There are 3 distinct stages your customers move through when they are making a buying decision. The reason I am sharing this with you is so you can ensure that your website and marketing definitely covers all three stages. If you are missing any one of the three stages then you will be losing sales.
Stage 1 - Awareness
This is the stage where a potential customer is only aware of the fact they have a problem or challenge they want to resolve or a product or service they need. They are not at this stage aware of your business or services, just that they have something to fix or something they want.
Very often at this point, customers go to Google to find the answer. Which is why having a great SEO strategy or Google ads campaign can drive traffic and leads to your website. Where do your customers go to educate themselves and what platforms do they use.
The next thing to ask yourself is typically what questions do they ask? For example, in our case our customers will have questions about “How can I increase my sales?”, “How can I get more leads?”, “How can I get better quality leads?”
The questions are always based on their situation, their challenges and needs. They are not the questions you think they should be asking or you as a professional would ask, both mistakes I have made. Once you know what these questions are you can start producing useful content that is relevant and of value to them. The result is you will be producing content that gets their attention, engages with them and is the start of your relationship with them.
Stage 2 - Consideration
With a clearly defined goal or challenge and a commitment to address it, the consideration phase is about a buyer’s evaluation of the options available to them to address it. They consider their options - for example doing it themselves, hiring a professional or going to a big company or something similar.
To give you a specific example; If you were considering a new extension on your home you could decide to design it yourself, get your builder to design it, or go to an architect. Your consideration content has to address each of these options as well as the pros and cons so that they can make an informed decision about what step they want to take next.
Don’t forget there is always the option of doing nothing as well. What are the pros and cons of that?
Stage 3 - Decision
This is the point in the journey where the buyer has decided on what solution they are going for. They have a strategy in place to address their pain points and challenges but are still deciding on what tool to buy or which company to work with.
At this stage of the buying process your buyer will spend a lot of time researching, documenting and reviewing different companies. They will keep looking for more information and content to gain confidence in their decision.
Your content at this stage should include company and product comparisons, case studies, your process and prices and possibly a free trial. These position your content as a resource - not a hard sales pitch.
The main goal of the buyer’s journey is to take a more customer-centric philosophy to better position your company for addressing the needs of your target audience.
Does your website, marketing and content reflect your buyer’s journey?