4 min read
Many marketers and sales pros spend every day thinking about B2B buyers – but they may still find it difficult to understand where their prospective customers are really coming from.
No matter how compelling your offer is or how sophisticated your buyer personas get, everyone is different. Each human being is unique, and it’s that messiness that can make prospects seem like moving targets you can’t quite catch up with.
Still, all buyers have certain interests in common.
Looking at the constraints and concerns dictated by your prospect’s position within an organization is often the shortest path you can take to speak to their needs. When your content does that, it builds a bridge that will help you find common ground and more toward mutual profit.
The right content strategy simplifies the complex so you truly connect with the elusive B2B buyer.
Let’s review three B2B buyer types you’re sure to encounter:
B2B Buyer #1: The Top Executive
Executives don’t have a lot of time on their hands, so it might be surprising they’re out there scouring the Web for the latest product or service that can help them reach their goals.
Still, the rise of mobile technology has given C-suite business leaders more opportunities to be productive in their downtime. More often than not, this puts them on the hunt for purchases.
Luckily, executives aren’t that tough to understand – when you speak their language.
Here’s what they’re looking for:
- Executives demand ROI; they value case studies and other content that demonstrates it.
- A streamlined process is key – they’re willing to move fast, but need concierge service.
- They expect a focus on strategic execution and bottom line results, not technical details.
- Since they use mobile so frequently, they’re often apt to choose short videos over reports.
To make the best impression on executives, provide case studies that make it easy for them to see just how your solution outperformed expectations for a business like theirs.
Use your top testimonials and other social proof that resonates in their rarified world. Build a portfolio of short, informative, professional videos for those who are early in their research process.
B2B Buyer #2: The Technician (SME)
A subject matter expert (SME) is often the most difficult person to persuade in any situation. He or she is often positioned as the voice of reason, fighting against trends and buzzwords to get to the heart of what makes a real difference.
Technicians often lack the authority to sign off on a purchase alone, but they can easily put a product in their area of expertise in the “no” column.
Here’s what they most want:
- The SME often prefers getting detailed technical info from whitepapers, not videos.
- SMEs want to ensure you know your stuff, so they’ll often “quiz” sales pros on details.
- SMEs often take point on training and implementation; they like “foolproof” solutions.
- SMEs prize reliability – reassure them of your superior uptime and service quality.
SMEs aren’t just willing to dive into reams of technical specs – if you fail to provide those details, they might suspect that you’re hiding something.
In addition to performance and budget, they have to be certain that their less technical colleagues can also use your solution, so product demonstrations are valuable. They sometimes disdain small talk; consider an AI chat bot to move them forward.
B2B Buyer #3: The Startup Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs often have a budget far smaller than their dreams. They want their business to be fluid and fast-moving so they can take advantage of the big opportunity that will move them to the next level.
You need to be willing to fight hard for entrepreneurs and treat them like established executives – but this can be well worth it as their ventures grow and grow.
Here’s how to connect with them:
- Entrepreneurs wear many hats and may not be experts, so focus on the big picture.
- Younger entrepreneurs value authenticity and brand values aligned with their own.
- They are often active on newer thought leadership venues like Quora and Medium.
- They’re budget-conscious and motivated to be “lean and hungry” with a small team.
Entrepreneurs are often attracted to vendors through social media and word of mouth, so be sure you are sharing visual content on LinkedIn and other platforms.
Infographics and short e-books can be useful when they kindle a spark of inspiration. Ultimately, just like established execs, most entrepreneurs will want to see a whitepaper or case study that will confirm their choice is the right one.
So, there you have it – a handy cheat sheet to turn your content strategy into a beacon in the dark for the wily B2B buyer. Use these guidelines and you’ll find yourself capturing more organic traffic, building strong customer relationships, and getting more qualified leads.
Published on April 1, 2018