Mike Stuzzi is a guest contributor and an online entrepreneur who blogs at MikeStuzzi.com. He publishes helpful guides on starting online businesses, the best business tools to use, and his personal experiences on the site.
Are you looking to turn your B2B content marketing initiative into a sales-generating machine?
As a B2B marketer and business owner, you must understand content personalization for B2B audiences. And more importantly, you need to understand how to tailor your content to your B2B target audience.
Over time, nurturing your audience using personalized content can encourage brand advocates and loyal customers, positioning your brand as an industry authority.
If you’re ready to help your audience feel seen and hit your sales goals, stick around for six simple steps you can follow to embrace personalized marketing.
Who is your audience, really? Why are they ideal customers? What struggles do they face? What businesses do they run? What do they need help with? How can you provide tailored support that meets their needs?
Without a clear understanding of the answers to these questions, you won’t be able to tailor your content to your audience’s unique preferences and needs.
But you also need to dig a bit deeper.
Use SEO tools to discover your audience’s top searches and pain points. SEO tools can be incredibly useful for creating a content personalization strategy for B2B sales. By utilizing these tools, you can gain valuable insights into your target audience's search behavior, identifying the topics, keywords, and phrases most relevant to them.
Use these insights to inform your content creation process and build out your target buyer persona. By tailoring your content to your audience’s specific pain points and addressing their questions, you can do your part to ensure they feel heard, understood, and cared for. More on this in a bit.
Give your B2B audience a complete personalized experience by tailoring your branding to their preferences.
Pro-Tip: Save time personalizing your brand’s look and feel using an all-in-one branding solution like Tailor Brands.
With Tailor Brands, you can design a custom logo, build a website, create digital business cards, and print branded merch — all of which will have a unified look and feel.
Consider adding elements that resonate with your audience's personal interests and experiences. For example, if you've noticed that a significant portion of your clientele shares an affection for comfort food, integrating a banana bread motif or imagery might make your brand feel more relatable and homey. For instance, look at how Semrush, a popular SEO tool suite, uses a bright and playful website theme to target energetic marketing teams.
These branding elements also carry over to their merch. Even the socks look identical to the website homepage.
Here are some additional tips you can use to personalize your branding to your audience:
Review the top searches and pain points you discovered in your SEO research from step one.
Use these insights to plan main topics (the keywords you hope to rank for), content pillars (your go-to benchmark pieces), and clusters (relevant content used as sub-topics to support your content pillars). For instance, if you sell project management software, then you might have planned the following:
Audience insight 1: Our audience is always on the hunt for features that can help them save time planning project timelines.
A couple of the main topics we pulled include: “Project timeline” and “timeline planning”.
With this in mind, our content pillars will be: “How to Create A Project Timeline in An Hour Or Less” and “X Ways To Speed Up Timeline Planning”.
Our clusters will include:
Audience insight 2: Our ideal customer dreams of interacting with clients and stakeholders within their Work OS.
A couple of the main topics we pulled include: “Client portal” and “In-app messaging”.
With this in mind, our content pillars will be: “How to Set Up Your Client Portal” and “Say Goodbye to Email with In-App Messaging”.
Our clusters will include:
Don’t forget to solidify your CTAs when drafting your content to encourage more sales. Place CTAs in your article conclusions, at the end of your social media posts, and throughout your email campaigns.
Pro-Tip: Have no idea how to do any of the above? Reach out to an SEO agency or strategist for support.
Once you’ve planned your main topics, content pillars, and clusters, use marketing automation platforms to schedule them as blog posts on your B2B blog.
Then, repurpose snippets from your blog assets and schedule them across your B2B socials and in your B2B email campaigns. Make sure your repurposed content looks native to the channels you’re publishing them on.
Work with subject-matter expert writers that have a firm grasp on your style guide, content goals, and audience. If you’re planning a massive content initiative, consider hiring account managers or project managers to help you organize this process as strategically as possible.
Don’t forget about graphics, images, and videos, too.
Add value-driven screenshots and custom images to break up text and illustrate main ideas. Or consider creating a series of videos based on your clusters or incorporating mini-explainer videos into your email marketing campaigns and social media posts.
And if you serve a global audience, you can use human-like AI voices to create videos in multiple languages and dialects to show your commitment to creating personalized content.
Which topics or individual assets will you “give” away without asking for anything in return? Which topics will you reserve as gated pieces, otherwise known as lead magnets, where you’ll expect contact information in exchange for a download or freebie?
Get clear on which content pieces you’ll reserve for list-building campaigns and which ones you’ll post openly. Striking the right balance can help you cater to B2B target customers during all marketing funnel stages.
For instance, if you’re a new business, consider starting with mostly demand-generation content (un-gated assets) to start the process of building awareness and trust with your audience. Over time, consider weaving in lead-generation content (gated assets) to give your audience more value and nurture them closer to conversion.
For example, if you’re a sales coach for sales directors and managers, then you might offer helpful sales strategy infographics, sales tips, and sales analysis insights on your LinkedIn page, Twitter, and blog without asking for anything in return.
To encourage potential customers to hand over their contact details, you might consider creating an eBook or a sales playbook to use as a lead magnet. You could also offer ultimate guides, webinar tickets, and sales worksheets as additional gated content offers.
Pro-Tip: Don’t forget about running ads! Meet with an ad specialist with experience in your industry to plan pay-per-click campaigns and other relevant ads.
Gain more traction by reaching out to pros that serve your target audience and have cultivated a loyal following.
Consider linking up with:
Take this tip up a notch by starting a user-generated content (UGC) campaign. Or, better yet, ask B2B influencers to run UGC campaigns on your brand’s behalf.
And there you go! Today we covered how to create a personalized content strategy to help inspire B2B sales.
Your next order of business?
Meeting with your marketing team to discuss the steps we covered today. Before embarking on this journey, it’s important to make sure everyone’s on the same page. It’s also crucial that the marketers on your team understand their unique roles in personalizing content and helping you drive this campaign forward.
Continue monitoring your content and look for ways to further personalize it to your audience. Consider dedicating marketing analysis to a few experienced team members so you can make the most of your personalization efforts. That’s it for now, friends. To your success!
Marketing is a complex and ever-changing field that requires careful strategy and planning. One important technique that can help marketers navigate this landscape is SWOT analysis.
SWOT, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, is a framework for evaluating a company's position in the market and identifying key factors that can impact success. In this article, we'll explore the basics of SWOT analysis and how it can be used to inform marketing decisions.
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps businesses and organizations identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis allows companies to assess their current position in the market and make informed decisions about their future. Identifying these key factors enables marketers to better understand their target audience, market trends, and competition, and develop effective marketing strategies.
Marketing is all about creating value for customers and driving growth for the business. Using SWOT analysis, marketers can identify their key strengths and leverage them to create more impactful campaigns and marketing initiatives. At the same time, they can also identify areas for improvement, such as weaknesses in their marketing strategy, and take steps to address these weaknesses.
By understanding the opportunities and threats in the market, marketers can also better position themselves to capitalize on new trends and minimize the impact of challenges. This allows them to stay ahead of the competition and keep their marketing efforts relevant and effective.
The SWOT analysis framework is simple and straightforward. Here's a closer look at each element:
Strengths are the things that your company does well. These are your competitive advantages and the things that set you apart from other brands. Examples of strengths in marketing might include a strong brand image, a loyal customer base, or a highly effective marketing team. For instance, if you have a strong brand image, you may want to focus on leveraging this strength through your marketing efforts to increase brand recognition and build customer loyalty.
Weaknesses are the things that your company doesn't do well. They are the areas in which you are lacking and need improvement. Examples of weaknesses in marketing might include inconsistent content creation, weak branding, or ineffective marketing campaigns. For instance, if you have identified inconsistency in creating content as a weakness, you may want to allocate more resources to hiring a good content team or even use AI marketing tools to automate the tasks.
Opportunities are the external factors that can positively impact your marketing efforts. They entail the trends and changes in the market that you can capitalize on to achieve better results. Examples of opportunities in marketing might include new demographic groups, new geographic markets, or changes in consumer behavior. For instance, if you have identified a new audience with high potential for growth, you may want to allocate more budget towards targeted marketing efforts to reach this customer base.
Threats are the external factors that can negatively impact your marketing efforts. These are the challenges and risks that you need to be aware of in order to minimize their impact. Examples of threats in marketing might include changes in consumer preferences, new competitors entering the market, or shifting economic conditions. For instance, if a new competitor has entered your market, you may want to evaluate your marketing strategies and tactics to ensure that you are effectively differentiating your brand from the competition.
Conducting a SWOT analysis for marketing is relatively simple and can be done in several steps. Here's a basic outline for how to do it:
Below is a SWOT Analysis example for a marketing agency:
By considering these strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, the marketing agency can develop a plan to address its weaknesses, capitalize on its strengths, and position itself for success in a competitive industry.
While it can be a valuable tool, SWOT analysis is not always done correctly, and there are several mistakes that can occur.
One of the biggest mistakes in SWOT analysis is the lack of objectivity from those conducting the analysis. When evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, it's important to be honest and unbiased. This can be difficult when personal opinions and emotions are involved. To avoid this mistake, it's important to gather data and opinions from a variety of sources, including employees, customers, and industry experts.
Another common mistake in SWOT analysis is not considering the right factors. As you identify your strengths and weaknesses, it's best to focus on factors that are relevant to your business and the market.
For example, while a strong company culture may be important, it may not be relevant to your marketing efforts. It's important to focus on factors that are directly related to your marketing strategy and can impact your success.
SWOT analysis is designed to evaluate both internal and external factors, but some organizations tend to focus too much on internal factors and ignore external ones. This can lead to a limited understanding of the market and can impact your ability to capitalize on opportunities and minimize threats. That’s why it's important to consider both internal and external factors when conducting a SWOT analysis.
It is important to keep in mind that a SWOT analysis is not a one-time event. Marketing is a constantly evolving field, and it's important to regularly reevaluate your SWOT analysis to stay up-to-date with changes in the market.
However, many organizations make the mistake of not updating their SWOT analysis regularly, which can lead to an outdated understanding of their position in the market.
Finally, a common mistake in SWOT analysis is not using the results. After conducting a SWOT analysis, it's important to integrate the results into your marketing strategy. Plan how you will address your weaknesses, capitalize on your strengths, take advantage of opportunities, and minimize the impact of threats. Even so, many organizations make the mistake of not following through on these plans, which can limit the effectiveness of the SWOT analysis.
SWOT analysis is a powerful tool that can help marketers make better decisions and achieve more impactful results. Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, marketers can help you identify areas for improvement, capitalize on new trends, and stay ahead of the competition. By incorporating SWOT analysis into your marketing strategy, you as a marketer can drive more success for your business and create more value for customers.
In case you need assistance with paid search, retail or social advertising, Marin Software may interest you. The platform offers expert solution for digital marketers to save time and scale their campaigns. Get in touch today!
Mike Stuzzi is a guest blog contributor for Marin Software.