Market to unique customer journeys to explode your ROI
As the customer journey is evolving, it is becoming increasingly important to execute effective mapping of content to the sales funnel. As we’ve discussed in an earlier article, the traditional sales funnel is dying and is being replaced by a less linear and more unique journey travelled by individual customers. This means that HR trainers and other consultancy businesses must work harder to map their content to the needs of prospective customers, who are likely to meander in and out of the linear sales funnel. Mapping content effectively will help ensure you maintain a customer’s enthusiasm for your brand.
Why you must map content to the new sales funnel
Today, customers expect informative, entertaining content from the HR trainers with whom they interact. Providing valuable content builds authority, trust and loyalty. If you don’t provide the content that your current and prospective customers want, you risk losing them to the competition. This loss can happen at any point during the buyer’s journey.
As customers meander through their individual journeys, they will hunt out the content that provides the solutions to their questions. Content marketing is taking over the world, enabling trainers and consultants to reach out to new customers, as they progress from awareness to purchase. Mapping content to this journey is the strategy by which you capture and captivate customers throughout each customer’s journey.
Unique customer journeys follow a known pattern
While each customer journey is unique, they follow a known four-stage pattern:
- Awareness, showing there is a solution to a problem or need
- Research, discovering more about the solution and options available
- Consideration, comparing different solutions to ensure quality and value
- Purchase, making the final decision and committing to purchase
An effective content marketing strategy interacts throughout this journey, mapping content to introduce your brand, products and services at the earliest opportunity and then reinforce your knowledge, experience and ability to offer the solutions that prospective customers need.
How mapping content converts visitors to buyers
Taking the four stages in order, your content should be targeted to achieve the following goals.
This is the stage at which you first introduce your brand to customers. There are a number of ways to do this, including:
- Utilizing social media to drip-feed engaging information. Each post should provide content that customers will find useful, remind them of your brand, and provide opportunity to reach new prospective customers.
- Content promotion is a strategy in which other people promote your content. Typical examples may include syndication, guest blogging, and forming partnerships with other content producers.
- Organic traffic is the most effective way to reach your target audience. This means you’ll need to produce quality content using targeted keywords, and ensure that your content pages and website are effectively optimised. On-site content is the gift that keeps giving, and is therefore extremely cost-effective with an ROI that increases over the lifetime of the content – providing, of course, that you produce content that people want and that people can find.
Prospective customers will interrogate your website, searching for the solutions they need. They wish to see that you understand your business, and theirs, and will expect consistency of voice, tone and look.
This stage is where accumulating website metrics starts to pay off. As the customer undertakes their research, your research begins to inform you of unique customer journeys and aids you to map content to them. You should be gathering data on clicks, likes and shares, as well as what page the customer visits next – including if those pages are on another site. This data can then be analysed, and the results used to produce the content that customers want, keeping them on your site longer.
This process enables you to better understand the effectiveness of your calls to action, and produces more effective promotions to encourage sign-up to your marketing lists.
Eventually, the customer will progress to the stage of consideration. The objective of your content during this stage is to keep your solution at the front of your prospective customer’s thinking. Ways in which this can be achieved include trickle-through email campaigns, social media posts and newsletters.
Content should continue to engage, inform and entertain, reinforcing your brand as the favoured solution to the customer’s needs.
The final stage is when the customer makes the decision to purchase. To prompt new customers to buy, you may offer first-time discounts, free trial periods, giveaways (such as eBooks), demos, or free, no-obligation initial consultations.
Help the purchase process by providing a clean and quick solution, with as few key strokes as possible. Once the purchase is completed, you now have the opportunity to add them to a loyal customer base by marketing to them with content that includes newsletters, email campaigns and news about your services, case studies, etc.
The best time to map your content is now
There is no time like the present to start mapping your content. Successful HR trainers create content that captures customers and engages with them through their unique customer journey, using outcomes to define the customer journey, personalise approach, and reinvigorate content mapping to the sales funnel continuously.
Do you know what your prospective customer’s next move is likely to be? Let us know your biggest challenge when it comes to converting website visitors to customers in the comments below.
Do you need help to increase the performance of your content marketing strategy? Get in touch: