19_Customers Journey-01

How to create content throughout the buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey maps the path a potential customer travels along. It is the process potential customers go through to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and eventually decide to purchase one of your products or services. That buyer’s journey can be divided into three major phases with a specific aim: Awareness / Consideration / Decision. The specific content you offer during every stage are the very building blocks for your inbound marketing strategy.

The link between the buyer’s journey and inbound marketing is quite obvious. Inbound marketing focuses on digging into the mind and behaviour of your contacts. You offer them context and answers to the questions that arise in the decision-making process. Knowing every touchpoint on the path they usually follow is essential if you want to be successful.

When you understand how people search for information, you can respond to content requirements that may help potential buyers convert and travel further down your sales funnel. Inbound marketing adds value by offering contacts the right content in the right form and at exactly the right moment in time. It is crucial to fill in these variables, based on the position of your prospect in the buyer’s journey.

Meet your buyer in each stage

1. Awareness – ToFu (top of funnel)

The first step in the buyer’s journey is the realisation of a problem. The potential buyer might not yet be able to specify or even name the issue, but he or she is aware that something needs solving. The goal of ToFu content is to offer your audience information that answers a specific question or need. Try not to focus on your product or service just yet.

Guide the user during this search, as it holds plenty of opportunities for your company. At this stage, you are probably still unknown to your potential customer. But when his research becomes more thorough and targeted, you can work your way onto his radar.

Content
  • Blog articles
  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Infographics
  • Industry Reports
  • Introduction Videos
Typical search terms
  • Troubleshooting
  • ‘What is…’
  • Issue
  • Resolve
  • Risks
  • Upgrade
  • Improve
  • Optimise
  • Prevent

2. Consideration – MoFu (middle of funnel)

In the consideration phase, the potential buyer is able to name his problem. And he starts searching for a solution. His research refocuses from identifying the issue, to finding possible solutions. It’s in this phase that the majority of buyers turn to Google repeatedly. Your prospect’s search sessions get more specific every time, as he evaluates his possible options.

Try to offer content that emphasises what makes your solution stand out from the alternatives. And specify how the value of your company, product or service helps in resolving the researched problem.

Content
  • Successful case studies
  • Webinars
  • Checklists and guides
  • How-to content to showcase your product
  • Comparative whitepapers or eBooks
  • Product Feature Videos
Typical search terms
  • Solution
  • Provider
  • Service
  • Supplier
  • Tool
  • Device
  • Software
  • Appliance

3. Decision – BoFu (bottom of funnel)

In this final step, the buyer has made up his mind about how he wants to tackle his problem. He will compare different brands and companies that offer a possible solution for his problem. Be aware that quite a few external factors drive the prospect’s final decision: the service you offer, the interaction you have with your buyer, competitive pricing and promotions, …

It’s up to you to convince the prospect to pick you over your competitors. Content that underlines your expertise or proves that you have a large portfolio of satisfied users will definitely give your prospect a gentle push towards your (online) store.

Content
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Live demonstrations or consultations
  • Product promotions or free product trials
  • ‘About us’ or ‘Our Story’ website pages
  • Social media content
Typical search terms
  • Compare
  • Versus
  • Comparison
  • Pros and Cons
  • Benchmarks
  • Review
  • Test

Conclusion

To guide your prospects through the buyer’s journey successfully, it’s essential that you provide them with the right content in the right form, at the right moment in time. Try to truly understand your particular buyer’s journey, so you can determine the timings and/or phases your customer goes through and decide which information is useful during each phase. If you have mastered the correct interaction between content and timing, you’re more likely to have the customer on your side during the decision phase.

 

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Posted on
Jul 18, 2019