The B2B market is changing. A few years ago, buyers were more likely to contact a sales representative to learn about a product. Now they prefer to conduct their own research – either through online search or their social networks – and wait to speak with a sales representative.

If you want to generate more leads in today’s social environment, you must position yourself as a trusted resource that helps your buyers solve their challenges.

To do this, you must ensure your marketing is relevant toward your buyers’ needs. If your content isn’t relevant, your audience will tune out your messages. Here are 4 ways you can create content that appeals to your buyers:

  1. Create buyer personas. Before you can create content that speaks to your buyers’ needs, you must know exactly who your buyers are. Craft personas for your key buyers and refer to them when you create new content. The personas can include demographic information, a description of their typical work day, their professional challenges, personal concerns, etc.
  2. Ask your customers what they want. Sometimes it’s hard to get to know your customers if you spend all your time in the office. Luckily, all the new digital channels allow you to learn about your customers without leaving your desk! Let customers leave comments on your blog, encourage them to contact you through social media and survey them about their needs. Ask how you can do better and offer more value.

    You should also talk to your customer service team, as they interact with your customers on a day-to-day basis and know exactly what they like and don’t like.

  3. Ensure your content corresponds to all stages in the buying cycle. Since customers conduct their own research, you should give them information that will help them in the early, mid and late buying stages. If you don’t do this, you’ll lose potential customers.

    Click here to read a blog post that explains what content appeals to early-, mid- and late-stage leads.

  4. Create different material for different audiences. A software company recently contacted me to write copy for their website. They had a few target audiences, including doctors, personal trainers and sales professionals – basically anyone whose business was appointment-driven. They wanted to create landing pages for each audience and have me simply “change a few words” on each page. I advised them that this probably wouldn’t work, as the needs of a doctor are different from the needs of a sales professional. Either the copy would be so generic that it wouldn’t appeal to any of their markets or it would only speak to one of them.

    If your audiences have different needs, you’ll want to create targeted content for them. Your buyers can tell when you write something just for them versus something generic.

I feel that making your marketing more relevant is the single most important step you can take to improve the quality of your leads. Once you do this, everything else will follow.