The path to purchase requires completing four key customer journey stages. Discover why this method is important and how to use it to convert prospects into consumers and advocates for your brand.

Consumer relations have evolved far from simply knowing needs and recognising desires. With in-depth access to what leads to true consumer loyalty and brand advocacy, brands now have the power to deliver a seamless customer journey experience with tailored content at every stage.

But to make the relationship with your consumer last, you must prove your worth as a capable suitor. After all, with other brands available boasting benefits and good intentions, why should they choose you?

Learn the four customer journey phases taking awareness into advocacy with the ideal content and overall digital marketing strategy.

What is the path to purchase?

The path to purchase refers to the consumer journey across a marketing campaign that converts a prospect into a customer. It’s made up of four stages of the buyer’s journey:

1. Awareness

2. Consideration

3. Decision

4. Loyalty

Every stage has a specific style of content to lead your prospective consumer from awareness to advocacy. You position your brand to appeal to your target audience across this journey by supporting their needs and concerns as and when they arise.

Think of it like dating. You wouldn’t reveal all your deepest, darkest secrets, get down on one knee and promise the world after 20 minutes of conversation. So, why would you bare all in your first touch point with a prospect?

Like every stage, each date is a new experience to reveal more of your value while maintaining your power. What begins with knowing what you want continues with getting yourself out there in front of the ideal prospective consumers before the wooing and courting can commence.

But first, you need to choose who you want to attract with the intention of loyalty and dedication, not desperation.

Creating the perfect buyer persona match for your brand

The path to purchase is a story in itself, with the potential to be as romantic or tragic as you want. As the storyteller, the first thing to invent is the main character.

Remember, it’s about them, not you.

Although it might be tempting to want to make your brand the centre of attention, the leading role in the path to purchase belongs to your consumers.

So, before you begin the path to purchase, you must devise the ideal person you wish to target.

Forming this identity relies on data analysis, studying demographics and in-depth research into the types of people interacting with our business.

You achieve this by closely analysing the impressions, likes, followers, demographic and locations of the visitors via Google Analytics and social media research.

Once you know who you’re targeting, your digital marketing content will find more engagement and offer more value.

What are the 4 customer journey stages?

Now it’s time to start the journey of the four stages, from awareness and consideration to decision and loyalty/advocacy.

1. Awareness

In the opening stage, you want your prospective consumers to notice you by becoming aware of what you offer, whether it's your products or services. You can apply this awareness across multiple channels, including social media or paid advertising.

Paid advertising is a particularly potent way to boost awareness and can be achieved across the following solutions:

• PPC (pay-per-click)

· Social media advertising

• Digital display advertising

If you have a small budget for paid advertising, we recommend you get yourself out there posting organically on social media with short videos and infographics.

Short videos and infographics are great forms of organic digital marketing awareness content to acquire your prospects' attention, leading them nicely into the next stage of the customer journey.

In fact, 78% of marketers state videos help increase sales and 32.5% use infographics more than any other visual.

2.    Consideration

In dating terms, we’ve only just skimmed the surface. And as you know, strong relationships are founded on deep connections, not shallow stimulation.

Now, they fancy what you offer but need to conduct some background research to support their intentions. As an essential stage of the customer journey, we must create trust and prompt our prospects to engage further.

Some ideal types of content during the consideration stage include:

• Webinars

• Podcasts

• Free samples

·      E-books  

According to research, 85% of marketers who use webinars believe it to be a crucial marketing tool, while free samples have proven to boost sales by as much as 2,000%!

Here you must prove your solutions solve their problem with quality and reliability at the source. After each piece of quality content they absorb, the connection grows stronger to build confidence in their final purchase decision.

3.    Conversion

The time has come to seal the deal and convert that prospect into a fully-fledged consumer. Incentivising their decision can be boosted through case studies and testimonials from previous clients or customers.

Ensure you have consumer-generated content available to your prospects either on your website, Google Account, or social media profiles.

After evaluating their decision based on your awareness, consideration and conversion marketing strategy alongside consumer-generated content, your prospect should have all they need to decide whether you’re the brand for them.

4.    Loyalty and advocacy

This final stage in the 4 customer journey stages is a bit of a two-parter. After accepting the investment of your consumer, you still need to work hard by offering the support and advice they may need for their recent purchase or any additional purchases in the future.

It’s the same principle in any relationship. You don’t just woo someone and give up. Otherwise, you could be looking for a new partner sooner than you think.

Communications marketing can play a vital role here, either with chatbots on your website, social media messaging or just simple customer service via email or telephone. There’s nothing more frustrating to a consumer than purchasing with your brand and not receiving the necessary support afterwards.

If you can prove your worth as a brand that continues to offer quality and valuable content while supporting your existing consumers, you can create advocacy from your consumer.

And when consumers become brand advocates, you can then go one further and create referral campaigns, further consumer-generated content and offer additional purchasing incentives.

With each stage established, it creates a perpetual platform from beginning to end that can self-sustain itself as a complete customer journey. Watch as the advocates begin to support fresh awareness, and the cycle continues for your brand's success.

Let us help you create a tailored path to purchase plan

As you can see, the path to purchase requires a bit of elbow grease. But going from awareness to advocacy was never going to be simple. Each stage needs specific content that can be a lot to manage as a small business with deadlines to hit and operations to run.

That’s where we come in. At Design in the Shires, we’re a digital marketing agency with the creativity to engage and experience to deliver a successful customer journey strategy for all stages.

With our team of designers, copywriters, and general marketers, we have the means to help you develop a seamless path to purchase plan that will not only convert prospects but generate loyalty and advocacy for your brand.

For more information on how a path to purchase plan can help your business, get in touch today.

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