How to use the buyer’s journey to increase your sales
Learn how to reach your audience with the right content at the right time!
Learn how to reach your audience with the right content at the right time!
It’s safe to say that one of the main objectives of every entrepreneur is to attract more customers and increase sales.
To that end, it is necessary to come up with effective marketing strategies that are able to reach the right audience, making people recognize the benefits in purchasing what your brand is selling.
However, if you fail to understand who the people are, the ones who are looking for the product or service you offer, and where they are in the buyer’s journey, it will be difficult to come up with assertive actions and campaigns that add value to your audience and get their attention.
If you still don’t know what the buyer’s journey is, don’t worry. In this post, we’ll talk about it in detail, so that you can put this knowledge into practice in your business’s marketing strategies.
To begin with, it’s crucial that you understand the concept of the buyer’s journey well. Only then will you recognize the importance of each of its steps.
The buyer’s journey involves every step in the purchase process a person goes through, from educating her up to attracting her to close the deal.
This process is basically divided into three parts:
In this step, your customers still haven’t realized they have a problem in need of a solution.
Usually, at this moment they are starting to ponder about the matter and realizing there is a need, even though they do not fully comprehend what this need is.
If you’re into digital marketing, you’ve probably heard the term prospect, which refers to the person at this stage of the buyer’s journey.
This is the moment when you educate the prospects about the subject matter you work with, and show that the problems they face have a solution.
As the customers in potential are not aware that they really have a problem that needs to be solved, they are not yet ready for direct approaches, such as adverts and offers of products and services. After all, they still don’t know that they need one of your products.
That’s why this is the moment to provide educational content, which deals with the subject matter in a general way, passing on a broad overview of the topic they are searching for.
In this first step, your customer needs to become familiarized with the subject you deal with, to understand, on their own (with your indirect help, of course), their needs and interests.
Suitably welcoming customers in the awareness stage is essential so that they advance in the journey, and finally reach the decision to make the purchase.
In this step, the customer is already aware that there is a problem, and is actively seeking a solution for it.
As they don’t have enough knowledge of the subject matter, they start looking for information on the available approaches and methodologies to deal with this newly-found need.
At this moment, what matters the most is specific content, which guides them through the topic and shows the strategies that may be used so they can solve the problem they are facing.
Having arrived at this step, the customer in potential knows exactly what needs to be done to solve the problem. They are aware not only of their needs, but also of the solutions that are available for them.
In this stage, they start to analyze the options in the market, to decide on the perfect strategy to solve the problem.
Content that focuses on comparing products and services, show success cases, and present recommendations, is the most interesting in this stage of the buyer’s journey. After all, the moment of decision is now close and they need to be sure they’re making the right choice.
Now you already know what the buyer’s journey is all about, you need to understand how to use this concept to multiply your sales.
To begin with, know that creating the perfect buyer’s persona for your business is decisive for your strategies.
You need to know exactly who your ideal customer is, to learn how to communicate with them at every given moment, call their attention, and turn them into real buyers of your product or service.
By coming up with a thorough profile of your buyer’s persona, you will be able to identify the best actions to educate them in the first stage of the buyer’s journey, attract them in the moment of consideration, and finally, convince them that you have the perfect solution for their problems.
In order to find out how to achieve the best results with your buyer’s persona in every step, it’s important to know what they’ve been searching for.
To do so, you need to identify common points in their answers to understand behavioral trends. With this insight, you will be able to verify what the demands are, and which actions have achieved the most positive results.
The entrepreneur who has a shoe shop, for example, and is attentive to the behavior of potential customers, may come to the conclusion that people now prefer shoes made of sustainable materials.
By understanding this trend, the shop owner redirects resources so that the brand meets this demand in the market, stands out from the competition, and makes more sales. Or, if the needs are already being met, the entrepreneur can now switch the focus to this topic, which will raise the interest of the audience and lead the public to the brand.
To help you discover these trends, use online tools such as Google Trends. They will show you data on the search habits of internet users, and you will find out what people have been searching.
When we talk about the buyer’s journey, we have to think about Inbound Marketing strategies.
In the traditional marketing, now known as outbound marketing, the customers play a passive role whereas the company seeks them out to offer a product, even though it has not previously awakened a genuine interest in them.
In inbound marketing, on the other hand, the company is responsible for knowing the buyer persona well, and creating valuable content to get the attention of customers. Here, the customers are the ones who seek out the company after realizing they have a problem that can be solved with the product or service the company offers.
To make sure your ideal customers reach your brand, it is then crucial that you focus on educational strategies.
Some of the things you can do to achieve this goal is to create a blog, a YouTube channel, and provide rich materials for them (we will talk more about this below).
The most important thing in any of these strategies is to deliver content that truly adds value to your audience, and not only try to sell something.
There is a variety of types of content that may be offered to customers in potential when it comes to strategies in prospecting customers.
The use of each of them, however, must take into account the step in which each of the customers in potential are in the buyer’s journey, and what kind of content they may be interested in at that moment.
Here are some of the formats that may be offered and what their specificities are.
Ebooks may be used in most of the steps of the buyer’s journey. You just have to adapt the content in them to meet the needs of the audience.
The interesting thing about using this format is that, in order to download it, the user has to provide personal information, such as name and email address, and by doing so, this user authorized you to engage in conversation.
You should then take advantage of this permission to start nurturing this relationship with this lead and guide this lead throughout the buyer’s journey until it’s time to make the purchase.
Invest in educational digital books, with appealing content that really provide something valuable to your potential customer.
The more this potential customer feels like they are getting something of significance in the information you provide in your ebook, the greater the chances of them becoming interested in more content you offer, and then find in your product or service, the ideal solution for their problems.
(Take this opportunity to check out our post that teaches you how to create the perfect ebook.)
Whitepapers are materials to share information on a certain topic, presenting in-depth data, results and concepts. Usually, they are written linearly, in an academic language.
Due to this specificities, it is recommended for more qualified customers. In other words, those who are more advanced in the buyer’s journey and are already interested in more technical content.
Another option is to create specialized guides, that may be delivered so that the users have access to more information about a certain subject matter.
If your buyer’s persona’s concern is about the materials of your product, you may create a guide about sustainable consumption or a step-by-step on recycling materials, for example.
Having a YouTube channel to share content that relates to your brand is an excellent marketing strategy.
Considering the ever-growing interest of the audience in this kind of content format, due to how easy it is to consume, share and assimilate, companies and entrepreneurs that invest in videos reach more and more users, increasing their sales.
Your channel may be the gateway for many potential customers who, when identifying with the topics you talk about in your videos, start to see you as an authority on the subject matter. They will then believe that the solutions you present truly are the best one for their problems.
The appealing aspect of videos lies in the way they lead to a closer interaction with the users, and may be recorded in a fun, dynamic way, making communication more interesting.
Moreover, this is a format that may be used in every single step in the buyer’s journey, since you can approach from more general topics to really technical and specific ones.
Podcasts are a way of transmitting content via audio. For customers who don’t have a lot of free time on their hands, or who are not interested in images and videos, for example, this is a great alternative.
Podcasts may be accessed at any time, anywhere, and besides, they don’t get in the way of other activities. The user can listen to your content and do something else at the same time.
Because of its versatility, you can use Podcasts in a variety of marketing strategies, that is, to educate, engage, and even optimize the conversions of your users.
A blog is another interesting channel to share content.
Just like YouTube channels and podcasts, you should focus on relevant information for your audience, which reinforces your authority, add value, and strengthen your relationship with the customers.
The difference here is that, in a blog post, most of the content is presented in the written form, even though you can (and should) add images, videos, and even gifs to make the communication more dynamic and pleasing.
Going back to the example of a shoe brand, the blog may have posts about the most commonly used materials in the products, tips on how to put together the perfect outfit with each model, the certification a shoe should have to be considered sustainable, and so on.
A confectionery brand, for example, may share tips on how to use ingredients, easy recipes, and other topics that catch the interest of the audience, and make them identify a need that may be met by what your brand is selling.
(Check out our post that teaches the step-by-step on how to create a blog.)
Case studies may bring excellent results when offered to customers in the last stage of the buyer’s journey, the moment of decision.
In this step, you need to convince the customers that your solution is the ideal one for that problem they have already identified.
By presenting a case study, you are able to show the results achieved by other customers that bought your products or services.
This awareness that what you offer really adds value may be decisive for closing the sale.
You can use live transmissions to show your customers how your products work, and also to share relevant content.
There needs to be an audience interested in what you share for this format to work. So, it may be more interesting for those customers who have already been made aware of a problem, and are looking for a solution.
In this step, people are willing to learn about existing options and you can use the live transmission to establish credibility and show the advantages of acquiring your product.
If you sell something that needs instructions to be used, making a step-by-step demonstration will help reinforce the positive message your product brings, and help you get more customers.
We hope this piece of content helped you see the importance of understanding the buyer’s journey to direct your marketing strategies more assertively.
Knowing who your message will impact is crucial to establish effective communication and achieve the expected results.
Besides all the formats we have shown you in this post, one of the most commonly used techniques used to establish and maintain a relationship with your customers is the use of email. To learn more about this subject, check out our post on how to use email marketing to increase your sales.