Generate Content to Meet All Phases of the Buying Cycle
The Buying Cycle – How to Catch a Client
Marketing in many ways is similar to fishing. You need to understand the waters, choose the right bait and be aware of external conditions that sometimes you simply cannot control.
Those of you that fish, understand there is a provable method to catching the best one. However, you need to consider all of the external conditions that exist around you, how ready the fish are to bite and which bait will catch the best fish prior to settling on a strategy.
Same goes with marketing. Buyers are always in different stages of their buying journey. Some may just be starting out, collecting information and doing their initial research, while others may have purchased from you in the past, and require periodic follow-ups to keep the relationship going.
Marketing teams refer this process as the Buying Cycle and those who modify and adjust their strategies to each step in the journey have a greater chance at maintaining customers for life.
Each Buyer requires different bait to probe an actionable response.
Buyers who are looking to become more efficient, improve a process or resolve an issue typically are in the Awareness stage. They have recently become ‘aware’ of an inefficient process, or a pain point in doing business effectively.
9 times out of 10, prospects will turn to a web search to start the research process. This is why you want to have online content so that potential buyers can find you.
The best content to support a buyer in the Awareness stage would be white papers, eBooks, customer reviews and even educational videos. Your presence at trade shows and membership organizations are effective in this stage as well. In a sense they are looking for solutions on a large scale and have not yet defined their specific needs at this point.
This stage has not yet matured to the point where a sales person should step in. This stage is about nurturing trust and defining the right solution to meet the client’s specific needs. This is also a great opportunity to establish your company as a trustworthy source of information.
Buyers move into the consideration phase when they have conducted enough research to start defining their specific need. In this stage, they start understanding their key criteria and are able to eliminate vendors and products that do not meet their exact needs.
Buyers in this stage will continue to visit your website and take in more information. That is why you want multiple forms of educational content on your website in order to keep your prospects coming back.
In addition, many clients will need to justify their research to upper management. Content that is geared towards returns on their investment, innovative technology or ways to increase their investment are key in this phase. Gear your content as if you were speaking to the entire C-suite by using the words that best resonate with them.
Content that best supports buyers in this stage would be product demos, presentation videos, sales representation presentations, pricing conversations and setting up discussions between satisfied customers and your prospective buyer.
As soon as buyers have gotten the green light from their upper management, more research will be done to narrow down the final decision. Factors beyond features and benefits will include service support, any initial project fees, and any details that will aid in the preparation of starting the business relationship.
Content in this phase needs to be laser-specific to the benefits of working with your company over any other one! Case studies, customer testimonials and client reviews can be used as social proof you can deliver on your promises. Now is the time to show when other clients have chosen you over the rest, they have been satisfied with their choice.
When the prospect finally chooses you, congratulations! However, even though you have landed the deal, your job is not yet complete. In order to keep that new client over the long-term, you need to create content and strategies that support the customer’s needs after the sale, foster loyalty, and keep your customer service high in order to generate referrals.
What kinds of content do you already have in your wheelhouse that could attract buyers and different stages in their journey? If you were to craft a piece of content today, which stage of the Buyer’s Journey would you focus upon and why? If you are ready to tailor your marketing content to appeal to buyers in ALL stages of their journey, then reach out to Smartegies for an in-depth conversation to discuss your situation.
Visit us online at smartegies.com or give us a call at (770) 807-0026.