Content and the buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey is how a consumer gets from “Am I missing out on an opportunity?” to a justified purchase decision. As a content marketer, you have to understand where your customer is in their buyer’s journey. Know what they’re searching online, what they’re thinking, what their needs are, and in turn, create valuable content for their unique situation.
In the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, your potential customer is identifying a problem. They are beginning to research and gather information about this problem. According to Pardot, 72% of buyers will turn to Google for this. You need to be there with optimised, relevant content, showing that your brand has the answers to their questions. At this point, your buyer is most likely unaware of your company. Your job is to help them understand what you do, what you offer and how you can help them through editorial content, blog posts and eBooks. Remember this is not the time to be pitching them anything. Instead use educational content like white papers, analyst reports and industry reports to communicate your expertise and establish your company as a trusted source of information.
In the consideration stage, prospects have defined their challenge and are committed to finding available methods to solve it. They have discovered a number of companies capable of helping them and will begin in-depth comparisons of each. It’s essential to stand out from the competition here, so provide buyers with comparison charts and testimonials to highlight your brand’s key selling points. Visual content’s current popularity amongst consumers shouldn’t be overlooked at this stage. Videos, webinars, catalogues, etc. can better demonstrate the advantages of choosing your product, service or company over another, as well as excite potential customers.
It’s finally time to talk about you! In the decision stage, buyers have determined their solution strategy. They are on the verge of making a final purchase decision and are ready to read brand-specific content. When it comes to boasting about your product or service, nothing resonates more than the positive experience of your current customers. Share testimonials and quotes to assure prospects that they are making the right decision by choosing your product or service to solve their problem.
Remember that content isn’t only beneficial for prospective buyers in the midst of the buyer’s journey. Once you have put forth the effort to make someone aware of the merit of your brand and turned them from leads into sales, don’t just brush them under the carpet. Delight them. Continue to convince them that they made the right choice by picking your product or service. Content on the more advanced features of your product, new upgrades and tips for using it more effectively and efficiently is a good start. Post breaking stories relevant to your industry to continue to educate current customers and keep them coming back for more. And also share happy company news to humanise your brand and continue to strengthen your connection with your audience. After all, your most important objective should be to retain customers. Especially when you consider it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.