One of the goals we often hear from our clients: generating landing page clicks with content marketing to boost sales. But unfortunately, quick purchase decisions on the Internet are not that simple. After all, a good product with a clever advertising slogan is no longer enough for a company to be successful in digital marketing: There are too many brands and advertising messages online.
So we keep clicking on ads (intentionally or unintentionally), find ourselves on unfamiliar websites – and leave within seconds, even before we’ve given cookie consent. These page visits are of no use to anyone. Because the decision for a brand or a product starts much earlier.
Purchase decisions are subconscious and irrational
Whether it’s replacing the old TV with a new one, reaching for the chocolate at the supermarket, or finally letting our expensive Internet contract expire and switching suppliers: A large number of brands compete with each other across all industries and categories.
It is not enough to be the best among the suppliers: Most of our purchasing decisions are made subconsciously and not rationally. And as studies in the field of neuromarketing have shown, only a few brands come into question for us at all – namely those that belong to our very personal relevant set.
The relevant set explained by the example of “cars”
To explain the Relevant Set, let’s take a look at the automotive industry. In this sector, the brand usually plays a particularly important role when it comes to the purchase decision. Basically, all passenger cars fulfill the same basic criteria that we would rationally consider important: They have four tires, a minimum of two doors and at least a small trunk, they get us from A to B with sufficient horsepower, and they meet safety standards, because otherwise they wouldn’t be registered.
And yet, when it comes to choosing the car of their dreams, everyone has their own particular preference. For some it has to be the solid German vehicle, for others the powerful off-road model with adventure character, and still others want the most modern car – with an electric motor, of course. Well, do you have a brand ready for each example? Is it immediately clear to you what your choice would be? And, quite honestly, can this choice really be justified on purely rational grounds?
Probably not. Because that’s what the relevant set is all about: across all industries, products, services and the like, we have a certain number of brands ready to choose from. All the others, no matter how good they are at what they do, are simply out of question. Studies even assume that there is a favorite brand in the relevant set that we automatically reach for. The others – and these can be counted on one hand – are hierarchically equal and are considered suitable alternatives.
So how do you get into the Relevant Set?
In order to become a favored brand, we must first reach the preliminary stage of the relevant set – the awareness set. It contains all the brands that we have noticed but have not yet included in our decisions. So the first step is: increasing brand awareness.
Once your brand is known and anchored in the subconscious, it’s time for the second step: to increase and consolidate trust in your brand until it reaches the relevant set – and finally becomes the favorite, meaning the first choice. Then the next purchase decision will fall on your brand.
Brand awareness and trust through content marketing
So instead of page visits, brand awareness and trust in the brand should become the primary goal of the digital marketing strategy. In the long term, this in turn increases the chances of actually receiving qualified page visits.
Content marketing is the ideal tool for both brand awareness and building trust: content that informs, inspires, and entertains, but is closely linked to your brand, makes it better known. And content that addresses and solves the problems of the target group can strengthen trust in the brand.
The goal of content marketing should therefore be to make your brand a favorite in the relevant set of the readers – instead of getting them to click on your landing page as quickly as possible. If you succeed in doing this, the readers will come back, and they will do so by becoming paying customers. Because when it is time to make a purchase decision, your brand will be their first choice.
Where to reach your target audience with content
Finally, there is the question of distribution. Content on your own channels is hardly effective before your brand becomes part of the awareness set. Native advertising via our publisher network offers an effective way to target potential customers. They perceive your content in a neutral, familiar environment – and the first step towards brand awareness and trust is already taken.
Conclusion: Effective content marketing can contribute to brand awareness and promote trust. So use content to inspire readers and become their first choice, rather than just generating as many page visits as possible. That way, they’ll come back sooner or later if your strategy bears fruit.