When it comes to creating an engaging content plan, always keep your customer in mind. Often businesses are so consumed with their own products, services, or technologies, they often neglect to understand who it is they are engaging with and at what stage this engagement takes place.
Let's return back to basics. The goal is to create a relevant content plan for our potential customers that would be of an added-value to them. When potential customers actually benefit from your content, that is when the magic happens.
One of the ways to create a relevant content plan is to understand the three basic phases of our customer's journey: awareness, examination, and decision.
The Awareness Phase:
This is when our customer becomes aware of the available options in the market. This is their discovery phase where they probably have talked about their need with a friend, or a colleague and start to notice relevant content about the topic. This is when they know they have a problem and are looking for a solution. This may also be the phase where they are totally unaware of the problem until they come across engaging content that has caught their attention.
Relevant content for this phase would include guidebooks and e-books, tutorials, information about the importance of the topic or issue at hand, the building blocks of the topic, issues they need to be aware of when starting their research, how to research, etc. Always keep in mind that at every stage of the buyer's journey, the goal is to establish a relationship of trust, a source of information and service to them.
Suggested content formats: PDFs and downloadable documents.
At this phase, the customer is aware of their options and solutions and they are now starting to further examine these options. This is when drill-down to a more hands-on approach where data such as feasibility, personalized added-values that you may offer, competitive analysis, case studies, success stories, testimonials, numbers, and data that help customers in their decision-making process. This is where the potential customers eliminate anything that is irrelevant, too costly, or inaccessible, and often reduce their choice to 2-3 top players that are right for them.
Suggested content format: Webcasts, podcasts, webinars. Zooms, targeted tutorials, videos.
To help potential customers reach their decision this is when brand differentiation is a key factor. Once the examining phase is completed and the potential customer narrowed down their options, now they want to understand how their life would be different with your product, service or technology in their life. The focus here is on the USPs (Unique Selling Points) that differentiate your option from all other players in the market. This is also where the call for action takes place with unique offers such as a free trial, a basic option for free, a free consultation meeting, an invitation to a gathering, an online session, etc.
Questions for all stages
At every stage try and answer these 5 questions to fine-tune your content:
1. What does my potential customer feel at this stage?
2. What actions are they likely to take at this stage?
3. Where and how does the potential customer search for solutions?
4. How will we operate to engage with them and nurture a relationship with them?
When working on a content plan strategy, in addition to all other considerations such as holidays, season, end of the year, end of the quarter, etc. You would also want to consider the buyer's three main phases of the journey and generate a content plan that is relevant for every potential customer phase and touch point.
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