As competition within the marketing industry continues to grow for online customers, content marketing is more important than ever before for any brand. Many companies are still failing to engage with their potential customers at the appropriate times in the sales cycle. To gain a competitive advantage, brands need to develop a content plan that is aligned with the buyer’s journey to attract and engage content- loving customers with the right content at the right time.
The buyer’s journey is the journey a prospect goes through, leading them to purchase. It’s different depending on the brands, the products/services, but the fundamentals will always be the same, like customers becoming aware of a problem, considering their opinions, making a decision, and then they make a final decision with the outcome. The buyer’s journey has several steps that are important a brand follows to create content that will keep the consumer engaged,
First in the awareness stage is when the potential consumers become aware of a problem and begin looking for information on the products/services to help them solve it. In this step brands would need to improve their organic search engine rankings. This is a great way to increase brand awareness and drive potential customers to the brand’s website. This is crucial from brands since in this step creating content will improve the Google rankings and overall search engine presence for the brand. Content should address industry topics and answer questions asked by the main audience. The goal is to introduce the brand’s personality, inform buyers, and want them to know more. Awareness stage content can be blog posts, gifs, checklists, social media posts, and articles. This will encourage the visitors to link the brand’s website and share the brand content, which will help boost the rankings in the search engine.
Second, the consideration stage is when the buyers have defined their needs and are considering their options. During this stage, marketers should make effective use of the brand awareness; they build by using content tactics that differentiate their brands from the competitors and build stronger relationships with a more defined audience of potential consumers. This step is when potential consumers are looking more closely at each company’s offerings. They’re paying more attention to reviews and seeking out more in-depth content. They should create content in the consideration stage like white papers, videos, reviews, case studies, and customer testimonials. Creating landing pages in this stage using relevant keywords about the products and services the brand sells. Keywords should be placed in titles, meta tags, and call-to-action buttons.
The third is the decision stage, and this is the stage where a consumer chooses which product or service they prefer and finally makes the purchase. In this stage, the consumer should be familiar with the brand’s website and should sign up for their email list. It’s crucial that the website and email content address the concerns of the decision stage buyers with appropriate and more target content. The website’s navigation and the call to action have to drive leads toward the bottom-of-the-funnel content. The usual content in this stage is Return policies, FAQS, vendor, and product comparisons.
Lastly, is the loyalty stage; this is when brands have to constantly remind consumers of their expertise, encourage loyalty, and generate brand advocates. Customer care website pages, supportive emails, and social media channels can all be used to reassure customers that the brand cares about their after-purchase experience. Content consumed after the purchase is more focused on customer retention, referrals, brand advocacy, and cross-selling. A loyal customer is likely to recommend the company to others, and more likely to be a repeated customer, which is often easier to get than a brand-new client. In this stage, content includes surveys, news and event details, user guides, email content, social media content, and newsletters. To improve loyalty, the company needs to continue offering valuable and relevant content to the consumers.
Within my years in the marketing side of the fitness industry, creating a content plan based on the buyer journey is an essential way to get ahead of competitors and stand out in the market share. We are used to creating different types of content based on the different stages the consumer goes through. The content plan allows us to plan and know what kind of content will bring customers in at the right time, depending on the stage they are in. It’s essential every brand does create a content plan because it gives the brand a better insight into their target market, increased engagement, and their client base.