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Creating Content for the Customer Journey

The Big PictureAccording to MarketingSherpa, 79 percent of marketing leads never convert into sales due to lack of lead nurturing. We all know how time-consuming lead nurturing can be, and that’s just one reason why you need to have effective, remarkable content for every part of your customer’s journey to sale. If you can properly deliver your content at the right times and let it do the granular work for you, you can focus big picture and be a more effective marketer and salesperson.

The first part of every Raidious engagement starts with planning. We start by identifying business goals and the audience(s) that will make those business goals possible. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, in the end, we’re all human, and that makes your business H2H – Human To Human.

We always recommend starting your initiatives by identifying what types of humans make up your current audience and your ideal audience. Raidious finds out where those humans are and on what platforms they are interacting, and we find out with what types of content they are interacting.

Once you understand your customer, you can create and map out a customer’s journey to purchasing your goods or services. Along that journey, your customer is going to have questions and concerns. You need to know all of them in advance, and when you do, you can create content to answer those questions and address those concerns before they’re even vocalized. Here are nine steps in the sales funnel you need to consider creating content for:

1. What do you do? Keep it high level and simple. This is your elevator pitch. Maybe it is a 30-second intro video, Prezi or SlideShare that quickly explains who you are and what you do.

2. Why do they need your help or your product? Sometimes this can be No. 1. Often, companies don’t even know they need you or your product until you make them aware of it. Sometimes you just need to let potential customers know what is happening or changing in the market. Then you have to show them what makes you special or sets you apart from the competition.

3. Prove it. Once your audience knows who you are and what you do, you need to show them you’re good at it. Case studies and use cases that demonstrate your company’s past successes are a must. Consider yourself on the radar of potential customers. If they know who you are, they will likely research you before moving forward in their journey.

4. Listen to and answer their questions and concerns before they ask them. You’ve been through the buying process. What questions and concerns are most often posed to you? You need to create content that addresses all of them ahead of time. As I said in No. 2, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your competitors (strengths and weaknesses) so you can respond to questions from customers who have done their research. Remember, many potential customers need to win internal support before making a purchase. The average sales cycle has grown 22 percent longer in the past five years, due to the number of decision makers involved in the process. You need to provide them with resources to sell you up the ladder.

5. Make it easy. The decision to buy from you shouldn’t be difficult. Provide third-party validation. Something as small as retweets from satisfied customers or more in-depth content, like written or video customer testimonials, will reinforce that a purchase from your organization is a good decision.

6. Remember what your momma taught you: Say “Thank you.” And then celebrate the purchase. You’ve won the business! Now make your new customers feel special and express your gratitude for their business. While you say “thank you,” you should take this opportunity to deliver content around initiating the project and/or giving your new customer the path forward toward success together. Set the expectation for what will happen next.

7. Drive the customer relationship and lifecycle post-purchase. Every bit as important as generating new business, retaining and growing your existing business stabilizes your cash flow and your company. You need to create content that increases your customer’s engagement, ensures repeat purchases and encourages longtime loyalty with your brand. Consider loyalty programs, rewards, action-driven discounts and other reasons to stay in touch with your brand. The easiest driver of all this is through relevant and timely emails. Relevant email drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails, according to Jupiter Research.

8. Continue to validate your customer’s purchase. Do what you said you’d do and do it well, and your data and measurement will show the results. Leverage that data to create reports, infographics, case studies and use cases. You can create them in a way that not only helps you, but also helps your customer sell the results up to their managers and C-suite.

9. Create advocates. Social media continues to grow and influence purchase decisions. Humans are able to, and do, share more about their lives than ever before. We still live in a human-to-human world, and nothing is more powerful than a personalized word-of-mouth recommendation. Social media amplifies this, so you need to get it right. Hopefully your results will give your clients a reason to talk about how awesome you are, but make sure you take the initiative when you know things are awesome. You often only get what you ask for, and by creating content your customer can sell up and share, you help them share your mutual success, and they become an addition to your sales team. Remember, everyone loves to be successful, and when they are, they’ll talk about it. Create content FOR your client that shows off the success of your engagement together.