Content marketing is a vital part of any business strategy, and the industry is estimated to generate $72 billion in revenue in 2023. But even more important is tailoring content to an audience's needs at different stages of the buyer's journey. Learn how to choose blog posts, educational content, and other content that appeals to customers at different stages.
What Is the Buyer Journey?
The buyer journey is a process potential customers go through when buying a product or service. Sometimes, the buyer journey is a short, impulse buy. You want some gum, see it at the cash register, then buy it. Sometimes you may have a favorite brand and flavor in mind, and other times you may want to peruse the candy section for something different. But it's usually not complicated.
For other purchases, this process is more long and drawn out, particularly when a customer has to spend a lot of money or needs a high-quality product or service. But no matter the length of the journey, it usually follows three steps:
- Awareness: The customer doesn't know your brand or how you can solve their problems.
- Consideration: The customer is aware of their problem and is comparing your brand with others as a potential solution.
- Decision: The customer is ready to make a purchase but needs a final nudge to choose your brand.
The Importance of Creating Content For the Buyer's Journey
Your ideal customer will shift based on where they are in their relationship with your brand. Instead of trying to appeal to a broad audience with your content, create marketing funnel content for each stage of the buyer's journey. Different posts will appeal to potential buyers depending on where they fall in the purchasing funnel.
For example, a customer might not want to try an unknown brand, even if their buying journey involves something as simple as a pack of gum. When looking at all the options at the counter, people are most likely to pick a brand they're familiar with because they know what to expect.
Your content needs to make sure your brand is one of those options. Content aimed at pushing them to buy your brand will not be successful if you don't first establish a rapport with the customer.
Content Creation for Each Stage of the Buyer Journey
When developing your digital marketing strategy, create a content marketing funnel and categorize different types of content. With this tool, you can effectively brainstorm pieces that resonate with each step of the buyer's journey funnel and strategize where and when to post each piece of content.
Content Creation for the Awareness Stage
People at the top of the funnel know they have a problem but might not know how your brand can help them solve it.
Awareness is all about selling your unique value proposition and standing out from the competition. At this stage of the sales funnel, your main objective is to make potential buyers aware of your brand and consider it a solution to their problem. Awareness marketing helps you establish your brand and communicate how it will benefit potential customers.
When done well, awareness marketing helps you build a rapport with buyers in the awareness stage and moves them to the consideration stage.
Try creating different buyer personas and determine the features of your product or service that would appeal to them. A buyer persona is a fictionalized version of your ideal customer. Each persona will have similar demographic and psychographic characteristics as your best customers.
Types of Content
Since your main goal at this stage is to build brand awareness and solidify your reputation, you should focus on engaging educational content, blog posts, social media, and other content. There are plenty of ways to build brand awareness. Create social media posts that communicate your value to potential customers and tag them using terms that appeal to your desired audience.
Create informative and engaging blog posts that are optimized for search engines. Use your unique value proposition to determine potential blog topics and establish yourself as a credible solution to a customer's problem.
Awareness is also a great stage for pay-per-click advertising and sponsored social media posts. Think of terms potential customers would use to find you and tailor organic and paid content to boost your visibility in these searches.
Examples of Content
To target people in the awareness funnel:
- Post tutorial videos highlighting how to use your product or service.
- Create infographics showcasing how you've gotten results for previous customers.
- Post content featuring influencers or members of the local media to improve your visibility and build trust with your audience.
You can also consider sponsoring charity events or partnering with other local businesses. Creating partnered content can help you tap into their network and generate more backlinks to your website.
Content Creation for the Consideration Stage
At this stage of their customer journey, potential buyers know about your brand and are comparing it with other possible solutions. They know their key pain points and are researching the best solution.
A short buyer journey, like the gum example above, may not have a long consideration stage. But if you're open to trying a new brand, you might look at price and packaging and read a couple of online reviews to find the one that freshens your breath the most or lasts a long time.
Your goal is to educate potential buyers about your brand and what makes it better than your competitors. When creating content for this stage, you should emphasize the benefits of your brand that are important to your ideal customer.
Your target audience at this stage may still be more receptive to educational content rather than a hard sell. You are aiming to drive them to the decision phase, not to make a conversion.
Types of Content
The best way to nail consideration marketing is to understand your audience. Create more buyer personas and adjust them for this stage: Based on your potential customer's demographics and other data, what would sway them to choose your brand?
When creating educational content for the consideration funnel, make it less about establishing your brand and more about helping potential customers understand why you're the best solution. Instead of showcasing your products and unique value, tailor your content to show why you are better than the competition. At this stage, customers are evaluating their options. Make comparison guides outlining how your product or service differs from competitors.
Write blog posts and make videos about unique features and the benefit they offer to your customers. Downloadable resources fall into this stage as well.
Examples of Content
Along with social media and blog posts, target people at the consideration stage with white papers, webinars, and case studies. A case study gives you the ability to show concrete results with statistics and facts. You can also add a client testimonial to each case study to enhance your credibility.
Hosting educational sessions or speaking at industry conferences is another way to target people in the consideration funnel. These engagements allow you to establish your credibility and highlight areas of expertise that make you stand out.
Content Creation for the Decision Stage
The decision funnel is the last of the sales process. At this stage, your potential customers know they have a problem and have researched multiple solutions. They have completed the path to purchase and are ready to make a decision.
This is your last chance to convince a customer to buy. Your objective at this stage should be to make a sale. Anticipate potential questions or objections to purchase and create content that addresses them.
Types of Content
At this stage, your goal is to push a customer over the line from considering to purchasing. Content at this stage should answer potential objections to a purchase and convince a customer to convert. You want to prove why you're the best option.
Customer reviews and testimonials also appeal to people at this stage since they help customers learn what to expect from your product or service. You can also use case studies in this buying stage. They aren't exclusive to consideration marketing.
Examples of Content
A live demonstration or free trial will give potential customers a hands-on view of your product or service. Target people at this stage with written content, including the FAQ section of your website and detailed product landing pages. You might also offer a coupon or promotional discount to move customers over that final line.
Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy Results With Compose.ly
Instead of creating whatever social media post or blog post that comes to mind and hoping it finds an audience, tailor your content to each stage of the buyer's journey for a clearer objective. A content strategy for each buyer's journey stage will help your content resonate with a smaller pool of people, improving your chances of making a successful connection. But you don't have to do it alone.
Compose.ly has a pool of expert content writers who can help you target all stages of the buyer's journey. We can connect you with the content you need to move people from "just looking" to "converted." Get a sample today.