4 advanced targeting strategies for B2B marketers
Columnist Jessica Cameron explains how understanding specific audience segments can help you engage with your B2B audience across all stages of the buying process.
The digital world gets noisier every day. That’s why it’s becoming more and more important in B2B marketing that we truly understand the multiple stakeholders that make up our target audience, their unique worldview, the specific problems they are trying to solve, and the impact they each are trying to make within their organizations.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to successful B2B marketing. An all-encompassing, general content asset that attempts to address all the pain points your product solves isn’t going to resonate with every person involved in the decision-making process.
As marketers, we need to seek opportunities to get granular with our targeting strategy, build content assets that specifically address the micro-problems facing each stakeholder and empathize with the unique worldview of our end-users, influencers and decision-makers.
Here are four advanced targeting strategies that can help you engage with your B2B audience across all stages of the buying process.
1. Create granular content assets
Get granular with your audience segments and improve engagement by testing specific content assets that appeal to each segment.
Start with a clear understanding of each stakeholder involved in the buying process. Do the work to map out their role in the company, the impact they are trying to make, the specific problems they are trying to solve, the goals they are working toward and how they would interact with your product or service.
Implementation tip: LinkedIn provides granular targeting options that enable you to target subsets of your audience either through position, job function, seniority level or title. For example, if your end user is an IT Operations Manager, and your decision-maker is the CTO, create two separate campaigns: target job function (IT), and utilize a secondary targeting layer for seniority (Manager vs. Executive).
With this granular approach, you can test different creative, calls to action and content assets for each persona and measure what resonates best with each stakeholder. Use this knowledge to build your content marketing strategy across other marketing channels.
2. Build your top-of-funnel prospect list
Building top-of-funnel leads depends a great deal on creating eye-catching, engaging or even outside-the-box content. Don’t try to address all pain points and sell everyone on your product by creating assets that focus solely on your solution. Rather, think about your target audience’s day-to-day challenges. What might pique their interest in a relevant, fun, or even fear-driven way?
The types of assets you should consider for top-of-funnel lead gen are visual, interactive and meant to be shared in social channels. Interactive stories, digital games or infographics are a few examples.
Implementation tip: Launch a social ad campaign in Facebook and Twitter to drive engagement with your content. Build a remarketing list in AdWords or AdRoll with these social top-of-funnel visitors and deploy a remarketing strategy that helps to educate, build trust and further qualify and engage this audience. Your cost of building this top-of-funnel list through creative content and social advertising is much lower than traditional digital ad channels such as PPC or display.
3. Integrate remarketing & lead nurturing
B2B marketers should align lead nurturing and remarketing efforts for greater impact. The key to a successful lead nurturing program is understanding what content helps move prospects through the buying process. The goal is to align your remarketing list strategy with your lead nurturing program and build authority and recognition through consistent cross-channel messaging.
Implementation tip: When a prospect engages with content, move them to the next stage, your remarketing list. Provide content and a call to action that continues to move them through their buying process.
Align remarketing ad creative and email creative from your lead nurturing program to build brand recognition and engage prospects with a consistent message. Track remarketing and content interaction in your CRM platform to inform your sales team where specific prospects are within the decision-making process. Work toward consistent messaging, creative and actions across channels for each stage of the funnel.
4. Appeal to each persona
Seek opportunities to connect and engage with the people behind your buyer personas. While mapping out personas is the first step to a more advanced audience targeting strategy, really understanding the people behind the persona is key to engagement.
Implementation tip: Frame your content to empathize with the specific worldview of your prospects and customers. What impact are they are trying to make within their organization? What micro-problems are they trying to solve? How does your product help make their life easier and enable them to reach their specific goals?
Granular targeting: Your competitive advantage
Use these targeting strategies to take your marketing to the next level. Implement granular targeting methods across the different stages of the buying process and develop unique content that speaks to each stakeholder. This type of “connection” with prospects will provide a competitive advantage in terms of brand awareness, engagement, leads and sales.