How well do you know your customers? The right answer is ‘very well indeed’! Why? Because if you expect to create content that will draw them down your sales funnel, convert them from leads to customers and then retain their loyalty, you need to be speaking to them about their concerns, in their language. When we discuss B2B content marketing with our clients, we stress three important things—know your customers, know their needs and know your content. And by far the most important is know your customers.
Good content starts with knowing your clients
Customised content is important—61 percent of customers’ buying decisions are influenced by it. But the flipside of that is, according to Altimeter, that 57 percent of marketers report customised content to be their top marketing priority. In other words, the stakes are high. If you get it right, you can influence the decision to purchase, but take a wrong turn and your competitors will clean up instead.
To put it simply, having an accurate understanding of your customers and the problems they’re facing allows you to identify the right value proposition. What can you offer them as a solution? Why should they come to your site? Getting this right means a lot of research—you need to understand the problems you’re helping to solve, understand how you’ve helped clients already and work out how your employees relate to your clients’ unique challenges.
It’s time to put the customer before the organisation
Would you say that your marketing strategy is organisation centric or customer centric? Naturally, you know what the answer should be but just check yourself for these:
- Do you think about what products or services you can sell to your client or do you consider what your client needs to do and how you can help them do it?
- Do you think about the relationship you need with your clients or the relationship they’d like to have with you?
- Do you ask how you can make money from your clients or what value you can offer them as part of the deal?
Customer centric marketing means anticipating your clients’ needs, doing what you can to make their life easier, helping them and rewarding them.
Know your customer, know their personas
Another facet to getting to know your customers is that the more information you have about them, the better equipped you are to build client personas. And if you’re in any doubt over whether personas would be useful to your marketing strategy, consider this: according to a study by Cintell, 71 percent of companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas, versus 37 percent of those who simply meet goals and only 26 percent of those falling short.
But personas are only as useful as the information you put into them. For an accurate picture of your clients, you need to base your personas on real life interviews and feedback from your sales department and the clients themselves. The better you know your clients, the better you’ll be able to talk to them—and naturally, good communication is the bedrock upon which excellent content marketing is built.
To learn more about knowing your clients, building useful personas and developing a unique voice for your brand, register for our upcoming webinar:
Presented by SuccessFlow Managing Director, Mark Donkin and Creative Director, Karl Horton