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Customer Journey vs Buyer Journey

The Difference Between Buyer Journey vs. Customer Journey

You’ve probably heard a lot about consumer lifecycles and the different terms used to describe said lifecycles, such as buyer journey and sales funnel. They can be a little overwhelming and a little confusing. You might even wonder why some terms seem to describe the same thing, such as buyer journey and customer journey. Don’t be fooled–the buyer journey is very different from the customer journey and it’s important that you know what the difference is. The following is a breakdown of the buyer journey vs. the customer journey.

The Buyer Journey

As we’ve previously discussed, the buyer journey makes up the stages that a consumer goes through up to their decision to purchase a specific product or service from a specific company. This includes the awareness stage, during which they realize that they have a problem; the consideration stage, during which they identify the solution to their problem; and the decision stage, during which they decide what product or service is the best solution to their problem.

The Customer Journey

During the buyer journey, the consumer doesn’t become a customer until the end of the very last stage (the decision stage). However, your relationship with your customers doesn’t end the moment they’ve made a purchase. The real success of a business depends on return customers, after all. This is where the customer journey comes into play.

During the customer journey, you should focus on further developing relationships with your customers through regular engagement. Building relationships will help to increase trust in your brand, which, in turn, will improve customer retention.customer journey

[Read about how to use the buyer’s journey to create great content]

But getting customers to purchase your products and services again isn’t the only goal. You’ll want to establish customer loyalty, which means that they will only buy those products and services from you–and, eventually, will turn to your company for whatever needs you can offer solutions to.

Nurturing Customers into Brand Ambassadors

Once you’ve managed to build that loyalty, you’ll be able to nurture that customer into a brand ambassador. Consumers tend to trust other consumers much more easily than they trust companies, which is why brand ambassadors offer so much value. Keeping all of this in mind, the following are a few tips to help you nurture your customers through their customer journeys:

  • Initiate engagement following purchases – It’s important that you initiate contact with customers as soon as possible following a purchase. Many businesses use automation to send emails thanking customers for their purchase and even recommending similar products (in an attempt to cross-sell or upsell).
  • Send them relevant content – Continue nurturing your customers by sending them emails with content that is relevant to their engagement history (including their purchases and website behavior). The content you send should be informative and should help improve their brand experience. For example, tips on how to use the product that they purchased or general content relevant to their purchase.
  • Request and listen to feedback – Send your customers surveys or request that they leave reviews. Listen to what they have to say. Customer feedback is valuable to improving your business and can help you improve your relationship with your customers as well.
  • Reward referrals – You can encourage your customers to become brand ambassadors by implementing a referral program. For example, you can offer a discount for every customer that they refer to you.

The difference between the buyer journey and the customer journey is that the buyer journey leads up to the purchase whereas the customer journey continues following the purchase. It’s important that you have strategies in place to accommodate consumers during both journeys to help ensure the success of your business.

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Awareness Stage

A Guide to the Awareness Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

When it comes to addressing the buyer’s journey, making sure that you have content available that addresses the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is vital if you expect to draw in potential customers. If you try to skip this stage, you will end up losing a substantial number of potential leads.  These leads are still looking for basic information and aren’t ready to make a purchase yet.

What Is The Awareness Stage Of The Buyer’s Journey?

Before you can start presenting one of your products or services as a solution, the consumer needs to know what their problem is. Otherwise, they’ll have no need for your solution. During the awareness stage, consumers know they have a problem but they don’t necessarily understand. They will likely be doing very general searches on Google and other search engines. They are attempt ing to learn more about the problem that they are dealing with.

For example, a consumer might notice that their current computer isn’t running properly or is having obvious problems. They are likely going to begin doing some basic research. For example, maybe their computer keeps freezing up. They may look up things like:

  • Why is my computer freezing?
  • Image result for awareness stageDoes my computer need repairs?
  • How to fix my computer?
  • Do I need to replace my computer?

[Read about how to use the buyer’s journey to create great content]

They’ll explore content online that addresses such questions. This is so they can figure out exactly what their problem is by reading about examples of their problem. This can also help identify the cause of their problem. Only once they have gotten through the awareness stage and have managed to become more informed about their problem will they begin seeking out potential solutions.

Creating Content For The Awareness Stage Of The Buyer’s Journey

You will want to make sure you create a range of content that addresses the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. This content should be optimized for SEO using keywords that your audience will use in their searches during the awareness stage. Keep in mind that during this stage of the buyer’s journey, you’re not attempting to sell anything. Rather, you are merely trying to attract potential customers. You can do so by providing content that is helpful, informative, and relevant to their needs. By providing content that helps your audience to identify what their problem is, you’ll be in a better position to recommend a solution.

Short-form blog content that’s highly focused on identifying the problem will be particularly helpful since it will be easy for consumers to scan. For example, if you were to create content addressing a consumer’s issue with a freezing computer, you might publish blog articles such as:

  • 5 Reasons Your Computer is Freezing
  • How to Prevent Your Computer From Freezing
  • 5 Signs Your Computer Needs Repairs
  • 5 Signs You Need to Replace Your Computer

Video content works well too, especially for mobile users. In the case of this example, it would be particularly beneficial for mobile users since their computers are on the fritz. In addition to short-form content, you’ll want to offer long-form content. This includes eBooks and white papers, which goes into greater detail that consumers can download in return for joining your email list. If your content is good enough, they’ll be more trusting of your brand and will continue doing research on your site.

The awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is where you attract new leads to your brand and provide helpful content.  This content can help inform them about their pain points. It’s only once you’ve addressed the awareness stage that you can begin to present potential solutions to your audience, which is where the consideration stage comes in.

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The Buyer's Journey

What is The Buyer’s Journey?

The general goal of every business is to attract consumers and turn them into customers. The process that a consumer goes through before they make a purchase is known as the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey has become a lot more complex over the years, especially since the advent of Internet. This is because consumers no longer rely on businesses to hold their hands and to guide them through their buyer’s journey. As a result of digital media, consumers can now navigate much of their buyer’s journey on their own. This also means that everyone’s buyer’s journey is different.

As a business, you will need to meet the needs of the consumer as they move through their buyer’s journey. You’ll need to be able to do this at every stage of their journey in a passive manner until they are ready to be engaged. This may seem like a challenge, but it’s what the entire concept of inbound marketing is built around.

We will be going over the different stages of the buyer’s journey, but before we do, it’s important to understand exactly what the buyer’s journey is and why it’s so important.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

The buyer’s journey is the process a consumer goes through to research a product and to come to a decision to make a purchase. The buyer’s journey typically begins when a consumer realizes that they have a problem but don’t know what the solution to that problem is. For example, maybe they’ve stained their white carpeting with wine. They don’t know what the best solution is for getting wine stains out of their carpeting, so they will begin doing research online.

This research usually begins with a simple search on Google or other search engines. They will read up on possible solutions through articles and blog posts or view videos on the subject. Through this research, they will learn what products can help solve their problem. They will read up on the different products offered by different brands. The buyer will look into those brands to determine how reputable they are based on a variety of factors. They may contact that brand directly, download a free offer, or sign up to an email list through the course of their research.

The Buyers Journey Explained Stage By Stage

At this point, you would begin building a relationship with them by nurturing them through the sales funnel. At the end of the sales funnel, once they’ve reached the end of the buyer’s journey, they will make their decision and choose a product to buy. This process is split into three main stages:

  • Awareness stage – During this stage, the buyer realizes that they have a problem. They will begin doing research to figure out exactly what their problem is and what the cause of their problem is.
  • Consideration stage – At this point, the buyer has defined their problem and its cause and are doing research into the possible solutions to their problem.
  • Decision stage – The buyer now knows what the solution to their problem is and are comparing products or services as well as different companies to identify the best solution.

The Importance of the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey may seem long, but the fact is, you’re meeting them halfway through it. The idea of inbound marketing is that you make available a wealth of valuable information (through different forms of content) allowing the consumer to do the majority of their initial research on their own.

However, this means that it’s extremely important that you understand every stage of the buyer’s journey. This is because you’ll want to make sure that you have content available that will be helpful and informative to the consumer no matter what stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in or what channel they’re on. You will also need to be able to identify the stage of the buyer’s journey a consumer happens to be in so that you know when to engage with them.

The buyer’s journey consists of numerous stages that make up the research and decision-making process of a consumer. It is the process that the entire strategy of inbound marketing revolves around, which is why it’s so important that you understand what it is and why it’s important.

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Digital Marketing Strategies For Higher Education

As a college or university, you have a lot to offer to your students in terms of obtaining a higher education that can help them pursue their dreams of a career. However, you’re not the only school around, which means you’ll need to implement effective marketing strategies for higher education in order to attract prospective students and to convince them to enroll. The following are a few digital marketing strategies for higher education that are proven to be effective if leveraged properly:

Using PPC advertising

PPC (pay-per-click) ads are an excellent way to reach the students in your target audience and to generate high-quality leads. Prospective students will perform a significant amount of searches when trying to find higher education options, which means that PPC ads are a great way to put your school in a position to be found. They’re also very cost-efficient since you are only paying for the clicks that your ad gets.

When using PPC ads, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. For example, you need to know who your audience is and what they are searching for in order to choose the right keywords and create effective ad copy. You will also need to take great care in deciding where to place your ads to best reach your audience.

Optimizing your site for SEO

To improve your page rankings and increase exposure to potential students, you’ll need to make sure that your website is properly optimized for SEO (search engine optimization). This includes paying attention to both on-page and technical SEO, using high-quality, relevant keywords, and earning high-quality external links. All of these elements are important in bringing in more organic traffic. Building up your external links will also help you bring in a bigger audience from other relevant websites and will go a long way towards expanding brand awareness and building a positive brand reputation for your school.

Read our article: Essential Website Optimization Techniques To Increase Visitors

Creating high-value content

Prospective students will do a substantial amount of research before making a decision. Not only do most students have to pay for a higher education, it requires them to commit a significant amount of their time to it as well. They’ll want to make sure they make the right choice, w

hich is why you will want to provide them with plenty of content on your site that is relevant and helpful to their interests.

Not only can good content help with your SEO efforts (thereby drawing in more organic traffic), it can help establish your school as an authority, which will make your programs more attractive to potential students.

Establish a regular social media presence

A regular social media presence will put you in a position to communicate directly with prospective students, allowing you to address questions and concerns, provide valuable information, and to develop relationships with students, thereby building trust.

These are just a few of the marketing strategies for higher education that can help give your school an advantage attracting prospective students for years to come.

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