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The Buyer's Journey Stages in Inbound Marketing

The buyer's journey is the process that a customer goes through when purchasing a product or service. The process is split in three buyer’s journey stages - awareness, consideration, and decision.

To put it simply, it is the journey a prospectus lead takes up to the point of buying your product.

Read our blog to gain a well-rounded understanding on what the buyer’s journey is and the three stages each customer goes through - awareness, consideration, and decision.

What is Inbound Marketing?

To understand what a buyer’s journey is, we must first understand what inbound marketing is. This is important as the buyer’s journey is a part of the inbound marketing methodology.

Inbound marketing is non-intrusive marketing methodology; it is essentially the opposite of traditional outbound marketing. Its goal is to attract, engage and delight customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored for them.

It differs from its counterpart as outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they do not want. Inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.

A basic inbound marketing strategy is made up of 5 essential components:

Contacts

Any successful inbound campaign needs a list of marketing contacts. These contacts will be individual people, with already collected information, then segmented into lists. These lists will be focused around what products they have shown slight interest in the past, all the way to focused lists that are people likely to buy a product. Often a CRM system will manage these types of contacts.

Buyers Personas

Buyer personas are fictional representations of what a business considers to be their ideal customer. These personas are created by a combination of past customer information and educated guess work around your target market and industry.

A buyer’s persona includes:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Hobbies
  • Job title
  • Income range
  • Relationship status
  • Challenges
  • Values
  • Social circles
  • Behaviours

Buyers Journey

The focus of this blog…

The buyer's journey is the process that a customer goes through when purchasing a product or service. The process is split in three buyer’s journey stages - awareness, consideration, and decision.

Each stage of the buyer’s journey represents a different stage of the buying process and therefore a different stage in the sales funnel. At each stage, a potential customer will be interested in different types of content: reports, vlogs, case studies, live demo, expert content.

Content

Some argue that your content strategy is a separate entity to your inbound marketing strategy. However, to post content that forms connections with customers and solves problems they already have, your content must be aligned and directed with all the other elements of inbound.

Goals

To complete your inbound strategy, it is essential you set SMART goals.

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely

SMART goals are an excellent method of recording your campaigns success. Without a means to measure your marketing success there is no way in determining the effectiveness of your efforts.

By including the five essential components, you should have a basic yet effective inbound marketing strategy. The buyer persona, although just a part of that strategy is vital in its success.

We now understand what inbound marketing is, but how exactly does the buyer’s journey fit into it?

buyer's journey stages people discussing

What are the buyer's journey stages?

Awareness stage of the buyer's journey

The awareness stage is the first stage of the buyer’s journey. At this stage, a potential customer is expressing symptoms of a problem. It will often be one of the first times they have experienced this problem.

The goal for the consumer is to educate them through research to clearly define and understand the problem.

Content styles popular at this stage include:

  • eBooks
  • Educational content
  • Expert written content
  • Research reports
  • White papers

Consideration stage of the buyer's journey

At the consideration stage the customer has clearly defined their problem. The focus during this stage is research and consider all available approaches to solve the problem in question.

They will be using a multitude of resources to decide what approach will be feasible for them moving forwards.

Content styles popular at this stage include:

  • Expert guides
  • Live interactions
  • Podcast
  • Videos
  • Webcast

Decision stage of the buyer's journey

At the decision stage the customer is has decided how they are going to solve their problem and will be compiling a list of vendors. They will be completing research around prices, reputation and specific services that are on offer.

Content styles popular at this stage include:

  • Case studies
  • Live demo
  • Product comparison
  • Trial download
  • Vendor comparison

buyer's journey stages decision

Defining a buyer’s Journey for your business

Defining your specific buyers’ journey for your business is essential for a successful inbound campaign.

If you are struggling with defining specifics for your business, a good exercise is asking yourself similar question that your buyers may be asking. Here are some examples to help you below:

Awareness Stage

  • How do buyers do to describe their problems?
  • How would buyers educate them selves to solve their problems?
  • What would happen if the buyer did not purchase your product?
  • How would a buyer prioritise this problem?

Consideration Stage

  • How would your customer likely go about solving their problem?
  • What type of questions would they ask to educate themselves on solving the problem?
  • What are the pros and cons or potential solutions to their problems?
  • How would a customer decide a solution is the right one for them?

Decision Stage

  • What criteria would customers rank the solutions available?
  • What makes your solution different from others on the market?
  • Do buyers have expectations around trying the offering before they purchase it?

The answers to these questions will provide strong foundation for your businesses buyer's journey.

 

Visit our Inbound Marketing page to understand how we can help your business moving forwards.

We have also created a digital marketing resource page, why not check it out? It is about all things digital marketing and inbound marketing. We have listed informational blogs about inbound marketing methodology, SEO, content creation and social media management. 

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