Contrary to what inexperienced marketers may think, customer sales don’t happen by chance.
Many people are prone to making snap decisions and buying impulse products. Waiting for people to discover your product or service is not a good strategy for generating predictable revenue.
92% of shoppers don’t want to buy right away. This is mainly due to the fact that they want to do research and compare their options.
Customers go through three stages before making a purchase decision. The buyer’s journey is the entire process. You need to know how to help potential customers navigate this and make them choose you over other competitors.
While each stage is important, it’s the awareness stage which generates new business opportunities. This stage is the most crucial in the buyer’s journey. People aren’t familiar with your brand or solution. They have just begun to experience a problem and are now trying to solve it.
They don’t know the answer to their problem so they look online for help. They begin to learn more about the problem.
It is important to clarify that people still struggle with naming their problem and identifying it in the awareness stage. They might Google symptoms such as blurred vision or normal BMI.
It is clear that you can capture your potential customers’ attention early in their journey.
- Keep your head high
- Present yourself as an authority
- As you help your prospects to put their problem in a context, trust will slowly build.
This post will discuss creating educational content that resonates with customers at this stage in their journey.
What is the role of content in the buyer’s journey?
Before we get into the details, let’s examine the role content plays in the buyer’s journey.
This stage of the buyer’s journey content should be valuable to prospects, answer questions and provide the information they require. Don’t be pushy or salesy at this stage. It can backfire if you try to sell too much.
Keep in mind that your potential customers may not be ready to buy.
This will suffice to help them associate your brand and a solution.
Simple language, without industry jargon, is the best way to communicate your message so people who don’t know much about the problem you are trying to solve will understand.
Vidyard’s How To Create the Best How To Videos is an example successful awareness-stage content. This educational resource gives detailed information on how to create how-to videos without a sales pitch.
Take into account the Stage
Your potential customer will be able to name their problem and are actively searching for a solution. Your awareness stage content helped them to become familiar with your prospect and service.
They aren’t ready to purchase yet, but they are considering other solutions, including yours.
This stage should be about building brand credibility. This stage is not about selling. This prospect may be interested in your brand and you are building authority and credibility.
Kuru Footwear is a great example of a brand that has excellent consideration stage content. The guide to the best orthotic shoes for foot pain is an invaluable resource.
Source: Kuru Footwear
The Decision Stage
Customers are now ready to purchase and make a decision in the final stage of their buyer’s journey.
They need guidance and support in selecting the right vendor for them. Your customers will now be comparing the features, pricing, and benefits of various solutions.
Your content for the decision stage should highlight your unique selling proposition and describe what makes you product or service superior to other solutions.
This is possible by understanding the potential objections that prospects may have. These concerns can be addressed and discussed in detail about the value of your product or service. Social proof can be used to your advantage, such as customer testimonials and reviews.
Sleep Junkie’s comprehensive buyer’s guide provides detailed comparisons and reviews of adjustable beds. This allows customers to easily compare each product against other options.
The list includes a detailed analysis of each product, as well as pros and cons. There’s also a 30-second summary of which product is the best overall. Customers value credibility and this article was written by a certified coach in sleep. It has also been fact-checked, and then medically reviewed.
Source: Sleep Junkie
Answer the questions your prospects are asking
We know that buyers in the awareness stage don’t know what problem they have.
This stage will require you to answer their questions and provide them with a solution.
This is their first step in the journey. It’s your job as a prospect to identify, frame and contextualize the problem. You will earn brownie points by pointing them in the right direction. It will also drive more traffic to you website.
These formats are best for educating prospects and allowing you target the right audience.
- Blog posts
- Social media content
- How-to videos
- Interactive content, such as quizzes, calculators, or questionnaires.
How can you determine what questions prospects are asking, since guessing isn’t the best way to find out?
1. Do some research among your customers
Customers are an excellent source of information.
Ask them how they came across your product/service, what they were looking for, and what they did to solve their problems.
The survey “How did you hear of us?” can be extremely useful and provide insight into which inbound channel works best for you.
2. Google’s Section “People Also Ask” is worth a look
This trick is simple, but it’s very clever.
Enter a keyword phrase or keyphrase that is relevant to your product/service, or the problem it solves into the Google search box.
You’ll get different results as well as a list with the most common questions about that keyword.
If you search for “keyboard for wrist pain”, you will see the following PPA questions.
- Which keyboard is best to avoid carpal tunnel symptoms?
- Which keyboard is the most comfortable for your wrist?
- Are split keyboards good for wrist pain?
3. Keyword Research
SEO tools such as Ahrefs and SEMRush can help you find the words and phrases that your target audience searches for when they are searching for solutions to a specific problem.
These keywords and topics can then be used to create content that targets your potential customers.
Fire Pit Surplus used these techniques to find out what their customers wanted to know, and then created a blog post to answer these questions. When you are catering to an audience at the awareness stage, it is crucial to have insight into what questions they are asking.
Source: Fire Pit Surplus
Make useful reference material
Your prospects may not be excited about reading large chunks of text.
You need to make useful reference material to break down the text wall and convey your message better.
Charts, graphs and infographics can be powerful tools to present complex data in an easy-to-understand manner. These visual assets can transform boring content into something that is engaging and attention-grabbing.
Statisticians have shown that 65% of customers are visual learners. This means they can absorb the majority of information by visual content, and not reading.
These are some ways to make awareness-stage content more attractive.
1. Use infographics
Marketers and customers love infographics because they simplify complex data and make it easy to understand.
These are also great for awareness-stage content because you can condense and illustrate your message into a series key points.
TDInsights created an infographic that explained how bad data can affect business. It highlighted the most relevant stats and information.
2. Make Ebooks
Ebooks can be a great lead magnet and they can help you increase your website traffic.
They are perceived as more valuable than blog posts because they can be downloaded. This makes them tangible.
Ebooks are longer than blog posts and white papers and can be more detailed than other content. They allow you to demonstrate your expertise and authority.
Ebooks are often premium content or gated content. This means that they can be used to encourage potential customers to sign up and share their contact information.
Intercom, for example, answers a crucial question about in-context assistance and how it can improve the bottom line. This clearly indicates how Intercom’s audience will benefit by reading it.
3. Refer to the Reference Table
Referencing tables provide data-heavy information in an organized, user-friendly manner.
These are concise and easily scanned so prospects don’t have to read countless lines of text to find the information they require.
FE International uses a table as a reference to help them compare two businesses that are being sold using multiple valuations. The comparison has many variables and factors to be considered. Regular text would be too difficult to understand and confusing.
Source: FE International
Interactive Content makes your event extra special
Interactive content engages the audience actively by asking them to take part.
This means that users are not passive recipients of marketing messages but active participants in a two way conversation. This format is by design more compelling and effective than static content. The information is tailored to the audience based on their input.
Your prospects will be able interact with your content to find answers that are extremely specific.
These dynamic content can increase engagement and help you get feedback from the audience to improve your conversion rates.
These are just a few examples of hyper-specific interactive content.
Calculators are very popular as they help people save money, cut down costs, and make financial plans. These powerful marketing tools are often used by brands to highlight the many benefits of their product or service.
MarketBeat goes beyond personalization by providing their audience with a detailed calculator to calculate dividends.
2. Quizzes: Take advantage
Quizzes are a fun way to engage people on a deeper level. Buzzfeed quizzes are popular because they reveal something about the person who is using the interactive content.
Quizzes are intended to be entertaining, but they can also be used to educate people about serious issues.
Birchbox, for example, uses a simple quiz in order to find out more about customers’ skin, hair, and beauty preferences to match them with the best products. The brand makes it easy for subscribers to pick the right skincare and beauty products. They do this by creating a monthly box with five carefully selected items based on the answers to the quiz.
Promote your content on social media
It is essential to have excellent awareness-stage content.
It won’t be able to reach its full potential without proper promotion.
But don’t trust Google alone to direct people to the information they need. Your social media followers will likely be following you because they are interested in your industry.
You should create content that resonates with them. Answer any questions they might have and then share this content on all your social media platforms.
Two powerful benefits can be achieved by using Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for this purpose.
- Your followers can help you increase the reach of your content by sharing it with their networks.
- Engaging in conversations about your content can give you valuable insight into the needs of your prospects. This interaction can also help you establish your authority and credibility.
National Geographic does an excellent job with social media, even on Facebook where brands often struggle to generate conversations. Their blog post about animals feeling pain received more than 3K likes and 319 likes. They also shared 269 times.
Video marketing leads 66% more qualified leads annually and 54% higher brand awareness. It is also important to mention that 88% want to see more videos by brands they like.
Video is a powerful and engaging medium.
Because your goal is to solve a problem, the awareness stage content should be detailed. It is important to educate and inform your prospects.
To help people engage with the content, you can either make videos or add video to your written content.
Your audience will be able to understand your message better if you provide step-by-step instructions and how-to videos.
Tasty’s video shows five different ways to decorate cakes. It is a great resource for budding patissiers. The brand also offers bakeware and cookware. Viewers can see how these products are used in videos, and they will be able to decide if a cake turntable is what they need to decorate their next creation.
Your potential customers first encounter your brand in the awareness stage. This is why the first encounter with your brand must be memorable. You can accomplish this goal by creating exceptional content. This stage is about laying the foundation for a successful customer journey that will lead to conversions. A well-researched, carefully executed awareness stage content will draw your target audience to you and keep them coming back.
Scoop.it Blog published the article How to Create Content For Customers in the Awareness Phase of Their Journey.