An often quoted study from CEB found that 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier. Consumers are looking in more places than ever for advice and insight on what to purchase and from which company – TV, billboards, online advertising, content marketing, social media, review sites, friends and family.
You could easily stretch your limited marketing resources too thin trying to be everywhere at once and something for everyone. But by narrowing down where your audience is and what message they are looking for, you can decide exactly how best to reach them at each stage in the buyer journey.
The Typical Buyer Journey
First, the consumer is unaware of your product. Your goal is to make them aware of your brand as a potential solution to their problem. Find out where your potential customers are looking to find answers for their particular problem or where they look online and off for new products and services. Align an introductory message with educational components for consumers in the discovery phase. Naming your content correctly can address some of the questions your readers have, which in turn will raise interest and increase clicks, reads and views.
Once a consumer has discovered your brand, they move to the consideration phase in deciding which brand to buy the product or service from. Now is the time to really capture their attention and stay top of mind to make sure you make it to the finals. Provide value-added content, lead nurturing email campaigns, targeted advertising and invite them to events. This is the stage where you build a relationship with the consumer.
Finally, they make it to the Decision stage in their journey. They’re ready to buy, and it’s down to a couple of contenders. Tell them why your solution is the right one for them, or give them an incentive to buy your product over your competitors. Personal emails and phone calls often make the difference during this stage, depending on your product or service.
Aligning content with your brand’s buyer journey
Take your own content and identify where in the buying cycle it can be used most effectively. Start with an audit of your content and advertising messaging to identify which pieces are more relevant to your buyer in each phase of his or her journey. Here’s a handy guideline for content that is often useful during each phase of the customer journey.
- How-to & educational content
- PPC and other online advertising
- Social media presence
- Public relations
- Word of mouth
- Traditional media like TV, print and radio
- Lead nurturing emails
- Blogs & videos
- Display advertising
- Pricing matrices
- Buyer guides
- Events / webinars
- Direct sales emails
- Vendor comparison
- Case studies
- Reviews & testimonials
- Live demos
Now remember, these are not hard and fast categories, just an outline for you to begin aligning content with each phase. For example, PPC and other online advertising can be used during the consideration and decision phases by offering last minute deals, or review sites like Yelp often become a means of discovery for people looking for a new restaurant to try or an AC repairman during the heat of the summer.
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About The Author
Courtney Todd – Vice President of Marketing, Distribion
Courtney is responsible for conceptualizing, implementing and managing Distribion’s marketing strategy. With a passion for creative and content, she thrives in brand development, consumer engagement and developing holistic marketing strategies. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Southern Methodist University. Connect with Courtney on LinkedIn and Twitter.