Recap: The buyer’s journey is the research process an individual takes to transition from a prospect to a customer.
Your customers go through the same thought process before making a purchase. The process is called the buyer’s journey.
The Buyer’s Journey
- Awareness: The customer realizes they have a problem
- Consideration: The customer researches solutions to their problem
- Decision: The customer investigates services or products related to their chosen solution(s)
Customers seek different information at each stage. 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.
Decision stage content tells prospective customers why they should choose your brand.
After researching solutions to their problems, prospective customers want to know, “Which brand will solve my problem the best?” They’ve gathered information on your brand and your competitors, and they’re ready to make a choice.
Decision stage content is the most targeted content yet. Customers want to know how your pricing and offerings compare to those of similar brands. Do you offer warranties or guaranteed service? Do you have discounts for first-time customers? How about complementary products or services? What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
Show how your brand stands out from competitors.
Once in the decision stage, customers seek detailed information about products and services. For example, those looking for residential plumbing services will seek out information on service guarantees, the rooter services provided, and plumber availability. Those looking for home remodeling contractors will consider previous projects, the contractors’ experience, and the materials used.
While consideration stage content shows your brand is a potential solution, your decision stage content shows your brand is the best solution.
Decision stage content zooms in on your offerings.
Remember that all your content, regardless of buyer’s journey stage, must establish your brand as an authority. Your awareness stage content proves you an expert on understanding a problem. Your consideration stage content proves your offerings as a reliable solution. And finally, your decision stage content proves your brand has advantages over your competitors.
When a customer narrows their choices to a few key options, they begin comparing the finer details of the product or service. For lower cost products or services that don’t require much commitment, customers might spend less time comparing products or vendors. They might look at customer reviews, read up on product descriptions, and make a decision without major fanfare.
Higher cost decisions, such as selecting a wealth management advisor or home remodeling contractor, will likely take more decision time. You can help out by putting together comparison charts, sheets, or other materials that lay out the differences between your brand and competitors. Focus on your strengths, showing the extra value you can provide.
Trial Download or Live Demo
If you offer software or a subscription service, customers will appreciate a free trial. These typically run for a couple weeks or a month, and can be the final step to converting a visitor into a lead. Offer trial downloads on a webpage with zero exit links, so your visitor can’t navigate away. Even if your visitors don’t convert to leads after the trial, they’ll be more receptive to future marketing efforts.
If you offer a non-software product or service, you can offer a live demo for customers who prefer “proof” that their purchase works. The sales rep who hosts the demo can discuss your product’s capabilities and how it compares to other brands. At the end of the demo, you can offer coupons or discounts.
Before purchasing a technical product, customers might seek out “in-box” documentation. This could include operational manuals, purchase terms & agreements, and FAQs. Product literature should be formatted for easy reading and made accessible on your website.
If you offer free consultations, you could follow them up with a service proposal. Like a quote, this tells the visitor what they can expect in terms of service and cost should they choose you. You could create the proposal during the consultation by filling out a template, or send it to the customer later. Remember that the visitor is choosing between different brands or providers, so your proposal should be competitive should your visitor use it in comparisons.
After customers make a purchase, they want affirmation they made the right choice.
Though the buyer’s journey ends when a purchase is made, there’s still work to be done. Prove to your customer they made the right choice by offering customer support, deals on future purchases or referrals, and follow-up surveys. Acquiring new customers is more costly than retaining existing customers, so strive to keep all your customers happy.
Contact WSI Connect for a free consultation, and we’ll help you create engaging content tailored for the consideration 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.