Ask any B2B content marketer to name their biggest challenges, and continuing to produce meaningful, click-worthy content inevitably makes the list. Like beauty, meaning is in the eye of the beholder. The key to creating meaningful content starts with creating buyer personas.

Buyer personas are research-based descriptions of the specific types of buyers your business serves. They outline how your committee of prospective buyers goes searching for solutions and what roles they play individually and together in making their final decisions. They highlight what motivates them and how they define success. Good buyer personas ground your content strategy to help you produce the kind of relevant, enlightening, actionable, and lively content your buyers are looking for.

By far the most direct approach to creating buyer personas is to go directly to the source and talk to prospective buyers themselves. But don’t stop there. Here are a few other ways you can augment your buyer persona research to ensure you develop a multi-dimensional view of the people you want to reach the most.

Fortunately, information about your buyers abounds.

How to do it

Reach out to sales. Who spends a lot of time with your prospective customers? Your sales team, that’s who. Ask them what ob­stacles they’ve come up against on a regular basis and where the sales process goes awry. Who in the potential buyer’s organization shows up at what point? The finance person? The IT guy? What questions do they ask? Your sales team can provide first-hand insight about what really happens on the path to sales success – and provide you with valuable information about the multiple players who make up your prospective buying committee.

Enlist online community managers. Good community managers are pros at finding and listening in on conversations. These “naked” conversations can uncover clues about how different people in a variety of organizations search for solutions and where the process works—and doesn’t work—for them.  Tune in to find out more.

Tap the support team. It doesn’t stop when the deal gets done. Want to know how your solution meets customer expectations and where it falls short? Your support team can tell you. In spades.

Drill into campaign data. Digital marketing platforms provide a wealth of information that you can use to piece together a picture of who within a particular organization is involved in purchasing decisions and how they interact with your website, your content, your company representatives—and each other.

Review win-loss reports. When done properly, these write-ups provide perspective into how sales are won – and lost. They can include information such as the business drivers that precipitate the need for purchase, what other solutions came into consideration, and where different buyers got involved in the decision-making process.

Bottom line -- don’t delay creating buyer personas because you think that you don’t have enough information. Start with what you’ve got and consider your buyer personas a work in progress. The information you glean will help you plan, create, and make better use of your content marketing assets.

Interested in learning more about creating buyer personas? Download The Art of Buyer Personas now.