In principle the Buyer’s Journey seems a simple linear process by which the prospect moves through the stages of awareness; consideration and decision, ultimately landing upon your product or services. But, in reality, it is a complex path with many possible twists and turns and just as many possible outcomes. What makes it more complicated is that as a seller of products or services you have minimal control over when a buyer starts their unique journey and which direction they take. Guiding your prospects towards where you want them to be can be likened to herding cats! So how do you lead your prospects to a destination where the ultimate goal is to engage with them in a manner that facilitates – not just one - but repeat sales?
When developing a direct and digital marketing strategy, a lack of ownership over the Buyer’s Journey can hamper results with knock on effects on the ROI of B2B lead generation. We recognise in buying behaviour today that buyers choose to engage much later; expending greater efforts in their own research rather than letting information be dictated to them. Thus engaging with prospects early falls under the remit of the inbound marketing activities.
Gaining complete control will never be possible but that doesn’t mean we should surrender ourselves to the whims of the traveller.
The Buyer’s Journey is divided into three main stages:
- Awareness - In this stage the prospect begins to identify the problem or a need to overcome, and gain an understanding of the number of potential solutions.
- Consideration - Moving into this stage, your prospects vet the possible solutions and analyse which best fits their needs, focusing their attention on narrowing down their list of potential providers.
- Decision – Buyers make the final decision on whom they will purchase the solution from.
Appropriate content created around these stages is a valuable leverage when encouraging a prospect to move further along, but directing them to your content can prove more difficult. In order to do so more effectively we have compiled 6 elements to consider:
- Buyers Personas: By understanding the ins and outs of your personas it becomes easier to identify the types of information that will assist your prospect on their journey and the pain points they are experiencing.
- Use of Language/Terminology: From your personas you will be able to identify the types of language and terminology they use, which is useful in creating content that will appeal and that they can identify with.
- SEO: Understanding your prospects use of language you will be able to identify keywords and optimise your offerings for search engines - ensuring that your prospects never have to go far to find your content.
- Content Map: As the number of content pieces grows it can become easy to lose track. A content map will ensure you have appropriate content for your personas at each stage. It can help you unravel the ideal route you would like your prospects to take; highlighting content that naturally groups together or identifying which particular piece of content may prove to be of value.
- Workflows & Lead Scoring: With an automated marketing platform you can design workflows and lists to keep track of the content that your prospects have engaged with and to provide prompts when a potential buyer has reached a certain level of engagement or faltered in their progression. Nudging them forward in their journey by providing them with relevant and enticing content.
- Direct Approach: When a prospect begins to waver in the latter part of their journey an outbound personalised call or email can prove invaluable. This level of contact should still be prospect-led ensuring that they do not feel as though they are being sold to before they are ready.
Incorporating these 6 elements into your direct and digital marketing strategy will allow you to take ownership of this process, leading your buyer down the right path, bringing the leads you need right to your doorstep. To find out more about engaging with your buying market early, download our eBook below.