I’m going to go out on a limb here to say that even if you’ve never been on a blind date, you know how it works. You sit down at a semi-formal restaurant, your order is taken, and you start with small talk.
Typically, the purpose of that small talk is to get to know someone better. What are their interests, likes/dislikes, etc. This is the foundation of getting to know someone. It’s how you begin a relationship, how you determine if you want to continue to see each other, and how you decide if you are an "ideal” match for each other. Once you've identified that they're right for you, you want them to feel the same way.
Tying this back into marketing, when you've already identified your ideal buyer it's important to ensure you're connecting with them properly. To help you ensure you're talking to your clients the way they want to be talked to, we've outlined the WWWWWH of how to connect with your B2B audience.
Who Are You Talking To?
Why don’t we start with, there’s no such thing as “marketing to everyone.” If you believe your business offers the perfect solution to every other business out there, that’s just not realistic. Even companies like Google and Microsoft have businesses they aren’t marketing to.
So, what’s important to keep in mind at the foundational level? We need to establish who your buyer groups are. Most B2B marketing isn’t done by convincing one individual, you have to understand the full buyer group you want to reach.
Your buyer groups are those that you would call your “ideal client.” Remember, an ideal client or target audience isn’t just an age, geographic area, or occupation. Although these demographics may come into play for your types of clients, you need to go deeper into understanding the people. You may only interact with one person from the company, but it’s likely they will also have to convince their CEO, VP of Operations, IT leader, and others that your solution is right for them.
Review your current top clients, understand why they chose you, and outline what demographics and firmographics made them an ideal client.
When Are You Talking to Them?
When you talk to a prospective client could be the most important note to remember. This is why inbound marketing is paramount within most successful marketing campaigns.
There's something so powerful in being available at the right time. Think about when a good friend texted you to see how you were doing when you were going through a tough time. The moment you get that text you may feel heard and sometimes even understood.
In business, getting the solution to a problem or the answer to a pain point right when you need it carries just as much weight as the proper messaging. What’s important about talking to your ideal client, is that the ideal time may be different for each of them, which leads us to the buyer's journey.
Where They Are and Why You’re Relevant
The buyers' journey describes the 3 phases a prospective client may be in. Those phases are Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Each of these phases poses unique opportunities to connect with different types of clients in different ways.
In this phase your goal should be to address the question or pain point that is top of mind for the prospective client. Why should a buyer be interested in a solution? And not necessarily your solution, but the solution in general. They are noticing a symptom from a problem that’s creating a pain point and starting to diagnose where their pain is coming from.
In the consideration phase, the potential “ideal client” is looking for answers. Now that they have identified the pain point, they want to know how to solve it in an efficient and effective manner. In this researching phase, they are looking to understand the many options available to solve their problem.
If you have relevant free content available, now’s the time to provide it! This is one of the best moments to capture a lead by being willing to help them solve their problem.
On a side note, if someone is willing to give you their email address in exchange for a content offer, be sure to create a campaign around continuing to nurture that prospective client.
After they have moved through the consideration phase, they will enter the decision phase. At this point, they are evaluating which business or product helps their cause in the ideal way. There are plenty of factors that will be considered within this process, so be conscious of continuing to make it easy on these potential clients when searching for additional information about your business and how you can help.
What Will You Say?
Since we know who we are talking to, and where they are within their buyer’s journey, we need to now determine what to talk about. When building a content strategy there are a myriad of places to find topics. A great place to go is your sales and account management team. Are there common questions that could be explained in a short blog or infographic? Do they have a winning story to write a case study on?
Another source is through SEO research. Commonly, you can find what your audience is looking to solve through keyword research — along with how they ask about a specific topic and other ways they are searching for those topics.
Finally, take a look at what your competitors offer. How are they talking to their audience? If they're one of your competitors, chances are that you’re talking to the same people. See what topics they’re covering and pull out what could be relevant for your content plan.
How Are You Going to Reach Them?
Practically speaking, there many ways to reach your buyer groups, which brings us back to the reminder that no two clients are the same. However, if you’ve taken the time to develop your buyer personas, you’ve built campaigns that address the pain points at the right time within the buyer journey, then you can see success within many different marketing avenues. Especially if you know how to bring them together with a multi-channel approach. Here are a few ideas to get started:
Having a blog is practically a must for most every business. One of the best ways to grow your business organically is driving leads to your website through relevant topics that people want to learn about. Using your blog content across other marketing channels like social media and email gives prospects the opportunity to engage with your website and potentially create more leads.
If you’ve heard of the rule of 7 then you’ll understand the importance of repetition. Social media has a way of keeping things simple and relational. It’s a nice blend with your other marketing avenues to keep the same campaign or brand message, but with a different feel than a paid ad or email.
Paid ads are a great option by themselves because you see quick and direct results for your money. But if you couple paid advertising with an effective organic marketing campaign you can see both long-term and short-term results. The key is ensuring that you maximize the purpose of each marketing channel while also keeping the message, branding, and overall goal consistent among them.
Why Does This Matter?
To add a little more to the why part of this, making a strategic effort to connect with your audience in a meaningful way will show your prospects that you understand them and their unique business.
To summarize this for you, here’s how to be intentional and win prospective clients:
- Know your prospects – Remember the idea of going on that blind date? You need to understand the intentions, wants, and pain points of your different types of clients before you can deliver them a message that resonates with them.
- Deliver the message at the right time – It's no use to dig into subject matter if the prospect is still figuring out their own pain point. Create content for all stages of the buyer’s journey.
- Be on purpose – Make sure your content is creative, timely, and personal for each of your buyer groups.
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