Content marketing is at the top of everyone’s lists for digital marketing techniques to use in 2017, and it’s no surprise at all why! Content marketing has seen a dramatic increase over the past year, with more marketers looking to use it to try and catch users at different stages in the buyer journey.
Here we’ve put together a list of things we believe that a carefully engineered content strategy should consider:
The Business Need
By this we mean, the content we compile to attract someone on the highest level. For example, “Oh I think I might want a new washing machine, let me Google washing machines just to see what’s about”. At this stage no one is really interested in putting their credit card details in, they just want to see what’s the best, what everyone is getting, what looks nice, but they have no real intention of committing anytime soon. Here a product guide comparison style piece is quite nice – a pretty short piece of content to keep their attention, but nothing trying to sell directly to them.
We’ll continue with the washing machine analogy… This is when you are thinking, actually I’ve seen some damn nice washing machines, but if I’m going to do this, who do I want to buy with. Do I want to buy with that dodgy looking shop who knows nothing about washing machines? Or do I want to buy with the shop that gives me the specifications and tells me why it’s so awesome and will fit my needs?
At this point customers want content that is going to educate them not just attract. So for example, the reasons why they should purchase your washing machine over the one down the street – can you provide them the appropriate information that they are considering? I.e. will it fit in my house, is it easy to install, have other people had problems? At this point they are probably still shopping around too, but you want to give them a clear reason to come back. And that reason – well it will be that you offered them the correct content at the consideration stage.
So they have seen the washing machine, read all about it on your shop, maybe even had a look at a blog about the top 5 most awesome washing machines in the world. BUT… as we said before, it’s a big decision. For one, it’s not all that exciting as a purchase, it’s just going to live in said persons kitchen and do laundry (and no one likes doing laundry).
So how do we go about persuading them to buy with YOU? Simple. Answer their questions and concerns. By this we don’t mean engage in a lengthy live chat about washing machines, but devise a piece of content that will answer all the questions that they might ask, and that might place a barrier between them and the final purchase with yourselves.
Anyway the moral of this washing machine story is that content is important but you just don’t realise HOW important until you break it down. It’s not just about writing as many blog posts as possible, it’s about thinking about the user, thinking about their need, and pulling them in from their initial thought, all the way to being able to persuade them to buy.
These forms of content can come in the way of blogs, testimonials, email newsletters, online video adverts, the list goes on. But all of these types of communication must be appropriately matched to the buyer journey stage. After all, you wouldn’t want to read a product specification booklet about a washing machine right at the start of your search would you?
It is absolutely essential that you consider content marketing as part of your overall digital marketing strategy, otherwise you’ll get left behind… (in the washing machine graveyard).