Has your brand invested in a customer journey map yet? The old “sales funnel” model has become outdated in today’s world because people don’t just see an ad then act on it: there are numerous steps in a typical customer journey and the mapping process helps you devise actionable content based on the touchpoints within. A mistake that many marketing managers make when assigning topics to writers for inbound marketing purposes is not getting them familiar with the customer journey map. Here’s why you need to jump on that and what your writer can do to make each touchpoint into content that’s actionable and fits your purposes.
Why Have a Customer Journey Map?
According to Marketing Land, the customer journey breaks is down like this:
- What moves your customers to need your product or service
- What they want to accomplish
- How they define a successful outcome
- Questions your customers may have along the way
- Barriers or constraints in the purchasing decision
- What decisions your customers need to make during by the actual transaction and implementation
- What is also the best and worst parts of the overall customer experience
Pay special attention to the barriers and implementation aspects because they frequently get overlooked when our first instinct is to create content that just pushes selling points and descriptions of the product.
That sales funnel model is a relic of the past up there with payphones and floppy disks. In the mobile age, people are finding out about brands from all types of different sources and the way that people process information has also completely changed. The framework for a customer journey map outlined above is meant to serve as a problem-solving guidepost.
A frequent misstep though when it comes to creating content from a customer journey map is that it focuses too much on the product or problem rather than viewing one or both of these things through the lens of a well-crafted persona. Different personas will have steps in common plus completely different ones depending on what differentiates them. That’s the strategy step, but once your personas have been cultivated then your customer journey map is ready then it’s time to get your writers involved.
Understanding the Touchpoints of a Customer Journey Map
Customer journey maps will have varying amounts of touchpoints. Some products have very few, such as B2C campaign for a yogurt brand. There’s probably a group of people who will heavily research different yogurt brands to see how they stack up nutritionally and in terms of social consciousness, but many people will just try a cup if there’s a coupon or grab the first one they see if they’re in a hurry. On the opposite end, customer journey maps for a big-ticket purchase like a car or a B2B software solution will have several touchpoints and with a variety of problems that need to be solved.
What is the next logical step after reaching that touchpoint? Keep in mind that people come in off of various stages of the old sales funnel model, and you may not necessarily be compelling them to jump right to the purchase stage. Even a product that has very few touchpoints, like the yogurt example, can still have related content that has a message or call to action other than to buy. Something that content writers get used to is closing with a sales pitch or urging the reader to want to buy, and often need further direction on this. It’s not just with calls to action at the end of the blog post, it goes for the entire direction of the piece.
Now Think It Through
For instance, a touchpoint-heavy product like a car would necessitate content for different personas at or close to the same stages. Let’s call these personas Diamond, Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire. Diamond and Ruby represent higher income buyers while Emerald and Sapphire are lower and middle income, but Diamond is less environmentally-conscious than Ruby. How much would the writer have to emphasize eco-friendly aspects of the car in the piece while placing less emphasis on the monetary aspects that Sapphire and Emerald would require? In the consideration stages where barriers start to appear, what would ultimately convince both of these personas to take the next step like reading more content or requesting a test drive?
Writers need to be privy to your buyer personas but they also need to be well-versed in your customer journey map, particularly if your product is touchpoint-heavy. Make sure that you check out the talent on WriterAccess for help from top content strategists in devising your personas and customer journey map before selecting writers to work with!
Rachel P is an indie game developer, writer, and consultant. She is also a content strategist here at Writer Access and would be happy to help you with keyword maps, customer journey maps, and buyer personas in addition to writing for you. If you would to like to hire Rachel to devise a content strategy for you, please contact your account manager or send a direct message.