What is the Buyer’s Journey?
The Buyer’s Journey can be described as, “the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate and purchase a new product or service.”
Take buying a new laptop for example. If you were in the market for a new device you wouldn’t just buy the first laptop you found, would you? You would spend some time carefully considering your options. You would find laptops that fit within your budget and had certain features you were looking for. You would then spend time comparing choices to narrow down your options and then look at reviews to read about other customer’s experiences, not only of the product itself but of the brand. How trustworthy and reputable are they? How good is their customer service? What is their money-back guarantee? How secure do they feel purchasing from that brand?
This is a buyer’s journey. And, whether you are product based or service based your customers will take a similar journey when considering making a purchase with you.
Understanding the journey your buyer takes means that you are able to better serve relevant content and information to them at the various touchpoints in your business to allow them to make an informed decision. If you know the types of questions your buyer may have, you can meet them there and ensure the answer to their questions are readily available!
This strategy will result in many more sales as opposed to hard pitches and cold selling techniques. Adopting a more nurturing high-value approach will certainly help to build more trust in your product and your brand.
It’s vital that this information is available to them in the public arena and that they are able to access this BEFORE they reach out to you because according to SiriusDecisions:
“Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the buyer’s ‘decision’ is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales.
This means it’s highly likely that a person has made up their mind regarding a purchase before they reach out to you.
The Buyer’s Journey
There are 5 main stages to the Buyer’s Journey which include:
It is important to realize that each of these stages requires a different communication strategy and different types of content. For example, if someone is considering your services you do not want to send them an email asking for a referral, you would want to provide useful content that is likely to answer any FAQs they have.
The awareness stage of the Buyer’s Journey is when a person realizes that they have a need, want, or problem that needs to be solved. At this stage, your aim is to make them aware of your brand and how your products, offers or service could be the solution they are looking for. To help make people aware of your brand you want to be as visible as possible to them across a range of touchpoints.
Types of content that are great at this stage are:
- Word of Mouth
- Public Relations
- Online Ads
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Remember that you want to position your business as the solution to this pain point, which is why it is important to understand what those pain points are for your target audience at this stage.
During this phase, the person has a better understanding of what their needs are, and are now considering various options.
It’s worth noting that you won’t be the solution for everyone! And that’s ok. It’s how it should be! Find what you are really good at and become an expert in your field – stay in your lane! This means that you can create personalized and tailored content marketing strategies at this stage. Types of content you want to be focussing on during this stage include:
- Landing Pages
- Direct Mail
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Providing the answers to FAQS
- Providing case studies, social proof and comparisons
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This stage in the Buyer’s Journey is pretty self explanatory, however this is the moment when the customer makes a decision regarding their purchase. They have chosen the business that they believe is able to solve their problem.
At this moment in the Buyer’s Journey, you want to provide content that fully explains why your business is the best solution, and why they should pick you over your competitors. Moreover, if your products are in a store, think of your point of sale displays and how you are making an impact on the shelf.
Some content strategies and customer services that should be considered at this stage are:
- Point of Sale
- Website or online shop
- Online Ads
- DMs and private messages
This phase of the Buyer’s Journey is when your business delivers on the promises you laid out to the customer. This is a key part of your buyer’s journey and one that could mean the difference between your customer coming back to purchase again and remaining loyal to your brand, and whether or not they recommend you.
During this time there are multiple content and customer service strategies that can be implemented:
- Call Centers
- Automation Bots on Websites or Social Media
- Notifications on Apps
- Text Updates
The final stage of the Buyer’s Journey is loyalty, meaning that you have successfully created a repeat customer! This is a key stage to pay attention too because retaining customers and improving their lifetime value is a much more cost effective strategy than constantly having to find new clients.
Content strategies that work at this phase is:
- Online Promotions
- Writing Reviews
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Things to Remember
It is important to remember that you will have multiple target audience personas going through this cycle at various moments. This is why it is vital to maintain separate communication strategies for each of your personas as incorrect targeting can cause you to lose customers. Furthermore, some of the stages within the Buyer’s Journey can take place over long timeframes. Sometimes it is important to realize that just because you have a target audience persona does not mean that the person is the decision maker.
We are also all humans meaning we make decisions differently. Maybe you have someone new to your website who you are able to convert immediately, or you have had a loyal customer who no longer purchases with you. This is why the best strategy is to create content for each and every stage of the Buyer’s Journey. As Bockisch (2018) said, “This will ensure that no matter where someone is in their journey when they find your brand, you’ll be able to provide them with all the information they need to make an informed buying decision.”
For more information on branding check out our Branding Blog Series!
J. Rachel West
Marketing & Team Coordinator
J. Rachel West is a recent Westminster Business School graduate and Summer Intern for the Women in Business Club with a passion for marketing, branding, and events. Rachel’s goals are to empower women from all backgrounds to find their confidence, be their authentic self, and to overcome all challenges placed before them.