Every person that has an interaction with your brand – whether it’s good, bad or indifferent – forms a perception about your brand. Every person in your company is a representative of the brand and now that we’re all online, that’s truer than ever.
Anyone considering doing business with your company moves along a particular path, often referred to as the customer journey. (this uses the word customer in the broadest sense of the word and should perhaps be called a stakeholder journey.) They go from awareness, when they first hear or learn about your brand, to finding out more about you. If what they find meets their needs, they develop an interest in what you have to offer. The next step is when that interest becomes desire and a decision to engage happens. It could be to buy the product, join the company as an employee or invest in the business.
You might think that’s the end of the journey. Not so. The post- decision step is about delivering what was promised, the experience of the brand and the level of service. Only once a stakeholder has that immersive experience do they move to the final step on the journey: they either become a fan or a detractor.
The goal is to make every person who steps on the customer journey a loyal fan and advocate of the brand. It’s those loyal fans and advocates who make the biggest difference to your success.
So how do you reach them as they progress along this journey? Content.
STEP ONE OF THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
It’s content that usually reaches them at Step One – Awareness.
They’re looking for information about how to solve a problem or find out more about the brand or product. Often that search is not a brand search, but a generic phrase.
A mother with a child with eczema might not yet know your brand. She’s heard about some remedies, but she also wants to know what else is out there. So she might search a couple of brand names that have been recommended, but she’s also likely to search terms like “eczema care” or “relief from eczema itch.” Perhaps even ”what causes eczema?”
To get on her radar at this crucial first step on the stakeholder journey, your content should rank well in search engines for all the generic terms people might search related to your brand. You also need content that’s visible in social media. We tend to trust information from others “just like us.”
What kind of content? Stories that show you understand the problem and have a solution. You should publish
- research on the topic
- expert interviews
- how your product solves the problem
- testimonials from brand advocates
The content you publish has to stand out from the flood of content already available on this topic. How do you do that?Rand Fishkin of MOZ, says start with these points.
- It has to have great UI and UX on any device.
- The content is a combination of high quality, trustworthy, useful, interesting, and remarkable. It doesn’t have to be all of those but some combination of them.
- It’s got to be considerably different in scope and in detail from other works that are serving the same visitor or user intent.
- It’s got to create an emotional response. I want to feel awe. I want to feel surprise. I want to feel joy, anticipation, or admiration for that piece of content in order for it to be considered 10x.
- It has to solve a problem or answer a question by providing that comprehensive, accurate, exceptional information or resources.
- It’s got to deliver content in a unique, remarkable, typically unexpectedly pleasurable style or medium.
To continue with the eczema example – that brand could publish research they initiated or participated in, or at least studies that support how their product works. A series of interview with users who had amazing success with the product can create that emotional response. Video interviews with dermatologists on the causes of eczema and how to treat it could provide the useful answers Moms want.
Just sending samples to mom bloggers is unlikely to get you 10X content. What might is to invite a few influencers to the facility and show them how it was researched, how its’made and what it does. Invite top dermatologists to participate in an online event and answer Moms’ skin care questions.
Optimize every piece of content so it is perfectly formatted for search engines. If it is truly 10X content Google will love it. Get it out there and amplify it in any way possible – promote it on your own social media channels. Pay for social ads aimed at a targeted audience. Create a pitch that will appeal to the media – research with an interesting infographic often gets good results. All this makes your content more visible and attracts links to the content, which improves your ranking.
Watch this video on how to make 10X content.
Next week we’ll cover Step Two of the Journey.