As is the case with everything inbound, it’s important to understand your potential customers, how they think the answers they seek and the path they tend to take to find a solution because audiences can vary widely based on industry and intent.
The Buyers Criteria
Understanding your buyer persona is the start of developing the buyer’s journey only by understanding their unique process of becoming aware of their problem, considering solutions and deciding on the right solution, will you be able to create a truly effective inbound strategy packed with customer content that best supports their journey towards making a purchase? Your buyer’s journey can look very different, depending on factors like your industry, business model, product pricing and audience. Some business to consumer customers, for example, spend very little time in the consideration stage compared to business to business customers that require far more nurturing engagement and relationship development before purchases made. It all depends on your business.
Regardless, your approach to creating your buyer’s journey should be the same. Understand your buyer persona and develop each buyer’s journey stage around your industry and personas intent. Let’s start with the first stage. The awareness stage. The awareness stage is when your prospect is experiencing and expressing symptoms of a problem or opportunity there, doing educational research to more clearly understand, frame and give name to their problem. The awareness stage does not mean that they are now aware of your business at this point. They are just aware that they have a problem. Maybe they’re ready to fire their existing process or know that their existing process just isn’t working yet. If your prospect was to walk into a store and a sales clerk ask what help they’re looking for, or even better, if your prospect use a search engine, if they’re in the awareness stage, they’re using terms like troubleshoot issue, resolve risks, upgrade, improve, optimize or prevent. Your buyer persona would describe the stages. I’m a buyer aware that I have a problem.
Understanding The Buyers Process
Fill these in as if you were your buyer persona to better understand your buyer. At this stage, I need to improve blink. I need to prevent blink. I need to start blink. I need to stop blink. I need to optimize blink. I need to solve blink. I need to learn more about blink. The terms that you start to insert are the phrases or keywords that your buyer persona would use to describe the awareness stage. This allows your brand to establish yourself as a reliable source of information to the buyer and allows your business to immediately follow up with information that will aid them in the second stage of the buyer’s journey. The consideration stage, the consideration stage is arguably the most critical point in the buyer’s journey because this is where the prospective customer starts eliminating solutions that aren’t a good fit. At the consideration stage, your prospect has now clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity. They’re committed to researching and understanding all of the available approaches or methods to solving their defined problem or opportunity. This isn’t the point that they are considering your business. They’re considering the different solutions they have to solve their problem. Blogs are a great way to attract attention to your website, but they lack the personal engagement side of marketing and sales that helps businesses qualify prospects and nurture relationships. This kind of engagement is necessary, especially for people at this point of the buyer’s journey. Your prospect uses solution terms in the consideration stage like provider, service, supplier, tool device, software, appliance or a solution for consideration stage. Your buyer would say I am a buyer considering how to solve my problem.
Fill these as if you were your buyer persona. What tools are available for Blinkx? What are Blinkx industry solutions? What are my Blinkx options? What blank options are there for blink? You’ll start to notice that the terms used here are solution keywords. You aren’t inserting your company name in here, but you might be inserting terms that you use to describe the solutions that you provide. This research will help your buyer decide on their solution and move into the decision stage. The decision stage is where your prospect has now decided on their solution, strategy, method or approach. This is where they might be compiling a long list of all available vendors and. Products and their given solutions strategy at this point, they’re researching to whittle the long list down to a short list and ultimately make a final purchase decision, they might decide on the one that best meets their needs or they might go with the solution they find first. They’re using relevant terms like compare versus comparison, pros and cons benchmarks, review or test to get in the mindset of your buyer persona. At this stage, you can use the following. If they say I am a buyer deciding on a specific product or vendor or I am a buyer trying to make a decision between products and vendors, how would you fill these in as if you were your buyer persona? I need prices for blank. I need blank product specifics. I need proof blank works. I need evidence that blank. I need insurance that blank. A few things to note, Prospect’s website, Visitors or Leads, might interact with you for the first time in any of the different buyer’s journey stages, but you need to be prepared for each and every stage by taking the time to empathize with your buyer and thinking about that information that they need. You increase your chances of securing customers who are the right fit for your products or services. This will translate into a higher retention rate for your company as well as promoters of your business who will help your business grow better if the buyer’s journey is a critical part of building out a content strategy that will work for your marketing, sales and services, you might be asking yourself what content is appropriate in each stage of the buyer’s journey. It all comes down to what your content is about and how it’s positioned. Is your content focused on the problem your buyer persona is experiencing? Well, that would be an awareness stage piece of content. If your content is more about the solution to a problem, then it would be a consideration stage piece of content. And as for the decision stage, that’s when you begin to create content about your product or service.
Turning Leads Into Buyers
As you can see, you want to be creating content for all of the different stages of the buyer’s journey. You can determine where your piece of content fits into the buyer’s journey based on the topic, not the format. If you don’t have an intimate understanding of your buyer’s conduct, a few interviews with customers, prospects and other salespeople at your company to get a sense of the buying journey, here are some questions you should ask to put together the buyer’s journey for your company. During the awareness stage, buyers identify their challenge or an opportunity they want to pursue. They also decide whether or not the goal or challenge should be a priority in order to fully understand the awareness stage for your buyer. Ask yourself how did buyers describe their goals or challenges? How do buyers educate themselves on these goals or challenges? What are the consequences of an action by the buyer? Are there common misconceptions buyers have about addressing the goala challenge? How do buyers decide whether the goal or challenge should be prioritized during the consideration stage? Buyers have clearly defined the goal or challenge and have committed to addressing it. They evaluate the different approaches or methods available to pursue the goal or solve their challenge. Ask yourself what categories of solutions do buyers investigate? How do buyers educate themselves on the various categories? How do buyers perceive the pros and cons of each category? How do buyers decide which category is right for them in the decision? Stage buyers have already decided on a solution category. For example, they could write a pro con list of specific offerings and then decide on the one that best meets their needs.
Questions you should ask yourself to define the decision stage are what criteria do buyers use to evaluate the available offers? When buyers investigate your companies offering, what do they like about it compared to alternatives? What concerns do they have with your offering? Who needs to be involved in the decision for each person involved? How does their perspective on the decision differ? Do buyers have expectations around trying the offering before they purchase it outside of purchasing? Do buyers need to make additional preparations such as implementation plans or training strategies?
Develop a buyer’s journey and this process will have the greatest possible impact on your customer relationships, helping fuel your inbound strategy and helping your business grow better.