How to Align Content Marketing with Your Buyer Journey
Over the last decade, the introduction of new media platforms has given businesses new tools for sharing their marketing message to their prospects. LinkedIn, Slideshare, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram are just a few of these platforms that businesses now use—and often overuse—for distributing marketing content in a bid to sell, promote, and engage with prospective customers.
Unfortunately this has led to “content shock,” where customers are desensitized to due to the overwhelming volume of content they encounter on a daily basis.
Understanding your customer’s content consumption patterns
It’s important to understand that today’s buyers consume content via three different patterns—Snacking, Seeking, and Selecting—depending on the situation and their current needs.
When buyers have a few minutes to kill, they scan their mobile devices and check out news feeds for anything interesting. If anything catches their attention, they quickly skim through it and possibly bookmark it for later reading or share it with their network. This is called “Snacking.” When snacking, the buyer’s attention span is short and they are probably unaware of their need for your product or service.
When buyers have a definite purpose or need for relevant information, they search online, check out what their colleagues or network recommend, and ask for help in specialist forums. At this point, they are actively “Seeking.” Their attention span is medium to long, and they read longer pieces of content and follow links to more content.
The third pattern, “Selecting,” takes place when your buyers have narrowed down their search and are considering a few top prospects. When selecting, buyers validate and decide, and this is when their attention spans are longest. They compare your solutions with that of your competitors by reading technical white papers, downloading datasheets, and studying brochures.
Aligning your content strategy with your customer’s Buyer Journey
The diagram below shows how Purplepatch’s Content Factory aligns the content we create for our clients with their customers’ Buyer Journey (shown in yellow arrows).
Here are some additional tips content marketers should keep in mind:
Realize that customer attention spans are short – particularly when they are “problem unaware” and are just Snacking on content. Status updates, short videos, memes, and infographics work well for the earlier stages.
Identify customer problem(s) and propose a solution – especially when they are Seeking for solutions to a specific problem. Create marketing collateral such as solution sheets, brochures, and e-books to showcase your proposed solution. Blog posts, more detailed infographics, and presentations should also do the trick. This takes your consumers from merely being “problem aware” to becoming “solution aware,” and “product aware.”
Highlight your benefits – not your features! As your buyers become aware, they are already narrowing down their choices, and it is important to focus on how you can solve their problems. Make it all about them, not about you.
“Smart Content,” not just more content
Purplepatch Services believes in employing a “Smart Content” strategy for our clients. We focus on creating targeted content, and not just more content. As your prospects’ content needs change throughout their Buyer Journey, we can help you plan your content strategy to ensure that it remains responsive to their changing needs. We take pride in delivering informed creativity that helps our customers truly achieve growth by being relevant, sensitive, and inspirational to their markets. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you reach out to your prospects, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.