If there’s one holiday tailor-made for Movéo, it’s July 20: National Get to Know Your Customer Day. That’s because customer insights are the cornerstone of how we do business. Even in B2B, marketing is fundamentally a conversation between marketers and customers. And like all conversations, it works best when you know who you’re talking to. That means talking about what’s most interesting to customers, using words that resonate.
If this is starting to sound like search engine optimization (SEO), it should. “Google searches are the literal voice of the consumer,” says Lee Vida, Movéo’s digital marketing manager. “Customers tell search engines exactly what they want, in words that make the most sense to them.” SEO uses this knowledge to tailor the conversation toward what customers want to hear.
However, while SEO is important, it isn’t the first step to knowing your customers. Before you can speak in your customer’s voice, you need to understand these three factors.
First off, who are you speaking to? What’s their title? Role in the decision-making process? Priorities when considering a purchase? Many companies already have a general answer to these questions. But it’s worth connecting with Sales to make sure your understanding matches their experience.
Once you know your general audience profile, you can dig deeper. Segmented behavioral and lifestyle data provide a wealth of information to help you target customers more accurately. Data services such as Prism, Tapestry, or Mosaic can help create a detailed picture of your customers: demographics, interests, purchasing habits, media consumption, and more.
Buyer personas take this data and weave it into a useful, unified narrative. They’re the most comprehensive way to understand who your customers are from a B2B perspective.
Now that you know who you’re talking to, the next step is to determine what they need. Effective marketing content must be timely, relevant, and helpful. That makes knowing what interests your audience absolutely essential.
Social listening tools are a great resource to see what topics and hashtags are trending in your industry. Along with platforms like Crimson Hexagon or Sprout Social, you can check Reddit, Quora, or Google Alerts. In the B2B space, LinkedIn is a gold mine of insights. It offers free audience identification for your company page’s followers. You can see their industry and job title, as well as what other content they’ve interacted with. This lets you determine what sparks your audience’s attention — while making sure you’re researching the right people.
When you’re targeting specific audience segments, you should be clear about what actions you want those people to take. If you don’t know your goals, how can you know if you achieve them?
Your goals will depend on the nature of your buyer’s journey, and how far along prospects are in it. If prospects are usually ready to buy right away, your goal may be to set up a sales call. If they take more time, you may want to get contact information to nurture them later. And if your sales cycle is long, you may focus on micro-conversions. Sometimes just guiding prospects to the next page on your website is enough.
After answering these three questions, you’ll have robust buyer personas, a library of relevant topics, and an eye on your end goal. Finally, you’re ready to dive into Google Analytics and Google Search Console to identify the best search terms for your audience. Then, optimize your site and content for those terms, to be as helpful as possible.
That’s what it all comes down to in the end: helpfulness. The better you know your audience, the more useful you can be. And the more useful you are, the more likely they are to convert into loyal customers.