Where Do My Blog Posts Fit Into the Buyer's Journey?6 min read
By now, you know how important blogging is for your business. But blogging about anything without any purpose or goals won’t help you. Each and every blog post you publish should be written with a specific part of the buyer’s journey in mind.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s not easy to figure out what questions your potential customers have, when they’re asking them, and how to answer them. On the other end of the spectrum, potential buyers face the challenge of determining what online content is just noise and what is actually valuable to solving their specific problems. If you want to provide that value (and ultimately attract more qualified leads), you can start by targeting a specific part of the buyer’s journey for each blog post.
A recap of the Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey is the typical path buyers take, starting as a stranger who knows nothing about your company and ending as a paying customer. In inbound marketing, this journey consists of three stages: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage.To plan and write blog posts for each of these stages and each part of the methodology you need to know:
- Who these leads are (that’s where buyer personas come into play)
- What the questions your leads are asking
- Where they’re looking for the answers to their questions
- How to answer those questions
- When you should answer them
Once you understand thebuyer's journey, it's time to plan blog posts for each part.
In the awareness stage, the buyer knows that they have a problem, but they don’t yet know the solution. They have lots of questions:
- Why am I feeling pain in my lower back?
- How can I fix my broken refrigerator?
- What’s the easiest way to plan my next family vacation?
- Isn’t there a better way for my employees to track their hours?
I find it helpful to think of these stages in terms of what you’d search on Google. In the awareness stage, the search terms are vague:
- lower back pain
- broken refrigerator
- plan a family vacation
- employee time tracking
With vague search terms like these, you know the person is still learning about their problem at a high level.
The blog posts that belong in this stage should educate readers about the problem: why it might be happening and potential solutions. Again, this is a high level — in fact, you want to mention your company’s product or service very little, if at all. In this stage, the reader doesn’t know what
Want some examples? Here are potential awareness stage blogs for the four examples above:
- Understanding Your Back Pain: 5 Tips & Tricks
- 10 Common Refrigerator Problems & Quick Fixes
- How to Plan a Family Vacation That Everyone Will Love
- 7 Examples of Efficient Employee Time Tracking
The content in these blogs provide information that further educates readers without being explicitly related to your company.
Why bother with awareness stage posts that won’t result in immediate sales? First, awareness level posts typically target broad search terms, which casts a wide net for attracting a lot of visitors. Plus, discovery is just the first step, and there’s a long way to go before the person is ready to buy. However, just by reading a high-level blog post, they’ve learned more about your company and gained a little trust. When they move into the consideration stage (one step closer to buying), they’ll likely think of you again.
The buyer now has a defined problem they're trying to remedy. At this point, they likely know either what’s causing their problem and/or their options to fix it. They’re asking:
- OK, I know I have back pain from sleeping on my stomach. How can I alleviate it?
- So it’s the refrigerator compressor that’s broken. Is that something I can fix myself?
- I wonder if we could all go to Disneyland without spending a fortune.
- Sounds like we could use an app to track time. What are the best ones on the market?
Again, you don’t necessarily want to talk much about your company specifically. You might list that the type of service you offer is an option, but not name your company.
Some blog posts here might include:
- Why Pain Meds Aren’t Enough for Back Pain
- 5 Ways to Fix a Broken Compressor in Your Refrigerator
- How to Plan a Family Disneyland Vacation for Only $3,000
- The Top 10 Apps to Track Time
In all of these blog posts, you could offer quick, easy solutions that may or may not use your company’s offerings. Posts like these further build trust with readers — people like to see companies that don’t only promote their own products. By sharing other options, it’s clear to the reader that you actually want to help them find a solution.
Another great benefit of consideration level posts is that the search terms used to find them are often more specific, but not too specific to rank for. This means that your visitors will be more qualified.
Finally, it’s at the consideration level that prospects are likely to convert to leads. They’re hungry for information, so if you can provide more useful content, you’ll likely be able to add them to your contact list and help them make a decision.
After much research, the buyer has determined the problem and the best possible solution. Now, he or she needs help implementing that solution — they’re ready to hear how your company can help. They're asking:
- I need to see a chiropractor. Which one?
- I can't fix this on my own. Who should I hire to repair my fridge?
- Let's go to Disneyland! Which hotel should we stay at?
- This app looks good. How does it actually work?
While the majority of decision-stage content typically comes in the form of gated or premium content or via email, blog posts can help, too. In these blogs, you’ll talk about your company, service or product specifically.
Even though decisions stage blog posts are about you, the key is to make them about the buyer. That is, the post shouldn’t say “We’re the best option because…” it should say “You’ll solve your problem and be better off with our help.”
The decision-stage blog posts might look like this:
- How Chiropractic Clinic ABC Treats Lower Back Pain
- 3 Reasons [Your Name] Is the Best Handyman in [Your Town]
- Top 10 Hotels for Families at Disneyland
- DEMO: How to Use Time Tracker App XYZ
While there’s limited search potential for posts like these, the benefit often comes in the form of nurture marketing. Because your blog post lives on forever, you can continually reference it in premium content or nurture emails.
So, where do my blog posts fit Into the buyer's journey? There isn't a set percentage for how many of your blog posts should be in each stage, but the majority should fall into he awareness stage. Posts in the beginning stage have the potential to to drive lots of new visitors, which will boost your chances to convert quality leads.
For the number lovers, here’s a rough breakdown that can help you plan:
- At least 70% of all posts written as a reference in the awareness stage.
- Consideration posts should make up about 20% of your total blog posts.
- The decision stage should hold 10% of your blogs.
All blog posts should fall into one specific part of the buyer’s journey to help move prospective customers further down the funnel. But without careful planning, posts could easily fall flat.
When planning your blog posts, keep the journey and the inbound methodology in mind. Assign each blog post one of the three stages. It’s important to do this strategizing before you start writing so that you know what questions to answer. In fact, you might want to jot down or pin up these questions, so you always remember what each buyer might be seeking:
Awareness Stage - "What problem do I have?"
Consideration Stage - "What are the options to solve my problem?"
Decision Stage - "Is this the best option?"
If your post doesn’t answer the question for its assigned stage, then you’re not done writing!