How To Effectively Connect With Your Customers Today
A strong, lasting relationship is never one-sided. Therefore, you can’t use your marketing to only sell your products or services. You won’t find loyal customers this way. Like we stated in our previous blog — “Content Marketing: Show People Who You Really Are”, you have to put some work into your relationship with customers.
The best way to make your B2B content marketing strategy strong is through audience research. Audience personas serve as a roadmap for you to tailor your content to your audiences’ unique pains and needs.
Tailoring A Custom-Fit Content Strategy Starts With Your Target Audience
A perfectly fitted tuxedo is not tailored overnight. A person must first seek out the tailor. The tailor must measure its customer. There may be multiple fittings, but alas, before the big event, a custom-fit is created.
The customer walks away with confidence, knowing the suit was edited to suit their body perfectly, and the tailor walks away fully understanding his customers’ needs.
All of this to say, the same theory applies to audience research and creating your content strategy. Getting to know your audience takes time. Building out a content strategy that connects with your audience takes time.
When it comes to your B2B content marketing strategy, a marketing expert is serving as a tailor. He/she should find out the exact needs (find those unique measurements) of their specific audience to deliver content that will fit their pains. Therefore, before you can create your content, you must discover your target audience and their needs first through audience research.
Single Grain states that “72% of B2B buyers expect vendors to provide personalized engagement tailored to their needs. And 84% of customers report that being treated as people and not numbers is the key to winning their business.”
With these details from audience personas, you can create content that people need which will make them return to your business for more help.
Why is Content Marketing Important for B2B?
Customers want to be seen and heard. B2B customers are making large purchases that take sometimes, years to research and get through their internal approval cycle.
When your customers are searching for a solution to their pains, seeing content that resonates with them can propel you from zero to hero. They can use your eBook or blog as a point of reference when making a case for your product to their superior. They can attend your webinar to get their questions answered and see if your product or service is a good fit for their organization. It takes an average of 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. Your B2B content marketing strategy is involved in nearly every one of those touches- from email to blog to webinars and more.
How Do I Find My Audience And Their Unique Needs?
Audience personas are crucial because you not only find out what content they want or might be searching for, but you discover who your true audience is. We have found that many B2B businesses aim for the wrong audience, so their marketing efforts are not successful.
However, dedicating the time to perform audience research can help you discover your true audience.
How To Create Audience Personas
Have you completed your audience research?
You’re ready to create the personas.
Here are some things you should ask your customers when creating your audience personas:
Who are they? What do they do? How old are they?
What are they struggling with right now?
When do they view content? This is helpful with segmentation and delivering the right content to the right people.
What type of platforms do they peruse frequently? Are your customers searching for answers in LinkedIn Groups or Twitter?
What are some common keywords that keep coming up when they are searching for pains? Your answers lie in patterns.
What is their buying process like? Do they have to get approval from multiple departments?
Getting answers to these types of questions can allow you to think and speak like your audience, so you know exactly what type of content to provide to them as a resource.
How to Create A B2B Content Strategy Custom-Fit To You
Now that you’re armed with your audience personas, you can now create your content.
Creating your tailored content consists of three key components:
Speaking To Your Audience – Your B2B content marketing strategy relies on what you learned during your audience research: your audience’s concerns, pains, and habits. Connecting with your audience relies on meeting them where they are:
Listen to your audience- what are they looking for right now? Directly messaging to that pain through a blog post can provide them with valuable content that gives them the answers they need.
If your customers are searching for a specific keyword, optimize your blog with that research.
If your customers are searching for answers on LinkedIn, promote your content through that social channel.
Competitive Research– You should study your competition to know what type of content works and how they execute it.
What is your competition missing? Can you provide that through your content strategy?
How can you make your content unique from your competitors?
How can your content better serve your audience?
Select the Right Topics – The topics you select are crucial for customers to find you and want to learn more about your business. When brainstorming content topics, think about:
What are your customers searching for?
What insights did you retain from your audience research? Are there any holes in your current content strategy?
With audience personas serving as a resource, you can directly speak to your audience, stand out from competitors, and select eye-catching topics so your content shines.
This blog was written by Shannon Prager from LeadITMarketing, a fully outsourced marketing service business specialised in B2B technology and B2B professional services companies. Head to their website for even more great content and to see how they can help you get your marketing strategy on track.
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