Understanding your customer base is important. Here at Half a Bubble Out, we provide inbound marketing services and talk a lot about them. If you’re unfamiliar, the quick description is that we think it is best to attract your audience naturally, and this is primarily done through helpful content. If you want a more in depth description, check out this blog on inbound marketing.
In order to provide helpful content to the right person at the right time and place, you need to understand the buyer’s journey. I’ll detail the exact steps of the journey below, and why it is important to know these steps for inbound marketing. The main idea is this – the buyer’s journey is a way to describe the different steps a person may be on in their process of making a purchase, and this is really important when planning out your content strategy.
The Steps of The Buyer’s Journey are:
Where the buyer is at: At this point the buyer realizes they have a need or a problem to be solved.
Example: An example would be if my laptop stopped powering on today, I would be aware that I had a problem (and I’d be motivated to fix it to get this blog written)!
What you can do to reach them here: In the awareness stage you can blog about common problems and topics that your audience experiences. You can offer downloadable eBooks and other forms of content. This lets people find your content and become aware that your company exists.
Example: A good laptop retailer may offer blogs or eBooks such as “10 signs your laptop is gone for good” that I can start my research process with. Note that in this stage, you aren’t saying “Buy our products!” but instead are helping with relevant information and building trust.
Where the buyer is at: The buyer knows they have a problem, and in the consideration stage they are researching ways they can solve the problem.
Example: With my laptop example, right away I know that I can either hope it gets better and go home early (not the best idea), have it repaired, or buy a new one. I would start researching my specific laptop symptoms online and try and find out what is wrong with it and what the prognosis is. I decide upon reading that it’s not really worth paying almost as much to repair my laptop as it would be to buy a new one, even if the problem is fixable.
What you can do to reach them here: In the consideration stage you want to continue with content that helps people consider their options. This can include whitepapers, downloadable guides and eBooks, and even videos, podcasts and webinars.
Example: An appropriate offer for the laptop retailer would be something that helps me decide whether I should buy new or try and repair a laptop. It is important that this information is accurate and truthful and high quality, so if there is a situation where I don’t really need a new laptop that should be stated. This builds trust, and being honest is at the core of any good business. Notice that in the consideration stage, you aren’t really pushing your particular product or brand too prominently, but you are letting the buyer know you exist!
Where the buyer is at: At this point the buyer already knows they have a problem, and how they are going to solve it. Now it is time to decide what to buy and who to buy it from!
Example: Going back to my laptop example, I’ve decided to buy a new one because I don’t think it’s worth paying the fees to get my old one repaired. I compare laptops online, look at prices and locations, and decide which one I’m going to buy.
What you can do to reach them here: At this stage you will want to provide very specific information about what you are offering, comparisons with competitors, etc. This could include case studies, testimonials, product comparisons and demo videos. You want to be direct. You can also include the option to speak with a sales department, free trials, and clear communication about why someone should buy a particular product from your company.
Example: In my example of shopping for laptops, I will want to see price, features, why one product is better than others and why I should buy from a particular store. It’s all about helping me to make the decision by informing me in detail about the product offering and benefits. Because of where I’m at in the buyer’s journey, I’m ready for this information and it is the most helpful thing for me to make a good decision on a laptop.
The Buyer's Journey is Crucial for Effective Inbound Marketing Services
All of this ties into effective inbound marketing because it achieves the overall goal of attracting customers naturally by helping them wherever they are at in the buyer's journey. With this process, your company is able to build credibility and trust and show why you are the business your customer base should go with. By creating content that covers the entire buyer’s journey you not only meet your customers where they are but will avoid creating irrelevant content.
If you would like more information on inbound marketing services, download our free eBook below:
Since 2002, Half a Bubble Out has been dedicated to providing marketing, advertising and small business consulting that meet the needs of our clients. We specialize in powerfully telling stories through Inbound Marketing to grow your business filled with more passion and provision. Based in Chico California, we serve clients throughout Northern California and across the country to New York.