The last part of our series in the future of content marketing looks at journey mapping and how marketers can use a customer’s journey to better understand and serve him.
The stories that tell a lot
In the world of content marketing, storytelling is the most powerful tool that marketers and content writers have to use in order to engage readers. If you’re wondering what content marketing assistance from experts say, they will agree that a great story has one purpose and that is to entertain, to express feelings, share an experience and to teach a lesson. Add to this purpose is hand down traditions and pass on to the next generation what needs to be learned.
But it doesn’t stop there. Engagement is only one part. The rest is teaching brands how storytelling can let them know more about their customers. Enter the customer journey map.
What is a customer journey map?
When brands gather data, they get a ton of information about their customers but fail to capture frustrations, complaints and grumblings. You cannot measure how deep a grievance is with mere numbers. A journey map can do that. The storytelling in a journey map goes beyond the call to action and the invitation to buy. It tells the entire customer experience right from search, to initial contact, to actual purchase and down to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
It can focus on the initial contact or give a generalization of the entire buying experience. Interactions in each chapter of the customer’s journey is the main takeaway from a this journey mapping. These are the stuff that you can’t attach a numerical value to. Things like:
- a customer’s feelings
- his expectations about the company
- his motivations for choosing this company
- his realizations
- questions about the brand
- his overall feelings after his experience
But why create one?
Because it is a powerful and useful tool.
- For managers – It will give you an overview of what a customer went through in the sales funnel. Great content marketing assistance will tell you that managers can find out where to focus on to make the buying experience better and improve on customer service.
- For designers – It will give you an idea of who the buyer is and his background. You will see what he is looking for or want to achieve.
- For those creating the UX – It will help in design to prevent problems that a customer might experience:
- when he shifts between laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile device.
- when he gets transferred to another department
- when he shifts to another channel (like social media from the company website)
For copy writers – It will help you get a better idea of your users’ questions, their feelings and emotions.
Getting content marketing assistance
As you may expect, it is after all a map, so it is in one form of infographic or illustration. With proper content marketing assistance you may want to present your map in any form. Still, the main purpose of mapping is for brands to learn more about their customers and empathize with what they went through on the other side of the business.
Normally, a customer journey map infographic shows a timeline of the user’s total experience. But then for presentation purposes, it could be an elaborate storyboard or even a mini video.
As long as the customer journey map is clearly depicted, its form can be anything that can communicate the story. One that highlights the customers’ questions, needs, emotions and feelings throughout the experience. It should be consistent but not confusing either. So keep the graphics simple but direct to the point.
It’s like one of those statement posters you see pinned on office walls. With one look, the content marketing team should be able to see a customer’s journey through each chapter.
There’s no wrong or right way to do your journey map. You will have to do a lot of experimenting and adjusting to get a better understanding your customers go through as they interact with your brand and company.
Remember, the customer journey of a thousand interactions begins with but a single map.
And so the future does look bright for content marketing. These are just three that are going to be big this year and beyond. Brands should get in the thick of things with content marketing assistance because I anticipate something evolving within the next half of 2017. And when that happens you should all be ready and evolve with it.
Chief Content Officer
Annie has 19 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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