Everyone wants new customers. EVERY ONE. It’s like the air we breathe. As humans, we need oxygen to survive. Every business needs new customers. So much so that we focus on it every day. If we didn’t we’d be out of business before we know it. And no one wants that.
From typical lead generation tactics, like Google Ads and landing pages, to email drip campaigns that nurture prospects, customer acquisition tactics are often the first touchpoints our customers have with us. They are the first experiences our customers have with our brand and should be considered not just part of your new business strategy, but also part of the customer experience.
Customer experience encompasses all interactions the customer has with your brand from the very first time they became aware up to and including when they become repeat customers. Every touchpoint whether controlled by you or not begins to shape the perception of your brand in the mind of your target audience. The content you generate is an integral part of those touchpoints. Creating a content strategy that aligns with the customer journey and is focused on the customer experience from the beginning to the end will bring in new customers and keep them coming back.
In today’s marketing world, content includes everything from blogs, white papers, and case studies to a single emoji on social media. It encompasses videos on YouTube, Tweets and images on Instagram, as well as reviews on Yelp and Glassdoor – and countless others. It can quickly become overwhelming for even the most experienced content marketing manager. Here are five tips for content marketing that will help keep you focused and start you off on the right foot.
- Understand your customer and map their experience
Time spent understanding your customer and mapping their experience will go a long way to developing a content plan tied to the customer experience. Develop personas of your existing customers. Include what is important to them. Why they chose you over your competitors. Outline all of the touchpoints your current customers have with your brand across all channels. Where has or where could content be used to enhance their experience or influence their buying decision. List them all and then prioritize based on what you believe would have the greatest impact.
- Develop a content plan tied to the customer experience
Once you understand your customer, their experiences and where you want to first focus your efforts you can begin to build a strategy and content plan. Your content plan should include content distribution channels, messaging, content formats and timing. Within your content plan, you will have crossover across channels as well as across the customer journey. Most content topics have multiple uses; however, you may need to modify the format for various channels.
- Create relevant content to generate an emotional connection
An emotionally engaged customer is far more valuable than a passive purchaser. They become advocates for the brand, refer friends and become repeat buyers. An emotional connection is created through engaging content that is relevant to the customer at the time that they consume it, whether it be before purchase or after. Go back to what you know about the customer. Look at the content you are generating through the eyes of your customer. Have you tapped into the pain point you can solve for them or into what will bring them the most joy? Knowing their emotional triggers allows your content to speak more directly to them, helping your brand to become more relevant and engaging.
- Measure ROI and influence
Content marketing is one of the most measurable types of marketing. Impressions, shares, comments, likes, opens and leads are all ways to measure ROI and the influence of the content you are generating. Analyze the amount of time spent, not just the number of times it has been viewed. Someone who clicks but clicks away quickly may indicate your content isn’t relevant to them. Understanding who spends time with your content and who doesn’t can be used to segment content by audience in the future.
- Optimize future content
Consider your content plan and strategy a starting point when it is first developed. Review content and analyze engagement patterns. If something isn’t working, shift your approach, change topics and optimize content to provide a better experience. What you learn along the way should influence the future. Your content plan should be fluid.
Content is at the center of the buyer’s relationship with your brand – for both consumer and B2B brands. The content you generate plays an important role in the overall customer experience. Use content to educate your customer, create a position of authority, generate new business and engage your customer on a whole new level.