The previous article in our buyer's journey series covered how to write for awareness – the first stage in the process. In this article, we're going to show you how to write for the second step of the buyer's journey, which is consideration.
Step 2: Consideration
In the first stage of the buyer's journey, which is awareness, the consumer has begun to recognize that they have a problem or need that requires a solution. As they learn more about the issue they have, the stages merge from awareness to consideration.
In the consideration step of the buyer's journey, the consumer can define the problem or need exactly and begin to gather information on how to best solve it. According to a recent GE shopper research study, 81 percent of consumers do online research before they decide to purchase a product. An even more surprising statistic is that consumers will spend an average of 79 days researching and gathering information before they decide to make a significant purchase.
Understanding Your Prospect's Journey
By the time a potential customer arrives at the point of consideration, they have already identified a specific problem that needs to be solved. At this stage, you have captured their attention as they're searching for a solution to the problem. The content you create in the consideration stage needs to show prospects why your brand's solution is better than anyone else's.
Engage Your Prospects
The purpose of the content you create in this stage is to build lasting relationships with customers. Providing insights and solutions while demonstrating your industry expertise is critical here. You want consumers to feel confident that your product aligns with their goals and can help them solve their problems.
It's important to note that while you're working on convincing the right customers that your solution is the best for them, you should also be transparent in helping people determine if your resolution is not the best for them. It's essential to provide content that's authentic, accurate, honest, and value-adding.
If you go out on a limb to convince everyone to buy your product, but it's not the best solution for some of them, it will harm your customer retention rater later on down the line. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to set up a potential scenario where customers end up disappointed in the future after falling for overreaching promises or claims you made.
Understand Your Buyer Persona(s)
While you're creating content for the consideration stage, buyer personas need to remain at the forefront of your mind. The second stage in the buyer's journey is a crucial point where you can target the most qualified prospects and filter out people who won't benefit from your product.
Defining your buyer persona is an essential step in the marketing process. A buyer persona is a detailed description of a fictional person representing the majority of your target audience. This person embodies all of the characteristics of your most promising prospects.
Creating a buyer persona forces you to sit down and hash out this character's demographic details, behavioral traits, interests, pain points, goals, and buying patterns. You can even use stock photographs to give them a face or go so far as to make a full-size cut out of them. The more life you give to your buyer persona, the better you'll come to understand it, which in turn means understanding the entirety of your target audience.
Remember that different groups of people may seek your products for various reasons. In such cases, you should create a buyer persona to represent each group.
As you consider these model customers, you can speak to them as if they're real people. Doing this will help you craft compelling marketing messages and content. The buyer persona(s) will guide everything from your brand's voice to which social media channels you focus on and even product development.
Types of Content to Focus On
While general, generic content is enough to hook customers in the first stage of the buyer's journey, the content you create for the consideration stage needs to be impactful, comprehensive, and to the point. If you fail to keep the prospect hooked long enough to convert, you'll have wasted all of your marketing efforts.
As the consumer researches options in this stage, they'll be looking for solutions that offer them the most value. Their thought process at this point is more focused on specifics. The consideration stage of the buyer's journey provides the perfect opportunity for you to explain how you can provide a solution without losing your prospect's interest.
The ideal channels for content in the consideration stage of the buyer's journey are social media, email marketing, and retargeting or remarketing. Use landing or service pages on your website as well as social media platforms to share things like:
· Case studies
· Vendor comparisons
· Data Sheets
· Demos and trials
· Pricing and implementation data
Creating Downloadable Resources
Downloadable resources include things like eBooks, guides, checklists, and tip sheets. This type of content makes for a perfect link from an awareness-stage blog post. Creating this type of content is ideal for showcasing your industry expertise and the value that customers will get from your brand in an easy-to-read format.
Writing Stage 2 Blog Posts and Articles
While you can use blog posts in each stage of the buyer's journey, the content you provide in each will differ. While stage one blog posts contain generic, purely informative content, stage two blog posts should include various options for solving your prospect's problems. While listing out the different options, you should position your brand in an appealing way to nudge the readers to choose your product. This is also an ideal way to weed out those who wouldn't be interested in what you're selling.
Take the example of a fitness facility focusing on people who want to lose weight. In the awareness stage, they may have captured attention by writing a blog post about various ways to lose weight, focusing on exercise. In the consideration stage, they would write a blog post about specific exercise types that best support weight loss. This article would include some types of exercise that benefit muscle growth and ones done outside of a gym, helping to churn away people who wouldn't be interested in getting a gym membership.
Using Comparison Videos
Videos are great tools for attracting attention these days. When writing content for comparison videos, your goal should be to explain as in-depth as possible how your product can help solve your prospect's problems. You can also use comparison videos to answer questions you've received about your product and how it compares to your competitors.
The most important thing to remember when creating videos is to be as authentic and relatable as possible. The last thing you want is to come across too gimmicky or salesy in a video because that is very unappealing to most potential buyers. Understand that a comparison video is not a commercial but an honest way for you to express how great your product can be for the people who need it.
In our last article for this series, we'll be discussing the final stage in the buyer's journey: decision. You'll learn how to hook your prospects for good and drive your sales home, so stay tuned.