The customer journey has become the new catch phrase for all things marketing. But for many brands, that journey isn’t always a smooth one. Content that sends customers in circles instead of down a meaningful path will leave a bitter taste. Build an engaging journey with a strategic content funnel.
Just about the worst thing you can do in today’s marketplace is to send your customer around in circles. Today’s savvy buyers will quickly lose interest in your company and move onto a competitor. Even worse, they may get vocal about it on social media. On the other hand, building trusted relationships through various touch points can lead your target audience down a desired path.
The Content Funnel
Each piece of the content and communication platform has the potential to work together to bring the customer one step closer to becoming a buyer. Identifying the funnel in which you want to reach your customer enables you to create content that moves them from inspiration to consideration to making the purchase.
There are four primary stages of the content funnel. The SEO consulting company Moz has illustrated the funnel in a very familiar way.
Illustration Source: Moz.com
The Many Touchpoints
My biggest pet peeve in social media is when companies sell on the first touch point. Brands that I’ve never engaged with previously automatically want to sell me their product. Making a great first impression followed by content that builds trust is the most effective way to turn your audience into buyers. “One of the most powerful attributes of Social Media is that sellers can engage buyers during all phases of the purchase process,” according to Social Media Strategist Kathi Kruse.
It may take several social media posts to hook in your audience, but that is what the customer journey is all about. Why attempt to sell them a cup of coffee before they’ve learned anything about what’s going into the cup?
The Consistent Contact
When it comes to online customer service, automation is taking over. However, outsourcing and automating your social channels can be lead to unhappy customers, particularly if the information they are getting is not consistent with other customers.
On social media, public replies are just that, public. If one customer is getting one answer but another customer is getting another, it builds mistrust and frustration. Each click on a company’s website should bring their customer one step closer to finding their answer and each social interaction should feel like it’s coming from the same trusted source. If this isn’t the case, the company runs the risk of the customer moving on to someone else.
The Repeat Customer
What’s better than a first time buyer? A repeat customer, of course! Just because they made a purchase doesn’t mean that has to be the end of the relationship. Brands that continue to engage in a meaningful way after the purchase can turn a one-and-done customer into a loyal advocate.
Capturing post purchase data in the form of customer testimonials and experience feedback is a great way to continue with that engagement. Ask customers to tag your brand or use an identified hashtag as they share their experience on their social channels.
Simplifying the journey for customers through meaningful content while building relationships through audience engagements can take your business to the next level.
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