How Well Do You Know Your B2B Audience … Really?

16
Feb 2016

How Well Do You Know Your B2B Audience ... Really?If you’ve been following my blog and podcast for a while, you’ve probably heard me expound ad nauseam on the importance of knowing your audience.

In content marketing, if you don’t know your audience — I mean really know them — nothing else you do matters (tweet this). You can have the world’s most advanced content marketing program, but if you don’t know that person on the other side of the screen, you’re wasting your time and effort.

I continue to be astounded by the number of B2B marketers who answer the question “Who is your audience?” with “Umm, well, y’know … companies who need our product.”

And then there are those who can rattle off exactly the type of companies they want to reach — “midsized engineering firms in the oil and gas industry specializing in offshore” — but that’s as far as they go. Ask them which individuals within those companies they want to speak to, and you’ll get a lot of hemming and hawing.

As B2B marketers, our job in identifying our target audiences is twofold: we need to know the individuals we want to attract as well as the companies they work for (tweet this).

Your B2B Target Audience, Step 1: The Company

B2B audience analysis goes a bit deeper than it does for our brethren on the B2C side. First, we need to know what kind of businesses we’re targeting. Make sure you’re absolutely solid on the answers to questions like

  • In what industry is your target company?
  • How many employees does your target company have?
  • What is your target company’s average annual revenue?
  • Where is your target company located geographically?
  • What is your target company’s structure? Publicly traded or private? Is it more hierarchical or more of a flat-structure organization?
  • What is your target company’s culture like? Is it buttoned-up and “all business” like Delta Airlines, or is it more laid-back and quirky like Southwest?
  • What are some of its key values?

Your Target Audience: The Individual

Have you ever shaken hands with a company? Of course not. Companies are made up of people, and as B2B marketers, we need to make sure that we’re speaking to the human beings on the other side of that screen (tweet this).

Once you’ve determined who your audience is on the company level, it’s time to go deeper with questions like

  • What is your target audience member’s job title?
  • What is his or her level in the organization? Entry level? Middle management? VP or executive level?
  • Age and gender?
  • What problems does he or she deal with on a daily basis?
  • What are his or her hopes and dreams for the future?
  • What are his or her key priorities?

Once you know your audience — on both levels — you have a solid foundation on which you can build a successful content marketing program (tweet this). And if you ever find yourself struggling with other aspects of your strategy, come back to this step and chances are everything will fall into place.


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About the Author

Rachel Parker, Founder & CEO of Resonance Content MarketingA self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).

As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. To learn more, download our complimentary audio 5 Things You Must Know About Content Marketing.

content_marketing_50 BizSugar KredFeatured Author on Business 2 Community

Our Clients Are Saying

  • Produced ROI Result

    Form.io needed someone who could grasp the complexities of our product, capture the subtlety of our differentiating value propositions, and convey them in the right voice for an exacting customer audience…. Resonance delivered, by crafting a multi-faceted online content marketing strategy that drove traffic and conversion, producing the ROI result we were looking for….

  • Increased our likes and interaction rates

    Working with Rachel was a delight. Not only does she communicate very well, but she provided valuable insight about our social media platforms and followers. We have much better engagement with our fans and followers, which increased our likes and interaction rates.

     

  • Event Sold Out Two Years In A Row!

    Rachel worked with me on creating a content marketing calendar and content for the Big Social Media Summit (Big SMS) three years in a row. She is very organized and knows just the right amount of posts on social, email newsletters and content to send.  Her content marketing efforts helping us sell out our event three years in a row!  I am expecting the same for October 2014.

    Rachel was hired to write content for our email newsletter and content for our social platforms. In addition, she had a budget to do advertising on social media. She participated in the event live and after the fact to assure buzz was created before, during and after the event. As a result, our event sold out.

    When I work with Rachel, I have total peace of mind.  I know that she is on target, on time, reliable and delivers over and above the results I expect.

    I trust Rachel totally with her ideas on strategy, marketing and the content used to not only promote our events, but also post on my behalf on social networks. I have been doing social media for 8 years, and I hire Resonance to post on some of my social sites as it saves me time, and keeps my social sites relevant and current. They always post great, engaging content that gets my social properties likes, comments and shares.

     

  • Professionalism and Sincere Desire to Help

    I just didn’t seem to be able to find the time or the right words to explain what I offer and how my company helps people accomplish their goals. Rachel was able to ask me some questions, do some research and capture my voice while writing my website copy exactly as I needed it to be written.  Now, the copy on my website is much more professional than what I would have created and having this task handled by Rachel and Resonance freed up my time to complete other tasks I am better suited to do.

    It was a joy to work with Rachel. Her professionalism and sincere desire to help was apparent from the first communication until the final delivery. I will definitely use Resonance again and highly recommend their services.

  • Increased website traffic, New Lead Generation

    We were experiencing a lack of internal resources to consistently maintain the Ustream blog. So we turned to Resonance Content Marketing to write blog posts on current industry topics while maintaining a consistent tone with the brand. The result is increased website traffic, new lead generation from gated assets on blog, and better educated/qualified leads. And I now have more time to spend on marketing strategy with the confidence that the content we push out is extremely well written and engaging.

    Rachel is an amazing writer and has really managed to create engaging and relevant blog material on topics that aren’t always super interesting. On many occasions, she has been able to quickly turn around one-off requests and the results are always top-notch. She has also helped guide our content strategy based on her expertise in content marketing, which has been a huge asset to our team.

  • Added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks

    Rachel took the overwhelm and stress out of writing content for my marketing campaign! When I approached Rachel, I was really concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to focus on writing copy for a lengthy marketing campaign that included sales pages, solo emails, newsletters and social media updates. Well, let’s just say I’m glad I hired Rachel because I couldn’t have done it without her support and expertise. I loved how she used my voice and words to craft content that helped me reach and attract my ideal client. As a result of working with Rachel, I added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks, hundreds of new social media followers and exceeded my sales and list building goals! You know your marketing copy is working when you hear someone say, “I see you everywhere”. Thank you Rachel for helping me not only get seen by my ideal clients but get paid!

  • Social Media Ranking Better Than Ever!

    We are so happy to have hired Resonance for our social media needs. We spend most of our time serving our clients and studying our field so we can provide the highest quality possible. We no longer worry about our social media, as we have total confidence in the wonderful work Rachel and her team have accomplished.

    Our social media is active, promoted, and is ranking better than ever! People often comment about what they see on our Facebook page. Resonance has added a creative, and artistic twist to our social media that is appealing and captivating to our audience. This has allowed me more time to work with my team and clients, so I can focus on service towards the people that help our business grow.

    I know there will be wonderful content on Facebook, and that Rachel will answer to posts, comments and questions as soon as a comment arrives. I am often impressed at how quickly she responds! Thank you Resonance! I highly endorse Resonance and encourage companies who need social media strategies to work with Resonance! You won’t regret it! 

  • One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

    My company had little or no time to spend on social media. Our needs were to ensure a steady stream of posts across three platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) by harvesting and re-purposing content from our own site and news streams. So I contacted Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing.

    The result was two-fold. Not only did our ranks of followers grew steadily, the steady drip, drip, drip of content helped us train our personnel and direct their own individual social media efforts.

    Rachel and her team are extremely organized and open to discussion and new ideas. They deliver a rapid response to new opportunities — and an overall feeling of being on the same team. One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

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