How to Advertise for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Advertising | |By: Abby Kougher

For the most part, the majority of consumers aren’t buying products and services on a total whim—unless they’re on an impromptu trip at Target.

Typically, when it’s time to buy a product or choose a service, consumers enter into a detailed thought process that’s known in the marketing world as the “buyer’s journey.” Considering the different phases of their journey through research and decision-making, down to ultimately choosing to make a purchase, is extremely important in developing advertising content that speaks directly to what your customers need to hear. So how do you leverage the buyer’s journey to tap into advertising success?

First, you have to understand your target audience. Otherwise you won’t have any idea who you’re talking to.

You’ll need to create a “buyer persona.” A buyer persona combines market research and real data about your existing customers to help you develop a representation of your ideal customer. From there, you’ll understand their demographics, characteristics, and needs and wants—which you can apply to the content, messaging, and creative elements of your advertising campaign.

To help you create your buyer persona, download our free eBook, “What You Need to Know About Advertising…Before You Start,” which includes a free Make Your Own Persona worksheet.

Once you know who you’re talking to, you can tailor your advertising content to each stage of their decision-making process.

The Awareness Stage

This stage is when the customer becomes aware of a problem or need. Since they don’t yet know how they are going to solve their issue, they start researching and gathering information.

Content that is targeted to the buyer’s Awareness Stage needs to provide a lot of upfront value. And it needs to do so without asking a customer to commit first.

Information-rich blog posts, eBooks, social media posts, research studies, white papers, and reports are excellent examples of content that will appeal to customers in the Awareness Stage.

The Consideration Stage

So now the customer understands their problem and has gathered information about how to solve it. The Consideration Stage is when they’ll begin to consider all of the available options—but they are still not ready to buy.

The customer may look to download resources to help them decide where to spend their time, energy, and/or money. Podcasts, videos, infographics with tips and tricks, templates, expert guides, webinars, and presentations are tools that will go a long way with customers who are considering their options.

The Decision Stage

Now, the customer is ready to buy. Here is where you need to make sure they know why they should choose your brand. At this stage, take your customers’ pain points into consideration and show how you can solve them.

While it’s natural that you will want to shout about the benefits of your product from the rooftops, it’s not just about making noise or being the loudest. It’s about sending a clear message based on your research and strategy. This will help customers understand not only who you are, but why they need you. Testimonials, product reviews, literature, and product or service comparisons work best for this stage.

Advertise to Your Target Audience

Now it’s time to be strategic about advertising to your audiences. Refer back to your buyer personas to determine where and how your target audience wants to receive your messages. Whether it’s through Facebook or LinkedIn, print or television, make sure your advertising messages are reaching the right people in the right places.

Don’t fall into the easy trap of developing advertising content that only speaks to the final decision of the buyer’s journey. By covering the entire buyer’s journey, you’ll be able to reinforce your company’s value and attract and retain new and existing customers.

Ready for more expert advice that will take your advertising to the next level? Download our free eBook, “What You Need to Know About Advertising…Before You Start.”

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