Traditionally, advertising and marketing was about ‘solutions seeking people’. In the online era it’s about ‘people seeking solutions’.
This change in focus reflects a power shift from advertising driving the communication, to the consumer or client driving the communication.
Advertising and marketing is no longer about ‘pushing out messages’, it is about ‘inviting in’ potential clients and customers. Instead of creating print adds and brochures, we now create engaging content that speaks to the needs and desires of potential customers.
The role of a digital marketing strategy today is to develop a campaign that deals with customers needs at every stage of the buying cycle, from awareness to education and on to validation and the final sale. Failing to create a content strategy that facilitates further engagement of each part of the sales cycle will create a break or disconnect with the customer and ultimately the loss of a sales lead.
The following information has been developed to give you a brief insight into what a typical content driven digital marketing strategy looks like and what role Digital Storytelling Collective plays in the development and implementation of such strategies.
At the awareness stage customers are coming to terms understanding that they have a problem or need. They don’t fully understand the problem and have little understanding of the solution. They are looking to be educated and their commitment to purchase is still low.
This is where discovery on the web, the world’s most used research tool is invaluable. To succeed in this environment you need to understand what and how your potential clients are researching. You also need to use your content strategy to demonstrate your authority and credibility. It’s important at this stage that your content also demonstrates your empathy with the customers concerns. Having access through mobile devices is also important, as most discovery journeys now begin on a mobile device.
At this stage of the process, potential customers start to get more serious about making a purchasing decision and want to learn more. They want to understand the link between the problem and desire they have and the solutions that are available. The role of content at this point in the process is to create the bridges between your understanding of the problem and your solutions.
At this point in the sales process, you can use email campaigns to push out information and make potential customers aware of your solutions and provide them with access to additional educational resources, through your website. It is also at a point where you can use product or service information to clearly outline the benefits of your solutions.
At the validation part of the sales process, potential customers commitment levels have increased again. They are more serious about the sales process and are prioritising what is important in a solution.
The role of your content strategy now becomes about making them aware of what makes your solution stand out from the pack, ensuring that these benefits are inline with their expectations. Now you can provide them with the resources to further understand your solutions and possibly make them aware of issues they are yet to consider.
Video is also an important tool at this part of the sales process because it allows you to present the whole reason for purchasing a solution in under 2-minutes. Video is effective because it has high recall and makes the message more entertaining.
Now you have a serious sales lead. At this part of the process potential customers are looking to make a decision. They are comparing vendors and weighing up their options. This is where you are rewarded for all of the earlier ‘generosity’ you have shown by providing the educational and validation resources to make their purchasing decision an informed one. Along the way you have demonstrated your authority and trustworthiness. You have also clearly defined what makes your solution worthwhile and lowered the risk of purchase, and you have done this all without any hard sales techniques.
You can now provide a free trial, an obligation free consultation or make a sales presentation. It is important that any information provided at this process, including presentation documents, slide and video presentations and demonstrations reinforce the messages previously provided at each stage of the sales process.
The role of Digital Storytelling Collective in developing a Digital marketing strategy
Digital Storytelling Collective provide our clients with a digital marketing strategy, designed to work within realistic budgets and deliver measurable results. These strategies are designed to work with and support existing sales resources.
We provide the research and understanding borne of decades of real world experience working with both large and small clients. We also provide all of the resources to implement a Digital marketing strategy as well as the feedback and monitoring tools to evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns