How do your customers become customers? Do you know how they came to your website and what steps they took to eventually become a loyal customer to your business? Understanding the process that a buyer goes through to eventually purchase is known as the buyer’s journey. With this, you can understand your buyer’s behavior leading up to them converting into a customer. So what is a buyer’s journey and how can you use it to better create content to convert leads?
The Buyer’s Journey
Understanding your buyer’s journey can help you with your inbound marketing efforts, so it’s crucial to know how to create content to meet your buyer’s need at each step. The buyer’s journey can be categorized into three main stages: (1) Awareness (2) Consideration (3) Decision. It’s important to understand each stage individually and how your buyer is going to interact with your content and your website during each of these stages. Then, from there – you can understand how to better craft your content for future customers. It’s a continuous process of refining your content and process to help drive more conversions.
This is exactly what it sounds like – your buyer is just now becoming aware of your product or service. They are not necessarily looking to buy anything, but they are doing their due diligence to find out more about what options are out there. They either have a problem or a need, and they are looking for a possible solution but aren’t necessarily ready to decide on a partner or a product. The buyer isn’t looking for product specific information nor are they looking to be sold to. So keep your sales pitches for later. The content that they want to read is primarily helpful and useful to them to figure out what the solution is to their problem.
So what does this mean for you? It means that you should be smart with the content that you create and try to focus on creating content such as:
- eGuides and eBooks
- Educational content
- Research reports
The more information and help that you can provide to your potential buyer right now, the more that they will remember it in the future. If you can build up their trust with the awareness content, by the time they reach the decision stage – they know they can trust what you’re saying. Now, on to the next step of their journey.
So, in the previous stage – your potential buyer wasn’t aware that they had a problem or they weren’t sure if there was a solution that could help them. You helped them identify a problem and recognize that they need a solution. Well, here’s your chance to help them outline and develop that solution. And remember, they’re not necessarily ready to make a commitment to buying what you have to offer – so keep your pitches off the table. Understand that your potential buyer is now moving down that funnel and they are committed to finding a solution to their problem. You’ve helped them identify their real problem in the awareness stage, now it’s time to show them how to find a solution. Create content that helps them narrow down the different methods to solving their problem; give them options and different approaches to get to the final resolution.
When developing your consideration content strategy, keep in mind that you are providing a tool, a solution or a service that can help them solve their problem. Here are some forms of content to include:
- Expert guides
- Webinars / Live Chats
- Comparison white papers
You’re building that foundation of trust with your potential buyer. If you’re this willing to help them out with a solution before they invest in your product or service – then when they finally do become a customer your service and product can only help that much more!?! Keep them moving down that funnel and further along the buyer’s journey process until they reach the final stage.
They know their problem and they have a solution, but here’s the final step – who or what do they need now to make it all work. They are going to look for information specifically about your service or products that will make you stand apart. You’ve built up their trust, but they just need that final push towards the finish line. Show them that your business is going to help them continuously find success or that your product is going to meet their needs on an on-going basis. Here is when your sales pitch can come into play. Encourage potential buyers to sign up for a live demo, or provide them with content such as:
- Product comparisons
- Case Studies
- Trial download
Your potential buyer has made it all the way down the funnel. You’ve built up their trust and now it’s time to convert them into a customer. Highlight your strengths and unique value proposition. They already trust you from the awareness and consideration stage, so now it’s time to close the sale with your content.
Now that you have a better understanding on what type of content aligns with each section of your buyer’s journey – you can get started planning your very own inbound marketing strategy.