After discussing content marketing, content planning, and content strategy tips over the past weeks, let’s bring it all together and have a look at what different types of content you need, to sell your product/service.
Cause after all, if you want to run a profitable blog or online business, you don’t want to create content just for the sake of it.
You want to create strategic content to sell something, right?
So how do you get someone to buy from you? 0_0
That’s a mystery that had me puzzled for such a long time…
As someone with no background in marketing, discovering the concept of the customer journey was such an eye-opener to me.
Once you know about it, it’s so obvious and plain that you’ll look back at your previous failed online marketing attempts with a mixture of shame and disbelief.
How could you’ve been doing things SO wrong?!
The Throwing-Spaghetti-At-The-Wall Method
Do I like selling? About as much as our cats enjoy a cold bath.
So I guess I was approaching the whole thing with a resigned “
It was the classic throw-spaghetti-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach to (affiliate) marketing. Well, not much stuck, that’s for sure.
This was apparently somehow working for others, right?
You all know the countless post of the “How I made $50 000 in ONE weekend while I was relaxing on a beach in Hawaii”- type. When I happened to read those hilariously clickbaity posts, they happened to be almost exclusively long-ish lists of affiliate links held together by a bit of alibi content.
So this had to be how this worked, I naively assumed.
Maybe online marketing “just wasn’t working for me”?
Are You Being The Creepy Sales Person?
I probably was. *blush*
When he talked about how digital marketing should follow the same basic principles as any other human relationship, I realized I did the “nice-to-meet-you-wanna-go-to-my-place” thing…
Are you beginning to have the sneaky suspicion you might be doing the same thing?
As you’ll see in a minute, there’s another way to approach selling online. One that’s less icky and does seem to make much more sense too…
What’s This Customer Journey?
In a nutshell, the customer journey is the complete customer experience with your brand from start to finish.
From the moment they discover you, until the very last interaction, and every touch point in between.
Getting someone to buy from you, might be just ONE step in the entire customer journey – and it’s usually not the first.
The 8 Stages Of The Customer Journey
According to Ryan, there are 8 stages in the customer journey to take someone from stumbling upon your existence to becoming a raving fan.
Now the important thing to keep in mind here is that those stages mimic stages in normal human relationships in the non-digital world.
If you wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and say “Hi, nice to meet you, would you like to go to my place?”, then you shouldn’t do the online equivalent either.
In other words, don’t ask for the sale the moment someone notices you for the first time.
Your chances of actually making the sale are much higher when you spend some time to court your potential customer and give them value in advance – BEFORE you pitch your product/service.
After you’ve done them a couple of favors, they are much more likely to take you seriously and consider buying from you.
If in doubt, just imagine what you’d do if you’d met that person face-to-face.
But let’s hear it from Ryan himself:
So for everyone who can’t watch the video right now, or as a quick recap, the 8 stages of the customer journey are:
The Customer Journey – Example
If this alone doesn’t really help to set off at least a dozen light bulbs in your head, let’s walk through an example.
Following the structure and sequence of a normal human relationship, the journey starts with your potential customer becoming aware of your existence.
Maybe they found your Pin on Pinterest or saw your post/ad on another social media platform.
Whatever it was, they follow that link and land on your website where they engage with your content by reading that killer post you wrote.
They love that post containing all the information they were looking for! If only there was a way to get this information in a much more condensed form so they could easily refer to it later on…
Oh wait, you offer that AMAZING free downloadable cheat sheet that summarizes all the points in the article! And all they need to do in order to get it is subscribe to your email list. They are in like Flynn.
Once they are on your list, you might send them a couple of value-packed emails before you pitch them this low-priced mini-course on the same subject they were interested in. If they go for that, you successfully converted them from a subscriber into a paying customer.
But as Ryan said, this stage doesn’t have to be about selling something straight away. You could also get them to sign up for your latest webinar for example.
If you wanna sell this low-priced item, don’t forget that the important thing here is to give them high value for a low price to excite them about your products. Don’t assume that only because this item is cheap the quality doesn’t matter that much.
Cause once they know they can trust you to deliver great value, you can pitch them higher priced items/services as well. That’s how you ascend them from one-time buyer to frequent buyer.
Now if you’re doing a really good job, they might be more than happy to give you a great testimony – thus becoming an advocate for your brand.
Have you ever been to one of these really nice hotels or restaurants, where the service/food was just SO FREAKING good that you SIMPLY HAD to tell everyone to go there and check it out for themselves?
If you can give a similar experience of “oh-my-gosh-this-is-the-absolute -best” to your customers, they’ll do the rest and promote your business to everyone who might be interested.
Optimizing Your Digital Customer Journey
With these considerations in mind, look at all the steps in your respective customer journey.
- Do you offer the kind of content your ideal customer is looking for? If you’re not sure, do some keyword research to find out what people are searching for.
- Do you offer a valuable, free opt-in that your ideal customer would be interested in AND that is related to the kind of offer you’d like to pitch them further down the road? Not much point in having a chocolate cake recipe as an opt-in when you want to sell your graphic design masterclass.
- Are you being creepy by trying to sell too soon or too often?
- Are you giving enough value?
- Do you treat your customers like an esteemed guest and go the extra mile to make them happy?
If you can confidently answer “YES!” to all these questions (except for the being creepy one!), you should be sweet and the customer experience should be delightful and engaging. 🙂
Spotted some areas in your consumer journey that need a bit of work?
Now you should know how to come up with a customer experience strategy to fix those things and make this a more pleasant journey for both, yourself and your customer.
Now I’m curious: What part of the journey do you find the hardest to figure out? Have you been using the spaghetti method in your sales attempts? If so, what was your AHA-moment for changing your strategy? Let me know in the comments below!
PS: If you’re up for a challenge and want to make your blog content creation more strategic, why not join my 5-day blog content challenge?! I’ll hold your hand and walk you through my purposeful content creation process.