How To Understand Your B2B Buyer

The average attention span of a person is roughly 8 seconds. So how is it that you’re supposed to attract the right type of website traffic to your site and influence people to convert? Although there are several different strategies that marketers use to attract website visitors, it’s important to understand what influences your target market.
In fact, understanding the buyer, the buying team, and how these decision makers get their information is key to an effective content marketing strategy.

Learning About The B2B Buyer

Derek Edmond, a partner at KoMarketing Associates, last year released a blog post about one of the ways to understand your target market. The following are a few of the questions you should know when creating or enforcing new digital marketing campaigns.
“What keywords would the buyer use to search for a solution like ours?”
An (hopefully) obvious starting point for uncovering an initial list of terms and phrases to begin keyword research.
“Where would the buyer look for information on a solution like ours?”
This question helps uncovers possible link opportunities and social media destinations for outreach strategies.
“What influencers and thought leaders is the buyer familiar with in the industry?”
Similar to the last question, this helps define social media and third party site focus, which in turn impacts link acquisition and referral traffic.
“What type of content would the prospective buyer want to see and use to learn more about a solution like ours?”
This question uncovers opportunities for content development to be used for link acquisition, keyword strategy, and lead generation.
“What other companies is the prospect aware of that offer a solution like ours?”
This helps uncover competitive websites to review for SEO, social media, and content marketing strategies.
“What are the typical titles and roles of the prospective buyer?”
The answers to this question can lead to LinkedIn exploration for industry groups, organizations, and important publishing websites, in turn generating link building and social media opportunities.
“What is a problem in the industry that our business can solve?”
The answers to this question help spearhead keyword research and enable a more refined search for third party sites and social media conversations to investigate for link outreach and social networking.
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A great way to learn about your B2B target is to attend tradeshows of your target vertical and perform interviews. Trade show attendees may be receptive to interviews especially if you write a blog post referencing the people and companies who participate.
You may also want to interview your current B2B customers. Select people who have purchasing power or have influence over decision making.
What channels do these people purchase through?
Do they rely on industry publications, blogs, forums for information?
What is the buyer’s purchasing process and what types of information do they expect to see during their buyer journey?
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I recently attended a Forrester Research event in the Boston area called “Myth Busting 101: Insights Into The Tech Buyer Journey.” During this event, speaker Lori Wizdo emphasized the importance of “profiling the buying team instead of buyer persona” which I found interesting. Understanding where a buyer gets their information and who’s involved in the buying process will only make you more knowledgable.

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Where to Spend Time

Dig into data and discover where B2B decision makers are spending their time. Understanding how marketers are effective can also give you insight into how to reach your target. For example, did you know that 81% of manufacturing marketers use YouTube to distribute content since they rate it as the most effective social media platform? Staying on top of trends can allow you to capitalize on creating visual experiences for your prospects.
Creating a buyer persona of your target buyer will give you and your team a great understanding of the type of person you are targeting. Discover where this person spends his/her time and what industry publications he/she reads.
Learning more about the entire buying team can only enhance your digital marketing efforts. With a better understanding of the people who are involved in the purchasing process, you might be able to more effectively reach them online. LinkedIn Groups, for example, are a great place to find people in the B2B landscape who are asking questions, sharing ideas, and helping each other.
Once you understand who the buyer is, where they spend their time, and how they like to consume information, you can begin creating information that will resonate with them. (wouldn’t necessarily delete this, I would maybe move it and add to it, it seems to summarize one of your points, so I feel like you should summarize all of them and then throw that first sentence at the end. – I agree with this point that the conclusion needs to be built out so that it summarizes all of the key points in this post)