Growing your business requires selling your products and services. The sale starts long before you talk to any customer though. The buyer’s journey, also called the customer lifecycle, describes a buyer’s path to purchase. While there are a few exceptions to this journey (like impulse buying at the grocery store), almost all buyers go through this journey.

By understanding your target audience, businesses can influence the experience their customers take along that buyer journey. Understanding pain points, problems, and influencing the buyer experience can position your business for success. 

There are five stages of the Buyer’s Journey: awareness, consideration, decision, retention, and advocacy.

And the larger the price point for the purchase, the longer the journey takes. Creating content that helps move them through the process increases your chances of converting the sale. 

Not sure what to offer at each stage? We got you covered! 

Stage 1: Awareness

Offer education 

The first stage in the journey is creating awareness. Your customer doesn’t know you and they don’t know what you do. Your job at this stage is to create an association between your brand and the customer’s needs.

It is important to not sell at this stage. While that might seem counterintuitive, very few people will buy from someone they don’t know, the first time they’re introduced to their solution. You haven’t built credibility or trust yet. 

When creating content for this stage, be sure that you are answering questions that your target audience would ask. Most buyers start with online research so be sure that you’re creating content that is easy to understand and optimized for search engines. Be sure all of your content includes a call to action for the buyer to keep them engaged.

Content for this stage: 

  • How-To’s 
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • White Papers
  • Blog posts

Using lead magnets and gated content works great at this stage because you can collect contact information for future targeted outreach. 

Stage 2: Consideration 

Offer resources

At this stage, your goal is to deepen the association between their problem and your brand. Your content should focus on what makes you stand out from the crowd. You want to make sure that you’re serving content that is specifically relevant to your target audience. Your buyer personas will play a big part in selecting the right content for your customers. 

Content for this stage: 

  • Case studies
  • Pricing guides
  • Video demos
  • Webinars
  • FAQ’s

Your CRM can help you with distributing the right content to your various customer segments so this content feels personalized to the customer. 

Stage 3: Decision

Offer your unique selling proposition 

When your customer is in the decision stage, they’ve decided they need a solution and are now deciding on what solution is the best fit for them. They’re looking at features, pricing, timing, and ease of use. 

This stage is so critical to get right. You want to make it EASY for them to select your solution. Your content will need to be considerate of common objections without being defensive. 

Content for this stage: 

  • Customer reviews and testimonials 
  • Case studies
  • Free trials
  • Personalized or live demos

Keep in mind that 97% of all buyers use reviews or case studies to help make their final buying decision so be sure to have a variety to fit your various customers. A small manufacturer will likely be less swayed by the testimonial of a large tech company. 

Stage 4: Retention

Offer ongoing support

Congratulations! You’ve landed your new customer! Now what? It’s not over for you and if you do this next stage right, it’s not over for your customer either. 

Here is where you begin the build a bond with your customers. It’s cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to sell to a new one. Building lasting customer relationships can build up your profit margins. 

Content for this stage: 

  • Customer support and onboarding emails
  • Customer feedback requests
  • Blogs and videos on features of their new purchase
  • Newsletters and updates on product improvements
  • Add-ons and up-sell offers
  • Discounts or loyalty programs

This is a great place to use marketing automation tools. Gather as much information as you can about your customers to ensure you keep the content super personalized.

Stage 5: Advocacy 

Offer appreciation 

Customers who are raving fans can exponentially help grow your business. Word of mouth is so powerful as people trust their friends, families, and colleagues to understand their needs. 

Content for this stage: 

  • Discounts or loyalty programs
  • Priority customer content
  • Customer testing for beta features 
  • Incentives for referrals
  • Joint webinars, interviews, podcasts with your customers

Everyone appreciates being appreciated. This stage is a great one for personal outreach too. If you’re a leader in your organization, consider creating personal touches to show customers you care. 

 

It may take a bit of effort upfront to map out this journey and create content for each milestone along the way, but it’s worth it! 

Do you need help creating content for your buyer journey? Reach out to our experts to learn more about how we can help.