Customer awareness stages in digital marketing strategy

Content marketing entails using digital marketing to not only sell but also attract and engage your target audience using value adding social media posts, blogs, videos and other such media.

HAVE you considered the stage at which members of your target audience are at in learning about your offering? Customer awareness refers to the extent to which your potential customers are aware of the problem you have a solution for.

Your marketing efforts should ideally cater to each awareness stage as content that only sells your solution. For instance, it would not be suitable for those, who are unaware that they have an issue that has to be resolved.

Should you have ever come across someone you knew who required assistance but failed to recognise the issue or the reason it needed to be resolved, you might have identified them as a “problem unaware” person.

They had either become accustomed to their issue and had failed to recognize they had one. Informing this type of prospective client about your offerings, including price and availability, would be indiscernible to them.

This would happen to companies that launch new products or have a first mover advantage in a market.

For example, a delivery company in a market that has not been sensitised to the convenience of delivery services would need to treat their market as problem unaware.

They would, therefore, need to focus on why going in store or picking up a package should be an inconvenience to the customer.

This is why a delivery company entering into a market where delivery services are a norm would need to show why people should choose them and what makes them unique. 

Content marketing entails using digital marketing to not only sell but also attract and engage your target audience using value adding social media posts, blogs, videos and other such media.

This would help you think about a digital strategy that goes beyond only explicitly selling your products and services.

When it comes to content marketing as a tool in digital marketing, it is important to not only define your brand, and be clear about what you want to be known for, but to also understand your target audience.

Defining your brand essentially means that you become clear on who you are, what you stand for and where you are going. This will help anchor your brand while ensuring any decisions made are led by this, which ensures consistency.

Defining your brand also gives your stakeholders something to buy into.

Potential customers may choose you over another brand because they believe in what you believe in — you have shared values, or they may be enticed by your unique selling point.

Understanding your target audience will give you the insight into how they think about the problem you want to solve, as follows: 

Whether they have thought about it as something they need solved (if they have accepted the problem to be normal thus not recognising it as a problem);

What they are willing to do to get the problem solved;

If they are solution aware and understand what can help them solve the problem;

If they are your specific solution aware.

Here is the kind of content you can share for each stage of the journey:

Problem unaware

What problem your solution solves;

Why they need this problem solved; and

Stories that are relatable and inform about those that were in the same position.

Problem aware

Benefits of the solution;

Stories to show other customers receiving the transformation they now desire; and

Different kinds of solutions to their problem and which may be best for them.

Solution aware

Social proof (testimonials, reviews) to show you are trusted by other customers;

Product walkthroughs to show them what to expect if they buy from you; and

Content that shows them ease of working with you.

Once customers are aware they need a solution, they will start to look at their options. You need to make them aware about what makes your products and services superior.

Your unique selling point may be to do with your product but if you do not have one, you can create this. Once you have created your unique selling point, you should continuously communicate it so that your target audience know what sets you apart.

Content created for customers that are solution aware but not your solution aware should therefore share the unique aspects of your brand:

Your solution aware

Who you are and what you stand for

Your unique selling point, differentiating factors and

Testimonials, reviews that showcase you delivering on your brand promise.

What kind of content have you been sharing for your brand? Does it lean more on any of these stages?

Remember that you may have potential customers at different awareness stages and while you can catch them in the awareness stage, they will trust the brands that have been educating them on from the problem awareness stage. 

This points to you what content needs incorporating for each of these stages in your digital marketing strategy. Content is an opportunity to not only sell, but to build trust with your audience.

  • Chikumba is an online brand strategist and content marketer, who works with people and organisations looking to bridge the gap between what they want to be known for and who they currently are. These weekly New Horizon articles, published in the Zimbabwe Independent, are coordinated by Lovemore Kadenge, an independent consultant, managing consultant of Zawale Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, past president of the Zimbabwe Economics Society and past president of the Chartered Governance & Accountancy Institute in Zimbabwe (CGI Zimbabwe). — [email protected] or mobile: +263 772 382 852.


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