I recently took part in a forum for personalised marketing in small businesses. Two questions in particular really resonated with both what I’ve experienced and what I see in other businesses, so I documented my responses. Here we go…
What is personalised marketing and why is it so important?
Personalised marketing is really about getting to the heart of your customer. In traditional senses it’s your ‘user persona’ in terms of who’s the buyer or decision maker in your target organisation, what sector do they operate in, what are their pain points, who are the competitors selling your type of product or service to them – and all those other things we’re familiar with from a market or competitor research perspective.
But where a lot of companies go wrong is that, once they’ve identified the buyer, they just try to sell to them. The entire activity of identifying the ‘buyer persona’ is used to sell to that person, rather than to add value to that person. It’s easy to see how that happens (we put the word ‘buyer’ in there…and what do you do to a buyer…you try to sell to them)! For me, we need to reframe ‘buyer persona’ as ‘value persona’ because the best way to sell to someone is by adding value to them. So how are we going to add value?
The best way to add value and deliver that personalised marketing is to consistently create content that specifically addresses a challenge or requirement of your target buyer, and you need to publish that content on the channels your audience chooses to consume content on – that could be LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram or any other.
LinkedIn works well here because it still has solid organic reach, and you can hit that personalised sweet spot by using LinkedIn Sponsored Content to ensure your content appears to your identified target buyer to really narrow down who your brand gets in front of.
What words of wisdom/best practices you can share for small businesses on the topic of personalised marketing?
Keep executing, testing, evaluating, tweaking and executing again – and keep that cycle running. Content feels hard sometimes because someone has to create it, and often in a small business that can be really challenging. I believe the key isn’t to write massive essays of content (who’s got the time to read it?), but to consistently publish short, sharp, easily digestible pieces that add value and don’t try to sell too hard. Three key takeaways from that sentence – consistency, value, and don’t push the sell.
Experiment with short form blogs, infographics and text based video, and see what gains the most interaction across your differing platforms. If you’re a small business operating in the B2B space then it’s likely LinkedIn is your low hanging fruit, and don’t measure your results on vanity metrics such as likes and follows, but on the people who interact with your brand – they are the ones most likely to buy from you and become your advocates.