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Customer decision journeys are the backbone for businesses digital marketing efforts. Tailored journeys to match customer decision steps from initial interest to purchase. And through the life cycle of use. The effectiveness of these journeys is defined by how the journeys are laid out. And which digital content assets you have mapped on each step along the road. Learn more about which assets types you can use in different steps along your journeys.
Digital asset options
A broad spectrum of digital assets types can be considered for your digital discovery journeys:
- Ads – visual or video.
- Articles – 400-1000 words.
- Blogposts – <750 words
- Brochure – 2-8 pages graphics rich.
- Datasheets – 2 pages fact centric.
- eBooks – Longer texts for in depth articulation of a topic.
- Infographics – 1 page graphics and fact centered content.
- Owners’ manuals – online versions of the classic paper guides.
- Podcasts – Short single speaker or longer dual speaker audio session.
- Slides / Slidedecks – Online access to speeches.
- Videos, live or stored – Fast growing format ranging from short snaps (30-60 seconds) to longer lectures (30-45 minutes)
- Webinar – a 30-60 minute live event with presentation mixed with questions and answers.
- Whitepapers – A classic format. Positioned between blogpost and eBooks in length. Long production times
Digital asset strategy
The assets outline above have their strengths at different steps in the customer decision journey. It is a good exercise to craft a structure for which assets to use in each step. With an idea how each asset best serve the objectives you want to achieve in each step.
With the large number of formats available you need to choose wisely. Focus on a few formats in each step you have found to work well. Steer content development to stick to these formats.
Without a strategy on this subject you are exposed to inefficiency risks. Content created with a focus on format, e.g. Whitepaper, rather than purpose. Content for a certain purpose reformatted a variety of formats with low efficiency for the target purpose. Poor links between the steps in your digital discovery journeys.
Step 1 – passive browsing for information
Your audience typically start their journey with a passive information gathering phase. Exploring a new trend in the market. Without any pressure or immediate need for actions. Gradually building up their own knowledge about the subject. Some topics skimmed quickly. Others penetrated deeper.
Your goal in this phase is to positions your company as a relevant player and a great source of learning. Coming across as understanding trends. Making sure your company is exposed when customers browse for information. Learning consumed in small chunks. And content that is stable over time.
Possible digital assets in this phase: Digital Ads, Brief videos, Infographics, Podcasts and Articles in industry publications.
Step 2 – actively addressing critical considerations
The shift from passive to active information search is typically decision in the buyer’s organization. A manager asking for an analysis or a plan. Work conducted towards a fixed deadline. High emphasis on articulating decision options.
Your goal in this phase is to help the buyer in laying out options. And understanding pros and cons with different alternatives. All starting from a clear view of the job to be done for the buyer. Expect decision topics to develop quickly over time.
Possible digital assets in this phase: Educational Blogpost (own sites and guest blogging), eBooks and Slide Decks.
Step 3 – choices guiding point of purchase
This is the most intense phase of the buying journey. Your buyers search for information assisting them in making recommendations. Where credible facts play a key role. The recommender’s preference is clear at this stage. And he need to compile all facts in short period of time.
Your agenda is focused on building preference. Both for the choices playing in your favor. And preference for you as a vendor.
Possible digital assets in this phase: Educational blogposts and Infographics / fact centric visuals.
Step 4 – engage on use of products and services
Buyers want to understand details in how their newly acquisitions can and should be used. Helping them along the journey to get the most out of their investment.
Here you want to share best practices from your lead customers. How to start using your offering. How to avoid breaking it while using it.
Possible digital assets: Webinars, Owners Manuals, Video Guides and Brochures
Step 5 – reinforcing customer satisfaction
Every buyer want to be assured they have made the right decision. Looking for proof points others have made the same decision. Fining facts on business outcome they can compare with their own results. Finding information on how to evolve their current vendor.
As a vendor, your single most important objective in this phase is to secure repeat business. To influence your existing customer to remain positive throughout the lifecycle to re-enter phase 1 with a positive experience. Expect the time your buyer invest here to be very limited.
Possible digital assets in this phase are: Ads, placed articles and Videos.
Questions for you and your team
- Which type of digital assets do you work with today – focus on the assets you create the most.
- How does your asset types map onto your digital discovery journeys – a step that is easy to miss.
- Which content do you use to bridge between the different phases – always leverage captured interest.
- Do you have dedicated landing pages for different phases – make it easy to find adjacent content in each phase.
- Which of your content is suitable for external channels – guest blogging, placed articles etc.
- How well do you track the impact of your content assets – what is proven to work best in each phase.
- Which tools do you use to structure your digital assets – automate asset order and measuring of use.
Additional reading suggestions
- Sharpen your content marketing: 4 ways to model the buyers journey [BLOGPOST] – by Content Marketing Institute
- What 3 experts says about creating content for the B2B buyers’ journey [BLOGPOST] – by Whittington Consulting
- B2B Buyer Journey Mapping Basics [BLOGPOST] – by Lori Wizdo
- 65 questions for understanding the B2B customer journey [BLOGPOST – by Customer Journey Marketing Blog
- The buyer’s journey for B2B and SaaS companies [BLOGPOST] – by Pathways digital
- The Content Code: Six essential strategies to ignite your content, your marketing, and your business [BOOK] – by Mark W. Schaefer
- Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us [ARTICLE] – by Huffingtonpost
- 2017 Digital Asset Management fact sheet [BLOGPOST] – by Content Science Review
- Digital asset management in the Martech cocktail [BLOGPOST] – by Martech.com
- The role of blogging in the social marketing eco-system [BLOGPOST] – by Adaptive Business Services
- The difference between articles and blogs [BLOGPOST] – by Social Media Today
- Whitepapers vs. Blogs [BLOGPOST] – by That Whitepaper Guy
- The difference between eBooks and Whitepapers [BLOGPOST] – by Christophers Penn
- Whitepapers vs. eBooks, which will attract your B2B leads [BLOGPOST] – by Weidert Group