The buyer’s journey is the research process an individual takes to transition from a prospect to a customer.
Your customers aren’t all the same, but they go through the same thought process before making a purchase. The process is called the buyer’s journey, and it has three stages:
- Awareness: The customer realizes they have a problem
- Consideration: The customer researches different solutions to their problem
- Decision: The customer investigates specific services or products that fall under their chosen solution(s)
It’s important to craft content specific to each stage, because customers seek different information as they travel through the buyer’s journey. You can predict which types of content are most helpful by understanding the questions customers ask at each stage. The more helpful your content, the more likely customers will buy from you.
Awareness Stage content educates potential customers about their problems.
The buyer’s journey starts with the Awareness Stage, when a potential customer realizes they have a problem. They might not know what the problem is or how to solve it, but they know there’s an opportunity for change. So they start researching the problem.
At this stage, customers look for informational content. Their primary question is “How do I describe my problem?”
Problems can be as specific as splotchy windshields during a rainy winter season, or as broad as an inability to focus. For example, someone with a splotchy windshield window wants to pinpoint what’s causing it: the windshield itself, the wipers, the climate, or something else, whereas someone struggling to focus might not consider their workspace as the problem until they learn about the qualities of an efficient office.
At the start, customers aren’t looking for sales pitches.
Break out the sales pitches too soon and you’ll turn away customers. When customers are first aware of their problem, spending money isn’t the first thing on their mind. If you start off by talking about how your company can help, they won’t believe you truly understand their problem. And if they can’t trust your expertise, they won’t buy from you.
Awareness Stage content comes in many forms, but some are more intuitive.
If your business doesn’t have a blog, start one! Blogging is an easy way to keep your website updated with relevant content.
A common marketing technique is to link related posts together by hyperlinking relevant phrases or keywords. When customers want more information on a topic referenced in a post, they’ll be redirected to more of your content and spend more time on your website. Sample blog topics for the Awareness Stage include troubleshooting, risk prevention, upgrades, and myth busting.
Sample blog posts:
- General Contractor
Simplifying Siding: Facts & Myths That You Need to Know
- Auto Services
5 Risks of Forgoing Routine Car Maintenance
The Cabernet Guide – How to Taste like a Sommelier
Blog posts should have short paragraphs and simple language for an easy reading experience. For a quick guide to formatting your blog posts, read How to Format Your Blog Post [for Better Engagement].
eBooks / Whitepapers
Though long-form content takes longer to put together, they are valuable resources for customers who want in-depth information. Though eBooks and whitepapers both cover specific topics and position your brand as a subject expert, eBooks are extended “how-to” guides for a general audience, while whitepapers tend to contain industry research for B2B professionals.
eBooks are usually easier to create because they can be formed out of blog posts. If you have a sizable collection of blog posts, you can edit them together into a cohesive read. If you don’t have a blog yet, you can write an eBook and repurpose each section or chapter into a separate blog post.
- General Contractor
Siding: Selecting the Right Material, Pattern, and Colors
- Auto Services
Simple DIY Auto Repairs
How to Plan a Wine Tasting Event
- Financial Services
Effective Payroll Strategies for Small Businesses
The Future of Affordable Healthcare
Why Scent Marketing is Underutilized
Some topics are difficult to teach without visual aids. If you can’t get the hang of explaining a topic through only text, try creating an infographic. Infographics are supplementary or standalone content that can distill complex processes into easy-to-follow procedural diagrams or flow charts. They’re also shareable and versatile. You can include them in blog posts, feature them on your website, and add them to your resources page.
After customers identify their problem, they narrow their research to solutions.
Keep an eye on this blog for the second part in this series, which discusses the appropriate content for the next stage in the buyer’s journey: Consideration.
Contact WSI Connect for a free consultation, and we’ll help you create engaging content tailored for the Awareness Stage. We’ll also develop a complete content strategy across multiple marketing channels, so you can free up time to focus on the rest of your business.