How to Plan Content for Every Stage of the Customer Journey

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In our day and age, engaging yet educational content is an essential element of an effective marketing strategy, regardless of industry. With consumers becoming more informed and conscious of their purchasing decisions, it is critical to position your company as an authority and expert in your field. 

Indeed, today you can find various software solutions for enhancing your digital marketing strategies, such as email marketing tools from or virtual assistant services, but the right content delivered at the right time is an obligatory ingredient if you want to win your prospect's trust. As such, it is necessary to ensure that you provide your prospective customers with valuable information at every stage of their customer journey - from awareness to referrals. 

What's even more crucial is that you plan your content pieces in terms of intentions, not numbers to address your business goals. It might seem like a sheer amount of work and effort, but with a well-thought-out content strategy, you will be able to gain customers’ trust, making them more likely to not only buy from you but also recommend your products and services to others and come back for more. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at the customer journey in general and learn how to plan your content specifically for each stage.

What is a customer journey?

The customer journey is a model that describes the process of how a customer moves through your sales funnel. It helps you better understand your customers and their behavior, as well as enhance your marketing efforts. A customer journey map depicts all stages of the customer experience, including their expectations and touchpoints with your brand and products or services as they interact with your company. 

How to Plan Content for Every Stage of the Customer Journey

To engage with your prospects, you need to determine your target persona, know where they are in the buying process, what challenges and problems they face, and what content will convince them to buy from you. 

Once you have identified these touchpoints, you can create content specifically for each stage. This will help you pre-empt questions, address concerns, establish yourself as a credible authority, and ultimately convert more customers into paying clients.

The customer journey varies from industry to industry; however, there are three main stages applicable to virtually any business. Here is what you should know about them:

Awareness stage

The awareness stage is the first step of the purchase process, where prospects are not yet aware of your company and, therefore, do not intend to purchase from you. During this stage, customers will start researching and evaluating their options, meaning that your marketing strategy should focus on raising your brand awareness and introducing your products or services to prospects. 

This is why businesses use different methods such as website chatbots for engaging customer support.

Consideration stage

At the consideration stage, also known as the interest stage, prospects are starting to narrow down their options and might be willing to give your company a shot. They will want to learn more about your company as a whole, as well as its products and services in particular.

At this point, your marketing strategy should focus on building customer interest, educating prospects on your products and services, as well as establishing your credibility as an expert in your business niche.

Decision stage

The decision stage is the most crucial part of the whole purchase process - it is when consumers are about to make a commitment and purchase from you. This is where your content strategy should focus on establishing trust by showing them that your company is reliable and providing them with valuable information that will help them make the final decision. In this process, you should also work on customer support by using computer telephony integration (CTI), email, or other means of communication.

Stage-by-stage content planning tips

As you can see, each stage of the customer journey requires a different type of content. You should plan your content marketing strategy according to the customer journey; otherwise, your efforts will be wasted. 

learn how to plan your content specifically for each stage

For example, if a prospect is still at the awareness stage, they might not be receptive to promotional offers. However, they might be more likely to respond to an incentive offer once they enter the consideration stage. 

When your content is tailored in accordance with each aspect of the customer journey, you can be sure that you are continually sending the right message to the right person at the right time. 

Moreover, understanding the role of content in the customer journey and its most significant touchpoints will help you develop the right content pieces, which, in turn, will allow you to measure results and identify points where you can make improvements.

So how can content help you send the right message to the customer at the right time? What content formats should your content plan include for each aspect of the customer journey? Let’s take a look:

Awareness stage

In this stage, you need to teach prospects about your company, its products, and services, explain what makes you stand out from competitors, and establish your authority as an industry expert. 

If your brand awareness is underdeveloped, this is high time to start creating it. The best way to do this is by sharing educational content that will help your prospects learn more about your business, industry, and solutions. 

You can set up a blog, create visual content, attend industry events and conferences, or develop an email newsletter. It's great if you can hire a custom writing service to take care of the quality of your content, but it's better to know how to do it yourself. In addition, you can build brand awareness by sharing your expertise through publications, social media, and third-party media outlets and platforms.

Here are some more ideas of what you can include in your content plan for this stage:

  • tips, advice, and “how-to” articles,
  • infographics,
  • video tutorials,
  • checklists,
  • industry-related news,
  • product or service reviews,
  • testimonials from satisfied customers,
  • incentive offers,
  • About Us website page with a company history, mission, and values.

Consideration stage

During the consideration stage, customers will start researching to get more information about your industry and evaluate your brand and offer. They are also looking. Therefore, it is crucial to continue educating them on your products and services and highlight your company’s unique selling proposition (USP). 

What is a customer journey

You can achieve this by providing detailed information about your products and services and the advantages they offer, as well as the ways they can help customers solve their problems. You should also discuss the benefits of buying from you, such as customer service, manufacturing process, return policies, etc.

You can achieve this by providing customers with helpful buying guides, e-books, and free webinars. You can also create case studies and share them on your website. Remember that you need to make this information easy to access, navigate, and understand, as you only have a few seconds to win your prospects’ attention.

Here are some more content formats to include in your content plan for this stage:

Decision stage

In order to convert prospects into paying customers, you need to win their trust. As such, you need to prove that you are a credible, reliable source of information and that you know what you are talking about. Prospects will also be looking for reasons to choose your company over others. 

Therefore, you need to continue educating them on your offer by emphasizing the quality of your products and services, your brand image and reputation, and other benefits that will convince them to buy from you.

Stage-by-stage content planning tips

During the decision stage, prospects will want to know more about your product and service guarantees and warranties, payment methods, and other buying-related details. You should be prepared to answer any questions they might have regarding these aspects. 

Also, it would be beneficial to provide them with something they can use to refer others to your company or return themselves - for example, a discount coupon for the next purchase.

Here are some ideas of what you can include in your content for this stage:

  • free samples or trial periods,
  • product demos,
  • user manuals,
  • coupons, gift certificates, webinar invitations.

The bottom line: how to plan content for every stage of the customer journey

As you can see, it is essential to plan your content marketing strategy according to the customer journey, which is not possible without a clear understanding of how its stages work and who your target persona is. As prospects move through the different stages of the customer journey at different rates and in different ways, your content should be geared towards each individual step.

From a marketing standpoint, it is also crucial that you provide your prospects with informative content that is personalized, engaging, and shareable. 

This means that you need to know your target audience to create content that will show them how your products and services can help people solve their problems and pains and address all aspects of your customers’ needs and interests. This will help you gain their trust and increase conversions.

As a result, choosing the right content formats for particular stages of the customer journey will allow you to ensure that your prospective customers will get a comfortable and satisfying experience with your brand. 

This, in turn, will allow you to win more sales, fewer product returns, and more positive reviews - a significant step towards increasing your customer loyalty. Good luck!

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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