Social media and the internet have had a profound effect on the way we buy things. The buying process is constantly changing, which leaves businesses scrambling to keep up and adapt. In order to learn more about a product or service, prospects no longer rely on direct interaction with a salesperson and instead can browse from many different devices, wherever they are. This has consequently made the buying journey more unpredictable, but to gain a deeper understanding, take a look at this step by step guide…
Understanding your buyer personas is a vital first step, in fact, if you haven’t done it already, put your coffee down and do it now! It’s important to define who your buyers are, what challenges they face and what their goals are. This isn’t something that you can guess, and it might take some thorough research, but you’ll struggle to map out your buyer’s journey if you don’t know who they are. This is the first step towards ensuring that all stages involved in the journey are tailored to the targeted buyer’s needs. So, what exactly does the journey look like…
The Journey Consists Of Three Steps
- Awareness Stage – This is the point where a prospect realises they have a problem that needs to be solved, but first they need to more clearly understand what it is. When someone realises they have a problem, their first instinct may be to turn to Google for some initial research. According to research, prospects do approximately 12 searches before engaging with a particular business. So, it’s important that if you’re the chosen business, you’re ready to show them relevant, informative content that could offer them a solution to their problem.
- Consideration Stage – By this stage, the prospect will have clearly defined their problem and is committed to solving it. It’s time to focus on the buyer’s pain points by asking the right questions and paying attention to their buying patterns. It’s vital that you show the right thing, to the right person, at the right time! Don’t guess what they need, let them tell you.
- Decision Stage – You’ve now got to the stage where the buyer will know exactly what solution they’ve decided on. In other words, they’re ready to make a purchase if you get it right. You want them to complete the buying process and become a loyal customer, but how? Use this opportunity to provide reassurance that they’ve made the right decision, whether that’s through exclusive offers or promotions. You could even display previous customer reviews, this will increase your credibility, lead generation and customer retention.
Mapping Out Content
Now that you’re familiar with the stages of the process, it’s important to ensure you’re doing all the right things to get your potential customer to that last stage. It’s called a buyer’s “journey” for a reason, and that’s because there’s bound to be obstacles and a need for guidance, AKA a map. The content you put out is one of the most crucial factors to consider when attempting to map out your buyer’s journey. There’s so many different forms of content out there, for example, blog posts, webinars, eBooks and more. So, how do you decide which is right for your organisation and audience? As people develop a relationship with your brand on their buyer journey, you’ll be able to determine what form of content is most helpful at each stage. Using analytics, you can get a clear picture of the performance of your content and what’s working or missing at each stage. Your goal should be to eventually have a “map” of content that helps your buyer along the journey and enables them to take the next step towards a purchase. Once you’ve mapped it out, ask yourself questions such as…
- Does your awareness stage content help people define their problem?
- Does your consideration content help them to find a solution?
- Does your decision content persuade them that you’re the right business to ultimately purchase from?
The reality is, not every person will follow the buyer’s journey how you want them to. In an ideal world, they’d go through the three stages and that would be it, but life’s never that straightforward, is it! Not only is it important to understand the buyer’s journey, but it’s also vital that you’re prepared for any possible situation that may occur on their journey. That’s why creating content to fit every stage is a crucial step, because no matter where they are in the journey, you’ll be able to provide them the relevant information they need to make an informed buying decision. If you’re looking for more guidance on the selling world, take a look at the FREE webinars we’ve got coming up this month.