The modern customers no longer wait to be served with the best solution to their problem. They proactively look for the information they need to make a purchase decision. Your job, as a brand, is to meet them halfway and provide them with all the tidbits they need to make that final call.
Different groups of customers require different nurturing strategies. Some buyers may need just a gentle nudge towards the final step. Others will require some heavy persuasion before they finally trust you with their money. That’s why nurturing a prospect according to their position on the buyer’s journey increases your chances to convert them.
To recap, a buyer’s journey indicates a set of stages each lead passes through before converting to a paying customer.
Image Credit: Uhuru Network
The pre-purchase stages are the most important ones as 67% of the buyer’s “decision” is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sale. If you fail to convert a customer at this point, it will no longer matter how well-optimized your remaining funnel is. No one will make it to that point and you don’t want that to happen, do you?
So plan your content ahead and make sure it is aligned with your buyer’s journey, so that you are serving the right type of content at the right time. The following three tips should help you accomplish just that.
Plan For The New Emerging Mobile Search Terms in Awareness Stage
Google has recently shared some interesting data on the new types of mobile searches among consumers. Over the course of the past two years, the search engine reports a 1.5X increase in mobile search terms ending with “to avoid”. The savvy shoppers are now consistently looking for opinions on “worse” and “best” brands, manufacturers and product types.
This trend presents new threats and opportunities for brands. On one hand, you don’t want to get on the “naughty” list and this may require additional efforts with your online reputation management (covered in the second tip).
On the other hand, you can create more content that will help you get ranked for the “best __” search terms. Scott Keveer writes that using relevant keywords in batches can contribute to better results. For instance, instead of publishing a short listicle hard-selling the “best green tea” your customer can purchase from your shop, you can go further and write a series of posts that will tackle the subject from multiple angles:
- Best green teas for weight loss
- Best green teas for clear skin
- Best Japanese green tea
- How to brew the best green tea without bitterness
By following this approach, you are not just tackling the “best” terms, you are also playing towards the increasing customers’ demand for personalized, highly relevant information. Google data further indicates that mobile searches for “shampoo for ___” (e.g., “shampoo for curly hair”) have increased by 130% in the past two years. And the same is happening across different product verticals. Users now want expert advice on what is best for them – “which coat color is right for me”; “which country should I travel to next” and so on. And you can deliver just that with your content marketing.
Assess How Your Brand Sentiment Impacts Your Customer Purchasing Decisions During The Interest Stage
Most consumers are psychologically more attracted to bigger, most prominent brands on the market. A study published in HBR also indicates that consistent choice of the same product creates a cycle in which share leadership is continually increased over time. In other words, each time a consumer selects your brand over others, your advantage over all other products they didn’t choose increases exponentially.
That’s why it is important to position your brand as the top and the easiest choice on the market. The key to this is to consistently market your company as an authority and accumulate undeniable “social proof” among your target audience. Content marketing, as part of your online reputation management, can be just the right medium to pull users attention from a few savory opinions posted on review websites or social media towards branded content that cements your leading positions.
Marketing Land columnist Chris Silver Smith suggests that businesses should invest more effort into building up an online presence of prominent employees. A lot of brands are closely associated with certain high-profile team members – think the controversial Elon Musk, or Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO. The problem, however, is that not all CEOs realize that their desire to stay in the shadows (or on the contrary get in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons) should equate to non-existent online presence. In Smith’s words “People who have unique names and don’t have any profiles at all are simply sitting ducks for an online attack from an unhappy customer, a disgruntled employee, an angry investor.”
To address this issue, consider the following:
- Create separate profile pages for your top team members on your website.
- Develop and curate their personal social media presence.
- Ask them to become the company’s spokesperson and contribute thought leadership content to industry publishers or publish it on their personal blog.
Apart from curating the presence of individual employers, make sure that your ends are protected when it comes to dealing with frustrated customers on social media, and timely addressing negative reviews and complains posted on third-party websites.
Add Product Comparison Videos To Convert More Leads During Consideration Stage
Over half of consumers state that watching product videos gives them confidence in online purchase decisions. Partially, this can be attributed to the fact that a lot of consumers are overwhelmed with the amount of product choice they face, which in turn hampers their ability to make a final purchase decision.
Comparison videos help persuade the reluctant shoppers that your products are better than those of your direct competitors. You address the questions and objections that buyers may have, and help them finally make up their mind. The goal of such videos is to make the choice seem simple and intuitive.
Typically, comparison videos follow the next scenario:
- Introduce yourself and your hero product.
- Provide some general background about the hero product, unique features overview and “social proof” from others that it works.
- Explain the main problem this particular product can solve and how well it addresses it.
- Introduce the competition or the second product from your brand.
- Does the second product address the problem any better? Try to be honest here, as if you are deliberately downplaying the strengths of the second product, most viewers will question your integrity.
- Weight up the pros and cons of every product, relative to the original problem and one another.
- Wrap up the video with a quick call-to-action to check out both/one product page or guide the users towards more content that should help them at this stage.
Determining the right type of content to create for different stages of the buyer’s journey can be challenging. Test different tactics and approaches to determine what resonates most with your customers and build up your content marketing strategy on top of those.