Ah the awareness stage, it may sound like a small section of Glastonbury where David Icke performs alongside a lecture from a man in shades called Byron Van Damme telling us we are all living in The Matrix and need to wake up people, but it is, in fact, one of the most crucial stages in marketing.
Let’s have a look at some of the best methods to create content in the awareness stage of the buyer cycle.
What Is The Awareness Stage?
Also known as the top of the marketing funnel, the awareness stage is effectively where your potential customer is asking a question and wants a solution to a problem.
We won’t go into the detail of the other stages in this post, but just so you can see the bigger picture, the other stages are the consideration stage, the decision stage and the post-decision stage.
They may not even know the exact problem they have yet or even the right question, but if there is one human behaviour you can guarantee won’t change (unless of course, we are living in the Matrix) is that they will always be curious.
A good example could be I’m bored and there is nothing on tv (awareness stage)
So, they google “what to watch” and the first result (and many others) is a link to Netflix. They go to Netflix, sign up for a free month.
Now, they enter the consideration stage, look through all the shows and films and eventually find one and (decision stage) start to watch it.
After an hour, the show finishes and before they even decide to go to the post-decision stage, it’s there already. Before the credits even start to roll, there are suggestions of other shows to watch, based on what they have just seen.
The customer doesn’t even have to click anything, the new show starts and there, they are hooked in.
This is all very well you may be thinking, but I am a marketing manager and I have got to market an organic Chapstick for dogs noses (and there are more out there than you think), is this not overly complicated for what we want to sell?
Not necessarily, no.
If all of your online advertising and marketing material is effectively saying, “buy our organic dogs Chapstick, it smells quite nice”, you may as well be standing in the Trafford Centre on a Saturday afternoon handing out leaflets telling people that the world is going to end on June 24th because Jesus is coming back and this time he’s in a foul mood.
A Buyer Persona
One good way to get ideas for where and what content to produce is to create a buyer persona. This is your target customer.
So, to carry on with the organic dog Chapstick product (and I really wish I had chosen something else) let’s take a look at who might be the target market.
It’s a product for dogs. Ok, so they like animals, if they like animals they are going to big Facebook users of funny animal vids.
It’s an organic product, so they will like eating healthy, natural products. They have a dog so it’s quite likely they go walking and exercise.
After a while, you will build up a picture of who your target customer is and get an idea of what kind of things they are going to be looking at on the internet.
The other benefit of this is that it focuses the marketing. It’s very easy to get consumed by creating all sorts of content in all sorts of places, but if it isn’t targeted then it will be a waste of time and money.
Keywords In The Awareness Stage
Firstly, do lots of research on google, search for the type of product you are marketing and see what the most popular results are.
What questions come up in google that people have searched for to get to that product.
Ideally, your content wants to be related to popular keyword searches and the answers to some questions that don’t appear when you search on google.
This, along with ideas from your buyer’s persona, can form the basis of your initial marketing content.
Moz has a great keyword explorer search tool, that will bring you back lots of easy to read and categorised data to start your brain spinning (in a good way).
You just need to register with an email, type in your keyword search and away you go.
If you look at the data collected by Top Rank Marketing, you may not be surprised to see that 88% of marketers are indeed producing custom content. But you may be surprised that 65% of those marketers are not understanding how much of their content works well and how much of it doesn’t work well.
One way to keep a focus and structure for your content is content calendars.
If you haven’t used one before, then we have made a rather funky content calendar template that you can download here.
Using the info from your buyer persona, keyword research and other product-related ideas, you can map out a schedule for digital marketing posts.
You can theme them across a week, tie them into national and international awareness days (our content calendar template already has these included) in order to get the attention of a popular hashtag.
This way you can plan and also see what works (and what doesn’t). It makes producing targeted custom content more organised and it’s also flexible enough that you can rearrange and put a newsjack post in at the last minute (if dog nose chapsticks should ever trouble the headlines of The Guardian or Buzzfeed.
There is so much more to look at and we only just started so if you would like to find out more then why not get in touch with us.