Today’s consumers make purchases in ways that are much different than in the past. This is why it’s important for marketers to move away from traditional methods and consider adopting inbound marketing. While there are many benefits of inbound marketing, brands need to understand their buyer's journey in order to keep inbound marketing efforts focused.
When you create personas for your target audience and follow the specific buyer’s journey, it’s possible to offer the right information to the right person at the right time and eventually convert them into a customer. While the buyer’s journey can be different depending on industry and product, there are common stages that all businesses should consider when putting together an inbound marketing strategy.
This is when the consumer first recognizes that he or she has a problem that needs to be resolved or simply wants something and seeks to purchase it. Researching begins during this step. Salesforce notes 79 to 85 percent of consumers research before buying. In fact, 72 percent of potential buyers turn to Google during the awareness stage.
These people aren’t seeking advertisements during this stage. They are looking for resources such as informative blog posts, tip sheets and reviews as they diagnose and troubleshoot. Products or services that will be put on their radar are those that provide useful information. Thus, trying to sell at this point of the journey is a wasteful use of advertising or marketing budget. During this step, marketers must give consumers enough to fulfill their research demands and also guide them along to the next step of the buyer’s journey.
Here, the consumer has defined his or her problem and is now moving forward to solve it. Now 70 percent return to Google to search further and will engage with resources such as videos, white papers and e-books. Once they come up with a short list of possible businesses, 60 percent of these people want to connect with sales during the consideration stage. This is the stage where a having a button or other link for consumers to click for a contact is helpful. Note that at this stage, potential customers most want to learn about pricing or get a demo of a product.
At this stage, the consumer is about to convert into a customer because he or she has found on a solution or strategy and is now ready to take the route to the final selection. Research shows that once they've decided on the product to buy, 20 percent of these users want to talk during the decision stage. This is where incorporating a chatbot can be helpful. Remember, some consumers may still be in the process of comparing a list of vendors or products before fully committing. Providing free assessments or content such as product literature or case studies is helpful during this part of the buyer’s journey.
While the previous three stages are important to every buyer’s journey, the experience stage is most helpful once the target audience member becomes an actual customer. Here, you want to provide the highest value from your product or service. Develop a relationship and foster trust. During this stage, there are opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell products. If your business provides a service, here is where you might present a “maintenance package.” Inbound marketing content that is helpful here includes, how-to videos, blogs and guides.
Putting it all together
Once you understand the buyer’s journey, you can begin to move forward. Every marketing effort works best with a strategy. Start by creating buyer personas and check out this guide with steps on how to run an inbound marketing campaign.
If you find you are in the consideration stage and simply need further assistance, give us a call and we can answer any questions you may have. Ready to make a decision? T.E. Digital can provide a free assessment, discuss your goals and target audience to find ways to create a marketing strategy that incorporates inbound marketing efforts that best benefit your business.