If Content Marketing is King, then Conversions are Queen
Content Marketing. Another term buzzing around in the digital marketing arena. What is it and what does it really mean?
Simply put, from my point of view: “Content Marketing is the direct relationship between the types of content consumed, at different stages of a customer’s buyers’ journey, with the intent of creating an expected action from the customer.”
So, let us stop and think about that for a second. How about we pretend that you are wanting to take a stand in helping to contribute the environment and you need a new car. As a result, you are considering buying an electric car.
What does your buyers journey typically look like?
If you and I are anything alike. We both know very little about electric cars in this moment. Running out to the nearest dealership is not an option, this is a big purchase.
Enter, the research phase.
In this epic journey you are about to take, the research phase is where you begin this ride. Excuse the pun, because a customer’s buyers’ journey is just that, a ride from point A to point B.
You begin to do your homework, you Google things like “Benefits of an electric car” or “Costs of electric cars”, maybe even “Best electric cars on the market”. I am an avid traveler and like to rack up the miles in my trusty Subaru, so I would probably research questions such as “How many miles can an electric car travel on one charge?” or “Are there enough charging stations for long road trips?” These are broad questions, that you will dig into extensively to find the answers that you need before you move onto the next phase.
Consideration or deliberation.
You are now interested, you approved of the answers to the questions you asked, and now you are ready to dig deeper. Perhaps at this stage you start looking into specific makes and models, the warranties of these cars, or special promotions that may be running. Here you are genuinely interested, you are still investigating, until you finally reach the final stage. Drum roll please.
Decision, or commitment.
When you commit to something you are all in. You want it, you are ready to make the purchase. You are ready to hand over your hard-earned dollars for an electric car that you have researched, investigated, and have found all the answers that you needed to get to this stage where you feel thrilled that moment you drive that sparkling new electric car off the lot.
You not only made a superb purchase, but you journeyed through a pre-planned outline of content that marketers specifically created for you, to help you make that purchasing decision.
How do marketers match content to assist you through your buyer’s journey?
It is a marketer’s job to understand people. And their behavior. I remember in 1999, sitting in my classroom, working towards my marketing degree, before digital marketing was around, before marketing and media was so fragmented
It was my third year I think, and we had to take a class called “Consumer behavior”. The textbook, yes we used actual books back then, I will never forget. “Consumer Behavior” by John C. Mowen and Michael Minor. I remember sitting thinking to myself, what is this nonsense? Where does this fit into what I need to do? I have plans with my friends to hang out, can we get this done already?
I was very young (I finished school a year younger than everyone, while everyone was had their own cars and were driving to class, I was still taking the bus!). I was taking a bunch of different classes, still trying to understand the overall concept of marketing, and how all the pieces of this puzzle fitted together. By the end of the 4th year, I got it. It made sense. The puzzle pieces landed perfectly together.
“Customers are integral to everything that marketers set out to do. But customers are people, and if we cannot understand their psychology, then how can we properly understand how they make decisions?”
Once the penny dropped and I understood the importance, human psychology became a topic of great interest for me. I did research live and out in the field, read more books, spoke to people (in person!), asked them questions. I often catch myself quietly watching people and their behavior and reactions in different situations, even in the supermarket. I observe as they take products off the shelf, and how they engage with it.
The point is having a true understanding of customers and consumers of products, as well as media, makes for a great marketer. Especially today. Because while you are looking to buy your new environment saving vehicle, marketers like myself are behind the scenes strategically planning and creating content to meet you when you need it most. And this can range from blogs, to newsletters, emails, social posts, webinars, videos etc.
Each step of your journey is mapped to the appropriate content type, providing you with the information that you need to assist you in making an informed decision.
Content Marketing is the direct relationship between the types of content consumed, at different stages of a customer’s buyers’ journey, with the intent of creating an expected action from the customer.