Chief Executive Officer
We love content, but content for its own sake just doesn't cut it. Stop doing content marketing wrong…
Two-thirds of marketers don’t have a content marketing strategy
Aligning content with customers’ buying journeys is key to ROI
Integrating a relevant Call To Action for each piece of content will move buyers along the purchase funnel
57% of B2C marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase in 2019 compared with 2018 (B2C Content Marketing 2019). Yet only 33% of B2C marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. Ring alarm bells?
It’s a case of quantity over quality. Too many brands believe publishing a blog post a week is enough. But without aligning your content with your customers’ purchase journey, and putting the right attribution and measurement in place, it's wasteful at best. At worst, it's negligent.
Today’s customer journey is complex and fragmented. Consumers swap from one channel to another, one device to another, offline to online. Yet the purchase funnel remains true: we still travel broadly from awareness to consideration to conversion. Content marketing can be powerful at any stage of this funnel, but it must truly resonate with the buyer at that point in time.
Getting this right demands that you know your customer and their buying journey. Every business has a unique sales funnel, but each organisation should be able to map the typical customer journey. What is your audience’s overall experience of your brand?
Understanding how customers move through your sales funnel will enable you to craft and deliver the right content at the right time, delivering what the customer needs — and prompting them to act on it. Good, timely content will propel them to the next stage.
Take the awareness stage, or top of the funnel. People are open minded and curious at this point in their journey. They are waiting to be educated, inspired, wowed. It's a chance for your brand to present powerful content that informs, excites and motivates. In turn, it should raise awareness of your brand, positioning you as an authority: knowledgable, approachable, trustworthy.
We worked with DALI to help launch its first ever portable speaker, the DALI KATCH. We ran a micro-influencer campaign to engage people in the awareness stage for the new product, creating a community of influencers, from musicians and artists to creatives, to show off their individual talents – and their music taste – to a soundtrack provided by their KATCH speaker.
After micro-targeting consumers who engaged with one piece of content on social media, we then presented them with a series of targeted pieces. The campaign prompted a 569% increase in DALI KATCH searches and a 128% increase in ecommerce visits. Its success was all down to understanding the customer journey — the content quite literally cut through the noise.
So how do you successfully manoeuvre people from awareness into the crucial consideration phase, where they start to associate your brand with the product or service they want or need? In short, how do you ensure they feel compelled to search for your product and visit your web site?
This is why a plan is crucial. Know what you want to achieve and work backwards. Data capture is invaluable - think newsletter sign-ups, discount codes or access to an ebook, for example.
At this stage, content that brings your product alive through ‘how to’ videos or written case studies really packs a punch. It enables your audience to visualise the product or service in specific relation to their unique needs. They start to really feel the value.
Take iCrossing's work with Speedo. We took the bold step of marrying content with commerce. It worked because it was relevant. As consumers browsed a product, informative content was displayed next to the product, such as ‘how to’ technique and training advice. It enhanced rather than interrupted the customer journey, moving them seamlessly into the conversion phase.
And it delivered. Customers who consumed the content spent an average of £13.24 more online. Remember, attribution and measurement are key. Be rigorous about understanding what works and what doesn’t, and keep learning.
But think laterally too — content isn’t restricted to blog posts or infographics. Identify which media will best work for your audience at that time. Take search. iCrossing worked with sofa.com to optimise their search strategy, delivering specific product landing pages to meet individual customer interests.
By moving users from promoted Facebook and Pinterest posts to shoppable content pages rather than directly linking to product pages, we successfully moved customers through the funnel, increasing product views, sample orders and sales and resulting in a 40% uplift in site interactions from social.
It’s intuitive and relevant, moving visitors seamlessly into the conversion phase.
Don’t be tempted to box tick when it comes to content marketing. Understand what your typical customer wants at each stage of the journey, and craft your content accordingly. And don’t forget the Call To Action. However subtle or bold, make sure it's timely and anticipates the customer’s needs.
We love content, but content for its own sake just doesn't cut it. Stop doing content marketing wrong… To demystify the myths on what delivers results, get in touch.
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