What is Buyer’s Journey Mapping and why is it so important for your marketplace?
It’s no news that every marketplace needs to sell. However, you cannot boost your sales without a deep understanding of your buyer’s journey.
Inbound and outbound marketing
Before you start with the creation of your buyer's journey, make sure you can see the difference between inbound and outbound marketing. In this way, you will be able to use inbound or outbound marketing strategies at different steps of your buyer's yourney.
According to Hubspot, inbound marketing is "is an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful — not interruptive. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media." Outbound marketing is about reaching your customers to persuade them that they need your product: this means that you are interrumpting any activity your potential customers are doing at that moment.
This means that unlike traditional utbound marketing, with inbound marketing you are not fighting for your customers attention. On the contrary, you attract customers creating content that helps them to solve their problems: you attract qualified leads basing your strategy on trust and credibility.
You can think about it in this way: inbound marketing works like a magnet to attract customers, while outbound marketing is like a megaphone from which you scream to potential leads.
What is the buyer’s journey?
The buyer’s journey is basically the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service.
This journey is a three-step process: awareness, consideration and decision.
This is an example of a buyer’s journey:
Before defining the buyer’s journey, you should create your buyer personas (read this article to understand what they are and how you can create them): this will help to make this process much easier because you will start from an ideal customer.
A clear buyer’s journey will help to understand what buyers are doing and how marketers can help them to move from one step to the next.
Although this analysis is crucial for every business, it is particularly important for marketplaces. It does not matter if you are not Amazon, the effort will easily pay off. You do not want to waste money and time targeting the wrong audience, do you?
At the beginning of their journey, your potential buyers are usually unaware of your company and the fact they have a need - especially if you have a small marketplace. At this point, you need to create awareness of your marketplace. For instance, you could create content that focuses on needs, pains, goals and challenges. Make your potential buyers feel like you understand them: talk about their needs, not your brand.
Once people are aware of a need, they start doing research. According to Google, 89% of B2B researchers use the Internet during the research process. Make sure you have resources for them: reviews, testimonials or other educational material.
At this point, your potential customers are aware of their need and have gathered enough information to understand their priorities, and therefore which features or services better fit their needs. White papers and analysis could be really useful since they need to understand your product.
Nurtured leads produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads: this is a sufficient reason to produce some content at this stage!
During the consideration stage your potential customers have a clear idea of their needs and they have probably narrowed their choices thanks to the research.
They will start comparing features, offers and solutions. Your content should focus on ROI, prices and comparisons between your marketplace and your competitors.
Give your leads all the material they might need at this stage: 90% of B2B business buyers say that when they are ready to buy they will find you.
Finally, leads are ready to become customers. Probably more people will be involved at this stage, so make sure you have content for all of them: they might need more specific information about implementation, customer support and “extra” costs.
Once they become your customers, do not stop adding value to their purchase: give them advanced content and tips. You want your buyers to be satisfied so that they can be your customers for a long time.
Also, happy customers will speak about you to colleagues, friends and share with them how great your marketplace is: a new buyer’s journey will begin!
Is it right for me?
You might think that only big companies can afford to create all this content and platforms to share it: wrong! At Cloudesire, we have developed a marketplace that easily integrates with the marketing automation tools that work like a charm for small businesses too, like GetDrip or Unbounce.