Attracting and closing your ideal customers is critical for continued business growth, but the process of attracting your customers is not as simple as it first appears. You must know who it is you are speaking to. As we discussed in a previous article, creating a buyer persona will assist you in identifying specifically who you should target.
Once you know who it is you are speaking to, you are better able to deliver the message they are looking for and can then tailor that message to their specific needs.
There is an old saying though that should be considered: “Timing is everything.”
With the help of a fictional buyer persona we’ve named “Working Mom Mandy” in the example below, let’s take a closer look at the stages of the buyer’s journey and why timing is so important.
A Buyer’s Journey Example: Working Mom Mandy
Business: A travel agency specializing in family vacations.
Buyer Persona: Working Mom Mandy, age 28-35, married, enjoys the beach, has 2 children who attend elementary school, works 3 days a week, and wants to take her kids to a theme park.
The buyer persona provides a lot of useful information but where is Working Mom Mandy at in her decision-making process or buyer’s journey?
Mandy might have already decided on dates, researched family-friendly hotels, checked flight prices and just needs a travel agent to coordinate the bookings.
Maybe though, Mandy is simply dreaming of a getaway on her lunch break. She might only be Googling “family vacations” but hasn’t yet discussed it with her family or selected specific dates for travel.
Mandy fits your buyer persona in both situations but is at a different stage of the buyer’s journey.
So now what?
It’s simple. Mandy needs different information or content based on which stage she is in at the time. And if you provide Mandy with information to find in every stage of her journey, you’ll deliver relevant content to what she needs right then and there.
3 Steps on the Buyer’s Journey to Consider When Creating Content
- Awareness: Remember this. It pays to be patient. If the buyer is in the awareness stage they will probably not appreciate a phone call from a pushy sales representative the same day they provide contact details via an online form to sign up for a newsletter. All they want at this stage is the newsletter they asked for so they can learn more about what you offer.They do want information from a thought leader though, so it’s important to provide your knowledge via quality content and within that content, further opportunities (calls to action) for them to take that next step.
- Consideration: This is where the journey gets a little more advanced for your buyer persona. They know you exist now thanks to the information they have been provided in the awareness stage. It is likely that now they are looking for a more concrete solution to their problem.Working Mom Mandy for instance might have some questions about her vacation plans and needs some more detailed answers. It’s at this stage the customer is looking for more than a short blog article or a checklist. They want to explore deeper how your product or service is the answer to their needs.Now is the time for you to tell them more and offer more detailed content but still remember to keep your conversation focused on them and their needs.
- Decision: Get ready because now we are at the stage when your buyer persona has weighed all the information they have gathered and they know what they want. You can feel confident that they are ready to be contacted by you now.You have proven, via the remarkable content you provided them within the previous stages, that you can address their problem with a real solution. Your buyer persona knows this too as they now consider you a thought leader in your field and a repoire has been established.
They appreciate your help and want to receive it.
Think about it this way. If you are on a blind date and have just met someone, chances are you know a few details about them and you might have some things in common.
By the second course of your dinner date you have gathered some basic information about their interests and have discovered you both prefer chicken to fish.
So even though you know a little more about them, it’s not really appropriate at this stage to propose marriage and talk about a lifelong commitment. It’s too much too soon!
The relationship with your buyer persona is the same.
We mentioned that it pays to be patient. Make sure you provide opportunities for them to open up so you can learn more about them, listen to their questions and tell them more about yourself as you move forward through each stage of the buyer’s journey.
It’s simple. Take the time to work out where in those 3 stages of Awareness, Consideration or Decision Making, your buyer persona is on their journey and provide the quality content they need. This will help ensure that your business is the final destination in your buyer’s journey.
In our next article, we’ll discuss buyer personas and the buyer’s journey in more detail and delve into how context fits in and why it is so powerful in your marketing strategy.
While we’re getting that article ready for you, please download our free Digital Marketing plan and start mapping out which elements of an Inbound Marketing plan are needed for your business’ success.