When you use buyer stages to organize your planning, it’s much easier to create a strategy for connecting with customers at each point of their buyer’s journey. Outlining a marketing plan doesn’t have to be a struggle.
As you create the next iteration of your marketing campaigns, start by breaking down your plans into each of the following buyer stages. When you create plans for each of these defined categories, it becomes much easier to connect with audiences at every interest level.
The first buyer stage is where you ‘attract’ your prospects.
Before you can engage with a prospect, you need to get them interested in your brand. You need to make introductions with audiences and explain who you are and what you offer.
Each of these strategies helps audiences make their first contact with your brand.
Capture Buyer Information
Once you attract an audience, it’s time to ‘capture’ them, or more specifically capture their contact information.
During the capture phase, your focus is on turning interested audiences into qualified leads. You do that by presenting opportunities for prospects to provide their contact information in exchange for more information or offers from your business.
As you develop strategies for this buyer stage, set up opt-in forms on your website that give prospects value through free:
- Ebooks or Guides
- Special Promotions or Discounts
- Mini Courses
- Registration for Events or Webinars
- Software Trials
The more value you provide in your free offer, the more likely you will be to engage audiences and capture their contact information.
Once you have captured an audience, it’s time to ‘nurture’ your relationship with them.
When you nurture a lead, you deepen and strengthen the connection between the prospect and your brand. You provide the prospects with information that guides them toward becoming a paying customer.
- Educate and Inform
- Build Trust
- Offer Proof
Nurturing leads involves showing customers how and why you can help them solve their specific problems.
The goal of nurturing a relationship with a prospect is to eventually ‘convert’ them.
The term ‘convert’ as it relates to marketing can mean a lot of things. A conversion could be an email sign-up, a click on a link, or a variety of other defined actions that you want a prospect to take. But as it relates to the buyer stages, a conversion is the point of action when a prospect becomes a customer.
When you convert a prospect in the buyer stage, you move them from being an interested audience to becoming a paying customer. Tools that help you trigger that action include:
- Sales Pages
- Customer Testimonials
- Slide Decks
- Free Demos
- Free Consultations
To convert customers, make sure it’s easy for the prospect to take the next step. Tell audiences exactly what they need to do to become a customer with your business.
The buyer stages aren’t over once you convert an interested audience into a paying customer. The next step is to “expand” your relationship with that paying customer.
In the “expand stage,” you work to further develop and deepen your relationship with the customer so they become a loyal, lasting or repeat customer.
To expand opportunities with existing customers, be strategic about your:
- Onboarding Process
- Upsell and Cross-sell Marketing
- Referral Programs
- Loyalty Programs
Don’t think of the “expand stage” as an afterthought. It costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing customer, so place a high priority on this final buyer stage.
Build Out Each Of These Buyer Stages
With this outline, you will be able to organize your marketing ideas and create a map that hits each stage of the buyer’s journey.
But, this is just the tip of the marketing iceberg.
To dive deeper into the specific marketing strategies that will help you attract, capture, nurture, convert, expand, and develop a full plan for each buyer stage, download our free Digital Marketing ebook.
Also published on Medium.