Strong brands outperform weak ones, and one of the most important aspects of a strong brand is consistency. People trust consistent brands up to 30% more, and establishing a consistent brand where there previously wasn’t one can boost revenue by upwards of 23%.
Offering a consistent customer journey is crucial to brand loyalty and trust. For marketing, that means aligning your content all the way down the funnel. Here’s how to do it.
Create a Clear Message
What do you want to say about your product? How does it stand out from its competitors? Knowing not only what your value proposition is but also how to articulate it easily is the first step to content alignment. Whatever your message is, it needs to remain consistent throughout every piece of content in your campaign and throughout every aspect of the marketing funnel. Going off-message can result in confusion and customers may reconsider their purchasing decision.
Conduct a keyword search of your product or niche and determine what your potential customers are typing into their search engines. Do research on what keywords your competitors are using and analyze their content as well. While there are a few ways to learn from your competitors, paying attention to how they talk about their product (which isn’t always the same as what their product is) can give you some insight into talking about your own product. If your competitors are successful, they probably have a consistent message that resonates with their audience.
Determine how to talk about your brand and utilize your keyword research to emphasize your message delivery. Not only will having a clear message across all of your content make customers familiar with your brand, but they will also be able to find you more easily.
Outline Your Buyer’s Journey
All too often, the selling points that marketers believe will intrigue a customer are a lot less interesting than marketers assumed they would be. Receiving input from sales and current customers will help highlight what messaging is effective at each point in the funnel. Revisiting what contents work best in each stage of the funnel will also aid you when organizing your outline.
If you ran a previous campaign, analyzing that content can help you understand what information your customer is looking for. Through each stage of the buyer’s journey you should have content that explains why:
- They need a particular product or service
- They need your particular product or service, and
- It’s worth it to them to buy your product or service
Odds are that your more successful pieces of content are answering these questions at the right time and in ways that resonate. Compare some of your poorer performing posts with your more successful ones to find the difference in how you messaged your value. Using your content success stories as a benchmark when crafting new content (or iterating on old posts) will not only make sure your message is a consistent one, but one that consistently works.
If you’re in the marketing world, you may have heard of the Rule of Seven. This rule states that a prospect needs to be exposed to the advertiser’s message at least seven times before they will choose to buy that product or service. In the 1930s, when this rule originated, marketers did this through radio advertisements, flyers, newspapers, and word of mouth.
The digital age has introduced hundreds of more channels where marketers can ‘touch’ their potential buyers, from YouTube preroll ads to word-of-mouth Facebook posts. While this greatly diversifies ways to reach your audience, it also makes it that much easier to fragment your message and dilute your brand when tailoring content to fit each channel.
On one hand, you always want to make content that makes sense for its intended distribution channel; on the other hand, you don’t want to be held hostage by channel specific trends that may or may not align with your company’s brand or values. Having an established style-guide can do wonders for visual consistency, but if you’re making content that looks on brand but feels beholden to its intended channel maybe it’s time to reconsider if that channel is the right for reaching your brand’s target audience.
Omni-channel marketing gets people to your landing page, but it’s your foundational content that will encourage them to subscribe to your mailing list or make a purchase. How-to blogs, in-depth articles, and expert interviews will boost the confidence of your potential buyers, solidifying in their minds that you are apt in your niche. Strong calls to action will encourage them to buy, or at least reach out for more information.
Make sure that your foundational content echoes the message repeated in your top of the funnel content. Leads were drawn to your landing page because of that message. Changing parts of that original message, or switching to a new value proposition all together, will feel like a bait and switch, causing your lead to withdraw from their buyer’s journey.
If an interested lead finds that the foundational content emphasizes what intrigued them about your product in the first place, they will be more enticed to buy quicker.
Determine Your Metrics for Success
Marketers should have specific content created for each step of the buyer’s journey. Determining what content is useful is one of the metrics that should be analyzed when measuring the success of a campaign.
If your social media marketing drew half of your leads in the awareness stage while your e-book was collecting e-dust, it’s worth learning why.
Write a list of your most successful marketing channels and figure out what they have in common. Were there certain keywords or images used that connected your brand’s message to customers? Was one channel reaching people at a better time in their buyer’s journey? Was there a call to action that was particularly effective?
When analyzing your alignment strategy, you need to understand:
- What marketing channels and tactics are driving new leads
- What marketing methods are nurturing leads
- What content and strategies are closing leads
- What forms of content combinations help cross-sell
- What channels and tactics encourage repeat customers
Categorizing your content this way will give you a better understanding of the journeys that your multiple buyer personas take and where there are opportunities to strengthen your message.
Take a step back and analyze the entire funnel. Do your Facebook posts, and YouTube videos convey the same message as your whitepapers and articles? Does your foundational content and raving testimonials support this message? While sales and marketing teams have different goals in mind, aligned content benefits them both.