2021 is fast approaching and much like any new marketing year, I’m sure you have lofty goals as a marketing leader that you have to hit. These goals likely include increasing traffic, leads and revenue (the pillars of all growth marketing). We’re going to share with you how to create the very first thing we do at First Page when building an SEO and Content Strategy for our clients — the Buyer’s Journey.
But, this is not just any old Buyer’s Journey you can find and download online. Our Buyer’s Journey has a couple extra fancy layers to it: we added specific product-mapping for SaaS and tech companies, search intent, personas, and the addition of a fourth stage (post-bottom-of-the-funnel) that we call Growth.
This key piece of strategy will realign your inbound marketing strategy to perform the way you need it to in 2021. Below we’ll walk you through why you need this Buyer’s Journey to grow leads and loyal customers, and how to build one.
What is a Buyer’s Journey?
The buyer’s journey is a key piece of inbound marketing strategy that HubSpot created years ago. It’s also a bread-and-butter piece to our entire inbound marketing map that we swear by (and has grown traffic by 400%, revenue by 300% and 30,000 leads in one year for a First Page client). We always build a Buyer’s Journey before we start creating content.
First, it looks at each stage of the marketing funnel (three stages being Top of the Funnel (TOFU); Middle of the Funnel (MOFU); Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU), and maps each of those stages to:
For example: in the Top of the Funnel: what problems are your users researching online when they’re first getting started with purchasing a product like yours. This is the verrry beginning of their buying process. What solutions might they be researching to solve this problem, what types of content are they looking to consume about these problems and solutions, and what keywords are included in their search.
Why Your Inbound Strategy Needs a Buyer’s Journey
With a Buyer’s Journey mapped out, you’ll be able to REALLY understand the content your potential customers are looking for and how you can move your prospects from TOFU to MOFU and then everyone’s goal: to BOFU by understanding what they need at every stage before purchase. This will save you a ton of time and dollars with a content strategy that isn’t “throw sh*t against the wall and hope it sticks” (which is what we see most companies doing). Oftentimes we’ll look at a brand’s blog, and the topics are completely irrelevant to what their customers are looking for to make a decision on their product. They might be too high level on generic topics, or they might be too customer-focused on company announcements. Don’t waste your time with a content strategy like this because your blog will then a) appear fluff to your prospects and customers, b) not build traffic and c) not be reporting revenue.
The NEW Buyer’s Journey Template
The Buyer’s Journey is not a mind-blowing new piece of inbound marketing strategy. It has been around for a bit of time now, and First Page thought it was time to reinvent the old Buyer’s Journey HubSpot template since inbound marketing strategy (and Google’s algorithm) has evolved to be a lot more complex than it was 5-10 years ago. With each new client we take on, we tweak this a bit more to work specifically for tech and SaaS companies, so we’re driving qualified leads and traffic.
First, the most important thing we've layered on top of the original HubSpot template is Google’s (arguably) biggest change in 2019: searcher’s intent. You can no longer simply build content around every keyword you hope your product will rank for. You have to understand what the search intent is for the keyword. For example, your project management platform might want to rank for “project management,” but the search intent for this is educational, not transactional. People searching for project management are being served organic search content that teaches them what project management is (by Wikipedia etc.), NOT project management platforms. So, this search intent is not a match for your keyword, and it’s a better to choose something like, “project management platforms.” What’s interesting about this is that you can target “project management” in PPC and show up at the top. But if you want to get in the organic search results, it would be near impossible for “project management.”
Understanding the search intent for keywords is important so that you’re choosing the right keyword phrases to target so that your content can rank organically. And as noted above, these are likely not exactly what you’re targeting in search advertising.
Fourth Funnel Stage: Growth
The traditional marketing funnel has always included three stages: top of the funnel (awareness), middle of the funnel (consideration) and bottom of the funnel (purchase). We call these TOFU, MOFU and BOFU. But, First Page has also added a fourth stage called GROWTH because we feel marketing does not end after acquisition. There is so much that goes into customer marketing so you don’t lose people you paid top dollar to find and convert. The Growth stage should be focused on content that builds loyalty and trust with your customers, while also educating them on your products (and upselling them!) These efforts should work to increase the lifetime value of your customers (LTV). So, because we think it’s important to outline content you’ll create every month to speak to your customers, not just your prospects, we’ve added a fourth stage to our Buyer’s Journey.
Layering On Personas (and Your Product(s)!
When you’re a tech and/or SaaS company, you likely have a beautiful product you’re building that solves customer’s pain points using the beauty of technology, automation and algorithms. And you should have also worked on personas for each one of your products (or hired an agency that did this as part of their inbound strategy). Sometimes one product will have many personas, and each one of your personas could have a different intent and product. So we’ve added a layer of tying your buyer’s journey to the technology you’re building and the person buying it.
And there you have it — our NEW Buyer’s Journey, specifically created for technology brands, startups and SaaS companies that we created for you to download for free. Our team has a wide breadth of tech brand experience — from wearable tech like FitBit to FinTech brands like Kabbage, we understand growth marketing for tech brands. And, we’re uniquely positioned as an official HubSpot agency partner ready to build out your inbound marketing strategy. We’re here to help with mapping out your Buyer’s Journey(s).