The Buyer’s Journey and Beyond: Growing Customers & Advocates

February 28, 2024

Written by
Lissie Kidd

businessman with rating smiley faces

As every marketer or business leader knows, turning a casual viewer into a customer requires a seamless buyer’s journey. Knowing about the buyer’s journey isn’t the same thing as applying the buyer’s journey to your marketing strategy.

For those who need a quick reminder, the stages of the buyer journey are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

In this guide, we’ll discuss what it means to be a prospect in each stage of the journey. Then, we’ll address how you can apply this knowledge to move them through the stages seamlessly. We’ll end by helping you create a customer loyalty strategy, so you can turn your customers into brand advocates!

1. The Awareness Stage

The awareness stage is the first hurdle every marketer has to cross. While many companies wonder how they can increase their conversion rate, awareness is just as important. If your company, or personal brand, has little to no relevance online, your net of potential customers is too small.

Awareness is intrinsically tied to discoverability. Your target audience knows they have a problem to solve and you want to solve it. But for a prospect to consider you as part of the solution, you must be in the right place at the right time. In this digital age, the answer is Google.

What Your Audience Needs

When we struggle to solve a problem, most of us open a web browser for answers. Your prospects are no different.

From the consumer standpoint, this stage is riddled with questions and information gathering. It’s your job to provide answers to the questions they have—and the ones they haven’t thought of yet.

During this stage, they’re looking for:

  • Greater understanding of their needs/problem
  • An initial concept of existing solutions

Your Marketing Strategy

You should understand what types of questions or concerns your audience has. If you were in their shoes, what would you be searching for and what would be the most helpful in this stage?

  1. Create a list of challenges your audience may have
  2. Conduct keyword research to identify high-impact phrases
  3. Create blog content using phrases
  4. Focus on education, not selling

2. The Consideration Stage

During this stage, prospects are weighing the pros and cons of various services and solutions. Unlike the previous stage, the prospect is looking for a deeper understanding of viable solutions. The intake of information during this stage is significant.

This means you need to become a valued resource to keep them on your website and engaging with your content. If you don’t have the information they need, they’ll quickly turn to someone who does.

What Your Audience Needs

Think about the things you look for when you’re doing research. What type of information is helpful? Where do you find it and what format is it in?

During this stage, they’re looking for:

  • A list of solutions available to them
  • Pros and cons of solutions
  • Comparison charts
  • Potential companies to work with

Your Marketing Strategy

Your prospect is growing in their understanding of various solutions and can handle greater details. In the awareness phase, they needed high-level information—but not anymore. It’s important to fully answer their questions and dive deeper into your product or service.

  1. Decide on what types of collateral you need
    • Whitepapers, videos, and eBooks are all highly used during this stage
  2. Organization information so it is in depth, but easy to comprehend
    • Include visual elements to break up any lengthy text
  3. Add related content suggestions at the bottom of blogs and hyperlink to relevant content within guides
    • This can keep them engaged while developing their trust that you’re the best at what you do
  4. Optimize video listings on YouTube so you can direct traffic to your site to learn more

Pro-tip: Nurture your prospects in this stage through email engagement. You can create email campaigns specifically for the service that they’re interested in. Having trouble growing your email list? Create a downloadable guide for an email address! It’s a win-win.

3. The Decision Stage

It’s finally time to make a decision! They know what type of solution they need—but they have to pick who will provide it.

Now is the time to include your value proposition and what differentiates you from the competition. Remember the sales pitches you saved for later? Now is the time to bring them out, allowing the prospect to decide that you’re the right person.

Remember that you’re building on the trust you developed over their consideration stage. Don’t tell them what they already know, but highlight the ease of your service, your commitment to customer service, or your major strengths.

Your Marketing Strategy

It’s time to convince them with demos, deals, and a seamless purchasing experience.

  • Offer demos, if applicable, to qualm any doubts about your service
  • Discuss offers, such as free trials or consultations
  • Provide detailed quotes
  • Have customers who are willing to be a reference ready to go
  • Follow Call to Action (CTA) best practices if your conversions are primarily digitalHave a seamless booking process, if applicable
  • Eliminate technical hangups and make purchase/conversion as easy as possible

Beyond the Buyer’s Journey

By applying the principles of the buyer’s journey, you can create more effective content and media. But that isn’t the end of the journey.

Creating Brand Advocates

You don’t just want to guide a prospect through the journey once, with only one purchase or contract to show for it. To maximize productivity, increase profit, and boost customer satisfaction, you need loyal customers. To accomplish this, you need to deliver an outstanding product or service. But beyond that, you need creative methods to keep them engaged with your brand.

User Generated Content Campaigns

Make sure you have active social media accounts where you engage with your followers’ comments, frustrations, or suggestions.

In addition, consider creating a UGC campaign and ask for them to participate in your brand, creating their own posts, videos, or art surrounding your brand. You can give them a specific prompt, or leave it open. Either way, promote the materials they produce and use it to spread authentic messages about your brand.

Create a Loyalty Program

One way to keep your customers coming back is through a loyalty program! Ask them to engage with your brand, such as share a social media post, and give them points in exchange. As the points accumulate, they can exchange them for exclusive products, services, experiences, or discounts. What you offer is up to you, but ensure the rewards warrant your customer’s participation.

Share Values and Social Initiatives

Ask for feedback and keep your customers in the know. If you want to develop a brand that your customers can truly get behind and support, they need to know more about what you value. Share your mission statements, your core values, and how you’re putting them into practice. Share your mission on social media and ask others to join in.

Send Surveys and Communicate Changes

Customers want to be valued! Communicate your appreciation for them by asking them for their feedback via a survey. This gives them the opportunity to voice areas of appreciation and concern regarding your brand’s performance, quality, customer service, or other factors.

The benefit of this is two-fold. First, it enables you to have conversations with disgruntled customers and rectify the situation, possibly saving the relationship. Second, it enables you to identify brand advocates who can partner with you in the future if you need a referral, a case study, or a reference.

Building Blocks for Success

Building a powerful brand requires thoughtful consideration for your customers every step along the buyer’s journey. This guide is a starting point for developing the assets you need to satisfy your customers’ curiosity, move them to the next stage, and retain them even after conversion.

If you’re looking for the right place to start, take stock of your existing content and begin filling in the gaps level by level. Remember that each stage is a building block, leading them closer to conversion, and you closer to greater success.

Lissie Kidd

Sr. Marketing Copywriter

Lissie Kidd is a Sr. Copywriter with several hundred articles in her portfolio and even more edited and published under her supervision. Lissie holds a MA in Communications from Grand Canyon University and enjoys educating her readers through prac...

Learn More

Get Insights About Building Your Authority

Join our weekly email to get the latest insights for building your Authority.


Marketing Parameters

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.