Do you know how content affects the user journey? Although the traditional sales funnel may come to mind, today’s path resembles a circle where your leads bounce back and forth through many digital touchpoints before making a purchase.
Consumers rarely jump into any buying decision. Instead, they seek social proof, read reviews, and watch video product demonstrations. If you don’t provide people with that content, then they’ll get it elsewhere.
Learn why a variety of content across touchpoints supports the user journey then discover ways to improve the customer experience using content.
What is a content journey?
Your potential customer experiences a problem. Perhaps they don’t know what’s causing the problem, let alone how to fix it. So, they read a few social media posts in community groups. Maybe they do a search to find others who’ve experienced a similar situation. Once they identify their issue, then they look for ways to fix it.
Consumers ask questions on Reddit or Quora. Or scan through how-to guides, watch short videos on social media, or listen to a podcast. Then, a user decides to take action. They look for reviews, demonstrations, and comparison sheets. They may come across ads or read a guest post.
Finally, your ideal customer knows what they want. But will they choose your brand? First, they’ll search for proof that your product is worth the money. They may try to find the best deals or coupons, as well. And the content journey doesn’t stop there. Your customers may need after-purchase support, like ways to use your product or service effectively.
With so many ways to use content, the State of Content Marketing Report from SEMrush finds that 91% of companies use content marketing, yet only 35% optimize for the customer journey. This gap gives you room to differentiate your brand from others.
Examples of Content Marketing For the User Journey
There are dozens of ways you can improve the user journey using content. However, it’s essential to tailor your digital marketing efforts to the needs of your audience. B2B buyers may want informative white papers while B2C buyers prefer interactive case studies. Examples of content that impacts the user journey include:
Top of the funnel (TOF): Social media posts and interactions, paid search advertisements, blog posts, quizzes, contests, memes, and virtual events.
Middle of the funnel (MOF): Infographics, reviews, videos, how-to guides, testimonials, or other forms of social proof, reputable guest posts, downloadable eBooks, and case studies.
Bottom of the funnel (BOF): Comparison guides, video demonstrations, coupons or promo codes, product information pages, and PPC ads.
Even after your purchase, your content marketing efforts continue. You may interact with clients in community forums, send emails, offer up-sell opportunities, and survey existing customers.
How do digital touchpoints impact the user journey?
If you’ve just started your search for a solution and get bombarded with ads telling you to buy now, then that hard sell is a put-off. But, if you come across content that nurtures you, shares facts and social proof, and remarkets to you with personalized, targeted ads, you begin clicking and visiting these touchpoints to learn more. In short, your content builds a relationship and trust.
Benefits of a Robust Content Strategy
Your content guides users towards purchase. With a people-first approach, you’ll deliver exactly what your audience needs when they need it. A great content strategy provides an array of benefits, including:
- Enhances user experience
- Builds stronger customer relationships
- Increases brand awareness
- Converts leads
- Boosts brand credibility and reputation
- Adds SEO value
- Supports customers after purchase
Mapping the User Journey: Align Content to Strategy
There is no one size fits all strategy for creating content for the user journey. Instead, you must know and understand your audience then design digital touchpoints to meet their needs. Mapping a content journey relies on data and user insights. With that information in mind, you’ll develop a plan that gets your brand in front of the right people while improving the customer experience.