Is Your Content Helping Customers Self-Serve Information?

Debbie Williams

Written by Debbie Williams on Wed, Jun 20, 2012

describe the imageA recent webinar with social media expert Jay Bear pointed us to some amazing stats from Google’s Zero Moment of Truth. Prior to even 2009, many companies put just enough information on their website to draw people in and (hopefully) inspire them to call for more information. Well, hold the phone! That has changed dramatically in the past couple of years. In 2010 people took in 5.3 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision, and in 2011 that number almost doubled to 10.4!

Consumers are Skilled Researchers

Now every business has the opportunity to self-publish and distribute content; and content marketing has never been more important. Consumers are researching online before making purchase decisions of all kinds, from a new car to a gym membership or even a box of diapers. The same is true of business services, whether looking for a landscaper or an accountant, people ask their networks on social media and search online for reviews and other information.

Now, 60% of purchasing decisions are made before a human to human conversation takes place (if it ever even does). People don’t want to fill out contact forms or call for information anymore. Just like the rise in popularity of self-serve yogurt bars and DIY home projects, people want to self-serve information. So if you’re not creating content across the board that talks to all of your target audiences, and throughout different stages of the buying cycle, you’re missing out on lots of opportunities...with sprinkles on top.

Some Content Isn’t Enough

Renown video blogger and Wine Library founder Gary Vaynerchuk recently said that Companies are like a 19 year old dudes – always trying to close deal on the first night. (ha!) Just because you have a website, it doesn’t mean you’re scoring new customers from your home page content. Your company might even have a blog, but you still might be wondering why a few blog posts haven’t generated new business. Well, it doesn’t work that way. Just because you have some content, it doesn’t mean you have enough content (or the right content) to get people to buy. Different customers want different flavors and toppings depending on the day and what they're looking for.

Every potential customer has questions.. People aren’t going to your brand’s website for ha-ha’s.  They want information and need answers. They might want to know about a product warranty, uses, colors, flavors, or where they can see your product in person. If you’re a service business, people likely want to know how you can help them with their problem, or want detailed information about the latest industry news or trends. It’s up to you to give them the information they are looking for, at every stage of the buying cycle.. That might sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

4 ways to learn what your customers are looking for:

  • Send out surveys to existing or past customers
  • Observe, listen and talk with your customers and prospects through social media
  • Check out your website and blog’s analytics to find out what pages are most viewed
  • Talk to your customer service reps and find out what they are asked the most

5 ways to create the content that will turn them into customers.

  • Create a comprehensive FAQ page
  • Offer detailed information on product or service pages
  • Develop a blog editorial calendar
  • Create white papers, mini e-boooks or downloads on important topics
  • Produce short videos explaining specific information

It’s never been more important for businesses and brands to understand the impact that the right content can have on their growth. Many businesses don’t have the internal knowledge, time or resources to create this type of content, which is how a content marketing agency or consultant can help.

How is your business helping people self-serve with content? We’d love to know what’s working for you!

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