By Nicole Castro | Marketing Manager
Being in touch with your audience means knowing what they want and more importantly when they want it. In a recent article for Search Engine Watch, contributor Lisa Barone talks about how often it’s the timing of the message that determines the success of your content. Barone writes, “The right message, at the right time, is what it takes to convert a visitor to a life-long customer.”
In our last SEO newsletter, we established the importance of quality content over quantity. Now that you’re a pro at finding the right type of content to draw your readers in, the next step is figuring out when to deliver this content and when one type content is more appropriate than another.
Looking closer at the customer lifecycle, Barone identifies three stages of the customer’s buying cycle: Awareness, Consideration and the Advocate stage. Brands need to be aware of and understand each of these stages in order to develop content that is appropriate for each stage and will garner the right response from consumers. Let’s take a closer look at each of these stages to help understand what types of content work in relation to each stage.
The consumer has just discovered your brand and needs a better understanding of what you offer before any decision can be made. In this stage blog posts that deliver opinion and knowledge, commentary that offers reputational elements, About pages and social media channels are extremely helpful in delivering your brand’s personality and authority in your given industry space.
Now that your audience is aware of your brand and how your brand can serve their needs, they enter the consideration stage where they must decide whether or not what you offer is worth their investment. Offer your audience content that focuses on return of investment (ROI). This can include case studies, consumer reports and industry research studies. Convince your audience this is a relationship that your brand delivers on and they are missing out if they don’t commit now.
If you develop the right content in the Awareness and Consideration stage, that should drive your target audience to the Purchase stage. To further that nudge, offer your audience content like free trial offers and demo videos that help them feel like the educated consumer who is confident in their purchase decision. Some of these tactics act as the launch pad for successful direct marketing strategies.
At this stage, your brand has convinced your audience to make the purchase. They love your brand and they want to let the whole world know how great your brand is. It’s almost as if your brand advocates are part of an exclusive club and now they want to convince others that they were crazy for missing out on what your brand has to offer. At the evangelist stage the best forms of content are those that engage your audience and make them feel like their opinion matters. Barone suggests creating guides and webinars that help customers get the most out of the products your brand offers.
For more on the various stages of the customer lifecycle, read the full Search Engine Land article and discover the power of the “When.”