Topics: Content Optimization
When your prospects or customers have a question that they can’t find the answer to in your published materials, you’re experiencing what we marketers like to call a content gap. Whether their query takes place on Google, your website, or a social media platform, if you haven’t created content on that topic, they can’t rely on you for the answer.
What risks do you run if your content is full of gaps? One is that your potential customers may find their answers on a competitor’s site. One obvious way to avoid this risk is to bridge the gap. But let’s first explore how people best engage with content.
Space out content across the customer journey
Content gaps can occur anywhere along the customer journey. As prospects progress through the sales funnel and customer lifecycle, a best practice is to engage them with content and messaging that is relevant to their current status. Early in the sales process, in the Awareness stage, you’ll want to broadly educate prospects. Your content should answer the most common questions that new customers may have. Like stepping stones, you’ll want to place enough content in front of your prospects to get them to the next stage.
Once prospects move into the Consideration stage, you can introduce examples of how your brand’s products can solve more specific problems they are facing. Educational videos, testimonials and blog posts are examples of the types of content you can use to ensure the topics your prospects are looking for in this stage are covered.
Finally, prospects enter the Decision stage. Focused product benefits, product comparisons and detailed case studies can all be appropriate types of content at this point. With this content, make sure to use direct calls-to-action to promote product comparison and sales.
After an initial purchase, new customers should be onboarded with planned content such as an email welcome stream. You should point them to content on your site or social platforms that will help them take steps toward becoming a valued customer. As they consume more products and services, they’ll expect ongoing content that will continue to educate them throughout their customer journey.
Identify the gaps that strand your customers
To find out which content topics may be missing during different stages of the sales funnel or customer journey, you need to take a good look at your customer research. This process is often called a content gap analysis. You’ll want to refer to your customer personas and customer journey data, as well as other available content engagement and performance data. Your goal is to make sure you provide each segment with the information they need.
With data in hand, take a look at each stage of the sales process and customer journey. In each stage, identify the questions your prospects or customers are most likely asking and the content they are looking to consume. Determine how much of that content is available on your site today and which content should be added in the future as well as other digital communications. You can also refer to competitor content and keyword research to help support your conclusions.
Build a content plan to bridge the gaps
The goal of your content strategy should be to fill the content gaps for all of your prospects and customers at every step. Your analysis will help you identify the stages that are lacking content and the topics around which new content efforts should focus. These efforts should also help you refine your keyword strategy, so you can ensure that you’re talking about the subjects that are driving audience interest.
Based on your analysis, you’ll be able to map new content to the parts of the journey where content was previously lacking. Following this process will help you build the bridges that keep your prospects and customers progressing and engaging with your brand.
To discuss how a content gap analysis can lead to a strategic plan to enhance your customer journeys, contact an Axis41 representative.