Content marketing feeds social media, especially when it comes to shopping. Regardless of where they buy, most consumers start their purchase process online with research, whether it’s finding out more about the product or getting the best deal. Social media’s combination of multi-format content and social connections willing to give their feedback make it the ideal starting point for buyers especially since consumers trust other consumers.
Content Marketing Meets Purchase Process
When it comes to shopping, marketers want to get consumers to buy their products and consumers want to get the best product to fulfill their need for the best price. As a result, at each step of the purchase process different types of information are needed that can use a variety of formats. (For details, check out the Content Marketing Meets the Purchase Process chart.)
Phase 1: Research
Marketer’s goal: Enter consideration set.
Customer’s objective: Collect product information.
Content needed: While prospects and customers may ask their social network for recommendations, everyone researches their purchases online. Therefore, supply information about your products and company. Bear in mind that consumers’ information needs vary. Fiskars’ blog supports a variety of steps in the shopping cycle by giving customers information about how to use the product in the post! Note there are links to the actual product! They also have a customer gallery.
Phase 2: Engage
Marketer’s goal: Build customer relationship and persuade them to purchase from your firm.
Customer’s objective: Assess product options and gather more information specifics where needed.
Content needed: At this point, prospects are looking to reduce their purchase options, get their specific questions answered, and finalize their decision. They check reviews and deals. Be aware that prospects may turn to their social networks at this point that can add other options to the mix or influence their decision. Banana Republic helps close the sale by giving customers a variety of photographs with the ability to see close up. They also include reviews.
Phase 3: Buy
Marketer’s goal: Convert prospect to a customer.
Customer’s objective: Finalize purchase specifics and buy product.
Content needed: While some information prospects seek may be the same as in earlier phases, they’re looking for different details like delivery, shipping costs, directions, and best price. Further, customers may purchase while they’re on social media sites or talking to customer service, so be prepared! Here’s 1-800-Flowers.com’s storefront on Facebook.
Phase 4: Support
Marketer’s goal: Continue to expand customer relationship in hopes of getting future sales and developing advocates.
Customer’s objective: Enhance product use or return product.
Content needed: Once customers have your product, they may need help to assemble or use it. Here’s where customers can help other customers through social media networks, message boards, and other forums. Companies can provide supporting content in the form of blogs, photographs, and videos. Also, Meetups can be useful forums to discuss how to use your product. For example, here’s a customer video showing how to use MAC cosmetics.