Marketing for startups isn’t always the top focus for entrepreneurs, but understanding how buyers are thinking, especially during the initial stages of their journey, is crucial. You can never be too prepared when understanding the process each buyer takes to make a purchase decision.
Every customer is different. Every audience is different. Whether it’s your blog subscribers, your newsletter recipients or your Twitter followers, make sure you’re sharing the right message at the right time—understanding the awareness stage is the first step to doing this.
What is the buyer’s journey?
HubSpot defines the buyer’s journey as the active research process a buyer goes through leading up to a purchase. It is a model to help keep the buyer’s behavior, information needs and problems central to anything sales and marketing does.
The buyer’s journey consists of three stages: the Awareness Stage, the Consideration Stage and the Decision Stage. Today our focus is on the Awareness Stage.
The Awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is the point at which a buyer knows they have a problem, but doesn’t yet have a name for that problem. It’s likely that they are seeing the results or effects of their problem at this point, but don’t know what the cause is.
When marketing for startups, there are a few simple steps you can take to optimize your presence and content during the first stage of the buyer’s journey.
Help identify the problem.
During the beginning process of the buyer’s journey, the buyer realizes and expresses symptoms of a potential problem or opportunity. The buyer is juggling between thoughts like, “My leads are low,” “I’m losing productivity,” or, “How can I get more interactions on social media?”
Marketing tip: At this stage it is important to create content that helps buyers understand what their problem is. You want to be helpful without pushing your products, services or company onto them. It’s essential that the content shared is focused around the buyer’s issues and does not come across as you selling to them. You’re not trying to attract customers; you’re trying to educate buyers and build credibility.
Optimize your content.
Pardot states that once your buyer begins to narrow down their search to a few possible problems or issues, the research really begins. Their data shows that 72% of buyers will turn to Google. Buyers are still looking for educational material to confirm their problem or opportunity.
Here’s a marketing tip: As buyers narrow down their search, make sure you are optimizing your content. Use keywords that reflect the initial challenges, goals, obstacles and outcomes your audience is searching for. Write content that reflects those things. While you shouldn’t write about or mention yourself, you can write about the benefits of your products or services, and how they can help buyers solve their issues.
Take them to the next step.
As your buyer’s get further into their research, they will eventually find a name for their problem. This means they are now starting to move into the Consideration Stage of their journey, and will need to begin a deep dive of researching solutions to their specific problem.
Here’s a marketing tip:
Help them move to the next step of the buyer’s journey while they are reading Awareness Stage content. If you can take them from one stage to the next, you’ve helped them through a crucial part of their search. Do this by:
- Creating content that talks through solutions to specific problems your products or services solve (without talking about yourself)
- Promoting that content with calls-to-action on pages with Awareness Stage content
- Having your Consideration Stage content readily available on your website
While the Awareness Stage of the buyer’s journey is only the first step, it is a crucial step to getting your foot in the door and starting to build credibility with your prospects.
What steps do you take in the awareness stage to help your buyers through their journey? Let us know in the comments below! Are you looking for help building the right content for your prospects? Contact Milwaukee content marketing agency, Accelity Marketing, for assistance.