The buyer’s journey refers to a person’s procedure before purchasing. How important that is? How should we recognize it and how should we plan for it?
Table of contents
There are three steps:
- Awareness – The buyer acknowledges they have a problem. They desire to understand more about it.
- Consideration – The buyer searches for and compares possible answers to their problem.
- Decision – The buyer purchases a solution.
Understanding the buyer’s journey as a digital marketing agency aims to make content for each stage.
A buyer persona refers to a fictional person you make who represents the common characteristics of your customer. Knowing what they’re searching for will aid, you make the right content.
Making a buyer persona is not a thought exercise. Unfortunately, many companies treat it as such. They specify personas according to the imagination, fill up a document, and tuck it in the recesses of a Google Drive.
Here’s the three-step procedure content marketer Adrienne Barnes recommends:
- Get to know your customers – Discover your best customers and call them. These customers knew immediately how your product worked or have been using your product without any complaints.
- Organize the data – Search for patterns among the responses. You’re looking out for common phrases, words, and remarks.
- Segment the audience – From how you have collected, you should start seeing specific audiences popping out of the data. These will be your buyer personas.
Let’s illustrate this step with an example. We’ll utilize Billy Blogger as our buyer persona. Billy desires to build a revenue-generating blog so that he can leave his full-time job.
Billy understands he has a problem at this stage: His site is not getting enough traffic. So he searches for possible digital marketing services to get more traffic to his place. He learns about the different traffic acquisition strategies and decides that SEO could be the solution to his problem. He starts researching and learning more about SEO.
At this stage, Billy understands he needs a tool to do SEO. He begins looking for the type of available tools. As he encounters each product, he compares. If there are free versions, he will test the various tools out.
At this stage, Billy is near to purchasing. He’s checking our tool, looking at the list of features, pausing on pricing, and taking our toolset for a spin.
If we’re making content for this stage of the buyer’s journey, we’re looking for topics related to our brand.
Write the brand name into Keywords Explorer and check the list to do this.
You may not discover many keywords for your brand name if you’re a small brand. If so, look at your Google Search Console data for the things people are searching for that relate to your brand.
Finally, people won’t always use search engines to find the necessary information in this stage. After all, they’ve settled on your brand and may simply be searching for that information on your website. Rather than concentrate too much on the keywords they’re looking for, look internally.
Now that you possess the topics for each stage of the buyer’s journey, it’s time to make content for them.
You’ll likely have to make various types of content for the different stages. For instance, buyers search for information in the Awareness stage, for example, blog posts, videos, etc. Although for the Consideration stage, buyers are comparing, so they might be searching for category pages or comparison pages.
The easiest way to determine what type of content you are supposed to make is to analyze the top pages for the three Cs of search intent.
Content types usually fall into five buckets: blog post, product, category, landing page, or video. For instance, all the top-ranking pages for how to boost blog traffic are blog posts. You also need to know different types of blog posts to write.
- Content Format
This mainly applies to blog posts, usually how-tos, listicles, news articles, opinion pieces, or reviews. For instance, the top-ranking results for “link building” are mostly guides:
- Content angle
This refers to the significant selling point of the content. For instance, people looking for “best SEO tools” desire the results to be fresh.
Trying and selling your product immediately is not helpful if you create “Awareness stage” content. The buyer has just found their problem and is at the stage of researching.
Instead, you should add appropriate calls to action (CTAs) for the next stage. (In this case, it’s Consideration.)
So, for example, we can introduce our suite of free tools instead rather than boost our pricing page to someone learning SEO. That way, possible customers can get familiar with what we do and how our tools work. We can inspire them to sign up for our newsletter to learn more about SEO.
All in all, While it may be given as an unbent stage model, the buyer’s journey never truly works that way in real life.
Just think about your behavior. Do you follow a clean linear progression when purchasing something? Unless it’s an inspiration buy, probably not. You probably jump around each stage as you research, go about your day, hesitate, try stuff out, forget about it, study some more, etc.
While this model ensures you’re creating content for each stage so potential buyers can discover you, remember that it is not perfect.