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3 Stages of a Typical Buying Process (i.e. The Buyer's Journey)

3 Stages of a Typical Buying Process

What is the buyer’s journey? The buyer’s journey consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. And according to HubSpot, it is the active research process a potential buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. With the proven concept of inbound marketing, it allows us marketers to conceptualize the buyer’s journey as a framework to create targeted content for each stage.    
Let’s review what you as a marketer can include in each of the three stages to move potential buyers closer to purchase:

Awareness

At this stage, a potential buyer is just realizing a want or need for a product and/or service. They are most likely entering search terms in Google to clearly understand more about what it is they are looking for. Foremost, this is where an effective SEO strategy plays a major role in online marketing so your company can show up in relevant search results.
Most potential buyers in this awareness stage are seeking neutral information to answer questions or resolve pain points they may have. To be an effective marketer, it is important to recognize this type of consumer mentality and cater your marketing communications to provide solutions, ideas, and purpose to what it is they’re interested in. A few top-of-the-funnel content offers to introduce:
  1. Education content in blog posts
  2. eGuides and eBooks
  3. White papers
  4. Industry research/analyst reports

The Ultimate Guide to Converting Leads into Customers

Additionally, it may be smart to include keywords like prevent, troubleshoot, or improve within your content. Ultimately, this will help attract more leads by providing valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.

Consideration

With a clearly defined want or need for a product and/or service, potential buyers are interested in learning what options are available to them. The desire to compare products indicates this customer is further along in the buyer’s journey, however, it does not necessarily mean they want to be sold to… yet. You are still delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent about their potential purchase. Here are some examples of content offers you should provide to qualify your lead for the decision stage:
  1. Product comparison guides
  2. Expert guides
  3. Live interactions: podcast or video
Within these communications, use keywords like provider, service, tool, appliance, etc. 

Intent

Sell! Sell! Sell? Yes. Now that a potential buyer is evaluating their purchase decision as a qualified lead, it is imperative for marketers to create content with one goal in mind, and that is to move the prospect even closer to purchase. During this stage, it is recommended to include the following in your marketing strategy:
  1. Leverage customer testimonials or case studies.
  2. Offer a free trial download or live demo.
  3. Provide spec sheets and/or product literature.
  4. Tell your brand’s story.
  5. Utilize PPC ad text featuring a limited time discount.
Close the deal by including keywords such as compare, pros and cons, review, or test.
And, that is the buyer’s journey in a nutshell. With proper inbound marketing tactics applied to each of these three stages, you’ll be able to make content available through the right channels. Remember the main goal of buyer’s journey, take advantage of a more customer-centric philosophy to better position your company for addressing the needs of your target audience, converting them into leads and ultimately, into customers.
What stage of the buyer’s journey can your company improve upon and why? 
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