Stages of the Buyer’s Journey: Content Guide

Lissie Hoover Headshot

If you’re in marketing, e-commerce, or you own your own business, the term “buyer’s journey” may already be familiar to you. Yet, you may need an extra nudge to tear away from your busy schedule to develop a content strategy informed by the stages of the buyer’s journey. 

If this sounds like you, now is the time to reacquaint yourself with the importance of the buyer’s journey. With this in mind, you can create solid content for each stage and each customer.  

What Is the Buyer’s Journey?

The buyer’s journey is the process by which a potential buyer educates themselves on products or services and becomes a customer. Some formats of the buyer’s journey extend the process past the sale point to stress customer loyalty and repurchasing. 

Consider your own experiences with searching for services as you build your customers’ buyer journey. This alone will give you insight into what types of material your prospect needs to see before taking the plunge to become a customer. 

What Are the Stages of the Buyer’s Journey? 

There are three main stages to a buyer’s journey. You must create unique content, tailored to each stage to guide a prospect from discovery to purchase. These steps include 1) the awareness stage , 2) the consideration stage , and 3) the decision stage . 

The natural research process means the depth of the questions will grow with each stage. It’s your job to identify and deliver what information your prospects need for each stage. If they leave your site confused or uninformed, they might seek out your competition.

The prospective buyer should fit into your buyer personas, but that doesn’t mean they know you’re their ideal solution. You have to show them. If you haven’t identified your buyer personas, you’ll want to do that before creating content.

Learn more in our article Your Guide to Creating Buyer Personas for Your Business .

1. Awareness Stage

The first stage of the journey is the awareness stage . The buyer begins researching after knowing what they want or what problem they need to solve. 

For example, imagine your competitors are receiving a lot of press in industry trade magazines. You may start your search with “How to promote my business in print magazines.” Alternatively, if you’re aware of the industry, you may search “PR services.” 

During the awareness stage, your buyers may look for a specific service. But, often, they have a problem and look to you (via Google) to provide an answer. 

With this in mind, you must provide content that meets the buyer where they are. For many, that means you must explain the answer to their problem or question and how your solution can help.  

Types of Content: 

In this stage, certain types of content can be effective in getting the attention of potential customers. Effective content will encourage them to continue their journey to the second stage.

  • Paid Ads: When you bid on relevant terms, paid ads may increase your exposure with your audience. . However, this method is often pricey, especially if your terms are competitive.  Consider using paid ads in a supplementary role, instead of relying on it as your primary source to attract leads. 
  • Blog Posts : Blogging is effective throughout the buyer’s journey to answer questions pertinent to each stage. Keep in mind your audience and their familiarity with industry terms and concepts. This stage should start from the very beginning and answer common questions relevant to your product or service. Consider what questions a customer may have as they browse solutions and competitors. 
  • Videos: Videos offer a visual platform for answering questions and explaining concepts. Posting videos on your website or YouTube can increase traffic and raise awareness of your business and services.

2. Consideration Stage

Next, the buyer moves to the consideration stage. At this stage, the buyer has conducted initial r esearch, understands their problem and has a basic idea of what solutions exist. During this stage, the buyer conducts greater research into potential solutions.

Your goal is to cater to the customer’s needs by describing your solution and why your solution is the best for them. To do this, you must understand the competitor landscape and how your business differs.

What makes you different should be what sets you apart. It should give you momentum to write compelling content that persuades your audience. It’s essential to consider your customer’s needs, and likely emotions, during this stage.

A potential buyer may have fears stemming from emotion, fears of financial loss, poor service, time management. For example, an investment agency may have clients who fear involvement in the market. It’s important to address these fears in your content and fight fear with facts.

Positive emotion is another consideration to play off of in your content strategy. There may be positive emotions associated with a potential purchase. They may wonder if your service will build their name recognition, enhance their wealth, or other positive factors. Your content should understand the motivation of a client and how to address both positive and negative emotions.

Two Buyers in Consideration Stage

This stage should highlight your solution, how it meets their needs, and why it’s better than your competition. Beware of overselling your product and turning your content into an advertisement. 

Buyers are perceptive and trained to spot an advertisement. Instead, provide facts and seek above all to be informative and helpful. This tone will help you create content buyers want while earning their trust.

  • Email drip campaigns: Drip campaigns can be tremendously helpful in educating potential buyers. If they were interested enough to provide their email address, they’re likely interested in learning more about your services. Target your email content to potential buyers and offer them relevant product information and education.
  • Case studies: Facts and figures go a long way in a data-driven world. Case studies offer practical examples of success and instill confidence in your company’s abilities. 
  • Comparison charts: No matter what industry you are in, competitor information is easy to discover. Your potential customers are likely searching for the best deal and the service that best fits their needs. Streamline their search and provide the information for them. Inform them on the different solutions, their pros and cons, and allow the customer to make an educated choice.
  • Whitepapers: Develop Whitepapers to help your clients understand your area of expertise, your services, and how you can help them. 

3. Decision Stage

Congratulations! Your prospective buyer is informed and ready to decide. Now, you need to provide an incentive for them to make the right choice—your company.

This last stage must convince the buyer that your company is the best. This could include an in-depth guide or an incentive, like a discount or free consultation.

Types of Content:

Offers: Include copy with exclusive offers inside. Incorporate offers into your email strategy or include them on a landing page on your website. Downloadable guides: If your informed prospective buyer isn’t quite ready to commit, consider sending them a downloadable guide or other useful resource that highlights your company’s specific services. Demo: A B2B or SaaS company can offer live demos to confirm the service’s usefulness and motivate the customer to purchase.

3 Stages vs. 5 Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

Some identify the buyer’s journey with five stages instead of the three mentioned above. In the five stage version, the first three stages remain the same with retention and loyalty added as steps four and five, as seen below. 

  • Consideration

For the sake of clarity, the five stage version may help you think through customer decisions post-purchase. Your existing client base is the best place to increase your revenue, as they’ve already determined your worth in the past. 

Keeping retention and loyalty in mind throughout your content strategy is essential to long-term success and growth as a company. Even if they don’t repeat buy, delighted customers can become advocates for your brand and a resource for referrals. 

With that in mind, let’s review these two final stages of the process.

4. Customer Retention

The unofficial fourth stage of the buyer’s journey is customer retention. Don’t assume that all customers are brand advocates. By following up with your customers post-purchase, you can offer satisfactory customer service and support for questions they may have. 

From the content perspective, there are several methods for supporting this stage:

  • Troubleshooting articles: While this can directly apply to SaaS or IoT (Internet of Things) services, troubleshooting stretches beyond these industries. Your customer may have trouble understanding what they purchased, how to use it, or other various questions. By creating articles for existing customers, you offer support and can increase a customer’s experience.
  • Recommendations: Perhaps one product or service is best used in conjunction with another. Make recommendations for how to get the most out of a buy.

For more information on this topic, read our blog, How To Improve Customer Retention and Boost Brand Advocacy .

5. Customer Loyalty

Make the most out of your customer relationships with this final stage in the process: customer loyalty. If you’re doing it right, there is no end to this stage. Happy customers should result in renewed contracts, strengthening your business. 

Your loyal customers should also be a source of new business. Tap into your existing resource of customer relationships to encourage referrals, and be sure to say a hearty “thank you” when they do. 

Brand Advocacy, Man Holding Megaphone

Consider these forms of content to incite customer loyalty:

  • Announcements: Are you offering a new service or product? Is there a leadership change or a shift in your business method? Make sure your loyal customer base is aware. Segment your emails so your returning customers are up-to-date on any changes. 
  • First access: Give your returning customers first access to new products, or allow them to test your products during the Beta stage. 
  • Social media pages: Depending on your business, it may be appropriate to offer customer-only social media groups, such as a Facebook group. This can encourage loyalty, provide quick customer service for questions, and a community of motivated and engaged customers. 

Create Your Content Strategy

Understanding the buyer’s journey is the first step to creating informative, effective content. Brainstorm who your target customers are, what questions they have, what motivates them, and how you compare to leading competitors.

Your answers will fuel your content and help you nurture a prospective buyer through the buyer’s journey—developing an engaged and loyal customer base.

Lissie Hoover Headshot

Lissie Kidd

Sr. marketing copywriter.

Lissie Kidd is a Sr. Copywriter with several hundred articles in her portfolio and even more edited and published under her supervision. Lissie holds a MA in Communications from Grand…

Related Articles

light bulbs on a yellow background representing brand awareness

January 26, 2024

How to Build Brand Awareness in 2024

Authority , Marketing

Man holding blank business card

January 2, 2024

What is Personal Branding? Why it’s Important 

Leadership , Marketing

authority advantage financially free and backroom to boardroom covers

October 10, 2023

How To Become an Amazon Best Seller 

Authority , Marketing , Publishing

Sign Up For Weekly Insights From Our Experts

Find out if you qualify to be a Forbes Books author.

buyers journey content

What Is the Buyer's Journey?

Amanda Sellers

Updated: July 21, 2022

Published: April 21, 2021

Today's buyer is more informed than ever before, thanks to the vast amount of information available at their fingertips. Because of this, the balance of power has shifted from the sales rep to the buyer in most sales conversations . This is why pushy sales tactics are no longer effective the way they used to be.

buyer taking a train: conceptualizing the buyer's journey

Instead, to be successful in sales in today's day and age, sales reps must adapt their mindset from selling to helping . And the best way to start this process is becoming intimately familiar with who the buyer is and the journey they take on their path to purchase : The buyer's journey .

hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(53, '12501f7c-8e26-4e3c-9642-7afbe078156a', {"useNewLoader":"true","region":"na1"});

What is the buyer's journey.

The buyer's journey describes a buyer's path to purchase. In other words, buyers don't wake up and decide to buy on a whim. They go through a process to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.

By understanding the buyer's journey , the pains and problems they experience along that journey, and the influencing factors that shape their thinking, sales reps can better empathize with the buyer and position their product or service along that path. So let's dig in a little further.

What are the three stages of the buyer's journey?

The buyer's journey can be broken down into three steps or "stages" that describe how they advance along their path to purchase: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage.

Here's how to conceptualize each stage:

  • Awareness Stage: The buyer becomes aware that they have a problem.
  • Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and considers options to solve it.
  • Decision Stage: The buyer evaluates and decides on the right provider to administer the solution.

what-is-the-buyers-journey_1

Now that the overall journey has been defined, let's take a look at each stage in greater detail, from the buyer's perspective:

buyers journey content

Free Customer Journey Template

Outline your company's customer journey and experience with these 7 free templates.

  • Buyer's Journey Template
  • Future State Template
  • Day-in-the-Life Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

What is the buyer doing during the awareness stage?

The buyer is experiencing a problem or symptoms of a pain, and their goal is to alleviate it. They may be looking for informational resources to more clearly understand, frame, and give a name to their problem.

  • Example: "Why do my feet hurt all the time?"

What is the buyer doing the consideration stage?

The buyer will have clearly defined and given a name to their problem, and they are committed to researching and understanding all of the available approaches and/or methods to solving the defined problem or opportunity.

  • Example: "How do you treat arch pain?"

What is the buyer doing during the decision stage?

The buyer has decided on their solution strategy, method, or approach. Their goal now is to compile a list of available vendors, make a short list, and ultimately make a final purchase decision.

  • Example: "Where can I get custom orthotics? How much will they cost?"

If you don't have an intimate understanding of your buyers, it may be difficult to map out the buyer's journey in a way that will be helpful from a sales perspective. In this case, be sure to conduct a few interviews with customers, prospects, and other salespeople at your company to get a sense of the buying journey.

Tailoring Your Sales Process to the Buyer's Journey

With all of this in mind, buyers don't want to be prospected, or demoed, or closed when they're not ready. These steps add zero value, from their perspective, when offered at the wrong time.

However, where a sales rep can shine is in the instances when buyers are looking for additional information about your product that can't be found online.

Free Customer Journey Map Templates

Fill out the form to access these visual aids., awareness stage.

Buyers are identifying the challenge or opportunity they want to pursue. They are also deciding whether or not the goal or challenge should be a priority.

Consideration Stage

Buyers have clearly defined the goal or challenge and have committed to addressing it. They are now evaluating different approaches or methods available to pursue the goal or solve their challenge.

Decision Stage

Buyers have already decided on a solution category and are now evaluating providers. For example, they may have written a pro/con list of specific offerings to decide on the one that best meets their needs.

Some of these considerations may fall more under the marketing umbrella than the sales umbrella, but ultimately the answers to these questions will provide a robust foundation for your buyer's journey.

The process of getting to know how your buyers buy is invaluable as you create or refine your sales process. You'll be better able to empathize with prospects, handle objections, and provide the right information at the right time, helping you close more deals and win more business.

Thank you for reading this post from HubSpot . 

Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

what-is-the-buyers-journey_0

Don't forget to share this post!

Related articles.

7 Crucial Questions to Ask Prospects Throughout the Buyer's Journey, According to HubSpot's Sales Director

7 Crucial Questions to Ask Prospects Throughout the Buyer's Journey, According to HubSpot's Sales Director

The 8 Buyer Motives Every Salesperson Should Know

The 8 Buyer Motives Every Salesperson Should Know

How to Win More Sales With An Optimized Distribution Strategy

How to Win More Sales With An Optimized Distribution Strategy

What the Buyer's Journey Looks Like in 2022 [+3 Data-Driven Ways You Can Keep Up]

What the Buyer's Journey Looks Like in 2022 [+3 Data-Driven Ways You Can Keep Up]

B2C Sales: A Comparison With B2B and How to Do Them Right

B2C Sales: A Comparison With B2B and How to Do Them Right

How to Craft Tailored Recommendations For Prospects [Free HubSpot Sales Training Excerpt]

How to Craft Tailored Recommendations For Prospects [Free HubSpot Sales Training Excerpt]

9 Ways Salespeople Can Provide Value to Prospects at Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

9 Ways Salespeople Can Provide Value to Prospects at Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

How to Help Sales Follow Up With Consideration Stage Leads

How to Help Sales Follow Up With Consideration Stage Leads

When To Use Customer Case Studies in the Sales Process

When To Use Customer Case Studies in the Sales Process

Outline your company's customer journey and experience with these 7 free customer journey map templates.

Powerful and easy-to-use sales software that drives productivity, enables customer connection, and supports growing sales orgs

buyers journey content

Close more deals with the latest sales trends and tips from Salesblazers.

What Is the Buyer’s Journey — and Why Should You Care About It?

buyers journey content

Learn how to map out your buyer's journey to improve the path to purchase.

buyers journey content

Erin Hueffner

Share article.

  • Link Copied

Today’s buyers are more informed than ever. In fact, 81% of reps say customers are conducting their own research before they ever connect with sales. Canned scripts and one-size-fits-all methods won’t cut it when dealing with savvy buyers — they want more detailed information, more personalized solutions, and a tailored sales approach. That’s why it’s so critical to understand the buyer’s journey. Once you know what a prospect needs to move from interest to purchase, you navigate the sales road with ease and close quickly.

Here’s how you get there.

What you’ll learn:

What is the buyer’s journey, what are the stages of the buyer’s journey, why is understanding the buyer’s journey important, how does the buyer’s journey relate to the lead funnel, how to tailor your sales process to the buyer’s journey, buyer’s journey example, drive pipe faster with a single source of truth.

Discover how Sales Cloud uses data and AI to help you manage your pipeline, build relationships, and close deals fast.

buyers journey content

The buyer’s journey accounts for all the steps a customer takes to move from discovery for a product to purchase. This includes their behaviors and attitudes toward your brand and how they interact with your marketing and, eventually, your product or service.

This journey is typically segmented into three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Don’t assume, however, that every buyer steps through those three stages in 1-2-3 order every time. Buyers’ journeys often wind up taking very non-linear paths. We’ll get into that below.

As noted above, the buyer’s journey can be summed up in three stages. Each stage factors in the psychological state of the buyer, including their needs, behaviors, and decision-making processes. These help inform the actions a seller can take to move the deal forward. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Awareness stage

Buyers at the awareness stage want something that solves a problem or meets a need, but they don’t know exactly what that is. They start to gather information about solutions, but this information is driven by knowledge of a specific product, service, or brand. Typically, this research involves online research or conversations with others dealing with similar problems/needs.

Tip: At this stage, it’s all about making a strong and credible first impression that lays the groundwork for a relationship based on trust and value. How? By focusing on solutions. Don’t pitch a product — solve a problem. This is when your marketing content, especially on social media, can shine. Video content is a great way to answer questions, provide examples, share testimonials, and deliver in-depth information that promises a helpful solution. As part of this, you’ll want to gently introduce your product — while keeping the focus on the solution it offers, not the features it includes.

Consideration stage

As buyers move into this stage, they are actively researching, comparing, and considering different options. Online shopping and review sites, social media, and email newsletters give customers multiple channels to explore. Take advantage of these by making them next steps in the buyer journey. If you find the buyer is engaging with awareness content like a blog post, for example, create a promo for a newsletter signup in the post to encourage continued engagement.

Tip: Engage potential customers in this stage by providing detailed, comparative, and solution-focused content like blog posts and personalized emails that highlight the unique benefits and features of your offerings.

Decision stage

By now, buyers understand their problem, have done their research, and are ready to make a purchase — but they haven’t crossed the finish line yet. Everything they’ve explored up to now, including price, value, features, benefits, customer reviews, and brand reputation, will be considered and factored into their final decision. The seller’s job? Package all of these as part of the original solution the buyer was looking for.

Tip: In this crucial stage, you want to address any remaining concerns and help the buyer make a purchase decision. To overcome objections , your interactions with customers should be persuasive, reassuring, and clear. Reinforce the value and benefits of your offering. Remember: Selling a solution rather than a product can help set you apart from competitors.

Trending Articles

Productivity icons like email and chat on an illustration of a laptop with a blue background

3 Ways Generative AI Will Help Marketers Connect With Customers

Illustrating of Einstein character surrounded by 3 Trailhead badges for AI skills

Learn AI Skills on Trailhead

More than just a throwaway sales concept, the buyer’s journey lets you see and understand the choices your buyers make at each stage of the sales process so you can meet their needs in the moment. Understanding the buyer’s journey can give you:

  • Enhanced customer insights: Studying the buyer’s journey gives you a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs, pain points, and decision-making processes. This data then helps you create content and strategies that resonate with potential customers.
  • Improved content strategy: By knowing what buyers think and want at each stage, you can create content that addresses specific concerns and questions. The right content can provide the guidance customers need to make informed decisions and can also help you field objections.
  • Increased sales efficiency: With insights from the buyer’s journey, you can anticipate needs, counter objections quickly, and tailor pitches more effectively. You’re not just selling. You’re providing solutions and guidance at the moment the buyer is most receptive.
  • Enhanced customer experience: When you anticipate and address needs at each stage of the journey, you deliver a smoother, more personalized customer experience. This not only increases the likelihood of conversion but also fosters loyalty, leading to repeat business and referrals.

Understanding the buyer’s journey is a key part of building lasting relationships with customers. It’s about moving beyond sales to build genuine connections based on trust and value and ensuring satisfaction at every touchpoint. This ultimately redounds to the seller’s benefit; with strong relationships and loyalty often come repeat sales.

The lead funnel and the buyer’s journey look at the sales process from different perspectives. The lead funnel represents the process from a seller’s or company’s perspective. It outlines the stages a seller walks through on the way to a close. In contrast, the buyer’s journey sees things from the customer’s perspective. It’s all about their experience on the path to purchase.

Aligning your sales process with the buyer’s journey ensures that you meet customer needs at each stage and can guide them toward a purchase decision without delays. Let’s combine what we’ve learned so far into actionable items:

Awareness stage actions

• Understand your audience: Identify and analyze your potential customers’ needs and behavior. Pro tip: Use your CRM to help! An AI-powered tool such as Sales Cloud Einstein can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you via prompt-based research.

• Generate awareness: Use educational content to draw prospects in and establish your brand as a credible source.

Consideration stage actions

  • Provide more details product content: Offer comparative, solution-focused content that highlights your product’s benefits.
  • Personalize communication: Tailor your interactions with information you’ve gathered about your potential customers.

Decision stage actions

  • Address objections: Prepare your team to counter any concerns or objections with clear and compelling information.
  • Simplify the purchase: Streamline the buying process, offer clear pricing, and be transparent about contracts.

Get articles selected just for you, in your inbox

The buyer’s journey is not linear. It’s a fluid relationship between brand and customer. Here’s an example that illustrates this:

Raina wants to cut down on her bills and realizes there’s an opportunity to cut down her monthly entertainment spend. Rather than pay for streaming services and cable TV, she wants something that consolidates both.

To start, Rains maps out what she wants. She lists her must-watch shows and researches which streaming platforms offer them (awareness). She narrows her choices to two platforms, including one ad-supported and one premium service. She’s also thinking about adding a live sports package but isn’t clear on which packages carry her favorite teams’ games, so she contacts the streaming service companies for more information (consideration). After chatting with several sales representatives, Raina asks for a demo of one of the service’s sports add-ons. She and the rep discuss subscription plans and go over which games will be available for streaming.

Ultimately, Raina decides to subscribe to both streaming platforms without the additional sports package (decision). Lucky for her, she’s offered a free three-month trial of the live sports add-on at sign-up. After realizing how much she enjoys the add-on in the trial period, Raina decides to keep it.

In this case, Raina’s buyer journey doesn’t end after her purchase. Her experience with the streaming services will influence how she feels about the brands and shape her future interactions with them, including future purchases.

Map to the buyer’s journey for better outcomes

If you pay close attention to the buyer’s journey and deliver high value, your customers are more likely to stay loyal and explore other products in your portfolio, which means more sales. Remember, each interaction with a prospect is an opportunity to understand, engage, and nurture. By aligning your sales process with each stage in the buyer’s journey, you can increase sales while building long-term relationships.

Want to take the #1 CRM for a test drive?

Go on our Guided Tour to see how Sales Cloud boosts productivity at every stage of the sales cycle. 

buyers journey content

Just For You

Tech sales rep smiling and holding a tablet

What Is Tech Sales? A Guide to Getting a Job — and Succeeding

Illustration of a person with a magnifying glass looking at bar charts showing the percentage of sales

Learn to Use the Percentage of Sales Method to Improve Your Forecasting

buyers journey content

Explore related content by topic

  • Sales Fundamentals
  • Salesblazer

buyers journey content

Erin Hueffner is a writer from Madison, Wisconsin. Her career spans two decades in tech, journalism, and content marketing. At Salesforce, Erin’s work focuses on sales fundamentals and best practice content for Salesblazers. Erin has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Get the latest articles in your inbox.

buyers journey content

MQL vs. SQL: What Are They? How Do They Help You Sell?

Graphic of a sales order printing on a background of blue

What Is a Sales Order? How to Create Your Own with Examples

Woman making a sales call with a recording icon

Sales Call Recordings: The Secret of High-Performing Sales Teams

Woman cold calling on a headset phone with graphics of chat

Cold Calling Scripts: Your Gateway to an Engaged Prospect

A woman in a leadership meeting

What Is Lead Management? Tips, Strategies, and Best Practices

Icons representing the steps of a sales process feeding into a pipeline that leads to a done deal

How to Build A Sales Process That Lands Deals Every Time

Illustration of three people finding sales leads on a blue background

What Is a Sales Lead? The Complete Guide

A woman with a credit card shopping online: digital sales

What Is Digital Sales? Tips, Strategies, and Tools

buyers journey content

New to Salesforce?

  • What is Salesforce?
  • Best CRM software
  • Explore all products
  • What is cloud computing
  • Customer success
  • Product pricing

About Salesforce

  • Salesforce.org
  • Sustainability

Popular Links

  • Salesforce Mobile
  • AppExchange
  • CRM software
  • Salesforce LIVE
  • Salesforce for startups
  • América Latina (Español)
  • Brasil (Português)
  • Canada (English)
  • Canada (Français)
  • United States (English)

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

  • España (Español)
  • Deutschland (Deutsch)
  • France (Français)
  • Italia (Italiano)
  • Nederland (Nederlands)
  • Sverige (Svenska)
  • United Kingdom (English)
  • All other countries (English)

Asia Pacific

  • Australia (English)
  • India (English)
  • Malaysia (English)
  • ประเทศไทย (ไทย)

© Copyright 2022 Salesforce, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Various trademarks held by their respective owners. Salesforce, Inc. Salesforce Tower, 415 Mission Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, United States

buyers journey content

Why You Need Specific Content for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Dave Brown

With as many as 81% of consumers conducting research before making a purchase, it’s fair to say that people today have a lot more to say about who they buy from than ever before.

And that’s not necessarily great news for marketers.

Since consumers now have more options to get the products and services they need, it’s important for businesses to keep them engaged throughout the entire buyer’s journey to purchase. One misstep at any stage and you could potentially lose your customer to a competitor.

So, how can you make sure that your buyer’s journey is engaging enough for them to complete it and convert?

With content that’s relevant to them, based on their behavior at each stage.

How Does the Consumer View Your Brand at Each Stage of the Journey?

Although the exact response of each consumer cannot be predicted with complete accuracy, there are ways to predict the general behavior shifts of various customer segments, as they move forward – and deeper – into the sales funnel.

Take, for example, the case of someone looking to buy a smartphone. If the customer is not loyal to any brand in particular, they won’t be inclined to choose a certain model or brand simply because it is popular in the market. Instead, they may well view each smartphone brand equally, and conduct a comprehensive online search for pros and cons of each smartphone model in their budget range.

This part of the customer journey is called the “Awareness” stage, followed by “Consideration” and finally “Purchase”. Let’s go through them one by one:

Journey Stage 1: Awareness

The aim of this stage is to raise brand awareness among consumers who may not yet have formed any solid opinions about their preferred product. Therefore, the trick lies in producing content that’s strictly informative, helpful and educational. By educating the consumer about the features of a smartphone (for example), and what it can actually do for them, it will be possible to lure them into the sales funnel and nurture them as a lead.

Since it’s so early in the buyer’s journey, the chances of conversion are quite low. By creating content that resonates with them now, you can potentially make your brand jump to the top of the list of favorites.

However, don’t confuse this opportunity as a green light to add promotional material into your content at this stage.

Far too many brands today rely on overly promotional content from the get-go in an attempt to convince prospects that they won’t find anything better. Unfortunately for them, many consumers today understand these tricks and techniques.

Most consumers today are likely to be put off by overly promotional content so early in the buyer journey.

By understanding the pain points of your customers and addressing them, you can increase your chances of engaging them with what you have to offer.

Here’s an example of how Zoho does it:

buyers journey content

Instead of focusing strictly on the product, Zoho’s landing page is designed with the potential customer in mind. The content of the landing page focuses on the information that prospects might be looking for, as opposed to listing the features of the product.

Once the customer has already conducted initial research and knows which brands suit their needs, they enter into what’s known as the “Consideration” stage.

Journey Stage 2: Consideration

In the Awareness stage, generic and general content is the way to go. In the Consideration stage, you should focus on creating comprehensive, to-the-point and impactful content that compels customers to take action.

During the Consideration stage, the consumer is researching and weighing the options to see which offers the most value. At this point in the journey, the thought processes of your buyers are a lot more focused and centered on specifics. As you might have guessed, this is when you’ll need to start explaining how you can provide a solution.

If you’ve managed to keep your prospect interested in the product or service this far into the journey, well done! But don’t take your eye off the ball now. All of your efforts will go to waste if you don’t know how to keep the consumer hooked long enough to actually convert.

During the Consideration stage, keep your buyer personas at the top of your mind. This way, you can target truly qualified prospects and customers, and filter out the rest.

It’s really important to provide content that is honest, accurate, authentic and value-adding. You don’t want to set up a future scenario where your buyer is disappointed by overreaching claims or promises.

If your buyer has made it this far, they are clearly looking for more information than what they can find in a simple Google search. Dive into more detail and center your content on the problem or challenge at hand. This is the surest way to add value and get results.

Check out the example below of Consideration stage content from Sales Hub: the landing page gives prospects just enough insights about what they can expect in the free white paper, and how it can help them make the right choice when hiring an inbound marketing agency.

buyers journey content

During the Consideration stage, you also need to start building a relationship with your buyers and prospects. Since you’ll be a lot more promotional with your content, you can focus on creating personalized and targeted content that puts the buyer at the center.

Journey Stage 3: Purchase

The Purchase stage of the buyer’s journey is characterized by scrutiny. While your buyer is probably excited about making a purchase, it will still take a whole lot of convincing to get that final click. At the same time, it’s important to understand that your buyer has other options available, and they may well still be ready to hear the one excuse not to choose your brand, product or service.

And that’s why exceedingly personalized content is the way to go at this stage.

By building on the relationship that you started creating at the Consideration stage, you can influence the decision of your buyer in favor of your product or service, ultimately convincing them to finally make the purchase. During this stage, you also need to provide a great user experience and solid customer support to close the deal.

While the primary motive behind Purchase-stage content is driving conversions, it’s crucial to solve all the problems and answer all the questions and concerns of your prospects now, to ensure they have no reservations when it comes to making the decision.

Amazon Prime does a great job of this.

Not only is their landing page highly interactive, but the page also provides prospects with extra information they may need to know, via text-based links under the CTA button.

buyers journey content

The landing page also has a static bar that invites users to “TRY PRIME” or “See more plans” making it very easy for the potential customer to get more information or click to convert, at any time.

buyers journey content

Using the right visuals, tone, and interactive elements in your Purchase-stage content also helps convince your buyers and makes them feel like they are making the right decision by going ahead with the purchase.

Which Type of Content Should Be Used for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey?

Now that you’re aware of the different ways in which your buyer’s behavior and attitude towards your brand changes during the journey, here are the types of content that you can use for best results.

Since your buyer is just entering the market, the content for this stage needs to be a light read that whets the buyer’s appetite.

And since buyers at this stage are not yet highly qualified leads, your job is to relay information in an easy, concise, and relatable manner.

Here are some types of content that can help do the job:

Blog posts and articles: Writing informative blog posts and articles is a great way to show your audience that you know what you’re talking about – that you’re an authority in the niche. With the right content writing services , you can establish rapport and come off as a credible source without worrying about grammatical or structural errors tarnishing your reputation.

E-books: E-books are another way of providing your buyers with relevant information for a specific niche, problem or challenge. In some cases, you might provide an e-book as gated content, meaning the user must enter their email address to access the download. Doing so, you’ll have another route to communicate with them and nurture the lead in the future.

Landing pages: While landing pages are a great fit for all stages of the buyer’s journey, the type of content that populates your landing page needs to be simple and straightforward. Make sure that the language you use is not very demanding at the Awareness stage.

Videos: Educational videos like how-tos are a great way to keep your audience interested without being too promotional. Since most people at this stage may not even know which product or service can help solve their problem or challenge, educational videos can help you tap into the right segment by providing your audience with the answers they need.

Consideration

The Consideration stage is a crucial time for both you and the buyer. Not only is the buyer trying to figure out whether your product or service is right for them, you also need to find out whether they fall into your true target audience, whose authentic interests really match your offering.

In essence, your buyer at this stage needs to be convinced that you want more than just their money, and the only way you can do so is by producing content that shows how you stand out from the pack.

Here’s how it can be done:

Case studies: Case studies are a surefire way of highlighting what your product or service has already achieved for past and existing customers, and how it can offer solutions to potential customers. By using statistics, insights, and examples to back your claims, you can improve your chances of nurturing the lead to the final stage.

Explainer videos: Explainer videos are a great way to get your audience hooked to your product or service. Focusing your explainer videos on the pain points of the customer can help you get the results you’re looking for.

White papers: The best part about white papers is how a single challenge or problem is comprehensively explained to provide the reader with a viable solution. By creating white papers focused on what’s troubling your audience, you can grab their interest all while establishing your brand as an authority.

Podcasts and webinars: Constantly increasing in popularity, podcasts and webinars are a great way to engage your audience by providing them with answers in an accessible audio/visual format that can be far more engaging than written content.

The Purchase stage is when your buyer is finally reaching for their wallet. No pressure, but the content at this stage is what can make or break their decision to make that coveted “Buy Now” click.

Consumers today love personalization and interaction, which is why it’s essential for you to give them the perfect blend of both. The content you create should not just be highly customized, but it should also be persuasive enough to ensure you close the deal.

Here are some of the types of content you could use:

Demos and free trials: These types of content allow your buyer to interact with your product just enough for them to understand what’s in store. Your buyer is also able to build a personal connection with your brand, increasing the chances of referrals.

buyers journey content

Testimonials: When it comes to conversions, the power of feedback, reviews, and comments by real customers should not be underestimated. Creating testimonial videos for your product or service is a great way to maximize your chances of convincing a prospect to buy.

Click-through sales pages: A click-through sales page is one of the best techniques to use when you know that you’ve nearly closed the deal. If you can add personalized content, like the customer’s name, mentioning their pain point, or presenting a special offer, it will be a great help in sealing the deal.

buyers journey content

Tweaking Your Buyer’s Journey

When it comes to the sales funnel,  a cookie-cutter approach won’t be effective. However, there are some general rules of thumb that you must follow when producing content for your buyer’s journey, no matter the industry, product or target audience:

  • Know your audience
  • Understand the pain points and challenges of your buyer
  • Develop a sales funnel that’s relevant to your industry
  • Develop a content marketing strategy for each stage of the buyer’s journey and map content specifically

This way, you’ll not only improve your customer experience but also generate more leads and close more deals than ever!

Launch your Campaign!

Create full funnel campaigns that drive real business results..

buyers journey content

Related Articles

5 Content Marketing Trends for 2024

Letizia Marinucci

Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

Laura Kloot

A Future Without Cookies: Best Cookieless Targeting Options

Cyrus Jabbari

Best Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns of 2024

Fernanda Negrini

For Advertisers

  • Advertise with Outbrain
  • Native Advertising
  • Contextual Advertising
  • Demo Outbrain
  • How to Buy Outbrain
  • Outbrain Academy
  • Advertiser Guidelines
  • Advertising FAQ
  • Advertising Glossary
  • Vertical Insights
  • Vertical Hub
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Affiliate Hub
  • High-Conversion Content
  • Repurpose Social Campaigns

About Outbrain

  • Company Overview
  • Cultural Manifesto
  • Trust & Transparency
  • For Publishers
  • Thought Leadership
  • Outbrain Blog
  • Resources Hub
  • Case Studies
  • Performance Marketing
  • Advertising Academy
  • Publisher's Directory
  • Help Center

Ready to start?

Try Outbrain for Advertisers today

  • Interest-Based Ads (Opt Out)
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use

How to Map Your Content to the Buyer's Journey

By Sean Filidis

How to Map Your Content to the Buyer's Journey

If you’re a digital marketer, you've undoubtedly dabbled in content marketing. Content marketing is more than writing about your product or service. It’s a powerful and popular way to get your messaging in front of your ideal audience, build trust and relationships, and hopefully convince them to engage with your website or product.

However, content marketing can also be overwhelming. It’s possible that you’re working with a sea of content types — such as blog posts, newsletters ,  eBooks, case studies, white papers , and webinars — and wondering what goes where. What content is right for your organization? What will connect with your ideal audience and inspire them to become customers?

By looking at how people develop a relationship with your brand over time (commonly called the buyer’s journey ), and determining what kinds of content are most helpful for people in each stage of their journey, you can anticipate what type of material you’ll need.

In this post, we’ll explore this process and deliver actionable insights that will help you create an intelligent content strategy .

What is the buyer’s journey

Knowing what types of content you should use is complicated. However, once you understand how to employ the concept of a buyer’s journey in your content strategy, you’ll substantially increase your success as a digital marketer.

The buyer’s journey is a framework that explains the steps someone goes through in discovering a problem he or she has, researching that problem, and eventually purchasing a product to solve that problem.

As can be inferred from that definition, there are three stages to the buyer’s journey: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage.

buyers journey

In the awareness stage, the potential buyer is confronted by some problems. They’re aware of their frustration but don’t yet know precisely what’s causing it or whether it’s unique. This is typically when someone searches online for the symptoms of their problem, looking for any information they can find.

People in the awareness stage are not ready to be sold to, but they will be highly receptive to any source that helps them name and frame their problem. They are still formulating the vocabulary around the issue that will help them search for a solution.

This is a great time to make people aware of your brand. If you can provide information that helps them understand an issue they are facing, and if you can optimize that content around the search queries they’re using, you will rank highly, and visitors will take note of you.

Blog posts that articulate and describe a problem, help readers contextualize that problem and highlight a number of approaches to solving it are most likely to resonate with people in the awareness stage.

Observe how the following blog post titles focus on attracting visitors who are still trying to define and understand whatever issue they’re facing:

  • 11 types of back pain and what might be causing them
  • The top 5 reasons web content fails to convert visitors
  • Why your CRM is so messy (and how to fix it)

These 3 titles cater to potential visitors who are experiencing frustration but have not yet nailed down exactly what’s causing it or what kind of solution to investigate. Visitors are likely to click on these titles because they promise more information that will help them clarify the question they’re facing.

Content targeting the awareness stage should aim to educate, define, contextualize, clarify, and inform. The best way to draw visitors into your funnel is with content that helps them understand their problem and prepares them for the next step: searching for a solution.

Consideration

In the consideration stage, potential buyers better understand the cause of their problem and are now researching various kinds of solutions. How and where they search depends on the information they received and the vocabulary they developed in the awareness stage, which is why that stage is so critical.

In this stage, the potential buyer is still not ready to make a purchase, but they are eager to give things a try. Content in this stage should encourage users to start free trials, request product demos, or download solution-oriented offerings like eBooks and white papers .

Want to know more about creating great white papers you can measure? Learn more

These conversions are valuable because they allow you to showcase the benefits of your product while also gathering prospects’ contact details. The goal here is to enable potential buyers to give proper consideration to your product or service with content that demonstrates precisely how you propose to solve their problem.

Other forms of content highly suitable for this stage are:

  • General FAQs
  • Product brochures
  • White papers and eBooks
  • Explainer videos

Content targeting the consideration stage should aim to explain and even demonstrate how your product or service will effectively solve the specific problem the buyer identified in the awareness stage — and ideally get them to try it out themselves.

During the decision stage, the potential buyer has a handful of products or services they’re investigating in depth. They know more or less what they want in a solution, and they’re looking for the one that best fulfills their criteria. At the end of this stage, the buyer will likely make a purchase.

Your goal in this stage is to persuade prospects to purchase your solution rather than a competitor’s. Content for the decision stage should flaunt the merits of your solution and provide clear evidence of how it helped others who faced similar problems succeed.

Marketing Collateral ideal for the decision stage include:

  • Case studies / success stories
  • Instructional videos and tutorials
  • Product documentation

If you offer a software solution, tutorials and documentation inspire confidence that once the potential buyer makes a purchase, they’ll have robust instructions that allow them to get started immediately. If prospects are comparing you with other similar solutions, this type of support material can play a big part in their decision.

Also consider the content on your pricing page, online store (if applicable), and automated notifications reminding them that their trial is going to expire. These are critical for the decision stage and may spell the difference between a prospect choosing you, or choosing your competitor.

Content targeting the decision phase should aim to give evidence of expected results and persuade prospects that your solution is the best choice among many.

As you can see, understanding the buyer’s journey helps you present the right type of content to potential buyers at the right time. The challenge now is to determine where each of your current assets belongs in that journey.

Learn more about the buyer's journey in our complete guide to Content Marketing . 

Mapping your content

The best way to begin applying the buyer's journey and start getting strategic with your content efforts is to perform an audit of all your existing assets.

Mapping content in buyers journey

For each content asset you have — whether a blog post, case study, web page, video, eBook, or something else — you should determine where in the buyer's journey it belongs and how effective it is in moving prospects further through your funnel. This allows you to do 2 things:

  • Identify content gaps in your funnel
  • Optimize content according to where it belongs

The goal of a content audit is to get a complete picture of what content you currently have running , its performance, what pieces are planned for the next several months, and their projected performance.

If this is beginning to sound like lots of work, that’s because it is! Effective content marketing is no walk in the park, but it pays off.

Identifying gaps with a content audit

Create a spreadsheet that includes every piece of content your organization has created and is currently planned for the future. The spreadsheet should have columns for its status (published or planned), its type, its title, the stage of the buyer’s journey it targets, the persona it targets (keep your eyes peeled for a future post from us on personas), and the URL.

Merely filling out this sheet will give you a great idea of where content might be lacking. You might notice, for example, that the majority of your content addresses the decision stage and that you have very little geared towards awareness. Or perhaps your awareness stage is well-covered but you lack in consideration stage content.

Identifying gaps helps you plan for the future. Focus your content creation efforts on filling these gaps and ensure that every buyer's stage / persona combination is well covered with quality content.

Establishing goals for your content

The point of mapping content to your buyer's journey is to be more effective in drawing visitors through your funnel by presenting them with the content they need to take the next step towards a purchase.

So, after determining where in the buyer's journey each piece of content belongs, you need to check whether those assets are really doing their job .

  • Is your awareness stage content helping people define their problems?
  • Do your consideration assets showcase the merits of your solution?
  • Are your decision pieces persuading prospects that your offer is better than those of your competitors?

Before you can answer these questions, you need to decide on some measurable goals. Goals allow you to gauge the effectiveness of each piece of content and then optimize them accordingly.

Content marketing goal in buyers journey

The goals you set for each piece of content depend on both the buyer's stage they belong to and the type of content . Only once you've determined a goal for each asset can you assess its effectiveness and begin to optimize it.

Here are 6 content goals we use at Foleon (though yours may differ):

  • Acquisition : To attract new visitors
  • Activation : To turn visitors into subscribers (micro-conversion)
  • Education : To engage subscribers and keep them coming back
  • Revenue : To persuade visitors to make a purchase (macro-conversion)
  • Expansion : To encourage customers to upgrade
  • Referral : To delight customers and turn them into evangelists

As you can see, the goals don't always have a 1-to-1 relationship with the journey stages. While acquisition and activation are most associated with the awareness stage, activation could also fall neatly into the consideration stage, depending on the context.

What's important here is that assigning goals to content gives you the ability to measure their effectiveness and optimize them.

Optimizing for the journey stages

Now that you've placed each asset in the buyer's journey and assigned them tangible goals, you can decide what metrics are most appropriate to measure.

Make a second spreadsheet, similar to the first one, that includes every piece of content you have, as well as the ones you’re planning. The spreadsheet should have a column for the title so you can relate it to the first one.

Additional columns should include each piece's goal, the number of views, time spent on a page divided by word count, bounce rate, traffic source, conversion rate, and possibly more. Only use the columns that apply to a given piece of content and add columns for more metrics as necessary.

buyers journey content analytics

For an awareness phase blog post that offers a downloadable eBook, for example, you would likely be interested in the number of unique users the post acquired, scroll depth, and the conversion rate. For the eBook itself, the number of activated visitors who later returned to your website and viewed your pricing page might be of particular interest.

Case studies are an example of another content type, with different metrics. The conversion you’re looking to drive with case studies is likely a purchase.

Tracking these metrics will show you whether each piece is contributing to its goal and where you have room for improvement. It's a bit of an art, and it takes practice. But eventually, you’ll get a clear picture of the boundaries between each stage of the buyer’s journey and which types of content are effective in moving prospects further.

Filling your funnel

As you fill in your content gaps and optimize assets according to their place in your funnel, you’ll begin to develop a content ecosystem with pieces appropriate for all of your needs. As different prospects move through your buyer’s journey, you’ll always have a good piece of content there to nudge them along.

In this way, you’ll be able to help prospects along the entire journey , from beginning to end. The more robust this ecosystem becomes, the better your conversion rate will become. In turn, this will give you better insights into your buyer’s journey and enable you to create even better content.

This is how marketers sustainably fill their funnel, and this process is what makes content marketing effective .

Foleon & CMI White Paper

How to overcome content creation barriers.

Why the time is now for B2B marketers to develop modern digital content experiences.

Get the White Paper

Sean is a B2B content strategist specialized in streamlining customer journeys, creating sales and marketing alignment, and producing personalized content experiences that resonate with modern buyers. LinkedIn profile

Want to write for the Foleon blog? Here's how to submit a guest post .

What to read next

How to create detailed buyer personas.

Sean Filidis

B2B Thought Leadership Marketing: Rethinking Content Experiences in 2023

What is a content experience and how do you make one.

Content You Should Create at Each Stage of the Funnel

  • Written By Linsey Knerl
  • Updated: November 17, 2023

Did you know that buyer’s journey content should be different for each stage of the funnel to ensure the best results?

Content marketing is a massive business, with brands spending a considerable amount of their time and budgets making sure they use it wisely.

Unfortunately, creating a lot of content (even great content) and having no idea where it will most impact your customers’ buying journey can lead to lackluster results.

A clear understanding of the marketing funnel and how various types of buyer’s journey content easily fit in can help you avoid costly mistakes and possible alienation of your ideal customer.

buyer's journey content for each stage in the marketing funnel

What is a Marketing Funnel?

We can  define a marketing funnel  as a business strategy that marketers use to guide prospects from initial brand awareness to the final purchasing stage.

It uses different applications at various points based on the prospect’s familiarity, needs, and readiness to buy.

The concept assumes that someone less familiar with your brand will start at the top of the funnel with more generalized information and softer selling while working down to the more targeted sales strategies implemented at the bottom of the funnel over time.

While brands use the terms interchangeably, the content marketing funnel differs from a flywheel . The two can be used together, however.

What Are the Marketing Funnel Stages?

One of the major differentiators of the marketing funnel from other strategies is that it seeks to identify where the  customer is in their journey  and market to them directly at that stage. Each stage aligns to a place in the marketing funnel: top, middle, and bottom.

While these are the three main stages, each stage can have an additional level of segmentation to further customize content and ensure customers within each stage are getting the right type of information.

A company that wants to explore full-funnel marketing will have a stake in creating buyer’s journey content for each stage.

top of the funnel buyer's journey content

Top-of-funnel marketing

At the very beginning of the customer journey is awareness, or coming to know about a brand’s existence. This is considered the top of the funnel (ToFu), and it’s where you lay the groundwork for telling the customer who you are, what values you hold, and the possibilities you offer through your buyer’s journey content.

Top-of-funnel marketing  requires the least knowledge about a brand or offering, making it an ideal marketing content task for agencies and freelancers who don’t live and breathe your brand every day but who can quickly get up to speed and use their skills to make a compelling introduction.

Top-of-funnel marketing assumes that not everyone will be the ideal buyer. It is willing to reach out to almost everyone, making the top of the funnel very wide, very welcoming, and very well-suited for SEO strategies.

Anyone who can perform a search may be placed at the top of the funnel to see what your brand is about, even if they aren’t exactly who you hope to sell to later.

middle of funnel buyer's journey content

Middle-of-funnel marketing

Further into the buyer journey is where the  middle-of-funnel marketing  (MoFu) happens. This assumes the buyer is at least somewhat interested in pursuing a professional or consumer relationship with your brand, and this is where they spend the most time in pursuit of facts or benefits that can help them make a buying decision.

Because the buyer’s journey content types here will be more detailed, brand-specific, and with solutions to customers’ needs in mind, the guidance of a subject matter expert (SME) can come in handy.

If you choose to outsource this content, freelancers with established writing clips in your industry or who are themselves SMEs can ensure the quality of work you need to engage and inform your prospects.

bottom of funnel buyer's journey content

Bottom-of-funnel marketing

Finally, at the point where a buyer is likely to make their purchasing decision, you have  bottom-of-funnel marketing  (BoFu.) This is where the “rubber meets the road,” so to speak, and you’ll see your work to this point result in some type of action.

Bottom-of-funnel buyer’s journey content isn’t limited to asking for the sale and closing the deal. It’s where you can continue to nurture your leads, who are now buyers, by:

  • Confirmation: “You’ve made a great decision. Welcome to the family!”
  • Onboarding: “Here’s how to get the most out of your product.”
  • Support: “We’re sure you have questions. Get answers here.”
  • Reconfirmation: “Here’s why you made the right choice in choosing this over our competitors.”
  • Solution-based cross-selling: “You might also like this to make your experience better.”

Because bottom-of-funnel content brings the customer into the sphere of being “in the know,” this content is best written by someone who works for the company or brand since it requires the most intimate knowledge of the product and what it offers.

Do you absolutely have to do bottom-of-funnel content on your own? Not necessarily. Freelancers who previously worked for your company may also fill this role. Other possible arrangements include having an agency help with concept and final development, such as editing, creating graphics, or content syndication.

Boost conversions at each stage of the sales funnel with our in-depth guide !

What Types of Buyer’s Journey Content Do I Use at Each Stage?

As you can imagine, a complete marketing sales funnel can contain dozens or even hundreds of pieces of content. Every written word supporting a marketing campaign will fit into that funnel somewhere, with some pieces straddling two parts of the funnel or even being repurposed to meet two places in the customer journey.

That said, some buyer’s journey content pieces are going to work best in specific parts of the funnel. Keep in mind that there is some wiggle room here and that certain content formats are close enough to other formats that you may simply be using semantics to distinguish one from the other.

( Case studies and white papers are good examples of two types of content that can meet the same goal, look a lot alike, and can be used interchangeably. The goal of each is what matters most here.)

Top-of-funnel content types

This buyer’s journey content may be the first a prospective client has ever heard of you. It may also be where you first let them know of a problem you help to solve. Prior to the top of the funnel, the prospect may not only be unaware you exist, but they may not even be aware that they need your service or product.

tofu buyer's journey content types

Your company may already be creating blog posts, as they are among the easiest types of content to start producing right away. At this stage in the digital marketing funnel, your blog posts should be educational and evergreen.

What do we mean by this? Start by asking the following questions to narrow down possible blog post topics:

  • What would we want people to know about us first, especially if they have never heard of us before?
  • What solution do we offer that may be new to the reader or visitor? How can we best explain it in a way that’s accessible to everyone?
  • What are our more established competitors known for? How might someone searching for them (but who ends up on our site) see us as different and relevant?
  • What notable trends in our industry are interesting or applicable to the common person? How can we turn that into a list or topical guide to make them feel informed after reading it?
  • What search terms are we already seeing traffic for? How can we create content around those questions that position our brand as an authority on the matter?
  • What search terms do we want to see traffic for? What terms are supposed to lead people to us, but we have yet to create optimized content that attracts and informs?

Your blog posts at the top of the funnel should educate, build interest, and place you as an expert on the topic at hand. This is not the place to create a hard sell. At a minimum, the readers should come away from your blog post thinking, “That was valuable, and I’ll remember that brand for having shared it with me.”

buyers journey content

EBooks are another “catch-all” buyer’s journey content bucket that can have very different goals based on your company’s unique needs. They range in word count from a few pages to hundreds of pages (the size of a traditional eBook), but most organizations aim for shorter, more concise formatting with infographics, stats, and call-outs to keep the content lively and to help pull the reader through the pages easily.

What top-of-funnel uses do you have for an eBook ? The possibilities are endless, so ask these questions to get you started:

  • What industry tips or tricks do we have to share with our readers?
  • How can we empower them to continue researching a topic through our eBook content?
  • What eBooks have our competitors created? What enhancements can we include to make ours the best, most updated, or most authoritative on that topic?
  • Is there a common “how to” answer that isn’t easily covered in a single blog post? Would this topic make a good guide or manual that we can market in eBook form?
  • Do we have an existing series of related blog posts that we can stitch together and update for an insightful, content-packed eBook?

These are just a starting place for your eBook topics. Once you have identified a few options for topic and content, consider how to best get that info out there. Unlike blog posts, which get massive traffic from searches, your eBook will need to live on your site as a download or be delivered through an opt-in lead magnet.

Use the ultimate goal of your eBook to drive your decisions here. (A goal to boost your email list, for example, benefits more from having your eBook as an opt-in welcome gift. Share your eBook strategically.)

buyers journey content

Email marketing

Do people still read emails? According to the Content Marketing Institute , 81 percent of B2B marketers say their most used form of content marketing is email newsletters.

When used with high-quality buyer’s journey content (like that eBook we mentioned), you can easily build your list of interested subscribers. Just remember to keep these “top of funnel” subscribers in their own list through segmentation.

You won’t be sending out the same emails to those who are merely interested as those who have been loyal to your brand for some time.

Questions to ask about email marketing include:

  • What would we want people to know about our brand right now? How can that be condensed into a quick email with a link to more information?
  • What new offers or news updates apply to those just learning about our brand?
  • How can we use the email experience to set proper expectations for our brand tone, style, offerings, and customer service experience?
  • What can we say in the first few emails to remind people of how they found us (why they are receiving these emails), why they want to stick around, and what they would be missing if they unsubscribed?

It’s common for top-of-funnel email subscribers to opt out soon after receiving their lead magnet freebie. By keeping this segment separate, you’ll preserve your email open and click-through rates and have a dedicated channel of communication for those who need additional guidance to know you better.

Middle-of-funnel content types

It’s sometimes assumed that the middle of the funnel is where a prospect goes after they’ve been through the top of the funnel, and this is sometimes the case.

Often, prospects start in the middle of the funnel, as they may already be familiar with the brand or offering and are ready to take their research and understanding to the next level.

The following buyer’s journey content types work well for middle-of-funnel marketing.

mofu buyer's journey content types

White papers

Similar in length to eBooks but created with more data, professional tone, and subject matter expertise, the white paper is a go-to for B2B marketing funnels. They are more likely to be used for enterprise offerings and not items marketed to individual consumers.

You may be an ideal fit for white papers if you can answer “yes” to the following questions:

  • Do we have a new product or service that’s difficult to explain in a short-form piece of content?
  • Have we commissioned studies, reports, or other data-backed articles that would help support a future white paper?
  • Do we have a recent history of upward successes that are easily documented through numbers or stats?
  • Is our ideal client someone in the sciences, trades, technology, or an industry where outside expertise is valued?
  • Do we have a direct line to decision-makers who are interested in learning more about their industry?

White papers also make great lead magnets for your B2B marketing funnel. Just make sure to use gated methods for delivering the buyer’s journey content. You want the content to feel exclusive and targeted and not available to just anyone.

buyers journey content

Social media

Social media may not be considered a middle-of-funnel strategy since it’s easy for anyone (even unqualified leads) to see your social feed. When executed well, however, it’s the perfect place to help prospects learn what makes you special.

Use these questions to determine which social channel is best suited for your marketing funnel:

  • What social channels are we already using well? Do we have an established voice that we can build upon?
  • What are other companies in our industry using? For example, if a brand markets to Millennials and is on Snapchat, do we need to be there, too?
  • Do we have existing relationships with any influencers using channels?
  • How does our target market use social today? Where are they primarily located?

While  social media strategy  is an entire subject in itself, knowing where to begin can save you time and frustration. Spend these moments to figure out how your funnel best works on social.

buyers journey content

Drip campaign emails

How do drip campaigns differ from your average email campaign? For one, they are perfectly timed to hit customers at certain places in the buying journey according to that customer’s actions or interests and not necessarily the overall content calendar.

These questions can help you determine if you’re missing out by not using drip campaigns as buyer’s journey content:

  • Do prospects generally perform a particular action before becoming a customer, such as requesting specific information or learning about a new offering?
  • Do we have a library of content that would be useful at various points in the customer journey? If not, could we create one?
  • Do we have data on our customers we can use to trigger email actions? If not, what can we do to collect that data?
  • Is our ideal customer base using email over other communication methods, such as social media or online chat?

Drip campaigns take a bit of strategy to pull off because you need to understand your customer behavior, what motivates them, and how your content can align with those actions. When implemented properly, however, there’s no substitute for an email that seems to appear in an inbox at exactly the right time.

buyers journey content

It may be hard to think that people will still have questions after making it this far into your sales funnel, but those reluctant to buy will always find something to ask.

Beat them to the punch with pre-written answers to common questions that decision-makers at this place in the journey are likely to have. Be creative or even clever with your questions and answers, but be sure their questions get addressed.

Questions to ask with any of these buyer’s journey content types will vary by type, but keep the following in mind:

  • How can we differentiate this content from the top or middle of funnel content? What specific calls to action can we include to help make this content stand out as a decision point?
  • In what ways can we cross-purpose this content to become more than one content type? For example, can we take the transcript from the webinar and create a white paper or blog post series for it?
  • What are the next steps if a prospect doesn’t engage with this content in the way we hope? Do they back into the funnel at a higher point?

Bottom-of-funnel content types

Bottom-of-funnel buyer’s journey content can effectively pull those final levers that turn a looker into a buyer. Because content at this stage is often very detailed, technical, or brand-aligned, it may work best to have internal stakeholders at least be part of the planning process, even if you do outsource much of the written word.

Questions to ask when creating content for bottom-of-funnel will vary by your offering and content type, but they include:

Here are the most common ways to connect with customers in this final part of the funnel:

bofu buyer's journey content types

Product Demos

For some products or services, you have to see them to believe them. Demonstrations take much of the mystery of how things work, giving customers confidence in what they buy.

Demonstrations are moving away from in-person and becoming increasingly virtual, including “walk-through videos” and live, online videos through social media.

buyers journey content

Case studies

Do you have a history of delighted customers who would sing your praises? Are you often getting leads by referral? You may have found your next middle-of-funnel marketing piece in case studies. While these take a while to put together, their ROI is hard to ignore.

Ask yourself these questions to determine your case study’s next steps:

  • What clients can we ask to interview for a case study? What incentives can we provide to motivate them?
  • How have other companies in our industry used case studies?
  • What one objection do we hear from those who decline our offerings? Is this something we can overcome through client testimonies?

Case studies are an incredible asset in dealing with clients who don’t want to be the first to try new offerings. If someone else has “gone first,” it takes away some of the perceived risks. Consider case studies when rolling out updates and to help promote product launches to the general public.

buyers journey content

While a webinar is always a great avenue for gaining interest, webinars at this level of the funnel should be presented as if the attendees are all serious buyers.

Webinars work well for B2B buyer’s journey content like high-end luxury goods that can’t be seen in person and solution-based sales. Be sure to include time for Q&A, a highlight of webinars for many attendees.

buyers journey content

Nurture sequence emails

Yes, there’s that email again. As you’ve guessed, email is appropriate at every stage of the funnel, although bottom-of-funnel messages should be precise, targeted, and include links and embeds to other items on this list.

Offer to schedule a demo, personalized assessment, or call over coffee. This is an effective method to ask for that final meeting where the sale will likely be made.

buyers journey content

Free trials

Free trials are tempting because they offer customers to see under the hood without a long-term financial commitment.

Even if your trial is a scaled-back or “lite” version instead of a shortened full-feature preview, you’ll give your customers the experience needed to give you a final yes or no with this buyer’s journey content type.

buyers journey content

Reviews are absolutely necessary to stand out among your competition.

For local businesses, Google explains that reviews in Google My Business can help your visibility (ranking) in the local pack area of search results:  “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.”

buyers journey content

ROI calculator

Just how much can your customers save? Calculators are an easy win to get customers more interest in a bottom line than anything else.

If you don’t offer the lowest price on the market, be sure your calculator figures in things of added or intrinsic value to make up for the difference.

buyers journey content

Implementation guide

A common obstacle to sales is the old question, “How will I use this thing?” Whether people have technical confusion or are just having a hard time imagining your solution in their lives, an implementation guide gives them assurance in this area.

buyers journey content

Pricing sheet

If you’ve held your prices pretty close to the vest up until now, the bottom of the funnel is an appropriate time to take the veil off your pricing schemes.

In fact, you don’t have to give them exact prices; a general guide will do. Make them feel that they are at least getting further in their fact-finding mission.

How SEO Fits Into Buyer’s Journey Content

Do you know how valuable Google can be for your inbound marketing funnel? It’s actually quite amazing. SEO plays an important role in each part of the funnel and your buyer’s journey content — but not necessarily in the same way in each place.

Using targeted search terms in all your content ensures that you reach the right audience no matter how your leads find you.

Pay attention to how language changes as a prospect moves through the funnel, and adapt your message (including search terms) to match.

A top-of-funnel search may include the phrase “What is metal roofing?” while a middle-of-funnel lead may ask, “How long does it take to install metal roofing?”

A deep understanding of the customer journey is key here. Knowing the different needs at various marketing funnel stages can help you both win the search engine game with more spots on the leaderboard and get leads into the right place in the funnel.

Placement in Your Buyer’s Journey Content Matters

While there are dozens of buyer’s journey content options you can use to reach your ideal customer, knowing where they work best inside the marketing funnel can help you maximize every word.

ClearVoice and its team of 4,000+ experienced freelancers who specialize in 200+ industries are ready to help you create a content plan for success. Talk to a content specialist today to get started.

buyers journey content

The Ultimate Toolkit for Content Operations Management

Content Outsourcing and Brand Consistency

Content Outsourcing and Brand Consistency: How to Stay True to Your Voice

buyers journey content

The Do’s and Don’ts of Outsourcing Content for Your Business

  • Content Production
  • Build Your SEO
  • Amplify Your Content
  • For Agencies

Why ClearVoice

  • Talent Network
  • How It Works
  • Freelance For Us
  • Statement on AI
  • Talk to a Specialist

Get Insights In Your Inbox

  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service
  • Intellectual Property Claims
  • Data Collection Preferences

A Guide on How to Develop Content for Each Stage of the Buyers’ Journey

A Guide on How to Develop Content for Each Stage of the Buyers’ Journey

The “customer journey” refers to the customer’s overall experience when interacting with a brand, from discovery to purchase. Here, emphasis is placed on the customer’s experience–rather than transactions—after interacting with a brand.

A well-designed website, top-notch elements, and an attentive customer care team on call might seem perfect for attracting new customers. But, when customers perceive something wrong with your communication, they are more likely to seek out competitors. Creating a customer experience map can help you understand how your consumers perceive your business. Using the map, you can see where your messaging falls short at each consumer touchpoint.

buyers journey content

Whatever your goal, whether you’re looking to acquire leads, increase sales, or boost conversions, content plays a critical role in moving people through the buying process. Globally, 4.95 billion internet users can be reached through content development plans. Content—be it videos, images, or blogs—is a powerful way to inform your prospects and customers about you and your company. It also assists your company is positioning itself as an expert.

Marketers spend 70% of their time and money on content marketing. It’s hardly surprising then that marketers can achieve a lot with the appropriate material. A content marketing funnel aims to develop content that connects with your target market throughout their buying process. A content development strategy aims to get the seller’s or business’ message into the buyer’s consciousness. Only a small percentage of marketers know how to develop compelling content.

buyers journey content

In this article, we’ll dive into several topics such as developing content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, the importance of a content development strategy, how to create a content development plan, etc. By the end of this article, you will have understood the buyer’s journey and the various stages involved throughout the journey. 

Understanding the Three Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

Businesses frequently concentrate their marketing efforts toward the bottom of the sales funnel to catch customers when they are ready to buy. However, a customer’s trust and business may be won further up the funnel. After all, 96% of website visitors don’t even consider making a purchase.

buyers journey content

If you can gain a prospect’s trust early on, you may later present yourself as the answer to their problem when they are ready to make a purchase decision. By asking the right questions at each stage of the buyer’s journey, you can increase the quality of your leads and get a better return on your marketing efforts.

Prospective customers feel the symptoms of the difficulty they face and try to put a name to it during the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. They have no idea who you are or that you exist. They’re stumbling through the internet, attempting to find out their issue and get a handle on it.

buyers journey content

Companies may fine-tune their marketing efforts to attract the optimal target demographic for their service or product by understanding the buyer’s journey. Sales development personnel can qualify and produce leads by understanding the purchase process, and sales professionals can give the best solutions to potential clients at different stages of their trip.

1. Awareness

The awareness stage begins when a lead becomes aware of a sticking point. This is when clients interact with your firm at the top of the funnel for the first time. Customers will explore the issues they face in the awareness stage, but they will not begin exploring viable solutions. They’ll seek general information about the issue rather than remedies at this stage. They may be aware that they face a problem, but they have no idea what questions to ask about it, let alone the whole extent.

In the beginning, the customer may not even be aware that they have a problem or need. Then, something happens. They have a moment of realization that causes them to find a solution.

Example: The customer’s car breaks down, and to fix the problem, they need a mechanic.

Evaluation and comparison: The client looks at all possible solutions, compares them, and evaluates them.

buyers journey content

Consumers start gathering more general information about their problems or requirement at this point. An example of a potential issue is an operations manager who recognizes that his workplace has to be more organized but is unsure of the best answer for the company.

2. Consideration

During the consideration stage, the buyer will expand on their previous research and begin looking for viable solutions to their problem. Customers are aware that they have an issue and are ready to learn about the various products and services available to solve it at this stage. They are not yet prepared to be sold on one in particular and are attempting to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each.

buyers journey content

You want to generate material that helps these potential consumers view your product or service as a solution to their problem during the consideration stage. By developing consideration-stage material, you may put your products or services on your prospective client’s shortlist of options for dealing with the problem.

Your potential consumers see your product or service as a viable solution to the problem they identified during the awareness stage during the consideration stage.

buyers journey content

Prospective consumers or leads who have reached the consideration stage better understand their problems or requirements and are now evaluating various solutions. They aren’t quite ready to buy since they require some assistance determining the best option.

The consumer then makes a decision based on the information and their priorities.

Example: A customer appreciates your positive ratings and convenient hours and decides to make an appointment.

3. Decision

When buyers reach the decision stage, they have exhausted all other options for resolving their problem and are ready to purchase a particular product or service. To understand more about the product/service and the company, they’ll start reading reviews, testimonials, videos, etc. 

Buyers today want to be well-informed before making a purchase, allowing you to show why you deserve their business. You can also persuade customers that your product can help them by allowing them to try it out for themselves. Demonstrating how your product can improve their lives is the most effective technique to persuade them to buy it.

buyers journey content

A potential buyer begins to communicate with sales rather than marketing at the decision stage. As a result, your sales staff will know which leads turned into customers and which did not. Knowing what types of discounts and content attract the most customers can help you improve your marketing strategies. Therefore, as a marketer, you should always stay in touch with the sales team to refine your marketing efforts.

Customers have decided to buy now that they’ve reached the decision stage. They have completed most of their research at this point and have a good understanding of their concerns and what their ideal solution may look like. They may require additional information on why they should select a specific brand, product, or service from the available options. You should be aware that their decision may be influenced by the facts of the solution on offer and by an emotional component based on affinity and relationship.

The customer’s experience with your products and services was so positive that they recommended you to others.

The customer much appreciated your exceptional customer service. You even got the automobile fixed ahead of time. Customers were ecstatic with their brand experience and raved about it to their friends.

buyers journey content

Consider a moment when you were sick and used the healthcare system in India. You have a painful throat, and after some study, you discover that you have strep throat. As a result, you enter the consideration stage and explore your possibilities for healing or alleviating the symptoms of a sore throat. Finally, when you get to the decision stage, you evaluate which product is the most suitable for you to help you get rid of the sore throat. 

How to Develop Content for Every Stage

You must write focused content to produce qualified leads as part of your sales strategy. Content for the sake of information is similar to cold calling in legacy sales, where you seek quantity over quality in the hopes that one of those calls or pieces of content will suddenly arrive at the target. Most current clients conduct their studies online and even make decisions long before the sales team contacts them, which could be an expensive mistake.

The buyer’s trip, as is visible, can be pretty complicated. Customers are likely to spend time (related to the type of difficulty) researching and accumulating information online to decide unless they are loyal to a brand or service and are aware of the solution they are looking for.

You must first understand the consumers’ language while searching and the kind of material they expect at various phases of the content creation funnel . Customers will use different terminology based on the stage they are currently at in the process. You might find keyword modifiers useful in these kinds of situations:

Awareness: What, Where, How, Who, Why, Improve, Troubleshoot, Resolve

Consideration: Best, Types, Review, Which, Service, Solution

Decision: Brand, Buy, Appointment, Deals, Discount Code, Book, Test

Source  

  • Developing content for the awareness stage 

Customers use Google (and other search engines) to learn more about a topic or obtain information that solves their problem during the awareness stage. Because the client is unlikely to be familiar with your brand, products, or services at this point, the material should be instructive and instructional rather than sales-oriented. 

Blogs, social media postings, videos, infographics, photos, and podcasts are the greatest tools for these stages.

buyers journey content

  • Developing content for the consideration stage

Your potential customers will begin researching the various products and services they feel have a chance of helping them as soon as they see the multiple solutions to their problem. 

Quizzes, webinars, free ebooks or downloadable guides, explainer videos, or webinars are just a few of the types of content you can use to reach your audience at this point. However, the tone and topic of blog posts remain relevant. For example, a blog or video could compare two products or solutions at this stage.

  • Developing content for the decision stage 

With every step of the buyer’s journey, content becomes more specific. Interactivity is generally required for successful content at this stage. When they reach the decision stage, buyers need information regarding their unique and personalized concerns. A brand can provide free trials, live demonstrations, consultations, or coupons at this stage to allow buyers to explore their specific concerns.

Defining the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey describes the steps customers take to learn about, assess, and buy a new product or service. It is a description of a customer’s process for making a purchase. In other words, buyers do not decide to buy in the heat of the moment. Before opting to purchase a new product or service, they go through a process of becoming aware of it, contemplating it, and assessing it.

The buyer’s journey is divided into three stages. The consumer expects something quite different from your brand at each stage of the experience, and having a clear image of your buyer’s journey can help you provide them with the suitable material at the right time.

buyers journey content

Sales agents can better empathize with consumers and offer their products or services along that road by knowing the buyer’s journey, the obstacles and problems they face along the way, and the variables that impact their thinking.

Customers today have access to more information than ever before, allowing them to examine your firm and the services or commodities you offer compared to competitors. However, this also means that you have an early opportunity to earn their trust before considering your competition (or reaching the “provider aware” stage of their trip).

buyers journey content

The “buyer journey” study has two significant limitations. It concentrates solely on clients’ needs (excluding prospective customers). Second, it begins when a person becomes a customer in the first place. It eliminates the “buyer journey” or—as researchers like to call it–“path-to-purchase.”

buyers journey content

Thanks to the internet, consumers can conduct their research on a product online, evaluate brands based on reputation, pricing, and any other variables that they may find helpful, and finally choose a supplier that best suits their needs.

Customers use the buying decision process to make market transaction decisions before, during, and after acquiring a good or service. It can be regarded as a special cost-benefit analysis with numerous options. 

Two notable instances are shopping and deciding what to eat. Decision-making ability is a psychological construct. While a decision cannot be “seen,” we can infer based on observable behavior when a customer has made a decision. One can say that a psychological “decision-making” event has occurred. We presume they have committed to carrying out the action based on the observed activity.

The customer journey funnel is designed to keep and expand existing customers and includes the loyalty stage. 

You have done half your job if you can develop a good content development strategy. The brand that plans its content and maps each type of content to a particular funnel step is said to be the most successful brand. 

An ideal content development plan involves helping prospects throughout the journey from start to finish. Nowadays, people randomly search for whatever products or services you are selling. 

In fact, 71% of customers start their research with a generic search. As laziness takes over customers day by day, they start getting attracted to things that are easy to reach. You can use this information to devise a strategy that you can use to get into your consumers’ minds. 

Key Takeaways

  • You can use a content development strategy to tell your customers your brand’s story and answer their queries.
  • A web content development expert is responsible for developing the website content to be published. 
  • Your marketing and sales strategy should include the buyer’s journey. A buyer’s journey is the path your personas take when they decide to buy something.
  • “Brand sentiment” refers to the emotional content within the website that attracts buyers. Brand sentiment helps convey positive, negative, or neutral feelings.
  • Decision-making is a psychological construct because it involves high risk and requires a commitment to act.
  • A marketing funnel (also known as a purchase funnel) is a content development strategy used to persuade and convince people who usually visit your website to buy the brand’s product and make them your customer.
  • The marketing funnel is flipped upside down to make it a customer experience funnel, which talks about customers’ experiences.
  • It is just not enough to find a solution to a problem. Instead, you should try to be in the buyer’s mind and tackle the problem they face.

The better the customer experience, the more probable it is that they will make a decision and if done right, purchase from you. This way, you will avoid making the same mistakes as traditional salespeople who follow common approaches such as waiting until the prospect is ready to buy or putting the fear of missing out in the customer.

The primary purpose of content development is to provide knowledgable fillings to users. Content development revolves around a systematic approach that calls for researching, writing, gathering, organizing, and editing information before it is ready for publication. 

Identifying a fresh topic, deciding what form you want the material to take, formalizing your approach (keywords or otherwise), and generating it are all steps in the web content development process.

A content development strategy aims to plan, create, deliver, and govern content. A page’s content is not only its words but also its images and multimedia elements.

The content on a website that is easy to read and accessible will reach a wider audience by default. The rules for web development content writing go beyond copywriting. Make sure non-copy components are included in your landing pages and other website content.

Latest Blogs

In this blog, explore the golden rules of using AI marketing tools so you can leverage the benefits to their maximum potential.

In this blog, you’ll learn how to avoid the pitfalls of SEO over-optimization while enhancing your site’s performance.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what AMP is, its advantages and disadvantages, and how it affects SEO.

Get your hands on the latest news!

Liquid Death: From Thirst to Thriving - The Unconventional Rise of a Water Brand

Unhinged or genius? Deconstructing Liquid Death’s Marketing Strategy

Data and Studies

5 mins read

Similar Posts

buyers journey content

Content Strategy

8 mins read

Connect Deeper, Sell Smarter: 7 UGC Campaigns That Transformed Brand-Customer Relationships

buyers journey content

5 Ways to Use Long-form Content in Digital Marketing

What Is Google Perspectives and Its Impact On Content Strategy

What is Google Perspectives and Its Impact on Content Strategy?

ContentBacon-logo1

  • What is Inbound?
  • Should You Outsource or Hire a Writer?
  • How to Design and Execute a Content Strategy
  • SEO Agency Case Study
  • CPA & Business Advisor Case Study
  • Entrepreneur Case Study
  • Food Services Case Study
  • Marketing Agency Case Study
  • Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Marketing
  • Bacon Bits Blog
  • Chewin the Fat CEO & VP Vlog
  • Download ALL of our Free Guides
  • Get Ready Content Bundles
  • Done for You Content Subscriptions
  • Content Easy Button
  • LinkedIn Makeover
  • Website Grader

A Guide to the Buyer's Journey

Buyers are on a journey of discovery. does your content help them find their way.

  • The buyer’s journey commonly has a trio of stages.
  • What you share with a customer is their problem, not your solution.
  • Do you have a sufficient amount of storytelling in place to snag the awareness of prospects?

He created Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He wrote Treasure Island and Kidnapped. Robert Louis Stevenson may be known more for his contributions to literature, but he also rewarded us with a masterful marketing gem. “Everybody lives by selling something,” explained Stevenson. Just what did he mean by that?

We marketers don't have this sole responsibility. Everyone exchanges things of value, in both the literal and metaphorical senses.

There’s a journey involved in that exchange, whether we’re a buyer or a seller. It might be fair to say that this journey is invisible to most people, but it’s important stuff for marketers because it’s our job to create marketing messages that move people along. It’s a tasty morsel that compels someone to take a next step, or directional pin on the map we’re using to navigate the journey.

What gets exchanged varies, but success is measured when the buyer and the seller both feel they’ve received equal value. If you’re a seller, you need to know the framework of this buyer’s journey, because it must align with your marketing. The buyer’s journey commonly has a trio of stages. 

Three stages

What transforms a total stranger who knows nothing about your product or service into a customer? It’s a well-documented process. First, they become aware of you. Then, they evaluate you. Finally, they commit to the purchase of your product or service. 

Let’s get back to Robert Louis Stevenson for a moment. His observation is spot-on because marketers know that successful marketing is storytelling. At each point in the buyer’s journey, we must share the right part of the story to bring people along as they deepen their relationship with your product or service.

The buyer isn’t oblivious to what’s going on. As prospects, we know when someone is trying to sell us. It’s got to happen, but it has to happen on our terms. And we’re pretty good at ignoring the process when it doesn’t happen this way, or we’re not pleased by it. LinkedIn recently published an article about the growing number of ads we’re exposed to . By their reckoning, it was about 500 ads per day in the 1970s. Fast-forward to today, and it’s about 5,000 per day.

We’ve got some help with tamping down that buzz. Nearly 90 million of us use ad blocking software, swatting away about $20 billion worth of paid messages. That begs the question: Which ones do we remember? 

  • Those relevant to a problem we believe we have – which deepens the awareness stage of our buyer’s journey.  
  • Those that might help us consider and evaluate solutions to the problem we’ve validated.
  • Those that provide us with information to make a buying decision . 

We forget the rest. Or worse. We’re angered by their intrusion and we’ll never consider their product or service. Why do some seem to just magically jump out of the noise to grab our attention? They’re relevant, and they capture our attention because of their importance to the first step of the buyer’s journey. 

The awareness stage

This is the one most sellers want to ignore, but they do so at their peril. Your solution might be perfect, but a total stranger probably doesn’t care. At this stage, they’re seeking out more information about their problem. 

Don’t tell me what I need. I’ll decide if your solution is what I need, but first, I want validation that I understand my problem. 

Buyers at the awareness stage don't care about the features and benefits of your product or service – or your competitors’, for that matter. They’re more interested in figuring out the actual problem they have today. They’re looking for perspective. They want to be educated on what to look for to determine the next step in their journey.

Your storytelling for people at this point in their journey must be problem-centric. It has to give them education and perspective. It has to be relevant.

The consideration stage

Buyers are looking for advocates. They crave information that proves you understand their problem. Can you share with them a story about your own experience with that problem? 

You cross the line when you do this. You accompany them to the next step in the process. Your marketing content has educated them. It’s provided perspective. And it was all about the problem – not a solution. At most, it offered suggestions on how to explore and decide upon a solution. 

Thanks for walking beside me and helping me understand the problem. Now I’m ready to evaluate the best way to solve my problem.  

This buyer has crossed over into the consideration stage. Now your storytelling changes to provide informative and educational information about solutions. What specific features should they look for? Why are they important?  

If it sounds like the initial stages of selling, it is. Because at this point if your product or service has the specific feature a buyer should look for (which, of course, it does!) you’re going to point this out. 

The decision stage

This final stage becomes a no-brainer if you’ve nailed the first two stages of the buyer’s journey. You proved you understood the problem and validated their need to solve it. You educated them about how to solve it. Now, along this last part of the journey, you’re a welcome voice. You are actually invited to tell the story of how and why your product or service should be their purchase choice. 

Thank you for not chasing me. I appreciate your help and information. I also feel like I’m the one who found you . With your content, you told me what to look for – and it turns out that you offer exactly what I should get. Imagine that!

The power of inbound marketing in the buyer’s journey

Successful marketers know that we prefer to sell ourselves. This preference is at the heart of inbound marketing. When done correctly, it provides storytelling – also known as content – that accompanies people and helps them traverse each stage of the buyer’s journey. 

Here’s the thing about the buyer’s journey. It never ends. After the purchase, there are further steps in the journey which also involve storytelling. More content helps you to retain customers while inducing them to become your advocate . Who better to sell for you than your satisfied buyers?

Dissect any of Robert Louis Stevenson’s epic stories and you see there’s a variation of the buyer’s journey at the core. The protagonist encounters conflict and becomes aware of a problem. The protagonist defines the problem and considers solutions. And, finally, the protagonist decides to act on the solution. 

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the psychology of these elements. 

Is your content focused on problem-solving? 

A customer mindset is the collection of ideas upon which they base what’s acceptable. As a whole, your mindset determines likes and dislikes, as well as what you’re open to hearing – or completely ignore. And remember, there’s more than ever before to tune out.

Marketers have learned the futility of attempting to get someone with an incongruous mindset to pay attention – let alone become a customer. While it’s remotely possible to change someone’s mind, it’s a challenge that seldom provides a return on the investment. It’s much easier to find and cultivate customers who already share your beliefs. It’s why Facebook replaced its existing Relevance Score with three more granular relevance metrics. Google calls it the Quality Score, but then defines it as, “How closely the elements of your ad campaign match want a person seems to be looking for.” 

What you share with a customer is their problem, not your solution. As a marketer, you have a variety of content created to communicate different things to people at specific points in their journey. How deep is your first level of content? Do you have a sufficient amount of storytelling in place to snag the awareness of prospects? 

Who’s the chaser?

It’s time to reconsider your role – or at least what you think you’re supposed to accomplish as a marketer. Your awareness-oriented content for this part of the buyer’s journey might cast a net. At this point, your net doesn’t mean much. If your goal is relevance, you want to end up in the prospect’s net. You want them to be pleased with their discovery. 

It’s their journey. You need to be invited to come along, and then ultimately be promoted to become the guide. Prospects want you to prove that you really did experience the same frustration – or even pain – that they’re currently feeling. And for one specific reason. If you can’t prove you’ve been there too, why should a prospect believe your product or service can provide a solution? Your storytelling needs to do three things to get that invitation. 

Attract, Engage , and Delight

Inbound marketing is the digitally enhanced Yin to traditional advertising’s analog Yang. It positions you as a blip on the radar screen when a prospect searches for the solution to their problem. It’s not about push. It’s about pull. It’s about telling stories creatively crafted to be at the right place at the right time in the buyer’s journey to attract qualified prospects, convert them to customers, and delight them so they come back for more – and bring others with them.

Not everybody’s going on this journey. If you’ve done your buyer persona homework, you know precisely what the perfect customer looks like – which also means you know what they’re searching for as prospects. 

The content you create to attract them and raise your awareness is highly focused and relevant. It makes no apologies for being uninteresting to most people – but it’s likely they’ll never see it, anyway. It’s attractive because it’s about the problem your brand solves. It educates and offers perspective. It’s an inbound journey. This accompaniment for the buyer on their journey attracts them to you because of what you share with them. It’s the problem. Not your solution. 

Engage 

You’ll transform a prospect into a customer by offering more content that converts and closes as you move along the buyer’s journey. Your content for engagement must be interactive. 

Think of the concept of engagement as a conversation that encourages people to start taking your brand and the solution it offers for a test ride. They’re no longer strangers because you’ve already demonstrated that you understand their problem. What’s more, you’ve shared content with them which explains why you are an expert on the subject. 

You’ve earned the right to ask them for a certain level of commitment so you can provide them with even more relevant information to help them decide on the best solution. The more information they share with you, the more personalized experience you provide for them when they visit your website. 

The relationship has matured the point where you’ve earned the right to talk about yourself. The content you’ll share becomes more valuable, too. Your content can pivot to become solution-centric. It helps people put your solution into their worldview by showing them how others have done it. It’s a generous offering of whitepapers, eBooks, case studies, and webinars. Every offer has the ultimate objective of deepening trust and widening the opportunity for two-way communication. 

The sales funnel isn’t dead yet, even though some reports may say as such. But you should be prepared. There is something better than the sales funnel. 

Remember the discussion about flywheels from your high school physics class? It’s a heavy wheel used to increase and maintain momentum. Flywheels store energy and prevent stalling. They also make much more sense than a funnel for marketers. 

After all, you’ve accompanied the buyer on their journey all the way from stranger to purchaser. Do they just fall out of the bottom of the sales funnel? 

It makes more sense to consider that your role in the journey continues. Just as it is more efficient to be problem-centric, there’s a higher ROI in being relationship-centric. That’s the beauty of converting your sales funnel into a flywheel . You have the opportunity to remind customers that you both once shared the same problem. How else can you help them? What else can you offer them? How can you show them that you are just as delighted as they are about the relationship?

Make sure this content is sharable. It’s time to capture some of the energy that went into attracting, engaging, and delighting – and divert it to the flywheel. Customer delight converts efficiently into word-of-mouth recommendations – which might as well be the perpetual motion machine of marketing. 

Walk in my shoes

The buyer’s journey becomes a well chronicled tale over time, especially when your accompaniment is relevant content that helps them complete that journey. Like great literature, the story of that journey gets shared by those who undertake it. Your content is what powers the flywheel which in turn generates opportunity for others to be introduced to the adventure. 

Read more tasty stories about content marketing.  

How's your current content plan?

We're offering a no strings attached content assessment. Have our experts provide you a free evaluation of your content plan and we'll provide you some free strategy on how to optimize. On the house (really).

Related Blogs

Navigating paths of growth and wisdom: a year of a side of bacon.

Today, we're excited to share with you a special roundup of Wendy's LinkedIn Newsletter, "A Side of Bacon”. This is more than just a collection of articles;..

Bacon Bits of Wisdom: The 2023 Roundup

As we wrap up another year of innovative ideas and insightful strategies, it's time to take a journey through our 2023 article collection.

Grasping Audience-Centric Content: Understand Your Audience and Nurture Buyer Personas

Do you truly know your audience? Learn how to craft detailed buyer personas and tailor your content to the right people. Key takeaways

ContentBacon-logo1

QUICK LINKS

  • Subscriptions

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

© 2024 All rights reserved

buyers journey content

Clariant Creative Agency, LLC

  • Inbound Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Lead Generation Websites
  • HubSpot Marketing Automation
  • Success Stories
  • Ebooks, Templates & Toolkits
  • Guide to Digital Marketing Reports
  • How to Launch a Podcast
  • Marketer's Guide to Buyer Personas
  • Guide to Pillar Pages & Topic Clusters
  • How to Create a B2B Content Strategy

Buyer Journey Mapping in 7 Easy Steps [EXAMPLES + TEMPLATE]

Apr 15, '22 / by Beth Carter

Share on Facebook

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally written by Christina Bockisch and published in 2018. We have refreshed and updated the post to include more helpful examples!

I had just moved to Boston. In November. My legs were freezing, cold air was whistling up the back of my jacket and I couldn’t stop shivering.

I recognized I had a problem, so I turned to Google to do some research. I read a couple of articles and browsed some different styles of jackets. Soon I realized the best solution for me was a parka, instead of the warm-but-too-short jacket I currently had. So, I braved the Boston cold, went to multiple stores all over the city, and found a thick The North Face parka that saved me from freezing.

In other words, I completed my buyer’s journey.

In the story above, my buyer’s journey began the moment I realized I had a problem: I’m cold. I then went on to define my problem: My short jacket doesn’t keep my legs warm enough. Next, I identified a solution: I need a parka. And finally, I chose the right brand to solve my problem: The North Face.

It’s a simple example, sure. But whether you’re selling something as straightforward as winter jackets or as complex as SAP cybersecurity software, it’s important to understand how your potential customers think about their pain points as they move through this buyer’s journey and make their buying decision. This enables you to create content that directly aligns to each stage in that journey, which in turn enables you to deliver a far superior customer experience. And yet, it’s surprising how many B2B marketers ignore the buyer’s journey in their content strategy process.

What is the buyer’s journey?

The buyer’s journey describes the process your buyers go through as they become aware of a problem, evaluate potential solutions to their problem, and ultimately decide on the specific solution that’s right for them.

In marketing terms, we think of these stages of the buyer’s journey as:

  • Awareness stage
  • Consideration stage
  • Decision stage

Awareness Stage

In the awareness stage, a person is experiencing symptoms of their pain point, but they don’t quite understand exactly what their problem is. Their goal at this stage is to help your customer more clearly define the problem they’re experiencing.

  • I have a sore throat. Am I getting sick?
  • I’m not getting enough traffic to my website. Why?
  • Our production machinery is getting old. Is it time to replace it?

To create content that helps buyers in the awareness stage, focus on addressing pain points, challenges and goals at a relatively high level. Make sure the content is informative and resist the urge to start selling the buyer on your particular solution to their problem. Keep it low pressure.

Useful content like guides, blog posts, infographics, and quizzes will help your buyers wrap their heads around their pain points, so they can figure out what their next step should be.

Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, the person understands what the problem is and begins researching possible solutions.

  • I have all the symptoms of strep throat. Should I see a doctor, or should I try a home remedy?
  • My website is not properly optimized for search engines. Would it help to start a blog?
  • We should begin planning now to replace our machinery next year. What features of a new model will be important for us?

Businesses often struggle with creating consideration stage content because it feels like the right time to start promoting your business as the best solution. Don’t! Instead, the consideration stage is the perfect opportunity to serve up in-depth content that acknowledges different approaches that could possibly work for the buyer. Among these options, you can still (subtly) position your company as the best solution.

Consideration-stage content is also a terrific way to identify potential good-fit leads – the buyers who are right for your business and can benefit from product or service you sell.

Decision Stage

In the decision stage, the person has settled on a specific approach and is putting together a short list of vendors to possibly buy from. Their goal here is to narrow down that list and ultimately make a final buying decision.

  • I think I should go to urgent care. Here are the urgent care centers near me that also accept my insurance.
  • I would like to blog, but I need help. Here is a list of three agencies that might be a good fit for me.
  • We need better production automation capabilities. Here are the models on the market today that offer what we need.

With decision-stage content, you can finally openly promote your product or service. Show how you solve your buyer’s problems and explain why your option is the best approach. Be honest yet humble, and wherever possible back up any claims with data. For example, rather than unprovable statements like “We are the best in the market,” instead try to be more specific: “We have a 4.9 out of 5 rating on this industry site” or “We helped Company XYZ grow by 50% last year.”

Data sheets, comparison blog posts, case studies, ROI calculators, and buying guides are powerful content for the decision stage.

An important note about the buyer’s journey stages

In an ideal world, every person would move through the buyer’s journey exactly the way I described above – in a straight line from awareness to consideration to decision. And as they move through that journey, they’d have all the information they needed to make a purchase decision once they arrive at the decision stage.

Unfortunately, real life is rarely so neat and tidy.

People today don’t always move through this journey in a linear fashion. Buyers are human. They’ll jump around, skip stages, and sometimes go backwards rather than forward. They can even get all the way to the decision stage only to realize they misidentified their pain point, which means they have to start the whole buying journey process all over again.

Your job as a marketer is to plan for as many of these situations as possible. The best way to do this is to create a content strategy that covers all the stages of the buyer’s journey. This will ensure that no matter where someone is in their specific journey, when they find your brand, they’ll find all the information they need to make an informed buying decision.

Related Content: Content With Purpose: How to Align Content to the Buyer’s Journey

7 steps for mapping the buyer’s journey.

Now that you have a better understanding of what the buyer’s journey is, here is a helpful buyer journey framework for you to follow when building your content strategy.

1. Define your buyer personas.

I think I say this every time I write a blog, but if you haven’t already created your buyer personas, stop what you’re doing and create them now. Seriously.

If you don’t know who your buyers are – and specifically if you don’t know your buyer persona’s challenges, questions, and goals they’re trying to accomplish – you’ll have a hard time creating a buyer journey map and accurately aligning your content to that journey.

For guidance on getting started with buyer personas, check out this post that highlights specific questions to ask during buyer persona interviews.

These sample buyer persona templates may also be helpful.

Okay, so let’s assume you have your buyer personas fully identified and documented. Now you’re ready to start building your journey map.

2. What are your most important buyer persona challenges?

To map the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, first, identify the obstacles and problems that prevent your buyer from accomplishing their goals.

Next, think about how your buyer first begins to realize this obstacle or problem even exists. What challenges begin to emerge? What concerns do they begin to have? What puts this on their radar?

There will be a lot to think about here, so write it all down. (Side note: Now would be a good time to download the Buyer’s Journey Toolkit we provided above. Trust me, it’ll help tremendously.)

3. What are all the possible solutions to these problems?

To map the consideration stage of the buying journey, think about the different approaches your buyer might consider as they try to figure out how to solve their problem. After all, there’s usually more than one way to skin a cat. Is there a do-it-yourself approach? Are there off-the-shelf solutions? Or does the problem require something more specialized or customized?

As the buyer explores these different solutions, what questions will be top of mind for them? What concerns will they likely have?

4. What other companies offer your type of solution?

To map the decision stage of the buying journey, list the other companies that offer a type of solution comparable to yours. (I’ll admit that thinking about your competitors is no fun, but it needs to be done.)

What questions will your buyer have when they vet each of these competitors? How will they evaluate these options? Which features will be most important to their decision?

For example: Your buyer might quickly cross “do nothing” off the list. But they’ll also probably look closely at all their software options, looking at things like cost, functionality, and ease of use. They might conduct a few demos to get a feel for how the different software options work.

Similarly, they might start building a short list of IT service providers. They might look for case studies to see how the different service providers work. And they might even contact you for a consultation to see if you’d be a good fit for them.

5. Identify points of friction along the buyer’s journey.

Whew – you’ve mapped out the awareness, consideration and decision stages of the buyer’s journey. Congratulations! But your work isn’t done quite yet.

What might prevent the buyer from moving smoothly from one stage to the next? What challenges do they encounter during their journey? What might cause them to move backward? What might prevent them from making a purchasing decision?

And what can you do to ensure this doesn’t happen and that you’re providing the smoothest customer experience possible?

This is going to require you to think hard about what your buyers are actually doing rather than what you hope they’re doing. But by identifying these possible points of friction that might prevent a buyer from becoming a customer, you’ll be able to create content that truly helps and sells.

6. How does your existing content fit into this buyer’s journey?

You likely already have some content on your website, like blogs, ebooks, guides, consultations and more. Audit your existing content , and think about where each piece falls in in this customer experience map. Which content addresses pain points and challenges at a high level? Which content is focused on specific solutions? Which content proactively sells your business as the right partner?

Don’t rush through this step.

Once you have a good handle on what role your content can play, map each piece of content to the corresponding stage of the buyer’s journey.

7. Create new content to fill in the gaps.

Now that you know where your existing content fits into the buyer’s journey, identify any gaps. Many B2B marketers find they have a lot of awareness-stage and decision-stage content but that they don’t have enough consideration-stage content. Don’t stress – this is totally normal.

As you strategize how to fill in these content gaps, we recommend starting at the end of the buyer’s journey and moving backward. In other words, first create your decision-stage content, then consideration, and then awareness. This accomplishes two things: First, it helps you keep your eye focused on converting buyers into customers . And second, it ensures that for every new content piece you create, you already have a “next step” to point to.

For example, if you first create a decision-stage vendor comparison checklist and then you create a consideration-stage ebook, when a buyer downloads the ebook you're able to share your vendor comparison checklist with the buyer as a natural next step. But if you start by creating the ebook, you won’t have any next-step content ready to share with those buyers.

As you’re creating all this new content, continually refer back to your buyer journey map. Make sure each piece of content addresses the specific questions, challenges, and goals your buyers have at each stage of the game.

When you do this, you’ll provide helpful, valuable and relevant information that provides your buyers with the information they need when they need it and reduces friction along the way – ultimately leading to happy, satisfied customers who will turn into promoters of your brand.

Now that you know what the buyer’s journey looks like for your customers, it’s time to create content for each stage of this journey. Download our free editorial calendar template and start planning your content today!

Download the Editorial Calendar Template

Topics: Content Marketing , Strategy

Beth Carter

Written by Beth Carter

I love to write and I'm a total grammar freak. I also passionately believe that conversational, approachable and insightful content can help people solve real problems and can make a real difference in the world.

Related Blog Posts

7 Tips to Keep Your Content Marketing Strategy on Track

buyers journey content

Content With Purpose: How to Align Content to the Buyer’s Journey

buyers journey content

A 5-Step Guide to Conducting a Full Content Audit for Your Website

Browse Posts by Topic:

Subscribe to receive all our latest content right in your inbox., get social with us, [fa icon="facebook-square"] [fa icon="linkedin-square"] [fa icon="twitter-square"].

Clariant Creative is a full-service inbound marketing agency based in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL.

We help businesses create clarity in their marketing, so they can help their clients move forward with confidence.

Platinum HubSpot Solutions Partner Program

Our Services

  • Inbound Marketing Services
  • Content Marketing Services

Clariant Creative Agency, LLC

[fa icon="phone"]  630-330-9825

[fa icon="envelope"]    [email protected]

[fa icon="map-marker"]  1468 Ambleside Circle, Naperville IL 60540

Popular Posts

buyers journey content

  • Gartner client? Log in for personalized search results.

Insights / Tech and Service Providers / Article

How to deliver relevant content across the technology buyer journey.

October 22, 2021

Contributor: Ashutosh Gupta

Take these three steps to maintain content relevancy and improve engagement and conversion.

If you’re a buyer looking for thought-leadership content on industry trends but receive a product marketing video instead, chances are you’ll never buy from that company again.

A poorly planned buyer journey can rapidly deter an otherwise good potential customer. Providing the wrong content at the wrong time — or the right content at the wrong time — interferes with buyers’ decision-making, lengthens the buying process and lowers conversion rates.

Download infographic: Do tech marketers know how to reach their buyers?

As a technology product marketer, you rely on buyer personas to understand buyer demographics and other profile traits as well as how they approach the buying process. While personas do capture a buyer’s overall concerns and needs, they identify neither specific content requirements nor the information buyers seek during the different stages of their journey. This creates content gaps, and technology marketers end up giving out-of-context information to buyers.

“When product-centric messaging is presented to buyers at the wrong time, contextual information goes missing and technology product marketers fail to create a sense of urgency among buyers,” says Suzanne White, VP Analyst, Gartner. “This also leaves informational gaps pertaining to industry trends and other priorities that are important to buyers.” It's vital to prioritize content relevancy throughout the buyer’s journey. Do so by taking these three action steps to engage buyers with contextual information at every stage and improve your conversion rate. 

Download eBook: Balance Product Marketing Strategy and Execution

1. Capture the essential questions of technology buyers

Technology buyers have different sets of questions and concerns at each stage of their journey. At the exploration stage, they assess priorities relative to key market trends, and scope requirements for improving their situation before adopting a technology. They may also want to k now what their peers or competitors are doing .

In the early stages of their journey, technology buyers may ask:

  • What concerns CIOs the most in the manufacturing industry, and where are they making investments in technology?
  • As healthcare delivery evolves, what are customer experience (CX) leaders doing to support more distributed patient and provider experiences?

At the evaluation stage, they want to shortlist vendors and assess the relevance, feasibility and impact of available options. 

As they reach the engagement stage, buyers’ focus shifts to product-specific information such as performance, implementation, service and support. They are eager to know what actions are required for a successful implementation and what the experience will be like after their organization adopts a technology solution.

In the later stages of their journey, they may ask:

  • Is this product compatible with our existing systems?
  • Can we customize the solution to fit our business?
  • Are there any migration tools?

Consider these questions when gathering buyers’ insights and defining the motivations and objectives of your buyer personas. Interview internal subject matter experts and customers, or hire a third party to interview both buyers and non-buyers in a quest for unbiased answers. Based on the insights, review your content and categorize your offerings or CTAs for each stage of the technology buyer journey.

Register for webinar: Optimize Demand Generation Marketing Mix for Tech & Service Providers

2. Create a common campaign theme for the buyer’s journey

Effective buyer experiences that engage and move buyers through the journey are delivered through multi-touch campaign strategies. Avoid out-of-context CTAs in your marketing programs , like asking for a meeting too soon or offering isolated content downloads that aren’t aligned with buyers’ journey stage, which only creates confusion.

Instead, align your messaging, CTAs and content with a common campaign theme that focuses on buyer outcomes and market trends. 

Adopting Gartner’s situation-impact-resolution (SIR) storytelling format can help create a sense of urgency among buyers by:

  • acknowledging their dilemma and pain points.
  • highlighting the impact of their existing situation on the bottom lines.
  • calling out the consequences if they continue with the status quo.
  • suggesting an action.

situation-impact-resolution (SIR) storytelling format

Address technology buyers in a way that highlights their missed opportunities and the shortcomings of their existing solutions and approaches. Suggest the right action at the right step of their journey; otherwise, some of them may drop off and disengage.

3. Align your content with the buyer’s industry and role

A recent Gartner survey found that thought leadership content was an important motivating factor for 26% of technology buyers when engaging with technology provider solutions in the early stages of their journey. This includes content focused on future industry trends, the future of a buyer’s functional role and the future of technology.

While it’s easy to provide product-specific details, creating thought leadership content on emerging trends may enlisting require industry-specific research specialists or third-party agencies. When creating your content strategy, consider both your in-house expertise and outside resources. List out the content types you want to outsource and those you wish to produce in-house.

Your content should aid and expedite buyers’ decision making by presenting insights and data at the right time. Don’t rush or drag technology buyers into your story — instead present content offers that include information representing a path to value.

Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference

Join the leading technology and service provider peers to get an update on accelerating tech growth in a new era of transformation and technology trends.

Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:

Improve Buyer Engagement and Conversion by Adding Journey Context to Personas

The B2B Customer Life Cycle for Technology Products and Services

Targeting With Buyer Situation Data Improves Conversion Through the Funnel

*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.

Get Exclusive Content

Leadership vision for high tech leaders, demand generation primer for 2023, drive maximum roi in 2024 with field marketing planning, subscribe to the latest insight.

By clicking the "Continue" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

  • Audit and Risk
  • Customer Service and Support
  • Technology/Service Providers
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology Professional
  • Investment Professional
  • Legal and Compliance
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Marketing at a Technology/Service Provider
  • Procurement
  • Research and Development
  • Supply Chain

Please provide the consent below

I have read, understood and accepted Gartner Separate Consent Letter , whereby I agree (1) to provide Gartner with my personal information, and understand that information will be transferred outside of mainland China and processed by Gartner group companies and other legitimate processing parties and (2) to be contacted by Gartner group companies via internet, mobile/telephone and email, for the purposes of sales, marketing and research.

By clicking the "Subscribe" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Explore deep-dive content to help you stay informed and up to date

Gartner emerging tech impact radar: 4 most critical themes for product leaders, the gartner 2024 general manager leadership vision, apply generative ai for new competitive advantages, ask the expert: the art of the 1-page strategy - 4 simple steps to success, 5 steps to create a portfolio brand strategy that shifts market perceptions, the art of the 1-page strategy: 4 simple steps for success, drive stronger performance on your mission-critical priorities..

The Buyer’s Journey: Everything You Need to Know

The Buyer’s Journey: Everything You Need to Know

Casey O'Connor

What Is the Buyer’s Journey?

What are the buyer’s journey stages, why is it important to understand the buyer’s journey, how to align your inbound marketing strategy with the buyer’s journey.

In today’s increasingly buyer-driven sales landscape, a seller’s knowledge of their buyer’s journey is more important than ever.

Sales reps need to have an intimate understanding of how buyers make purchasing decisions in order to organically guide them through the process.

The buyer’s journey is a framework that represents the path a buyer takes in researching, understanding and naming their problem, and identifying the product that will provide their solution. 

In this article, we’ll go over the ins and outs of the buyer’s journey, including why it’s so important to understand and how to align your marketing campaigns with the three main stages. 

Here’s what we’ll cover: 

The buyer’s journey is a framework that outlines how buyers arrive at a purchasing decision.

The framework is broken down into stages. It starts from the moment a buyer starts to realize they have a problem that needs fixing and ends after they’ve decided on a vendor and made their purchase. 

The Buyer's Journey

The framework allows sellers and marketers to leverage the knowledge of how a buyer makes decisions in order to best align it with their outreach and nurture strategies.

Although specific customer needs and behaviors vary slightly from business to business, the buyer’s journey is almost always broken down into three main stages: awareness, consideration, and evaluation. 

Some sales and marketing professionals advocate for a longer buyer’s journey — one that captures the way a company continues to provide value to the client after they sign on. As seen below :

The Buyer's Journey

For the purposes of this article, we’ll stick with the three primary, well-known stages. That being said, it’s essential that sales, marketing, and customer success teams aspire to provide ongoing outstanding service to their existing clients; do not neglect the “Delight” stage just because it’s not commonly shown in the diagram. 

The better your marketing and sales teams understand the delineations between the three stages of the buyer’s journey, the better they can curate content that will guide each potential customer through the funnel authentically and efficiently. 

Awareness Stage

When buyers are in the awareness stage, they are likely only just discovering that they have a problem. They pursue further information about the symptoms they’re experiencing and seek to give their problem a name. Buyers in this stage are least likely to purchase in the immediate future.

Sales and marketing content for buyers in this stage should be informational and focused on answering questions or clearing up any confusion. Content might also be entertaining or inspiring. Whatever you do, though, avoid pushing your brand too heavily toward these buyers; over-zealous pitch attempts will turn them off.  

During this stage, the goals of marketing and sales should be to generate and segment new website visitors and establish a brand reputation of advisory and expertise. 

Sales and marketing teams can track how engaged leads are during this stage through metrics like the number of new visitors and total pixelated audience. They can also use data from this stage to create retargeting lists for further nurturing. 

Awareness Stage Example

Let’s look at this more carefully with an example:

A B2C customer wakes up and notices that their jaw is popping when they yawn for the third time that week. It’s an irritating problem, and one that the customer feels ready to tackle. In the awareness stage, they might search for a generic, symptom-based keyword like “Jaw pops when I wake up.” They are not yet looking for a solution; they are learning more about their problem so that they can consider the appropriate solutions.

Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, buyers have identified their problem and are now researching ways to solve it. They are still not quite ready to buy, though. They are evaluating potential solutions, and they need further guidance in determining the best way to solve the problem.

The content available for buyers in this stage should still be informational in nature, but you may start branching out to more technical or comparative analysis. Just make sure it’s authentic and not too pushy — the focus should be on the ROI of choosing something like your product, not necessarily your brand itself. 

The goals of this stage are to continue nurturing relationships, gather email addresses , and build a steady following on social media. Sales and marketing can track returning visitors, banner CTA click-through rates, and visitor recency. 

Consideration Stage Example

Let’s go back to our jaw-popper example:

This person now knows that they have dysfunction of the joints in the jaw. In the awareness stage, they learned that TMJ could be caused by various things — chewing too much gum or trauma, for example. They know that neither of those causes applies to them; during the consideration stage, they might pursue options related to nighttime grinding of the teeth. They might Google, “How to stop grinding teeth at night,” which brings back a blog post from a mouthguard company detailing the pros and cons of a mouthguard versus Botox versus physical therapy.

Decision Stage

In the decision stage, buyers have identified their preferred solution and are now evaluating the final contenders for specific products to solve their problem.

Sales reps and marketers can steer prospects toward choosing their product with content like case studies, demos, and testimonials.

The goals here are to maximize funnel conversion by converting leads to customers.

Decision Stage Example

At this stage, our example buyer might Google, “Best mouth guards for mild TMJ.” They are now ready to start actively comparing and selecting brands from whom they plan to purchase.

On its face, the buyer’s journey framework seems surprisingly simple and straightforward. It’s also a huge buzzword in sales; it’s easy to write this concept off as “ Sales 101 ” without giving it too much deep thought. 

But sellers need to consider the buyer’s journey in the context of how the average buyer makes purchases today:

  • 72% of buyers use Google to do their research on pain points and products
  • 67% of a buyer’s decision is determined through independent research, long before they ever reach out to sales
  • 99% of buyers report that they would be happy to buy products through a more self-service model and would be comfortable doing so with a budget of up to $50,000

Sellers can use what they know about the buyer’s journey to align their pipeline accordingly.

The Buyer's Journey: Sales Pipeline

In other words, the buyer’s journey framework enables marketers and salespeople to leverage what they know about their personas’ buying habits and subsequently meet them where they are with the appropriate content to foster the buying process. 

Customized Content

The more you know about how a prospect behaves throughout their path to purchase, the better you can tee up content that answers the exact questions they have.

The buyer’s journey helps sellers create digital marketing strategies intended to guide prospects according to their own needs and timeline rather than force their hands.

Lead Qualification

A funnel designed alongside the buyer’s journey will make the process of lead qualification fast and easy.

Marketers and sellers can gauge how ready a prospect may be by analyzing how they interact with your content marketing along the buyer’s journey. Tailored content can also expedite the process of churning poor fits.

Mindset Shift

With buyers taking the lion’s share of product research nowadays, it’s imperative that salespeople not become pushy with over-the-top pitches. Instead, salespeople should adopt the mindset of a trusted advisor or industry expert.

The buyer’s journey allows salespeople to shift their mindset from one of selling to one of helping by providing them a framework for the kinds of questions customers will ask when looking for a solution to their problem. 

The following steps will help you use the buyer’s journey framework to enhance your marketing strategies.

1. Define Your Buyer Persona

In order to fully understand the path your buyer takes to purchase, you first need to understand the buyer themself.

ideal customer profile and buyer persona

2. Understand the Journey Your Buyers Take

Once you’ve mapped your various buyer personas , you can use current customer data to help you understand how your most successful customers came to be.

Where did they start within the funnel? How did they find your brand? What content or marketing efforts resonated with them most, which helped convert them to the subsequent stages? You can reverse engineer your best accounts to figure out how they ultimately landed on your brand. 

3. Map Content to the Buyer’s Journey

When you’ve nailed down the exact content and persuasions your buyers need at the various stages of the buyer’s journey, you can create content that’s specifically designed to fill those gaps.

You can then structure your funnel with readily available content and linked to specific keywords. The more automation you can bring to this process, the better.

Following this process will allow sellers the ability to nurture all good-fit leads toward conversion. A whopping 96% aren’t ready to buy when they first encounter your brand, so having the right content at the right time is imperative.

The Buyer's Journey: Awareness Stage, Consideration Stage, Decision Stage

The following are some rules of thumb to consider when it comes to designing content for your buyer’s journey. Of course, there are exceptions to these depending on specific company goals and operations; always ensure that sales and marketing strategy and execution are aligned to hit your targets most efficiently.

Potential buyers in the awareness stage are at the top of the funnel. The goal of content in the awareness stages is to encourage buyers to view your brand as a trusted source of information.

Blog posts are a great way to deliver vendor-neutral educational content. Many companies rely on them, and for a good reason — Research shows companies that blog generate 55% more traffic than companies that don’t.

You might also consider informational content like how-to videos and infographics .

Consideration

In the consideration stage, marketers will want to offer highly valuable content. In fact, the content should be so high-quality that you could consider charging for it. 

Avoid the temptation of keeping your best content behind lock-and-key, and instead, think about how to make the transaction work for both parties. You could, for example, offer up a well-researched ebook in exchange for a prospect’s email address. Guides, tip sheets, and templates are also great content resources for buyers in the consideration stage.

When buyers reach the decision stage, they are looking for a reason to say yes. Give them the assurances they need through data-backed content like white papers and reports or social proof in the forms of testimonials and case studies. Webinars are another powerful tool in pushing buyers over those last hurdles. 

In the decision stage, it’s okay for content to be more on the persuasive side — but, as always, it should also be authentic and honest.

Here’s a more comprehensive list of the different types of content your team might use throughout the buyer’s journey:

The Buyer's Journey: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase

Has your team mapped your buyer’s journey yet? What benefits have you reaped from the process?

If you haven’t, start by outlining your buyer persona and use that to begin forming your buyer’s journey framework.

Get sales tips and strategies delivered straight to your inbox.

Yesware will help you generate more sales right from your inbox. Try our Outlook add-on or Gmail Chrome extension for free, forever!

Hit your number every month

Works on Outlook or Gmail (+ many more integrations)

Related Articles

How Quickly Should You Contact Inbound Leads?

How Quickly Should You Contact Inbound Leads?

buyers journey content

How to Leverage Sales Collateral in The Buyer’s Journey [Examples]

buyers journey content

Jenny Keohane

37 Best Lead Databases for 2024 (Pros, Cons, Pricing)

37 Best Lead Databases for 2024 (Pros, Cons, Pricing)

Sales, deal management, and communication tips for your inbox

We're on a mission to help you build lasting business relationships.

75 Kneeland Street, Floor 15 Boston, MA 02111

[email protected]

buyers journey content

site logo

Constant Content Blog

Creating content for all 4 stages of the buyer’s journey.

Posted November 20, 2017 by Isaac Justesen in Content Marketing

buyers journey content

Updated April 2019

As competition continues to grow for online customers, content marketing is more important than ever before for any growing brand. However, many businesses are still failing to engage with prospects at appropriate times in the sales cycle.

To gain the competitive advantage, brands need to develop a content strategy that is aligned with the buyer’s journey, to attract and engage content-hungry consumers with the right content at the right time.

Put simply, the buyer’s journey is the process a prospect goes through leading up to a purchase. It can vary depending on the brand, its products, and its services, but the fundamentals remain the same: consumers become aware of a problem, consider their options, make a decision, and then judge the outcome.

For content marketers, the challenge is to deliver relevant and engaging content to prospects that are at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Here, we’ll describe these different stages of the customer journey and look at how to create and optimize content for each stage.

We’ll start with an overview of the different stages of the buyer’s journey explore each step in-depth.

The Four Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

Buyer-Journey-Graphic

1. Awareness

At this stage, potential customers are realizing some kind of problem or need and are open to solutions. They often perform research to understand the issue better and to define it in more precise terms.

Content types found at this stage in the buyer’s journey include:

  • Social posts
  • Research studies
  • Analyst reports
  • eBooks and eGuides
  • White papers
  • Educational content

2. Consideration

Buyers have now clearly defined their need and are considering available options. Although they may be aware that your business offers a solution, they’re not yet ready to commit. They are still evaluating potential opportunities, comparing prices and determining which are most likely to be able to fulfill their need.

In this stage, the most relevant types of content include:

  • Comparison papers and articles
  • Expert guides
  • Case studies

3. Decision

This is the point at which buyers will choose which product to purchase. As they may gather information to reinforce their preferred option, content can now be more brand-specific, highlighting your unique value proposition and competitive advantages.

Typical content at this stage includes:

  • Vendor and product comparisons
  • Product literature and demonstrations
  • Testimonials
  • Product reviews

Finally, your customers have made their purchase. However, this is not the end of your content marketing. Most buyers will be interested in best practices and guides to make sure they continually get value out of your product or service.

The ideal types of content to keep customers engaged include:

  • User guides
  • Product-focused articles
  • Product updates
  • Customer newsletters
  • Promotions and loyalty programs
  • News and event details

buyers journey content

1. The Awareness Stage

At this stage, potential customers become aware of a problem and begin looking for information on products or services to help them solve it. They may not have heard of your company, so you need to help them find you by delivering relevant content to the right channels. If you get it right, this is when buyers will first discover and interact with your brand.

Where to Connect

Improving your organic search engine rankings remains one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and drive potential customers to your website. According to a Pardot study,  70 percent of buyers  turn to Google while in the research stage. This makes it incredibly important to create content that will improve your Google rankings and overall search engine presence.

At this point, you should be developing your content assets across various online platforms, including your website, blog, and social media channels.

[irp posts=”32133″ name=”30+ Places You Should Be Sharing Your Content (2018 Update)”]

Creating Content for the Awareness Stage

Content should address industry topics and answer questions frequently asked by your  target audience . The goal is to introduce your brand’s personality, inform buyers, and leave them wanting more.

Examples of awareness stage content:

  • Social media posts
  • Infographics
  • Videos and podcasts
  • Cheat sheets

By publishing different types of content on your website and social media channels, you’ll establish your company as a  credible source of information . This will encourage people to link to your website and share your content, which in turn helps to boost your rankings in search engines.

buyers journey content

Optimizing Copy for Awareness Stage Buyers

The first step in creating awareness-stage content is to define your target audience. One effective strategy is to create two or three buyer personas – fictional representations of your ideal customer. Think about what problems they face, their goals, and the terminology they use.

Create an  editorial calendar  with a variety of content that aligns with the needs and interests of each persona. Every piece of content should be relevant to one of the personas, answering questions they may have.

For every piece of awareness-stage content you produce, try to attach some of the following top-of-the-funnel keywords and phrases:

  • Where can I
  • Best way to
  • Troubleshoot

buyers journey content

2. The Consideration Stage

Buyers have now clearly defined their need and are considering their options. Although they may be aware that your business offers a solution, they’re still evaluating the competition, comparing prices, and determining which company is the best fit. They may not be ready to make a purchase, but they do want to narrow down their options.

During this stage, smart marketers make effective use of the brand awareness they built by using content tactics that differentiate their business from the competition and build stronger relationships with a more defined group of potential customers.

According to a Pardot study,  70 percent of buyers  use Google at least two or three times while researching during the consideration phase. Prospects are looking more closely at each company’s offerings. They’re paying more attention to reviews and seeking out more in-depth content. As well as optimizing content for search engines, brands should start to connect with potential customers through review sites, social media, and also paid advertising.

Get a weekly dose of our best content marketing tips, trends, and insights.

Creating content for the consideration stage.

During this stage, your content should be aiming to differentiate your business from the competition and build stronger relationships with a more defined group of potential customers. Base content around all of the pain points customers experience, and follow that up by highlighting the practical benefits of your product or service.

Examples of consideration stage content:

  • Product comparison charts
  • Industry studies and reports
  • In-depth blog posts
  • Customer testimonials

[irp posts=”46037″ name=”Online Content: 15 Tips for Successful Digital Content Marketing”]

Social proof can go a long way at this stage of the buyer journey.

According to an eConsultancy survey, 61% of consumers are influenced by peer reviews. Naturally, it follows that review-rich landing pages hyper-focused on reasons to believe will resonate with consumers during this stage of the purchase decision.

  • To effectively take advantage of the power of reviews, you need to proactively acquire and utilize them.
  • Consider using email, and post-sales cart messaging to request them, then send willing customers to review sites.
  • For some companies, like a B2B service, detailed customer testimonials and case studies provide more tangible reassurance to prospects.
  • For more complex products or service heavy offerings, FAQs are key.
  • Once you’ve gathered your reviews and testimonials, take full advantage by leveraging them across your owned channels and sales collateral.

Optimizing Copy for Consideration Stage Buyers

In the consideration stage, shoppers are usually researching and comparing several companies that offer similar products or services. Be clear and concise about how your offering addresses your prospects’ pain-points. You want researchers to find information on the features of your products or services, but it’s important to lead with the  solution  you are offering.

Create  landing pages  using relevant keywords about the products and services you sell. Keywords should be placed in titles, meta tags, landing page copy, and CTA buttons.

Buyers are now using less generic keywords when searching online for solutions. Your keywords and phrases need to be more specific and focused on product and service benefits. Try to include some of the following middle-of-the-funnel keywords and phrases:

  • Comparisons
  • Pros and cons

buyers journey content

3. The Decision Stage

The next stage is the always critical “decision” stage. This is the stage where a customer chooses which product or service they prefer and makes a purchase.

Although this is the step where business is won (and lost), a lot of the hard work was done in the previous two stages. If you have done a good job of educating a prospect and presenting them with potential solutions in an engaging and respectful way – there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to strongly consider your company when it comes time to vote with their wallet.

On the other hand, if a prospect has never even heard of your company before the decision stage, even the best-designed landing page will have trouble converting them into a customer.

By this stage, buyers should be familiar with your website and may be signed up to your email list. Therefore, it’s crucial that your website and email content addresses the concerns of decision-stage buyers with appropriate, more targeted content.

This means optimizing your website’s navigation and calls-to-action to drive leads toward bottom-of-the-funnel content. Your email content should also target leads in the later stages of the buyer journey and direct them toward relevant bottom-of-the-funnel content.

Creating Content for the Decision Stage

Your content needs to convince buyers beyond a shadow of a doubt that your product or service is  the very best available solution  to address whatever need, want, or pain point they have. This is particularly important if your product comes at a steep price.

This may be your last chance to transform a potential customer into a buying customer. Focus on demonstrating why prospects should choose your goods or services, and how you are better than the competition.

Typical content at the decision stage includes:

  • In-depth case studies
  • Return policies

If possible, offer a live demonstration or a free trial to help prospects experience the types of services you have to offer.

The types of content you focus on will depend on your unique business. If you’re selling software to other businesses, product and case studies will be more beneficial. On the other hand, if you’re a B2C business selling kitchen supplies, product reviews and return policies may be more persuasive.

A great way to begin to build this content is to consider Marketing Experiment’s conversion heuristic where each variable can be leveraged to create compelling decision-driving content:

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a ©

M = Motivation

This is frequently driven by external factors, which is why it’s crucial to have someone on your team who is aware of changes in the market, trends and other macro impacts on your business. It’s not always as simple as a hurricane causing a run on bottled water; it can be a lot more subtle. Motivation can be driven by life events, unexpected endorsements and lifestyle changes (like the sudden increase in gluten-free food interest over the past few years).

Motivation is critical to any purchase decision. The formula for repeat business is ensuring every touch-point of your customers’ journey is frictionless and has added value. You do this by:

  • Building positive emotional connections at each stage
  • Teaching prospects about your offering, the industry, their options, your business and related topics as transparently and objectively as possible
  • Building trust – not only by effectively executing on the first two points but by creating added-value ongoing channels of communication

V = Value Proposition

The importance of the value prop cannot be overestimated. It is used to tell prospects:

  • Who you are
  • What your key benefits are
  • How you are different from (and better than) the competition

Each element of this bite-sized snapshot of your business, your key differentiators and your competitive advantage needs to be user-centric in tone and intent. In other words:

  • Who you are – tell users about who you are regarding the high-level pain point your overall business solves
  • What your benefits are – tell them about your key benefits by laser focusing on ‘reasons to believe’ in your brand and your product
  • How you’re different – differentiate yourself by clearly and convincingly positioning your competitive advantage as a deal breaker in their decision-making process

I = Incentive

Incentives contribute to maintaining motivation inside the purchase funnel and help push users towards the final decision to buy.

Incentive-based content focuses on three core themes:

1. Financial incentives (discounts, specials, free shipping, etc.)

buyers journey content

2. Moral incentives (ethically-based, convincing prospects that investing in your products is merely the right thing to do

water

3. Coercive incentives (highlighting the potential negative consequences of not getting your product or service)

buyers journey content

F = Friction

Friction has a negative impact on the decision-making journey and reduces a prospect’s motivation to complete a purchase.

This usually means ignoring best practices when it comes to usability (especially concerning online transactions). Specifically, friction can be:

  • Overwhelming users with too many choices resulting in the ‘ dilemma of choice.’
  • Long paragraphs of text-based content that are not skimmable
  • Poor navigation and broken links reducing findability
  • Too much clutter, meaning that a minimum viable experience was not considered
  • Not designed to build emotional connections meaning a dull, dry, non-compelling visual experience
  • Lack of the 4 Cs (compelling, concise, clear content)

A = Anxiety

Anxiety also has a negative impact on the decision-making journey. The effect of anxiety is significant as it frequently only occurs at the cart stage once all other variables have already affected the user with a net positive impact. Anxiety, if it arises at this point, nullifies all the other good that has been done – a very powerful de-motivator.

When it comes to purchasing online, there are two predominant types of anxiety:

1. In-purchase anxiety – fear

2. Post-purchase anxiety – remorse

Here we’ll focus on the former. To dilute (or mitigate against) fear, you need to include clear, highly visible, image-backed content around :

  • How much you value your prospects and their privacy
  • Specific security information and privacy policies
  • Refunds, returns, warranties, and guarantees
  • Positive customer reviews and rating scores (social proofing)
  • Positive authority proofing (certifications, awards, industry mentions, etc.)
  • The common pain points you’re going to solve
  • Your contact information

The perfect mix of the types of content mentioned above will depend on your product and the preferences of your customers. If you’re selling an enterprise software solution, you’ll likely need detailed product comparisons and case studies, among other things, so that potential customers can justify the expenditure to their boss. If you’re selling a more consumer-focused product like kitchen supplies, product reviews, and clear return policies may be more effective and appropriate to get shoppers to hit the “buy” button.

Testing, Always with the Testing

Test, test, test! Optimize, optimize, optimize! With the overload of options and information out there, you’ve got keep the attention of customers, or they will quickly move on.

You need to know what content appeals to them, what content motivates them, what content incentivizes them, what content diminishes anxiety and what content builds positive emotional connections most effectively. To figure out all these moving parts, you need to test the following elements of your landing and cart pages:

  • Design and layout
  • Headlines and messaging
  • Types (and placements) of fear-combatting content
  • Images and CTAs
  • Colors and trust seals

We’re Almost There!

The creation of compelling content for each of the buyer stages we’ve discussed so far (awareness, consideration, and decision) has resulted in a shiny new batch of happy customers.

But, wait! This isn’t the end of their journey, or ours. It’s crucial to your long-term success that those happy buyers stick around, and that means you need to build loyalty.

buyers journey content

4. The Loyalty Stage

Customers may have made their purchase, but it’s not the end of your work. It’s crucial to your long-term success that buyers stick around. You need to constantly remind customers of your expertise, encourage loyalty, and generate brand advocates.

Buyers need to be reminded of why they are working with you or supporting your business. It’s about creating content that shows you care about them beyond their conversion into customers.

If we think about the timeline right after purchase (the honeymoon phase), it’s a time of happy expectation, but it’s also a vulnerable time for the purchaser. They may be second-guessing their decision, and you need to nip that in the bud. This is how:

  • The very first thing to do is to email a ‘thank you’ as part of your post sales communication. Reiterate the top reasons to reaffirm the buyer’s decision and include social proof.
  • Don’t dilute the ‘thank you’ message; it clearly says ‘we value you.’ Let them know that you’ll be shortly following up with their invoice, support or service contact details, and links to necessary resources such as guides, demos, instructions, etc.

Customer care website pages, supportive emails, and social media channels can all be used to reassure customers that you care about their after-purchase experience. For example, steer buyers toward social media channels for customer service queries, or offer exclusive content that helps them make the most of their purchase.

Creating Content for the Loyalty Stage

Content consumed after the purchase is more focused on customer retention, brand advocacy, cross-selling, and referrals. This stage in the process is also key to long-term business success. One study showed that increasing customer retention by just five percent can boost a company’s profits by nearly 100 percent.

A happy customer is not only likely to recommend you to others, they’re also more likely to be a repeat customer, which is often a lot easier to get than a brand new client. There are various types of content you can deliver to keep customers happy.

Examples of loyalty stage content:

  • Blog content
  • Email content
  • Social media content
  • Video tutorials
  • Promotions and reward programs
  • Exclusive content

[irp posts=”38187″ name=”How to Start and Grow an Effective Email Newsletter”]

Optimizing Copy for Loyalty Stage Buyers

To improve loyalty, you need to continue offering valuable, relevant content to your buyers. Each piece of content should ideally focus on building deeper customer relationships or encouraging repeat business.

For example, most buyers will continue to research best practices, guides, and more to make sure they get the most out their purchase. The challenge is to make sure they continue to find your content without difficulty and can access your content whenever they’re ready.

It’s not only about helping customers gain maximum benefits from your product or service but also about giving away free, genuinely helpful information that keeps your brand front of mind.

Your customers need to  continually  receive value from your brand, or the value they place on your relationship will diminish and they may turn to the competition.

Create an Engaging and Content-Rich Buyer’s Journey

At every stage of the buyer’s journey, content marketers should seriously consider the purpose of their content. Every business will have their own unique set of customers, so the key is to get to know your unique customers and then create relevant and engaging content at each stage of their journey to inspire them to take further action. You need to know the  needs and interests of your audience at each stage of the buying process .

The most successful brands develop a clear content plan, mapping each type of content to a particular stage of the sales funnel. Each piece of content then has a clear purpose and can also be measured in terms of content marketing performance.

To help generate content ideas, imagine if you were in a content marketing funnel. What types of content would you want to consume? Ask yourself what kinds of content you need to find at each stage of your journey toward a purchase.

Talk to real leads and customers too. What do they really want to hear from your brand? What problems are they facing right now? If your business is not able to solve them, your content will always fall short.

If you’re in need of powerful, sales-driven content, you may need to consider hiring professional freelance writers . Start delivering more engaging content for every stage of the buyer journey with Constant Content today.

Related Posts

6 essential tips for aspiring ghostwriters, erin macdonald : success story of a constant content writer, seo and artificial intelligence-generated content : google’s position is shifting, what does chatgpt mean for writers and content marketers.

  • buyer's journey
  • content strategy

Columbus Day Sale Offer | Grab 15% Off on HubSpot Integrations | Use Coupon: COLUMBUS15

We're There For You At All Hours!

We're here for you..

  • Click to Chat
  • Schedule a Meeting

MakeWebBetter Logo

Buyer’s Journey: A Definitive Guide

buyers journey content

Aditya Srivastava

Buyers Journey

The buyers of today try to learn and understand a product before purchasing it. They are smart and calculative. Buyers want to know ‘if’ and ‘why’ they need your product. Evaluation and research have become an inseparable part of the buying process.

Buyer behavior dictates how customers make buying decisions. And the buying process is a journey, which is taken into account while forming an inbound marketing strategy.

In fact, the framework of marketing strategies is based on the buyer’s journey.

In this article, i have had talked about buyer’s journey and all its aspects. This is a definitive guide of buyers’s journey.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

Awareness stage nurturing, consideration stage nurturing, decision stage nurturing.

  • B2B Buyer’s Journey
  • B2C Buyer’s Journey

The Application of Buyer’s Journey

Final thoughts.

Now, the golden question is…

According to HubSpot , the buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider, and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.

This definition tells us that there are three stages of the buyer’s journey:

Consideration

Now, I will describe the buyer’s journey stages in detail and also tell you how to nurture your customer on each stage.

Awareness Stage

In this awareness stage, the buyer realizes or becomes aware of a problem or need. The buyer identifies an opportunity to address the problem, starts his research to find a solution, and decides the primacy of the problem.

This is the beginning of the buyer’s journey.

For example: Sam is looking at the analytics of his eCommerce store and he realizes that bounce rate has increased over the last few months. He recognizes that he has a problem.

Consideration Stage

At this stage, the buyer starts addressing his problem or challenge. Here, the buyer is searching for providers of the desired solution and knows how to reach his goal. This is the middle stage of the buyer’s journey.

For example: Sam later discovers that his website load time has increased which is increasing the bounce rate. He starts searching for ways to decrease the load time of his online store.

Decision Stage

This is the stage where the buyer makes the final purchase decision. The buyer has compared the pros and cons of possible alternatives to the solution (product or service). 

And now has solid research and knowledge to reinforce his purchase decision.

For example: Sam finds out that his web hosting service is slow and he opts to an expensive but better web hosting service. In a few weeks, his bound rates decline and traffic increases.

Here are the “leading benefits of understanding customer journeys” according to marketing professionals worldwide as of November 2016.

 customer journey benefits

Well, now you know the stages of the buyer’s journey but how do you use this knowledge to help your business?

How do you move customers through the buyer’s journey funnel and convince them to purchase your product or service?

You do that by nurturing your buyer at every stage of the buyer’s journey. It is also known as customer nurturing or lead Nurturing.

What is Customer Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is the process of building a positive relationship with your buyers and reinforcing that relationship by providing value. And here is how nurturing is done:

Buyers do realize their problems or challenges by themselves. But you can also identify problems or challenges for them and give realistic goals to pursue by creating insightful content.

Create content that highlights a problem, challenge, or need and provides solutions for the same. The primary objective is to give valuable knowledge to your customer.

To nurture your buyer, you can use the following types of content:

  • Articles and Blog Posts
  • White-Papers
  • Infographics
  • Social Media Posts

In the awareness stage, you have to utilize the power of content marketing to attract buyers. 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement.

Proper use of content helps the buyer to identify their goals and challenges. Also, your originally created content makes the buyer notice your brand or business.

At the consideration stage, buyers have defined their targets and problems with clarity. And are actively looking for a solution. So, this is where you provide a solution and show them how you can solve their problem.

Content at this stage should be focused on providing solutions but in such a way that displays your ability to help the buyer.

The content should be insightful and suggestive.

Types of content to use at the consideration stage:

  • Customers Testimonials
  • Product Trails
  • E-seminars or Webinars
  • Product Guides

The primary role of created content at this stage is to build trust by providing valuable solutions to the buyer.

In fact, 96% of the most successful content marketers say that content marketing has helped them build credibility and trust with their audience.

This is the final stage of the buyer’s journey and the buyers have got it all figured out. The buyers have defined their problem, they have understood solutions provided by you, and have also looked at the alternatives.

It’s time to make the purchase decision.

You have to assure the buyer that you are the best in the business. Also, make the purchase process easy and attractive.

The role of ‘user-generated content’ is huge at this stage.

In the decision stage, it all comes down to these following factors:

  • A reasonable price of your product or service
  • An attractive offer on the purchase
  • Suitable discount
  • Available methods of payment
  • Reviews and ratings that reinforce the trustworthiness of your brand
  • Satisfied customer testimonials

Let me explain these factors in detail:

Price and Offers

In this highly competitive market , keeping a reasonable price, and giving a discount is important. Giving a limited-time offer also helps close the deal sometimes because it creates a sense of urgency in the buyer’s mind.

Credibility

Reviews, ratings, and testimonials are crucial nowadays because those are the first things buyers look for when they are evaluating you.

In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.So, utilize user-generated content as social proof and increase your credibility.

For reference, you can check out how we showcase our reviews and ratings at MakeWebBetter.

Ease-Of-Payment

Availability of different payment options is often undermined but it is a determining factor. You need to allow payments from payment apps, internet banking, credit and debit cards, and other popular payment systems.

Basically, you gotta make it easy for buyers to purchase your product.

Up until now, I have only introduced you to the general definition of the buyer’s journey and the content that goes along with it.

Now, I will go deeper into the subject and talk about the B2B and B2C buyer’s journey.

B2B Buyer’s Journey

Business-to-business buyer’s journey consists of the three general stages; that is, awareness, consideration, and decision but the approach is different because businesses buy collectively and there is always a group of individuals making multiple purchase decisions.

Within a business, the presence of a buying group elongates and complicates the buying process and leads to the addition of more stages in the buyer’s journey.

Buying Complexity

Let’s look at the B2B buyer’s journey stages:

Awareness: This is the stage where businesses identify a problem or a need.

Research: The buying groups start searching for all possible solutions.

Evaluation: The solutions are segmented on the basis of their affordability and applicability.

Selection: The best supplier of the solution is selected at this stage.

Purchase: Lastly, the budget allocated for that particular product or service is utilized in the final purchase decision.

This seems easy on paper but it’s not. Firstly, there is always a need for consensus on every stage of the B2B buying process because a group of buyers is involved.

Everybody needs to be on board.

Secondly, the buying process isn’t straightforward in B2B. And lastly, It lacks linearity because there is a lot of reconsideration and many stages are revisited by buying groups.

In a survey , 77% of B2B buyers agreed that they conduct a more detailed ROI analysis before making a purchase decision.

Businesses don’t make hefty purchase decisions.

Role of Content in B2B Buyer’s Journey

The role of content in a business-to-business buyer’s journey is the same but some types of content are more appreciated by the B2B buyers. Such as:

  • Business Reports
  • Products Comparison
  • Demo Videos
  • Supplier Comparison

All of these content types help the buying groups conduct an in-depth analysis of the business they are going to purchase from.

The aim of the content creators here is to provide information that makes it easier for B2B buyers to advance their buying process.

Simplification of the Buying Process

The B2B purchase process is complex and the toughest part is purchasing the product. So, increase the ease of purchase to advance your buyers through the buyer’s journey funnel.

This study shows “the most effective content types in demand generation” during various stages of the buyer’s journey according to B2B marketers in North America as of July 2018.

Effectiveness B2B Content

B2C Buyer’s Journey

The business-to-customer buyer’s journey is linear and simplistic, which makes it easy for sellers to map out.

Here are the stages of a business-to-customer buyer’s journey :

The buyers perceive their problems, challenges, and needs. To engage buyers at this stage, these content forms are needed:

Types of Content Used at Awarness Stage

  • Informative Articles
  • Social Media Advertisements
  • Search Engine Advertisements

For example- Adam started weight training at the local gym. He read articles at bodybuilding.com to increase his knowledge of weight lighting. He became aware that he needed quality Whey protein to gain size while weightlifting.

This is the onset of a relationship between the buyer and the seller. The buyer has recognized his problems and is now searching for a solution. As a seller, you can provide the buyers with helpful content to solve their problems.

Present valuable information to awaken the interests of your buyers.

Types of Content Used at Consideration Stage

  • Case Studies
  • Product Demostrations
  • How-to Blogs and Explainer Articles

For example- Adam read many articles on bodybuilding.com related to protein use and its benefits. He started looking for more affordable whey protein supplements.

Here, the buyer has acquired all the information he needs in order to make the purchase decision. At this stage, buyers start evaluating various suppliers that are offering the needed solution.

This research shows people trust recommendations, user reviews, and ratings to complete the purchase process.

marketing trends

Types of Content Used at Decision Stage

  • Customer Reviews and Ratings
  • Comparisons with Other Suppliers
  • Buyer Testimonials

For example- At bodybuilding.com, Adam read articles, watched customer testimonials, read reviews and ratings. He also found a product comparison at bodybuilding.com which eradicated the last bit of his hesitation and he ordered Whey protein from their store.

Retention Stage

The buyer purchased a suitable product from you and has established a relationship by becoming a paying customer. Therefore, trust has already been established. Now, its all about maintaining that trust.

When a customer is rewarded after making a purchase, he or she is likely to purchase again from you because you positively reinforced his or her buying decision.

So, this is where you turn your newly formed customers into loyal customers that return to your store for more products.

Becuase, acquiring new customers can cost five times more than satisfying and retaining current customers.

Tpyes of Content Used at Retention Stage

  • Offer Rewards On Purchase
  • Personalized Follow-up Emails
  • Relevant Product Recommendations
  • Relevant Offers

In summary, offering value to customers along with your product should be your primary objective.

Like a ‘Thank you’ email to customers right after the purchase would give a personalized experience.

For example: Right after Adam made the purchase, he received an onboarding email from bodybuilding.com and also started receiving emails of best offers. He also received a 5% discount on his second product purchase.

Promotional Stage

At this stage, you have earned the loyalty of your buyers and provided them the quality product or service they were looking for. The buyers will keep using your service or products and return to you for more.

Make sure to offer great customer service and user experience to your buyers, and nurture them at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

brand loyality

But your product is the greatest factor responsible for making customers loyal to your brand. So, make sure you provide an excellent product.

The biggest achievement here is that the buyers willingly start promoting your products and services. You will get recognition through word of mouth.

It works better than mainstream ads because people put more trust in recommendations they get from friends and families.

You can further optimize this process of promotion by rewarding your customers for recommending you.

For this, you need an effective referral program . Let your loyal customers share the referral links on their social media and receive rewards like gift cards , reward points , gift coupons, etc.

Ultimately, this will help you get buyers that already trust your brand or company before engaging with you and increase your sales.

In the end, your objective is to turn your buyers into promoters for your products and services.

Now, you have to engage with your customers now and make them feel important.

Methods to Use at Promotional Stage

  • Use Referral Rewards Program
  • Give Exclusive Offers
  • Assign Membership
  • Personalize services

For example- Adam made several purchases for next few months. He shared referral links on his social media and earned gift coupons. He also talked about the benefits of buying whey protein from bodybuilding.com, which made his gym mates buy from the same e-store.

Okay, you have learned what a buyer’s journey is and what type of content you should use at its different stages but what remains to be discussed is how to use the buyer’s journey or….

Here is an imaginary case study to make you understand the application of the buyer’s journey.

I hope you all enjoy and learn.

Jack is an aspiring athlete and he is performing well. He wants to improve his performance on the track. So, he uses the internet to search for ways to increase his running capacity.

Jack reads an article on fastshoes.com to learn the ways to increase his running capacity and to understand the factors affecting his performance. The blog is of a famous sports goods manufacturer.

There he learns that he needs proper running shoes. He opens a recommended article that says “why proper running shoes are important” and after reading it, he recognizes that all aspects of his training and diet are fine except his running shoes.

Finally, Jack considers buying proper running shoes as he finishes the article. And then, he reads another blog post recommendation titled “Top 10 running shoes 2020.” 

He sees the list of running shoes and reads about their individual benefits and decides to buy the most affordable one.

But Jack is conflicted and is having second thoughts. He searches for alternatives and luckily, finds product comparisons available on fastshoes.com.

He learns that his selected running shoes are the best in his preferred price range. Jack makes the final purchase decision. He orders the product and recieves it in a few days.

Jack goes out for a run wearing his new running shoes. He finds his shoes lightweight and comfortable. Jack is able to cover longer distances without fatigue. He is very satisfied with his new running shoes as his performance on the track has improved.

Jack visits fastshoes.com regularly and he also recieves notificiations of the offers and articles relevant to him.

Promotional

Jack’s best friend Dean asks him about the new shoes and Jack explains all the benefits he has received from switching to his new shoes. Dean, impressed by the words of his best friend, goes directly to fastshoes.com and orders the exact same running shoes.

After a year, both Jack and Dean need a new pair of shoes. And they still purchase running shoes from the same eCommerce store.

So, did you notice how Jack went through different stages of the buyer’s journey and became a loyal customer of Fastshoes.com?

It is easy to map out his buying journey from this example. And so, you know what you have to do.

You have to nurture the customer through every stage of the buyer’s journey to make them purchase your product and services. And this is how most businesses are improving their sales.

This research from HubSpot makes it clear that 81% trust their friends and family’s advice over advice from a business.

Customer Acquisition

The buyer’s journey is the base of content marketing strategies.

I have explained the buyer’s journey, the use of the content at different stages of the buyer’s journey, and its application with a pretty accurate case study.

You can nurture your customer through every stage of the buyer’s journey and increase your sales with the help of proper application of the concepts explained in this article.

And hey, check out our other blog articles if you want to learn more about best eCommerce practices.

About Aditya Srivastava

Aditya Srivastava is a poet, writer, and avid reader. He lives to write and writes for a living. Coffee is his elixir and books are his best friends. With a tremendous dedication to his craft, he has blurred the line between passion and profession. Like most writers, he is also a powerful thinker but he only thinks with his pen.

Leave A Comment Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Related Posts

Maximizing The Strategic Impact Of Using HubSpot Payment Links

Maximizing The Strategic Impact Of Using HubSpot Payment Links

WooCommerce Store Security Tips: How To Foolproof Your Woo Store

WooCommerce Store Security Tips: How To Foolproof Your Woo Store

Mastering EdTech Challenges: HubSpot’s Playbook for Success

Mastering EdTech Challenges: HubSpot’s Playbook for Success

HubSpot Elite Solutions Partner

Copyright © 2024 MakeWebBetter . All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy | Security

Content marketing has always been an effective way to attract and retain customers by creating and distributing content that's relevant to them.

That's also true for B2B companies. However, because the B2B buyer's journey is more complex than that of a consumer's, a more refined approach to content is needed.

The buyers' journey in B2B is typically longer and involves multiple decision-makers who have varying priorities. Content should therefore address their specific needs and concerns at each stage of the journey.

Moreover, B2B companies targeting only a few critical deals each year will focus on building deep connections with potential clients. The right approach not only highlights a product or service but also demonstrates a good understanding of the buyer's unique pain points and business challenges.

In this article, we'll explore four types of content for websites, landing pages and other platforms, as well as their significance at various stages along the buyer's journey —from awareness to decision and beyond.

1. Educational Content for Awareness

During the awareness stage of the B2B buyer's journey, customers may just be realizing the full extent of their pain point or problem. Educational content will introduce a company to a potential client as a trusted and knowledgeable resource on the issue.

Content in the form of webinar s, tutorials, and how-to guides empowers customers to learn more about the products or services a company provides. Such resources go beyond just promotion, however; the focus is on genuinely helping prospects better understand relevant larger issues while also touching on how a company might solve the potential customer's needs.

Webinar s, for instance, showcase expertise while addressing specific topics relevant to a target audience. Tutorials and how-to guides provide step-by-step instructions, demonstrating the value of a company's offerings and highlighting how they can solve the challenges potential customers might be facing.

As potential buyers engage with educational content, they become more familiar with a company's approach and philosophy—making it more likely for those buyers to consider a company's specific product or service as a potential solution.

2. Positioning Content for Research

Buyers who educate themselves and do additional research become more discerning. Now, they need more detailed information about the available options . With various resources available, they want to be sure that a certain company is an authority on their particular problem.

Consider a software company that develops AI-driven solutions for businesses across various industries. To showcase their expertise, the company publishes thought leadership articles, whitepapers, and blog posts on their website and in various industry publications.

Those pieces discuss emerging trends in artificial intelligence, machine-learning, and data analytics, demonstrating the company's in-depth knowledge and understanding of the rapidly evolving technology landscape.

A balanced approach that is not heavy-handed builds credibility and trust. The company wants to be seen as a reliable partner, ready to help.

3. Comparison Content

During the decision phase of the B2B buyer's journey, comparison content is a powerful tool to help companies close a sale.

By crafting content that compares a company's products or services with those of competitors, a company helps prospects understand the nuts and bolts of what makes it different or better. That may mean value. It may mean service. It may be the proprietary nature of the product or service.

One effective way to showcase a product or service is to create product comparison charts to highlight key features, functionalities, and benefits. A clear and concise presentation allows customers to quickly grasp the advantages of choosing one solution over another.

Case studies can also be instrumental in building trust and credibility. When a company shares real-life success stories of how a customer overcame a specific problem or achieved exceptional results, a buyer close to a decision can see themselves with a similar positive outcome.

4. Testimonials and Social Proof to Close the Deal

Potential customers seek reassurance that the offering they are considering can indeed deliver on its promises. Testimonials and social proof are an important way of confirming quality and reliability along every step of the buyer's journey.

Testimonials, in the form of customer reviews and feedback, provide valuable insights into the experiences of previous buyers. Social proof harnesses the power of numbers and community validation; it includes metrics like the number of satisfied customers, user ratings, or endorsements from industry experts.

By strategically incorporating testimonials and social proof into their content marketing efforts, companies can effectively influence potential customers' perceptions. Both serve as a powerful reinforcement of the value proposition, reinforcing buyers' confidence in their choice and ultimately leading to increased conversions and customer loyalty.

Navigating potential buyers down the sales funnel is a multipronged endeavor that involves a thoughtful blend of tactics, with the right content for each step.

Establishing industry authority and deep subject matter expertise is the foundation, fostering trust and enabling further tactics in the customer journey.

Comparison content highlights product value compared with competitors, aiding informed decisions, while social proof via testimonials, reviews, or case studies adds the final layer of assurance to gain a loyal customer.

More Resources on Content for the Buyer Journey

How to Align Content to the Buyer's Journey for Increased Conversions

Effective Content Types for Each Stage of the Buyer's Journey [Infographic]

How to Create Buyer-Focused Sales Content That Gets Traction

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Libby Covington

Libby Covington is a partner at Craig Group , a strategic GTM advisory firm. She designs and implements strategies to drive revenue growth for private-equity-backed companies. Libby has 25+ years of experience in strategic marketing and business development.

LinkedIn: Libby Convington

Marketing Content Articles

You may like these other MarketingProfs articles related to Marketing Content:

  • Evergreen Content: What Marketers Need to Know [Infographic]
  • 100 Persona Characters Marketers Can Use to Define Brand Voice [Infographic]
  • Developing a Content and Social Strategy to Foster Thought Leadership | Marketing Smarts Live Show
  • Four Tips to Help You Find Your Optimum Content-Marketing Mix
  • Seven Major Design Trends for 2024 [Infographic]
  • Unleashing the Power of Pillar-Based Marketing | Marketing Smarts Live Show

Keep me signed in

Sign in with your preferred account, below.

Facebook Sign In

Over 600,000 marketers rely on MarketingProfs for B2B know-how every day. Don't miss out on the latest marketing tips and techniques, delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today ... it's free!

Join our monthly newsletter to unravel what ‘good’ truly means in the world of sales enablement.

How to Create Sales Collaterals That Convert

buyers journey content

A significant 71% of B2B buyers say they download and consume multiple assets to help with the decision-making process and an equal number said they share such content with their team members. This underscores the influence of sales collateral, ranging from traditional brochures to dynamic digital content like blogs and videos, in steering potential customers through their buying journey.

This guide shares the importance of sales collateral, who is responsible, and how to use it to seal the deal.

What Is a Sales Collateral?

Why sales collateral matters for every business, which sales collateral is the most effective, the role of sales collateral in the sales process, types of sales collateral, tips to develop exceptional sales collateral.

Sales collateral includes everything from classic printed flyers and brochures to digital materials like blogs, eBooks, and videos. These resources are all about helping your sales team guide potential customers through their decision-making journey. The aim? To boost the chances of turning those prospects into actual customers.

These sales materials are not limited to external use; they also include internal resources like sales playbooks , battle cards, and sales plans, often known as sales enablement content. These internal tools equip sales teams with the knowledge and strategies to connect with customers.

Who Creates and Distributes Sales Collateral?

Collateral creation and distribution are a team effort. It involves sales and marketing teams, sales enablement, and subject-matter experts. The skills of graphic designers and videographers often enhance this collaboration.

Account executives, sales development reps, and business development reps turn to these resources throughout the sales cycle. They use these pieces of content to engage prospects.

The entire creation and distribution workflow closely aligns with content governance, emphasizing regular updates, maintaining brand consistency, and tracking collateral usage.

The days of gating information behind forms or holding back details until direct contact are fading. Now, 19% of buyers spend more time researching and 27% involve more people in their decisions, indicating a shift towards more autonomous decision-making. Sales collateral serves as a credible spokesperson in your absence.

Here’s why prioritizing sales collateral is essential for your business:

Increase Conversions

Sales collateral equips your sales team with materials to engage and guide potential customers. When the collateral aligns with the buyer’s journey , it can impact conversion rate.

Clarify Your Offerings

Developing product collateral presents prospects with a straightforward value proposition and benefits of your product or service.

Showcase Your Expertise

Thought leadership content positions you and your brand as a trusted authority. Prospects are more likely to select a product from a knowledgeable and reliable resource.

Supports the Buying Process

Buying can be complex, involving many decision-makers. Sales collateral acts as a guide, ensuring helpful information is available at each step and for each stakeholder.

Time is precious in sales and for all consumers. Easy-to-access information saves time. Instead of lengthy conversations, your team can share collateral that gets the message across quickly.

The effectiveness of sales collateral depends on your brand identity, the type of product/service, the buyer’s journey stage, and the industry. However, most buyers tend to find quick-hitting, interactive assets most valuable, including infographics, webinars, and blogs.

Here are some other types of content that can make an impact:

  • Long-form eBooks and guides: These resources can serve as comprehensive references, providing detailed advice and information in a digestible format.
  • Industry reports: This content offers a platform for in-depth insights, thought leadership, and industry expertise, positioning your brand as a credible source that listens to 3rd party subject matter experts.
  • Strategically timed video tutorials: Explainer videos can help describe product details and guide prospects toward more informed choices.

Important sales collateral metrics to watch include:

1. Reading Time

Monitoring the time prospects spend reading your collateral provides valuable engagement insights. Longer reading times indicate a deeper interest and grasp of the content, which can lead to higher conversion rates.

2. Meetings Booked

Track the number of meetings scheduled due to collateral engagement . It directly reflects the collateral’s success in driving prospects to take action and move further along the sales funnel.

3. Internal Shares

Do your buyers share collateral internally? This can be telling. Internal sharing metrics gauge the perceived value of the content and their confidence in using it to engage with the wider buying team. In fact, survey results show that 52% of B2B buyers are more inclined to share pieces of content packed with shareable stats and quick-hitting facts, while 43% prefer sharing ungated content, emphasizing the importance of data-rich and easily accessible materials.

B2B buyers sharing content stat

Source: Demand Gen Report

Sales collateral is necessary in a world where buyers are bombarded with options and information. It offers sales representatives versatile tools to deliver value, foster interest, and nurture meaningful conversations. Sales collateral is a bridge connecting your brand with your audience.

Customers have varied preferences. Some prefer phone conversations, others value in-person meetings, and many appreciate longer white papers or viewing pre-recorded product demos independently. A range of sales content caters to the various industries, roles, and demographics you serve.

Download Resource: The All-In-One Sales Content Management Toolkit

How Has Sales Collateral Changed?

It wasn’t long ago that sales collateral included printed materials like brochures, catalogs, and datasheets. Sales teams relied on these as tools of the trade. The arrival of technology and the internet transformed this approach, enabling businesses to reach a broader audience.

With digitization came the expansion of content marketing and inbound sales. Nowadays, businesses create interactive and visually appealing content like infographics, online calculators, and eBooks. These are used to capture and engage potential customers early in their buying journey.

Overall, the history of sales collateral reflects the ongoing digital sales shift and self-serve, content-driven approaches, constantly adapting to changing consumer preferences.

Different stages of the buyer’s journey demands a specific collateral. For awareness, educational blogs and eBooks build trust. During consideration, case studies and datasheets make a difference. In the decision stage, collateral focuses on pricing and scope. Post-sale, knowledge bases, and training materials support retention and advocacy.

What collateral works well at each stage of the buyer’s journey?

Awareness Stage

During the awareness stage, prospects are just discovering their challenges. Educational collateral position your brand as a trusted source.

Research indicates an opportunity for salespeople: only 5% of potential buyers are currently in-market, but the remaining 95% are likely to consider a purchase decision in the future. Therefore, providing educational and informative content at this top-of-funnel stage brings your brand front and center. It ensures that when potential buyers are ready to decide, your organization is on their shortlist, having already established industry authority.

B2B buyers considering future purchase decision stat

The more effective you are at building awareness, the greater the likelihood of becoming a ‘household name.’

  • Blogs: Craft informative articles that raise awareness about industry trends and issues, as well as tips and best practices.
  • Whitepapers: Offer in-depth reports providing valuable insights on specific topics.
  • eBooks: Create comprehensive, visually appealing guides that educate prospective customers on relevant subjects.
  • Landing pages : Design targeted web pages designed to capture initial interest.
  • Webinars: Host interactive webinars that cover industry trends and educational topics.

Consideration Stage

During the consideration stage, prospects evaluate various solutions. They have identified a problem within their business and are considering how to address it. At this stage, they desire a deeper understanding of the benefits and costs and may seek to connect with other customers who have experienced similar challenges.

They look to resources that validate their thoughts to help them make a final decision.

  • Case studies: Present real-world success stories showcasing how your solution benefits others.
  • Product brochures: Provide detailed documents highlighting product features and benefits.
  • Industry analyst research reports: Offer data-driven analysis that assists in informed decision-making.
  • Buyer’s guide: Supply comprehensive product details that help prospects evaluate their options.
  • Sales scripts and email templates: Create structured communications, including sales pitches and email scripts for engaging prospects.

Decision Stage

In the decision stage, prospects are ready to make a definitive choice. They require an understanding of the implications of implementation, ongoing support costs, and will engage in price negotiation. They also may need to convince the remaining decision-makers who control the budget.

Collateral that assists in finalizing pricing, clarifies work parameters, and even offers proof of concept trials plays a role in achieving your sales strategies and closing deals.

  • User reviews: Point buyers to current user feedback.
  • Pricing guides: Present transparent information about costs and packages.
  • Statement of work (SOW): Provide detailed documentation outlining project scope and deliverables.
  • Closing sales presentations: Prepare customized PowerPoint presentations or pitches tailored to prospects’ specific needs and proposed solutions and costs.
  • Proposals: Submit formal documents outlining proposed solutions and terms.

Retention and Advocacy Stage

Once the deal is sealed, it’s time to roll out the welcome mat. The goal is to keep customers happy and turn them into fans that recommend your solution. Examples of sales collateral for retention and advocacy include:

  • FAQ and knowledge base: Build a comprehensive guide for ongoing support, with clear, detailed answers to common queries.
  • Product manual: Document in-depth information about the product, features, and usage.
  • Product training materials: Compile informative and user-friendly content offering practical tips and product advice for new customers.
  • Use cases: Showcase examples of how various organizations and industries utilize the product.
  • Customer loyalty programs: Detail incentives for customers to remain engaged and to advocate for your brand. It outlines the benefits and how customers can participate in these programs.
  • User groups: Establish supporting collateral guides on how to join these groups and the value users will gain from the community and shared learning.
  • Post-sale activity guide: Construct a roadmap for all post-sale interactions. It outlines the roles of different departments – from support to accounting to professional services – ensuring a cohesive approach to customer satisfaction and engagement.

To create effective sales collateral, you need to understand what your target audience likes, use old content in new ways, adhere to your brand, use sales enablement tools for oversight, and make sure it looks good. Here are some tips to get started:

Focus on What Your Audience Needs and Wants

Studying your audience and buyer personas is the best way to create sales collateral that works. Tailor your content to address their pain points, and priorities. Market research will help craft messages that resonate with them, ensuring your collateral is informative and relatable.

Recycle and Repurpose Your Sales and Marketing Materials

Get the most out of your existing content by giving it a new life in different forms. For example, you can transform case studies into bite-sized testimonials to share in social media posts. You may also convert exhaustive whitepapers into a series of short, digestible blog posts.

This approach saves time and resources and extends your content’s reach across different channels and audiences.

Keep Everything On-brand

Building trust and brand recognition hinges on consistency. It’s important to make sure all your sales collateral reflects your brand’s style and voice. This includes using uniform colors, fonts, logos, and messaging across all materials. On-brand collateral reinforces your professional image and makes your content instantly recognizable.

Leverage Your Sales Enablement Tools

Use CRM and sales enablement tools to manage, distribute, and measure the performance of your collateral. These tools make content organization easy, ensuring your sales team has quick access to the materials they need. They also offer insights into which content is most valuable to your audience.

Invest in Original Design

Investing in high-quality, original design can elevate the impact of your sales collateral. A visually appealing layout captures buyer attention. It enhances the user experience, making your content more interesting and memorable.

Empower Your Team with the Best Sales Collateral

Think about your last big purchase. What did you do first? If you’re like most of us, you probably started with some online research – diving into product specs, checking out what others had to say, and even getting inspired by a few success stories. That’s the power of sales collateral. It’s guiding buyers through buying decisions. Businesses that want to succeed must deliver content that’s compelling and easy to find.

Enter Highspot. Highspot offers a solution where you can effortlessly manage, categorize, distribute, assess, and centralize your sales and marketing collateral all within one sales enablement platform. This approach allows sales reps to customize and share content seamlessly. Simultaneously, marketers gain access to analytics on both internal usage and external engagement – enabling continuous improvement. Schedule a demo of Highspot today.

The Highspot Team works to create and promote the Highspot sales enablement platform, which gives businesses a powerful sales advantage to engage in more relevant buyer conversations and achieve their revenue goals. Through AI-powered search, analytics, in-context training, guided selling, and 50+ integrations, the Highspot platform delivers enterprise-ready sales enablement in a modern design that sales reps and marketers love.

Highspot Team

Industry-Leading Enablement for Every Business

  • Why You Need a Sales Enablement Platform
  • What Customers Say
  • Why Choose Highspot
  • Calculate Your ROI
  • Guiding Principles
  • Privacy Policy
  • Privacy Settings
  • Trust Center
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information
  • Sales Content Management
  • Sales Plays and Playbooks
  • Buyer Engagement
  • Sales Training
  • Sales Coaching
  • Integrations
  • Sales Enablement
  • Partner Enablement
  • Financial Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Life Sciences
  • Ebooks, Guides, and More
  • Highspot in Action Videos
  • Strategic Enablement Framework
  • Definitive Guide
  • Success Stories
  • Events and Webinars
  • Spark Community
  • Highspot Marketplace
  • United States (English)
  • Canada (English)
  • Deutschland (Deutsch)
  • France (Français)
  • United Kingdom (English)
  • Australia (English)

Copyright © 2024 Highspot

IMAGES

  1. Mapping Out the Buyer’s Journey

    buyers journey content

  2. Content Marketing 101: Mapping Your Buyer's Journey

    buyers journey content

  3. The Buyer's Journey

    buyers journey content

  4. The 3 Classic Stages of a Buying Process (a.k.a Buyer's Journey)

    buyers journey content

  5. Content Marketing 101: Mapping Your Buyer's Journey

    buyers journey content

  6. What is the buyer's journey?

    buyers journey content

VIDEO

  1. "Unlocking the Secrets to the 1%: A Journey to Elite Success"

  2. The Buyers Journey! #homebuying #realestate #nevadarealestate The Boylan TeameXp Realty.174839

  3. The Buyers Journey Sequence

COMMENTS

  1. How to Create Content for Every Stage of the Buyer's Journey

    Published: August 11, 2022 No one wakes up in the morning and decides, "I'm going to buy something today." Instead, they go through a path to purchase that includes research and evaluation before committing to a sales call. That journey is called the buyer's journey.

  2. What Is the Buyer's Journey? How to Create Content for Every Stage

    February 3, 2022 8 min read People rarely just search for whatever you sell, click on your website, and buy right away. In fact, 71% of them start their research with a generic search. They're reading blog posts, watching videos, consuming reviews, asking their friends, participating in communities—before they even begin to consider your product.

  3. Stages of the Buyer's Journey: Content Guide

    September 21, 2023 | 9 min Stages of the Buyer's Journey: Content Guide If you're in marketing, e-commerce, or you own your own business, the term "buyer's journey" may already be...

  4. What Is the Buyer's Journey?

    The buyer's journey describes a buyer's path to purchase. In other words, buyers don't wake up and decide to buy on a whim. They go through a process to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.

  5. What Is the Buyer's Journey? A Comprehensive Guide

    [Studio Science] Learn how to map out your buyer's journey to improve the path to purchase. Erin Hueffner February 1, 2024 7 min read Today's buyers are more informed than ever. In fact, 81% of reps say customers are conducting their own research before they ever connect with sales.

  6. Specific Content for Each Stage of the Buyer's Journey

    Journey Stage 1: Awareness The aim of this stage is to raise brand awareness among consumers who may not yet have formed any solid opinions about their preferred product. Therefore, the trick lies in producing content that's strictly informative, helpful and educational.

  7. How to Map Your Content to the Buyer's Journey

    For each content asset you have — whether a blog post, case study, web page, video, eBook, or something else — you should determine where in the buyer's journey it belongs and how effective it is in moving prospects further through your funnel. This allows you to do 2 things: Identify content gaps in your funnel.

  8. Matching your Content Strategy with the Buyer's Journey: A Guide

    Updated: October 13, 2023 IN THIS ARTICLE Why you need to map your content to the buyer's journey What is the buyer's journey? Elevate your content by aligning it with the buyer's journey Ready to take your content to the next level? There's a science behind turning strangers into prospects.

  9. The Buyer's Journey: A Strategic Guide

    At a deeper glance, defines the buyer's journey, also known as the customer's journey, as "the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service." This three-step process lays the foundation for a variety of customer journey variants.

  10. Inside the Buyer's Journey: The 3 Stages of the Buyer's Journey

    Business Inside the Buyer's Journey: The 3 Stages of the Buyer's Journey Written by MasterClass Last updated: Jun 7, 2021 • 5 min read Inbound marketing is a technique that companies use to draw potential customers in, using social media, digital marketing, targeted content, and SEO.

  11. What Is the Buyer's Journey? Stages, Examples, & More

    The three buyer's journey stages are awareness, consideration, and decision. They generally line up with the first, second, and third stages of the marketing funnel. Although it appears straightforward, the path from awareness to a purchase decision usually isn't linear.

  12. What Is the Buyer's Journey and What Content Works Best

    The Best Content Types for Each Stage of the Buyer's Journey. To identify what buyer's journey content you need to produce, you should understand what your customers feel and look for at each stage of the journey. The nuances will be unique to each industry or market, but we can simplify their journey into this: 1. Awareness: Exploring the ...

  13. Buyer's Journey Content: What to Create for Each Funnel Stage

    Written By Linsey Knerl Updated: November 17, 2023 IN THIS ARTICLE What is a Marketing Funnel? What Are the Marketing Funnel Stages? What Types of Buyer's Journey Content Do I Use at Each Stage? How SEO Fits Into Buyer's Journey Content Placement in Your Buyer's Journey Content Matters Ready to take your content to the next level?

  14. A Guide on How to Develop Content for Each Stage of the Buyers' Journey

    With every step of the buyer's journey, content becomes more specific. Interactivity is generally required for successful content at this stage. When they reach the decision stage, buyers need information regarding their unique and personalized concerns. A brand can provide free trials, live demonstrations, consultations, or coupons at this ...

  15. Creating Content For Every Step of The Buyer's Journey

    Meghan McKenzie | Updated on Oct 08, 2021 9 minute read If you're not creating content for every step of the buyer's journey, you're literally leaking conversions and profits. Let's look at how to support buyers' through their journeys to maximize conversion rates and marketing ROI. Need a hand creating content?

  16. Mastering the Buyer's Journey: A Tactical Content Guide

    15 min Buyers are on a journey of discovery. Does your content help them find their way? The buyer's journey commonly has a trio of stages. What you share with a customer is their problem, not your solution. Do you have a sufficient amount of storytelling in place to snag the awareness of prospects? He created Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

  17. Buyer Journey Mapping in 7 Easy Steps [EXAMPLES + TEMPLATE]

    The buyer's journey describes the process your buyers go through as they become aware of a problem, evaluate potential solutions to their problem, and ultimately decide on the specific solution that's right for them. In marketing terms, we think of these stages of the buyer's journey as: Awareness stage Consideration stage Decision stage

  18. Delivering Relevant Content Across Technology Buyer Journeys

    A recent Gartner survey found that thought leadership content was an important motivating factor for 26% of technology buyers when engaging with technology provider solutions in the early stages of their journey. This includes content focused on future industry trends, the future of a buyer's functional role and the future of technology.

  19. The Buyer's Journey: Everything You Need to Know

    3. Map Content to the Buyer's Journey. When you've nailed down the exact content and persuasions your buyers need at the various stages of the buyer's journey, you can create content that's specifically designed to fill those gaps. You can then structure your funnel with readily available content and linked to specific keywords. The ...

  20. Creating Content for All 4 Stages of The Buyer's Journey

    1. Awareness At this stage, potential customers are realizing some kind of problem or need and are open to solutions. They often perform research to understand the issue better and to define it in more precise terms. Content types found at this stage in the buyer's journey include: Blog posts Social posts Research studies Analyst reports

  21. Buyer's Journey: Maximize Content Marketing Impact

    The Role Content Marketing Plays in the Buyer's Journey (+ examples) Producing and distributing videos, images, and blog posts are some of the best ways for brands to reach, engage, convert, and retain customers and achieve a high ROI — no matter their position in the buyer's journey. While high-quality posts (regardless of format) can ...

  22. Buyer's Journey: 4 Models

    Buyer's Journey: 4 Models Each buyer is unique, but they usually have similar journeys. Consider four buyer's journey models to create relevant content - Content Marketing Institute

  23. Buyer's Journey: A Definitive Guide

    The buyer's journey is the base of content marketing strategies. I have explained the buyer's journey, the use of the content at different stages of the buyer's journey, and its application with a pretty accurate case study.

  24. 4 B2B Content Types for Buying Journey Stages

    1. Educational Content for Awareness. During the awareness stage of the B2B buyer's journey, customers may just be realizing the full extent of their pain point or problem. Educational content will introduce a company to a potential client as a trusted and knowledgeable resource on the issue. Content in the form of webinar s, tutorials, and how ...

  25. How to Create Sales Collaterals that Convert

    A significant 71% of B2B buyers say they download and consume multiple assets to help with the decision-making process and an equal number said they share such content with their team members. This underscores the influence of sales collateral, ranging from traditional brochures to dynamic digital content like blogs and videos, in steering potential customers through their buying journey.

  26. Kate Foley

    9 likes, 0 comments - theshopfiles on January 24, 2024: "BUYERS 﫶 >>>>> followers So you wanna consistently get your brand in front of the right p..." Kate Foley | Marketing & Sales Strategy on Instagram: "BUYERS 🫶🏼 >>>>> followers So you wanna consistently get your brand in front of the right people and grow a community of people who buy?