In Part 1, we looked at audience and persona profiling as a precursor to understanding the decision journey. What content should you serve along this continuum? Ideally, you should give freely before you ask for anything in return. This comes down to understanding your own brand attributes at their deepest core, ensuring that content is relatable and true to who you are. If your brand is all about “innovation,” articles and blogs on innovation-related topics are a great way to cultivate shared value even before your prospect is in an active decision journey. (In a best case scenario, you’ll be the one who triggers the journey, placing you at the top of the initial consideration set.)
At the point your prospects are actively shopping, content can support their education and information-gathering. SEO is essential to be visible in their online searches. When they’re ready to learn about your brand and products/services, it’s time to put on your outbound marketing hat. Serve up the information they need to make progress in their journey. Be ready to follow through with retargeted ads, email, DM and even personal sales when the time is right. And be sure to continue the conversation after the sale through social media and personalized communications that validate their decision and reinforce brand-advocacy.
Clearly, the scope of content marketing grows exponentially bigger based on how many products & services you’re marketing, how many personas are aligned with each, and how far ahead of the consumer decision journey you want to get. Consider starting with a single persona, mapping and authoring content for the entirely of their journey. Ultimately, these micro marketing programs will roll up into one cohesive, high-performing content marketing machine.