Marketing for Startups: The Consideration Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
When you’re marketing for startups, it be great to have a machine that could see into the minds of every prospect and understand exactly what they’re thinking. While we don’t have that kind of technology (yet…), we can use the stages of the buyer’s journey to gain insight into the way buyers think.
(I’d like to note quickly that if you haven’t read my last blog on the first stage (Awareness) of the buyer’s journey, you’ll probably want to before reading on.)
The first stage, Awareness, was about buyers trying to put a name to a problem they experience. In the second stage of the buyer’s journey, the Consideration Stage, your buyers are now aware they have a problem (e.g., my successful startup needs to grow faster) and they understand potential solutions to that problem (e.g. pitch your business plan to an angel investor, crowdfund, partner with a sponsor).
To give a little more background on the Consideration Stage, HubSpot says the “prospect has now clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity.” During this stage your potential buyer commits to solving their clearly defined problem, focusing on solutions and comparisons.
Know your buyer personas.
First, let’s get on the same page of what the term “buyer persona” means. HubSpot defines a buyer per
sona as, “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” Thanks HubSpot!
It’s important to know who your buyers are in the Consideration Stage because your goal is to understand the goals, challenges and motivations of potential buyers so you can continue to nurture their needs as they look to you and other sources for help solving their named problem.
What’s your buyer doing?
Beyond knowing your buyer personas, you should also watch what action potential buyers take in the Consideration Stage so you can be in the right place at the right time.
A buyer in the Consideration Stage has a lot to review and research. According to Pardot.com, “Once your buyer’s have their choices narrowed down to just a few companies, they’ll return to the research stage again.” This means your potential buyers may dig even deeper into each company’s specific offerings and see if they can address their main issue or opportunity.
Now what? Try this actionable advice.
When buyers are at the Consideration Stage, make sure you have the right content available to matches their needs. This process is called content mapping—you decide what content is most appropriate for a person to receive at a given time. As an example, create content like ebooks, infographics and whitepapers (see the below image for more ideas) that are accessible after filling out a form. Make sure the content provides your specific solution to their problem, without actually talking about yourself (yes, I know this can be hard). This will allow you to know when someone is at the Consideration Stage, and you’ll be able to nurture this buyer because you’ve captured their personal information with a form.
Note: It’s important to ask your buyers to self-identify themselves as a specific buyer persona so you can segment them with lead nurturing.
Beyond the initial touch
Do you have people who’ve downloaded an offer? Add them to your lead nurturing workflows. Send them emails that provide them with more relevant content based upon their downloads. Depending on what’s industry-appropriate, you can share blogs, case studies, videos, whitepapers and more valuable content with your potential buyers to help them through the buyer’s journey towards purchase.
As your leads become nurtured, they may request information or a demonstration from you, or you can reach out to them if they hit a marketing qualified lead score.
Eventually, with proper nurturing and appropriate content offered your leads can successfully solve their problem or understand their opportunities.
The Consideration Stage is an important time to provide value to your potential buyers. What strategies do you use in this stage to grab the attention of buyers with value? Let me know in the comments below. Need help with inbound marketing and understanding how to move buyers through the buyer’s journey? Contact Milwaukee marketing agency for startups, Accelity Marketing.