You and I are bombarded with information. As a defense mechanism, our brains are brilliant at filtering out the nonsense.
But our important content often gets lost in the messaging maelstrom, too.
So it’s important to approach your brand storytelling by understanding and appreciating your customer’s journey first. Place them at the center of your story and then follow and search engine optimization strategy to make sure ou get found and heard.
Mike Huber is Senior Director of Business Strategy and Education for Vertical Measures, a Phoenix-based company that has a strong reputation for digital marketing strategy, content marketing, paid and organic search, lead nurturing, and conversion rate optimization.
Mike and colleagues have written a book about a fictional character, Sophia, to illustrate how providing the wrong content at any phase of the customer journey can create dire results. The Customer Journey: How an Owned Audience Can Transform Your Business, is a terrific example of business storytelling given the tale they tell of Sophia to make what can by dry educational points on SEO come to life.
The customer journey can vary wildly, but most steps can be simplified into these four: awareness, consideration, decision, and advocacy. It is extremely important to know where your customer falls on this 4-step journey because that will help determine what sort of brand storytelling is relevant to this individual customer at a particular point. And missing this, as so many companies do, can leave your content drifting lifeless out in cybersapce.
You’ve got to have content in every stage of their journey otherwise they are going to fall out of your journey and into someone else’s. –Mike Huber
But how do you get to know where your customer is on their journey? According to Mike, his breakthrough was consultative selling — actually listening to and asking questions of your clients and/or customers.
It’s amazing what you can find when you start asking questions. –Mike Huber
And, what happens when that content is thoughtfully tailored and individualized? Once you have asked the right questions and listened to the needs and goals of your customers, it is much easier to tailor their customer journey experience. Now, instead of selling and interrupting people on your website, you’re guiding them through the customer journey by informing them and helping them understand your product or service. This care and consideration creates a bond between the customer and brand and ultimately these customers become your greatest marketing asset.
Topics Discussed in this Episode
- Journalistic headlines versus search-focused headlines
- The evolution of the ways in which consumers can purchase items and goods, for example, you no longer have to go to a car dealership to purchase a vehicle
- How marketing used to work is the sales department was focused on awareness, consideration, decision and advocacy, and marketing was kind of involved in that awareness phase, nowadays, marketing is involved in everything except sales
- What it means to have and the importance of an “owned audience”
Resources & Links
- The Customer Journey: How an Owned Audience can Transform Your Business written by Blake Pappas, Brad Kuenn, Shana Sullivan, Drew Eastmead, Mike Huber
- Restaurants Near the Mesa Convention Center by Mike Huber
- Vertical Measures
- The Customer Journey: How to Create, Optimize & Amplify Content That Converts
- Arizona Tourism
- A Beginner’s Guide to SEO
- Mapping Your Customer’s Journey Worksheet
- Business of Story Masterclass & Deliberate Practice Program
- Mike Huber’s Linkedin
- Mike Huber’s Twitter
- Vertical Measure’s Twitter