Marketers often categorize the customer journey into four main stages when contemplating customer acquisition: Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Decision Making. By making sure you create a variety of content and have the right content in the right places, you can create a deliberate journey for your prospects and help move them from stranger to customer. This becomes critical when customers interact with your digital properties, such as your website and your social media.
Visualize a funnel where the total universe of people is at the top – the widest point. Those who eventually become our customers and clients are at the bottom – the narrowest point. Although the number of individuals decreases as you move down this funnel, the potential value of each individual in the funnel increases as they move to the bottom of the funnel. Those at the bottom are more likely to be a customer than those at the top.
What you might do to attract people who are at the top of the funnel is different from what you would do to engage those who are further down in the funnel and actively shopping for products or services like the ones you provide. This is because prospects need different information at different points in their journey.
At the top, where you can assume most people are not familiar with you or your business, your messaging efforts need to highlight high level messages to get your brand to resonate with your target audience. It is only when someone recognizes your brand that they can move further down the funnel. Branding campaigns, consistent messaging on social media, and email campaigns can all work together to create that recognition and feeling of familiarity. The impact of this can move your prospect towards being a customer.
Once there is recognition of your brand, you need to generate true interest. Here is where you can heavily leverage what you know about your existing customer base. Create messaging on your platforms about the problems that they are trying to address when they use your services. Attract their attention by helping them visualize the positive outcomes of working with you. Highlight how you solve their problems and what it is about your offering that is unique. Share case studies demonstrating the impact of your work – the before and the after.
When your prospects become interested, they may be moving to consider a purchase. Address this phase by ensuring that the information they need to make a decision is readily available. Share detailed information on your website and in your social media that helps them evaluate your products and services. Doing this serves two purposes – you are educating your prospect so that they can make a good decision, and you are establishing your own credibility as an expert, increasing the likelihood that they will buy from you.
Getting to a Decision
Ultimately, at the “decision making” point your objective should be to remove any barriers to move forward. Make sure it is clearly communicated how to move forward to schedule a meeting or to make a purchase.
Make it Happen
As you move into this new year, give your business an online check-up. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes, evaluate your digital footprint, and see where you may need to up your content marketing game to gain new business. The time you invest now could pay off with new business growth this year!
Cecelia Henderson is the owner and founder of WSI Marketing Edge, a digital marketing consultancy based in Wayne NJ. WSI creates and executes practical plans for business owners who are looking to grow their companies. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.