Buying journey: what it is and its importance for the Digital Marketing strategy

Digital Marketing

Buying journey: what it is and its importance for the Digital Marketing strategy

Discover the 4 steps of the buying journey and learn how to balance your company’s content production for all steps in the funnel

Do you know the meaning of the shopping journey? Well, to understand this idea, the first thing is to know that Content Marketing is the basis of a  results Digital Marketing strategy for your company.

After all, it is the content that attracts visitors to your website and makes your business a reference in your area of ​​expertise. It is also he who feeds relationship actions with Leads and prepares them for the moment of sale.

In order for this whole machine to work well and reach the ultimate goal, it is essential that you know the steps your target audience goes through before becoming a customer. It is precisely these steps that make up the buying journey.

But what is the Buying Journey?

The Buying Journey is every path that the potential customer takes before becoming a customer. These are steps that all buyers go through, most of the time without even knowing they are going through them.

Also known in English as buyer’s journey, some sources present it with three stages: awareness (knowledge), consideration (consideration) and decision (decision).

Here at Blue World City, we usually divide the Purchasing Journey into the following 4 steps:

  1. Learning and discovery;
  2. Problem recognition;
  3. Solution consideration and
  4. Buying decision.
  5. The importance of creating the journey is so that we can map which stage each Lead is at. It is important to keep in mind that each Lead (represented by a persona ) can be at a different stage and maturity.
  6. Let’s look at each of these, their goals and practical examples.

The steps of the buying journey

1 – Learning and discovery

At the beginning of the process, the consumer doesn’t know (or doesn’t know very well) that he has a problem or need. It is still raising interest in a certain topic and your company’s objective is to capture your attention.

Later on, you will make him realize that he has a problem or a business opportunity.

Example

Joana owns a small market. As her store needs to restock frequently, she searches the internet for help in organizing her work.

If your company offers inventory control software, at that time you could offer Joana blog posts with themes such as “Tips on how to organize your company’s inventory”.

As it is a topic that helps in her daily life, she finds it through the internet search or through shares on social networks and becomes interested.

2 – Problem recognition

Here, the consumer has gone a little deeper into the topic and realizes that he has a problem or an opportunity. The objective here is to “generate” this need in it

Or rather, it’s revealing to him a problem he has but didn’t know about yet. From that point on, he starts to research and study the problem more and look for solutions for it.

Example

Joana begins to notice that she has difficulty controlling her store’s stock and that she needs to find a solution to make her life easier. She then starts looking for information on how to improve her work.

A post that your company could do would be “How to calculate the ideal stock for your company”. It could also be a webinar on the topic or even a  template spreadsheet to help with the task.

3 – Consideration of the solution

After further research, the buyer has mapped out some possible solutions and starts evaluating them. Here he needs to identify your product or service as a (good) solution for him.

It’s interesting to create a sense of urgency so that he can move forward in the process and don’t leave it to solve the problem later (or have time to look for other solutions).

Example

Joana notes that calculating her own inventory can be complex and time-consuming, and she has other activities to take care of. It’s time to show her that there are ready-made solutions on the market that can help her.

Contents like “Stock control software for small businesses” would be useful here. It’s time to introduce your tool to her.

4 – Purchase decision

At the end of the process, the consumer analyzes the options and finally makes his decision: it is time to purchase. Time to show your company’s differentials in relation to competitors and convince you that your product is the right choice!

Example

Joana is interested in her software and researches more about it. A post comparing him to a competitor can help her understand that your solution is the best option.

She can even do a free trial (trial)  for a certain period to test the tool. At the end of that time, she enjoyed the experience and decided to close the purchase.

How to produce content for every step of the buying journey

Understanding the previous 4 steps is extremely important to determine what content should be created. Only by knowing these steps you can make your visitor or lead evolve until the end of the process.

We recommend that you do this even before starting content production. If the process is already underway, we reinforce the importance of carrying out this analysis to guide what should be done going forward.

As in Joana’s example, if I know what her needs are at each stage, I know exactly what to offer to facilitate her evolution on the journey.

Mapping what should be done for each step helps to balance content production, even more, if production is done in-house and with limited resources. After all, it’s no use having 10 posts, 2 eBooks and other materials for those who are at the beginning of the process if there is nowhere to send their audience.

This control in the materials of each step also helps in the construction of marketing automation flows. It is intended to automatically interact in a personalized way with Leads and leads them to purchase. 

In addition to thinking about the content itself, also think about the format for delivering your message. Some possibilities, depending on the stage of the purchase journey, are:

learning and discovery

This step covers targeted content for people at the beginning of the sales funnel. Those who are at this stage are still unaware of their big problem, much less know how to solve it. Here, you’ll tackle minor problems and “stones in your shoe”.

Wider content that attracts the public’s attention, such as posts, eBooks or webinars with more introductory topics on some subject is ideal for this step.

Examples of topics to be worked on in this step:

  • Why pay attention to “this theme”?
  • The 7 benefits of _______ for “such a segment of companies”
  • What is the role of ______ in your company

problem recognition

Here, we can already tackle the person’s main problem. She often doesn’t even realize what the problem is, and that’s where you stand out. When we manage to identify it, we present the problem and we already bring the solution. The idea is that when the main problem is solved, all the smaller ones are, automatically.

Formats can be at a deeper level and focus on the problem or opportunity for the buyer to identify it.

Examples of topics to be worked on in this step:

  • I want to know more about this problem. How to solve it?
  • How to do _____ in 7 steps
  • What You Didn’t Know About ______
  • Checklist: How to implement a _____ campaign

Solution consideration

Okay, I understand the problem, now what’s the next step? You will bring the solution to this (of course, the solution will be something your company can solve. It is no use giving a solution that you cannot offer). Here he needs to identify your product or service as a (good) solution for him.

As he is looking for solutions, content that presents options for him, including your product or service. One way to do this is a case study of a customer who used your solution to solve their problem.

Examples of topics to be worked on in this step:

  • Case Study: How Company X Made _____
  • X care that your company must have to choose the ideal tool for _____
  • Industry report: how the market is investing in _________

purchase decision

The idea is that the journey will serve as a support to deconstruct objections and a basis for decision making. In addition to serving as support for the nutrition and maturation of these people, the journey facilitates the segmentation of the total number of people (in this case, the Leads base) from the moment you define.

To convince you to choose your company, offers of a  free trial or comparative materials with other tools are options to present your differentiators.

Examples of topics to be worked on in this step:

  • Why is this company my best option?
  • Comparative: the difference between company A and company B
  • 15 exclusive benefits that only our customers have
  • Demonstration: how the _____ tool works

Extra step: encourage retention and new purchases

Do you agree with us that it doesn’t make sense to go through all the work of mapping the process, producing content, moving the Lead to the sale and then letting it “loose” and losing it? Although not part of the purchase journey, we will add a later stage: retention and new purchases (or upsell).

Recent data shows that keeping a customer is 6-7 times cheaper than getting a new one. Therefore, one-time purchase-based businesses or even monthly fee-based services can benefit. 

Just identify what the buyer’s needs are after becoming a customer and offering content relevant to them.

Let’s think about two situations: if a customer bought a Model X dress in e-commerce, why not direct communications to her according to her preferences and encourage a new purchase? Take into account what she put in her cart, features of the product she bought, ads she clicked, etc.

For an online video platform subscriber, why not offer a webinar with usage tips, emails with updates to your product, or examples of what other customers are extracting with the tool?

Learn more: How to train, retain and retain customers with Content Marketing

In practice: how to identify the contents of the shopping journey

To help with execution, we’ll share a way we use to identify the content that can help our potential customers at each step.

Identification of persons

We first identify the personas of our business based on our current customers. If your company does not have customers yet, you can guess which ones they are.

From this, we draw your profile and most common needs and create hypotheses on what content can help you in each step of the shopping journey.

As we don’t want to just “believe” that these hypotheses are right, we schedule interviews with current clients and even Leads who are going through the process.

They will validate whether what we assume is right or not and collect relevant information from the respondent himself.

Question definition

It is interesting to divide your questions by stage of the journey. For example, at the beginning of the process, you need to know which channels he keeps informed (if he’s on Facebook, which blogs he follows, etc).

This helps you define where to post your content and even try to guest posts. Questions like “When you started researching theme X, what content did you find and were helpful?” help in the first steps.

Questions such as “What were the determining points for you to choose our product?” help identify relevant content for closing the deal.

Organization of information

After conducting the interviews, try to organize the information and separate the contents for each step. Okay, you will already have input to determine your content going forward and offer what your potential customers need to complete the process and opt for your solution.

If you want to better understand these concepts and have more tools to build a content strategy based on the purchase journey, read the guide that shows how we, at Resultados Digitais, create and execute our process.

 

Discover the 4 steps of the buying journey and learn how to balance your company’s content production for all steps in the funnel Do you know the meaning of the shopping journey? Well, to understand this idea, the first thing is to know that Content Marketing is the basis of a  results Digital Marketing strategy for your company. After all, it is…