Imagine this:

You are a top home construction company in your area. Two people walk in to your office: one is wondering about the best floor plans to meet the needs of his growing family and if custom home building is right for him. The other is ready to sign on the dotted line because she knows exactly what she wants.

You’d approach each conversation differently, wouldn’t you? With the first, you’d address their needs and desires, explain the process, discuss different options, and introduce various floorplans. With the second, the conversation would focus on how your company will help her fine tune the scope of work, move forward with the project, and how you have done so for other clients.

This is a basic, almost intuitive, response to where potential customers are in the buyer’s journey. But are you using the same approach online?

A Quick Review of the Buyer’s Journey

 The buyer’s journey describes the steps that consumers take to become aware of your brand, evaluate your solutions, and decide to make a purchase.

  • Awareness. Here, consumers realize they have a problem or an unmet need.
  • Consideration. Defining the problem, they then look for brands that can provide solutions.
  • Decision. Consumers become customers, choosing a company that can help them.

content marketingSixty-seven percent of the buyer’s journey is completed online. This doesn’t mean sales is dead (far from!); it does mean, however, that you need to provide digital content that facilitates progression through each stage of the journey.

Create Awareness with Educational Content

Eighty-one percent of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase decision. At this stage, they want answers. The goal is to provide no-strings-attached information.

Content should be relatively brand-neutral, informative, easily digestible, shareable, and indicative of your industry experience. While you’re not selling, you are subtly conveying your authority by providing this information and insight.

Optimal formats include blog posts, videos, social media posts, interactive quizzes, and infographics. So, if you’re a homebuilder, think about topics like this:

  • How to select the best floor plan for your family
  • 5 benefits of an open floor plan
  • 10 ways to build a more efficient home
  • Custom home building vs. buying a pre-existing home: which is right for you?
  • How does the custom home building process work?
  • What’s the difference between custom and semi-custom homebuilding?
  • Home building FAQs

Keep Their Attention with Solutions

After the awareness stage, consumers have more clearly defined their problem. At this point, they’re looking for ways to solve it. Your content is geared towards helping them put their options on the table and find an answer that meets their needs.

While further along the journey, these individuals are not yet ready to buy. They need more information. Put targeted blogs, ebooks, white papers, downloadable guides, infographics, case studies, product demos, process videos, and other resources to work.

These will give them valuable education regarding your solutions while providing insight into what it’s like to do business with you. You don’t need to stay brand-neutral at this; in fact, this is an opportunity to deepen the trust between consumers and your company. Guide them towards determining whether your products/services are the right fit for them.

Let Them Know You Are the Solution

Consumers at the decisions stage are ready to buy, but they need a little push. Why should they buy from you? Because you’re the best, because you deliver the highest quality work, because you have the most effective product. Now’s the time to boast your strengths and differentiators.

Whitepapers, reports, and case studies are especially helpful at this point; leads need to know how you have helped solve similar problems or met related needs.

Content should push these folks to complete a compelling call to action, whether to contact you for a consultation or appointment or to use your built-in tool to generate a quote. Your CTAs are the content stars at this stage.

Don’t Stop There

buyer's journeyDon’t leave valued customers out in the cold when it comes to content. At this point, it should be tailored to providing ongoing value, upselling, encouraging repeat buying, and creating brand advocates or evangelists.

ACo, for example, provides a handy guide for customers who have installed hardwood floors. What better way to show them you’re committed to delivering the best service, even after they’ve written the check?

Utilize social media as well: you can feature happy homeowners (if we’re using our home builder example), as well as solicit user generated content. Reviews and testimonials are effective “social proof,” and videos/photos of their homes are exceptional, visually-compelling pieces of content you can share not only on social media but on your website and via case studies and other assets.

The right content at the right stage of the journey provides the motivation for consumers to keep moving towards your solutions – and keep coming back to you for answers. Find ideas and strategies you can implement to build your brand and tell your story to the right clients by downloading our eBook, 9 Steps to Effective Marketing in the Design and Construction Industry.