5 Stages Of Awareness In SEO Copywriting: How To Address Different Groups Of Customers?
Schwartz pointed out that to sell a product to a prospect, you need to meet them at their level of awareness, i.e., their present state of knowledge about your product. How can you adapt Schwartz’s accomplishments to today’s web writing and other types of digital marketing at each stage of prospect awareness?
Don’t write content for an anonymous internet user. Make sure you know their awareness level and use different keywords for each. Your web content can move them from one awareness level to another, and at the end of this journey is a purchase of your product or service.
Awareness Stages By Eugene Schwartz: A Quick Overview
- Completely Unaware Prospect
- Problem Aware Prospect
- Solution Aware Prospect
- Product Aware Prospect
- Most Aware Prospect
Digital Marketing For 5 Levels of Consumer Awareness
Your Product Fits Various Needs And Desires
Daniel has just graduated from philology and decided he’d open a language school. His friend has designed a website for him, so he can share it on social media and let people know about his business. He’s never heard of search engine optimization, but he wants his school to have a lot of students and, of course – to generate income.
Now let’s move to Lisa. She’s a marketing director of a company that sells hand-painted enamel pots. She knows that to boost its visibility online, she needs to contract an SEO agency.
As an SEO specialist, you can think of both Daniel and Lisa as your future clients, but you won’t reach out to them in the same way. Speaking of SEO – they’ll type different phrases on Google. Lisa may write, e.g., best SEO agency + city, and Daniel seems to ask Google how to make your website more popular.
Lisa knows that she needs an agency that would perform technical optimization and write SEO-friendly content. Daniel only knows that he wants to do something about the popularity of his business.
They know, want, and need different things. They are at varying levels of awareness, and you need different types of content to attract them.
Awareness Stages By Eugene Schwartz: A Quick Overview
In his 1966 book “Breakthrough Advertising” Schwartz described five levels of consumer awareness:
- Completely Unaware – the prospect doesn’t know about the problem your product solves, let alone the product.
- Product Aware – the prospect knows they have a problem but doesn’t know how to solve it.
- Solution Aware – the prospect knows the solution to their problem but doesn’t know your product provides it.
- Product Aware – the prospect knows your product solves their problem but isn’t sure it’s right for them.
- Most Aware – the prospect is on the point of buying your product, but they’re waiting for the last push, e.g., a better deal.
Completely Unaware Prospect
Focus on a problem, though, not a product. To do so, you must discover situations from your prospect’s life that are more or less related to the problem.
For example, if you sell isotonic drinks, mention electrolytes imbalance and its consequences in an article about reducing stress through exercising, picking the right shoes for the gym, or a proper meal right after a training session. Optimize your content with popular keywords and share it on social media. Maybe you can collaborate with a fitness website and write a guest post about the above-mentioned problem, with a link to your website.
They are cold prospects, but you have an asset to share with them – your knowledge.
Remember that to introduce a problem to somebody, you have to explain why it is a problem. Illustrate how their life would change if the problem didn’t exist. Underline short- and long-term consequences of not taking action to avoid it, but don’t scare them. Smoothly take them to another level of awareness.
Problem Aware Prospect
How to do that naturally and convincingly? You have to pinpoint your target group. Discover their needs and desires.
Address these issues and ensure your prospects know your solution will give them what they sincerely want.
Creating content for Problem Aware users is perfect for SEO with informational keywords. People ask Google what to do every day, so they search for a solution on the internet. Let them find it on your website, e.g., in a blog article at the top of the SERP.
Insert any keyword to start analyzing:
Solution Aware Prospect
Prospects who know the solution aren’t ready for a hard sell yet. They’re still gathering information because they’re aware of the diversity of products on the market and don’t know which one would suit them (in terms of quality, price, trust, and other factors).
A copywriter who addresses the prospect at this stage should help them make a decision and naturally introduce the product. Write content that explains how to choose X, presents both pros and cons of several products, compares them, or describes current trends.
You can also expose your product on Google by writing powerful content for your category and product pages. Keywords shouldn’t only contain the name of your product, such as cycling isotonic drinks, but also qualifiers, such as best cycling isotonic drinks. 60% of people feel inspired to seek out a product after reading about it.
Product Aware Prospect
However, they may be far from making a deal for several reasons: they’re comparing you to your competitors, they’re looking for a cheaper option, they haven’t read enough good opinions about your company/product – they just don’t trust you enough. According to Salsify’s research, in the US, UK, France, and Germany, consumers pay more for brands they trust:
Try elaborating on your product in an explainer video, and make sure your past customers have posted their opinions online. Offer a product/service demo or a tutorial. It’s still about engagement, knowledge, and values of your content, but don’t hesitate to smuggle polite sales pitches.
Remember to have a well-crafted landing page and link to it from content pieces for Product Aware users.
Most Aware Prospect
Your online shop should be on top of your priority list. You’ll keep Most Aware Prospects ready to buy if your e-commerce website is secure, intuitive, fast, transparent, and nice-looking.
Create Content For Each Stage Of Consumer Awareness
Take SEO services as an example. Let’s see how we can draw users to an SEO agency’s blog by writing articles for each of three levels of awareness:
Look at the content on your blog holistically and check if it addresses prospects at each of the three lowest awareness levels. If not – you’ve just found a content gap – a topic your prospect looks for online, but your website doesn’t cover it. Always remember that an article should contain the doors to the next level of awareness.
Blog articles can perfectly cover topics searched by Completely Unaware, Problem Aware, and Solution Aware Prospects, but we also need to attract users at the remaining awareness levels.
Let’s see what other types of content can be designed for different groups of potential customers.
Digital Marketing For 5 Levels of Consumer Awareness
An animated video explainer about your product or service is a great idea for Solution Aware Prospects or – along with a case studies video – for Product Aware Prospects who compare your offer with others. Such content as webinars or “how to” videos may attract Completely Unaware and Problem Aware Prospects during their internet journey.
Video interviews, event recaps, mini-documentaries, behind-the-scenes – they can all contribute to increasing a number of repeat prospects.
- ask a question that introduces a problem (for Completely Unaware Prospects),
- organize contents and giveaways (for Product and Most Aware Prospects),
- gain and publish social proof such as reviews, interviews, or photos with customers using your product (for Product Aware Prospects),
- schedule a live broadcast with an expert (for Problem Aware Prospects),
- share educational infographics (for every awareness level),
- collaborate with influencers (for every awareness level).
Design autoresponders that match a specific stage of awareness, e.g. if a prospect decides to subscribe to a newsletter by clicking a CTA element in a blog article dedicated to a problem (converting Unaware to Problem Aware Prospect), introduce a solution to them in an email (converting Problem Aware to Solution Aware Prospect).
Send emails to inform your prospects about a survey you’re carrying out (introduce a problem) or share a compelling story with them (introduce a solution). Let them know about the unique benefits of buying your product or service and of being your customer – creatively used email marketing takes part in building a relationship between a company/brand and its customers.
What’s more, email marketing is a perfect marketing tool for Most Aware customers, who like being up-to-date with new products and even more with new discounts.
CTA Buttons Or Lines
CTA buttons or anchor texts can lead a prospect to a landing page, email subscription, product trial, blog article, video, or another piece of content – but be careful with skipping awareness levels and going straight to purchase.
Either you can use one type of digital marketing to target one awareness stage (e.g. SEO copywriting for Problem Aware Prospects, email marketing for Product Aware Prospects, and so on), or you can juggle with them through different channels.
Eugene Schwartz’s 5 levels of awareness aren’t just another marketing theory – they’re hints of how people behave. If you analyze your prospects’ needs, desires, and – most importantly – problems, considering their awareness level will help you address them more effectively. In “Breakthrough Advertising” Schwartz wrote:
Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears, and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product.
When receiving content adjusted to a specific awareness level, your prospects won’t feel attacked by insensitive hard sell tactics.
Get to know your future customer and let them know you through caring education, honest empathy, shared experience, and compelling stories. The purchase comes right after.
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