Before a prospect considers her options, does her research, makes a decision and completes a purchase, she must discover a product or service even exists. This stage of the buying journey, which can seem so intuitive, is the awareness stage. The rest of the customer journey takes effort, content creation and nurturing from marketing and sales, but the initial stage of recognition is where advertisers take center stage.
Advertising is the prime avenue for gaining customers’ attention and attracting them to learn more. A good ad is one that catches the eye, but a great ad is one that is personalized to the viewer.
“Personalization has been seen to influence nine out of 10 consumers, boost revenue and increase conversion rates.”
Your audience is buying mostly without you
According to SBI, 69% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer contacts a supplier.
To reach customers earlier and to increase sales you can optimize the power of personalization. Tailoring content to each reader as early in the buying journey as possible proves to the customer this is a journey that considers her needs, desires, pain points and budget concerns. You want to advertise a solution beyond its general benefits, and use the way it applies to each customer individually, to your advantage.
Traditionally, customers make a purchase with the first company that responds. To mimic these results, advertise on the appropriate publications with personalization, engagement and real-time analytics in mind.
Most advertisers are experienced at buying ad space in the publications their customers are frequenting. Finding the websites, professional publications and other channels where prospects do their research helps identify where you should be focusing your advertising efforts. However, this takes a practiced understanding of your customers.
For example, if a digital campaign advertising agency is looking for clients, it might populate thought-provoking blogs and opinion pieces on sites like AdExchanger, AdWeek and AdAge. Here they will find marketers with a finger to the pulse of the industry, but they might be missing out on the brand CMOs they are trying to find and convert. These prospects might be trolling more traditional content, like company whitepapers or “About Us” webpages.
It’s important to know where your potential customers are spending their research time in order to target them more personally.
Once you have found the space your customers prefer for research, you can target them with personalized recommendations and advertisements that pique their interest and engage them further. A truly targeted content recommendation will draw readers away from the present visited page and bring them to your website.
If the advertising has been successful and readers have navigated away from their research to consider your product or service as a viable option in their buying journey, you now have an opportunity to use even more content to enhance their insight about your company. Internal advertising is an additional tactic to personalize content to create a conversion. Interaction is also an effective feature of content marketing for informing customers and gaining their loyalty.
The best personalization solution for reaching prospects earlier in the buying process includes a real-time analytics feature. This examines user behavior in real-time and determines what content fits their needs best. This algorithm also follows a logical plan, sending customers to the content that makes the most sense at that time.
During the awareness stage, you should direct prospects to an introductory set of content. From there, the analytic feature will lead them to longer, more in-depth content. Personalization based on behavior analytics is an excellent tool in not only making prospects aware of your company, but also advancing them down the funnel. The real-time aspect responds as quickly as a human would in tailoring an experience to the individual customer.
Sometimes half the battle in gaining new customers is making them aware of a certain product or service. Advertising with personalized content and recommendations in channels your customers are likely to be browsing can help in pulling them to your native site and sharing supplementary, interactive and complementary content to their buying journey.
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