C-level executives need to stay informed about their target audiences, and the best B2B marketers find ways to make sure that understanding scales across the organization. For this reason, it’s important to develop a cohesive marketing strategy that employs people at various levels of the organization who can effectively speak to the products and services of the company, and to the target markets those products will benefit.
The following is a list of ideas B2B organizations can use to identify and reach their target audiences:
Create A Description of Your Ideal Buyer
The description of your B2B buyer should be based on collected data that may include education, income, favorite activities, age, gender, etc. B2B marketers must learn about a target audience and discover how they spend their time on and offline, and how that relates to the business decisions they make. Buyer personas, as a result, become critical.
The above image outlines how to create buyer personas; additional resources can be found in the following articles:
- What B2B SEOs Need To Know About Buyer Personas
- 8 Questions B2B SEO’s Should Ask In Buyer Persona Development
- Building Buyer Personas: A Checklist For High-Tech Marketers
Why Do People Need Your Solution?
Everyone in a marketing department should know the answer to this question, and agencies should be able to answer this question on behalf of all their clients.
Questions to consider, among others referenced in previous resources:
- “What is a problem in the industry that our business can solve?”
- “What are the current trends in the industry?”
- “What is the sense of urgency surrounding the problem this solution solves?”
Validate the Persona
Buyer personas help to understand the likes, interests, behavior, etc. of the potential customer as well as what could be influencing them. To continue to develop this understanding, be certain to participate internal discussions where your team can refine the target.
Below are some the other ways that you can gather information about your target audience. These tactics will require using valuable resources and time but can be well worth the investment.
How Does Your Market Use Online Media?
Understanding the personality of your buyer is extremely beneficial to your team. By categorizing different types of people based on the character requirements of their professional position, you can enable your marketing team to produce content that resonates with them.
B2B Buyer Personality Types
Understanding psychology can assist marketers in presenting information in a way that satisfies the buyer. Since effective marketers understand buyer behaviors, they are often able to create useful information to suit the reader.
Companies like Optimizely allow your team to change the layout of a web page to determine which visual aspects lead to greater form submissions, phone calls, or purchases. I recently met with members of the Tip Tap Labs team in Cambridge, MA and discovered how they are using psychology, and “psych data” to better understand consumers.
How Do B2B Buyers Find You?
This question, which helps drive your content marketing strategy and your social media efforts, should routinely get asked as part of monthly and weekly status updates since the technology and access points continually evolve. Creating content and building relationships in places that matter is essential to a well balanced marketing plan, and it also may help satisfy organic search engine marketing efforts.
Based on the below graph, knowing where B2B buyers discover buying information may not be specific enough. It’s hugely important to know what specific resources and publications create the most relevant awareness for B2B companies.
For example: When asking the question “where are B2B manufacturing buyers spending their time,” we discovered that participating in various B2B manufacturing groups on LinkedIn was a productive way to build relationships and develop product awareness.
Truly Knowing the Customer Leads to Better B2B Content
Keep in mind that “87 percent of B2B marketers are using social channels to distribute content.” Consider also that only the best content will reach the decision makers in this population. Great or memorable content is not limited to one type of asset (i.e., white papers, case studies, research papers, etc.) but can be created and marketed through many forms, mediums, and platforms. Be sure to explore new or different ways to reach your audience, including the following:
- Blog Posts
- Company News Articles
- White Papers
- Online Presentations (ie. SlideShare)
- Mobile Media Ads
- Case Studies
- Trade Show Documentation
- Social Media Profile Engagement
By understanding your B2B target audience, you’ll be able to serve them more relevant content that caters to their preferences. Learning more about your buyer also helps to you will develop an understanding of where your target audience spends their time online.
Make sure to scale the efforts of your marketing team across organizational departments. Sales associates and customer service personnel are in constant contact with target audiences and can provide valuable insight into the types of questions prospects are asking. Picking up on trends in this process can influence your marketing team to create valuable assets that satisfy your potential buyers and potentially find their way into search results.
When targeting B2B buyers, be sure to research the characteristics and behaviors of your audience. Review and understand where these people are spending their time online and discover what type of messaging resonates with your audience. Involving your entire team in these discussions enables them to become better advocates of your brand and the brands you work with.