Article by: MaryEllen | Monday, February 26, 2018

By MaryEllen Tribby

Every buyer goes on a similar journey to purchasing, regardless of what type of product or service they are looking for. First, they realize a need (awareness), then they research (consideration) and then they purchase (decision).

The buyer’s journey is based on what happens before the decision to buy has been made (and continues even after the purchase, if you want repeat buyers). You can use this information to lead the way to your product or service repeatedly if you create more than one solution for more than one problem.

It’s important to understand your buyer’s journey so that you can help lead them toward deciding to purchase your products or service. If you look at each stage of the buyer’s journey, you can map out the type of content and marketing collateral you’ll need to create and put in their path to ensure that they stay on the right road. The right road is, of course, the one that leads them to purchase your solution.

To accomplish this, it’s essential to understand the stages of the buyer’s journey. And don’t worry, it’s as easy as A, C, D . . .

* Awareness – Usually buyers are trying to get information about their problem or are trying to identify their symptoms so that they can find a solution for their problem.

* Consideration – Now buyers know what their problem is, and they’re trying to research it from all angles so they can understand everything that will help them solve their problem.

* Decision – Buyers at this point of the journey have become aware of their problem, and due to their research have become aware of the solutions that are out there – including yours. This is the time they compare different solutions and the pros and cons of each, and finally make a choice.

You should use content at each of these stages to inform, instruct, interact, and inspire them to act by buying your products or services. You will need to understand your target audience intimately. That means knowing who they are, what keeps them up at night, and how your business fits in with that by offering a solution to their problems.

The Buyer’s Perspective

It’s important to look at each stage from the perspective of the buyer. For example, at the awareness stage, it’s possible your buyer has no idea that they even have a problem yet. Or if they do have a problem, they may not even know that your product or service exists. At the consideration stage, they know that they have a problem, but they need to learn about the solutions. Finally, knowing about the problem and the choices for solutions will lead the buyer to decide what they’re going to purchase.

Educating Your Audience

Therefore, it’s your job to educate your target audience about the problem and the solution in a way that leads them through the buying cycle efficiently.

Naturally, the right solution is your solution, and the content you create will make that clear.

That’s why you need to know all the various types of content and the different formats that content can have, as well as the types you need to use at each stage of the buying cycle.

However, the first rule of business is not to overcomplicate matters. Yes, you want great records. Yes, you want a detailed plan in place, but don’t make it so hard on yourself. Use the buying journey to inform you about the goal of the content so that it’s easier to create. Knowing the goal of any piece of content before you create it will make it so much easier to create. Here are the reasons why.

Gives Your Content Direction

When you know that you’re writing content for your target audience who are in the awareness stage of their buying journey, it’ll be easier to figure out what to talk about. You’ll want to use keywords like “prevent”, “upgrade”, “improve” and so forth because that will get their attention. For example, “How to Prevent Ingrown Toenails” can help inform your audience about your method of preventing ingrown toenails by cutting them correctly.

Helps You Create a Repurposing Plan

When you know that your audience needs information and content for each stage, you’ll also realize that they need content in different forms. Not everyone learns the same. A “how to” article can become a video. Using our example, you might also want to write some educational articles about how people get ingrown toenails in the first place, or even what an ingrown toenail is.

Ensures You Publish Content Consistently and Regularly

Having a way to map the content to a stage of the buying journey can also help you learn how to publish content consistently and regularly. But, the real key to this is not trying to be perfect. No one is perfect and the drive for perfection can make it hard to finish anything because it’s “never good enough”. Let things be good enough and get it done.

Makes You Listen to Your Audience

This is probably one of the most important tips of all. When you listen to your audience, you will get a lot of ideas on how to market to them at each stage of the buying cycle. Start a Facebook group for your niche audience and ask them questions, encourage them to ask questions, and then keep a list of the questions and answers so that you can use it as fodder for all your content needs.  

Now you know why it is essential to understand the buyer’s journey. Next need to know exactly how to execute it. And luckily I just wrote a brand new hot off the press special report. It’s called The Three Essential Stages of The Buyer’s Journey: What You Must Know to Find, Attract & Convert Prospects to Buyers.

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