Customer buying behaviour is constantly changing. Customers now have more control over their buying journey and can access more information about products and services than ever before.
People rarely search for the exact services or products you sell, click on a link and buy right away. When they search, 71% of users start with a generic query. Before they even consider your services or product, they’re reading blog posts, watching videos, listening to podcasts and generally doing the research themselves, rather than turning to your sales team.
If you’re not creating content that addresses where your potential customers are in their buying journey, you risk being overlooked for your competitors. But by having content for each stage, you can influence their buying decision to make purchasing easier and quicker.
We explore how you can create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
What is the buyer’s journey?
The buyer's journey is the process a potential customer goes through before making a purchase. It consists of three stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
Understanding these stages is crucial to knowing where contacts are in the buyer's journey:
In the Awareness stage, the buyer is experiencing a problem and they’re looking for a way to solve it. They don’t yet have an idea of a partner that can provide a solution for this. The content you create for this stage needs to be optimised to show up in search engine results.
This leads to the Consideration stage, where the buyer is considering potential solutions. You want your business to be top-of-mind, creating content that educates them to make the best decision.
In the final stage, Decision, the buyer has a solution strategy or approach. They most likely have a list of vendors and are on their way to make a final purchasing decision. An example of the type of content you might see at the Decision stage is a comparison article, such as “ConnectWise vs. HubSpot”.
How to create content for each stage
Knowing your customers and potential customers is the most important first step to creating content that resonates with them.
Start by mapping out their potential journey, from the awareness stage through to decision. Knowing what their challenges are can help you determine what kind of things they will be searching for.
In this stage, buyers have most likely just realised they have a problem that needs to be addressed. For example, a problem could be realising a site is not getting enough visitors. A first search could be “how can I get more traffic to my site?”. So, for the awareness stage, you need to create content that answers this query, taking keywords into consideration to ensure your content can be found online.
The types of content you can create for the awareness stage include:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- How-to video or articles
Ensure you’re including calls-to-actions (CTAs) at the end of each of your content pieces to move buyers along to the next stage, Consideration.
The consideration stage is generally when buyers are starting to make decisions on what products or services they need. This is the stage when they’re reading proof points, reviews, and anything else that helps them with picking a potential solution.
At this stage, it’s time to dig deeper into the solutions that you offer. You’re not giving high-level advice anymore, so you should include:
- Case studies
- Comparison guides
- A video demo
At the end of these, you should include the next steps: what do you want buyers to do next? This might include a link to any pages you have in the Decision stage.
By the time a buyer makes it to the decision stage, they’re close to buying. Their goal is now to assess their list of vendors and make a final purchasing decision. At this stage, it’s crucial that you’re meeting their needs and building a relationship with the buyer.
What type of content you should have when it’s close to buying time:
- Live demo or free trial offer
- Consultation offer
Make sure these are easily accessible for your buyers – you don’t want to introduce any friction at this stage, as that may turn buyers to look elsewhere.
Although the way we have laid out this process makes the buyer’s journey appear quite linear, it’s important to remember that in real life it’s not. Think about your own way of making a purchasing decision – it’s likely that you jump around each stage, doing research whenever you can fit it around your schedule.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure you have content for every stage of the buyer’s journey. If you do it well, you will have a positive impact on the relationships you have with potential customers.
Do you need support when it comes to content mapping, strategy, and creation? Chat with one of our experts today to discuss your unique challenges.