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How to Map Your Ad Strategy to the Buyer's Journey

Michelle Givens 5/30/19 1:46 PM

Are you running online ads for your business? How well are they hitting your goals? How much do you spend to reach new users, convert new customers, or reconvert past customers? These are questions to consider when determining how well your advertising strategy is working for your business.

To maximize your ad spend you have to know who your ideal customers are and where they are in the buyer's journey when you advertise to them.

In this post, we're going to cover how to create online ads to meet your potential customer in their buying journey when they come in contact with your brand.

Things to Consider Before You Start

Here are a few things to familiarize yourself with before aligning your ad strategy with the buyer's journey.

Setting Goals

Setting-SMART-Campaign-GoalsYou may be thinking, "What goals? I'm just supposed to run ads and get conversions, right?"

Well, yes, in theory that sounds great. But, to really ensure your advertising efforts are worth your time and money you need to set SMART goals.

Here are some helpful resources to help with that:

Creating a Buyer Persona

creating-a-buyer-personaYou may think that everyone is interested in what you're selling. Wrong! You'll need to identify your ideal customer to get more effective use of your advertising dollars.

By developing a buyer persona, you will be able to target a specific audience with your awareness advertising. If you don't have a buyer persona, you're in luck!

Here are some of our best resources to get you started:

Understanding the Buyer's Journey

The-Buyers-Journey-Awareness-Consideration-DecisionFor you to get the most of mapping your advertising strategy to the buyer's journey, you need to consider each of your persona's buying journey. You need to know what they're looking for in each stage.

Here are resources that will help you understand the buyer's journey in depth:

Ads in the Awareness Stage

Attract-Qualified-Prospects-To-Your-BrandWhen you’re running ads at this stage you’ll want your ads to speak directly about the problem your prospect is having and how your product or service solves it for them.

The purpose of ads at this stage is simply to make prospects aware that they have a problem and that your product or service can help them fix their problem.

Types of Ads to Run

You’ll want to advertise via cost per impression ads and target audience settings that match your buyer persona on Google Display Network, Facebook, and other ad platforms that may better hit your target audience’s demographics.

Your ads in this stage will offer up free resources that help in some aspect with the problem they can identify with. Also, if your product or service is newer to the market, then an educational type of ad that helps your prospects realize a product exists to solve their problem can be beneficial.

Types of Content to Promote

At this stage, you want to keep your brand out of it. You want to solely provide helpful content that is poised to help your prospects in an area associated with their problem.

Examples of content that can help during the awareness stage include blog posts, eBooks, how-to videos, and more.

Ads in the Consideration Stage

The Key to Buyer's ProblemWhen you are advertising to your audience at this stage, you need to realize you aren’t the only brand on their radar. It’s time for you to prove your solution is better than the competition.

Ads in the consideration stage must talk to the potential buyer as if they are familiar with your brand and your product/service.

You are now transitioning from “Hey, you need a product/service like what we offer” to “Hey, you need our product or service instead of our competitor’s product or service.”

Types of Ads to Run

Remarketing ads are your friend here. You can use the Facebook Pixel and Google Audiences to reengage past website visitors. Don’t forget to tailor your ads on Google Search too.

In addition to remarketing ads be sure to still reach out with Google Display Ads, Facebook Lead Generation Ads, and other CPC ads to a target audience and lookalike audiences that match certain identifiers you develop over time. Try to drive these ads to webpages that tend to drive buyer conversion.

Types of Content to Promote

With consideration stage ads, proving why your offer is the best takes center stage. Your brand becomes more prominent in the discussion.

You need to provide content that showcases how your product/service is different and better than the alternatives. Examples of content that can help during the awareness stage include case studies, demo videos, FAQs, and more.

Ads in the Decision Stage

Woman-Making-Purchase-Decision-StageAt this point, you are trying to convert a potential buyer to a customer. Ads at this stage should be micro-targeted and tailored because you should have detailed information about each potential buyer at this stage. Also, make sure you really maximize your bids with this audience on Google Search Ads.

Types of Ads to Run

You should be running conversion ads at this stage. You goal with the ads is to breakdown any final barriers that are inhibiting your potential buyer from converting to a customer.

Just like in the conversion stage, the Facebook Pixel and Audiences in Google Ads are your best friends. These conversion tracking tools in combination with a marketing automation platform are key to maximizing your ad spend and decreasing cost per acquisition.

Types of Content to Promote

When advertising at this stage, a potential buyer just needs that extra nudge to make it over the finish line. These ads should answer any final FAQs and provide social proof related to your product/service to help persuade potential buyers to convert.

Examples of content that can help during the awareness stage include demos, coupons, FAQs, and more.


Well, there you have it, a running start on how to effectively plan ads around the stages of the buyer’s journey. Each stage has different goals, messaging, offers, and ad types.

Pin this post to reference it whenever you need it!

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Use this post as a sounding board for your planning process. And if you get stuck along the way, we can help! Schedule a time to talk today.