Today’s buyers turn to the web to look for products and services, compare options and choices, and reach a purchase decision–and it’s all usually done before making contact with a live sales professional. Businesses must have content ready and waiting to help these buyers through the stages of the buyer’s journey, and each stage needs a little something different. Here’s how to tell where your buyer is and which type of content works best at that stage.
The Three Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
Although every journey is unique, most buyers tend to spend time in each of these three stages:
- Awareness. Buyers in this stage have shown an interest in your produce or services, but are still at the very beginning of their journey. They are using Google to search for answers to questions and are probably clicking around your website to read blog posts, research data, and gather opinions from other customers.
- Consideration. Buyers in this stage have clearly defined their problem and are actively comparing the features and benefits of different solutions to determine how each applies to their situation. Buyers are also making preliminary comparisons between companies to see which might be the best fit.
- Decision. In this stage, buyers are closely examining pricing information and other considerations specific to your company and your solutions before they are ready to make the leap and become a customer. At this stage, buyers are likely to make a purchase soon so time is of the essence.
Using the Right Content at the Right Time
In the Awareness stage, the objective is education. You want to give prospective customers as much information as possible, and gear your content pieces towards the keywords that people are using to search for solutions. Content options include blogs, white papers, ebooks, how-to videos, webinars, and email newsletters. The more variety and detail you can provide for this stage, the better you will be able to attract searchers to your website.
During the Consideration stage, you want to provide product-specific details, compare different solutions, and show customers how you are different from the competition. Case studies work well at this stage, especially for service-based businesses, and a product sample will go a long way if it’s a feasible possibility. Other content ideas include an FAQ page, data sheet, and demo videos and webinars.
When your buyers are ready to make a final Decision, you need to provide information that will help them to trust you and believe that you are the right option. Free trials and live demos along with consultations and personalized estimates will solidify you as the right choice, and coupons and other promotions will provide an incentive to close the deal.
Striking the Right Balance
When it comes to content marketing, timing is everything. Buyers want to feel like you’re paying attention to them and that you know what they need, but at the same time, you have to keep your distance and not breathe down buyers’ necks. When you match your content to the buyer’s stage, you’ll be better able to hit the right balance.
It’s essential to know where your prospects are in the decision process to know how to market to them. Does your content marketing plan incorporate the buyer’s journey? If your marketing strategy needs a little help, contact New Perspective.