It’s amazing how the internet has completely changed our shopping habits.
In the past, shopping meant going to the store, finding a store clerk, pushing items around in a shopping cart, standing in line to check out, then trekking it all home. Today? I can search the internet, select the best price, and order. Thirty minutes on the couch has replaced half a day in the car.
Even delivery times are quickly improving. With Amazon, I press a button in my kitchen and the shipping faeries drop my order on my doorstep as soon as the next day. (Same-day in some locations!) And if I have questions? No problem. I just open a chat window on the website or app and talk with someone from the company right there.
Yes, its great to be a modern online shopper.
Things like bots, live chat, self-help FAQs, and instant call backs used to be nice-to-have. Now, they’re essential to online success. Brands embracing these new methods are winning. This makes sense. There’s so much power in being able to communicate with another human being. Digital tools just simplify the process.
The only problem? So many businesses are doing it poorly or not at all.
Using The Buyer’s Journey To Connect (3 Steps)
Here’s the thing…
Modern customers want to go deeper with you. They see your website as a communication hub. Where they learn about your culture, discover your services, interact with your team, and take their next steps with you.
Perhaps you’re wondering: “Can’t we just add a chat feature to our website and call it a day?” Sadly, no. It doesn’t work that way.
What works, however, is making yourself and your expertise available at every stage of the customer’s decision-making path. We call this the Buyer’s Journey and it’s a communication strategy that connects customers with your brand in a genuine, easy way.
1. Inform In The Awareness Stage
Customers in the awareness stage are symptomatic. They don’t have a name for their problem, they just know they have one. They’re driven primarily by emotion — either looking for something to enhance their good emotions or ease their bad ones. Providing valuable, knowledgeable content with minimal interaction works best for people in this stage.
A blog is a superb place to share your insights and industry knowledge. It offers readers access to relevant content without requiring direct interaction with you. Most potential customers in the awareness stage wouldn’t want to, anyway. But you have to write what they care about. According to Social Media Today, the number one blog consideration is selecting the right blog topics:
To survive the competition on blog marketing channels, you first have to create click-worthy titles. Your web audience is unlikely to click on your posts unless they engaging headers – so how do you create interesting and click-worthy titles?
Engaging titles are:
- Relevant to the target audience
- Ultra-specific in terms of takeaways
- Useful and have a definite use-case
- Urgent in tone
- Positive in terms of emotions
- Concise without unnecessary words
Starting and maintaining an informative blog full of relevant content is key to seeing inbound interest skyrocket.
2. Give in the Consideration Stage
Potential customers pass through the Awareness stage and enter the Consideration stage. This means their problems suddenly have a name. They realize that what they’ve been doing isn’t working. They’re discovering keywords to their challenges and starting to use search terms to identify potential help.
Unfortunately, competing methods, approaches, suggestions, and ideas sometimes get customers into more trouble. And this is where you can stand out.
You can be that trusted voice of reason, leading visitors to landing pages and high-value content offers that address their most pressing problems with a simple message they understand.
What can you give away?
Digital downloads, webinars, quizzes or worksheets are superb ways to prove you know your stuff. They’re also great conversation starters. Think of all the things you can you offer to position your brand as the trusted, empathetic guide.
If the value is high enough, customers will gladly give you their contact information. This gives you the open door to nurture the relationship further down the sales funnel.
For example, check out our content offer below. We offer this on every blog post we write. We want customers to gain as much value from their website as possible, so we put together a guide that gives them what they need.
3. Prove in the Decision Stage
Have you visited a website and bought because of other buyers’ reviews or testimonies? What about items with no reviews? Do you take the chance? How about low-star reviews? Do they influence your buying decision? I’d venture to guess those answers are, respectively: all the time, rarely and uh, yeah!
Why is it that so many businesses leave testimonials and other types of social credibility out of their digital marketing?! If you’ve done skilled work for others, shouldn’t you want to tell the world about it? According to Big Commerce:
92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 72% of them say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.
Digital Credibility Works
The Decision Stage is the ideal place to display your strengths and show off your street cred — especially in other people’s words. Testimonials, reviews, and logos work because we’re social creatures. We care what others say and have an unspoken trust bias for other people’s opinions.
Check out Slack. They do an outstanding job of highlighting the diverse companies who use and trust their platform.
In the Decision stage, customers are self-diagnosed and actively searching for help. They’re looking for recommendations and searching for capable service providers to help them.
In a matter of minutes, customers can compare multiple solution providers to find one that 1) corresponds to their ideal and 2) has the visible social proof to establish expertise.
And customers at this stage are ripe for a personal conversation. At this stage in the game, a dull contact form on your website will not cut it. By the time you respond to their inquiry, it’ll be too late.
Uniting Your Website Communication Strategy
So there you have it. 3 steps to lead customers to start a conversation with you on your website.
- Content offers and digital downloads
- Instant communication
It should be abundantly clear by now that easy communication is essential to your business. The Buyer’s Journey is a powerful method of structuring your communication strategy. You give customers the information they need, when they need it, and they’ll be more likely to begin that all important conversion.
Want an inbound marketing strategy that people will connect with? Start a chat, call us, or drop us a line. We want to talk to you.