How to Create Content for Each Stage of the Buyer's Journey
Oct 11, 2018 11:17:13 AM
Regardless of your industry, it is crucial to understand your audience. Who are they? What do they like? What do they worry about? What answers are they looking for? The better you know your audience, the better you will be able to speak to your audience.
What is the Buyer's Journey?
The buyer's journey is a framework a buyer follows before making a purchase decision. While the buyer's journey isn't always linear and can vary from one product to another, the fundamentals remain the same. A buyer moves through three stages before making a purchase:
Become aware of their problem.
Evaluate their options.
Make a decision.
By developing content at each stage of the buyers journey, brands are able to personalize their conversations to meet the needs of their audience. If you are not creating content for each stage, businesses lose their ability to influence qualified prospects.
Building Content at Each Stage of Buyer's Journey
Content marketing continues to become an increasingly important part of marketing plans. But with more brands focusing on creating content comes more competition. Businesses that are investing into understanding their customers and building content specifically for their needs are winning!
According to Adweek, 81% of shoppers are conducting research online before making a purchase decision. At any given time, your potential customer is moving through one of the stages of the buyers journey. By developing content that is relevant to where your prospects are in their decision making process, your audience gains more confidence that your brand understands their problems and goals.Knowing how to communicate to these prospects at each stage of the buyers journey can help build a stronger rapport and, ultimately, transition prospects from strangers to customers faster.
The awareness stage can hold a lot of weight in the buyer's journey. Prospects that are in the awareness stage are aware that they have a problem, but are not able to identify exactly what that problem is. They continue to conduct research to better understand the problem and define it more clearly. More often than not, prospects in the awareness stage will initially not be familiar with the brand, but will begin to establish a connection. Businesses that are successful in producing content in the awareness stage focus on their buyer's pain points and showcase themselves as experts in their fields.
Brands that try to sell in the awareness stage are most likely moving too fast. A wise man once said, "you must give, before you get." The goal of a business in the awareness stage is to educate and provide value through their content. In return, they will gain their audience's attention, and more importantly, their trust. By establishing a brand as an expert in an industry, that business gains higher authority concerning solutions that are associated with certain problems. It's all about relating to the audience! Once a brand establishes that common ground needed to earn their trust, they can begin to offer solutions to these problems.
Content types that are often successful during the awareness stage of the buyer's journey include:
Social Media Content
eBooks and Guides
Tip Sheets and Checklists
Once the prospect has a better understanding of their problem, they will begin to explore solutions. At this point in time, the prospect could be familiar with your brand, especially if you provided information to help identify their problem in the awareness stage. Prospects start eliminating solutions that they don't see fit for their problem, therefore, it is important to nurture these leads as they are moving forward in their decision making process.
Hubspot states, "companies with refined middle-of-the-funnel engagement and lead management strategy see a4–10 times higher response rate compared to generic email blasts and outreach." Content that supports these middle-of-the-funnel engagement strategies include:
Comparative Data Sheets
Consumers are bombarded all over the internet with bottom-of-the-funnel messages. And while they play an important part in the buyer's journey, if they are delivered at the wrong time, it could turn prospects away from ever buying from your business at all. By this time, the consumer is already familiar with the brand and and believes it to be an expert in the field. They have weighed the solutions to their problems and need a compelling offer to complement the engagement thus far to give them confidence in their final decision.
It's time to land a customer. Prospects in the decision stage of the buyer's journey are ready to buy and it's the job of the business to ensure they buy from you. Content that will help elevate prospects to customers include:
Free Demos or Consultations
Coupons or Discount Codes
Keep in mind the buyer’s journey for each company is unique and specific to their audience. Content is dependent on many factors such as industry, business model, product and pricing, but most importantly, it is dependent on your audience's wants and needs. The goal of your content strategy is to provide each prospect content that is valuable and relevant to their inquiries throughout the buyers journey and to lead them to making a confident purchasing decision.
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