The Journey is important to your business, and to your customers. So much so, that I’m going to dedicate this column to you, your customers’ journeys, and the quintessential 80s band, Journey.
When creating content for marketing your business, you’re often just happy to be there, writing good content, and not focusing on addressing various stages of your sales funnel:
You just don’t think about it.
But, like my days as a spiky-haired, parachute-panted teenage rebel of the 1980s: it’s all about the Journey.
Your customers are out there at different stages of the sales cycle, the Journey. So it makes sense to create different types of messages to engage them.
So are you ready to rock and roll? Let’s do this…
The Wheel in the Sky
(It keeps on turning… with or without you.)
The 80s me would have said: "this Journey song is so awesomely choice." And it’s relevant today because the world will keep spinning whether your brand grows or not. It’s a great argument for why you need to map content to the Awareness stage of your customer’s journey.
This primary customer stage of Awareness is about talking to would-be (but not-yet) prospects about a need that exists and how your business can fulfill it. They know nothing about your brand, let alone your solution.
Most importantly, you’ll need to do it in ways that will get your brand found by search engines. This is accomplished through content that talks about your product/service while maximizing keywords with SEO and pay-per-click.
Content that raises brand awareness includes:
- Social media: consistent postings on top outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Articles, blogs: high-level information pieces that establish your brand as a thought leader
- Infographics: instructive charts and illustrations--popular pieces for social sharing
Don’t Stop Believing
(Give your customers a reason to care.)
Let’s get real here. Everybody knows this iconic song—it’s blasted at every major sporting event (and political rally). But far fewer people experienced this hall-of-fame worthy music video blasting through the MTV airwaves.
It’s the same way many businesses focus on creating “me too” content and forget about customer empathy. It’s a shame because this is where your customer decides whether or not to engage with your brand. Humanize your brand and show you believe in helping your customer. Address their pain points. Solve their problems.
The Journey demands you show your customer you understand their needs and you’ll give them a reason to care about your brand.
Here are some good types of Consideration stage content:
- FAQ articles: address the top questions you hear in person, see on social media
- Video demos: quick “how-to” videos create a personal engagement with your brand
- Downloadable guides and checklists: offer your customer some free value and gain their trust
Any Way You Want It
(Help your customers commit and buy.)
I wasn’t the first to rock a mullet down my high school halls, but watching Journey frontman Steve Perry strut around like a rock-god sure sold me.
My point here is that people like having a push to get going, whether it’s a convincing argument to look like a massive 80s rock star, or good reasons to buy into the benefits your brand promises.
Customers reach the Decision stage when they’ve clearly defined their needs, they know solutions exist, and they’re ready to commit to one solitary decision.
This is the Journey stage where you need to reinforce your messaging with value. Free tips and personalized advice that solidify your connection with the customer.
Decision stage content that reinforces customers’ choice to buy includes:
- Email series: specialized tips with a narrow focus
- Product support videos: show them you offer personalized assistance
- Exclusive articles and guides: free “exclusive” content with extended knowledge
- Webinars: expert testimonials provide brand influence
(I’m forever your brand.)
Time will tell how the 80s will be remembered, if it hasn’t already, but for me these Journey songs embody the essence of the times. They trigger fantastical emotions I will not soon forget.
Your brand needs to create content that establishes this same lasting and continuing impression in your customers’ hearts and minds. Continue to make them a priority, post-sale, with special tips and offers that help improve their lives.
Loyalty-building content establishes a sense of fondness and engagement with your brand include:
- Email marketing: offering exclusive deals and incentives
- Surveys for feedback: make a customer feel part of your brand
- Crowdsourced content: encourage discussions and sharing on social networks and in comment sections—it builds a sense of community
Maybe you don’t like the Journey
Let’s be honest, not everyone does. That’s okay… there are other options to consider, like Duran Duran, INXS, or whatever music those millennials listen to these days.
What does matter is that you find ways to rock your customer’s worlds across all facets of their customer Journey. It’s an essential content marketing tool for moving customers down the sales funnel, and gaining better ROI with your website, social media and SEO activities.
Spread the content love across your entire customer Journey.
Need help defining and creating content for your customer Journey? Give Liquid a shout and let’s rock this town together.
About Jeff Doubek
Jeff Doubek is the Manager, User Experience and a Senior Content Strategist at Liquid Interactive. Jeff helps to produce content plans and UX strategies for client target audiences. Overseeing all content deliverables, Jeff manages all requirements across the project lifecycle and maintains strong relationships with clients to exceed expectations and goals.