Walk in your audience’s shoes: Why your audience’s journey is important

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Walk in your audience's shoes: why your audience's journey is important

Walk in your audience’s shoes: Why your audience’s journey is important

 

You have probably heard the saying, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, the same thing applies to your audience. Sometimes, the people who seem like they couldn’t care less about your brand are the ones who need your message the most. So how do you appeal to those people? You can appeal to those people simply by understanding their journey. That’s right, your audience’s journey is just as important as your message.

If you want to create content that resonates with your audience, you need to think about things from their perspective. Find out what they are looking for and how to make their experience better.

So what can you do to understand your audience’s journey better? Start by putting yourself in their shoes! By taking the time to walk through your audience’s thought process, you’ll be in a considerably better position to connect with them and create content they want to read.

 

What is the audience's journey?

What is the audience’s journey?

Think about the last time you went shopping – maybe you visited your favorite store, or you shopped online. Either way, you probably had a plan for what you wanted to buy and how you would pay for it. You may have even gone so far as to map out your route from the car to the checkout counter. But did you ever stop and think about where your journey started? Probably not – unless, of course, something went wrong along the way. 

Chances are if you’re a small business owner, non-profit agency owner, or marketer, you’ve heard the term ‘customer or audience journey’ floating around. But what does it mean – and how can you use it to improve your own marketing strategy?

When we say audience journey, we’re talking about the path they take to find your brand. What steps do your audience(s) take to find you? This could range from interest in your website to them actively trying to solve a problem (and your product or service is the solution!). And because everyone takes different actions to find what they’re looking for, the audience journeys for your brand likely won’t be the same for every persona.

When interacting with your brand, your audience will go through this customer or audience journey. If you want to create a good experience for them, you must first understand the process. Many different stages make up your audience’s journey, and each one is important. We want to provide you with a clear roadmap for developing content that reaches your target audience regardless of where they are in the audience journey.

 

Why should you use an audience journey map?

Why should you use an audience journey map?

An audience journey map is a visual tool that helps you create and prioritize a framework for your marketing plan. It’s a great way to focus on the experiences that potential customers are currently having and turn those into opportunities to serve them better. 

Using an audience journey map it doesn’t have to be a difficult process. It’s as simple as identifying all the steps individuals take when searching for a product or service and ensuring that something is available at every stage. The result will be more leads, sales, and engagement with your brand. They’ll be more impressed by your dedication to providing value throughout their journey towards making a decision. It will also highlight areas where they might become lost, distracted, or confused. An audience journey map helps you understand what makes up your audience’s decision-making process and how they arrive at an outcome.

A well-crafted audience journey map is a true asset. It provides a framework for making decisions about reaching your targetaudience most effectively. It helps you figure out what people want and how best to deliver on their needs. 

The audience journey map will help you answer a few key questions: 

  •  What are the key touchpoints that people have with your brand? 
  •  What are the most critical steps in their journey?
  •  Which channels deliver the best results? 
  • Which messages resonate at which stages in the process?

The more closely you can align your marketing activities with the natural flow of your customers’ journeys, the better your return on investment will be.

 

How can you create content that meets your audience at each stage of their journey?

How can you create content that meets your audience at each stage of their journey?

Do you feel like you’re constantly struggling to develop new content ideas? It’s hard to create content that engages your audience and caters to every stage of the buyer’s journey, from attracting leads to converting them into customers and creating a loyal following.

But don’t worry, we’ve got some tips for you! There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating content that engages an audience. According to HubSpot, 70% of marketers actively invest in content marketing. These businesses turn to content marketing to provide existing and potential customers with more significant support. They understand the impact great content can have on the buyer’s journey”. 

Every company’s customer journey is different. With a bit of creativity, you can develop content for each stage. 

Everyone knows that you need to know your audience to give them what they want. But how do you pinpoint all the steps in their journey?

Well, it’s helpful to think about your audience or customer journey in four categories:

1) Prospects: People who know nothing about you and haven’t decided to do business with you yet.

2) Awareness: Customers or audience members who know about you but haven’t bought anything from you or haven’t participated in your events.

3) Engaged: Customers or audience members who have bought from you and supported your events 

4) Advocates: Customers or audience members who have bought from you and are likely to endorse your brand publicly.

Next, think about the points at which customers move from one category to another. Those points are called touchpoints. Touchpoints can include one-time events – such as purchases or downloads – and ongoing activities such as blog subscriptions or Facebook likes/shares. 

Content and social media strategies must be consistent across all channels. Your plan should be based on the customer journey and your prospects right now.

A prospect’s journey typically goes through these stages: awareness, interest, consideration, purchase, and advocacy. 

 

Awareness stage. During this stage, your audience is just beginning to search for products or services to solve their problem. They’re actively looking for information to help them make a purchase decision.

Content at this stage of the awareness journey: 

  • Blog posts
  • Educational content
  • Research studies
  • Social posts
  • White papers

 

Interest stage. Your target audience learns about your product, service, or organization during this stage and becomes interested in it.

Tasks in this stage include:

  1. Attracting an audience
  2. Creating a buzz around your product
  3. Generating leads
  4. Getting people to sign up for your email list

 

 Consideration stage. Customers or audience members actively research products or services to solve their problems during this stage. They’ve narrowed down their options and compared different brands and offerings to determine which one best suits their needs. They may visit your website directly or click through from an advertisement or article they read on a site like Huffington Post or Forbes. They might be comparing your brand to another one at this stage; this is when competitive research becomes essential.

Content that is useful at this stage: 

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Case studies

Purchase Stage. The purchase stage involves customers searching for a specific product or service from a company — yours! The purchase stage is when things get serious – they’ve decided what they need and have decided that your product or service is the best.

For every stage of this cycle, you want to provide compelling content to persuade them to learn more or take the next step in their purchase journey.

Provide content that appeals to each of these needs as part of your overall strategy. Ensure that your content can pass the test for the locations of awareness, interest, consideration, purchase, and advocacy.

Your job is to find out where people are at each customer journey stage and how they got there. Then, use marketing tactics (content, advertising, etc.) to encourage them to proceed through the journey, eventually becoming an advocate for your brand.

Here are six important ways:

  1. Find out where your readers are coming from and how they found you
  2. Know what they need/want
  3. Understand what kind of content will address those needs/wants
  4. Identify the problems they face in their search for solutions
  5. Set up a structure that helps them solve these problems efficiently
  6. Be consistent with your message (so that it resonates in the minds of your readers)

 

Advocacy. Advocacy is a powerful way to build your business. And the best part is that it doesn’t cost you a thing. Word-of-mouth marketing works. But if you want to harness that power, you can do some simple things to make it work better.

Treat advocates like customers. Just because someone is your advocate doesn’t mean they’re going to love everything about your business. They might not love every tweet or Facebook update, and they might not love every product you sell. We’ve all had customers like that!

Treating them as customers—listening to their concerns, responding quickly, and providing excellent support when necessary—will go a long way toward keeping them happy and engaged as advocates for your products and services.

Today is the best time to start laying the foundation for your customer journey mapping process! By creating a visual representation of how customers interact with and evaluate you, you can gain insight into their reasons why they do or don’t buy from you. 

You can also get information that lets you know why your audience shows up to support your events or chooses not to keep them. You can then improve your brand’s growth touchpoints by identifying pain points at each stage of your audience or customer map.

 

What are some examples of brands that have nailed their audience's journey? CocaCola, Tiffany & Co.

What are some examples of brands that have nailed their audience’s journey?

Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola is a powerhouse when it comes to understanding its target audience’s journey and developing compelling content marketing. They have some of the most successful global campaigns – like ‘Share a Coke.’ But what makes them so good at resonating with such a large audience? It all comes down to understanding their consumers and what they want. 

 

Tiffany and Co. Even though Tiffany and Co. have been around for many years, they have established a consistent brand image. They regularly create content for Instagram stories to educate and entertain their audience. They regularly engage with their audience by asking and answering questions as well. As a result of the intentional mastery of their audience’s journey, Tiffany and Co. is a long-standing brand that knows and understands its ideal audience. 

 

Audience journey mapping is an excellent way to identify the full range of emotions your audience might go through when interacting with your product. However, it can have benefits beyond that. By considering your audience’s needs from their perspective, you’re more likely to create products and services that resonate with your customers and find new growth opportunities. 

The takeaway, then, is that understanding your audience—their goals, interests, emotions, and feelings—is crucial to all content marketing efforts. To create truly compelling, practical content, we as marketers need to “walk a mile in their shoes.” In other words, we need to put ourselves in our audience’s place to understand the world from their perspective. Much of the time, this means setting aside our preconceptions and “thinking like them.” When we can do that successfully, we can create engaging content that will resonate with our target market. We’re here to help you do just that. Get in touch when you’re ready. 🍑