Learn more about the importance of understanding the user journey to create a content strategy that is on point.
User Journey and Content Strategy – What’s the Deal?
“Oh, you’re a content writer? So, what, you just write blogs and stuff?”
UH-UH – Big fat red cross right there – get yourself in the bin. (Too much? Okay, sorry).
Being a content writer isn’t just about tossing some words onto a page and hoping for the best.
To gain the best results for our clients, we have to:
- Investigate the psychology behind the user.
- Analyse the landscape, current positions, competitors, and gaps.
- Identify the best form of content to create.
- Carry out in-depth keyword research.
- Integrate with other channels to enhance the user experience.
- Write the content.
- Critically review it.
- Wait for results and then reflect.
Phew, in essence, a lot of energy, time, brain power, and skill goes into each nugget of **chef’s kiss** content we deliver.
So now we’ve set the scene (I promise this isn’t just a ramble about the misconceptions of a content writer), I’m going to give you the low-down on the very start of the process I just mentioned, investigating the psychology behind the user, and how thoroughly understanding the user journey can influence and elevate your content strategy.
Understanding the User Journey
Having a crystal-clear understanding of what the user wants from you, and what you want from them should be the first step in the creation of any content strategy.
By ensuring you’ve got these nailed down, you can be more strategic with the types of content you create and map them to the stage they’re at in the user journey.
This is where the good old marketing funnel comes into play, and in turn, the content funnel.
To summarise, we’ve got:
Awareness – You’re on the scene, but they don’t know that they need from your brand yet.
Consideration – They’re doing their research, looking at options, and discovering their pain points.
Conversion – Finally ready to bite the bullet, but might need a final nudge to know you’re the best option.
Retention – Gotcha! Now you need to work to keep them.
As much as you might like a user to magically arrive at your website and convert, it just isn’t realistic (plus, we’d be out of a job, so thank goodness this doesn’t happen).
We’ve got to put in some of the legwork and meet them at the stage of the online customer journey they’re at. So, how does understanding the user journey in relation to the funnel reflect the content we create?
Maximising Potential Through Content
To meet the customer halfway, we’ve got to:
- Be authoritative in the sector.
- Know their needs.
- Understand their pain points.
- Be conscious of costs.
From here, we can create content that reflects these elements, ready to be shared across the channels where the user will see them.
When we look at it from this perspective, it becomes clear as to what types of content we can create for each stage of the user journey, in order to target the right audience
Types of Content for Each Stage of the User Journey
Going back to those phases within the marketing funnel, we can deep-dive into some of the forms of content that can work best and when, essentially allowing us to create a content funnel.
These will vary, depending on the industry and target audience. For example, there’s no point in creating videos if your audience doesn’t consume them, or long-form blog articles if that’s not your industry’s vibe.
- Short blog posts, guides, listicles, think punchy – we’re only just getting on their radar.
- Editorial content – show them you know your stuff!
- Infographics – good digestible content with stats to back you up.
- YouTube videos – online videos have an audience reach of 92% worldwide, yeesh, jump on it.
- Long-form blog posts – bringing it right back around to authority here.
- Case studies – give them the reasons as to why they might need you.
- Demo videos – show them what you’ve got.
- Resource pages – tell them more about products or services without being salesy.
- E-books – really proving you are experts in the field.
- Guides – more reasons as to how they could benefit from choosing you.
- Reviews – people love to get the goss! Make sure these are in tip-top shape.
- FAQs – people search for questions, so give them the answers.
- Long-form blog posts – Get into the nitty gritty.
- Create enticing product or service descriptions – you know you’re the best, so make sure that the final page they land on is going to seal the deal.
- Customer reviews – reviews and feedback promote repeat custom.
- Feature guides – promote products or services in in-depth guides.
- Instructional videos – A great alternative or support to written content.
- Solution-focused content – why you’re the absolute best.
- Newsletters – people like to feel wanted, and it keeps you in their minds.
- Company or industry news – keep them in the loop, you never know when they might need you again.
Now, just because we’ve put these types of content into these specific buckets, does by no means chain them to that sole stage of the journey. If you’ve created a long-form blog post or a feature guide, you can repurpose these by taking any stats included and turning them into an infographic, or the guide could address the same topic in a short video.
What’s most important is that you are producing high-value content that appeals to the user, encouraging them to move to the next stage of the marketing funnel. So, while having your eyes on that all-important conversion prize is essential, connecting with the user at the right stage of their journey is pivotal.
What’s better than a content strategy which takes into consideration all of the above? A cross-channel, integrated strategy 😉 (and that’s why they pay me the big bucks).
To read more about ways to improve your digital marketing strategy, along with industry news and insights, check out our blog.