If you have spent enough time in the digital world, then you have probably come across something called the buyer’s journey (or you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog). Understanding the buyer’s journey is an important part of creating a framework for your marketing efforts. But, before you can understand the buyer’s journey, you have to understand buyer personas.
What Is A Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is basically your ideal customer. This means that you will have to build out a fictitious representation that fits the description of your exact ideal customer. It is often necessary to create more than one buyer persona if you have multiple audiences that fit the mold of your ideal customer. Building out a buyer persona can be essential for crafting campaigns that target your audiences successfully. It can be helpful to use a buyer persona template. By knowing your buyer personas, it allows you to understand the problems and questions your audience have on a more intimate level, which allows you to create content that helps guide them along the buyer’s journey.
What Is The Buyer’s Journey?
Now let’s get back to the original question, what is the buyer’s journey? The buyer’s journey is a framework for the process a buyer goes through when researching and ultimately purchasing a new service or product. This process is made up of three major stages:
- Awareness Stage: I have a problem.
- Consideration Stage: I have identified my problem and started to research potential solutions.
- Decision Stage: I have decided on a solution.
Each of these stages has its own characteristics, which means that a buyer is going to be searching for different types of information in each stage. That is why it is important to understand each individual stage, as well as how it fits into the overall strategy of your company. Let’s take a closer look at each of the stages.
The first stage a buyer goes through is the Awareness Stage. This is when a buyer initially realizes that they have a problem or an opportunity. At this point, the buyer doesn’t fully understand what the problem is. They are most likely doing research to try and figure out the exact issue they have is. It is important to note that this does not necessarily mean that the buyer is aware of your business at this point in time. They aren’t going to be searching for brand-specific things. The buyer is going to be searching for information based on their current situation and trying to pinpoint what their exact problem is.
The content you create to help the buyer in the awareness stage should be focused on the buyer’s pain points, not your product or service. This content should help the buyer understand their problem more, and in turn, will help raise awareness around your brand.
The next stage that the buyer will enter is the Consideration Stage. This is arguably the most important stage of the buyer’s journey. In this stage, the buyer has identified and named their problem. Now the buyer is starting to research solutions to the problem. At this point, the buyer is still not considering the different businesses that might solve their problem. They are considering the problem at hand and looking for the different ways their problems can be solved.
In this stage, you should be creating content that helps build trust with the buyer. It is important to be seen as a trusted source that is offering something of value. In a recent study, it was found that 96% of people want content that is from industry thought leaders. That is why it is important to be creating content that not only helps your audience, but it also helps establish your brand as an industry expert. In the consideration stage, this will help your business be shortlisted by a buyer when they are researching the solutions to their problem.
Now it is time for the buyer to finally make their decision. In the Decision Stage, the buyer has decided on how they want to solve their problem. This stage is mainly about the buyer comparing the various options on their shortlist. This means that they will be looking more into the specific details, features, or even prices of their options.
This stage of the buyer’s journey calls for more brand-specific content. A great way to do this is by showcasing testimonials or case studies. This allows the buyer to see what people similar to them have chosen and had success with. You want to keep adding value to the buyer. At this point, you also want to be showcasing the advantages that your product or services offer. It is time to convince the buyer that your company is the best option.
Essentially the buyer’s journey is the process of a buyer recognizing that they have a problem, understanding their problem but not yet knowing the solution, and finally knowing the solution with the best fit and making a decision based on their knowledge. By strategically using content, you can help guide the buyer along their entire journey. Hopefully, now you aren’t just familiar with the buyer’s journey, but you are also ready to go out there and start making content that your personas are happy to see!