Episode 5: Aligning Content to the Customer Journey

In the customer journey, it's about reaching out to your audience and keeping them there. In this episode, Robbie & Tim discuss ways to align your content with the customer journey.

Robbie Fitzwater
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Quote of the Episode

“Yeah they had it right where I could find it. And they poured a little bit of salt in the wound, they helped me recognize the problem in a little bit more visceral way.”

Robbie Fitzwater


Tim 0:00
So Robbie, you’re telling me I can’t write about kittens even though I sell bicycles?

Robbie 0:07
Unless it’s bicycles for kittens? I don’t know if we’re gonna have a fit.

Tim 0:11
I’ve been doing it wrong all along

Robbie 0:14
All along!


Robbie 0:24
Hello, this is Robbie Fitzwater and Tim Lowry. With the Content Community Commerce Podcast, we unpack and discuss ideas at the intersection of content, community and commerce. So ecommerce entrepreneurs and marketers can leverage those on their own and have some fun and make marketing a little bit more accessible. Following up our last episode on, again, how the customer journeys change, why that buyer journey has changed, and going to be diving into Hey, how do we fit content at each stage of that buyer journey? Where does content fit into that process? And why is that important? And why that changed?

Tim 0:58
Yeah, and it doesn’t include kittens, unless you’re Petsmart or something like that.

Robbie 1:02
But if you can include kittens, it is a crowd pleaser. It is a crowd pleaser and is playing the hits. Not even fair.

Tim 1:08
Opens many doors on social. Yeah, so aligning content to the customer journey. Where do we start with that?

Robbie 1:15
It sounds so abstract and so crazy. But again, I know we talked on this last week. But basically, customer journey has changed so much, since again, 20 years ago, because we understand what we needed each different stages, consumers are trained to expect more from businesses. And we expect a lot of options in terms of research when we’re actually going through that process.

Robbie 1:39
So as marketers, we need to kind of understand how we can reverse engineer what our customer journey is going to be, what our ideal journey could be. And then give them what they need at each one of those stages. So they can help inform and educate themselves to find the solution they’re looking for. That’s ideally going to be the right fit for them. Yeah.

Tim 1:57
And I think there’s, there’s a couple of different ways to go about this. There’s the most simple basic way of like, well, who are my customers? And it’s like, am I batching in, you know, direct consumer type group where I’m just selling, like, straight to the end user? Or am I selling to a business? It’s still a person, but how does how does that customer look, it’s like, it’s gonna be different how you speak to them. Or you can get much more granular we’re, you know, some companies we work with, like they’ve done studies to find out like, you know, demographics, age, income, everything about that.

Tim 2:34
So that way, you can talk more specifically to that audience. And that’s great if you can do that. But I think sometimes it’s just being aware of like, Who is it? Am I talking to, you know, Bob, that is an avid cyclist. And when he’s not with his family, he’s just waiting to get out for like, a five hour ride and disappear from like, Who is this person that I’m talking to?

Robbie 2:53
Yeah, so context around who this person is what they need. And what they’re going to be ended up doing with the product is really helpful to kind of understand how they’re going to be making a decision. And what are going to be the drivers of that. And I know last week, we talked about, hey, this has changed so much. But understanding Hey, what does that person or what does your audience need? And understanding where they start that process to be a really big player in how they’re making that decision? So we talked about, again, kind of going from problem aware to solution aware, what are some of the ways we can use content to move somebody from those stages?

Tim 3:28
Yeah, well, definitely, it’s like, the first thing is, they’ve got a problem. And you need to be there where that problem is, like, if they’re searching for, you know, I need a lighter bicycle, or I need something that you know, helps me with time travel, whatever it might be, again, I’m just using cycling as like one space to do this in. But really, it’s any, any business. It could even be a tennis racket where somebody you know, has really bad tennis elbow and they think it’s the weight of their tennis racket is triggering it off.

Tim 3:57
And it’s like, okay, well my problem is, I need a lighter racket, but I also want one that still allows me to put down the strength that I’m used to. So it’s meaning that and I love I think of one example that you shared with me and it was the was it like sunglasses or glasses were like, your problem was like, it slides off the bridge of your nose and like they they just had this video that just

Robbie 4:20
Yeah, yeah. So the company is Roca the Roca eyewear and Roca makes glasses. And for me, I am a person. And if you guys are watching this video, or again, we apologize for everything. I see this through the podcast, but I wear glasses and I’ve only needed glasses for last like five years. And I have no nose bridge because I just have no nose bridge.

Robbie 4:40
So they slide on me constantly and I’m like, if I have any sweat or anything like they’re sliding off my face, I’m constantly pushing up. It’s so annoying. I put these little rubber things on my face on my glasses, so they don’t slide and Roca. I see an Instagram at the top of the funnel and they’re basically a person violently shaking their head like it’s hard as they can, and, and I’m like, Oh my gosh, they see me. I feel so seen I feel so heard. And they’re basically people shaking their head, and their glasses are not slipping.

Robbie 5:08
And I’m like, oh my gosh, I need that. I need that really bad. And for me, I wasn’t I was problem aware, but I wasn’t solution aware. And they suddenly, like instant made me solution aware where I want to take another step along that journey to find out what more do I need to know about this brand about this product? And what other options are available, because if I don’t know, I can’t make a decision.

Tim 5:30
Yeah, I love that whatever you told me about seeing that as like that is that is brilliant. Like that is a company that really, they understand their audience and the challenges that you know, people people are facing. And you know, I’m my bad, my eyes are so bad, I’m now on contacts, so I can shake my head all over the place. But again, I remember those days of like, you go out and if you’re sweaty, it’s like the glasses are sliding down.

Tim 5:52
So like that instantly speaks to the person of like, here’s your problem. And the awesome thing is like they’re even like jumping one step ahead, because you’re not just solution aware. But now you’re also like brand and product aware, because it’s like, here’s this company that makes a product that does that. So like, I feel like they even like kind of jumped a step and like accelerate the process.

Robbie 6:12
They really, they really helped me understand that so much better so fast. And to this date, that’s probably the one of the best Instagram ads I’ve ever seen. I still use that in my classes, like one of my favorite examples, because like, they just dominated that because they made it so easy. So So frictionless in a 10 second ad where like, I’m pretty skeptical. That’s typically like my BS meter, I think is pretty refined, they did a great job of top of the funnel reaching me, and then getting me to dive deeper into that.

Robbie 6:41
So from there, my step next step was like, looking at like reviews of Roca glasses or going to their website to understand more about them. And that’s kind of what that that catalyzing opportunity is for that for them is, hey, they, they created a they created a need, they helped me recognize a need, and they helped me take one step forward. And then from there, off to the races.

Tim 7:06
And I’m gonna say they also, like they use the right channel to do this. Because like, if I wrote a blog for you about that problem, like your, it just doesn’t speak in the same way. Like if there was a piece of content, like there’s maybe some search volume around it. YouTube, like, yeah, you could have a video on there, but it’s not where somebody really knows, it’s like they, they found like the right targeting of like, who their audience was like they niched it down to, I know, it could be male and female, or maybe just males, in their 20s through 40s, that wear glasses, they’re active. And like they targeted like the right people with the right thing.

Tim 7:47
So like they, they chose a really good way to get that across. And I think that’s another part of like, reaching your audience, it’s using the right vehicle to get in front of them, because you can have something really great for that delivering of like, here’s your problem solution. But if you’re putting it in the wrong place, your audience isn’t going to see it. And in this case, like they put it right in the right place.

Robbie 8:10
Yeah they had it right where I could find it. And they poured a little bit of salt in the wound, they helped me recognize the problem in a little bit more visceral way. And I, again, I it made me act a lot faster than I normally would I ordered a pair of glasses to try on at home fairly fairly soon after that. And it was off to the races, like I didn’t love them, I thought they were a little bit too sporty for me, I’m still trying to get used to me, as a person who wears glasses, as opposed to just me as a person. So I’m coming to terms that all the time.

Tim 8:37
“Hi, I’m Robbie I wear glasses, I mean, nice to meet you”.

Robbie 8:40
They just, I feel like I wanna like beat myself up and take my own lunch money. Still. I feel I feel that but it’s really fascinating in the way that they were able to do that and move me so fast. And for them, like picking that right channel. And for so many groups like social at the top of the funnel makes so much sense because that’s where that first touch point can happen. And then they can move from there.

Tim 9:03
And price point to like, I think that that’s the only thing like social, like using it for something that’s going to cost 1000s of dollars, it’s probably not going to have that same benefit as like, here’s a, you know, sub $200 product or even, you know, sub 100 or sub $50 product where like those ads that like quickly grabbed you. It’s a low threshold of entry to like, well, I can try it and if I don’t like it, I’ll return it.

Tim 9:28
Whereas like things that require more steps like that’s where social drops off. And I’ll just you know, we’ll go back to cycling, like if you’re buying a new bike and you’re trying to size the right frame, and you want to know the right materials, and you want to spec on like additional products like your own saddle and your own rims, and then like the buyers problem, they have many more questions and many more things that they’re trying to accomplish.

Tim 9:54
So having just like one thing is no longer going to do that and it’s the price point. If they’re going to need way more information, that’s where traditional like blog content with a video embedded into that showing the product explaining, measuring doing. That’s where then you’re like, making them aware of their problem and additional problems they didn’t even know that they had.

Tim 10:18
And then also providing those solutions as you walk them through the problems. And it’s that’s something for businesses, you really got to consider, like, what is it you’re selling to your customer? And the price point, and that’s going to determine a little bit of like, how you get that messaging over to them?

Robbie 10:34
Yeah. So again, what is their what is their problem? What is their price point and how to communicate that? You also mentioned? Like, what is the context they’re consuming that information to because like, if they’re sitting on their sofa at home, like this Instagram ad reaches me at home, again, I’m on my, on the sofa, creeping, looking at Instagram, like after 8pm. When I’m just like, checked out. Yeah, yeah, this is like the time that I spend time on my mobile device. But suddenly, like, that’s going to be different in the research process and in the engagement process, than it would be if I’m consuming content in the middle of the day, if I’m a B2B decision maker,

Tim 11:09
Yeah. 100%. Like if you’re, if you’re a B2B decision maker, like you’re likely sitting at your desktop, doing something or you’re on your, you know, if you’re in a larger city and use public transport, or maybe on your commute into work, and you’re going through LinkedIn or something else. Like, again, it’s thinking like, where are they going to be, but it’s going to require a different thing.

Tim 11:30
It might be case studies and white papers at that stage that are going to be your problem solution type mechanism, or is going to be content that is meatier more technical, maybe reaching different people within different departments within an organization. So hopefully, it then funnels up to, to the final decision maker within that, but you have to have like three team members where you need their, you know, CTO and their CMO and somebody else to be like, Hey, here’s the solution that we need.

Tim 12:00
And we’ve all stumbled on it through different ways that, you know, we came across this but yeah, 100% different than sitting on the couch and scrolling or that person that is, you know, taking an extended bathroom break during the workday, and again, scrolling on their feed, and all of a sudden, it’s like, oh, yeah, I need a new water bottle for work. And they.

Robbie 12:23
They suddenly find it discover it, and now they’re down the rabbit hole.

Tim 12:25
Yeah, they’re down the rabbit hole, and they come back 30 minutes later, you know, people are like, Where have you been?

Robbie 12:29
Yeah, and it’s a big deal. And then to where like, because, again, attention is more of a commodity, like, attention is hard to earn a need even harder to maintain than ever has been in the past. We’ve got to be able to deliver that in a way that’s valuable, meaningful and engaging. So not just this, like white papers only go so far, where somebody may need a little bit more nuance and sophistication, right?

Tim 12:51
They didn’t want a white paper for buying your your glasses.

Robbie 12:55
I do not want a white paper. But yeah, how do you how do you take kind of boring information? And I always say like, how do you take that and like, great, this is a great, you have content, you have a great oatmeal raisin cookie, like but nobody really loves oatmeal raisin cookies the way they love like a chocolate chip cookie. So the marketers job in a lot of cases is like how do I bake some chocolate chips into my oatmeal raisin cookie? Because that’s sexy. That’s certainly taking something that’s informative and educational, and also making it fun and engaging. So how do you kind of connect those two?

Tim 13:24
Yeah, definitely. Well, visuals are like the obvious thing, like no matter what it is, like people don’t want to be greeted with a wall of text when they land on your site on any page. And in particular, if it’s like a robust article, like if you have visuals, graphics, things to break that up, if you can create a video that goes parallel to that, then you’re giving them the option of how they want to consume it, thinking a video cannot have captions. So if they don’t want to be in a room with audio playing, like, I can’t remember the last time I’ve actually heard audio even on like, Instagram, like my wife will make a reel and I just have my I have my sound just turned off

Robbie 14:01
Just like on Instagram, like I mean, reels are different. But like, even on Instagram, like as a platform, like up to 80% of video is consumed there without audio. So understanding yeah,

Tim 14:11
LinkedIn 100% is a place where like, you know, if you’re on work, you don’t want just like videos firing off and like noise like you want it to be just, you know, consumable where you can read what’s going on. So that’s like adding, adding things to consider to the user into it. I love like, a give Backlinko a plug, like their content, like they do these pillar posts, and they’re long they’re like, 6000 words, and it’s maybe going into different SEO things that could be really just kind of dry, to be honest.

Robbie 14:44
Yeah. I mean, yes. I mean, SEO is like, you know,

Tim 14:48
here’s your top technical SEO strategies

Robbie 14:51
SEO. It’s not the most exciting category in the market.

Tim 14:53
It’s not let’s be honest, and I’ll you know, I’ll admit that.

Robbie 14:55
It’s intimidating for a lot of people but it’s not like, again, it’s not as sexy a lot of categories.

Tim 15:00
But the way it’s broken up visually, knowing that they’re longer articles, like breaking them up with like tables of contents to start having sections of the page designed in different colors, like it shows that they’ve thought around, like, Oh, I’m, I’m here to consume something. And it’s, yeah, it’s kind of meaty. But it’s also, it’s kind of exciting. There’s, you know, here’s just some graphs, some visuals, some things to coincide with this, here’s how this performed when it was done somewhere else.

Tim 15:27
And I think that when you can pull those in, or if you’re in a, you know, a B2C space, like having visuals of the product, don’t just have it flat, like if you can add, like an arrow pointing to a part and explaining what that is in a visual. And then you’re also breaking it down in text, you know, that image is going to be likely what they look at, and then they’ll skip over the text and move to the next thing. But again, you’ve got the two parts, you got the ranking part, and then you’ve got the part that the audience is likely going to spend more time on, which is the visual part. So yeah, those are things that I think around.

Tim 16:00
And sometimes it’s possible, many times, it’s not if IF bandwidth is just an issue. So you try sometimes to just make the most out of what you can, but try to be mindful not to just be like, I’m just gonna throw this up online. And it’s a big, you know, it looks like a Word doc. And yeah, hopefully, we’ll enjoy it. Yeah, stylize it, add links to other things that are useful to people. So like knowing like, hey, if they make it this far down the article, they might want to read more on this specific topic. And we have a guide on that, and just placing things mindfully for your customer, or your audience to see. And then eventually, they’re going to move just a little bit further down the funnel. And that’s, that’s where we want him to go.

Robbie 16:41
Yeah, and then one of the next things I’m always thinking about, and we’re always thinking about in terms of like, hey, on the email and retention side of things. How are we thinking about like, how do we collect more data and leverage that data at different stages to? So again, we’re assuming we know what that customer journey looks like. But how do we definitively know? How can we ask them? How do we create that feedback loop? Where we can get like, hey, what how are you going to use this? Where are you going to use this? What are you going to find valuable in it? And if we can know, Hey, what is this?

Robbie 17:13
What are the different use cases for the product, we can align the right content with the right context of where they are in that decision. And hopefully give them that information. They need at those different stages. So it one stage and maybe social proof at one stage, it may be validation that yeah, this product works and it’s successful. Or if we’re trying to drive a decision, like, Hey, what are the barriers that they may see? Again, how do we kind of address those and decrease the amount of friction they’re going to see in making that decision? And all of those things are going to help us understand what’s going to be different about this product versus that product? And how is it going to be different and more impactful for that end user.

Tim 17:51
I love how obvious and easy it is, but I don’t see it executed very often. And you’ve done it for clients that we work on together. And I think of you know, the the equestrian brand that we work with where it’s like, hey, what type of riding Do you and you’re literally just like people, like they just, they happily tell you and all of a sudden, you know, like, oh, this person does dressage, so you’re not sending them things that are non relevant to them. Like they’re receiving things that that makes sense.

Tim 18:18
And I think for most brands, like your product is probably not just one dimensional is just one type of user is probably used by different ones. Like if you sell golf clubs, it’s like, you know, Are you new to the sport? Have you been playing a while? Or are you, you know, are you playing semi pro? Like you can give them something that then that way you’re not sending you know, the beginner’s guide to how to play golf to somebody that is, you know, on an amateur league or, you know, a semi pro league, or cycling, do you road race, mountain bike, BMX? Like, yeah, are you are you a commuter? different audiences.

Robbie 18:53
There’s so much in the identity that person holds for themselves as that user. And also for like, the use cases in general, like, there’s so many there’s so non relevant, like there, if you can expedite that process of knowing like, Hey, I’m going to add value beyond the transaction through content. I want to expedite that process as fast as possible. Because if I know this is going to be super relevant for them, yeah, I can find the right stuff.

Robbie 19:15
Like if I’m, if my audience if my product is like children’s clothing, if I can understand a grandparent versus a parent. Yeah, the grandparent, I’m going to, like, pull social proof that talks speaks to like, Oh, these are so cute, or my grandbabies like this was so this was so great, my grandchildren love them, or for a parent, like this was so easy to clean, like those use cases isn’t those needs are so different. And if we can address those really early on and effectively, it makes that process a lot easier to educate, inform.

Robbie 19:45
And then on the B2B side, if we know hey, this person is a is a marketer, who’s going to be using the product versus a CMO who’s going to be ideally eventually making that end decision. How what different information do they need to be able to go batfor that product or what? How is that going to solve their problem in different ways, like a CMO, maybe looking at things from a completely different lens than the marketer on their team, but we want to be able to give them the information they need for both groups. Because, again, it’s going to be more relevant, and they’re gonna find more value in it. Yeah,

Tim 20:17
I’m even thinking of like Apple on their business account side, like whenever I enrolled in that program, they use simple things like that. It’s like, you know, do you have 10 or less employees? Do you have 10 to 50? Do you have like, that way, they know the type of stuff to communicate or the type of offers, because in my case, they’re not going to offer me some enterprise level thing where it’s like, hey, we can come and have somebody set up, you know, 1000 computers in your office or something like that? Because that’s just not who I am.

Robbie 20:50
You’re not. TipTop is not a venture backed unicorn startup?

Tim 20:53
Not yet. If there’s any backers out there, I would rather not be but again, it’s like having that information. And I personally, like if somebody asked me, when I’m on a site, which bucket I fall into, I’m probably gonna be more likely to give up some information because I know now, they have what I’m looking for. Because they’re asking me specifically like, Hey, are you a commuter? Like, do you bike commute? And all of a sudden, it’s like, yeah, that’s me. I’m not a, you know, a downhill mountain bike racer, I’m a commuter. So I don’t need this content. But if you have stuff on, you know how to make your bike more secure, when you’re locking it up outside, that speaks to me more than you know, how to not blow your shock out going off the side of a cliff, it’s just a different audience.

Robbie 21:36
Yeah. And so that level of nuance, and then how do we collect data along the way is really important. Because essentially, like, it’s been so many cases, like, knowing that there gonna be a handoff from again, them searching organically, to eventually ideally, we want to move them into a more owned audience where we can curate that content specifically for them along those along those stages of that journey. Through like, again, we, again, I don’t want to like say, like, yeah, that to a hammer, everything’s a nail. But like, from the email side, it’s a much easier process to do that from

Tim 22:07
And with the right email tool, like once you have that data, you start getting more as they’re moving around the site. So you’re starting to see like, browsing behavior of, oh, this person has looked at, you know, breaches 20 times, they’re probably like, there’s, the level of intent is pretty high. Yeah, like, we now know, we, you know, like, we need these types of levers and triggers to be automated to go off when these things happen.

Tim 22:36
And that’s all by again, like starting with like that right piece of content, to get them into the site. So like identifying that problem for them, providing a solution, before they leave the site, making sure that you give them an opportunity to stick with you a little longer by signing up or doing something. And then from there, that learning can move them from problem to solution to product to hopefully buyer at the end of it. Yeah.

Robbie 23:02
Then we’re and then we’re off to the retention game. So and everybody’s having fun. So at the end of the day, if I’m a marketer, what are the three questions we talked about this? Like, let’s run this out? Like, what are the three questions you want to ask yourself? And three things you want to be thinking about? And like, the first one we talked about is, what are the stages of buyer? What are the stages your buyer goes through? Are they starting from problem aware and moving to solution aware? Are they solution aware and trying to be product aware?

Robbie 23:29
Understanding where that person likely is in that stage is going to help you understand where to focus your attention and where, where you’re strong and weak. What is the context they’re making that decision on? How are they consuming content? Where are they in that buyer journey? What do they need in terms of how they’re consuming that content? And then how can you collect more data along the way? And I think those three questions really round this out, give a good, like, basically give people not necessarily a distinct roadmap, but gives them a good directional compass of where to focus attention and time, early on, if they’re trying to bring this to life for their business.

Tim 24:06
100%. And it’s, yeah, like I think of, again, like those three things, like, like all marketing, things, like you can get paralyzed and not know where to move or where to start. And really, you know, that’s, that’s your, your problem, you’re now problem aware of like, I need to start something and it’s, you know, start with the first thing like start creating that content. And there’s going to be opportunities all the way along from the problem to solution aware stage where you can have content that goes into both because your audience is going to be different people at different stages.

Tim 24:38
And it’s just a matter of like, starting to create that. And then from there, making sure that like you do have those right triggers so that whenever the traffic does come, that you have something to collect data on the back end, otherwise, you may be getting eyes to the side, but then if they don’t find you for that next step of the journey, you’re going to be lost that opportunity. So, you know, I think those are like three solid places to just really think over and move ahead on.

Robbie 25:04
And I realized this is extremely meta to because because we’re talking about moving from problem where to solution where I think all of you just can’t do that process and becoming moving from problem aware to solution aware. And now you have to become, again product aware or identify this for yourself. Yeah, very, very meta moment right there Tim.

Tim 25:24
Awesome. I love it.

Robbie 25:25
Okay, so if you guys also have any questions or have any feedback on this, like, We love talking to people, we love hearing about these things, obviously, like, we’ve talked about these topics a lot. Like, if you can tell this like bragging about marketing, it’s like, at least my love kind of my love language.

Tim 25:41
We kind of like

Robbie 25:42
It’s kind of fun. So let us know. Keep us posted with a comment or question or, again, shameless plug for a five star review. So or at least three and a half stars for me.

Robbie 25:52
Yeah, anywhere there or above.

Robbie 25:54
Yeah, the smooth Irish voice makes it five stars.

Tim 25:56
Yeah. At least at 4.5.

Robbie 25:59
Okay, Tim, but this was a treat. We’re gonna have some fun again soon. And yeah, hopefully you all can take this and run with it. And we’ll see you guys around next time.

Tim 26:08
Thank you, Robbie.


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