At the heart of content marketing is the customer.
Your customer is the driving factor behind content creation, but all too often we think of our customers in a one-dimensional way, aiming to grab their attention, only to leave them in a black hole of misdirection at the middle of the funnel.
This isn’t B2C folks—our sales cycle requires meeting our customers where they are and nurturing them through each and every stage of the buying process.
By optimizing your B2B marketing plan for customer experience, you’ll discover happy customers—plus even happier conversion and retention rates.
4 Customer Experience Issues and How to Fix Them
The problem: You have trouble coming up with fresh, relevant and usable ideas.
We’re marketers; we’re a smart and insightful crew. But, we cannot be the sole source of information when it comes to content ideation. In order to create content that provides the best customer experience, we need fresh ideas from the right people.
The solution: Crowdsource ideas from your most valuable assets.
Nearly 100% of marketers rely on new ideas for effective content. Make sure those ideas a coming from the right place, like:
- Sales team
- Customer success
These are the people on the pulse of what customers want and need in terms of both internal and external assets. For example, the success team may provide insight on issues customers face when integrating your service within their organization. Whereas sales can tell you their losing leads to competitors mid-way through the funnel because of an entirely different, addressable, issue.
More importantly, continuing to create internal assets for sales or support that go unused is, quite clearly, a waste of time. Just as you treat external customer content, you must use communication, research and insights to create and audit content your teams will use throughout the buying process and thereafter.
Just as you treat external customer content, you must use communication, research and insights to create and audit content your teams will use throughout the buying process and thereafter.
The problem: Content strategy is siloed among teams.
B2B marketing requires not only consistent communication across teams (*cough* crowdsourcing) but also a clear and consistent strategy—strategy that is first and foremost cross-functional.
Of course, working effectively across teams is always easier said than done.
The solution: Create a visual plan that can be viewed across teams.
Mapping out your entire marketing plan from start to finish helps with consistency of content as well as ensuring the content you need created by other teams is delivered on-time. This plan can be a combination of things, like the streamlined graph seen below, which outlines each stage of the buyer’s journey—with specific teams aligned with a given stage. It could also be an editorial calendar that outlines key deadlines and go-lives.
The problem: Content only focuses on generating top-of-funnel leads.
When you create a consistent strategy, you need to remember each and every stage of the buyer’s journey. Overall content strategy can often do a great job of generating leads, while failing to nurture those leads overtime. While visualization of the buyer’s journey can help, we need to take it a step further.
The solution: Define content stages with corresponding content types.
You know the buyer’s journey, now link those steps to content type, content goals, and key metrics. This step forces your team to not only provide content for each stage, but also measure how each stage is performing. Where are you missing the mark? Is it at the comparison stage? Or are you losing customers during post-sale retention?
The problem: Your content is over-generalized in its customer approach.
While you may have profiles that outline different customer types, these outlines often lead to content which is ambiguous and general. By trying to be all things to all people, you end up with content that is ineffective.
The Content Council said that 90% of shoppers find custom content useful, and 61% admit they are more likely to make a purchase if a brand’s marketing content is personalized. Sounds like a good opportunity to cater your content accordingly…
The solution: Create in-depth customer personas.
When you create a persona, you elevate your understanding of a customer’s day-to-day, challenges, stakeholders and purchase patterns. Creating, planning and distributing content through the lens of specific customer personas makes a targeted customer relevant in all stages of the process—now that’s high-quality content.