Before your current clients chose your business as the best entity that could satisfy their needs, they first had to go through a journey. But what is this “journey” that we are talking about? It’s known as the buyer’s journey, and it’s the process buyers go through before they decide to purchase a product or service. Far from being theoretical, the buyer’s journey can help you create a framework that will guide your marketing efforts.
The buyer’s journey can be broken down into three stages:
- The awareness stage
- The consideration stage
- The decision stage
In the awareness stage, your potential buyers realize that they have a problem but may not be sure how to resolve it. During the consideration stage, they’re able to define their problems and will research the options to solve it. As for the decision stage, buyers are able to choose a solution and select a vendor—which will hopefully be you!
If your marketing efforts do not cover every stage in the buyer’s journey, it could result in lost conversions and revenues for your business.
Why is the Buyer’s Journey Crucial to Your Business?
The buyer’s journey is an integral part of any dynamic content marketing strategy and is closely aligned with buyer personas.
The process of mapping out the buyer’s journey can positively impact sales and conversions, as well as narrow the gap between marketing and sales. Overall, developing a strong understanding of who your buyers are and how they arrive at their purchasing decisions will make the handoff between marketing and sales smoother.
A Closer Look at the 3 Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
People go through every single stage of the buyer’s journey before they become your customer. It’s also worth noting that there are different marketing methods involved in each stage. Thus, if your marketing efforts are fully concentrated on just one stage, then your ability to guide prospects to the very last stage and convert them into customers will be greatly diminished.
Here’s an in-depth look at each stage:
The Awareness Stage
People at the start of the buyer’s journey typically fall into either category:
- Those who’re unaware that they have a problem.
- Those who’re vaguely aware that they have a problem, but aren’t sure what that problem is.
Buyers in the awareness stage are just beginning to realize that they have a pain point and may need a particular product or service. Hence, such prospects are seeking answers to their questions or information that will help them resolve their pain points.
Buyers may perform broad internet searches and ask those within their inner-circle for advice and recommendations. Such actions will help them understand their problems more thoroughly and begin to define the solutions.
The Consideration Stage
In this specific phase of the buyer’s journey, buyers have developed a strong enough understanding of their problems to perform deeper level research into the available solutions. The more research they perform, the better they’ll be at narrowing down the possible solutions to their more clearly defined problem or question.
During this stage, 70% of prospects will return to Google at least two to three times to examine the offerings that match their search query. They’ll also narrow down their list of companies that offer the desired solution.
The Decision Stage
By this stage, the buyer has decided on a solution and has narrowed their list of vendors who can resolve the issue. Depending on the gravity of their decisions, buyers may look at high-level data—including vendor reviews, reports, studies, white papers, and other materials—before selecting just one vendor.
Guiding Potential Customers Throughout the Buyer’s Journey
Industry professionals have forecasted that more than 80% of the buying process will occur without any human interaction by 2020. Thus, the content you create for every stage of the buyer’s journey is crucial to making sure that the buyer ends their journey with you.
As you won’t have any direct interaction with the buyer during the first 80% of their journey, how can you gently guide them down the path that leads to you? By understanding their pain points and the questions they’ll be asking at each stage, you can craft content that addresses their issues and answers their questions.
The buyer’s journey is closely aligned with the concept of a marketing funnel, which is the process of converting prospects into customers.
The following types of content can help you create relevant and targeted content for each stage of the marketing funnel/buyers’s journey:
“ToFu” (Top of the Funnel) Content for the Awareness Stage
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Industry research or analyst reports
- Introductory videos
“MoFu” (Middle of the Funnel) Content for the Consideration Stage
- Case studies
- Checklists or product comparison and/or expert guides
- Product feature videos
“BoFu” (Bottom of the Funnel Content) for the Decision Stage
- Vendor or product comparisons
- Live demonstrations or consultations
- Product promotions or trials
Crafting content that’s suitable for every stage of the buyer’s journey will help you achieve your business goals. If you need expert help in this area, consider reaching out to Growth Rocket’s Content Development and Marketing professionals to help you create dynamic and engaging content for your brand.