Creating content that resonates with your ideal customer is how you build an audience online.
But there are so many different types of content, how do you develop a content strategy that systematically builds your audience and converts customers?
To explain, how to connect content to the buyer’s journey, we first need to identify the customer journey.
The customer journey is the progression that customers ascend through from suspect to advocate customer. As the customer ascends to the next phase of the customer journey they become more valuable to the business.
Here are the stages of the customer journey.
Suspects – individuals who the business thinks are interested in their products and services.
Prospects – suspects are people who raise their hand and say they are interested.
First-time customers – people who purchase a product or service from a business for the first time.
Loyal Customers – customers who purchase often and who are less sensitive to price.
Advocates – These are the most valuable customers to a business. These are the most loyal customers, who purchase the most frequently and at the highest price points. Also, advocates tell the most people about a business and generate the most referrals.
How do we connect types of content to the Buyers Journey to build a pipeline of customers?
First, let’s define the buyer’s journey.
According to Hubspot: The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider, and evaluate and decide to purchase a new product or service.
Now, let’s analyze the 3 stages of the buyer’s journey in more depth.
The first stage of the buyer’s journey is The Introduction Stage.
1. The Introduction Stage
During the introduction stage, suspects are just learning about your product or service. Content is the perfect vehicle to engage your audience. Content provides value and can differentiate your company from competitors.
Types of content to create for The Introduction Stage
- Blog Posts
- Social Media Posts
- Print Magazines
- Snail Mail
During the introduction stage, people are just starting to get to know you. They may read blog posts, listen to podcasts, look at infographics and pictures, and even engage with your social media posts. This type of content serves two purposes.
-It introduces you to new people who may be interested in your product or services.
– It keeps you “top of mind” of current customers
– It can lead people to subscribing to your email list and purchasing products.
Use the introduction stage content to build your audience.
2. The Evaluation Stage
The second stage of the buyer’s journey is The Evaluation Stage. During this stage, people go from a suspect to a prospect. Suspects may opt-in to your email list or spend time on a webinar. They start to learn more about the company’s products and services. Subscribers open emails and click on links. During this stage, people are getting to know you company on a deeper level. They are learning more about the benefits of your products and services.
Types of content businesses need for this stage are:
- Lead Magnets
- White Papers
- Case Studies
- Free Guides
- Free e-books
- Landing pages
- Promotional emails
The way a business deepens a relationship with an audience and builds trust is through email marketing. Email marketing changes the relationship because you no longer need to wait for the person to visit your social media pages or website. With an email list, you can now reach out to the customer about new content, offers, and other ways to engage the list.
The third stage of the buyer’s journey is The Conversion Stage.
2. The Conversion Stage
The third stage is when prospects become customers. This stage can also be when first time customers become multi-buyers, loyal customers, and advocates for your business. Often content in this stage can ascend customers to higher and more valuable customer levels.
The conversion stage focuses on generating revenue.
Types of content needed for this stage are:
- Short-form sales letters
- Long-form sales letters
- Video sales letters
- Check out pages
- Order forms
Often, the highest skilled copywriters create the content for this stage. Often copywriters spend years perfecting their skills writing long-form sales-letters. One of my favorite quotes for this stage is by Mark Ford. He said, “A tweet won’t sell much. But a long-form sales-letter will.”
So, now you know how to use different types of content to move your audience through the buyer’s journey. The most important thing to remember is to have fun creating the content. Remember, each piece of content you create needs to have a purpose. If not, then you will be on the content hamster wheel. You will be creating endless content without any direction or reason why you are creating the content. Develop a content creation plan, so you know why you are creating each piece of content.
Finally, each piece of content you create is an asset to your business. Each piece of content can help establish credibility, attract visitors to your website, and can generate revenue. Creating consistent, purposeful content is one of the most powerful marketing strategies you can implement for your business.
Are you building your email list?
Today, when it comes to building your audience one of the most profitable marketing channels is email.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields a 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States.
ExactTarget reports for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44.25.
One of the most profitable ways to build your audience is to increase the size of your email list.