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How to Use the Buyer’s Journey for Pinterest

December 18, 2020

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Knowing who your audience is and the buyer’s journey is key in creating content that converts. Pinterest is apart of that journey because it points the reader back to your content to solve their problem or pain point. This article looks at how to find your ideal customer and how to create content and Pinterest pins that answer their burning questions.

Pinterest Checklist

The Customer Persona

It doesn’t matter if I’m online using social media or in public shopping, if I’m unexpectedly interrupted, you have gone from “beautiful stranger” to “enemy number one”. It is a huge annoyance to start shopping and a salesperson stands in my way and asks me if I want to sign up for phone service. Or if I’m on a website and I’m suddenly having to X out of a bunch of ads. It’s equivalent to going on a blind date and your date suddenly asks you to marry him. Gah! No way.

buyer's journey image

Before you can consider selling to anyone, you have to learn who your buyer is. The best way to do that is by building a buyer persona, or in other words, creating a fictional avatar of a person that represents your ideal customer. Although it’s not a real person, you can base your avatar on a real customer, or potential customer if you have one. But when starting out, most of us don’t know who our audience is. Sometimes we use ourselves as an ideal customer (because let’s face it–we were once that person searching for answers).

You need to know who you are writing to, what their problems consist of, and understand that person at each stage of what is called the “buyer’s journey”.  Think of this journey as starting as friends, moving into dating, and then marriage. Although it’s not intimate in nature, the level of trust that needs to happen is similar. Only a few crazy people have married someone they first met. The same can be said of someone who buys something when they first see it. Most people want a reason to buy and a reason to trust you–especially with so much competition out there.

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How do you find your ideal customer?

Your business is not for everyone. Say that again. Your business is not for everyone. The more you can acknowledge your specialness, the more you’ll be ok creating content that is specific to your very unique audience.

To define your ideal customer, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who do I want to use my product or service?
  • Who do I want to work with or help?
  • Who would find the most value from my products or services?
  • If you have a current customer niche, are you happy with them as customers? If not, what niche would be a better fit?

Next, in order to help your ideal customer, think about what your products and services are and how they help someone.

  • What pain point does my product solve?
  • Why would an audience buy from my company instead of a competitor?
  • What makes my product stand out?
  • What makes my brand stand out? (Note: your brand is more than your logo. It’s also the way you make people feel and what they experience interacting with your brand.)

These questions will help you honestly evaluate who your product (or service) is for and who would best fit the profile. You might want to attract stay at home moms, but your service might benefit empty nesters. When I started my business, I wanted to target small businesses, but now I target bloggers. It’s important to get specific.

I used to work for a B2B company and they wanted to target dental offices. Based on the data, it would have been wiser for them to target the manufacturing industry. The problem wasn’t that they shouldn’t target a new niche (or a smaller niche), but that they didn’t know their own customer base. The company thought they had more dental customers and thought that was the best use of their time. In reality, it was the manufacturing industry that made them the most money and had a real need for their services.

That’s why it’s important to know your customers and who needs your products the most.

buyer's journey stickers

The Customer Profile & The Buyer’s Journey

When you figure out what kind of person would benefit from your products the most, then you can start creating an image in your mind. Create a profile with the following:

  • Gender
  • Age group
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Business
  • Income or financial situation
  • Hobbies and interests

This profile is for your eyes only. It’s also important that you realize that your ideal customer profile isn’t the ONLY type of customer you’ll ever have. It’s better to think of your customers and the profile for use in certain situations. Your ideal customer is specific to:

  • The situation you’re solving for
  • Your goals
  • Your capabilities

If I create a course for new Pinterest users to set up their business accounts and another course for Pinterest pin design, I’m attracting a different profile for each of those. For the business account course, I’m speaking to an audience that isn’t as skilled at Pinterest. They are bloggers with limited knowledge of how to use Pinterest and need more education on the technical side of things, but also why Pinterest can help them in their blog business.

The design course would target people who understand how to set up a business account and are using Pinterest to promote themselves but are struggling with designing pins. See how the profile changes for each of these products, my goals for the course, and my capabilities of educating and helping them?

While there are many methods for creating a customer profile, it’s best to keep it simple. Learn where your audience hangs out (social media sites), what they are struggling with (pain points/problems), and then gear your content and products to helping them (solutions/products).
buyers journey through each stage

The Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey goes something like this: a buyer or potential buyer will start off realizing they have a problem. They’ll become aware of this problem and then begin searching for answers. After they are satisfied with their quest for answers, they’ll consider products or services that help with their problem. And finally, they’ll decide on a solution (based on what they’ve found) and they’ll make a purchase. Sometimes they’ll even tell their friends or other people about the solution, which turns them into fans willing to buy more of your products in the future.

Here’s a simple way to remember the steps:

  • Awareness Stage: This has also been referred to as “problem-aware” because the buyer is aware they have a problem that needs to be fixed. At this stage, they are “solution-unaware”.
  • Consideration Stage: In the consideration stage, the buyer is aware of their problem and is now researching ways to fix it. They become “solution-aware” and “problem-aware”.
  • Decision Stage: The buyer is now confident and will choose a solution. If the solution meets his or her expectations, it will be shared with friends and family.

Let’s look at each step and see how you can be more strategic about your blog content, lead magnets, and Pinterest through each stage.

The Awareness Stage

The buyer becomes aware of the problem or pain point and begins to search for a solution. 

Action: Use groups or posts, such as in Quora or Facebook, to learn more about your niche audience. Discover pain points that show up in questions being asked or search by specific hashtags (such as on Twitter).

Content Ideas: Create solution-based content that educates the reader about those problems. Offer value that highlights the pain point and the solutions through social media posts, blog posts, videos, and webinars. Blog posts should offer insightful and valuable information, while social media posts need to engage the audience through curiosity so they’ll visit your content.

Also set up email forms and email sequences to keep your audience engaged. One of my favorite resources for help with email content is Growth Tools, which developed a free tool called Drip Scripts. Just replace the content in the scripts with your own details and use them in your email sequences.

Pinterest Ideas: Use imagery on pins to show the problem or solution. The copy needs to address the pain point and tease the audience with a solution. Don’t feel the need to give all the answers in the pin or the description. Instead, use the description and the pin to drive curiosity so the audience will click through and read your post.

Pinterest pin for how to prevent mold growth in beauty products
In this image, the problem is mold growth in beauty recipes. The pin teases the audience in the title “how to prevent mold” so they’ll click on it and get an answer.

The Consideration Stage

At this stage, a buyer knows about the problem, has a good idea about a solution, and considers the options to solve the problem.

Action: Your business should focus on offering value in the form of case studies, free samples, lead magnets, quizzes, comparison guides, and checklists.

Content Ideas: Research solutions to the problem and create blog posts with lead magnets. Make sure your content is better than anything else being written online. Also cite sources and include valuable checklists, comparison guides, free samples, quizzes, or case studies. While content written in the awareness stage is valuable to the reader, adding a lead magnet or “proof” of your other content will help the audience understand your content and see it for themselves. Make sure all your content relates to and is nurturing your audience towards a specific product that you sell.

Pinterest Ideas: Create pins that promote your lead magnets and guides as solutions to specific pain points. Use imagery of screenshots or mock-ups of what the product looks like realistically. Help the audience imagine themselves using that product or service, or how they’ll feel if they use it. Focus on keywords that describe the benefits, not just the features. For example: “Learn Pinterest design in a short time” would be better if stated, “Learn Pinterest design quickly so that you can spend more time on your business”.

pinterest pin with a case study
Use Case Studies for street cred

Someone searching for how to grow their online business through coaching might enjoy this pin which leads to a case study. When trying to decide on a trustworthy brand, case studies and demos add social proof to the buying decision.

The Decision or Purchase Stage

At this stage, buyers make a purchase and justify that purchase. They may also start telling others about your brand.

Action: Brands should offer coupons, free consultations, live training, and live demos to show their products and services and entice their audience to buy.

Content Ideas: Think about creating killer sales pages and posts with all your audience’s questions answered. Create opportunities for Q&A’s or for the customer to “try out” the product in some way, even if it’s just screenshots or a live demo of the product. For services, you could offer 30-minute consultations for free so that the customer can know what they are getting into without dropping money first. Offer money-back guarantees, or replacements to put the mind of your customer at ease. Make the checkout process simple and easy.

Pinterest Ideas: Use videos to demo your product, promote coupons, or offer free consultations. Show the ins and outs of what you are selling. Highlight important benefits to the audience. Use story pins to show a step-by-step process of using your product or how the customer will benefit from your service.

hot chocolate sticks recipe
This pin shows an example of the final product from a recipe

Start with your product

Try to reverse engineer your products by thinking about what lead magnets, emails, and other valuable content you can offer that lead back to that product’s sale. Start with one product and work your way to the awareness stage.

I’ve created a checklist for each of these stages as well as a “Reverse Engineer Product” sheet so that you can create content for each stage of your customer’s journey. Get this, as well as other free Pinterest resources, in my Members Hub.

Need help with Pinterest?

Join the list and get access to my Pinterest Resource library which contains guides, cheat sheets, templates, and more!

Summary of the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey begins with building trust. Over a period of time, you’ll build a dedicated audience through blog posts, social posts, videos, and email sequences. Every step in the process should point back to a product or service you want them to buy. But this takes tact.

Instead of sending them sales ads immediately, you need to nurture them and allow them to see the social proof and details of your offers. If you keep your buyer persona in mind, your content will always be valuable. Use your Pinterest pins throughout this process to build trust and engage your audience. With a lot of patience and a bit of strategy, you can sell your offers without being creepy or weird. Use the free checklist to help guide you and create the best content for your audience.

Sources:

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About the Author

Pinterest graphic designer and digital strategist for business owners and change-makers who want to be seen and heard.

Michelle Buck

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