Content marketing has changed the way consumers research and buy your products.
Every day, people form impressions of brands from many touch points: Ads, product experiences, tweets, Google, Facebook, blog posts, websites, and conversations with family and friends. Unless they are actively shopping for something, a lot of that information passes them by. But when something triggers their buying impulse, those stored impressions become critical — they are top of mind as consumers look to making purchases.
In the traditional sales funnel, consumers begin with a set of potential brands and methodically reduce them to make a purchase decision:
McKinsey points out that today’s consumer decision-making process is circular:
There are 4 key phases in which marketers can either succeed or fail when a consumer has been triggered to buy something:
- Initial consideration (thinking about known brands)
- Active evaluation (researching potential purchases)
- Closure (the act of buying)
- Post-purchase (when consumers experience the products they’ve bought)
The explosion of available products coupled with media fragmentation have led to a reduction in the number of brands that consumers initially consider. Faced with a seemingly limitless number of products and brand information, people tend to depend on brands that have broken through the fire hose of messages.
When your brand is one of those initially considered by a buyer, it is up to 3 times more likely to be purchased. Your goal is to reach consumers at the moments that have the greatest influence on their purchase decisions. This is why content marketing is key.