As the modern market becomes more fragmented -- and, ultimately, more digitized -- those who aren’t able to keep up with all the new and emerging trends will be left in the dust. That’s why it helps to outline your marketing strategy so you can have an easier time engaging with prospective customers and building your brand. How, you might say? By owning your own buyer’s digital journey!
We’ve divided our buyer’s digital journey into four key parts: Awareness, Research, Engagement, Conversion.
When it comes to the beginning of your customer’s buying journey, it’s usually safe to assume two things: one, that your potential buyer likely doesn't know about your service yet, and two, that they are going to be actively looking for solutions. With that in mind, the first step toward any buying process is making sure more customers are aware of your brand.
What to Focus On:
The first step toward acquiring new customers is getting them acquainted with your service, and the quickest way to do this is by developing the right marketing materials. We’re not just talking about a simple direct mail piece or a generic landing page with no CTA -- the key to winning your audience is grabbing their attention, proving your value, and guiding them along to become valued customers.
The next stage of the buying guide is all about research: what your product is, how it works, and how it can help meet your customers’ needs. Sounds fairly simple, right? Ah, if only...
According to one study, more than 70% of all prospective buyers will use Google at least once during their initial research stages, so in order to get your marketing efforts to the right eyes, you need to not only know where your potential customers are looking but also have an active voice on whatever site or channel they’re on.
What to Focus On:
Because most buyers will start by googling generic search terms relating to your service, it’s important that you try to make your service as visible as possible (yes, that means setting up social media channels, too).
Writing blog posts, creating infographics, publishing your own case studies based on your company’s experience--these are all great ways to help engage with your audience and get them to start talking about your service. SEO also plays a crucial role, as it helps boost your website’s visibility.
The next step most buyers take after researching a particular service is engaging with it. This usually means checking reviews, reaching out to customer service, and comparing similar services. If it’s a brick-and-mortar store, customers may also pop by for a look. Again, it’s important to toe the line between nudging and pushing: You want to showcase your brand, but you don’t want to seem too pushy or overly spammy about how awesome it is.
What to Focus On:
While there’s no hard-set rule to winning your audience’s favor, that old adage of hard work pays off is true. In fact, some experts say that the more content you create, the greater your payoff. Still, while that sentiment may have held water 10 years ago, recent trends have shifted the focus from simply the amount of content to the quality and caliber of content produced.
It makes sense: A good piece of content can inform, entertain, and influence potential buyers in ways 100 generic pieces could ever do. Again, remember to keep the focus on your customer’s pain points, and try to think of what you would like to see if you were in their shoes.
At the last stage of the buyer’s guide, you have that final push to nudge them to convert. Depending on the risk associated with this particular purchase, the amount of time between awareness and conversion can vary anywhere between a few hours and a few months. After all, a person who’s shopping for a new car will likely spend more time weighing their options than someone buying a can of body wash at the supermarket.
What to Focus On:
The final stage is arguably the most crucial, as this is where the buyer finally converts. You’ll want to make this process as smooth and painless as possible. If the customer still has any lagging concerns (and most probably will), try to assuage their fears by offering supplemental resources, visible testimonials, and making it as easy as possible for them to purchase.
If they’re visiting your website, offer visible CTAs, give them the option to learn more, and if possible, add a contact number for them to get in touch with someone for further assistance.
But Wait -- There’s More
Remember that the buyer’s journey doesn’t end after a customer makes a purchase. Nope -- far from it! After all, your customers will need new information post-purchase, including how-to guides, updates, maintenance, and more.
The perfect journey needs to encompass what happens after your prospective customer becomes a buyer. This can vary from something small like sending an email or making a follow-up call to something more personal like asking them to write an online review. Ideally, you’ll want your new customers to become satisfied buyers and, eventually, future word-of-mouth marketers.
Still, have questions? Get in touch with the StellaPop team!