How to build a content strategy that covers all stages of the buyer journey

More than likely, the buyer you were targeting last year already has evolved. Buyer behavior continues to change, largely as a result of technology, research habits, stakeholder profiles and information overload.

According to a 2019 Gartner report, changes among B2B buyers include:

  • An increasing number of Millennial decision-makers, many of whom are distrustful of sales reps.
  • Buyer indecision brought on by information overload. About 88 percent of B2B customers said it was daunting to have so much high quality information available..
  • More stakeholders involved in the buying process, resulting in a more complex target audience.

As customers continue to evolve, content remains a powerful influence as part of their conversions. However, to be effective, it must be the right message delivered to the right customer at the right moment of the buyer journey. Otherwise, there’s an increasing possibility that it will be designated as part of the buyer’s content overload problem.

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How to build a stronger branding strategy

You only need to look at a recent Southwest Airlines flight delay for a quick lesson in the power of a strong branding strategy, one that’s consistently cultivated over time.

No complaints could be heard from passengers at an Indianapolis International Airport gate, even though their flight to Orlando had been delayed by three hours. For loyal customers, it’s hard to  get mad at Southwest for messing up spring break — especially when the brand get so many things right.

A Southwest attendant told passengers, “our fault,” attributing the delay to equipment issues — not the inclement weather that caused other airlines to delay flights that same night. An apology followed, along with a $100 voucher for each passenger for the inconvenience.

This type of brand authenticity, along with Southwest’s two free checked bags policy, no fee policy for changed flights, a no blackout dates rewards program, and entertaining announcements from attendants, has steadily won over customers during the past few decades.

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Use these strategies to build brand authenticity

With customers’ trust in business steadily on the decline, today’s marketer is faced with the challenge of demonstrating brand authenticity — getting across the message that their company is reliable and ethical, and that it consistently stands behind its brand promises.

However, this challenge can get a bit complicated in marketing plans. How do you clearly demonstrate brand authenticity in a way that’s authentic?

The answer lies in creating a content strategy in a way that focuses on authenticity as part of your brand messaging. It requires getting insights from your customers, putting a face to your brand, championing what your customers say about you and being a dedicated partner as they continue their journey with you.

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How to use content intelligence to improve brand consistency

Just how valuable is brand consistency? That is, the practice of consistently conveying your company’s value, promises and offerings in all of your deliverables — and in ways that resonate with your customers?

Brand consistency is the key to boosting brand trust, brand awareness and brand loyalty. And, according to 200 organizations in a recent survey by LucidPress and DemandMetric, it also can lead to an increase in profits — by as much as 23 percent.

But a significant number of the organizations surveyed also said that brand consistency can be elusive, with 60 percent reporting that their teams are regularly creating materials that don’t conform to their company’s brand guidelines.

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Create a customer-focused content strategy that promotes brand loyalty

Take a second to consider the many ways people get their caffeine fix. Some may brew the old-fashioned way — using a coffee pot or a French press to get the job done. Others may use a Keurig.

And no smart coffee shop barista will assume that every person in line wants a black cup of java. Not when there are thousands of possibilities.

And that’s just coffee.

Developing a content strategy also requires that type of consideration for the different experiences customers want from your brand. Customers are increasingly demanding more — highly relevant experiences delivered in a way that shows you understand them.

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