Using Buyer Personas in B2B Blogging
June 6, 2019
Whenever you write content—whether it be for an email, landing page, or blog—you need to think about your audience.
Who is your content for? What is its goal? How does it help your audience?
In the B2B world where you’re writing, you’re trying to reach decision makers, gatekeepers, managers, and C-suite executives. Your content needs to be written and tailored specifically to those individuals and their needs.
This is where buyer personas come into play.
Why Buyer Personas Are Crucial in B2B
At SmartBug™, before we develop any content for clients, the first thing we do after our discovery calls is start talking to customers and prospects in order to develop buyer personas.
Buyer personas are critical to understand before you start blogging or creating other forms of content, because they inform you about who you need to write for, their specific challenges, and the solutions that can help them. You need to talk to your prospects and customers and understand what keeps them up at night, what motivates them, what frustrates them, and what would make their lives easier. Doing this allows you to get in touch with your customers, their job and responsibilities, and their goals, all of which sets up the foundation for you to create your personas.
For B2B companies, you’ll want to develop at least 2 personas to start, because the goals and motivations for a CEO are vastly different from those of a gatekeeper. In other words, the language you’d use to speak to a gatekeeper is different than what you’d use to communicate with a CEO.
Building Content for Personas
After identifying your personas, you should create a comprehensive list of your current marketing and sales content and map each resource to a buyer persona at a particular stage of the Buyer’s Journey.
Doing this allows you to get a high-level overview of all your current content and where it falls in the journey of each buyer, while also giving you some insight into what content might be missing from your collateral.
Deciding What Content to Create
Once you’ve identified your personas and mapped all existing content to the Buyer’s Journey, it’s time to start figuring out what content is missing and brainstorming future content ideas.
When brainstorming new content ideas and topics, one of the best places to start is with your sales team.
Schedule a one-hour brainstorm with your sales team and ask them to name all of the questions they’re consistently asked.
As you brainstorm, identify what topic comes up the most. Are leads consistently asking about specific features or functionalities? Are they consistently asking for case studies?
Narrow down your questions and topics by filtering through what’s asked the most and what would be most helpful to leads; This is where you should start when creating your first pieces of content.
Pro Tip: Build helpful, search engine-optimized resources in a variety of formats.
Always Remember Who You’re Talking to:
Tools and automated platforms have helped marketers blast blogs, emails, and messages to prospects—but we’re now starting to see the downside of these efforts in that consumers are demanding more personalization.
Consider these statistics from Salesforce and Marketo:
- By 2020, 51 percent of consumers expect that companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they make contact (according to Salesforce).
- 79 percent of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized to reflect previous interactions the consumer has had with the brand (Marketo).
These statistics are important to understand because they show us that people want brands to understand the problems specific to them and provide the right solutions, as opposed to taking a “one size fits all” approach and speaking to everyone with the same language.
Apply this same logic to your blogging and content calendar and realize that you need to get personal.
Identify your leads, their roles and job descriptions, their unique pain points and concerns, and begin creating an ultra-personalized experience for your multiple personas that speaks directly to them.
About the author
Christopher Hutchens was formerly an E-commerce Marketing Strategist at SmartBug Media based in Salt Lake City. Originally from Chicago, Chris graduated from Mizzou and worked in Columbia, Missouri as an interactive project manager for five years before coming to SmartBug. Outside of work, Chris loves to travel, snowboard, and play/watch basketball. Read more articles by Christopher Hutchens.
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