If you’re at this content marketing stage (creating content based on stages of your customer’s journey), then you’ve probably already established your buyer personas and are refining your content strategy.
Celebrate yourself – you rock!
OK, onto the next phase of your content strategy – optimizing the buyer’s journey with content that your prospects and customers need at each step they take in purchasing your product or service.
5-Stage Buyer’s Journey
I define five stages of the buyer’s journey.
- Defining the Problem: Potential customers experience unpleasantness and try to figure out the cause.
- Defining the Solution: Potential customers determine solutions to their problem.
- Comparing Providers: With a solution in mind, it’s time to evaluate and select a product or service provider.
- Using the Product or Service: Customers seek help using their chosen product or service.
- Making Life Even Better: Customers evaluate additional offerings from your company.
Now, we’ll define what the customer’s looking for at each stage and the type of content you should create.
Stage 1: Defining the Problem
Here’s where potential customers notice pain and want to know the cause.
For example, they’re driving along and the car pulls to the right. A Google search of “car pulls to the right” yields this AGCO Automotive Repair Corporation post called Reasons a Vehicle Pulls, Other Than Alignment. There’s a ton of great information in there!
To create content for this stage of the buyer’s journey, look at the problems your product or service solves and make a list of the symptoms of those problems.
Create content that tells your potential customers what problems they have based on their collection of symptoms.
Stage 2: Defining the Solution
Your potential buyers now know the problem and need the solution.
Maybe you work for a skin-care company and sell facial moisturizers.
Some of your potential customers want to reduce wrinkles.
You’d want to create content that shares all of the solutions to their wrinkle woes.
You’ll want to tell them to limit their time in the sun and to use sunscreen. You’ll also want to tell them about products to use – and even mention the possibility of surgery.
You want to give potential customers the options and let them choose the best solution for their lifestyle and situation.
Stage 3. Comparing Providers
Why might a potential customer want to go with you over the competition?
Remember, your solution isn’t for everyone. This is where defining your brand and your customers really helps you shine.
What does your product or service offer? What does it exclude?
Create content that helps people decide between providers based on their needs or personalities.
For example, Notion offers a home monitoring system and competes with home automation systems like Nest. Your home security choice depends on a variety of factors that Notion discusses in the post Home Automation vs. Home Monitoring: Which is Right for You?
Stage 4: Using the Product or Service
Once someone has purchased your product or service, they might have questions about how to use it.
Create content that answers all of those questions.
This content is great for your FAQ page. You can also host a forum where customers can discuss the product with each other and with members of your team.
For example, I use Michael Hyatt’s Get Noticed! WordPress theme for this site, and I love the customer forum. I know that if I have a question, I can check the forum and chat with the community.
Ask your customer service team for the most common questions they receive and write blog posts answering them. Ask your customers if they have any challenges using your product or services and write content that helps.
Stage 5: Making Life Even Better
Once you get a customer, you want a repeat customer.
Create content that highlights your other products or services that complement the one they already bought.
How will the additional purchase benefit them? What makes the extra cost worth it?
Does their purchase get them a discount on a related purchase? That’s great content for an email to current customers.
Copyblogger has a “member perks” section. As a member of Authority, I can get discounts on Copyblogger software.
Create the Content for Your Buyer’s Journey
Now that you know the stages of the buyer’s journey, you can determine which content to create for your own brand’s customers and potential customers.