The Buyer’s Journey & Its Impact on Content Marketing

When you’re trying to decide which content marketing techniques will work best for you, there are a number of things to consider.  Before you jump into developing new content for your business, I recommend you first think about your buyer’s journey. Then, you’ll be prepared to choose the best content marketing techniques for your prospective buyers.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is to create relationships that translate into sales.  Like any relationship, you first have to meet the person.  After all, you can’t have a relationship with someone who doesn’t know you exist.  

For simplicity sake, let’s talk about the 3 primary stages of a buyer’s journey. 

1. The Awareness Stage

The first stage of the buyer’s journey involves generating awareness for your business and its products or services.

When developing content for people in this stage of the journey, think about what first impression you want to make on the person who is just now learning you exist. Here’s a tip: starting off with a hard sell when you first meet someone usually doesn’t work well. That’s why it’s important to develop content that helps the user get to know you and your brand.

2. The Consideration Stage

The next stage of the buyer’s journey is often called the consideration or deliberation stage.  Typically, the higher your price point, the longer this stage lasts.  That makes sense, doesn’t it?  I know I can make a $10 purchase decision without much deliberation. If you want me to part with $2,000, I’ll need more time weighing the pros and cons of making a purchase.   If I’m buying an item that costs $200,000, you can bet I’m doing very thorough research before I  write that check.  

The content you create for the consideration stage needs to help a buyer feel confident they understand the product and how it will benefit them.  This is when you answer your audience’s questions and address any pushbacks to making a purchase decision.  

3. The Decision Stage

The final stage of the journey is the point at which the buyer is ready to make a purchase  (or walk away entirely, which you don’t want). Content developed for this stage of the buyer’s journey blatantly asks for the sale or a personal consultation with a sales professional.

Are There Other Stages of the Journey?

In truth, each of these stages may have multiple sub-stages, depending on how complicated your product is or how difficult making a purchasing decision might be for your ideal client. Below are three graphics that demonstrate how different buyer’s journies might look.

b2b complicated buyer's journey map
Example of a complicated B2b buyer's journey. Source: Gartner

Nonlinear Buyer's Journey Map

nonlinear buyers journey from forrester
Example of a nonlinear buyer's journey map. Source: Forrester

Vendasta Buyer's Journey Map

modern buyer's journey map
Example of a modern customer journey. Source: Vendasta

Deploy Content Marketing Tactics for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey​

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make with content marketing is to focus too closely on just one or two of the buyer journey stages. To be successful, you must develop content that attracts an audience and leads them to where you want them to eventually  land — making a purchase from you. To get there, it’s wise to use a mix of the popular content marketing techniques presented above.

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