Think about your customer’s journey. Are you using content to help move the customer to the next stage? Or, are you leaving them to their own devices, hoping they eventually convert, so that you can reach out? While today’s buyer prefers to do their research on their own, according to new research from Statista, 85% of global buyer’s are shopping online. A high percentage of activity happens in a digital ecosystem and depends on how you designed your buyer’s journey. This is why content is so important for your customer journey. The ultimate goal for your business and your content is to convert your audience. 

Because of this, you have an ample amount of opportunity to further refine and optimize your digital ecosystem. With the right measurement framework, you can better ensure that you can convert your target audience.

But how can you do this easily?

The best way to think about this is how your visitors are coming to your site and how they are leaving it. Unfortunately, your visitors will always ultimately leave your website. How and why they leave is up to you. Every web visit is an opportunity and every exit is a missed conversion. 

However, this is easier said than done. So instead, let’s use another analogy.

Turning Your Content Into Road Signs

If you have ever driven on a US highway, this concept should be familiar.

As you drive down the highway, you are inundated with advertising. Massive billboards, while an eyesore, provide you with directions towards your favorite attractions or businesses, providing you with that necessary information you may not have had otherwise. Have you ever run out of gas while driving on the highway? Maybe you were on a highway without those signs.

While most of these signs become white noise as you drive down the highway, the highly valuable blue signs that direct you to food, gas or rest are incredibly valuable real estate for businesses as they provide a business the opportunity to guide customers to their location. 

And as mentioned before, this is the specific goal of content for any business - directing your customers to your digital storefront or conversion points so you can gain their trust and ultimately their business.

Turning Your Website Into a Highway

Similar to driving traffic to your website, there is a cost to advertise on these exit signs (here’s a great article to learn more about the costs and history of those signs). However, the advertising space works, especially for a well recognized business.

Now if you think back to your buyer’s journey, your customer is going to be conducting almost all of their activity in a digital ecosystem. While you cannot control all the channels where your business shares its content (social media, third-party advertisers, etc. are domains you may not be able to do much with), the endgame is to drive traffic to your website: this is where you have the largest opportunity to provide that “American highway experience”.

Maximizing the Value of Your Visitors

Your audience is incredibly valuable, if you inundate them with too much, they will quickly become overwhelmed and you risk losing that customer. However, this is where strong content intelligence becomes a crucial element for your business. If you have the right measurement framework, tagging structure, ability to understand content sentiment and well-defined high value actions, you can create an environment where you better understand what your content is doing for you.  

While you want to provide your users with personalized content that will help them reach a more informed decision, you want to do this in a way that is as unobtrusive as possible. This is where you have the opportunity to analyze your users’ web activity - how long are they spending on your site, their scroll depth, the key pages they visited, did they reach a conversion destination? 

When you think about your website and the content that you are producing, ask yourself the following question: are you losing the attention of your audience or are you providing them with valuable content that builds trust and allows you to convert them into a customer? Our goal as content producers should never be to trap your audience. As content curators and owners of the digital journey, our goal is to guide customers to where they need to be.

The best way to do this? 

Always provide your users with a “white-glove” experience that shows that you know why they are on your site and that you actually understand their pain points and can provide them the answers they are seeking. This means serving your audience with the most relevant content for their content journey. This is when you can provide them with the right content to meet their needs. Leverage your website and accompanying digital tools. Tools like Knotch Cards, live chat, pop ups (specifically exit intent) and AB testing will allow you to better understand your audience's behaviors so that you can properly direct traffic flow while personalizing their journey. You should always analyze, test and optimize to make sure you can help direct your audience where they want to go before they even know. 

Using these signals throughout your website will allow your users to feel like they are finding the information that they want when they need it, much like all those motorists looking for their next meal as they trek across the country.