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Developing a customer journey map is critical to digital marketing success.

Content Marketing and the Customer Journey: What to Use for Each Step Along the Way

David Bosley

One of the most important aspects of your digital marketing strategies is mapping out the customer journey. Companies who focus on the customer journey enjoy some truly incredible benefits, from over 50% better return on marketing spend to more than triple the amount of revenue generated by referrals.

Getting started by developing a customer journey map is as simple as putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. How does a customer get started making a purchase from your or one of your competitors? What’s the trigger that starts their discovery? What type of information and steps do they need to take before reaching out? Before making a purchase?

The trick is making sure you have the right type of content to appeal to customers at each stage of the customer journey. What’s useful and effective for somebody in the first stage isn’t going to help them covert at the end of the journey. You need to tailor your content for each customer and each stage. To help you get started, here’s a basic customer journey and the types of content that works in each stage:

1. Awareness

At the very start of their journey, people are just beginning to gather information and look for answers. They might not even be aware that they’re actively looking to solve a problem just yet.

Your content development here needs to be focused rather broadly. Create SEO-rich content that will pull in people who are just starting to ask preliminary questions. Develop basic how-to videos. Write guest articles on other websites that will help position you as an industry leader.

2. Evaluation

Users in this stage are further towards the middle of their journey, and are starting to research heavily. They’re looking at answers to more specific questions. At this point in the journey, it’s fair to ask users for a little bit of information, like their name and email address. In return, you’ll want to offer valuable, relevant information

eBooks, newsletters, and case studies are excellent pieces of content for this stage. They’re perfect carrots that entice users to submit their email address. Once they’ve digested that information, you’ll want to move onward with a personalized email campaign, webinars, or one-on-one sales calls.

3. Conversion

Users at this stage should have the information already have a firm idea of what they’re looking for. If you’ve done your job correctly, they’ll have the information necessary to feel comfortable making a purchasing decision. You just need to push them across the finish line.

Product demos and trials are highly useful at this stage, as are testimonials and case studies. You’ll want to combine these with conversion-driven sales calls and emails, along with promotional efforts. Remarketing advertisements can also be extremely effective for users at this stage.

4. Retention

Don’t forget to create content for users who have already made a purchase. You want to ensure that they have the very best experience possible so that they’ll return to give you more business in the future and refer you to their friends, family, and colleagues.

Make sure that you have detailed, useable documentation for users. Create user-friendly FAQs. Create videos that make sure they get the most out of your product. Follow up with automated emails to check-in and make sure any questions that they have are answered satisfactorily.