Marketing should always be strategic. When it’s not, it can be a waste of time and money. We know how vital strategy is because we create and execute content marketing strategy every day. One way we do this is by creating content that follows the buyer’s journey.
What is the buyer’s journey you wonder? Before we explain, let us talk about why the buyer’s journey is so important.
For content marketing to be effective, the content needs to capture the reader’s attention. No matter what the content is – a blog, video, quiz, meme, social media post, or an advertisement – it must inform, engage, or inspire the reader. Otherwise, you’ll lose them.
The timing of content is important too. You can create a remarkable piece of content, but if the timing is not right, it won’t grab the reader’s attention. Of course, getting the right content in front of the right person at the right time can be challenging. That’s where the buyer journey comes in.
Buyers usually move through three stages before they make a purchase: awareness, consideration, and decision. Moving through these stages can take minutes or even years. If marketers can create content that follows a buyer through their journey, no matter how long that journey takes, they can often influence the buyer’s purchasing decision.
We’ll dive into the stages of the buyer’s journey now.
At this initial stage, a person first learns about a problem or a need. The problem can be as concrete as a tire problem or as abstract as the need to be more self-aware at work. Content at this stage should not be product specific or promotional. Instead, it should be informative, entertaining, or helpful.
An example of awareness stage content that would work well for our tire scenario is a blog post discussing the dangers of driving with bald tires. This post could be informative enough to interest the reader but yet not promoting a product or service.
Awareness stage content is often created using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies. This means the content is planned to utilize strategic keywords which helps the content appear in a Google search. Blogs, podcasts, eBooks, videos, and guides are all examples of content that works well at this stage.
At the next stage, the buyer recognizes their problem or need and starts to look for solutions. Content at this stage begins to mention specific products and services. However, the content still shouldn’t be overly promotional, or you risk turning the buyer off of your brand.
Once again, SEO is essential at this stage because buyers are actively searching for a solution. If we go back to our example of a tire problem, the buyer might Google something like: “why are my tires going bald so fast.”Then, an article discussing reasons for specific tire wear patterns might appear in the search results. The article could identify tire wear patterns and then present solutions which correspond to a product or service.
Blog posts, email newsletters, product must-have checklists, and some paid advertisements are examples of consideration stage content.
At this final stage, the buyer knows how they want to solve the problem. They only need to decide which of the available products or services will do the trick.
Our hypothetical buyer now knows that driving with bad tires is dangerous (awareness stage content). They’ve also discovered that underinflated tires cause them to wear out faster and even blow out. Our buyer decided they want to invest in a tire pressure monitoring system for their truck (consideration stage content). Now they need to determine which brand product to buy.
Product descriptions, case studies, product videos, customer testimonials, paid advertisements, and website FAQs are all examples of consideration stage content.
As you can see, sharing the right content at the right time is a strategic process. It takes a thorough understanding of your audience, including how they consume content, what products and services they tend to buy, and how they make their purchasing decisions.
Strategic content marketing delivers an excellent return on investment. If you would like to learn how this type of marketing could help your business, contact us for a free consultation.