The methodology of inbound marketing includes attracting strangers on the Internet, converting them into leads, and eventually into delighted customers. But how do you attract these strangers, earn their trust, and form long-term customer relationships? With great content. Great content acts as a magnet to capture your prospects' attention so they come to you.
The buyer’s journey is the path each persona takes in order to become a customer. HubSpot defines the buyer's journey as the active research process potential customers go through leading up to a purchase. In simpler terms, what questions, problems, or opportunities do your potential customers come across that you could help them with? The content you create should target the problems your particular personas are experiencing or any needs they may have. To keep things organized, there are three very important lifecycle stages to consider in the journey:
1. Awareness Stage:
Prospects realize they are experiencing symptoms of a problem or have an issue that needs to be resolved. They start researching (typically via the Internet) to more clearly understand and define their problem.
2. Consideration Stage:
Prospects have a clear definition of their problem or opportunity. They are committed to researching and understanding the options at their disposal.
3. Decision Stage:
Prospects have evaluated all the different solutions and now chooses which solution they'll use to solve their problem.
Using the BUyer's Journey
Most companies and marketing teams are guilty of focusing the bulk of their online content on the decision stage (Buy Our Products, Join Our Club, etc.), instead of focusing on the why of their product or service. I know I’ve been guilty of it in the past, but I’ve learned that inbound encourages you to create content for each stage of the buyer's journey because it’s critical to long-term success. Why? It helps build trust and frames your company as a thought leader in your field of business.
Let’s take a look at this through an abbreviated version from one of our own client’s buyer’s journeys:
Client: Video Production Company Persona: Marketing Molly
In this stage, Molly is interested in learning about all the different types of online marketing solutions available but wants to find a unique solution – one that will resonate with her potential customers.
Molly is Asking: What type of online marketing solutions will move my company forward?
Content That Could Benefit Her: Checklists, whitepapers, and eBooks on the different ways to market your business online. For example, Tips for Creating Engaging Content.
Now, Molly knows a little more about engaging content through video, and she wants to explore options.
Molly is Asking: Video could be a great solution for telling our company story. What types of video options are there? What is the video process?
Content That Could Benefit Her: Case studies featuring client successes, webinars, and infographics. For example: The Video and Production Process Explained.
Molly is ready to make a decision about which video production company she will choose to brand her company. Dazzle her by showcasing what makes your company better than all the rest. Connect with her. Earn her trust.
Molly is Asking: Why do you do video best? Are you right for me?
Content That Could Benefit Her: Culture-focused blog posts by internal employees, video demos, and checklists. For example: How to Prepare For a Video Shoot checklist.
As illustrated above, understanding the questions your buyer persona has at each stage of the buyer's journey helps you better map out the content for each stage. This exercise ensures that your potential customer will be guided through the sales process as they receive answers to their questions at each stage of their journey. HubSpot has simplified this process by providing a free downloadable Content Mapping Template.
To learn more about all things inbound, check out our free downloadable eBook: How to Create an Effective Inbound Marketing Campaign by clicking on the button below.
A deep love of art and design drives me as I navigate the ever-changing waters of marketing. I am constantly looking for new and better ways to give the inbound marketing methodology the beautiful face it deserves. As the Art Director, I ensure that all of the design work we produce is top notch and designed with a purpose. When I’m not trying to solve creative problems, my life revolves around my family and friends, my passion for music, and my addiction to stories.