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Creating and Using an Audience Profile Sheet for B2B Marketing

CopyPress

Published: October 27, 2022

If you’re a B2B marketer, then you know that one of the most critical aspects of your job is creating content that appeals to your target audience. But many B2B marketers don’t realize that they must first understand their audience before creating compelling content. That’s where an audience profile sheet comes in handy. An audience profile sheet is a tool that lets you find out more about your target audience so you can better understand their needs and problems.

Creating an audience profile sheet may seem like a lot of work, but it’s relatively simple. And once you have one, it will be a valuable tool you can refer to as you create new pieces of content. Today, we’re discussing how you can create and use an audience profile sheet in B2B content marketing with topics like:

What Is an Audience Profile Sheet for B2B Marketing?

An audience profile sheet is a document that provides information about your target audience. It should consist of demographic information such as age, gender, and location. You should also include psychographic information about the target audience, such as people’s interests, needs, and pain points.

The point of audience profiling this way is to help you better understand your target audience so that you can create content that appeals to them. And while a target market, audience profile, and customer persona are related, they each serve different purposes. HubSpot defines an audience profile as a single, fictitious person you plan to target with your next campaign.

On the other hand, a target market is a group of people who share characteristics that make them more likely to buy your product or service. And a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and actual data about your existing customers. While you can use a profile sheet to create a buyer persona, it’s not limited to that. Marketers also use audience profile sheets for content like blog posts, eBooks, and webinars.

Read more: Audience Profile vs Customer Persona: Pick Your Fighter

What Does an Audience Profile Sheet Include?

A detailed profile sheet should include characteristics about the target audience, your business, and both qualitative and quantitative data about your current customer base. Take a look at some of the details you might include as you build your B2B audience profile.

  • The company’s size
  • Location
  • Industry vertical
  • Product or service
  • Unique selling proposition
  • Current customer data

Another point to consider is the type of content these audiences want to see. Include information about the types of material they’re searching for and how they like to consume it. And creating a well-researched B2B audience profile is crucial if you want your efforts to reach the right people. This guarantees that your team produces valuable and relevant content for your target audience. You don’t want to waste your time on something that won’t help you.

Related reading: Create an Audience Profile in 7 Steps

Advantages of Using an Audience Profile Sheet in B2B Marketing

Opinions on content marketing in B2B. Image with a graph with percentages of opinions on success of content marketing, using audience profile sheets.

Image via Content Marketing Institute

There are several advantages of using an audience profile sheet, including:

  • Allows for audience segmentation: Creating targeted content requires you to divide your audience into groups. The profile sheet will enable you to divide your audience into groups based on age, gender, location, and interests.
  • Helps you understand your audience better: By understanding your audience better, you can create more relevant content to their needs and pain points. To better understand your customer’s pain points, read our guide on the five secrets to discovering them.
  • Allows you to create targeted content: Once you understand your audience segments, you can create relevant and valuable targeted content for each of them. It also allows you to track the performance of each piece of content to see what’s working and what’s not.
  • Improves the effectiveness of B2B content marketing: By understanding your audience and creating targeted content, you can improve the overall effectiveness of your content marketing. It’s important to note that effective content marketing doesn’t just happen by chance. You need to put in the effort to create targeted, valuable content.
  • Saves time: Creating audience profiles may seem like a lot of work upfront, but it can save you time in the long run. But once you have this outline, you can refer to it repeatedly and use it to create targeted content more quickly and easily.

When creating content, it’s essential to keep your audience in mind. What are their needs and wants? What sort of information are they looking for? According to the survey responses in the image above, prioritizing the audience’s informational needs over the organization’s sales or promotional message is the most successful way. And out of those surveyed, 87% said this is the approach they always take when creating content.

Making content before you know who you’re making it for is like shooting in the dark. You might hit your target, but it’s much more efficient to have a clear target in mind from the start. An audience profile helps you understand your audience to create targeted, compelling content.

Read more: Audience Profile vs Audience Segmentation: Are They Different?

How To Create a B2B Audience Profile Sheet

An audience profile sheet can benefit your B2B content marketing. Let’s explore how you can use one.

1. Define Your Target Audience

The first step is to define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your content? Define specific audience roles within your B2B niche. For example, does your business or organization provide products or services that directly benefit senior-level teams? Are you marketing to stakeholders? Or are you trying to reach individuals in mid-level roles? Once you’ve pinned down these aspects of your target audience, you can begin to gather information about them.

2. Gather Insights

Once you’ve defined them, it’s time to gather information about them. You can use various sources to collect this information, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and through your own online research. In addition, run a content gap analysis to get insights into the types of content your target audiences are searching for. Using this information, your team can create content that covers the areas your audiences are looking for the most.

3. Create Your B2B Profile Sheet

Once you’ve gathered all the information about your target audience, it’s time to create the profile sheet. Remember, this sheet should include both demographic and psychographic information. Try to list all details about your target audiences’ interests, pain points, and online search behavior.

4. Plan Targeted Content

Outline the types of targeted content using your audience profile. For instance, look at each segment and determine which types of content your business’s audiences engage with most. Do visitors to your business website frequent informational articles? Do they prefer videos? What about podcasts? Understanding the audience’s content preferences can help your team develop a plan that covers these types to ensure your content is relevant and valuable to your target audience.

5. Make Regular Updates

As your target audience changes over time, so will their needs and pain points. It’s important to regularly update your audience profile sheet to ensure that your content is always relevant. When creating content for a B2B audience, it’s essential to remember the different levels of seniority that your readers might have. Using these insights, you can create content that speaks to these more senior levels and provides value.

NetLine B2B Content audience breakdown by Title. Data for creating audience profile sheets in B2B marketing.

Image via Marketing Charts

As the image above shows, 18% of B2B content audiences are individual contributors, while 16% are managers and 14% are C-level executives. It means that your content needs to be able to address the needs of all these different types of readers.

For example, individual contributors might be interested in details and practical advice, while managers might be looking for an overview of a topic or an overview of different options. And C-level executives might want to see the big picture and understand how a particular issue could impact their business. By understanding the needs of all your different reader groups, you can create content that resonates with everyone.

Related: How To Create an Audience Profile for Your Finance Business

When to Use an Audience Profile Sheet in B2B Marketing

In B2B marketing, you always want to be sure that you’re reaching the right audience. And an audience profile sheet lets you assess who is most likely to be interested in your content before you create it, ensuring no wasted time in creating content.

With audience profiling, you can ensure that your content is more likely to resonate with your target audience. As a result, you’ll be able to attract more customers and grow your business. The following scenarios can offer more insights into when to use an audience profile sheet in your B2B marketing strategies:

New Products or Services

You’ve just launched a new product or service and want to create content to promote it. But before you start creating content, you need to understand who your target audience is. Know your target audience’s characteristics using market research and an audience profile sheet. With this information, you can create content that is more likely to appeal to them.

Business Rebranding

You’ve decided to rebrand your business, and you want to ensure that managers can produce quality content that everyone will like. Building an audience profile sheet will help you determine what each group of readers needs so you can write content that will appeal to everyone.

Planning a Marketing Campaign

You’re planning a marketing campaign, and you want to ensure that your content targets executives. An audience profile sheet will help you figure out what your target audience wants and help you make content that is more likely to reach them. As you can see, there are many ways you can use this sheet to benefit your business. Consequently, if you’re not already using an audience profile sheet, now is the time to start. It’s a tool that can help you make targeted content, get more customers, and grow your business.

Tips for Using Audience Profile Sheets in B2B Content Marketing

If you haven’t used an audience profile sheet, now’s the time to start. Keep the following tips in mind as your team identifies and outlines the characteristics of your ideal audience:

  • Use it as a starting point. You should not use an audience profile sheet as a replacement for market research. Instead, use it as a starting point. The information on the sheet guides your market research efforts and helps you better understand your target audience.
  • Plan for different content types. Once you understand your target audience, you can use that information to create targeted content. Refer to your audience profile sheet when creating new pieces of content to ensure that your content is relevant and valuable.
  • Get audiences’ feedback. After you’ve created some targeted content, your target audience needs to get feedback. It will help you fine-tune your content and ensure it’s precious to your audience.
  • Keep it flexible. As your business grows, your target audience can change. That’s why flexibility with your audience profile sheet is essential. If you find that your target audience is changing, update your sheet to reflect that.

Common Profiling Problems and How To Solve Them

Developing a profile sheet for target audiences is essential to the success of any organization. But many businesses still struggle with this process. There are some common problems with audience profiling, but they’re easy to solve with careful planning and adjusting. Here are some of the most common problems with creating profiles for a target audience and how you can solve them:

  • Not knowing where to start: Start with an idea of who you’re trying to reach with your products or services and then research, research, research. Use surveys, interviews, focus groups, and online resources to collect information about your target audience.
  • Trying to please everyone: Remember that you can’t focus on everyone with your content, and you shouldn’t try to. It’s better to create relevant and valuable content for the target audience in your niche.
  • Not updating the sheet regularly: Your target audience will change over time, so periodically updating your audience profile sheet is essential. This way, your content is always relevant and valuable.
  • Not using the sheet to its full potential: The audience profile sheet is a powerful tool. Use it to the maximum potential by referring to it while developing new pieces of content. You can be confident that your material is relevant and valuable this way.

Read more: 8 Pitfalls to Avoid with B2B Content Marketing

Example of a B2B Audience Profile

Image of example of audience profile sheet for B2B marketing. Example image customer profile for B2B.

Image via Opentracker

For a better idea of what a profile sheet can look like, take a look at the example profile above. There’s tons of detailed information about one of the decision-makers in a B2B company. You can see demographic data, professional values, small-to-medium-sized goals, wants and problems, areas of interest, and even a typical day in this person’s life.

With this example in mind, here’s another to think about as you start brainstorming your audience profile sheet: Joe is a middle-aged man who works in a small-to-medium-sized business. He’s the decision-maker when it comes to budgeting for and finding marketing tools for his company. Joe is always looking for ways to improve business and grow the customer base. He wants content that’s helpful, informative, and engaging. However, he doesn’t have much time to read long-form articles.

He’s also not interested in fluff pieces or promotional articles. Joe’s interested in quick reads about trends and best practices in B2B content marketing. He also appreciates case studies and examples of how other businesses have used content marketing to grow their businesses. So, from this example, we see a customer like Joe would benefit more from insightful content in newsletter updates or one-page marketing reports rather than deep dives that more than a few minutes to read.

Offer Value to Your Audience with B2B Content Marketing

An audience profile sheet is a valuable tool for any business, especially those in the B2B space. With CopyPress’s approach to B2B content marketing, you’ll have the tools and data you need to identify your ideal audience and create content strategies to increase reach and conversions. Want to learn more? Get in touch with us and find out how you can take your B2B content marketing to the next level.

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