Think about your last few purchases. Were they instant? Or did it take you a few days, a bit of research, and several distracted attempts to complete the transaction? This process is called the “buyer journey”—a concept that has existed in marketing for decades. In essence, it’s used to describe all the touchpoints a person makes with a brand before they convert. While incredibly popular, the phrase also receives its fair amount of criticism since the notion of being able to predict the endless possibilities of paths a consumer can take to conversion is cavalier.
This is about to change with the help of social audience insights, where we are able to make more personal connections and experiences across the buyer journey. There is endless potential to connect with audiences when it matters most. In this blog, we’ll break down how to apply social audience insights to each stage of the buyer journey funnel to get a holistic view of your current or ideal customer and their path to conversion.
The awareness part of the buyer journey is when a consumer first discovers (becomes aware of) your brand. Marketers use a plethora of organic and paid inbound marketing tactics to increase their brand awareness ranging from content marketing to targeted ads. Basically, they cast a wide net and hope for the best.
The Audience Insights Difference: Social audience insights help marketers narrow their efforts down to where they’ll have the most impact through the following initiatives:
- Build Audiences at Scale: Social audience insights help you understand your target audience—their interests, passions, brand affinities, and even preferred media. Once you know who they are and how to get their attention, you can build audiences at scale for highly targeted awareness campaigns on the channels they’re actively engaging on.
- Influencer Discovery: Influencers can be incredibly powerful, but only if you partner with the right ones (learn more on identifying the right influencers here). You can use social audience insights to pinpoint which influencers resonate most with your target audience–improving your campaign results and ROI.
In the interest stage of the buyer journey, your goal is to convince your audience that they need your product. Marketing campaigns focus on highlighting all the pain points your product solves for and/or how it makes the consumer’s life better.
The Social Audience Insights Difference: With social audience insights, you can uncover new ways to pique the interest of your target audience and measure the impact of your results:
- Target Competitor Audiences: Create social audiences for both your brand and that of your competitor. In doing so, you can analyze key differences between the two and how to target your competitor’s audience more effectively (more on this here).
- Influencer Campaigns: Influencer campaigns are important in both the awareness and interest phases of the buyer journey. Using the same methodology discussed above, you can run highly impactful influencer campaigns that drive conversion.
- Brand Lift Analysis: Run brand lift analyses against audiences exposed to your campaigns to get a clear understanding of if your messaging had the desired results and where you can improve.
Somewhere along your buyer journey, the consumer gets the final push needed to convert, or make a purchase. Your marketing efforts paid off, but which were most impactful?
The Social Audience Insights Difference: Using social audience insights, you can get a holistic view of the elements of your marketing strategy that were most impactful through attribution.
- Attribution: You can attribute real value to specific earned, social, and paid campaigns through purchase data and/or attribution surveys. By determining the ROI of your campaigns you can optimize for success in the post-purchase phase.
While getting a member of your target audience to make a purchase is the end goal, it doesn’t mean your work is done. Once a purchase is made, marketers need to understand where their efforts made an impact, and how they can encourage repeat behavior and turn a first-time buyer into a long-term customer. This is called the post-purchase stage.
The Social Audience Insights Difference: There’s so much that social audience insights help you learn from their buyer journey to optimize for the future:
- Run Retargeting Ads: Run complimentary product or repeat purchase ads to customers
- Enrich CRM Data: Layer social audience insights over your CRM data to enrich your first-party data and gain a holistic view of customers.
- Validate Buyer Personas: Confirm the accuracy of your buyer personas and adjust accordingly
- Deploy Surveys: Send customers surveys to enhance your buyer journey.
- Optimize Future Campaigns: Being able to better understand your customers and ideal audience can inform future targeting and messaging to fuel top of funnel activities.
Final Thoughts: Enhancing The Buyer Journey With Social Audience Insights
For decades, marketers have relied on best practices and incomplete data to try and piece together an accurate representation of their buyer from pre to post purchase. All of this can be optimized thanks to social audience insights, allowing marketers to better understand their audience, create more personalized experiences across the buying experience, and then evaluate the effectiveness of those campaigns on sales lift and brand health.
Looking to learn more about how social audiences can help you get a holistic view of the buyer journey? Let’s chat.