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How to Plan Content for Every Stage of the Customer Journey

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Before buying your product or service, people will go through different phases in their customer journey.

Some might have just been introduced to your brand and others might be in the final stages of trying to make up their mind about whether or not to buy from you.

To help your customers through this journey, you should consider creating content that they will find helpful at every stage. Doing this will also go a long way toward improving the experience they have with your brand.

We’ll take you through some of the main ways you can plan content for every stage of your customers’ journey and increase your company’s conversion rate as a result. Read on to find out more.

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the interactions your customers have with your brand. It will help you understand your customers’ behavior and how best to respond to their needs and expectations.

Once you outline your customer journey map, you’ll find it much easier to start writing content that assists people at every stage of the buying journey. Not only will this give your customers a better experience when dealing with your brand, but it can also improve your sales process.

What are the main stages you need to highlight as part of your customer journey? First, we have the awareness stage, which is at the top of the funnel. At this point, the buyer is trying to solve a problem and they might come across your brand. This could be on any channel where your brand has a presence, like social media platforms or your website.

Then there’s the consideration stage, where the customer has clearly defined their goals and is now weighing up available options that have been designed to solve their problems. Here, you can begin to provide more details about your services and why they’re the perfect solution.

After considering the options available, the customer will arrive at the decision stage, where they are now ready to choose what to buy. The most relevant content for this stage includes testimonials, free trials, and product demonstrations that address all their questions or doubts about your product or service.

How can you plan content for every stage of your customer journey?

Once you have an idea of who your audience is and the different stages of their customer journey, you can begin to create content that best suits each stage. Read on to discover how you can create relevant content for every stage of your customers’ journey.

Produce informative content that improves awareness of your brand and services

A lot of the people who need your products or services might not even know they exist. And it’s also very probable that those same people aren’t yet aware of your brand.

During the awareness stage of the buyer journey, you’ll want to target the people who know they have a particular problem but aren’t yet aware of the solution. People won’t want to be sold to at this stage, so you’ll want to focus on giving them information and advice.

At this point, your content should be focused on answering common questions being asked by your target audience, as well as addressing their concerns. You should be creating blog posts, videos, or in-depth guides that help your customers to frame their problem and start to discover the best ways of solving it.

Your content must show that you understand their problems and are willing to provide valuable resources and information to help them navigate their needs and pain points better.

Let’s check out some examples of businesses that use informative content to improve awareness of their brand so you can get an idea of how to do the same for your business.

 

 

First, we have Venngage, an online platform that allows people to create visually appealing content like infographics, reports, and presentations, to mention a few. To reach people in the awareness stage, they have created a blog post that addresses what an infographic is and why people use them. It can help attract people who aren’t even certain about what infographics are and why they need them.

The post contains everything they need to know about infographics, and it also includes examples and templates of infographics used in different industries. Business owners and freelancers looking for a simple and easy graphic design tool will appreciate this post because it highlights the usefulness of infographics, provides more information about the topic, and gives them an example of a solution they might not have even known they needed.

 

 

Our next example comes from FreshBooks, a company that offers cloud accounting software for small and medium-sized companies. To help educate customers in the awareness stage, they have an article that explains what cloud accounting software is, which targets people who might not even be aware it exists. The post also highlights the benefits of using the software, like the ability to access your finances at any time and get instant access to technical support.

The goal of this content is to educate their audience, and it does just that and more by helping them discover online accounting software and how it can take customers’ accounting abilities to a whole new level.

You can use a tactic like this for your business by creating well-detailed blog posts that provide sufficient information about your product or service. Some website visitors might not have heard of your company, so make sure you highlight the benefits of what you do to increase the chances of them moving further into your sales funnel.

Show customers what you’re capable of during the consideration stage

At the consideration stage, you’ll want customers to choose to shop with you, so you need to focus on showing them what you can do. This is when you should create content that differentiates your business from the competition and helps you build a stronger relationship with potential customers.

There are a number of ways you can do this. Here are just some of the most effective techniques you can use.

Provide case studies or examples of your work

Case studies are in-depth analyses that you can use to show the results other clients have achieved from using your product or service. This kind of content is highly relevant in the consideration stage of the buying journey, as it aims to show prospects that your offering can help solve their problems.

When deciding which work to turn into case studies, choose the examples where you have concrete proof of what you achieved. For example, you might have helped a company to increase their sales by a certain percentage, or you might have helped a client to save a certain number of hours each week thanks to the solution you provide.

A case study should outline your project from beginning to end, mentioning any breakthroughs you had, and difficulties you came up against. Clearly outline all the goals the client had, the steps your company took to help them achieve those goals, and facts and figures that show your worth, as well as the client’s feedback from when the project was completed.

Case studies are very effective for getting more sales and increasing trust, because they show your prospective clients real examples of the results you can help them achieve. This will be especially convincing if a potential client has the exact same problem that was tackled in your case study.

With product demos

Product demonstrations are ideal for showcasing your product and how it works to prospective customers. You can use pre-recorded videos to help your prospects visualize the step-by-step process involved in using your product or service to achieve their desired goal.

To create effective product demonstrations, make sure you are following a storyline or script. You can start the demo by outlining the customer’s problems or pain points and then demonstrate how your product can solve them and make life easier for your potential customer.

It’s also a good idea to record a voice over that allows you to tell your customers what you’re doing during the demonstration, and how they could benefit from your product or service, too. A detailed and helpful product demonstration can do wonders for your conversion rate, and can even reduce the number of questions your customer service team receives.

With eBooks or whitepapers that show your expertise

Ebooks and whitepapers will allow you to show off your expertise and can also be used as lead magnets. These types of content can work especially well if you work in an industry like marketing where new strategies or techniques are always being discovered. People in fields like this will need to consume a lot of content to stay ahead of the game, and you can earn their trust and make more sales by providing the information they need.

To choose the best topics for your ebooks or whitepapers, try to read through comments on your blog posts to identify what people need more information about. You can also join communities like Quora and Reddit to follow discussions and find topics that haven’t been thoroughly discussed yet.

In-depth content like this can be especially useful during the consideration stage of the buying journey, because they’ll allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and authority in your industry. People like to buy from brands that clearly know what they’re talking about, and these are great tools for proving that’s the case.

To provide you with some inspiration, here are some examples of brands that do a fantastic job of using content to showcase their capabilities while customers are still in the consideration stage.

 

Looka is a branding company that specializes in helping businesses to create a logo. And on their logo maker webpage, they have a section showing logos they have previously created for clients.

This is an effective approach that allows the company to show off past results as well as its knowledge and expertise. They’ve provided prospective customers in the consideration stage with visual proof that they’re great at what they do, which is likely to lead to more people spending money with the company.

People in the consideration stage are probably also looking at your competitors’ websites and, if you want to make sure your brand stands out, it’s a good idea to show people relevant examples of what you have created. This way, they’ll have all the information they need to make an informed decision.

The marketing and sales platform helps businesses to market and sell their services more effectively. They have created several ebooks and other resources that provide information on various aspects of marketing, sales, and customer experience.

If you want to grab and keep the attention of prospects in the consideration stage, it’s important that you create these types of resources that show off your expertise and let people know that you are more than qualified to solve the problems they have.

Help your customers feel informed when making a buying decision

To ensure more people buy from you, and that those who do are happy with their purchases, you need to make sure they are suitably informed before clicking “buy”. Providing detailed information about your products or services can also help you retain clients, as happy customers are loyal customers.

To make sure your prospective customers are well-informed, you want to create buying guides, comparison pieces, and product guides that are very detailed but easy to understand. Another tip is to give specific examples of clients who have used your products and gotten desirable results. Your prospective customer could be in the same situation, and seeing evidence of how your company has helped someone else can spur them into taking action.

For inspiration, let’s take a look at some examples of brands that do their best to make sure their customers are suitably informed before making a purchase.

 

 

First, we have SocialPilot, a platform that helps businesses with social media management and marketing across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. On their blog, they have a comparison blog post that informs their customers about the best LinkedIn tools to use in the quest to improve their LinkedIn marketing efforts.

They understand that prospects in the consideration stage might still be trying to assess which tool is going to be better for them in the long term so, by creating this article that compares their platform with similar options on the market, they are giving guidance and valuable information while also positioning their brand as the optimal tool to use.

You might be wary of talking about competitors in your comparison pieces, but this can actually be a very effective approach – especially if you know your product or service is much better than anything else out there.

Plus, potential customers could actually be searching for your competition through a search engine and come across your comparison piece. When they see how your product performs against the competition, you could well earn their custom instead. Another reason for including your competitors in comparison pieces is it can help to showcase your business as a trustworthy brand that genuinely wants people to see all the options available to them before making a buying decision.

 

 

See how Overstock, online e-commerce website, has written a detailed rug buying guide that provides design tips on choosing the most suitable material, style, pattern, and color for your rug.

In addition to the written content, there is an instructional video that guides interested buyers on selecting the perfect rug size and placement. This combination of information will help people to choose the right rug to suit their needs, and avoid making any unnecessary but common mistakes in the process.

If you want to create an effective buying guide for your website, try to make sure your content is very informative. And don’t hold back on listing the features and benefits of your products or services, as you want your prospects to have all the information they need to make the best buying decision possible. This is sure to earn you more sales, fewer returns, and better reviews.

Summary

Planning and creating content for every stage of your customer journey can significantly benefit your customers and positively impact your sales and revenue.

You can do this by focusing on improving awareness of your brand, using case studies or product demonstrations to show what your business is capable of, and providing well-detailed buying guides that help people make the best purchasing decisions. Start creating and it won’t be long before you’re reaping the rewards.

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    • 0
      Profile picture of Michael Harrison
      @mikeyharrison
      ( 1.9k POINTS )
      3 weeks, 3 days ago

      This is extremely informative Aaron. Thank you for this post. I love how you have broken it down to make it easy for the readers to take these best practices and put it into their day to day right away!

    • 0
      Profile picture of Johnmash2
      @johnmash2
      ( 200 POINTS )
      2 weeks, 5 days ago

      Every customer journey is different, but there are some common stages to all journeys. Understanding these will allow you to plan content for each stage of your customer’s journey .

    • 0
      Profile picture of Dimitri Filimonov
      @dimitri
      ( 382 POINTS )
      1 week, 3 days ago

      Wow what an article! Thank you Sales Hacker team and authors! Really appreciate. Will share now with my colleagues immediately.

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