Creating Content For the Buyer’s Journey

Monday, March 25th
Content Manager

Mark Wilson

You’ve likely heard plenty about content marketing, and we are big proponents of it here at Leadflask as well. But what does it mean to create content that converts leads into customers and growth potential into concrete sales?

That’s what we’re here to talk about today, and we’re going to do it by talking about the buyer’s journey and different buyer types.

Is good content marketing simply about volume? Volume helps, but it pales in comparison to having a good content strategy.

So what does that strategy look like? It starts with an understanding of your customers, and one of the best windows into their decision-making process is to understand the buyer’s journey and the different types of buyers that exist and what their motivations are.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

The buyer’s journey is a model for understanding how purchasing decisions are made. It’s typically broken into three primary stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. 

Some versions of the model also add a stage before those where the customer is unaware of a product or service, and another after the decision stage where the goal is to turn them into a repeat customer and/or an advocate for your brand to others.

Disclaimers out of the way first: we’re about to talk in more detail about stages of the buyer’s journey, but rarely is a person perfectly at one stage of the journey. It’s also hard to determine exactly when they jump from one stage to another.

If it helps to think of the journey as more of a spectrum, with gradations between the stages, feel free to do so. The point, though, is that most buyers go through a similar process when making purchasing decisions, and that our content and copy can speak directly to the primary stages in that journey.

Awareness Stage

In this stage, the potential customer becomes aware of a problem or need. Some versions of the buyer’s journey model frame stages in terms of what the customer becomes aware of, and it’s handy to think in these terms.

Another way to look at it is the information-gathering stage, particularly for those who do a lot of research before making a decision.

Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, the customer is proactively seeking out solutions to the perceived problem.

It’s here that they’ll often begin seeking out companies that have products or services, though it’s still with the intent of researching solutions, not making a final decision.

Decision Stage

At this stage, the buyer is looking to make a purchase and is now weighing factors in that decision. If you have created trust in your brand by this point, or presented your solution as the most attractive option, you’ll have a better chance at making the sale. This can be done in a variety of ways, as we’ll discuss below.

After the Purchase

There’s no official stage name for this one, but here at Leadflask we think it’s just as important as the others.

The sustained growth and health of a brand is dependent not just on bringing in new leads and sales but on customer retention strategies that delight and engage your existing customers. This can also help you to bring in new customers via word-of-mouth and referrals.

What Are Buyer Types?

Jeffrey Eisenberg wrote an influential book amusingly titled Waiting For Your Cat to Bark? This book outlined four buyer types, based on research on the subject.

Marketers are used to creating customer personas for businesses, but Eisenberg created personas based on consumer buying patterns.

The four types outlined are Competitive, Spontaneous, Methodical and Humanistic.

I’d personally add the caveat that many people will display characteristics of multiple types, but it’s again useful for our purposes to look at the strategies that speak directly to each type.

This, arguably, is also more of a sales strategy than a marketing strategy. Shouldn’t your sales team be paying attention to this instead? What does it have to do with, say, website copy?

A lot, it turns out. It may be useful for sales teams too, but it has insights for creating content.

Rethinking Content for the Buyer’s Journey

When marketers think about content, they often think about the medium: blog, video, social media post, eBook, podcast and so on.

And this is important! But sometimes it’s only part of the equation.

The other side of that equation is what stage of the buyer’s journey is it speaking toward.

For example, some companies are great at creating educational content to inform potential customers about a range of industry topics. This will result in some business, but those same companies are sometimes hesitant to tell people about their personalized solution to a problem. Which means a customer might get all the info they need about a problem from that company…then buy from someone else.

Conversely, a company that only focuses on the point of sale and doesn’t take the time to educate customers on the problem or potential solutions is going to come across as pushy and overly salesy.

Again, both of those models will get some business. But they’re also leaving revenue on the table by focusing only on a particular buyer’s journey stage.

Some marketers don’t even realize they’re doing this. This is why it’s important to ask what content you have for each stage of the buyer’s journey. If you don’t immediately know, chances are you’re deficient in one or more areas.

Matching Content to Each Buyer Stage

Here’s the part where you take what you know about content types, plus what you know about your particular industry and buyer profiles, and merge it into the buyer’s journey.

Here are some considerations and ideas for content that you can cater to each stage of the buyer’s journey:

  1. Awareness Stage - This stage should focus on informative or educational content. Blogs, videos, eBooks, or webinars depending on what media types you can produce. The copy should focus on answering questions that typically appear early in the buying cycle for customers.
  2. Consideration Stage - You have a person’s attention, now take them deeper into the journey. Case studies of problem/solution resolutions, comparisons between products and solutions (videos work great for this) and similar solution-oriented content is key.
  3. Decision Stage - What motivates your buyer at the point of sale? A lifetime guarantee? Lowest price? Most benefits or features? Knowing your brand identity and typical buyer can help you to frame yourself as the best option. Emails, coupon offers, and free trials of a product or service are some of the content types that can be considered.
  4. After the Purchase - You made the sale, but how do you leverage the trust you now have with that customer? Referral bonuses, educational content on related services, and invitations to leave a review are among the content offerings that will help you create a lasting, trusted brand that grows with your customer base.

Matching Copy and Content to Buyer Type

Remember the buyer types we identified earlier? Those matter too, not just the stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in.

A lot of copywriting advice to write marketing copy exists, and much of it is great for those looking for inspiration as they prepare a piece of content. Below are a handful of high-level takeaways as you write that next blog, email or script that’s designed for one of the buyer’s story stages:

  • Competitive - Quick-hitting explanations of benefits using logical arguments and focusing on the results of their involvement with you.
  • Humanistic - Feature stories of users of your product and build trust through these human touchpoints. Many of these buyers also care about a company’s values and ideals, and how those manifest in community or charitable outreach.
  • Methodical - Lead with information and be transparent in responses to common questions. Include charts, data, and related resources that will help in researching a product or service.
  • Spontaneous - Reduce barriers to adoption of your product/service, stating everything in simple, direct language, with clear steps that are easy to understand.

The other question to ask yourself is this: which of these types do your buyers typically fall into?

That’s not a question we can answer for you, but it’s where customer research can pay for itself many times over.

And if you lack the institutionalized means of gathering data on this, you can still gather it yourself through A/B testing your copy to see what works better. Remember that A/B tests only work when you can identify which variables are responsible for a change, so comparing “competitive” copy on social media vs. “humanistic” copy in a long-form blog post isn’t comparing apples to apples.

With a methodical approach, though, over time you can refine your brand’s voice to better speak directly to the buying habits of your customers.

Your Website and the Buyer’s Journey

Web copy is marketing copy as well, so a lot of these recommendations apply to your website too.

It goes beyond that, though, to how users navigate your site.

If someone is coming to your website for the first time and knows nothing about you, are they likely to purchase from you right away?

No, of course not. Some might, sure, but a typical user is fact-finding at this point, about both your products or services and the company itself.

However, once they’re on the pages that will give them the initial (Awareness Stage) information, does your website give them opportunities to move to the next stage?

Because that’s the other part of this: some buyer’s journeys can last months or even years, but most will transition between stages in days or even hours.

Crafting a flow through your site that supports the buyer’s journey is important to create conversions from users who visit your site and need information, but also want to make a decision quickly. If you don’t provide them with resources that support each step in the decision-making process, along with strong calls to action at the end of that journey, they’ll go somewhere else.

Working with an experienced web team that understands how design and copy coincide with decision-making is crucial to completing this part of the content marketing puzzle.

Creating a Content Ecosystem for Conversions

Putting all of this together into a coherent and consistent content plan is the final challenge. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s a necessity if you want to get the most out of your content marketing.

Making sure you have content for each stage of the buyer’s journey is the first step.

Making sure the copy matches the tone and style that will appeal to your core customer types is the second.

Finding ways to distribute your content in relevant ways is the third. It can be hard to know what stage of the journey a particular buyer is at. Not all content channels will afford you the luxury of delivering content in a methodical way that mirrors the buyer’s journey stages, such as email marketing.

So oftentimes the best strategy is to make sure you have a variety of content available for each stage, and make that content easily accessible through a variety of channels. Finally, make sure your website supports this journey and ushers users through the stages in a logical manner that keeps them glued to your content through each of the journey’s stages.

This is no small task. It is, however, crucial to any brand’s efforts in creating lasting success and a consistent funnel of leads and sales.


Ready to turn your website and content into amazing lead generation and sales tools? Let’s talk and discover together the potential you have to transform your business through modern design and content strategies.

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