Marketers need to understand the buyers journey. It typically is a three-stage process that looks something like this:
- Awareness: The B2B buyer is dealing with a situation or challenge they believe could be rectified by a specific type of product or service.
- Analysis: The buyer then analyzes the different products or services that might address this situation; as much as 95 percent of this research will be performed online.
- Decision: The buyer uncovers options and selects the product or service they believe will best speak to the situation.
The three stages of this journey are pretty much straightforward. Straightforward as well, is that buyers will depend on content, well written, and informative content, to help them travel through their journey into making a purchase. Aware of this, here are some suggestions that might help guide them to your company, helping to turn words into sales.
The Awareness stage: Addressing the Buyer’s Motivation
Let’s use the foodservice industry as an example here. A buyer may be motivated to look for a new product or service due to new regulations. Or, buyers may be looking for faster and more effective ways to evaluate food products as to calories, nutrients, cholesterol, and other metrics. If your company provides products and services for the foodservice industry that address these challenges, the more information your site has about these changes and how to deal with them, the more your company will be viewed as a trusted resource. Once you become a trusted resource, the buyer’s journey is likely headed in your direction.
The Analysis Stage: Content to Analyze Products and Services
The types of content on your site during the analysis stage is essential. While infographics can be handy, they are typically not the most effective content option at this stage of the buyer’s journey. Instead, a combination of videos and words – with an emphasis on videos – can prove to be the most effective. Again using our foodservice analogy, the analysis stage is when buyers are still trying to understand precisely what these new regulations are all about, as well as the products or services needed to address them. A video can have the most impact. Supplement it with printed content. For instance, a discussion of the rules, why they are being introduced, when they must be implemented, and the steps that must be taken to satisfy the new regulations can prove very helpful. These are best conveyed using words.
During the Decision Phase: Content that Addresses the Specific Buyer
You might think this consideration would pop up during the awareness stage. Not necessarily. Using our foodservice example once again, instead of an administrator of a foodservice operation being the person that must deal with these new regulations, it more likely will be a chef, kitchen, or food production worker. They have the need; they are the ones who must follow the new regulations and are looking for solutions. The content must follow suit and address these workers specifically.
During this entire process, the buyer begins to learn from you and your organization as a trusted source of information. You have become their encyclopedia. They trust you, are guided by you, and now buy from you. Typically what happens next is that the visitor takes the next step and begins reviewing the products and services you have to offer.
In other words, the content gets the buyers journey moving, bringing visitors to your site. Your offerings then take it to the next level, helping to make the sale. Ultimately, this is how words turn into sales.
Marketing information related to this can be found here.