Stages of the Purchase Journey: What Kind of Content Works Best?

Each stage of the purchase journey is different. Your task is to create content that aligns with the different needs, interests, and motivations encountered by prospects as they progress from one stage to the next.

When you understand the purchase journey, it’s so much easier to plan the types of content you’ll need to attract, engage, and convert customers.

Because each stage of the purchase journey is different, you can’t expect one piece of content to do all the heavy lifting—everything from capturing attention through to landing the sale.

Instead, you have to create content that caters to the needs, interests, and motivations encountered at every stage. Ideally, the content you create should propel them forward from one stage to the next.

What kind of content works best at each stage of the purchase journey?

Stage 1: Create content that will increase awareness

You could have the best product / service at the best price point but if no one knows you exist, you’re not going to sell anything.

That’s why it’s so important to increase awareness.

One way to do that is by improving your search engine performance, so that people can find and visit your website.

Related: How to write content for readers and search engines

At this stage of the purchase journey, content can include:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Educational content
  • Checklists
  • E-books
  • Research studies
  • Industry reports
  • White papers
  • FAQ pages
  • Social media posts
  • Infographics

Stages of the purchase journey: This image shows a screenshot of Sensodyne's educational content.
Sensodyne provides educational content around the topic of tooth sensitivity on their website, which helps to introduce the brand to those seeking solutions for such problems.

Stage 2: Create content that will convince buyers to consider you

Once customers are aware of your existence, your goal is to have them include your product / service in their list of alternatives.

With thousands of options competing for consideration, it’s certainly not easy. That’s why you want to your content to:

  • Clearly highlight what makes you different – or better!
  • Address what matters most to potential customers

A few examples of suitable content include:

  • Case studies
  • In-depth blog posts
  • Product comparisons
  • E-books
  • Videos and podcasts
  • Expert guides
  • Reviews and client testimonials

Image: screenshot of Matomo vs Google Analytics comparison.
Matomo makes it incredibly easy to compare features and benefits with popular analytics solutions.

Stage 3: Create content that will drive conversions

By stage three, customers have narrowed down their options. They’re now ready to make a decision. Useful content includes:

  • User guides or product literature
  • Comprehensive case studies
  • Product reviews and customer testimonials
  • Return and shipping policy
  • FAQs

All your content has to work together to be so convincing that they are encouraged to buy your product / service.

Note: Just because customers have made a decision, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t prone to insecurity. They might still want to be reassured that they’ve made the right choice, in which case they will continue to gather information that boosts confidence in their choice.

Image: Screenshot of Casper's customer review content.
Casper includes customer reviews on their website to rid customers of any doubts they may have about buying their products.

Stage 4: Create content that will help build loyalty

Once a customer has bought from you, it becomes even more important to show them that you care about them. In other words, your efforts shouldn’t stop just because you’ve received their payment.

In fact, this is the point where you really want to drive home the fact that they’ve made the best choice possible and that there’s nothing to regret.

Aim to craft content that will make them happy to be your customer and that builds loyalty through such things as thank you and support e-mails as well as customer care content.

Those who’ve bought from you will be most interested in:

  • User guides
  • Technical / Troubleshooting guides
  • Product updates
  • News and events
  • Promotions
  • Newsletter

The purchase journey content you develop will depend on multiple factors including your product / service and industry as well as your target market and segments.