Are you serving diverse customers with the same messages? How’s that working out for you? If you’re ready to really give your conversion rates a boost, read on as we explain how to jump start your content marketing with segmentation.
First, take a good look at your customers. Who are they? Identify all your current customers and anyone who is a potential customer. I don’t just mean make a list of customers; I mean really study your customers.
Ask questions yourself about these customers—are these end users or are they channel partners? Are they B2B customers? Are they more technical or more creative? What industry are they in? They could be in multiple industries and multiple vertical markets at once. What is the make-up of those industries and do they have things like compliance issues to deal with (e.g. financial services and healthcare).
Make detailed dossiers on your current and potential customers. The more relevant information you have, the better you will be able to target your content marketing and the more successful it will be.
When you’ve identified your customer companies, the next step is to develop personas for the kinds of people you work with inside those companies. Personas segment your customers by their positions, and the types of things they are interested in. When building personas, you’ll want to take note of what your customers’ pains are and what their motivators are. This will intrinsically help you develop content that is on point and meets their needs.
For example, if you’re selling a marketing product or service, you’ll likely need to work with a company’s finance officer and/or marketing officer. Even though these two people are in the same company, you need to present your messages differently to these two people:
Mr. Finance thinks in terms of cost-benefit analyses and prices. He’s motivated by numbers, hard data, and ROI. Your presentation to him should be very analytical and have a clear cost/value proposition without any fluff. Ms. Marketing on the other hand is likely more visual and will want to hear a story. She’ll want to hear who else is successfully using what you’re selling. Ms. Marketing is less about the numbers and will take a more holistic view of what you’re presenting. Instead of numbers, she’ll speak in terms of visions, roadmaps, and brand values.
Personas will help you speak your customers’ language. Don’t go into the meeting with the CFO and tell a story about branding and roadmaps for the future. His language is that of ROI and cash flow statements. In speaking your customer’s language, you can effectively address their pain points. Remember, marketing is about solving problems—if you’re not solving problems and presenting it in a way that your customers can hear you, you’re wasting your time.
Personas are also useful when you work with channel partners (distributors, resellers, etc.) to sell your product or service. Create personas about your end users so you can create content for them, but don’t forget about your channel partners. Typically, in an indirect channel, you are not the only brand that reseller is carrying in your space.
A big mistake many companies make is talking to their channel partners in end-user-speak. That’s inappropriate. You want the reseller to sell more of your stuff, and make it very clear what their motivation is to do that (monetary, market share, etc.). You want to answer the “what’s in it for me?” question in your partners’ minds so they want to sell your products or services. Make it easy for your channel partners by giving them go-to-market tools that they can rebrand or co-brand.
Whether you’re working with channel partners or not, don’t forget the purpose of your content marketing: solving problems for customers in a way that gets conversions. Segmenting your customers so you can really target your marketing materials will go a long way towards getting those conversions. Give it a try! If you want to hear my recent webinar on this subject, Jump Start Your Content Marketing thru Better Segmentation, at Biznology.