Inbound marketing is the best tool you can have in your arsenal when trying to reach new prospects and retain your current customers. One of the most important steps of improving your inbound methodology is to get into your customer's heads, and use the buyer's journey to design your content.
Craft your 'Buyer Persona'
Before you can start looking at your buyer's journey, you have to know who your buyer is. Who are you targeting with the service or product you provide? What do they deal with on a daily basis? What problem can you help them solve? What language and terms do they think and speak in? Once you get inside your ideal customer's head, you'll be able to better understand what they're looking for and how to craft your content specifically for them.
Know the steps
Now that you've got a good grasp on your target audience, it's time to examine the process they'll go through when buying a product. This allows you to tailor your content accordingly, which not only shows them that you understand their needs, but you can also provide the solution they're looking for.
Step 1: Awareness. At this stage, your buyer is either in the process of, or has already ascertained, that they have a problem that they need to solve. This is where they will start doing research and looking for information relating to their problem, and the best solutions for solving it.
Your buyer will probably browse through many types of media in this stage of the process -- ebooks, blogs, informational webpages, white papers, and how-to videos are all fairly common ways to share knowledge for this step of the process. The type of content you create is really only dependent on your particular customer base's quirks, and it's recommended to offer more than one way to consume your content -- it makes knowledge-gathering that much easier.
Step 2: Consideration. Now that your buyer has a good wealth of knowledge about their exact problem and the possible solutions, they can start sorting through it in order to figure out what the best solution would be for their specific needs.
The content you provided for the first step may have been a bit more general, now is where you can create and distribute content that really digs into the heart of the matter. You want to provide the deeper look, the grit, the meat of your product, and how it helps solve their problems. Good media for this stage includes webinars, technical blogs, product info videos, and in-depth ebooks, to name a few.
Step 3: Decision. At this point, your buyer has compiled most, or all, of the information they feel that they need to make a decision about choosing a solution. It's key to remember that at this stage, your buyer is not only looking at a solution, but the person or company providing it. They want to know that you truly understand your customer's needs, you'll be able to provide the service or product they need at the right price, and that you can not only back up what you claim, but that you'll continue to provide excellent services and solutions in the future.
The media you should be providing at this stage would ideally be: Customer testimonials and reviews, Product demonstrations, Product Trials, Vendor or Product Comparison studies, and 'About us' type pages, to name a few. You want to be able to show your buyer that your product truly does provide solutions, why they should pick you over other vendors, and your company's culture.
While these steps are pretty stream-lined, it's important to remember that the journey is not always simple and straightforward. A customer can bounce back and forth several times between step 1 and step 2 before ever reaching step 3, and they may even hit step 3 and then go straight back to 1 when provided with new information. Keep this in mind when creating your content.
As long as you tailor your content to each specific stage of the journey, and make sure it's provided at the right time and is easy to access, you should be able to streamline your inbound methodology and reach your target audience easier. Another great tip -- make sure your content is concise, straightforward, and easy to consume! Keeping it simple while providing the pertinent facts will ensure that your buyer gets all the information they need without becoming overwhelmed or confused.
To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call or send us a note today at Small Dog Creative 661-702-1310!