The Path To Purchase Is Lined With Content

What does mom want? She wants to make purchase decisions that are smart and show she’s done her homework. A purchase well made is cause for celebration. And the beauty of social media and technology is that it puts content on-demand to help her before, during and after a purchase. No wonder adoption is so high across Millennial, Gen X and even Boomer mothers. And with 7 out of 10 mothers now working, according to Pew Research, the path to purchase needs to be conveniently lined with content, content she needs to help her make an informed decision. 

Brands today have to think like publishers, creating content both that is brand-generated, but, more importantly, organic/user-generated content because whichever path she chooses to take when she is in shopping mode, the path to purchase only works today when lined with the voice of influencers. In fact, 92% trust recommendations from people they know over brand-generated content, according to Nielsen Global Trust Study 2011.

Creative and strategy teams are working all over the world trying to figure out what moms want, striving to come up with brilliant ideas that will spark her interest to grab their share of the $2.4 trillion dollars of spending power she holds. In reality, much of the content she wants is pretty straightforward and practical -- the kind of content most creative teams would call boring. But that doesn’t mean it has to be served up in a boring manner. And it needs to be developed with an eye to creating conversation and engagement. 



• Reviews/testimonials/advice: it’s at the top of the list of things that helps her decide. And the more personal the story the more likely it is to influence what she will buy. This is the branded content today’s social media powered mom creates and the kind of content she trusts most. 

Supported facts: and don’t forget moms love a good infographic for easy-to-digest visual content. You just have to look at the growth of Pinterest and Instagram to see the power of visualization. 

Cost comparison charts: moms comparison shop, so do the homework for them and don’t make moms search the web. 

Tips: invaluable ideas for usage help decide product/service value. Crowdsource tips from your audience. She’ll be happy you asked and you’ll be surprised how creative she can be.

Calculators: don’t tell her how much she’ll save, give her a calculator. She’ll trust the results more if you allow her to calculate her savings herself versus telling her how much she will save. And make sure the results are instantaneously shareable.

Podcasts, webinars, how to videos: moms love. For information intensive products, she’ll watch it multiple times. Show the product in use. Provide video testimonials. For an exhausted mother, a video allows her to sit back and listen versus reading through material. And she wants to continually learn so create webinars. And don’t forget podcasts, she spends so much time in the car running errands and chauffeuring children.

• Product photos: show the product from multiple angles including close ups. With three-quarters of shoppers doing 50% of their shopping online, this is critical. 

Free shipping: a critical piece of content … according to Lab42, 96% are more likely to shop on a site with free shipping preferring it over a discount. And one of the most critical pieces of content on the path to purchase.

• Live chat/access to customer service on social channels: customer service plays a role in the path to purchase, as well. She wants access to human beings for answers in real-time. Social sharing functions and links to the brand’s social channels should be standard, but many brands are still not understanding the power of Pin It buttons and placing social icons below the fold. She’ll check conversation on different platforms and use the conversation as part of the decision process.

Content is a big part of her experience with a brand and a critical part of value proposition today. The brands that understand this will win the hearts and minds of today’s social- and technology-powered mom. 

3 comments about "The Path To Purchase Is Lined With Content".
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  1. Ted Rubin from The Rubin Organization / Return on Relationship, April 5, 2013 at 12:02 p.m.

    Great post Holly, and so very important. Whether your business is selling widgets or services, success depends on thinking more in terms of delivering stories about those widgets or services and how people use them than about pumping out feature-rich fact sheets or ads.

    Your customers want to hear those stories, so find more ways to tell them! Reach out to your brand advocates and collaborate with them, and don’t forget to include quality of engagement in your metrics for a better overall view of how you’re doing. In other words, think like a publisher—you’ll get better results.

  2. Katie Petrillo from Punchbowl, April 5, 2013 at 12:05 p.m.

    This is a great article, Holly. I couldn't agree more that keeping your content simple and straightforward is sometimes the most effective way to supports mom in their purchase decisions. They don't have time for complicated. We recently wrote a similar article - great website, incorporate technology, fellow mom feedback - all essential to successful content:

  3. John Andrews from The Katadhin Company, April 9, 2013 at 1:58 a.m.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same. Content is still king, now more than ever.

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