Finished up the 20booksto50k conference. One thing that struck me was the lack of an overall concept discussion about buyer behaviour during the meetings and how each of the recommendations fit within that model. It’s one that I occasionally use, which I find useful as a reference.

It’s not something that I’ve actively thought about a huge amount myself, just working on pure instinct, but I started scribbling notes during the conference.

On top of the entire idea of buyer behaviour (and an appropriate marketing plan) is, of course, the mission statement, the marketing strategy and brand from that. Though, Dakota did talk of brand in a way that I’d almost class as the company mission statement (basically, who you are, what you’ll do, what you won’t).

Anyway. That’s for another time. We’re talking about buyer behaviour. Going to use the most common chart which goes:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Intent
  • Evaluation
  • Purchase

For our purpose, the first four stages are important. Since (generally) Evaluation happens when they’re checking out on the ebook sites, it’s not something we can directly effect. The best we can do is push enough interest / desire that it’s seamless (And one reason why Amazon’s one-click purchasing is so prominent).

As a marketer / publisher, one of the goals of developing your marketing plan is developing a full plan to touch and push potential customers down the funnel at each stage.

If a customer has previously seen your ads via Facebook, he’s more likely to buy your product when he sees it on Amazon. If your name is one they’ve seen in a blog in a familiar magazine / newspaper / etc, you’ve generated awareness of yourself and your work.

If they’ve indicated interest in your product (or you) via, say, liking your Facebook page (or following you on Bookbub), you are already one more step down the funnel. Interest is where they’re actively trying to learn a little more about your product. If you think of it on the level of being on the store, it’s when the customer is clicking through on that (hopefully genre appropriate, gorgeous cover).

Consideration is often at the stage of book blurbs, newsletters and reviews. When people are thinking about buying your product, you’ll want / need to make sure there’s enough information to convince people to buy.

As for intent – well, that’s when they’re putting the product in the cart, when they’re actively shopping. Are you easy to find? Are you where they are looking? It’s no use having someone interested in a product and looking on Kobo if you’re KU exclusive. Or having an audiobook reader looking for a non-existent audiobook.

Sometimes, the entire buying funnel is super short. Superfans will buy what you want, when you want (and it’s worth thinking of how your funnel is creating those fans, but that’s a different discussion).

It can be as simple as someone browsing on their computer, seeing an ad in a genre they like and clicking through. But, think about how each of those steps goes through the funnel (awareness – AMS ad? Also bought, Interest – Gorgeous cover, click through, Evaluation – read reviews, check star rating, check also boughts (sometimes), Intent – can they buy their preferred format, is it in KU? Is it appropriately priced and then, Evaluation – did they buy too much? Is their KU queue too filled?).

It can be more complicated, from seeing a FB ad to generate awareness to liking your fan page, to being informed of a new release via a post or a newsletter, to checking out how fellow readers are liking the book (FB posts in appropriate groups, searching the web for reviews from trusted sources) to finding it on the appropriate / favorite sites.

For reading authors, when you’re looking at all the things you’re doing, are you looking at the various stages? How are you helping push people down your sales funnel? Do you even have one that stands outside of Amazon?

As for myself? Well… that’s what I’m thinking of recently. As I said, I’ve built some of these tools, but building out a full plan has been something I’ve yet to do. Doing this, and doing it right is something I’m going to be considering in the next little while.

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