In the B2B SaaS world, understanding the buyer’s journey is the key to creating successful strategies that generate leads and drive conversions. You must align your B2B content funnel with the stages of the buyer’s journey to engage potential buyers effectively.
The B2B content funnel serves as a roadmap that guides your business in delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time.
In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of the buyer’s journey and explore how it intersects with the B2B content funnel. We will see the buyer’s journey across the entire funnel and how it encompasses multiple channels.
Table of Contents
- What Is the Buyer’s Journey?
- Understanding the Comprehensive SaaS Buyer’s Journey
- Understanding the Diverse Outcomes of the Buyer’s Journey
- The Buyer’s Journey: A Non-Linear Path to Conversion
- The Buyer’s Journey Is A Sales Funnel Powered By Relevant Content
What Is the Buyer’s Journey?
The buyer’s journey is the series of steps that a visitor takes from initial exposure to a brand or company offer through self-qualification and the decision to engage and finally make a purchase.
The buyer’s journey enables you to examine your potential buyers’ choices at every stage. You can identify the parts of your process where they either moved on to the next stage or dropped out, allowing you to be more intentional about what actions you should take at a particular time.
The ultimate goal is to deliver the right information at the exact moment when it will have the most impact.
Understanding the Comprehensive SaaS Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey seems pretty simple – it’s just a landing page and an offer, right?
No, that is direct response marketing – the bottom of the funnel.
The buyer’s journey is across the entire funnel, and it encompasses multiple channels. While direct response marketing at the bottom of the funnel plays a crucial role, the buyer’s journey encompasses the entire sales funnel and involves multiple channels. It is essential to recognize the various stages and channels involved in the buyer’s journey to engage and convert potential customers effectively.
These are the multiple channels you have to address:
- Organic search (content focus)
- Organic/dare social (content focus)
- Paid Media (offer focused)
- Retention/Engagement (content & offer)
Let’s address each one separately.
Organic Search (Content Focus)
Organic search plays a vital role in attracting and engaging potential buyers. By creating valuable and relevant content optimized for search engines, you can position yourself as a thought leader and draw organic traffic.
This content should address the pain points and needs of the target audience, providing them with valuable information and building trust. Through organic search, you can capture the attention of potential SaaS buyers in the early stages of their journey and guide them further down the funnel.
Social media platforms offer excellent opportunities to connect with your target audience. By leveraging organic and paid social media strategies, you can share engaging content, build a community, and foster brand loyalty.
This stage of the SaaS buyer’s journey involves creating content that resonates with the audience, encourages interaction, and sparks conversations. Through social media, you can nurture relationships with potential buyers, keep them engaged, and guide them toward making a purchase.
Paid Media (Offer Focused)
Paid media channels, such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and display ads, effectively reach a wider audience and drive targeted traffic to specific offers.
This stage of the SaaS buyer’s journey focuses on creating compelling offers and optimizing them for paid advertising campaigns. Paid media allows you to directly promote your SaaS products or services to potential buyers who are actively searching for solutions. By presenting enticing offers, you can capture the attention of interested prospects and guide them toward conversion.
Retention/Engagement (Content & Offer)
The buyer’s journey doesn’t end with a successful sale; it extends to customer retention and engagement. Building long-term relationships with customers is essential for business growth and repeat purchases.
This stage involves creating valuable and relevant content that provides ongoing support, educates customers on product usage, and offers additional resources. It also includes personalized offers, loyalty programs, and excellent customer service to keep customers engaged and encourage them to become advocates for the brand.
Understanding the comprehensive buyer’s journey and multiple channels is crucial to designing effective marketing strategies. By recognizing the importance of organic search, social media, paid media, retention, and engagement, your SaaS company can create a holistic approach that guides potential buyers from initial awareness to conversion and beyond.
Emphasizing both content and offers throughout the various stages of the buyer’s journey enables you to build strong relationships, maximize customer value, and achieve long-term success.
Understanding the Diverse Outcomes of the Buyer’s Journey
Recognizing that the buyer’s journey does not always culminate in a straightforward sale is crucial.
Therefore, you have to understand that the SaaS buyer’s journey has different outcomes, and all of them are important for your business.
These are the different outcomes:
- Lead registration
- Engagement (using interactive elements, watching a video, etc.)
- Repeat visits
- Self qualification
- Self disqualification
Let’s address each one separately.
The ultimate goal of the buyer’s journey is to secure a sale. This outcome represents a successful conversion where the customer completes a purchase and becomes a paying customer.
It signifies that the marketing efforts and sales strategies have effectively influenced the SaaS buyer’s decision-making process.
In some cases, the buyer’s journey may result in lead registration.
This outcome occurs when a potential customer expresses interest in a SaaS product or service by providing their contact information. Lead registration enables you to follow up with these leads, nurturing them further until they are ready to make a purchase.
Engagement is an outcome that involves SaaS prospective customers interacting with your brand or your content.
This can manifest in various ways, such as using interactive elements on a website, participating in surveys or quizzes, watching videos, or commenting on social media posts. Engagement indicates that the buyer is actively interested in the brand and your offerings, creating opportunities for further interaction and relationship-building.
When a buyer repeatedly visits your SaaS business’s website without making an immediate purchase, it signifies ongoing interest and consideration.
Repeat visits suggest the buyer actively evaluates their options and compares them against competitors. It is an opportunity for you to reinforce your value proposition and provide additional information to support the buyer’s decision-making process.
Self-qualification refers to the outcome where a SaaS potential buyer evaluates their needs and matches them against your product or service.
They determine that the offering aligns with their requirements, indicating a high likelihood of conversion. Self-qualification often involves the buyer conducting research, comparing features, and assessing how the SaaS product or service addresses its pain points.
On the flip side, self-disqualification occurs when a potential buyer realizes that the SaaS product or service is not suitable for their needs.
This outcome is valuable for both the buyer and the seller, as it saves time and resources that would otherwise be wasted on pursuing an incompatible sale. Self-disqualification allows the buyer to redirect their attention toward more relevant solutions while enabling you to focus your efforts on qualified leads.
The Buyer’s Journey: A Non-Linear Path to Conversion
Even though everything we’ve written about may sound like just driving traffic, it’s entirely the contrary since the buyer’s journey is made up of content that’s designed to lead the SaaS potential buyer to the next significant piece of information that helps them decide moving closer to a purchase decision.
In the world of SaaS marketing, driving traffic to a website or product is a common goal. However, the buyer’s journey goes beyond mere traffic generation. It involves strategically guiding prospects through a series of content pieces, helping them move closer to a purchase decision.
Unlike a linear process, the buyer’s journey resembles a “choose your own adventure” experience, where individuals can enter and navigate at various points. The key is to ensure that all relevant information is readily accessible to SaaS buyers, regardless of where they begin their journey.
While the buyer’s journey could be linear (1, 2, 3, 4…), it never is. They sometimes can jump in at point 4, need to check out 1, swing by 3, and then engage. The buyer’s journey is constructed by ensuring that all the relevant information necessary to be ingested is easily findable, regardless of entry point, for the SaaS buyer.
The Buyer’s Journey Is A Sales Funnel Powered By Relevant Content
The buyer’s journey must be effectively supported by relevant content.
At each stage of the buyer’s journey, the SaaS buyer has different informational needs and is looking for specific types of content. You can guide and influence the buyer’s decision-making process by providing valuable and targeted content throughout the buyer’s journey.
Here’s how relevant content can be used to power the sales funnel and support the buyer’s journey.
At this stage, the buyer recognizes they have a problem or need. The goal is to capture their attention and provide educational content that helps them understand their challenges. Content types for the awareness stage include blog posts, educational content, content pillars, white papers, introductory eBooks, educational webinar pages, etc. These content types will raise awareness and provide initial SaaS solutions.
In this stage, the buyer has clearly defined their problem and is actively seeking solutions. They are researching different options and evaluating alternatives. Content types for the consideration stage include case studies, free samples, customer testimonials, demo videos, FAQs, product specification sheets, etc. These content types will demonstrate the value of your SaaS product or service and establish credibility.
At this final stage, the buyer is ready to make a purchase decision. They are comparing specific offerings and looking for reassurance that they are making the right choice. Content types for the decision stage include comparison pages, product pages, use cases, case studies, free trials, free consultations, etc. These content types will address any remaining concerns and provide the necessary confidence to proceed with the purchase.
As you can see, each aspect of the B2B SaaS buyer’s journey is crucial if you want to create a successful B2B content funnel.
By aligning relevant content with each stage of the buyer’s journey, you can effectively nurture leads, build trust, and guide potential customers toward making a purchase.
Additionally, tracking and analyzing the engagement and conversion metrics of the content can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the B2B sales funnel and allow for continuous improvement and optimization.