You have to understand their problem and why they have it. You must convince them you know all about their problem and explain why you know so much about it. How can you begin to accomplish this – with content no less – if you don’t make the effort to flesh out your buyer personas?
Oh, baby, whisper some of that sexy IT language in my ear, said no one, ever. Such is the supposed lament of anyone in the B2B sector who creates marketing for information technology companies.
That’s the incorrect outsider’s perspective. Servers and networks can be as alluring as a top influencer’s Instagram feed when the totally geeked out and acronym-riddled message of technology’s triumphs reaches the right eyeballs. And, that’s the way it is for most messages intended for highly targeted audiences. It’s invisible – or at least irrelevant – unless it was written for you. It’s why any marketer worth their weight in cryptocurrency gets mushy-gushy intimate with their buyer personas.
You don’t know me
Plain and simple. If you’re creating B2B marketing content, you’re talking to a highly specific group of people. Those people likely have a technical lexicon spoken by no one outside their niche, with problems that may be totally incomprehensible to the average mere mortal.
This doesn’t mean your content marketing can’t be interesting or clever, or even entertaining. It does have to be compelling, informative, educational, and provide value as it offers perspective during the prospect’s journey to becoming a customer.
I know exactly who you are
While others may consider the topic dry, your target audience can’t get enough of it. You know exactly who this audience is because you’ve created their buyer persona.
Don’t create a single piece of content until you know who you’re talking to. Let’s jump back into stereotype-land for a minute. The first time people not all that familiar with buyer personas come across a group of marketers going through a session with said personas, there tends to be a lot of OMG eye-rolling and sighs of disbelief.
Your buyer personas have names? You generated an image of them, and they’ve got a title at a fictitious company that even has made-up annual revenue figures. Wait, and you even know if buyer personas have spouses and kids? And somebody’s paying you to do this…wow.
Wow is right. You do this because storytelling engages your brain and helps you to see these made-up prospects. The more real you make them, the more confident you’ll be that you are communicating what’s important to them.
I feel your pain
You must understand their problem and why they have it. You must convince them you know all about their problem and explain why you know so much about it. How can you accomplish this—with content no less – if you don’t make the effort to flesh out your buyer personas?
Notice the plural form of that word. This is important especially in IT because it’s likely that you will engage several different people in an organization during the sales process. You might start with just someone on the general IT staff. Then maybe you’ll move on to someone at a manager’s level. The person who actually gives permission to write the check? That could be somebody in the C-Suite.
Just for you
Each of these people is crucial to making a sale. Each of them has different needs and priorities, even though your IT product or solution remains the same. The general IT staff person approaches the problem from a different perspective than the CEO. One wants stats and performance information, while the other wants a business case showing ROI.
Diversify your content
Earlier, we could have written, “Before you write a single word,” but instead we said, “Don’t create a single piece of content.” That was intentional.
If you’ve successfully reached the point of intimacy with your buyer personas – no hanky-panky intended – you also will know their preferred way to consume the content they want to see at each stage of the inbound marketing sales funnel.
One persona might prefer to watch a video about the problem, while another wants an infographic. You might make the sale because you’re able to create an interactive calculator that helps the CFO see how your IT product or service fits into the overall budget.
Knowing your buyer personas determines your themes and topics, as well as the best delivery.
Are we getting through to them?
Let’s take a cyber-hammer and smash one last marketing stereotype. Content is not a push technology. It is designed to facilitate engagement. Are you creating content that doesn’t resonate with your target audience? Time to stop.
But you won’t know unless you measure. We have a unique approach to creating buyer personas that practically live and breathe. Find out more about what we do with bacon here.