Marketing is in a constant state of evolution, and if you blinked, you may have missed the shift from using marketing funnels to focusing on the buyer’s journey. Now more than ever, we’re focusing on the consumer; not on what we can sell them, but rather how we can solve their problems.
The Buyer’s Journey is an Improved Version of the Marketing Funnel
The traditional marketing funnel tends to break up the phases of customer readiness. It begins with awareness, then progresses onto interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and finally, a purchase. This is helpful if you want to target a customer with a specific message depending on what his readiness level is. However, it is geared toward sales, and not toward building relationships. No matter what your level of marketing expertise is, you no doubt understand that you don’t just want to make a sale. You want that customer to come back again and again. Hence, the buyer’s journey.
The Buyer Has Four Pitstops on His Journey
Unlike the six phases of the traditional marketing funnel, the buyer’s journey has only four steps.
Pitstop 1: Awareness of the Problem
Most customers have a good idea of what their problem is, but this is not always true. For example, maybe you operate a salon, and your customer has unmanageable hair, but she doesn’t know why. On the other hand, she might know that she has damaged her hair with heat while styling it. In either case, she’s aware something’s wrong and is looking for potential solutions.
Pitstop 2: Considering Options
The second pitstop basically skips all the way to “evaluation” in the sales funnel. At this point, the customer is weighing her options. Does she want to try a home remedy, an over-the-counter cure, or visit a salon?
Pitstop 3: Decision
Now that the customer knows what her choices are, she picks one.
Pitstop 4: Happiness
If the company has done its job and the customer has made a wise selection, she’ll likely become a happy customer. When the brand continues to fulfill her needs, she becomes more loyal and stays with it.
Your Job is to Meet the Customer at Every Pitstop with Content
Content is a powerful tool and it can be very inexpensive to create. This is generally referred to as content marketing, and it includes things like blogs, articles, infographics, and videos.
Pitstop 1: Introduce Solutions
When the customer is searching for haircare help, you’re there to meet her with lots of helpful information. In time, she learns that you’re the authority on your product or service, so she grows comfortable with your brand.
Pitstop 2: Convert
Because the customer is already familiar with you and trusts you, she listens to your advice about her problem. She weighs the options you present.
Pitstop 3: Close
Naturally, she’s likely to choose your product or service because of your relationship, but you can help sweeten the pot by offering her a discount or a free consultation.
Pitstop 4: Delight
From this point on, all you have to do is keep the customer happy. Part of this is continuing to provide her with great products and services, but you should also know what other things are important to her. Maybe she likes being associated with your brand, your loyalty program, being invited to exclusive flash sales, the fact that you donate proceeds to a charity, or some other aspect of how your company operates. It’s up to you to reach her with these messages via content marketing.
Content Distribution via Social Media is Key
There are lots of ways to get your messages in front of customers, such as direct publishing to your blog and email, but social media still reigns mighty in this department. Your customer is already there. The latest stats show the average person now spends nearly two hours on social media every single day.
Pitstop 1: Introduce Yourself
Create social media profiles and fill them out completely. Begin sharing helpful content, including pieces you have created and other things your audience might find useful. Be active in groups and on pages, so people are familiar with your brand and your content gets shared more.
Pitstop 2: Show Why Your Company is Awesome
Keep up with your regular posts, but occasionally drop in a note about something that makes your brand, product, or service better or unique.
Pitstop 3: Make the Customer an Offer She Can’t Refuse
There are lots of ways to get offers out there. You can simply post something and direct people to your website, create a deal, promote a post, or use the platform’s advertising options to post an ad.
Pitstop 4: Keep Her Happy
Being the savvy marketer you are, you know what traits your customer has and what makes her happiest about your brand. Maybe she gets super excited when you talk to her in a post, or when you share a post about the good she does a non-profit when she buys your product. Maybe she likes your flash sales or something else entirely. The point is, you can continue to reach her through social media and allow her to share what she loves best. As she shares your content, it serves as a direct referral, and your business grows.
Start Leveraging Social Media Today
The truth is, virtually anyone can tap into social media and content marketing and get amazing results. However, managing social accounts, creating content, overseeing the distribution, and creating a strategy can be a lot of work. If creating a campaign is not something that excites you or you simply don’t have the time or expertise, let us help. We can create highly-sharable content and build your audience to drive your revenue, so you can focus on what you do best. Contact us today and let us know how we can help.