Have you heard about the buyer journey and wondered what it was? Do you know what the buyer journey is and wonder how to ensure that your social media content is written accordingly? Read on.
What is the buyer journey?
Traditionally you will see the buyer journey written in three stages: awareness, consideration, decision.
Traditionally the journey starts with your buyer becoming aware that they have a problem or a need that needs solving. They can come to this position on their own, through discussions with another person, or from being exposed to a piece of marketing. The buyer will then start to research their issue further.
In this stage, the buyer has learnt, through research, how to define their problem and any particular relevant terms. From here they use this acquired knowledge to do more research to look at the options available to them.
After finalizing their research and narrowing their options, the buyer makes their purchasing decision and purchases the solution.
The problem with this buyer journey
The issue with this buyer’s journey is that it doesn’t take any consideration before they are aware they have an issue and after they make the purchase. If we consider the person as a whole we need to consider these states as part of their whole journey.
If we look at the role marketing, and particularly social media has in this there are a few things business owners should consider:
– front of mind awareness
– growing brand trust/awareness
These parts of marketing all lead a client quickly from awareness through consideration to decision and hopefully that is in your favour because you’ve developed a relationship with the buyer before they’ve even engaged your business.
Another issue with this buyer journey is that it does not consider an analysis of decisions in the buyer journey. I know there’s nothing worse as a buyer than to receive an item only to feel ripped off or duped. This post-purchase analysis is important in retaining a buyer. It is also a critical point where businesses should be asking for reviews, testimonials and feedback. In fact, asking for a review right after purchase can influence the analysis stage. When asking for a review straight after purchase, a buyer is in a more positive state and more likely to give a positive review to reaffirm their decision to purchase.
The final issue with this four-stage buyer journey is after the decision is made. After we make the decision & purchase, many buyers carry on to be brand advocates. Brand advocates are an invaluable marketing tool for a business. They carry out the role of educating, seeding, growing trust before a new buyer becomes aware; they also help others in the consideration and decision stages.
Revised Buyer Journey
So, if I was to take the changes I would make to produce a more holistic picture of our buyer behaviour, it would look a little more like this:
-Decision (Intent & Purchase)
The buyer journey and social media content
What does this mean for your social media content?
Firstly, I hope you realise that you need more than sales posts. In fact, if we use this graphic only 1:5 or 1:6 posts should be selling. The remaining posts should be helping:
– helping to make a decision
– helping to evaluate their decision
– helping to advocate
What would that look like? Well I wish I could tell you specifically but what I can tell you is what the research says about engaging content and that in any way you need to understand and answer the questions the buyer would ask about your product or service dependant on their:
– fears about it
– needs around it
– beliefs about it and your business (including broader personal beliefs)
– values about it and your business, and
– goals relating to it.
Perhaps you want to align your content to your sales funnel? Or you’d like to know how the buyer’s journey aligns with traffic?
You can see that early on in the buyer journey your social media needs to be written for the top of the funnel and cold traffic, when they are researching and deciding they are warm traffic, and after purchase and through loyalty, they are hot traffic.
I hope you now have an idea why the buyer journey needs more than four parts and how to use it when creating social media content that keeps your buyer at the centre of your communications.
Need some more resources to help you with your content? Then check these out below.