About how long would you say it takes you to make a buying decision normally?
Ok. Ok. I mean something that isn’t food. Or some other kind of impulse buy.
I’m talking about something serious. Like some training for example. Or a big ticket appliance. A car. Or a service of some description.
If you’re anything like me – you’ll do a fair bit of research before you buy anything.
Whenever I’m thinking about changing one of our cars for example – I’ll spend quite a bit of time looking at the various options. Trying to figure out the what we actually need versus what I want to drive (see my Porsche post here).
I’ll be looking at things like maintenance cycles, servicing, equipment, owner reviews and the like for quite some time before I arrive at any kind of a decision. (Much of this probably only serves as confirmation bias for the decision I’ve already made, but that’s a whole other story!)
Of course, most of this research will take place on the Internet. And – depending on what it is I’m actually buying, some percentage of it will take place on the service provider or product manufacturer site. The rest of my research will be carried out elsewhere; on specialist sites, review sites, e-commerce sites and inevitably – social media.
So, when someone is thinking about buying your product or service – where do you think their research is carried out?
What did you think they’ll find out about you and your product or service once they start looking?
How long will it take them to arrive at a buy or don’t-buy decision?
If they go to your online space – let’s assume for the moment it doesn’t matter whether that’s your own site or some other platform your renting space from – what will your potential customer find there?
Conventional wisdom has it that consumers will progress through various stages when they’re thinking about buying something:
- Problem recognition
- Information searching
- Evaluation of alternative solutions
- Decision to purchase
- After purchase
When you’re coming with or creating your content strategy – you need to try and produce content that covers all of these bases. And not just in your home space either. It needs to be everywhere. You need to provide people with enough information and content to steer them towards the outcome you want.
Your content should also come in as many forms as your people want to digest. You should have video, audio and text content. It should engage people visually, emotionally, cerebrally – depending on the audience.
And most important of all – there should be enough of it to get people through the entire buying process. Because if there isn’t enough of your material, your potential customer will find someone else’s. And then you’re not in control anymore. And once you’re not in control, you’ve lost the sale.
Try to make sure you have enough content in various formats to get people through at least a few hours of thinking, researching and reviewing their buying decision. Target the entire process with content that helps prospects understand they have a problem that needs solving. Steer them towards the information they need to solve it. Don’t make them work for it; carry out the evaluation for them so that they arrive at the best possible solution (i.e. Yours). Then make it easy for them to buy from and stay in contact with you.
If you can do all of that, I don’t guarantee success – but at least you’ll be in the race!