A major B2B marketing stumbling block is trying to be all things to all possible prospects. Some marketers think that appealing to as wide an audience as possible will drive more sales. But showing that you know your customer is a far better tactic.
What do I mean by “know your customer?” Well, you’re likely to work better with some types of customers than others. Of course, you shouldn’t limit yourself to a market segment that’s too narrow to be profitable. But figure out the characteristics of the businesses that work best with you. That way, you can create content that shows that you understand them, the way they operate, and their pain points. And that will get you much further than relying on generalities.
A Universal Appeal is Seldom Universally Appealing
For example, a business may try to appeal to all possible customers with the claim that its product or service has the lowest price. But for many prospects, the lowest price isn’t the deciding factor. In fact, a few will view the cheapest choice as the inferior choice.
Something else to consider: just saying that one has the “lowest price” is vague. If that business does not provide any proof to support that claim, readers are apt to view the statement as an unsubstantiated claim or an exaggeration. Even worse, they may cause readers to discount all the statements you make.
The business would need to provide actual comparisons to competitors’ prices. At the very least, it could say something like, “Our patented Acme process allows us to beat competitors’ prices by at least $X.” That would highlight the business’ expertise and make them appear super-efficient. And that would impress quite a few prospects.
Show You Know Your Customer via Targeted Content
Some businesses try to stretch their marketing dollars by creating ebooks or white papers that appeal to an extremely wide market segment. The problem is, readers are usually looking for solutions to their specific problems.
Imagine that an LMS provider creates an ebook that’s supposed to be for K-12 districts, higher education, and business. That ebook would be so generalized most prospective readers won’t consider it relevant to their needs. Content that speaks directly to a specific audience segment is more likely to be downloaded than content that tries to be all things to all people.
It’d be better to create a content piece that specifically speaks to the business audience, another that speaks to prospects in K-12, etc. The business can go easy on its budget by reusing some of the text. But more importantly, this tactic shows you know your customer and the details of their particular problems and situation. That’ll increase your readers’ trust.
Getting to know your customers pays off
In short, the most successful content will speak to people in specific roles in specific types of business. It will address a specific need and the questions the person most likely has at that specific point in their buyer’s journey.
That’s one of the reasons why you need to create personas for different types of prospects. The persona information should include how those prospects typically navigate the buyer’s journey. So, it’s a good idea to have input from the sales team about what goes on with each customer at every touchpoint in the buying process. Those conversations will allow you to determine what content will produce the best results at specific points in the buyer’s journey.
The more targeted your content, the better your chances for an optimal conversion rate. It’s true that as your content gets more specific, traffic or download numbers will go down. But though fewer people may read your content, the potential for each to be a future customer will be much, much higher.
Kelle Campbell is a content writer for e-learning and B2B software companies. Contact her to discuss your next project.