The buyer journey is something that any business owner must understand to stand out and be successful in the 2017 digital atmosphere. You must first put yourself in the buyer’s driver seat.
Being a business owner, as many of you know, people are constantly trying to sell you shit. It’s ridiculous. Who wants to listen to an average sales pitch selling an average product? Most likely, it’s not even worth your time to listen to a guy talk about “why you need” his product.
We can break down the journey of an informed/modern buyer in 5 Basic Steps:
Awareness, Engagement, Purchase, Loyalty and Advocacy.
The key to success is to understand each step of the process and to figure out where the buyer is in their journey. Ask yourself the following questions:
Has the buyer researched your company and your competition?
Did this buyer find you or did you have to search for them?
All important things to take into consideration. These things will tell you where your buyer is and how you need to approach him. So let’s break it down:
Step 1: AWARENESS
A.k.a. GET FOUND. The beginning of the buyer journey starts by driving attention and awareness towards your company and products. This step is where creative branding, attractive and interesting social media posting, and Search Engine Optimization are key.
Start by developing a strategy that will allow you to grasp the attention of your audience and drive them towards your products/services. Do this by showing them that your company has the ability and energy to impact their life or business in a positive way or answer/solve the question that they were searching for when they found you.
Step 2: ENGAGEMENT
Once you get customers into the Engagement stage, you know that your awareness process is working. Now that the buyer is aware of your company and what you do, you have to keep them ENGAGED. You do this through means of providing interesting content which relates to them and their needs, a.k.a. giving them real value, free of charge.
Blogs are a great way to do this (kinda like the one you are reading right now). With RIVALUS, we constantly provided daily content to boost awareness around our proteins and how our products differed and were better than our competition. Engagement doesn’t necessarily revolve around your products and services only, but also around information and new or trendy subjects that your audience will find engaging that are pertinent to the brand. For instance, at RIVALUS, we blogged not only about our supplements, but about valuable workouts. Were not selling workouts, but we want people to engage around the brand and spark conversations which in turn create engagement around your brand.
Step 3: THE SALE
If steps 1 and 2 are successful, the sale becomes the easiest part of the process. Creating an easy avenue for the customer to make a purchase is key. Having a personable sales department and amazing customer service becomes essential so frustration levels stay low. Even the smallest glitch in your sales system can drive away a customer. In the end, there are other people who can sell them a similar product. To ensure the sale, be the company who has a flawless purchase plan, then, delight the shit out of them.
Step 4: DELIGHT: Turning a buyer into a Loyal Customer
Marketing never ends. The sale is not the end goal. It’s the beginning.
Now the goal is to create customers out of buyers. Keeping engagement at the forefront, we want to put information pertaining to other things which relate to original purchases. You will respond to messages, comments, and complaints in a quick and orderly fashion. This gives the feeling that you truly care about the customer and their experience.
Creating new, exciting, and intriguing products and content is the key to creating a brand induced community. This community will be loyal to your brand because you do more for those people then similar companies do. True communities will attract like people, growing your brand and bringing you more sales.
Step 5: ADVOCACY
Creating advocated to spread the word about your business is not a one step process. You have to continuously engage with your audience and potential audience by providing actionable content that gives real value.
This stuff takes time.
A new follower likes a recent post? Go to their page and like 2 posts. Be a real life human representation of your brand. Give people incentives to be brand advocates and diplomats. Never stop creating new material for your loyal customers to read and enjoy. Engage them not only through your services and products, but give them information and news about exciting things that affect their personal lives.
Each step of the buyer journey feeds off the prior: You can’t create brand advocates if you don’t have loyal customers.You can’t have loyal customers unless you have a flawless sales process. You can’t make a sale unless you have engaged with your potential customers. And customers don’t appear out of thin air. You have to give people a clear cut vision of what your product is and what it will do for them. We’ve only scratched the surface of the complexity of the buyer journey.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the complexity of the buyer journey. What’s your key takeaway? What do you do with your business to set yourself apart during your buyer journey? Leave a comment below or tweet at us: @forgedigitalmkt