Not every visitor on your website is ready to buy. In today’s edition of In-Sites Thought Hive, we break down what the buyer’s journey is and why you need to know about it.
There are three stages of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. Let’s use an example of a travel agency to take a closer look at each stage.
In the awareness stage, the consumer discovers that she has a goal, problem or pain point. She is looking to research and identify ways she can meet her goal or solve her problem. In this example, it’s that she’s overworked and needs to get away from it all!
So, the travel agency would produce content that points out the benefits of taking a vacation: for relaxation, to have a new adventure, to see new sites. They might produce a blog post on the top 10 places to visit in Hawaii which offer amazing spa packages or on the highest value summer vacation destinations with incredible views; both blogs speak to their customer's need for a vacation, and provide helpful information on types of vacations and vacation destinations.
The second stage is consideration. Now the buyer needs to decide what type of vacation to take and where to take that hard-earned vacation. Here is your company’s opportunity to prove that you are an industry thought leader. You do this by presenting users with downloadable offers, like an eBook that discusses how to plan for an unforgettable summer vacation. On the consumer side, they receive more in-depth information on the goal or pain point they are trying to address. On the marketer’s side, you receive some basic contact information which converts the user into a lead.
Finally, and most importantly, comes the decision stage. The prospective traveler has learned about different types of vacations they can take from your blogs, and then used your eBook to plan the vacation. But before they make the final decision, they might need some help on figuring out the cost for that perfect vacation.
For a travel agency, a bottom of the funnel offer like a travel cost calculator would be the perfect offer. Bottom of the funnel offers give the most targeted, specific information. Naturally, the agency hopes that the buyer ends up signing with them, but in terms of long-term growth strategy, it’s better to focus on being a "problem-solver" for your prospective customer, then on the sale. Focusing on solving rather than selling will increase your industry thought leadership, and over time, prospective and repeat customers will turn to you for answers, and bookings.
How to optimize your marketing campaign for the buyer’s journey
Give the people what they want
It’s all about accessible, customized content. Not only do you have to optimize for search engines, but first and foremost, you also must optimize for your ideal customers. For example, creating long tailed keywords that reflect their pain points and needs help the right customer find you more quickly during their search. You can create content like a blog post or a video focused around that keyword, and host it on your website. Once you optimize with your ideal customers in mind, ranking in search should come naturally.
Boost your SEO
Without a good SEO strategy, visitors will never find your site. If you spend time, effort, and resources to design your website and produce good content, don’t you want to be discovered by the public? Make sure your website has responsive design, and remember not to clutter your site with too much information on any one page. Keep forms, downloadable offers, and content as succinct as possible. Vary your blog and social media posts, and make slight alterations to the titles to make it easier for search engines to rank your site.
Create the “A-ha!” Moment
Heighten the user experience by solving buyer pain points. By adding deeper insight, not only will your customers find value to your products, they will become more engaged. Use interactive features like rollover effects and animations to provide a most engrossing user experience. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in—engaging users in possible solutions to their needs will bring lead conversion and increased site traffic.
Research and Improve
If you want your marketing campaign to be most effective and able to provide ROI, you’ll have to adapt over time. No campaign is perfect, and it takes perseverance and persistence to find the best ways to engage your audience. Encourage feedback from your site traffic through surveys, and analyze your data to determine what works and what can be improved.
It's no secret that inbound marketing works. But to get the most out of your inbound marketing campaigns, it is imperative to develop campaigns for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Your business success in the online marketplace depends on the holistic user experience. Strive to help as many users as you can, and you’ll find that more leads naturally convert into customers.
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