Your buyer personas are the lifeblood of your content marketing strategies.
Whether you’re creating content for specific audience segments or an account-based marketing strategy, you need specific personas to drive your content creation.
85% of B2Bs expect personalization on the very first interaction so understanding their problems, state of mind, and needs are critical if you want to make an impact.
This post will explain a few strategies on how to research buyer personas to drive your content marketing efforts.
How to Research Buyer Personas: 8 Strategies
Considering that buyer needs change so often, how can you create such complex profiles? Use the tips below to learn about your prospects and leads in real-time with minimal interaction and effort!
1. Talk to Your Sales Team
Your sales team would no doubt love to hear about the questions leads ask and what types of problems they have. Sales and marketing should work hand-in-hand to develop buyer personas.
Customer service departments are also a goldmine for learning about current customers and ideas for reaching out to future prospects.
It’s smart for your marketing department to conduct interviews with sales and customer service so they’ll have a comprehensive idea for creating content.
2. Check Out Job Descriptions
Job boards on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn are loaded with factoids about how companies conduct business. These especially come in handy when you’re developing an account-based marketing strategy.
Check out job descriptions for specific companies and the roles at said companies. Who is in charge of what? Who has buying power? What problems might each role face?
Combining this with data from social media can help you build well-rounded pictures of your potential buyers.
3. Ask Questions on Social Media
Marketers broadcast so much content on social media that it’s easy to forget its true purpose: being social!
Instead of posting links and comments, ask questions in your Tweets and LinkedIn posts. But don’t ask any old question. Using information from your sales team or job description recon, develop a set of specific questions that will come in handy as you develop content for your B2B buyer personas.
Don’t forget to research your hashtags too. These will come in handy for reaching a wider audience and connecting with new networks.
4. Check Out Discussions on Reddit
Sure, Reddit might not be a thriving platform for B2B as a whole, but certain subreddits have a lot of useful information about your buyer personas.
Start by considering your B2B buyer persona’s industry. Which subreddits might they follow to learn about industry news? Reddit comes in handy because almost everyone remains anonymous, so you get an honest view of where people stand with their daily problems.
Look for relevant AMAs (Ask Me Anything) too. These can help you really dig into the meat of their industry.
5. Send Out Surveys
If you’ve already got an email list handy, don’t be shy – ask your leads and customers what you want to know! Google Forms comes in handy for building quick custom feedback forms.
Think through your questions carefully to ensure you’re only asking for important answers you can’t get from your analytics. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time so try to keep your surveys as short as possible.
The design experts at Nielsen Norman recommend:
- Front-loading your most important questions
- Ensure your question language is neutral
- Ask open-ended questions
You could also send out your survey link to your social media followers and others with relevant hashtags. Spend some time developing your post copy and headline though. Remember that you’re asking people to complete a task so you need something interesting to grab their attention.
6. Research Your Current Traffic
Your website’s current traffic can tell you a lot about future prospect potential. Which frequent visitors aren’t collected leads? Which companies do they work for and what are their roles there?
You could take this a step further by plugging a URL for a targeted blog post from your site into LinkedIn’s retargeting tool. LinkedIn can help you reach people who visited that specific link.
Using that link, you can send out surveys, additional links to see if your content draws them back, or even quick embedded polls in your post. When you’re trying to learn how to research buyer personas, every little piece of information is another valuable clue.
7. Read What They Might Read
In terms of how to research buyer personas, this is one of the more long-term strategies on the list here.
Your goal isn’t to get quick answers. It’s to understand your prospects and leads on a deeper level. You want to follow their favorite LinkedIn pages, Twitter accounts, hashtags, subreddits, and industry blogs so you can stay informed about their state of mind.
Keep a spreadsheet going where you can save links about industry changes, important news, mergers, and anything else that seems relevant.
8. Check the Latest Market Research
Like following industry blogs, market research can give you a glimpse into what your potential B2B buyer personas face.
Of course, you shouldn’t whitewash your buyer personas based on the details in market research reports. However, they are a great starting point before you dig into further industry challenges.
Market research can help you identify potential accounts to target as well.
Create a Personalized Website Experience with the Power of AI
Once you study your buyers and create personalized content for them, how can you deliver it to them? How can you ensure every website visitor gets the most relevant content possible? You can’t expect them to search through your blog for it – you need to present it to them in front of their face.
Artificial intelligence makes it easy to distribute your content to visitors at the perfect time. Instead of forcing your leads to scroll through your blog searching for relevant content, AI offers personalized content recommendations based on their browsing behavior.
Find out how the power of AI can improve your website experience for every visitor.