Getting new customers is all about exposing your solution to your customers. Instead of forcing your new amazing solution down your potential customers throat and bombarding them with advertising messages that they may not be ready for, take the proven strategy of attraction marketing.
In this post, you’ll learn the seven fundamental steps customers need to go through before they buy:
- Awareness/Problem Recognition
- Interest / Education
I’ve made every effort to keep this as jargon‐free as possible without scrimping on actionability.
Remember this : it’s all about being in your customers mind when they are ready to make the purchase decision.
Today I’m going to show you how to not only nurture your customers in 7 easy steps, but also what you can do to keep them coming back and while they’re at it – telling all their friends how amazing your product or service is. Lets go!
Create killer content that serves a predetermined purpose
Before coming up with the next piece of content for your website or marketing strategy, it is important that you ask yourself some very important questions:
- What is the purpose of this content in my sales process?
- Is it to educate and inform your customers that shows you are an expert in your niche industry?
- Is it for lead generation and website traffic through SEO – search engine optimisation?
- Or maybe it’s for showcasing your products or services … Maybe.
I for one would like to push the idea that the main purpose of the content on your website is to convert website visitors into paying customers.
Turning your prospects into paying customers
At the end of the day, the success of your business is dependent upon the converted sales you make. The quantity and quality of content you post helps to educate your prospects, build your brand and trust. But all this does not really matter until you convert them to a paying customer.
Even the number of social media followers and fans you have does not carry much weight unless you are able to turn them into paying customers.
It’s how much revenue you make that truly matters.
Building a Content Marketing Strategy that Works
If your content marketing efforts are not producing measurable results, then you are simply wasting your time and money – focusing your efforts on the wrong thing. So, before proceeding to create any more content, you should ask yourself:
- How does this piece of content I am about to create fit into my overall marketing and sales process?
- How do I create awesome content that will help turn a prospect into a paying customer or client?
The answer to the above can be found in the consumer buying process or cycle. The only way you can create great content that improves your overall conversion rate is to fully understand the stages a customer goes through before buying from you.
I truly believe there are 7 key touchpoints that customers need to go through before they buy from you and ill share them with you below:
The 7 Stages of the Buying Cycle
Buyer behaviour is by no means random as many entrepreneurs assume. Your prospects have to be exposed to different types of marketing content in different stages of the buying cycle in order to finally move to your goal of pressing that ‘purchase’ or ‘buy’ button. A typical customer goes through the following stages.
This is the very first stage of the buying process where a prospect does not even know that your business, product or service exists. They are also unaware that there is a problem that can be solved by the product or service you offer.
The big question now is:
How do you get potential customers out of this stage and into the next stage of the buying cycle?
Most business use paid ad campaigns such as billboards, TV and radio ads, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, sponsored social media posts and many more.
The great thing about sharing your content off your website is you have the ability to remarket / advertise directly to your warm prospects as they move across the internet. When they visit their favourite social media platforms and other websites, your ad can magically appear, reminding them that they in the past expressed a level of interest in your product or service.
2. Awareness/Problem Recognition
This is basically the point where prospects identify certain problems that they need to solve. Awareness is the actual beginning of the buying process and this is where prospects get to know about some of the products and services that your business has to offer.
Nowadays, business owners and marketers do not wait for prospects to become aware, but rather create the awareness of the problem themselves. They simply create a problem and offer a solution – and it really works!
3. Interest / Education
Once a prospect is aware of their existing problem, they begin to show interest. Interest often leads to a search for possible solution. For instance, if a customer needs to preserve food, they begin to show interest in refrigerators.
They proceed to educate themselves on the different types and makes of refrigerators available in the market. This is where SEO really comes into play – you want to be that company that appears high up in Google so they click on your website.
Businesses are publishing fresh content at least once a week.
Buyers viewed at least 3 to 5 pieces of content before contacting a business.
Consideration is all about evaluating available options. The customer already knows that they have a problem that needs solving. They have identified possible solutions to their problem and now it’s time to evaluate which product or services suits them best.
For a business, this is the stage where you have to stand out from your competition in order to be chosen by the customer.
Justification is where the customer is making the decision of whether to buy or not to buy. This is the point where a prospect needs to be convinced that a particular product or service will meet their needs or solve their problems. Businesses can use testimonials and reviews to push prospects to the next stage.
People often buy with their heart/emotion and justify it with their heads/logic.
Finally, you have successfully guided an ordinary consumer through most of the stages of the buying cycle and they are ready to make a purchase. During this stage, it is critical that you remove all buying resistance.
Make sure that your purchase stage is as smooth as possible. Make it easy for your new customer to buy from you. In store, this may be as easy as being accessible and having pleasant sales staff and an array of payment options. Online, this may be having an easy checkout process that doesn’t spook them with unnecessary checkout steps that could lead to cart abandonment.
The purchase stage is only complete when a customer makes a purchase and transfers funds from their account to yours.
7. Post Purchase
The buying cycle never ends there. The next big step is turning your new customers into loyal advocates then into raving fans of your product or service. This not only creates an excellent brand and company culture, but drastically cuts down on the amount of advertising and marketing you must do because your customers are the ones leaving Google reviews and recommending you to their friends and colleagues.
Most businesses look to retain their existing customers as it costs considerably less to retain an existing one and get them to buy again from you then to go out and get a new one.
In order to keep customers coming back for more, you need to implement numerous remarketing techniques and customer retention strategies such as sending educational emails, having frequent communication, building rapport, doing follow-ups, providing outstanding technical support, extraordinary customer service and much more. Love on your clients, treat them like friends and they will keep coming back.
If you take the time to fully understand and explore the above listed touchpoints of the 7 touchpoints your customers need to go through before they buy from you, then you will be in a better position to create awesome content that not only educates your ideal customer that moves them through your sales funnel, but produces the results your business needs to succeed.
Best of luck – please comment below of your successes and challenges. I love to hear where you’re at!