What to Do When Your Buyers’ Journey Isn’t Linear (Hint: It Never Is)

What to Do When Your Buyers’ Journey Isn’t Linear (Hint: It Never Is)

Author: Ann Gynn / Source: Content Marketing Institute Wouldn’t it be great if your prospects actually followed your neatly designed sale

Why Your Small Business Should Have a Content Marketing Strategy
Measuring the value of content marketing
Get a Jump on 2017: 11 Can’t-Miss Content Marketing E-Books
buyers-journey-isn't-linear

Wouldn’t it be great if your prospects actually followed your neatly designed sales funnel or smartly outlined path to purchase?

But honestly, you know they don’t (even if your content marketing strategy assumes they do).

“Buyers are in control. And they’re not going from step one to step two to step three in this process that you define as quite linear,” Anna Talerico, co-founder of ion interactive, said in her recent ContentTECH presentation. “They are jumping around. They’re exploring. They’re comparing. They’re doing their self-education on their own terms in their own time frames.”

More than 70% of buyers conduct over half their research online before making an offline purchase, according to research from Forrester that Anna shared.

RealBuyerJourney

McKinsey & Company research confirms the messy journey, which it dubs the consumer-decision journey.

Given (1) you don’t know when the consumer starts the journey, (2) the consumer rarely follows a neat path, and (3) the consumer who eventually buys usually learned of his or her brand choice early on, what’s a content marketer to do?

Give up on the buyer-journey model? Definitely not.

While your buyers take a chaotic journey, Anna says, you still need content to satisfy your buyers in each of the traditional sales stages. It’s the foundation on which to build your editorial plan – to detail the topics and formats that will help your buyers the most.

If you haven’t detailed your buyer journey, do it now. For help, consider one of these useful guides:

How to execute content

OK, so we agree it’s critical to align your content and your distribution with the messy buyer’s journey. But how do you deliver content that truly helps your buyers navigate their twists and turns? And how do you ensure that they can access that content when they want it?

Though the buyer’s journey is non-linear, you can conquer it by creating content for the traditional stages in unexpected ways to create a content mix that gives buyers what they need even when you don’t know they need it.

How do you create a good mix? Deliver for the chaotic – mixing your…

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0
DISQUS: 0