Understanding your buyer and the different stages they go through in their buying process is essential in creating effective content marketing strategy that leads to higher conversion and customer acquisition, which ultimately, leads to increased revenue. Every consumer goes through three stages in their buyer's journey: awareness, consideration, and decision, each one just as important as the others and easily overlooked. You can read more about the buyer's journey here.
When creating content for your website, whether it be web copy or blog content, we often see clients only target customers who are in the decision stage with a "Contact Us" or "Talk to Sales" link, but by doing this, you are ignore users who are on your website while researching problems, solutions, and options in your industry.
The Buyer's Journey
Let's quickly recap the different stages of the buyer's journey, for more information, check out "The Buyer's Journey: Your New Secret Content Marketing Weapon" (link).
The Awareness Stage
The first step in the buyer's journey, when they become aware that they have a problem or an area in need of improvement is called the awareness stage. In this step, the consumer will begin their research in order to identify what their need is to try to identify a solution.
The Consideration Stage
When the buyer has identified their opportunity or need, they have reached the consideration stage and will be researching again, but now to find the solution that fits them best. They will be looking at categories of options, weighing the pros and cons of each solution through research.
The Decision Stage
The final step in the buyer's journey is the decision stage. When the consumer has reached this stage, they have identified which solution is best for them, but now need to make a decision on which company to purchase from.
Now, how do you put this information together to create effective copy that will appease buyers at each stage of their journey?
Writing for Awareness Stage Traffic
According to Hubspot, the vast majority of the people reading your content at any given time are in the awareness stage. These people are looking for information on how to solve their problem or find new opportunities. To successfully reach these users and help them get to the next phase in their buyer's journey can help build a position as a thought leader in your industry. You want to communicate the need for change, and the need for your prospects to take action.
To reach consumers in the awareness stage, Hubspot suggests considering "optimized, high-value written content like blog posts, ebooks, and white papers with original research." Other media can be just as effective, such as videos, social media posts, and educational content. You don't need to hard sell to your audience in this stage; it is most likely a turn-off and they aren't ready for it. People get turned off the second they feel their being sold to. Educating consumers on the problems and opportunities in your industry are most effective to this audience.
Writing for Consideration Stage Traffic
It may seem pretty obvious that you need to educate your prospects, but what about helping them to decide what solutions are the best fit? Marketing to buyers in the consideration stage has been shown to lead to a 4 to 10 times higher response rate than just sticking with conventional marketing schemes.
It is absolutely key to ensure that you are not only offering a solution to the consumer's problem but that you communicate a value proposition that beats out the alternatives. During the consideration stage, you're selling the solution you offer.
To do this, you can offer comparison guides and tools, not only showing the differences in your solutions but the differences in the solutions of your competitors as well. HubSpot also recommends producing expert guides, webinars, live interactions, and white papers to show that your business is an expert at what it does. Instill confidence in the buyer, make them want to move to the next stage in the journey with you.
Writing for Decision Stage Traffic
If you have effectively marketed to buyers in the awareness and consideration stage, then those prospects are at the pointy end of the metaphorical funnel and are just where you want your traffic to be. This is when they are ready to talk to a business about make a purchasing decision. They want to know why they should spend their money, and specifically with you. At this stage, your prospect knows their problem, they have decided on a solution, and are reaching out the business they think is best suited to solving that problem for them - at this stage, you're selling your company.
Hubspot sums it up it perfectly: "you're combining the compelling nature of that final offer with all the engagement you've created leading up to that point." Drive that relationship and sale to the finish line with content like case studies, product literature, and if possible, trial offers and demos. You really want to communicate that you're better than your direct competitors, that you have done this before, and you can do this again.
Ensuring that your content is aimed at all stages of buyers equally will lead to higher conversion and/acquisition, and ultimately higher revenue. Showing that you care about your customers through their journey, not just taking their money is very important. The vast majority of sales content out there only focuses on the decision and it is rarely effective on its own. Creating a relationship of trust through knowledge with buyers at the awareness and consideration stages makes the buyers that more likely to stick with you each time they reach that decision stage.
Contact First Five Eight to discover how we can help in creating marketing content that reaches buyers at every stage of the journey.