How well do you understand your customer? Most business owners are spending big bucks on digital marketing and content creation without proper planning and a clear understanding of whom they are talking to, or what stage of the buyer’s journey they are addressing.
If you haven’t taken some time to understand your ideal customer, and their needs, now is a great time to start, because as the marketplace gets noisier, your ability to speak directly to your audience will be essential.
Once you have a good enough idea of the person you’re attempting to connect with and serve, it’s time to create tasteful content that speaks to the different stages he or she might be in.
Here’s the real truth when it comes to effective sales and marketing.
A lot of business owners expect one piece of content to be sufficient enough to take a newly acquired prospect from the first encounter to final purchase.
Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple.
The buying journey is a process that one cannot shortcut. What’s worse is when all your content creation efforts are focused on selling your product or service – you increase your chances of weak conversion rates.
A recent and very comprehensive study conducted by LinkedIn and Buzzsumo has amplified the importance of leveraging the right kind of content to achieve different kinds of goals. Simply put, if you want your customer to know, love, and trust you, there must be content that helps them move smoothly through that sequence.
It’s really not about you and your product or service. Like it or not, human beings are always very self-focused, and the only reason we ever buy anything is that we emotionally attach self-satisfaction to the purchase.
Instead of wasting money on sales seminars and courses that teach you psychological tricks to “make people buy what you’re selling,” how about you invest more time understanding your ideal customer, their needs and the problem your product or service can actually solve.
“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy!”-Jeffery Gitomer
Well, if you want people to love buying what you have to offer and you want that process to be fast tracked, learn to connect with your ideal customer where they are. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is through engaging content that meets your buyers where they are. How does one do this naturally and effectively?
Enter the buyer’s journey content strategy.
What is the buyer’s journey?
According to HubSpot, a buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service.
This journey usually goes through the following core stages:
- This is usually either before or after the buyer first comes into contact with your product or service, where they realize they have an agitating problem that must be solved.
- At this level, the buyer is researching, seeking clarity, and trying to find a solution. They’ve defined the problem they’re facing to some extent, and now actively seek to transform it into a more desirable outcome.
- This is the final stage where the buyer is ready and willing to make the necessary investment. They choose their final solution.
How to use content marketing to naturally fast track this buyer’s journey:
The important thing to remember when you set up a content marketing plan that aligns with your buyer’s journey is that each piece of content must have an assigned purpose.
Different content will serve different purposes. Some will be used to generate social sharing and build awareness, while others will be more meaty and in-depth to build trust and help the buyer make an informed decision.
The more you plan and create your content using this approach, the easier it will be to seamlessly guide your ideal customer through their journey without them ever realizing.
To help you get started, here are three content marketing tips you can apply today.
1. Create content that grabs attention
Many online marketers and reality TV celebrities are really good at this. Think of the Kardashians, for example. They are known for attention grabbing stuff. By the way, what is it again that they do that makes them so famous?
Case in point. Regardless of industry, product or service, you can always find ways that align with your values and mission, to let your customers know who you are. Just try not to be too much of a wild card! Wink. Wink.
The objective and purpose of this type of content is: To let your ideal customers know that you exist and that you can help solve their frustrating problem.
Types of content include but not limited to: Interviews with other influencers, Quick tips, Inspirational videos, articles, and short podcasts, etc.
2. Invest your time, energy, resources, and effort in content that demonstrates authenticity and the things that make you different.
In a noisy marketplace, your competitive advantage has very little to do with tactics and super cool software, and more to do with how good you are at demonstrating your uniqueness to your ideal audience.
Lead with the heart and the head. Serve from the heart, and boldly speak your truth.
Showing those right people what makes you different will help draw in those who most resonate with your style and way of doing things. It will amplify your likeability and connection. And we all love doing business with someone we feel connected to in some way, shape, or form.
Coschedule is a great example of how one can execute this. It’s hard to not see how different they are from any other project management software and editorial tool.
The content they produce is super in-depth, they have a podcast called actionable marketing podcast where they interview amazing people and share tips that could literally transform your life.
For a simple scheduling and editorial management software program, this company knows how to be authentic and make anyone who values being organized instantly begin a love affair.
Their podcast is actually one of the few I regularly listen to. How easy do you suppose it makes it for me to go from considering their software to actually purchasing it for my team?
You can execute the same for your business with tasteful content marketing.
The objective and purpose of this type of content is: To let your ideal customer know that you care about their success and are willing to invest your time, resources, and energy to make their life better. Ideally, you initiate that first move that leads to a love affair between the customer and your product or service.
Types of content include but are not limited to: In-depth reports and “system” posts that solve a specific pain point. Ultimate guides, Templates, Checklists, etc.
3. Evoke trust and deliver content that not only makes bold promises to solve their problem, but also shows how simple and effective your solution is.
I find this last part to be the toughest for most people. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that our social conditioning is anchored in scarcity mindset, and most people are unconsciously carrying around those symptoms.
The old paradigm of a “finite pie” to go around in the business world needs to die if you want to grow a lasting legacy. Prosperity is the new game you want to be playing. And the only pre-requisite for manifesting permanent prosperity is you must freely and graciously give what you have. Out of that abundance and generosity, more of it shall continue to flow, just as you abundantly breathe air in and out.
You never once take in a breath of fresh air and then reluctantly hold on to it for the fear of running out or giving too much away, do you?
Delivering solutions and sharing information that does solve your customer’s frustration ought to be the same. You must come from a place of abundance and let go of this fear-based belief that if you actually show them how to solve a problem, they won’t need you. It really is just a false paradigm.
The truth is, everyone wants more time and freedom. No one wants to do everything on their own and those who do probably wouldn’t make ideal customers anyways.
By creating content that actually proves you know what you’re doing, you consequently begin to deliver on your bold promises and effectively demonstrate that you are a generous human being willing to share your knowledge even before someone makes a purchase. When people feel safe, and perceive you as someone trustworthy who genuinely cares about their progress, the decision making process becomes a no brainer!
We live in a world that’s very constricted and greedy. Most people just want to know that you genuinely give a damn and that they are more than just a number on your sales sheet.
If you can do this, the right people will choose you any day over some sleek, vague, smooth talker who prefers to cover every solution with a buy now button.
Trust is built from an atmosphere of generosity, transparency, and a willingness to show others how you can truly help them. In my opinion, few do it better than Neil Patel.
I mean, Neil absolutely rocks it with this one. He’s a leading example that we would be wise to emulate. Trusting Neil almost comes by default, once you spend any amount of time with him or go through the content that he creates.
These are the same sentiments you want people to have about your amazing brand too.
Create content that is so rich, so solution oriented, and simple to digest such that the person going through it will come out feeling like they actually know what to do and how to do it! If you check out Neil Patel’s blog, you’ll find countless examples of this type of content.
The objective and purpose of this type of content is: to help your ideal customer make an informed decision from a place of clarity and trust.
Let them see that you can deliver on your bold promise. Help them understand exactly how the problem will be solved, the benefits they will stand to have as a result, as well as the step -by-step process of going from where they are now to where they desire to be, thanks to your product or service.
Types of content include but are not limited to: DIY Guides, Webinars, In-depth video training, Success stories as in-depth case studies with “How To,” etc.
Trying to speak to and reach everyone is a waste of your time, money, and energy. Creating generic content is also a huge waste of time and resources because you won’t be able to go through the journey with your ideal customer.
The more specific you get with your audience and strategically create content that speaks to the problem for which you’ve found an ideal solution, the faster you’ll grow your business.
This is the era of knowledge, technology, information, and specialization. Create content that not only speaks to your ideal audience at the different stages of their buyer’s journey, but as well empowers them to engage more intimately with your product or service. It’s the perfect way of selling without being salesy. Test these three suggestions out, and let us know the results of your experimentation.