After you’ve created your buyer persona(s), the next step is understanding the buyer’s journey, which is the process they go through to become aware of their needs, research and evaluate possible solutions, and decide on a solution best suited for their needs and budget.
The buyer’s journey is broken down into three stages:
1. Awareness – At this stage, the buyer is just beginning to experience potential symptoms of a problem and is most likely not aware that they have a need, or that your company even exists. Content shared with a prospective buyer during the awareness stage should focus on the buyer’s problems, and not your product or company.
- Content types for awareness stage include: White papers, ebooks, editorial content, educational content, analyst reports.
2. Consideration – At this stage, the buyer has clearly defined their problem and starts looking for ways to solve it. Content shared with the prospective buyer in the consideration stage should focus on educating them about your offering and how it can be used to address the particular problems they’re facing.
- Content types for consideration stage include: Expert guides, webinars, podcasts, live interactions.
3. Decision – At this stage, the buyer has narrowed down the list of the best possible solutions and is ready to make a decision on which is right for them. It’s time to roll out your sales pitch and focus on very specific brand and product features as they relate to the buyer’s problem, your competitive advantage, and what your customers say about you.
- Content types for decision phase include: Case studies, product sheets, trials, live demos, vendor/product comparisons.
Keep in mind that a prospective customer can come into your sales funnel at any of the three stages, and it’s critical to recognize which stage they’re in so you can serve the most appropriate content. Sending a price sheet to a prospect in the awareness phase will hurt your chances of converting them down the road, as they are simply looking to understand if they even have a problem and are not ready to make a decision on potential solutions.