To drive conversions, marketers must create content marketing campaigns that anticipate their buyers' needs and deliver on those demands.

Marketers know their customers’ needs vary, and the information that convinces one buyer to convert will not necessarily be effective with another. However, brands must also consider each prospect ‘s motivations when creating branded content to drive traffic and conversions.

A study released by GroupM Next and Catalyst identified digital consumers’ six pathways to purchase, categorizing online customers into eternal shoppers, brand scouts, retail scouts, calculated shoppers, digitally driven buyers or basic digital consumers.

Digitally driven shoppers can be convinced through fewer touchpoints, taking just five steps before converting. Eternal shoppers, on the other hand, take 35 steps to complete transactions because they do not need products or services right away and have ample time to conduct research.

The study found companies’ content for SEO might be more effective with eternal shopper audiences because they use search to navigate their entire buying experiences, while digitally driven customers use every channel at their disposal. Marketers trying to reach highly connected consumers must create campaigns that deliver seamless experiences, connecting various touchpoints like social networks, homepages and in search.

Brand and retail scouts differ in that they navigate directly to specific companies’ websites in search of promotional offers and pricing details. Having sought out certain vendors, these purchasers can be convinced to convert if marketers create blog content and news articles with strong calls to action.

Getting customers to hit the buy button requires different content on varying channels.

At the same time, calculated shoppers take 14 steps on their pathways to purchase because they want to make highly informed buying decisions. These consumers are the most likely to watch brands’ video content, the study found. Brafton previously reported that video marketing is proving its worth as a strategic way to reach customers and provide additional information. Forty-four percent of those surveyed by Invodo agreed they purchased more after watching videos about products.

In today’s always-on culture, marketers need to develop complex campaigns that anticipate their prospects’ purchase pathways and deliver timely messages that give leads reasons to convert.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.