What is the Buyer’s Journey?
The Buyer’s Journey is a fundamental concept, not only in digital marketing and search engine optimization, but in the entire practice of marketing and advertising. In this quick post, we’ll take a look at the decision making process that everyone goes through before making a purchase – which is what each and every one of us is hoping to accomplish, as business owners.
Because the typical Buyer’s Journey is rather general, it applies to almost every business type in every niche.
The Buyer’s Journey
This infographic, courtesy of Hubspot, breaks down the Buyer’s Journey into 3 simple steps:
The Purchase Funnel
The Buyer’s Journey, also known as the Purchase Funnel, is sometimes broken down into 4 steps, like in this example:
Awareness, Interest or Consideration, Desire and/or Decision/Action.
The Psychology Behind Decision Making
As you can see, both follow similar steps:
- Consideration (Interest/Desire)
- Decision (Action)
Awareness in the Buyer’s Journey
Before a prospect can make a purchase, they first have to know that the company, product, service or solution exists in the first place. That is why awareness is the first step, and its importance cannot be understated.
In this stage, many companies turn to paid advertisements. In the pre-internet days, these came in the form of billboards, classifieds and commercials. Nowadays, this is done through paid ads on Google (and Youtube) and Social Media like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. There are also secondary players entering the game like the locally-focused website NextDoor.
Another option is a specific type of search engine optimization that focuses on non-branded keywords. This means that a website would attempt to rank for search terms that do not include their brand name. This is another great way of increasing exposure to a new audience.
Consideration in the Buyer’s Journey
Consideration corresponds to the prospect’s consideration of multiple options as the solution to the problem. In the Purchase Funnel, this is represented by Interest and Desire.
This applies to your marketing funnel as such: once a person knows a company, product, service or solution exists, that company, product, service or solution still has to address a problem or desire that the person has. If it does, then it’s up to the presentation, content, copy, etc. to present itself as the best, easiest, most affordable, quickest option (whichever is most important to the decision maker).
Decision in the Buyer's Journey
This is the moment of truth! Which option will the decision maker choose?
At this stage in the Buyer’s Journey, company’s are typically most focused on Conversion Optimization. This is the practice of testing multiple aspects of the conversion funnel to make it as efficient as possible.
Additional Steps in the Buyer’s Journey
There are more steps in the Buyer’s Journey that follow the purchase, the most noteworthy being advocacy.
Advocacy is when your customers or clients advocate for your company, product, service or solution on your behalf. This most notably happens on social media, where people can help answer questions about your products, make recommendations, share news and even defend your brand.
This is the ultimate goal we want to reach in the Buyer’s Journey.
Next Steps in Your Digital Marketing Journey
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Learn more about Digital Marketing in our Small Business Owner’s Guide to Digital Marketing.