
Therefore, when working with influencers you need to build a relationship first and then offer something like a special offer exclusive for their audience. Or to try out your product and if he likes it to make an honest review about it.
Content for the Conversion Stage
Now you want to make yourself easily available for her. You share your phone numbers. Then she calls you back because she needs help understanding the theory explained in the last course. You meet at the library and you help her fill the gaps in her knowledge. But most importantly you ask her for a dinner date and of course, she accepts it.
That would be the conversion stage.
At the conversion stage in the buyer’s journey, you want to optimize your buying process to be as smooth as possible.
Design a good sales page that shows how your product/service will fill in their needs and pain points.
Make it succinct and clear. Provide trials, limited time offers, and discounts. The additional channel marketers use for the conversion stage is Google’s Search Ads (PPC).
Content for the Retention Stage
After the dinner date, after the first sale has been made you want to keep the relationship fresh and alive. That’s because you don’t want to be the last dinner date with her, right?
To do that you buy her flowers and gifts, and react to her feedback. You provide outstanding customer support and you deliver new features based on the feedback.
To maintain a fresh and consistent awareness about you you offer exclusive content to your customers. You provide all this mainly through email marketing, but social media would work great too.
If I would summarize it in fewer words would be this: your audience is who generates business for you.
You should first care for her before she even considers buying from you. That’s how you get her attention. By showing you that you care without the expectation for them to care about your business or about you.