Buyer journeys are becoming increasingly complex. Thanks to newer digital channels, technology is evolving at lightning speed. As a result, shoppers in both B2B and B2C have a wealth of resources available to support their research processes. As sales consultant Jill Rowley points out, today’s buyers rely on research to drive their consideration processes. They use a series of touchpoints to make the best possible decisions — particularly for expensive purchases such as software subscriptions, services, and high-end products. Enter micro-moments.
Think with Google uses this concept to describe the “fractured buyer journeys” that span hundreds of real-time, intent-driven interactions with your company. As Google points out, these moments are critical opportunities to shape long-term purchase intent. Every touchpoint needs to make an impact.
So how do you make the most out of each touchpoint, especially for high-consideration purchases for which the road to conversion is complex? Here are 3 tips to guide you.
Tailor Content to Decision Cycles
Buyers often rely on content to guide their decision-making. However, these audiences are typically short on time. Attention spans are shrinking, time is becoming a scarce asset, and everyone is bombarded with requests to provide and consume information. Not to mention, prospective buyers have to manage communications across multiple devices.
So how do you increase the impact and value of your content? The short answer: improve your targeting, so that audiences get to the right content faster with fewer clicks and less opportunity for distraction. You can do this by tailoring content to specific stages of your buyer’s decision cycle.
One example of this is Mindflash, a leading online learning platform for employee and customer training. The company has over 1,000 customers including McDonalds, Microsoft, Lufthansa, and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
Looking to accelerate growth, Mindflash has been increasing conversion rates throughout its customer lifecycle. The company creates messages that are relevant to different decision points. For instance, visitors to the company’s blog, free trial users and different segments of customers receive different messages, tips, etc. — as each of them are in different places in the customer journey and therefore require different content. By sharing content that is tailored to the moment, Mindflash sparked a 25% increase in free trial usage (e.g., users creating courses via Mindflash) and a 2x increase in blog signups. Check out the case study for more details.
Align Calls to Action (CTAs) with Visitor Persona
In the marketing world, timing is everything. The challenge that many companies face, however, is that it’s tough to reach audiences with timely, well-communicated, and relevant messages.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the story behind the story. Take note of the actions that visitors take on your website and how they respond to your content. Create CTAs that are personalized and specific to each individual on your site.
Take Mendix, an application platform-as-a-service (aPaaS) company, as an example. Building a customer base across industries, verticals, and geographies, Mendix has been using real-time personalization technology to get the right content to the right audiences at the optimal point in the conversion funnel — delivering different content and different CTAs depending on the persona of the visitor. The end result has been a 10% increase in downloads and a 6% reduction in bounce rate. Read more about their approach and success in this case study.
Provide a Guided Experience
For companies that offer a free trial or demo before asking customers to commit to a purchase, give your prospective buyers the guidance that they need to make an informed purchase decision. There are a few specific tactics that can help:
- Targeted upselling: Communicate a value proposition that is distinct to your target audience, using personalization.
- Progressive profiling: As you learn more about your customers, ask more focused questions for information-gathering. This technique will help you develop a highly individualized picture for every single person in your prospect and/or customer database.
- In-app messaging: Buyer journeys are complex, which is why it’s important for your company to develop materials that can help guide audiences along their journeys or product adoption process.
Endurance International Group put this idea to work:
This 2,500-person, publicly traded provider of cloud-based platform solutions is designed to help small and medium-sized business owners succeed online. The company serves more than 4 million subscribers through brands including Bluehost, HostGator, Domain.com, iPage, and others. Using a mix of targeted upselling, personalized progressive profiling, and proactive support, the company generated a 71% increase in conversion rates, better engaged their customers, and gained a deeper understanding of them at the same time. Read up on the details in this case study.
Make the most out of micro-moments by the providing the highest value to your audience. Focus on optimizing every interaction. Offer guidance and structure throughout the buyer journey. The more complex the journey, the more thoughtful you’ll need to be about your customer interactions. The payoff will be there, however, in the form of improved customer engagement and conversions.