In this webinar, Jeff Coyle, Co-Founder at MarketMuse, talks with Duane Forrester, VP of Industry Insights at Yext, about creating content that integrates well with the user journey map. The duo reflects on the importance of customer service and why it’s essential to ensure the success of content mapping efforts. Listeners can also hear more about the practice of crafting content to meet the needs of prospective customers.
Duane Forrester also discusses how Google decides to rank a piece of content above another, despite both being equally authoritative. Furthermore, the conversation drifts to user experience (UX) and the basics of design. Irrespective of how well-written and authoritative the content is, if the website’s UX is subpar, it will negatively affect your content’s effectiveness in engaging a potential customer pool.
During their conversation, Duane and Jeff cover:
- Journey mapping
- Content mapping
- The importance of understanding your buyer persona
- Content-based marketing strategy
- The role of customer support in tying the content with the consumer journey.
It can be challenging to fully understand what’s going on in your customer’s mind. The buying preferences, trends, and technology tend to change over time, requiring you to create evergreen content to meet users’ needs timelessly. How do you do that? Here are a couple of handy insights from the webinar to help you with content mapping:
Be Authoritative On Content Depth
Google and search engines rank content based on what consumers like. You may have a perfect piece of content, but the user may have wanted more bullets or a video rather than an article, so they left your website in under a minute. Little things like this can make you rank lower than your competition. The best way to get out of this rat race is to understand the profitability of your bottom line.
He further recommends leaving a topic that’s not converting. You never know when a piece of content can be fruitful, but if it’s not converting right now, leave it be. It’s always best to focus on content that’s converting or has better potential at the moment.
Invest in the Overall UX
During customer journey mapping, companies tend to focus solely on content, forgetting the importance of UX design. However, everything from navigation to button placement matters in determining how effective your content will be.
Duane Forrester says, “We’re talking about the overall UX. We’re talking about navigation. We’re talking about pillars, button placement, all of this stuff, but if you’re failing to make that connection and a competitor is doing it a little bit better, Google’s going to rank them above you, and that’s it.”
Focus On Brand Engagement Journey
Along with creating content for the user journey, you should also focus on the brand engagement journey since that’s what makes customers come back for more. Duane Forrester gives the example of a company selling refrigerators. The customer comes to the website, reads the specifications, does the measurements, and decides to buy the product. That’s where the user journey ends, and the brand engagement journey begins.
Duane Forrester explains this, “Now, it’s been four months, and the little red light is on the front of the refrigerator, telling them they need to replace the filter for the water tap. And they have no idea what that means, how to do it, where to find it, whatever they don’t remember where they put the owner’s manual.”
If the buyer comes to your website and doesn’t find any information about replacing the filters, they’ll think the company does not have their back because the content on your website does not solve their pain points.
Develop Customer Service
Besides creating content for the user journey, it’s also essential to ensure excellent customer service. In the webinar, Duane Forrester, VP of Industry Insights at Yext, gives an example of a dog rescue group in California. People can support the group by donating money or buying coffees, which Duane Forrester and his wife did.
“They send us great coffee, my wife and I prefer decaf. So we get it. We open up the box. I come down from my meeting, and my wife says, ah, crap. I think they sent us regular coffee. And my first thought was, you know what? That’s okay. We’ll just cancel the subscription. We’ve done our part. We’ll move on. It happens,” explained Duane Forrester. That’s how customers think. As soon as they experience poor service or a mistake, they’re already pivoting to hundreds, if not thousands, of other businesses that provide a better customer journey.
However, Duane Forrester’s wife emailed the rescue group, telling them about the problem. The company replied in just three minutes, saying they’ll send over decaf immediately. “When my wife read that email, and that email took three minutes for them to get back to us… it cemented my lifetime of loyalty to these people because that is exactly the type of experience I want in my life. And that’s the type of experience that Google wants,” said Duane Forrester.
Since Google has tons of content, a single mistake can lead customers away from your website. When creating a customer journey map, focus on connecting the customer experience and customer service with the content for better outcomes.
Duane Forrester is VP of Industry Insights at Yext. With over 20 years of experience in the search and social fields, Duane is the author of “How To Make Money With Your Blog” and “Turn Clicks Into Customers through McGraw-Hill.” He’s worked with Microsoft and Bing, helping run their Webmaster Tools program, as well as the SEO program at MSN.
Content marketing can be tricky because you may be doing everything right but still rank lower than your competitor. If your rivals’ websites have a single better sentence that adds more value to the customer experience, they’ll turn up higher than you on the search engine. Similarly, you may fail to provide the format and the style your customers need.
Whether you have a perfectly written blog post or not, visitors will leave your website if the piece doesn’t meet their needs, and that’s the hard truth. Google sees any quick departure as a red flag, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing everything wrong. You may have just missed focusing on the content that’s converting or has the best potential to fulfill your customers’ preferences.
Your job with the content strategy doesn’t end when a buyer purchases your products and services. The customer engagement journey extends well before and beyond the purchase, when people may need more information about the product, whether to acquire it or fix issues.
Think about how your content supports the buyer journey after the purchase. Does your website have information for troubleshooting and setting up products? Are there how-to guides to help in product use? If not, your customers may feel detached from your brand and lose interest. Needless to say, this may result in low recommendation rates, poor customer retention and acquisition, and overall, bad brand awareness and image.