What are 77% of the most accomplished B2B content marketers doing to aid to their success? Building B2B buyer personas.
Yup, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 B2B Content Marketing report, 77% of the most successful B2B content marketers use personas, compared to 36% of the least successful marketers.
For both B2B and B2C brands, a crucial part of inbound marketing methodology is creating buyer personas to clearly define your ideal audience. No matter what your business model is, defining your target personas will allow you to effectively tailor your marketing messages and communications to those customers or clients you want to buy your product or service.
Ready to take your B2B marketing to the next level? Keep reading for all the details on everything you need to know about B2B buyer personas.
What is a B2B buyer persona?
In general, personas are fictional, generalized representations of real people. So, a buyer persona is that representation of your ideal customer. In your B2B brand’s case, this would be the decision-maker of the type of business you’re targeting. Basically, these personas should detail descriptions of the businesses you target to help you gain insight into what prospects are thinking.
How are the strongest buyer personas created? The biggest and baddest (in a good way) buyer personas are based on data, market research, and in-depth consumer info that your brand is able to gain through your current customers or clients.
Okay, but what are negative personas?
If a B2B buyer persona is a fictionalized representation of your ideal customer or client, a negative buyer persona (also called an “exclusionary persona”) represents what you don’t want in a customer. For instance, those who simply cannot afford the product or service you’re offering.
(We’ll come back to negative personas later.)
What ingredients do I need to whip up a batch of B2B buyer personas?
The basics of creating a B2B buyer persona will be similar to that of B2C buyer personas. Regardless of your business model, buyer persona characterizations are most successfully created based on data your company is able to gather about your existing customers. When defining B2B buyer personas, a lot will depend on the complexity of the product or service your brand offers.
A complete B2B buyer persona includes a range of info from demographics and personality traits to career history and distinct info on their current position. All of these features and specifications of your buyer personas should be written as if the persona is a living, breathing, pineapple-on-pizza-hating humanoid.
You should even give your B2B persona a name. (This is standard, not just my recommendation for funsies.) For instance, one of my B2B buyer personas is named Sam Coolpreneur. So hey Sam, if you’re reading this, hit me up!
Here are some aspects of a target decision-maker for your customer or client you may want to include in your buyer persona (the more detailed you are, the better):
- Level of influence (Is this person a key decision-maker?)
- Goals and motivations
- Challenges, problems, or concerns
- Biggest fears
Since the majority of businesses, in general, have more than one persona that they sell to, most brands create multiple buyer personas and then develop different marketing messages unique to each persona. However, with this being said, don’t go overboard and build dozens and dozens of personas upfront. Slow your roll, and make sure you can get to know the Sam Coolpreneurs of your brand first.
Got my personas…now, how do I use them?
Once you’ve highlighted your ideal business prospects in one or more personas, it’s time to put them to use. Come on, Sam Coolpreneur, we’ve got work to do!
There’s no one single answer for how to use buyer personas. Buyer personas are the best friend of modern marketers, but these characterizations aren’t solely used for marketing alone. The benefit of grouping brands into persona categories is that by having these categories in place, the jobs of marketers, product designers, salespeople, and services people becomes much easier. Everyone in your organization should know who your brand’s buyer personas are.
B2B buyer personas act as a guide for different teams within your brand to better tailor their content marketing, messaging, and product and service development to those different groups of customers. Everyone wins!
Segment out negative personas
Use your B2B buyer personas to drive sales by first segmenting out negative B2B personas. Once you create negative personas, you’ll have the advantage of being able to identify those business clients or customers that aren’t in line with your ideal targets and then segment them out. Buh-bye👋
Segmenting out negative personas can do big things for your lead generation and conversion rates.
Create personalized B2B customer experiences
Personalization isn’t just beneficial for B2C brands targeting individual consumers. Personalization based on your B2B buyer personas can make all the difference in your biz. Think about it—what kind of brand would you prefer, one calling out, “hey you! Need help with that thing you need help with??”
Or, an ever so suave brand coming forth with an enchanting, “hello, [your name]! Let’s solve [your deepest darkest problems and secrets].”
Alright, maybe we don’t need to get as extreme as the deepest darkest secrets (we can just keep all those bottled up for now—cheers to denial!). But you get the point.
Once you’ve created a few buyer personas to represent the types of business you target, you can begin using this info to strategize your marketing for different segments of your audience. Armed with your unique B2B buyer persona info, you can create a more personalized experience for each kind of company your biz targets by tailoring your messaging, customizing your copy, and explicitly addressing that persona’s needs and preferences.
At the end of the day, 93% of companies who exceed lead and revenue goals say they segment their database by buyer persona, according to Boardview. Ninety-three! Is that enough to excite you to climb aboard the buyer persona train yet?
Comment below letting me know how buyer personas have helped your biz, or let me know what questions you still have. Let’s chat!
Here are three ways to put the info we just discussed into action:
- Look through your pool of existing B2B customers. Try to distinguish patterns among them to determine which groups of customers or clients you’re already successfully selling too.
- Ready to personalize your content to meet your buyer persona’s needs? Schedule a free consult call to chat get started!
- Need prospects in general? Share this post on LinkedIn or share it on Twitter. Sharing relevant and high-quality content will increase your visibility and credibility.
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