Imagine being able to experience your product from your customers’ perspective. From the initial contact with your product to the purchase to post-transaction details, you know it all. What do you do with this customer knowledge? Having all this information is nothing if you don't know how to use it.
You'll often see companies invest in customer journey mapping projects, but they do so without a clear idea of how to use it to improve their consumers' experience, nor are they able to use it to improve their marketing strategies and conversion rates. These customer journey maps might highlight your strengths and show that your content marketing strategy is on the right track. However, you can also use it to spot weaknesses, make improvements, and reach untapped areas. Sometimes, it may show you that your marketing strategy needs a total overhaul.
So, how can you use a customer journey map to control your content marketing? First, let's take a look at what a content map entails.
What is a Content Map
A content map visually outlines how your content strategically relates to consumers. It also shows how it supports their experiences. You can connect each piece of content to a stage of the customer's journey and then see how you can improve channels to meet the needs of your audience. Therefore, a content map entails:
- The points where your content engages with your target audience
- How your content effectively helps your customers through every stage of their journey
- How the customer rates their experience using your product
- How you can tailor your content for better all-around customer experience
- How you can increase customer retention as they engage with your product and increase your conversion rate
Now, here are nine ways you can use a customer journey map to control your content marketing.
1. Speak To Your Customer Persona
No customer is the same. In fact, most will have very different journeys as they are guided by different experiences, beliefs, and interests. That’s why it’s important to choose a specific persona to design for because it’s much easier to visualize your customer journey that way.
An excellent content strategy map won't lump all your customer personas together. If it does, then the experience will not be optimal for either group. The right thing to do is to identify their unique lifestyles and interests, and then use the data to segment them into customer personas. With the right persona, you can create content and market it to suit each segment's interests and needs and The Complete, Actionable Guide to Marketing Personas + Free Templates can help you!
2. Touch Base With Your Customers
Possibly the most important part of the customer journey map are the touch points between the customer and the business. Start by gathering all of the different touch points that exist between you and your customers.
Each touchpoint details a specific action the customer took with the business. For example: opened an account, deposited check, paid an invoice.
Touch points interactions may occur externally. An external touchpoint can happen when your audience sees your Google Ad. It can also occur when they read a review, fill out a form, receive an email, signed up for a free trial, or had a customer support question.
From these touch points, you can gather more information about your clients and their needs. It can also help you answer these critical questions.
- When do customers first come in contact with your brand?
- When do customers purchase?
- What products do they view?
- When do customers leave?
For example, a customer might start with seeing an ad for your product on a website. A few days later, they see a tweet advertising a new blog post that you wrote. They read the blog and sign up for your newsletter. The next month they click through a marketing email and buy a product. After using the product for a few days, they are hooked!
3. Find The Right Platforms To Talk To Your Customers
Using a touchpoint to your brand's advantage also requires using the right medium. It may be via social media, influencer marketing, email, or a blog. You will need to consider audience demographics to find the right platforms for your business.
For instance, there is a more mature audience on Facebook, while 50% of Snapchat users are age 25 and younger. This knowledge enables you to create appropriate advertising content for each platform.
In other words test and find where your customers hang out.
4. Understand Your Customer Goals
Based on your customer journey map, understanding where your customer has been is important for knowing where they are going, and what they need from you.
What information do they need? What are they trying to accomplish?
Imagine a customer who only interacts with your website through their mobile device. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’ve completely disrupted their journey. They won’t be able to easily find solutions to their questions, which results in a negative experience.
From the revelation of your customers’ goals, it is easier to improve your business and align your content with their desires and enhance their experience.
5. Consider How Your Customer is Feeling
One of the most helpful parts of using a customer journey map to manage the customer experience is that it shows you exactly what places you should be measuring how customers are feeling, be it delight or frustration.
How can you measure the experience? There are various ways you can identify these emotions. You can learn more about How to Get Good Feedback Without Irritating Your Customers.
As you follow their journey, your content should aim to address critical customer concerns or obstacles. Timelines and seasons can also affect consumer emotions. Also, identifying key activities during each touchpoint from a customer’s perspective will help to flesh out the experience the customer is having at each touchpoint.
What emotions might a customer be feeling during each touchpoint? Is it a positive or negative experience?
Once you’re measuring the success of each touchpoint you can begin to isolate what the main drivers of customer experience are for your business.
6. Identify Your Customer Pain Points
Pain points are crucial elements of any customer journey map. These are the areas in which customer experience is below average or negative. That’s why a customer journey map shouldn’t be aspirational, it should be realistic. Only by laying out what your customers are currently experiencing can you start taking the steps to improve it.
For example, if customers always add to their carts but never succeed in checking out, then you know that it's likely a payment channel issue. Retest your payment portals and make sure they're functioning. You can also send them email incentives to finish their check out.
This is why it’s so important to incorporate user research or you might even walk through the journey yourself to experience every painful bump in the road or unexpected touchpoint through a user’s eyes.
7. Evaluate Your Brand
Sometimes you must take a look in the mirror if things aren’t working with your business.
Does your content marketing align with your brand promise? Is it personalized enough to give the customer experience you need to provide?
Your customer’s perception of your business isn’t made or broken in a moment, instead, it’s a culmination of all the different interactions they have with you. Your map should be able to tell if your customers believe you are delivering. If you are, then that's great! If they find their experience disappointing, then you need to identify your fault lines and adjust quickly. You don't want to lose customers and sales.
Most often, your brand promise will be based on what you think the consumer needs. Such ideals are bound to fail. Remember that you are looking at things from the customer's perspective. Your brand promise should match the customer's wants and needs.
8. Repurpose Your Content
Repurposing is a powerful content marketing tactic. Again, you'll need to look at your customer journey map. It'll highlight old content that had massive consumer engagement and conversions. Most businesses do not know how to revamp their most successful content, but it is an easy and effective method that you should take advantage of. You can reference successful content in a different blog post or new media format. Discounts and promos are also other channels that can effectively repurpose old content.
9. Measure Your Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) To Improve What Matters To Your Customers
When analyzing your KPIs against these metrics, it helps to prioritize the customer’s journey. This is because you can see the stages that the customer may require better attention and support to complete a sale.
For instance, imagine a customer who only interacts with your website through their mobile device. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’ve completely disrupted their journey. You’re missing out on what matters to your customers a conversion.
Your KPI’s will help determine what makes each customer interaction successful, or not. Keep your customer journey map at the forefront of customer experience decisions in order to deliver a more unified experience across the entire customer journey.
The customer journey is the path followed by customers through the stages of their relationship with the company, which include all the interactions between the customer and the business over a variety of channels. From their first time hearing about the business, to the end of their relationship, and everything in between, a customer journey includes every touchpoint across every department.
By using your customer journey map to improve your content marketing you’ll achieve a better customer experience. The data gathered must be reliable and then implemented accordingly. Try to think as your customers would. Once you are able to do that, you will be able to craft more successful content strategies.
Even though you won’t be able to tackle it all at once, remember to keep looking for areas on the map where your business can improve. Evolve the journey map over time. While the customer journey mapping exercise is quite a lengthy process, it’s important to go back and review it consistently.
Need Writing Tips to Grow Your Business?
Understanding the customer journey is one big part to content planning. The next part is writing effective and unique content that speaks to your audience at each stage of their journey. Get these writing tips to start speaking your customers language!