Customers aren't going from awareness to purchase in a linear fashion - they're consuming content marketing materials in unexpected patterns before making purchases.

User experience is a concern for content marketing campaigns targeting people who browse on desktop PCs, and mobile-only users. In fact, it might have the biggest impact among leads and prospects who go back and forth between devices to interact with content and make transactions. Tapad and Forrester recently conducted a survey of web users to discover what devices they use for purchasing, and the resounding answer seems to be that it comes down to UX.

Over half (51 percent) of customers said they start with whatever device they’re nearest to when they first become interested in a product or brand. But when they get more serious about research or making a purchase, they switch to the device that will give them the best user experience. It seems only 22 percent of users spend the entire time researching and purchasing products on the same platform.

Capturing leads wherever they are

This paints a complicated picture of the buyer’s journey, but things get even murkier when it comes to the total number of devices people use. Rather than simply switching back and forth between a smartphone and desktop computer, the same study found two-thirds of users interact with branded content on three to five devices throughout any given day.

As Brafton reported, this phenomenon isn’t limited to content – it also affects social marketing. The best way to deal with multi-device users is to set up as many potential touch points to ensure content reaches them no matter where they browse.

This is where the concept of the “Zero Moment of Truth” comes in. To recap, Google has found that people don’t necessarily move from stimulus to experience to purchase in a linear fashion. Instead, they gather information and content about a brand, product or service before they decide to actually buy something.

It’s difficult to know when the ZMOT will occur, as it’s different for every industry, business and individual customer. But a good content marketing strategy will disperse brands’ messages across channels and devices to reach consumers when they’re at that critical moment to drive traffic and conversions.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.