What is Persona Development?
Every B2B company creates their own desired position in a market with a different story to tell. However, the difficulty lies in determining how to share that story so that the needs and priorities of the company’s stakeholders converge. The key to this lies in delivering a story that is so compelling that it adds a heightened sense of value and desire resulting in increased leads and a quicker purchase decision.
Where did this great advice come from you may ask? The answer is Ardath Albee, A B2B marketing professional. The following is a summary of her presentation at Content Marketing World.
Content marketing is much more than simply creating content that your buyers care about. Firstly, it is essential that your content captures some attention followed by creating engagement or hype to get people talking and sharing ideas on how to solve the problem. Once this takes place, you will be able to quantify the contribution to revenue.
Company Positioning and Distinct Value
In order to be more efficient and effective with our B2B content marketing investments, it is pivotal that we think about the positioning of our companies to create distinct value. For example, Apple is known for intuitive use and Google is known for being an efficient means to finding anything.
Your company’s distinct value should be at the centre of your content plans. Areas around the centre are the pain points for a particular persona. It is a good idea to construct stories that are based on buyers' personas' whilst also maintaining distinct value. This can be done by creating stories that will resonate with your buyers whilst also conveying value about the brand. Creating distinct value is all about the three components to constructing stories:
1. There is always a hero.
- Buyer should always be seen as the hero in your stories
2. The villain.
- Anything that serves as an impediment to the buyers reaching a decision
3. The mentor.
- The character that educates the hero to face the villain.
Just like any other story, there is always a structure to telling stories in B2B marketing. When creating a story you need to start with the trouble your prospect is having and work your story around the problem.
Things To Be Aware Of
- It is a fact that people are inherently lazy. So, if there are obstacles, the prospect will not proceed in the next steps. You must put yourself in the prospects shoes and remove all of the obstacles in the stories you tell.
- Stories do not need to change over time if they are still applicable. If the trouble still exists then the story is still valid. You should be thinking about how to gain more use from your existing content.
There are some common mistakes in B2B Storytelling (Odden, 2013, http://www.toprankblog.com/2012/09/storytelling-b2b-marketing/):
- Too much about YOU
- Failing to tell the story across channels
- Addressing the wrong “trouble”
- Forgetting about conflict
- Talking about your company in the 3rd person
To gain optimum results, content marketing is more than being empathetic to buyers’ needs’. Your content marketing and investments must be in order to serve the buyers’ needs’. Effective B2B content marketing is more than empathizing with buyer interests and needs. Content creation and marketing investments must be accountable and serve the buyers’ needs’ according to the problems they are trying to solve. This can be achieved through creating a story for your prospects and developing brand positioning via conveying a distinct value.