Thinking About B2B Content Marketing Through The Lens of the Buyer

October 23, 2012

Last week, I shared 5 Reasons Why Buyer Personas are Useful for B2B Content Marketing.  Prior to that, I wrote a 3-part series on how to effectively develop and utilize a B2B buyer persona framework. In that series, I stressed the importance of identifying behavioral factors — rather than just demographic factors — that influence the way an individual behaves in a B2B buying process.

This week, I will share why thinking about B2B content marketing through the lens of the buyer can substantially increase the effectiveness of your content and make it a more useful tool in the lead nurturing process.

Buyer Personas are Crucial to Developing Effective Content

B2B buyers are making decisions for a business, so most B2B sales have multiple people involved in the buying process. In most instances, these buyers will have different roles, decision-making authority, goals, and motivations that drive their purpose and levels of involvement in the buying process. Consequently, content that resonates with one player in the buying process does not always resonate well with another individual in the buying process, and may only be relevant during different phases in the buyer’s journey.

The content marketing team should be able to leverage a company’s B2B buyer persona framework in order to make sense of its buyers and their journeys in this context.  This should help them pinpoint the proper buyer targets at each stage in the buying process and identify their current and future needs. Additionally, the increased focus and personalization of the content will drive substantially higher resonation rates amongst the target buyers.  Even front of the funnel content can become more effective by writing to specific buyers because their motivations and needs are generally different than other players in the organization.

Thinking about the buyers through the B2B buyer persona framework will also help your B2B content marketing team identify the content that it needs to develop to support the company’s go to market strategy within a given target segment.  This content list should be arranged in a content matrix that breaks down a company’s content assets for each segment by buyer persona and its relevant stage(s) in the buying process.

A content matrix empowers the sales and marketing team to develop a more systematic process for nurturing leads and trying to work them through their buyer journey.  The content marketing team can then use this content matrix to prioritize the development of these assets in its content calendar in terms of impact on lead recruitment and conversion rates.

The better a company can personalize the content around its buyers and their needs, the more effective those assets will be in moving buyers through their journey and increasing its sales and marketing team’s ability to more effectively communicate with target buyers.  Both of these factors will also drive increased sales conversion rates.

B2B content marketers now have many tools available to help them develop buyer persona focused content.  One company that is leading the way in that space is Alinean, which offers buyer persona focused assessments and ROI/TCO Calculators. I recommend checking out their tools and services, as they could help your team tell a value story that differentiates you from your peers.

Over the next 2 weeks, I will describe the role of a content matrix in a content marketing program and share how to develop a content matrix to support a buyer persona focused B2B content marketing strategy.

Marketing Manager, Pricing Strategy

<strong>Brandon Hickie</strong> is Marketing Manager, Pricing Strategy at <a href="">LinkedIn</a>. He previously worked at OpenView as Marketing Insights Manager. Prior to OpenView Brandon was an Associate in the competition practice at Charles River Associates where he focused on merger strategy, merger regulatory review, and antitrust litigation.