If, as a business owner, you’re wondering, “What is the buyer’s journey?”, you aren’t alone. As important as the journey that your buyers take to purchase your product is, it is commonly overlooked helpful marketing information. Even though your customers don’t want to be targeted, demoed, closed, etc, it’s still important for you to be familiar with the journey that your buyers take before they purchase your product, as this can improve your strategy for online lead generation. Here’s what we feel that you need to know to fully understand the question, “What is the buyer’s journey?”
Buyer’s Journey Three-Step Process
- Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes he or she has a problem.
- Consideration Stage: The buyer identifies the problem and starts researching solutions for his or her problem.
- Decision Stage: The buyer chooses his or her solution.
How To Define Your Company’s Buyer’s JourneyIf you, as a business owner, don’t have a good understanding of how your potential buyers operate, you could be losing out on a ton of sales volume. Maybe interview some of your regular customers or conduct a survey to find out more about your clientele basis.
The Awareness StageWhen a buyer is in the awareness stage, they realize that there is a problem that they need to solve. Buyers are still unsure, at this point, of whether or not this new problem should be a priority. In order to fully grasp the awareness stage, here are some questions that we feel you should ask yourself in order to better tailor your website to buyers who are in this stage: What Do Buyers Say About Their Challenges And Goals? It’s important to see how your buyers tend to describe the challenges that they face as well as their goals, and the best way to do this is to ask them directly. Often, we feel that the best way to do this is by using a survey. What Happens If Buyers Do Not Act? It’s important to determine the likely scenarios for buyers who choose to not solve their problem right away. Products designed for the urgent problem -solutions are more likely to sell quickly. Here are some ways to determine what the consequences of inaction can be for buyers:
- We recommend reading stories online from people who did not solve the problem and incorporate that information into your content.
- Emphasize the seriousness of inaction, especially in cases where inaction can have serious consequences.
- Consider if your buyers choose to educate themselves by reading content from the company’s websites, itself, or if they tend to read more neutral sources. If your buyers tend to read more neutral sources, it’s especially important to differentiate your product from your competitors.
- Consider your target market demographic, who you’re marketing your product to, and this will help you to determine the level of knowledge that your customers are likely to have.
- Buyers will educate themselves differently with different sectors of the business world. For specific help with the healthcare industry, check out Healthcare Marketing Trends.
The Consideration StageWhen a buyer is in the considerations stage, not only have they defined their problem, but they have also decided that the problem at hand is worth tackling. They are currently deciding which approach will work best to remedy their current issue at hand. Here are some questions to ask in order to ensure that you successfully reach buyers who are in this stage: What Kinds Of Solutions Do Buyers Look At? It’s important to make sure that you offer a product that offers a clear-cut solution for your customer’s problem. To do this, keep these tips in mind:
- Buyers tend to gravitate towards solutions that are known to be easy to implement.
- Buyers also tend to purchase the solutions that are more likely to be long-lasting, making it important to emphasize the durability of your products.
- Consider your competition’s advantages vs yours
- Look at completely different solutions available, even if they aren’t in your specific industry. Think outside the box, here.
- When you find a disadvantage to the “solution” or product you offer, see if there are ways to minimize the disadvantage, whether it be remaking the product or remarketing the product a different way. Sometimes, turning the disadvantage into an advantage can be an option.
The Decision StageDuring the decision stage, buyers will make the final decision as to whether or not they wish to purchase your product. Some questions to ask yourself, as a business owner are: What Type Of Criteria Do Buyers Use To Make A Choice?
- Price ranges and budgets will typically be a factor in every market, for every solution
- Serious customers, especially those purchasing a product that typically has a long lifetime, will look at several review sites. With so much information so readily available, now more than ever, it is important to incentivize current customers to write positive reviews for your company.
- Ensure that you’re familiar with the different occupations of the people who will be making the decision.
- Make sure that you tailor your page to business owners if your product typically sells to this sector. Be warned: this is significantly different than writing for the general public.
- Look at the reviews of the competition, and make sure that you routinely keep tabs on how your reviews compare to these brands.
- If you notice that your reviews are lower than the reviews of your competition, it’s important to speak especially strongly about the advantages of your product and take steps to improve your brand’s reputation. After all, you only get one.
- If you’re in a market where the majority of your competition has a less than shiny reputation, use it. Incentivize customers to post reviews on your behalf. Post those reviews everywhere! you want to remind buyers that you are the person they can trust!
- When your product is more expensive than the competition, make sure that your quality is better. Moreover, make sure that the level of quality justifies the difference in price.
- If you’ve checked off both of the previous, you’ve got good reviews and your product is a tad steeper on the price scale, don’t get lazy. Make sure your product continues to meet buyer expectation. You can’t ride on the coattails of yesterday’s reputation. You’ll ride yourself straight into the mud.
- Offer step-by-step instructions, either in pamphlet form, on your website, etc.
- Offer a customer service line that customers can call for information
- Make sure your buyers know the requirements for using your product before they buy it. You should feature a list on the packaging, if at all possible.
Applying the Buyer’s Journey To The ContentBy keeping the buyer’s journey and the questions associated with each stage in mind, you’ll be able to write content more effectively. Here’s an example of how we would apply the content goals to the different buyer’s journey stages: Customers are likely to seek out different options, and this means that you should make comparisons between your brand and other products. You want to be able to provide valuable information for every customer, during every stage, not just the final stage. Doing this, is often times, what sets one company apart from the others.
Defining Buyer PersonasWhen you’re writing SEO content, how do you know exactly who you’re writing to? You speak to a doctor differently than you speak to a toddler, or at least, we would hope you do. When certain attributes come together to form a “type”, we call these demographics, and multiple demographics may be molded together to create buyer personas. While the options for demographic combinations are endless, we feel that it can be helpful to start with the few most basic needed for business:
- income influence
- age variables
- location or geographic region
- employment status