The buyer’s journey is a great way to visualize how consumers and potential clients are looking for the exact thing you are offering. Although it typically applies to ecommerce, the buyer’s journey can be applied to any industry.
Consisting of three stages, each section of the buyer’s journey contains their own set of questions. These questions help define what point someone is along their purchasing path. Since the three sections are unique, each stage should offer up content that solves a particular issue the searcher is having along the process.
Content can be in the form of answers to most popular questions that range from cost to comparison, but more on that later.
These different stages are called the:
- Awareness Stage
- Consideration Stage
- Decision Stage
Let’s break each stage down further to see what exactly they consist of.
The Awareness Stage: Providing Useful Content
The awareness stage is the first stage in this process and is going to cater largely to informational searches a user performs.
Content here should help searchers answer questions to problems they may not know they have. The key here is to create content that satisfies these questions and only mentions your company in the process; do not try to sell anything here. The object is brand awareness and helpful content.
The language used in this stage can be general as the goal is to reach a larger audience. Content that is quick and easy to digest will resonate a lot better than wordy, drawn out pieces.
The questions asked in the awareness stage are:
These questions can cover a broad range of topics so it’s best to do some research and see if there are any specific questions already being asked that you may not be aware of.
Using great tools like Conductor Searchlight or Buzzsumo we are able to see the types of questions being asked in our industry, by our competition, and how frequently the surrounding content is being shared on social media.
Conductor allows us to set up a detailed report where we can monitor our competitors and see the types of questions they’re ranking for as well as the monthly search volume those questions have.
The reports, called workspaces, are grouped into the three stages mentioned earlier.
From there we can take those questions and plug them into Buzzsumo to see the type of content being generated as well as the engagement each piece has (social shares).
People have questions that pertain to your business or products. Answering them in a way that is helpful and honest (i.e. don’t hit them with the sales pitch here) will bring in focused, relevant traffic and keep them engaged.
Engagement will play a big part in the next stage, the consideration stage.
The Consideration Stage: Show Them a Solution
The second stage in the buyer’s journey is called the consideration stage. This occurs when an individual is aware they have a problem and are looking for a solution.
Content here should cater to both informational and navigational searches. Addressing a user’s particular issue or set of issues will help keep them engaged. It is also important to start branding your content as well as the products and services so users begin to identify your brand with their solutions.
The language in this stage should cater to people in charge of making a purchasing decision. This will vary depending on what exactly it is you’re offering.
The questions asked in the consideration stage are:
I also like to add freemium if it is applicable to a business. Freemium is defined on Wikipedia as:
“a pricing strategy by which a product or service (typically a digital offering or application such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality, or virtual goods.”
This may not pertain to all businesses however, may be worth investing some time to see if this is something your company can offer.
All content that has been created up until this point will help to funnel leads into the final stage, the decision stage.
The Decision Stage: Making the Sale
The final stage in the buyer’s journey is the decision stage. This occurs when someone is ready to make a purchase and is looking for the best possible way to do so.
Content here should be brand specific as you’re trying to close the lead and make the sale. The types of searches this content would cater to are transactional searches, but may also contain informational and navigational. Navigational because queries will begin to be brand specific and transactional because people are looking to make a purchase at this point.
The language doesn’t necessarily need to be focused on one particular individual, in fact, we can create buyer personas and market content do the different types of visitors we plan to attract. Remember a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research.
The questions asked in the decision stage are:
I would also like to add “near me” to this list of questions as this is generally appended to a lot of transactional keywords lately, especially on mobile devices.
Above is an infographic that ties different transactional types into the stages of the buyer’s journey. There we can see a searchers intent as they are looking up content online.
So, what does this mean for CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization?
The more useful content we are able to provide our potential client base with, the further they will progress down the sales funnel.
This will lead to more conversions and a stronger, my loyal customer base.
I say useful content because we want to provide solutions to problems and map that back to our products or services.
The key takeaway from this post should be that we need to focus on acquiring the right type of client and not just traffic to our sites.