Marketing is much more than flashing an ad in front of someone and turning them into a drooling zombie who absolutely must have your product. Maybe in a perfect world, but alas, we do not live in that world. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to you.
Learning to think like one of your customers might just be the number one best thing you can do to bring in more of them. Putting out content that sells your brand is not enough. You need to create content that speaks to your customers and gives them what they need, when they need it. Especially online, consumers do not want a sales pitch from you, they want information.
There are two key points you should keep in mind when creating content to be used online.
- The consumer should feel like they are learning something
- A potential buyer has different needs at different times
If you can produce content that caters to both of the points above, you will put yourself leaps and bounds ahead of your competition. Let’s look at how to do exactly that.
Four Stages Of Buyer Readiness
A potential buyer goes through four distinct stages on their journey from deciding they need something to deciding to buy something. If you develop content that is targeted toward each of these four stages, you stand a much better chance of being the chosen one when the buyer reaches the end of their journey.
Stage 1 – A Need Is Recognized
At this point the buyer realizes that they have a need for some kind of product or service. They have a problem that they can not resolve on their own. They have recognized that they will need to purchase a product or service to help them solve the problem.
Your targeted content at this point should help the potential buyer to analyze their problem. You want to show them that you understand their problem and can provide real information on how to solve it.
Stage 2 – Options Are Evaluated
At this stage the buyer has an idea of what could solve his problem. He is looking through options. He is comparing prices, reliability, performance and other relevant factors.
Your content for consumers in this stage should help the potential buyer to see the differences between his options. Show pros and cons, costs and benefits.
Stage 3 – Concerns Are Resolved
Now the buyer is looking to alleviate any final concerns they have before finalizing their decision. They will use things like news and customer reviews about specific products to figure out if they are making a good decision or not.
Content you provide for this stage should help clear any concerns the customer the might have and show them how to reduce any risk they associate with their purchase.
Stage 4 – The Purchase Is Made
Now the buyer has gone through all of the information and finally come to a decision. He is ready to make a purchase.
Content at this stage should guide the buyer towards closing the sale. Reinforce the decision that has been made and make the final purchase as friendly and easy as possible.
Remember, you can pick up a potential customer at any one of the first three stages. Releasing content that speaks to a potential customer in each individual stage creates a better chance that they will find exactly what they need, when they need it.
The key thing here is that you are building trust. The customer is not being convinced by a sales pitch. They are being educated and learning to trust you. They are making their own decision as they go through their journey.