Any business that values its customers understands the importance of user experience and goes to immense lengths to ensure that their experience is positive. Now, companies have started to take a very holistic approach to user experience and how they use it to upgrade their products and services. With this new approach, marketing has also become more innovative to some extent.
Mapping a user story or experience to develop a new marketing strategy may sound simple, but it does pose a few challenges of its own. This is why many businesses choose to rely on a content marketing agency with a spectacular track record. It allows businesses to focus their time and resources on their services while the agency takes care of marketing and promotional exposure.
Why story mapping is important for marketing
Anyone who is even distantly aware of business and product management knows that a marketing plan needs to be updated with the changing trends. As new products and competitors enter the market, every business will offer a unique experience to their customers. Usually, the common predicament here is how we’ll make the unique user experience we offer stand out for them. The most straightforward answer to this is story mapping.
What it Story Mapping
Story mapping is a visual representation of a customer’s experience when interacting with a product, including finding a product, buying, and even enjoying it. It helps marketers and product managers understand the buyer’s journey with a firsthand view of the same.
As they try to map out what their customers experience when making a purchase, they can also recognize and correct any issue they find. It helps in streamlining the entire buying process, and the new angle of visualizing can help develop content marketing strategies that are much more effective.
Looking at the product and experiencing the process from customers’ perspective
As discussed above, when product managers put themselves in their customers’ shoes, the insight gained can prove to be extremely beneficial. With this new viewpoint, we can develop a marketing plan that is much more consumer-centric as we’ll know what will bring in loyal customers and at what step. As we know what makes a customer interested, we’ll also understand what attracts new buyers and keeps them invested.
Making the user experience positive
When it comes to building long-term relations with our customers, user experience is primary. It is the entire journey of a consumer’s interaction with a product or service and how they felt after its completion. User experience (UX) is what keeps the same customer coming back to the same product offered by a particular business. Even if there are a number of companies with similar products, what gives one business the upper hand is UX. Consumers feel more comfortable with a particular product because they subconsciously associate positive UX with it.
Developing marketing strategies through story mapping
An effective marketing strategy works by keeping the customer at the front and center. This means that the product has to cater to their needs and demands. However, it also includes the consumers’ expectations of having a fulfilling purchase. For example, how easy was it for them to find the product? Were they shown other similar products, and did they find the description and product specs to be satisfactory?
The visual aspect of story mapping can give a very clear insight into what a customer does in one particular step. It also offers a transparent look into all the other alternatives and ways they could go after reaching a particular step in their journey.
For example- when finding a product on an e-commerce site, the customer will type in the search bar and look at the results. At this step, they could either choose an item they like or scroll through for more options. Story mapping will help decide what the customer is most likely to type into the search bar, and the marketing should follow accordingly.
Story mapping is a group exercise. A group is the ideal setting for new ideas. Group activities can turn a simple idea from one member into a larger, much more detailed plan as more people chip in their ideas.
Reviews and surveys
When combined with surveys, user stories can exponentially increase their own efficacy.
For example- a small survey about varying product descriptions of the same item will help recognize what type of information attracts a customer. Whether they’re more concerned about how to use a product or what benefits it provides? Or maybe a combination of both. For every product, the secret to effective content marketing lies in knowing what the customers expect out of it.
Though seemingly simple, marketing requires an in-depth knowledge of the niche and customer base. There is also a fair amount of market research that goes into developing strategies that actually work. It is for this reason that most businesses choose to leave the more complex marketing stuff to professionals by hiring content marketing agencies.