In The Buyer’s Life Cycle 101, find out what the buyer’s life cycle is and how you can use this quick exercise to optimize your marketing strategy.
The buyer’s life cycle is a concept that every marketer needs to know and apply in order to succeed in the online business arena.
We’re not going to delve very deeply into the topic – the whole point of this is to give you a quick overview so that you can understand it with minimal fuss. Then you can start evaluating the content on your site for optimal sales.
Let’s get into this straightaway.
What Is The Buyer’s Life Cycle?
In very simple terms, the buyer’s life cycle is the process your potential buyer
goes through when they discover a need or a want.
There are 5 stages that they go through:
- Stage I: They identify a need or a want
- Stage II: They search online for solutions that have the best fit
- Stage III: They find a specific solution / narrow down solution choices
- Stage IV: They read reviews about the different solutions
- Stage V: They decide to purchase from the review
Alright, now you know the concept of the buyer’s life cycle, let’s use a “real life” example to give you a clearer picture of this.
Let’s use the idea of a computer.
At Stage I, Bob, who is just discovering the joys of computer gaming, discovers that his current 4 year old IBM family laptop can’t handle the graphic processing requirements of gaming
At Stage II, he decides to scratch his itch and find a powerful computer within his budget, so he searches the net for computers that fit the bill.
At Stage III, after a substantial amount of online research, he decides to get a laptop with a powerful graphics processor so that he can use it on the go for work as well as gaming. He has also narrowed down his options to perhaps 4 or 5 different laptops within his budget.
At Stage IV, he searches for reviews of these powerful laptops. He sees an excellent 5 star review of one of the options he’s identified.
At Stage V, Bob buys from a link in that review after deciding that it’s his best option.
All clear now?
Now how ‘bout you try to apply this, and think how the potential buyer’s life cycle in your niche is like?
Get In On The Act
Alright, now that you’ve thought through that process, let’s see where we can fit ourselves into the buyer’s life cycle, shall we?
The only 2 stages where your potential buyer requires external information are actually at Stages II and IV. This means that you only have 2 opportunities to get your content in front of his eyes so that he’ll buy from your affiliate link.
Let’s use Bob and his need for a gaming computer again.
At Stage II, he is searching for different types of computers that he might consider. He might type something like “best gaming computers under $2,000” into Google. Now at this stage, Bob isn’t ready to splash the cash yet, because he’s still considering what else he can do with his potential purchase.
In other words, he’s just doing research, deciding what type of computer he can squeeze the most out of.
However, here you have the opportunity to educate him!
If you can get your content before his eyes, you can tell him about types of computers that might fit his needs e.g. huge gaming desktops, portable gaming desktops, powerful laptops, gaming consoles etc.
From there, Bob’ll begin to form an idea of what fits his needs better.
At Stage IV, he is already searching for reviews of a particular category of product. In our example above, Bob decided to go for powerful laptops as that can fulfil both work and leisure tasks. He might search for something like “Alienware laptop review” on Google.
If you can get your first-class reviews for different gaming-ready laptops in front of his eyes at this stage, that’s fantastic. Because at this stage, Bob has an intent to purchase since it’s already later in his buyer’s life cycle.
Bob is relying on your feedback and in-depth experience with these products to compare between them and decide which to buy.
Naturally, every potential buyer has a different buying trigger, because we all have different reasons for buying stuff.
What You Need To Do
So what’s the game plan here? It’s simple, really. You just need to have 2 different types of articles on your website.
One for readers who’re at Stage II of the buyer’s life cycle.
One for the ones who’re at Stage IV.
For those at Stage II, you need pages that can educate them about the best choices they can make based on their specific needs or budget. The purpose here is to move them as quickly as possible to Stage IV in a subtle manner. Inform them what the best choices are, and point them to reviews of those products on your site (Stage IV articles).
You definitely need to cater to buyers who are already at Stage IV too. These people are looking for reviews of specific products. They’re all ready to pay for these, so you need a lot of review articles on your site – they typically are the articles responsible for converting potential buyers into buyers on your website.
In A Nutshell
Knowing about the concept of the buyer’s life cycle can only be beneficial for internet marketers, and is a practical exercise that you can apply to different niches really quickly.
So if you’re looking to take a step into the wide world of affiliate marketing, knowledge of this is crucial because it gives you focus in creating content for your website.
It also gives you focus in your marketing campaigns. Coupled together with the Avatar Exercise, and Strategizing For Online Marketing Success, you’ll be able to come up with a winning blueprint for your affiliate website in record time.
Questions or comments? We’d absolutely love hearing from you. Hit the comments section below and we’ll get back to you pronto. Alternatively, find us at Wealthy Affiliate, our usual online hangout, and where much more information like the one in this article is readily available.
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