What makes a successful digital marketing strategy? An obsession with analytics? Captivating copy? Strategic social media campaigns? While these three qualities play a part, they’re not the be-all and end-all. Instead, the essence of a digital strategy that garners ROI is one that’s built around a thorough understanding of the customer journey.
Also known as the ‘buyer journey’ or ‘path to purchase’, a customer journey serves as a map for all of your digital marketing efforts.
In short, the customer journey entails the stages a prospect goes through on their ‘journey’ from a stranger, to a lead, to a customer, to brand advocate. By aligning your digital marketing efforts to this journey, you ensure that your digital marketing strategy addresses the right prospects, via the right content.
The customer journey comprises the following four stages:
In the initial stage of the customer journey a potential lead is aware that they have a problem that needs solving, but isn’t yet sure how to go about it. They’re doing high-level research that, for the most part, doesn’t correlate to any one product or service specifically. In order to attract their attention, you need to create and promote topical content that aligns with their lifestyle, vocational interests and challenges.
Bear in mind that those in the awareness stage are yet to find a solution to their problem, which means that any hard sales push needs to be avoided at all times. They’re using terms like ‘optimise’,’ improve’, ‘troubleshoot’, ‘risks’, ‘issues’ and the like. In this stage, your digital marketing strategy should utilise content such as thought-leadership blogs, infographics and eBooks, that are optimised in line with the relevant landing pages on your website.
During the second phase of the customer journey, a prospect is searching for information about possible solutions to their problems and challenges. Your marketing assets can now introduce your product or service and the ways in which it can benefit or aid the prospect. In the consideration stage, search terms include phrases such as: ‘solution’, ‘service’, ‘provider’, ‘tool’ and similar. In order to nudge a prospect to the next stage of their journey your digital marketing strategy should revolve around challenge-specific content like blogs, white papers and ebooks.
During the decision-making stage, a prospect is actively researching and comparing available products and services in preparation for purchase. They’re using search terms that revolve around words like: ‘compare’, ‘test’, ‘pros and cons’ and ‘review’. Close those with buying intent via digital assets such as case studies, testimonials, free trials, live demos and comparison whitepapers that detail the features and benefits of your product or service.
In the final stage of the buyer’s journey, a customer is now actively using your product. Your goal is to get them to become a repeat customer and brand advocate. Do this by delighting them with content that’s relevant to their new challenges and rewards them for their loyalty. This can be done using email campaigns, loyalty programs and rewards, and exclusive access to new products.
Many digital marketers assume that a rudimental knowledge of the customer journey is sufficient.
To stay ahead of the competition, you need to inform your digital marketing strategies with real-time, actionable insight. Find out more about how Warbble can help you to optimise your digital marketing strategy and buyer journey by getting in touch with us here.