Defined as “a group of people with a common interest or characteristic,” one of the first steps in producing a successful B2B content marketing strategy is to identify the target audience. Often, this is accomplished by considering which professions or industries your company serves and choosing a subset that you would like to capture.
But is it the real deal? Or do you need to go beyond?
We’ll delve into why knowing is not enough, and how you can assess the interest and engagement levels of every target audience you’re trying to reach with a B2B content marketing strategy.
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Don’t assume you know your target audience. B2C is different from the B2B approach.
B2B (business-to-business) marketing is based on business-to-business sales. However, B2C (Business-to-customer) and B2B marketing differ because the purpose of B2B marketing is to increase sales. In contrast, the objective of B2C marketing is to increase revenue, which means that you need to take a different approach when producing B2B content than you would for your B2C audience.
Most B2B marketers make the assumption that they know their audience.
That’s why you must be careful about narrowly defining your target audience. Otherwise, you’re going to reach a smaller group of people with different needs than you might expect.
A common pitfall is to focus on a specific industry or job title rather than the behaviors and interests of real people who are potential buyers. You may get lots of clicks, but your B2B content strategy is destined for failure if they’re not the right clicks.
Psychographics: the real secret to understanding your audience.
So how can you ensure that your B2B content marketing strategy is landing on the ears of the right people?
Focusing solely on demographics (age, profession, job title, etc.) only captures one part of the equation. You also need to know what motivates people and what their attitudes are when it comes to business.
These characteristics are defined as psychographics rather than demographics. These refer to someone’s interests, influencing their behavior when purchasing something or engaging with a brand.
Most B2B marketers miss the true power of psychographics, which makes them a goldmine for developing innovative B2B content marketing strategies. In other words, it’s not enough to know your audience. You also have to understand who exactly that audience is and what motivates them so you can deliver the right message at the right time and place.
Theory of Persuasion: How psychographic research can help your B2B marketing strategy succeed
In the world of marketing, persuasion has become more personal than ever. No longer can you use a coupon or an advertisement on TV to get someone to open their wallet and buy your product.
Nowadays, you have to get hooked on the product for your B2B readers to discover its benefits and be so interested in it that they will immediately take action.
Choice of words, design, images, and even your company’s name plays a huge role. Even if we have a clear idea of who our audience is and their interests, we still need to find out how best to package our message so it will get noticed and remembered.
These are all part of the new business world, which is why you need a different B2B content marketing strategy.
In the past, marketing was about getting people to notice your product on the shelf. But today, it’s about getting them to notice your brand in their heads, so they choose you over your competitors by word of mouth.
Psychographics is a practical tool that you can use to understand how people think and how they feel, which will naturally influence their purchasing behavior.
Create the 'right' buyer persona.
If you go further into the field of psychographics and create buyer personas, then you’ll be able to reach your target audience with laser-like precision.
A buyer persona is a detailed description of a typical member of your target audience. For example, if your business sells shoes to women over 50 who are interested in fashion and willing to spend money on it, you have created your first buyer persona (50+ women who love fashion).
*Who is your ideal audience? Who exactly do you aim to reach with B2B content marketing strategy? Is he/she a busy woman spending her own money? Maybe a woman with a small budget and simple tastes? Or maybe one that is rich and has brand loyalty?
You can discover the traits of your ideal audience by going beyond demographics. Understanding their behaviors and interests will help you understand how to reach them with the right message at the right time, which is what we call targeting.
As said, buyer personas are useful for creating and tailoring the right content for a specific target audience. They will also help you identify the best time and place to send that message.
Since you now have an idea of who your target audience is, you can create a plan according to that customer’s preferences, not just what they want or need.
Use social media and blog comments to learn more about your target audience.
You can also use social media to determine their interests by listening to what they talk about, how they talk about it, and what has their attention at the moment.
You can also actively engage them in conversations on your blog or social media by asking questions, offering advice, and so on. User-generated content is a powerful B2B content marketing tool and can significantly impact your brand’s social media presence and overall brand awareness.
You can encourage these activities in your content, but be careful not to become too sales-y.
Leverage your blog comments as well. You can use them to identify what people are thinking about or what they’re looking for by digging through the blog comments and user-generated content.
Review data from your content marketing analytics.
When you link your content marketing with analytics tools, you can see if people are reading what you’re writing and liking it.
If your content marketing team does not perform well, you might need to dig deeper and ask yourself what’s going wrong. To do this, review data on several parameters such as the topics that matter most in your audience’s interests, their comments on the blog comments, the analytics data collected from your website statistics, and so on. This information assists you to refine your strategy.
Understanding your target audience is a crucial skill for any B2B content marketer.
Knowing your target audience is not enough. Understand and listen to your audience’s behavior, preferences and interests for more information about how best to reach them.
Use “cognitive fit” to bring out the best in your B2B content marketing strategy.
Psychographics can identify your target audience before they know they are interested in your product or service. This means that you’ll have the most chance of creating engaging and memorable content that gets noticed by your target audience.
If you’re not sure how to do it, GoSEO’s content marketing team can help you with that.
A B2B content marketing strategy that is not attracting the right kind of attention from your target audience is a waste of time and resources.
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