Most companies are all after the same thing – getting more customers to make more sales. That’s the main reason why they got into business in the first place! Yet, even when that’s their primary goal, many business owners still don’t quite grasp how to make that happen.
Most of them believe that it’s enough to put some money into marketing, open some social media profiles, and send out some emails. Of course, as any successful company can attest, that’s far from the truth.
The only way a business can grow is by betting on a comprehensive strategy with defined goals that encompass all areas of their business.
To design such a strategy, businesses have to understand a crucial component in their relationship with its potential customers – the buyer’s journey. Such is the name that marketers give to the road taken by their target audiences, from looking for something to satisfy a need, all the way to its complete satisfaction. In between, the potential clients find products and services that might lead them to that satisfaction.
The buyer’s journey is comprised of 3 distinctive stages:
● The awareness stage: it’s the moment when people feel a need they want to satisfy. In this stage, businesses can make their audiences realise that such a condition exists, making people “aware” of it.
● The consideration stage: once people acknowledged the need’s existence, they’ll start looking for ways to satisfy it. That’s when they consider their options, which many times come in the form of products and services.
● The decision stage: after weighing their options, people are ready to commit to a solution. As they decide, businesses give their final explanations as to why leads should pick them.
The three stages are equally important in getting more sales. Still, this article will focus on the second one – the consideration stage. The reason for that is because many companies fail to catch the eyes of their intended audience, so they end up being discarded as valid alternatives to fulfil people’s specific needs.
There are several things a business can do to potentiate the consideration stage of its buyer’s journey. Here are some of them.
Creating high-quality content
Quality content is something no business should miss in a modern marketing strategy. Of course, the term “content” can apply to a lot of things, so the kind of content a business should create depends on the stage that the content would be used on. For the consideration stage, that means developing content for people open to several options.
In other words, all content generated for the consideration stage has to clearly explain how a particular product or service can satisfy the need that got people looking in the first place. Things like downloadable resources (such as ebooks and infographics), giveaways (like free samples), and video marketing materials, such as explainer videos, work perfectly in the consideration stage.
The key to developing the kind of material for this stage is to make sure that the quality is as high as possible. So, businesses creating ebooks should aim for insightful content designed by an expert, giveaways that have the potential customer in mind, and videos made with high-quality tools.
Let’s take a look at these and other options in more detail.
Offering premium data-packed materials
Many businesses fail to understand the nature of the consideration stage. As a result, they come off too strong with sales pitches that drive their target audiences away. That’s because people aren’t ready to commit to any product at this point in the buyer’s journey. The solution to that problem? Companies should show their audiences that they know how to help them with their needs and issues.
That’s when premium content makes its entrance. Ebooks, infographics, white papers, and other materials like them are what any business needs to show that know-how. That’s because they give companies the possibility to pack a lot of information in just one content piece while also embedding their products or services casually here and there.
Thus, those premium materials work on two levels. First, they show that a particular company knows how to help its public with their specific issues or needs. And second, they can give that audience their first taste of a product or service, making it the first step into the more sales-centric pitches that will come after.
Shooting eye-catching videos
Most companies are already aware of the power of video in today’s marketing. There are numerous benefits to be had with them, provided that the brand using them knows which video types work best. It’s not just a matter of creating any video and using it throughout the buyer’s journey – different videos work for different stages.
Since businesses are looking to show their audience how a product or service can fulfil their needs, there are three types of videos that work perfectly towards that goal:
● Animated Explainer videos: these short videos (1-2 minutes long, tops) briefly describe the product or service. They follow a narrative arc that starts with the issue then introduces the product or service as its solution.
Creating an explainer video is tricky enough, so companies that want to get a perfect video usually rely on the expertise of a skilled animation company to get it.
● Product videos: these videos list the qualities of a product or service in a positive light. They are focused on the benefits and put the work in action, which serves as a perfect introduction. Though they are mostly used in e-commerce sites, companies of all backgrounds can benefit from them.
● FAQ videos: these videos answer the most common questions about a product or service in video form. They are informative, underline a product’s benefits, and address most doubts.
It bears repeating that all of the videos that shoot for the consideration stage should aim for the highest quality. So, using tools like Moovly, working with an in-house team of video editors, or hiring a video production company is essential to get the best results.
Optimising blog posts and static content
Businesses should think of their websites as the core of their activities. They work as a brand’s introduction but also serve a larger purpose – convince visitors about the company’s worth. That’s why it has to be optimised up to the last detail.
That means a thorough work at the site’s copy, resources, images, and videos. This isn’t just about SEO rankings and user experience (though the optimisation will surely help in both aspects). The process of adjusting the website’s content serves as a way to make sure that the company is providing the right information to its target audience while underlining its unique value.
That’s why a winning website that’s prepared for the consideration stage includes comparisons, customer success stories, catchy titles and photos. These let the audience identify with what they see and everything in between.
It’s worth mentioning that blogs need particular optimisation work. That’s because old entries can be reworked to fit in new strategies that serve the consideration stage. In other words, they can be adjusted to offer insights, address frequent concerns about the company, and display the business’ knowledge about the industry as a whole.
A blog can be a potent tool in itself since it primarily focuses on high-quality content that can deliver any message the company wants or needs (depending on the circumstances).
Some closing words
The first thing to recap is how important it is to understand the concept of the buyer’s journey. Having this in mind allows companies to create a mental map with all the potential actions that can drive the target audience from initial interest to a closed sale. Comprehending each individual stage and the marketing possibilities implied in them will provide a basic template to work from.
In that template, the consideration stage is often neglected. That’s because companies jump into the sales pitch wagon way too early, forgetting that they are but just an option in industries filled with other alternatives. To prevent this from happening, businesses need to see the big picture and understand for themselves what they are – an option.
To go from being an option to being the chosen one, companies need to work on the content and marketing materials they pour into the consideration stage. Offering free resources, shooting the right kind of videos, and optimising their websites to address people’s concerns is all hard work but one that pays big if done right. Of course, the key to reaping the benefits is to focus on high quality, since people have come to expect it from the brands they want to establish a relationship with.
To get to that high quality, companies shouldn’t skimp on time or resources. The consideration stage is the moment where people decide to go ahead with a business or discard it altogether. The only way to convince them is to put the time, effort, and money into convincing them that what the company offers is among the best in the industry. Hence the importance of the consideration stage, a crucial step in the buyer’s journey and a critical moment to get to the goal of making more sales.