What if you knew buyer characteristics for the group of your best customers? What if you could easily find them online? What if you knew what they worried and cared about? Wouldn’t that bring you better leads and more business?
Groups of target customers like this are called buyer personas. But how do you find relevant data on these characteristics?
Today you’ll learn how to use LinkedIn Analytics data to create a personas for B2B marketing.
I’m inspired to help you with buyer persona because of a new post on Social Media Examiner entitled “How to Reveal Your Best LinkedIn Prospects” by Josh Turner.
But first, my fav quote from the post:
“… it’s one thing to simply find prospects and another to attract the best prospects for your business. Zeroing in on your ideal customer saves you time and money in prospecting and selling. and moves your business forward.”How to Reveal Your Best LinkedIn Prospects, by Josh Turner
B2B Buyer Personas
Why create and use buyer personas? Because you reduce marketing costs and increase results when you deliver different messages to different target audiences.
As Turner’s post suggests, buyer personas typically include business attributes, their pain points, their online hangouts and their values. Most companies develop 3-5 target personas.
I’m going to show you how you can find relevant LinkedIn analytics data to help you with each of those four points.
To create examples, I use the LinkedIn company page of SCORE Chicago, a nonprofit dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs start and grow.
1. Business Attributes
The first type of data needed is that on business attributes of those interested in your business.
To find this LinkedIn data, log into your company page. Click the analytics drop-down arrow and select ANALYTICS. You can see two relevant tabs – visitors and followers. (LinkedIn does not aggregate connection data.) LinkedIn visitors are those who have viewed your company updates. Followers are those who have followed your company page.
Be sure to change the date range to the last 12 months to take advantage of all the data LinkedIn provides.
For both followers and visitors, you can see data on that group’s company sizes, industries, employee statuses and job functions. Gender and age data on visitors and followers is unavailable in LinkedIn. To supplement LinkedIn, I have used Google Analytics data from SCORE Chicago‘s website. It’s under the Audience Tab, then see Demographics.
2. Pain Points
The second type of data needed for personas is information on customer challenges or “pain points.” To learn about these, type target keyword phrases into the LinkedIn search box. These are the main phrases that you think people will search to find you. If your site is well designed, they will be used on your home page and other popular pages.
To see content relevant for SCORE Chicago, I typed in the phrase “find startup investors.” Thus I see blog posts and updates relevant to this topic.
Another way to find information about what engages prospects is to look at the analytics from your companies’ advertising campaigns on LinkedIn. You can see clicks and engagement percentages for various blog posts and updates, both organic/free and paid. High numbers indicate these topics are important to visitors and followers.
A third type of data needed for buyer personas is to determine where your potential clients are active online so that you can reach out to them there.
First, you’ll want to see if there are any active LinkedIn groups in your niche. Take your target keyword phrases and type them into LinkedIn’s search box again. This time select the GROUPS from the drop-down arrow. Review relevant groups to find active ones. Read the discussions to learn more about niche issues. Join a group and you will be able to share helpful (not sales) messages to the group.
Are your prospects and customers active on Twitter? Linkedin offers no aggregate statistics on this. But you can sample profiles to get an indication of whether individuals have listed Twitter personal accounts. Select 10 good clients or prospects and look them up on LinkedIn. Click contact information for each to see if they have included a Twitter handle there.
Finally, to find information on what your customers value, you will want to look at what they are talking about on LinkedIn and online. For each of those 10 clients in your in a customer segment, check the profile section entitled ARTICLES and ACTIVITY. Scan the headlines and topics to see what they are writing in talking about. Make notes. Copy quotes verbatim.
For B2B businesses, LinkedIn offers a rich yet incomplete source of data to develop buyer personas. Below, I have added links to other relevant videos, posts and data resources. But be sure to tap into what’s available on LinkedIn to make your B2B buyer personas more robust.
If you have not yet developed several buyer personas for different buyer segments, write down what you think you know already about one or two, using these 4 data types.
- Business Attributes – LinkedIn Visitor and Follower Data (set date range to last 12 months)
- Pain points – Engagement data and post topics for target keywords
- Hangouts – what LinkedIn Groups, Twitter bios listed
- Values – environment, emotions, objections, success, influences, actions and behaviors
Then log into your LinkedIn company page and compare what you wrote with what you find. Of course, Linkedin is only one segment of your online presence. And some customers and prospects may not engage with you on Linkedin. But for B2B companies, this is a great place to start.
Now here’s that bonus tip. Go to your company page (this does not work on an individual profile) and click on the box to begin a new update. After you click, you’ll see the “post settings” option. Select “targeted audience.” This opens post-specific targeting options which include geography, job function, industry, and company size.
==>Now you can craft a message to a specific audience, increasing changes that it will be viewed by relevant people.
- How to Create Buyer Personas With Google Analytics
- How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Persona Template]
- Persona Software Tools from Social Bakers