The buyer’s marketing journey has gone digital and 67% of that journey needs to be accurate, and one of the main reasons is searched. Before your potential customers make a buying decision, they will first perform an online search. Think about it; What do you do when looking for a new product or service?
Answers to these questions involve Googling or checking online sites for solutions. The same logic applies to your customers, which is why an online search is the first step for many business executives and regular consumers.
If your business has yet to overlook online marketing investments in favor of print, word of mouth, or other offline strategies, you’re not considering how much of the buyer’s journey is digital.
Consumer experience has always been the focal point of highly effective sales and marketing strategies. For campaigns to deliver results, they must be highly targeted. You should talk to your potential customers based on where they are in the decision-making process. This is where the buyer’s journey comes into play.
What is the buyer’s journey, and why is it so important?
The buyer’s journey is the decision-making process your customers go through before they make an actual purchase. The journey consists of three steps, which include awareness that they may have a problem that needs a solution, consideration of possible solutions, and finally a decision to purchase a particular product or service.
We’ll cover each stage in more detail, but it’s important to know that if you don’t understand your buyer’s journey, your entire marketing strategy will be based on guesswork and will never drive conversions. Use your customer experiences as the framework for your inbound marketing strategies to meet your customers where they are looking for information. This will help you gently entice them to buy from you.
According to research, 57% of customers have completed most of the purchase process by the time they reach the business. If you only focus your marketing efforts on the last stage of the buyer’s journey (the decision), you’ll lose touch with buyers earlier in their process.
A strategic content strategy allows you to nurture them towards a well-informed decision and make them more likely to buy from you. Think of it as positioning your brand in front of the customer, but in a subtle and effective way.
Guiding customers through the buyer’s journey helps build trust, which greatly influences their purchasing decision. In fact, studies show that 82% of American consumers will buy from and stay loyal to a brand they trust, even if another business promises better and cheaper products or services.
3 Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey consists of 3 main stages that highlight how they progress through the decision-making process; Awareness, consideration, and decision-making stages. Here’s a quick overview of what these stages mean and the type of content you should publish at each stage.
In the awareness stage, the customer is so early in their buying process that they don’t even know there is a solution that solves their problem. They usually struggle with the pain of their problem and turn to search engines like Google to research quick solutions to their problem.
For example, if someone has an old computer that keeps crashing or running slowly, they eventually realize they have a problem that needs to be fixed. They haven’t decided to buy a new computer yet, but have started researching how to make it run faster or fix bugs. This is the awareness point where you should focus on providing useful information to your customers. Remember that they are simply looking for answers to their problem and are not ready to buy. It is important that you educate them while being unbiased to build trust.
Some of the pieces of content you should focus on include:
- Blog posts
- Informational videos
In the consideration stage, the buyer understands their problem and is considering various options to solve it. In our computer example above, they know that simple fixes won’t solve their problem in the long run and that eventually, a new computer is the best option.
In this case, the buyer might turn to Google and start with broad search topics like “best computer” or “best laptops 2021.” Or they might be looking for more answers to questions with phrases like “mac vs pc” or “best computer for remote work.” These types of terms are referred to as keywords, and it’s important to include them in your content strategy to make your business more discoverable through SEO.
Remember that at this stage, the buyer is not yet ready to buy, but is still weighing potential opportunities, researching different brands, and comparing prices. Therefore, your main objective should be to make it onto their shortlist by presenting yourself as an authority in your industry.
At the decision stage, the customer has already evaluated their options and decided which store or service provider to do business with. This is where your hard work pays off and you can close the deal. Now is the time to showcase your product or service as a unique offering to customers. Remember all the ad content you put on hold? Now is the best time to bring it out.
Remember that while price influences a customer’s purchase decision, buyers also look at experience and value. You should now focus on content like product reviews, case studies and tutorial videos, and product comparisons. Help them make the final decision. You should also offer your customers special discounts and offers like free trials.