Tag Archives: Buyer personas

Recycling—Not Just Good for the Environment

10 Jul

Repurpose Your Content for Greater ROI

Contentchart

Content marketing is a big deal for B2B marketers right now. If you didn’t know that, you haven’t been reading enough Navigate-the-Channel lately. In the past few weeks alone, we’ve discussed the importance of the Buyer 360 (creating the right content at the right time for the right audience) and the biggest content marketing mistakes a B2B company can make. But another mistake many B2B companies make is not breaking down and repurposing content to extend its shelf-life.

Creating good, relevant content is challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. So the more you can stretch your content out (without losing the context), the better your investment. At ER Marketing, it’s unusual for us to create content that isn’t broken down into videos, infographics, emails, nurture campaigns, and/or at least four to five blog posts. The more ways this content can be broken down and repurposed, the greater its reach and the longer its life. It’s a simple tactic that can produce huge ROI.

That’s why I was quick to click this article when it came across my inbox. In it, the author provides a quick list of tips to extend the life of your content. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Repurpose for different audiences: As we’ve discussed in past blog posts, it’s important to consider your Buyer Personas and Buyer Journey when producing content. So adjusting your content with minor tweaks to accommodate for different stages of the sales cycle is an excellent way to provide greater insights to your audience. For example: Turn a whitepaper into a recorded webinar for people further down the sales cycle.
  • Break down your lists: Lists are hyper-digestible and easy to skim. So either boil down big topics into a simple list with the CTA to learn more, or take basic information from a list and expand it into a more focused post.
  • Compile a round-up: Did you recently write a series of posts about a product, service, or industry trend? Compile them all in one big blog post or eblast so your audience can consume all of this content at once.

For more tips on how to extend the life of your content for greater ROI, read the full article here.

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Content Marketing No-No’s

1 Jul

Don’t Let Your Company Make These Content Marketing Mistakes!

Do vs. Don't

Content is easy, right? All you have to do is write a couple pages about a product you sell and people will want to read it, right?Because what you have to say is just so interesting, right? Anyone can do it, right? It’s so easy, right?

Not so fast. Those of us who do it often know that creating useful, interesting content that is relevant to your audience at the exact moment they need it is not as easy as it looks. I talked about that at length in my last blog post, focusing on the importance of bringing together Buyer Personas and the Buyer Journey for a complete 360° view of your audience before ever beginning to create content for them.

While it’s a common mistake not to look at your audience from both of those angles, there are other content marketing mistakes you can make just as easily. A recent articlefrom MarketingProfs highlighted a few:

  1. Not Knowing Your Audience: This one is similar to what I talked about in my last blog post. The biggest mistake a content marketer can make is creating content that doesn’t entertain, educate, or solve a problem for your customer. If you’re treating content like it’s all about you and your brand, it’s a surefire way to create disinterest in your audience—especially if they’re just beginning their Buyer Journey.
  2. Not Having a Brand Voice: Develop one, and keep it consistent. While you might make minor tweaks in tone depending on the tactic or type of content, all your content should ultimately sound like the same person is speaking. A good tip from this article is that you should even go as far as creating a style guide and performing “content audits” to see where inconsistencies occur.
  3. Not Enough Distribution: Blogs and social media aren’t the end-all be-all, especially in B2B content marketing. How you distribute your content marketing is just as important as the content you produce. Remember: if you write it, they will not necessarily come. Consider high-traffic areas of your website, industry association websites, and trusted industry publications.

Content marketing is tricky. As much as we want to simplify it into easily digestible steps that produce great leads and even greater sales, it doesn’t always work that way. It’s trial and error. It’s trying different distribution methods and different types of content. It’s testing and—well, more testing. But what it isn’t is “easy.” Regardless, that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain mistakes we can all avoid as marketers. For more about content marketing mistakes to avoid, read the full article or check out my last blog post.

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Is Your Content Marketing Self-Serving?

16 Jun

360 Buyer Persona/Journey

Then It’s Time to Focus on the Complete View

360 Buyer Persona/Journey

Companies are jumping on the content marketing bandwagon. In theory, that means that more people than ever are consuming content to educate themselves. The problem is that the content is homogenized, and rarely adapted based on the audience. Many companies are still talking to all their audience the same way rather than based on their personas.

But in order to fully understand who the audience is, you need to know what kind of personas make up the audience. It’s not just tombstone data, either (name, address, business, etc.). It’s about the problem they’re trying to solve, their role in the organization, and what they expect and need from your product or service.

For the small segment of content marketers who actually do take into account their audiences’ Buyer Personas, it usually stops right there. But as a veteran in the B2B marketing space, I’ve come to realize you need more than half of the equation, which Buyer Personas offer. You also need to look at the context of each persona as it relates to the Buyer Journey.

Most B2B buyers go through some type of journey when they are choosing which products or services to purchase—or companies to partner with. Whether its exploration, then information, engagement, and ultimately, a sale, or some completely different path, there is no question that most B2B buyers are already far down the sales funnel by the time they sit down with a sales rep to make a deal.

The Buyer Persona has to change based on their stop in the Buyer Journey. If a company only looks at one of these two components (a 180 degree view), their audience may miss the perspective of the overarching message. This is what we call Buyer 360: the intersection between Buyer Persona (who you’re selling to and what is important to them) and where they are in the sales funnel (shallow search or deep dive).

I recently read an interesting article from Business2Community about the need for content marketers to shift their thinking when it comes to Buyer Personas. Its argument is similar to mine: a lot of content B2B companies are producing is purely self-serving, and that has to change. Give it a read here for an additional perspective.

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Buyer Personas in the Building Products Industry

19 Oct

Buyer personas give your marketing direction and ensure your message is accurate

Whether or not you know it, you’re likely using buyer personas everyday – it’s just a matter of how accurate they are. Buyer personas are representations of customers that are used to better understand why they purchase what they do. As building product marketers, we all say things like “Contractors will like this product because it’s easier/cheaper/faster”, but what is it that really influences them to buy? Establishing the specifics allows you to craft a message that resonates with these buyers and beats out the competition.

So how do you establish an accurate buyer persona?

  • First off, you can just make it up. As building industry marketers it’s important to go deeper than a list of bullet points that describes our key buyers. We need to really spend time with these people and complete an in-depth analysis of their buying trends. According to Adele Revella, the founder and president of the Buyer Persona Institute, the Five Rings of Insight are the “most overlooked and essential aspect, simplifying decisions for persuasive messaging, content, launches, campaigns and sales enablement.”

Here are the “Five Rings of Insight” that will allow you to define your buyer persona:

  1. Determine the Priority Initiatives: Define the three-to-five problems or initiatives where this buyer persona is dedicating time, budget and political capital
  2. List Out Success Factors: Figure out the tangible or intangible rewards that your buyer persona wants to achieve as a result of buying your solution
  3. Recognize Perceived Barriers: List the reasons your buyer persona believes your solution won’t be the best way to achieve the Success Factors
  4. Chart Out the Buying Process: Include the resources and steps that your buyer persona relies upon to assess available options and make a final decision
  5. Figure Out the Decision Criteria: List the aspects of the product, service, solution or company that this buyer persona evaluates during the purchasing process

Accurately defining your Buyer Persona’s takes time, energy and effort, but once established can pay dividends in assuring your messaging is correct and sets you apart from your competitors.

We’ve used buyer personas for years. We actually have cardboard cut-outs of our “guys” – dealers, contractors, big box sales reps, deck builders, etc. When we have a meeting these guys often join us as a reminder of who we’re talking to. If they’re not in the room with you – it’s time you invite them!

For more information about buyer personas and the Buyer Persona Institute, click here.

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