Content Marketing and Consumer Buying Behavior – Changes in the Digital Age

Ditial age is changing consumer buying behaviorContributed by Daniel Deelstra

The consumer buying process is changing and changing fast. In many ways technology is driving this change. Consumers have access to more information than ever before and are using this information to make decisions. As the consumer buying process continues to evolve consumers have access to more information than ever before. Savvy marketers are aware of this change and are adopting their marketing practices to take advantage of the new paradigm.  Content marketing represents an opportunity for brands to position themselves as the experts in their field.  This article looks at the growth in information accessed by consumers and proposes how marketers can use content marketing to capitalise on the consumer’s desire for information to increase sales.

What Statistics Show

According to studies by Google the amount of information sources gathered before purchase by a consumer doubled from 2010 to 2013. In the recent past there was a perception that online marketing was mainly for online stores.  However this trend indicates that an online presence is equally important for traditional bricks and mortar businesses. Google’s research into retail shopper behaviour shows that 87% of shoppers seek information on a store before visiting a bricks and mortar store. Failing to have the information shoppers needs leaves business exposed to unhappy customers and lost business citing 43% likely to shop elsewhere if they do not find the information they need.  So it is clear that marketers must provide the information that consumers want and consumers must be able to access it easily. Consumers expect this information to be easily accessed, up to date and informative. Failing to provide the information desired leaves business exposed to competition.

So what does this mean for content marketers?  

It simply means that websites must provide the information that consumer’s desire.  Of course basic information such as prices, what is in stock and phone numbers must be easily accessed otherwise consumers will be frustrated and leave. Where marketers can make a real difference is extending this information to include information that helps consumers make their purchase decision.  Providing information that helps consumers make decisions positions yourself as an authority on the subject.  As such consumers are more likely to make the purchase from your site or bricks and mortar store.

A good example of this strategy is providing product reviews. Imagine you sell digital cameras and as part of your site you review the digital cameras you stock.  A customer who finds your site through reading your review is likely going to trust you as an authority on that product since you have taken the time to review it.  The beauty of this strategy is you get three benefits.

– Firstly, traffic through search, social media and other platforms where consumers find your reviews.

– Secondly, consumers who are considering buying that particular digital camera from you don’t have to leave your site to find the information they require.

– Thirdly, you get the SEO benefit of having more content on your site that potentially may be linked to from external sites and found on search engines.

Making Decisions

The best way to make decisions about what types of content to include on your site is to use keyword research.  To achieve this all you need is the free google keyword research tools Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends.  Aim to find long tail queries that have some search volume, but low competition. Use wild cards such as why, how and when to find those least competitive long tail terms. .The key is find an area that has not been overly exploited. Then produce good consistent content over an extended period of time. With time search engines and your customers will consider you an authority in your field leading to an increase in traffic, leads, and sales.

Daniel Deelstra is a digital marketing and SEO co-ordinator for Australian based marketing agency The Marketing Mix.  The Marketing Mix is a full service marketing agency that focuses on integrated marketing solutions that combine traditional marketing with digital marketing.

MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

Content Marketing Strategies Geared to Motivate Leads to Buy
Is a Website Still Essential as the Core of Your Online Platform?
Website Metrics – 5 Tips to Keep Your Head Above Water