The buyer’s journey is the path a potential purchaser follows, a decision-making process moving from awareness through consideration and culminating in a purchase.
Marketing wisdom suggests that it can take seven to thirteen ‘touches’ for a client as they move along this path. A ‘touch’ happens when a client comes into contact with your business, whether that’s a billboard or a social media post or a friend’s referral.
Not all ‘touches’ are quantifiable. It’s hard to say how many potential customers heard about you via word of mouth unless they tell you explicitly, “my friend recommended you”.
Being aware of how your customer comes into contact with your brand will inform your content marketing.
The first stage of the buyer’s journey is awareness. It begins as your potential client recognizes they need or want something. This stage is tied in closely to their ‘pain points’, or places in their lives where they are experiencing friction.
The second stage of the buyer’s journey is consideration. As your potential customer looks for answers, your goal is to ensure your product or service is one of their options.
The final stage of the buyer’s journey is decision and, for you, that means making buying easy. Ensure the customer will be emotionally comfortable purchasing from you and that they’ll find the process convenient and simple.
Reflecting the Buyer’s Journey on Social Media
To boost awareness with social media:
- Fully complete your bio to blatantly demonstrate who you are and what you do.
- Show platform visitors the lights are on with consistent posting.
- Create a free offer that acts as an introduction to your brand (also known as a freebie or lead magnet) and put some advertising dollars behind it.
- Join groups within social platforms to share your expertise and enthusiasm.
- Search brand hashtags and topics and engage by liking, commenting and sharing.
To increase consideration with social media:
- Work the algorithms and monitor insights to determine you’re talking to the right people at the right time.
- Create long-form posts addressing how your product or service is the answer.
- Record videos demonstrating your product or service.
- Work with influencers for user-generated content.
- Develop social proof such as testimonials and referrals and share these via copy, imagery and videography.
To impact decision with social media:
- Use social platform technology to make purchases easier.
- Add purchase links to your profile or use a link tree to add multiple links.
Reflecting the Buyer’s Journey on Your Blog
To boost awareness with a blog:
- Ensure the rest of your website supports the knowledge you’ll share on the blog.
- Show blog visitors the lights are on with consistent posting.
- Create eminently readable blog posts that fully explore your brand’s focus.
- Use SEO best practices to optimize your blog for search engines.
- Embed pins and images for social sharing.
- Share your blog posts prolifically.
To increase consideration with a blog:
- Brainstorm about how your products or services are solutions, then explore each of these problems and innovative solutions in your article.
- Create case studies around your brand topics complete with real-world usage, testimonials, and statistics to demonstrate efficacy.
- Offer your articles to collaborators as guest posts, then link back from your own blog.
- Share your blog with appropriate members of the media and press outlets with the goal of being seen as an authority.
- Go multimedia with quality imagery, audio and videos to attract and retain attention.
- Capture email addresses for email marketing via blog subscription.
- Remove objections by setting expectations.
- Outline the purchase process and remind your reader of typical results.
- Consider using technology that shows readers who else is purchasing or signing up in realtime.
To impact decision with a blog:
- Include links to purchase within the article.
- Create your own ads to run alongside your articles with click-to-purchase capacity.
- Offer deals, discounts or bundles in conjunction with blog topics.
Reflecting the Buyer’s Journey in Email Marketing:
To boost awareness with email:
- Create a free offer that acts as an introduction to your brand (also known as a freebie or lead magnet).
- Show subscribers the lights are on with consistent sharing.
- Jam pack each of your newsletters with value around a concentrated topic.
- Add a ‘win’ that only they’ll receive such as an extra tip related to the latest blog topic.
To increase consideration with email:
- Share deals, discounts or bundles with the audience.
- Let the audience know about the latest news regarding case studies, testimonials or other social proof, social media engagements and the blog as well as updates on your products and services.
- Let the audience know where they can find you or your products, e.g., guest posts, influencer profiles, speaking gigs or stores who carry your offerings.
To impact decision with email:
- Include links to purchase within the email.
- Create your own ads with click-to-purchase capacity.
Traditional marketing, public relations and content marketing work hand-in-hand (-in-hand).
Returning to the idea of touches, each of these suggestions can act as that small push that encourages someone to become a customer. A potential buyer’s journey can be influenced by these guiding hands.
Buyer becomes aware of issue thanks to news media → Friend’s recommendation → visits Facebook profile & likes → Facebook Ad for lead magnet targeted at followers → thank you for signing up email with links to suggested case study → clicks on product link and sees customer ratings → purchases product.
Keep in mind that not everyone who begins the journey will complete it. Their consideration may determine that your solution doesn’t resonate with them. And it shouldn’t resonate with everyone.
However, when you walk this journey with your ideal client, you’ll receive so much more than just a sale.
Do you have a suggestion for our lists? What examples should we include on these journeys? Please add your suggestion in the comments!