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3 Hot Digital Marketing Tools for 3 Stages of the Buyer's Journey

3 Hot Digital Marketing Tools for 3 Stages of the Buyer's Journey

By Karen TaylorMay 2 /2019

From AI-generated content to email personalization, there are a growing number of digital marketing tactics available to marketers. Businesses are starting to adopt many of them to boost their inbound marketing programs. With so many options, where should you start?

Why not consider adding one innovative digital marketing tool to each stage of the buyer’s journey to help improve results? Here are three digital marketing tool suggestions companies are using right now to add value to their inbound marketing programs and digital marketing strategies — including AI-generated content to attract better prospects, chatbots to boost conversions and purchase-intent marketing to close more quality customers.

AI-Generated Content — Attraction Stage

“20 percent of all business-oriented content created will be authored by machines.” — Gartner

At this stage of the buyer’s journey, potential prospects are engaged in education as they try to find solutions to problems they’ve identified. To turn prospects into leads, companies must provide these knowledge seekers with a lot of quality content that informs them and answers their questions. Many companies struggle with producing enough content to meet this demand and miss an opportunity to reach the maximum number of quality prospects. Enter AI-generated content.

What is it?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a catchall term for technology that performs tasks that mimic human intellect, such as problem-solving, analysis and learning. The technology uses algorithms (aka, rules) to predict trends that make it easier for humans to make informed decisions.

So far, the potential for AI-generated content lies less in writing stylistic blog articles that show off your brand voice and more in using it to create content like shareholder reports, legal documents, data-driven round-ups and product descriptions.

Why use it?

Gathering and processing data is a challenge for most human writers. AI’s strength as a data-processing machine is perfect for the attraction stage of the buyer’s journey when companies need to produce a wide variety of content to attract and educate quality leads. That’s why it’s perfect for compiling data into basic content. With their time freed up, marketing departments can focus on creating more in-depth, creative content.

How to use it?

There are a variety of ways to incorporate AI-generated content into your marketing program including:

  • Create Customer-Facing Reports. Thanks to its key strength in analyzing data, report generation is a natural fit for robot writers. Computer-generated reports not only save marketers valuable time, but the data results generated provide valuable information that entices buyers looking for concrete answers.
  • Boost Your Content’s Search Engine Performance. When producing high-impact content, analyzing keywords and popular topics is a common task in most marketing departments. But it’s a long and painstaking process. AI can quickly and efficiently do the research and calculations instead. With this assistant, companies can focus on creating SEO-optimized content topics that can help drive more organic traffic to the website.
  • Improve Content Quality. Another time-consuming task is editing content. AI-powered editors are helping companies save here, too, by using a “proprietary context engine” that make suggestions on what to improve and help maintain a similar voice across platforms.

 

Chatbots — Conversion Stage

“80% of respondents said they already use or plan to use chatbots by 2020.” — Oracle

“Get the best marketing strategy for 2020."

That’s the first chatbot greeting you receive when you first land on the Kuno Creative website.

Soon, another message pops up in the lower-right-hand “KunoBot”:

“These options will help you get started:

  • Read free articles.
  • View most popular topics.
  • Schedule a free consultation.
  • Chat online now.”

At any time, you can enter a message into the chatbot or close the box. It’s like a concierge for your website. This is the beauty of chatbots, and why they are so effective and popular. It’s also why they are especially good at the conversion stage of the buyer’s journey.

kuno chat bot

 

What is it?

Chatbots are interactive software platforms that mimic human behavior by responding intelligently to questions and comments and assisting consumers in completing their goals. Chatbots interact with humans in a natural way, primarily through the use of text chat windows, but also verbal interactions. The most advanced bots understand complex requests, personalize responses and improve their capabilities over time.

Why use it?

Bots allow users to receive personalized, focused interactions while allowing companies to use their human resources more strategically. Businesses are using them on their websites, in apps and on social media and other messaging channels to create personalized messages, improve the customer experience and streamline service. Content marketers can use chatbots for a variety of functions, such as recommending relevant content in response to people’s questions, like an eBook or explainer video.

How to use it?

There are a variety of ways to incorporate chatbots into your marketing program including:

  • Reach a wider audience. Adding chatbots helps marketers reach a virtually limitless audience. Chatbots can be integrated across multiple messaging applications and tap into new demographics, all while making companies' human staff more readily available to help prospects become customers. This opens new opportunities to convert quality prospects into leads.
  • Gather and analyze customer feedback and data. Feedback is one of your most valuable commodities. But, unless there's an incentive to do so, people don’t want to spend their time completing surveys. A chatbot softens the approach by introducing questions into the conversation. With added functionality, chatbots can analyze the feedback, giving marketers more insight into what their audience truly wants. With the data in hand, they can adjust their marketing plans to focus more directly on their leads’ needs, thus boosting their inbound results.
  • Keep social media presence fresh and active. Social media can be the beast that is never satisfied no matter how much content you publish. Chatbots can help ease the burden by making brands available to consumers 24/7.

 

Purchase Intent Marketing — Close Phase

“No longer must you choose between information that's actionable for personalization and sales, but limited in scope, or information broad in scope but anonymous and of limited use.”Consilium Global Business Advisors

During the close phase of the buyer’s journey, companies need to zero in on leads ready to buy. But most companies are flying blind at this stage, making up for their lack of visibility with inefficient and non-scalable tactics. Enter purchase-intent marketing, which allows companies to determine which potential customers are in the market to buy right now. With this information in hand, they can target their closing tactics with greater precision.

What is it?

Purchase intent data gives B2B marketers and sales reps the ability to target leads actively shopping for their products and services. It is similar to a propensity model, which is a statistical scorecard that predicts the behavior of prospects or customers. Advanced features include assessing the actual dollar value of digital actions and touch points.

Why use it?

Purchase-intent targeting can help solve one of the biggest challenges B2B marketers are facing: driving conversions with content. The problem is, although you regularly publish brilliant content, you might be missing the mark on when a prospect or existing customer is ready to buy your product. Understanding buyer intent is critical to serving up the right content to the right buyers at just the right time. When you hit this mark, buyers gain the information they need, right when they need it, saving time and energy during the decision-making process. As a result, intent-qualified opportunities tend to be larger, move through the pipeline faster and convert to sales at a higher rate.

How to use it?

There are a variety of ways to incorporate purchase intent targeting into your marketing program—including three general intent data options:

  • First-Party Intent Data. You’re probably already harvesting this. If you’re tracking visitor behaviors on your site, document interactions, email opens and clicks, and direct social media engagement with your own profiles, then you’re accumulating first-party (your own) intent data.
  • Second-Party Intent Data. In the B2B industrial space, companies often invest in trade show intent information (e.g., which attendees indicated they’re interested in which type of solutions), as well as lead generation programs through associations and trade journals. This is second-party intent data. You’re acquiring it from another group who has permission to share and sell it. You get the contact details and the information on the behavior, action and intent signals, but the company owns the relationship.
  • Third-Party Intent Data. The concept of third party intent data is to harvest insights from all the other interactions across millions of websites, social profiles, online communities, etc. However, there’s a catch: you don’t know who the person is; the only identifier is an IP address. Companies will attempt to overlay contact data. So, it’s not necessarily the person who took the action, but it’s probably one you’d be happy to connect with.

Another option has entered the scene through Consilium: the scope of third-party data—the entire digital universe outside of your own properties—and the detailed contact insight of second party data with actual contact details of the leads.

Whether it’s writing simple human-like reports, answering prospects’ questions or identifying prospects who are ready to buy, leading-edge digital marketing opportunities abound for today’s marketers — helping them move more high-quality prospects through the buyer’s journey and helping them achieve their marketing goals.

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Karen Taylor
The Author

Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor is a professional content marketing writer with experience writing for over 100 companies and publications. Her experience includes the full range of content marketing projects — from blogs, to white papers, to ebooks. She has a particular knack for creating content that clarifies and strengthens a company’s marketing message, and delivers optimum impact and maximum results. Learn more at KarenTaylorWrites.com.
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