One of the major game-changers in digital marketing is knowing to whom you’re marketing. Who you’re aiming for will drastically affect how you attempt to reach them. Therefore, the best way to nail down your audience is by building buyer personas.
Before you take a single step with any campaign, it’s vital to identify your target market and clarify specific traits they may possess.
1. WHO ARE THEY?
Personas aren’t just important for B2C companies (can you imagine a retailer trying to reach preteen girls with gritty hard rock and macho rhetoric?).
Your B2B practice may actually have multiple types of target audiences, but clarifying and differentiate them will help you change your messaging from widespread buckshot to highly-accurate sniper rounds.
So who are the people you’re trying to reach?
Are they male? Female? How old are they? What’s their job title?
Knowing simple demographics like these, as well as where they’re starting in your sales funnel, can go a long way to helping you nail down what will or won’t fly with them.
2. WHAT DO THEY WANT?
So let’s say you’ve narrowed down the field somewhat. You have identified four types of buyers for your product: a new kind of CNC machine or endmill, for example.
Now you have to think about what each person tends to prioritize.
You might sell directly to a floor operator, who cares about ease of use and ergonomic benefits.
But supposing that end-user doesn’t have final say, or isn’t part of the buying process?
Maybe the person you have to convince is actually the plant supervisor, who prioritizes efficiency and wants to hear or see case studies from you.
Or perhaps you need the stamp of approval from the CFO, who’s focused on expenses. They want to know how long before your machine pays for itself. What’s the return on investment look like?
And even beyond that, you may find yourself dealing directly with the CEO, who wants to deal with a company that has only the highest reputation, or has already established a reliable relationship via previous deals. They care about the ease of deployment, perhaps, rather than the initial expense of the partnership.
Even within a single company, that’s four personas who may purchase the very same product from you…but for drastically different buying reasons.
Knowing what your personas want will help you know what type of information and content to deliver, so you’re not pitching the right product to the right crowd by advocating the wrong benefits.
3. WHERE ARE THEY?
This question often gets overlooked once a persona has been otherwise identified. You know what to say and to whom you want to say it – but it’s important to actually make sure they receive your marketing message.
If you’re trying to reach 50+ year-old welders, Snapchat probably isn’t the way to go.
Trade magazine ads may no longer be the way to get in front of a young-30s CFO.
So where do your personas spend the majority of their time?
Are they reading magazines? Could they be the chosen staff member to represent their company at trade shows?
They might be stuck behind a computer all day. Or perhaps they’re constantly on the go with only a mobile phone to connect with the outside world.
Do they spend the majority of their time on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, or some even-newer platform?
Wherever they are – that is where you and your content must go.
A major reason to sit down and hash this out is because, most of the time, what appeals to your target audience may not appeal to you.
You may have to swallow your pride and adjust accordingly.
It’s perfectly alright to re-package the same or similar content for each different platform – the key is to make sure that it’s actually getting in front of the right people.
Knowing who your audience is, what they want, and where to find them is vital to actually reaching them. Especially if you want to make sure that no marketing dollar goes to waste along the way.
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