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Saying the right things,  in the right places, is how to make an impact at every stage of the customer lifecycle

Content marketing has taken the world by storm and nine out of 10 organisations now use it.

So it’s time to take your content strategy one step further by tailoring it all to the the different stages of the customer lifecycle.

Not only that but your content needs a lifecycle of its own, according to the Content Marketing Institute, which has come up with four ways to rethink your content execution and take advantage of the new content life cycle:

  1. Structuring your content marketing strategy as a holistic system that allows you to engage more effectively with stakeholders across different social networking sites.
  2. Opening up content contribution to more employees in the business to provide more opportunities to connect with customers in social media, and extend your online reach.
  3. Delivering fresh, compelling and timely content that engages users and keeps visitors returning to your company website and social media spaces.
  4. Listening to what your target audience are saying online and optimising your content and content strategy based on the insights you gather from them.

Once you’ve got these processes in place for your content you can then look at what the key stages of the customer lifecycle are and what content you should be providing for each.

Content at Key Stages of the Customer Lifecycle

The key stages of the customer lifecycle vary depending on what model you look at but whatever they call them, they all mean pretty much the same thing.

Stage 1 - Unaware

At this stage you have to get your prospects to notice you, so you need to provide content that they perceive to add value and you need to provide it in the places they want to see it. Nowadays that’s mainly online and social media now produces twice the number of leads that tradeshows, telemarketing, direct mail or P....

What should the content do?

It should start conversations and prompt people to want to find out more about you, so make sure that you have the content pathways in place to lead them where you want them to go; and the processes in place to capture their details for your marketing lists.

What type of content should I use?

Blogs, social media updates and shares.

Stage 2 - Interested

They’ve noticed you and they’re starting to engage with you, so what now? You need to take the content to the next level and show how you understand their business pains, know ways to solve them and are an active member of online communities focused on improving this issue.

What should the content do?

It should convince prospects that you are a trustworthy company interested in building a relationship with them in order to make their life better/easier; not just to sell your products and services. 78% of people believe that organisations that provide good content are interested in doing just that.

The type of content you should use:

Blogs, social media updates and shares, webinars, product and service reviews, email campaigns.

Stage 3 - First-time customers

They converted! You won them over with your great content and they made their first purchase. Time to move on and find more new customers - wrong! Too many businesses focus all of their efforts on winning new customers at the detriment of the ones they have already got. Now’s the time to show them that you weren’t just interested in making that sale but really do want to help them do their job better.

What should the content do?

Now’s the time that the content needs to focus on showing them they were right to choose you. Deliver more value-adding educational content that can help them and that starts to position you as a thought leader in their minds, so that you begin to become the first company they think of when needing your products and services. 

The type of content you should use :

Blogs, social media updates and shares, webinars, product and service reviews, email campaigns, videos.

Stage 4 - Regular customers

They’re convinced and are now buying and engaging regularly and generally appearing on your marketing radar often. Time to up the ante and deliver content that they’ll not be able to keep to themselves as they’ll be so impressed with how well you’ve understood their needs.

What should the content do?

Make everything personalised and relevant to deepen their trust in your brand even further. You’ve already shown them you understand what they needed and have the products and services that can deliver it, so now your content should cross-sell and upsell. Combine everything you’ve learnt from them in the first three stages about what they are interested in using everything you know about the industry and your business, to create content that convinces them you are the only company to trust to help them meet their needs.

The type of content you should use:

Blogs, social media updates and shares, webinars, product and service reviews, email campaigns, videos, company website, case studies, slideshares, roundtable events.

Stage 5 - Brand advocates

You’ve done it - you’ve reached the holy grail of marketing! You've delivered the right content in the right place at the right time and turned this customer into a loyal fan that spreads the word about your brand for you.

Your social media updates are being liked, shared and retweeted. Your blogs are being linked to and discussed. Your products and services are being voluntarily reviewed and recommended to others. So now use your analytics and see which has the most reach and gets the most engagement and create more of the same.

What should the content do?

Reinforce the great opinion that these customers have of you and be fun, educational and oh so sharable.

The type of content you should use:

Blogs, social media updates and shares, webinars, product and service reviews, email campaigns, videos, company website, case studies, newsletters, communities.

These are just a few things to consider when it comes to lifecycle marketing. These and other practical ideas are summarised in the free Eguide What is lifecycle marketing.

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