If you find a way to excel at personalizing your content, you stand to gain a 40% increase in revenue. Getting the right content in front of the right buyer is the heart of a well-deployed content marketing strategy.
When you know your customers and what’s important to them, you can develop more relevant content that meets their needs and boosts conversions. How do you ensure your team’s content lands with potential customers?
Audience segmentation allows you to create personalized content efficiently and at scale. You can better target content, making it easier to focus and connect with the right customers and the right time. Let’s dig into the details of what it is, how to do it, and how it can help your content marketing efforts.
What Is Audience Segmentation?
Segmenting your audience is a strategic marketing tactic that involves creating subgroups within your customer profiles based on similar characteristics. You can define these segments according to several different aspects, including:
We’ll dive into these categories in a bit, but for now, think of the segmentation process as one that uses parameters to organize and sort individuals.
Do You Know Your Audience?
Before you begin developing your segments, create or update your buyer personas. Buyer personas represent fictional target customers and include general information, such as demographics, motivations, and preferences.
Beyond creating customer outlines, you should integrate your buyer personas with your content strategy. Connecting these elements ensures your content themes and plans align with what your buyers expect and need in relation to content.
Knowing your customers requires market research, as well as looking at your own data. Review your content analytics to identify which subjects, formats, and phrasing resonate the most with which customers.
Why Bother With Audience Segmentation?
Many brands, especially B2B, tend to create one-size-fits-all content, casting a wide net and hoping to capture a broad audience. They develop various blogs, videos, e-books, and social media posts without focusing on personalizing the content experience for specific segments or personas.
However, content marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all initiative, especially if you want to use it to accelerate growth. If you fail to personalize your initiatives and content assets for specific audiences, customers may perceive your content as mediocre and determine that you don’t know your customers.
Buyers quickly recognize an irrelevant content piece, bounce, and seek brands that understand their needs and interests. Segmentation is the most important starting point for introducing personalization into your efforts. Without audience segmentation, you don’t have a consistent way to ensure the right content reaches the right audience.
How Do You Segment Your Audience?
Depending on your industry and business, you can drill down on countless audience characteristics. However, you should consider four crucial categories when you begin the segmentation process.
The most common segmentation method is to split your audience according to demographic features. It’s the easiest approach, as a lot of demographic data is readily available within your current customer base. Demographic characteristics include:
- Family life cycle
Demographic audience segmentation also happens to be highly effective, so it’s a great place to start.
For example, if you sell lawn equipment across the country, segmenting by location makes sense because those in the desert won’t need the same items as those living in areas of lush greenery.
Segmenting by behaviors requires a way to track interactions and data analysis. You need to analyze what your audience buys, when they buy it, and what products they click on.
You should also assess other actions, such as engaging on social media, opening emails, or downloading content. There are hundreds of different interactions, so you need to define which ones matter the most for your business before you use this audience segmentation approach.
Filtering groups based on behaviors allows you to personalize the content they receive. For example, you could add a tag to a customer list identifying those who requested a quote but haven’t responded.
You could then draft a drip campaign that offers incentives or stresses urgency with messages that the quote will expire. Knowing where your audience is in the customer’s journey allows you to craft content that speaks to them more precisely.
Psychographics is the most challenging way to segment, but it isn’t impossible and can be well worth the effort. The characteristics that fit within this audience segmentation category include:
To get at this information, you need to drill down further into your data to find patterns indicating emotional or ideological responses. Ultimately, you want to align content with your customer segment’s value set so they feel connected to your brand.
For example, if you can determine that a segment of your audience prioritizes corporate responsibility as a differentiator, you can create content that illustrates your brand’s stance. If this is really important to some of your buyers, they’ll be attracted to this type of content and your company.
Audience segmentation based on firmographics is usually only relevant within the B2B marketing context. Firmographic data often lives within a company’s CRM and can be easy to aggregate and analyze, provided you capture and store this data within the prospect or customer database.
For example, at DivvyHQ, part of the registration process for starting a 14-day trial of our software requires prospects to provide the following:
- Company Name
- Company size (number of employees)
- Company type (corporation, non-profit, etc.)
- Job title
- Content marketing role (content marketing manager, team manager, content creator, etc.)
When we engage with these prospects, we can capture additional information, such as industry verticals and whether they are a B2B or B2C company.
Capturing and analyzing this information about your existing customers can provide a wealth of knowledge and contribute significantly to your audience segmentation process.
How Does Segmenting Your Audience Advance Your Content Marketing?
Segmenting your audience can fuel your content marketing tactics and deliver a greater return on investment for your efforts in a few specific ways.
Craft Personalized Content
Relevance is one of the most significant elements to customers when making a buying decision. Personalized content drives connections and performs much better than generic content.
Investigate opportunities for personalization within your content plan. When you direct specific content to buyers on their preferred channels using their favorite formats, you generate higher engagement rates and accelerate sales.
Consider different ways to combine audience segmentation categories to create even more precisely personalized content.
Generate Pipeline-Specific Content
Nurturing your audience is imperative to conversion, especially if you have a longer sales cycle. Research suggests that 55% of buyers depended more heavily on content to research products in 2022 than the previous year.
You need to ensure that you have assets available for every step of the funnel. You can determine where buyers are in the funnel based on their behaviors. Segmenting your audience according to the buyer’s journey stage improves your drip campaigns, moving potential customers further down the path to yes.
Identify New Opportunities
Coming up with new content ideas is a challenge we all understand. Audience segmentation can reveal new opportunities by highlighting pain points and interests you hadn’t previously considered.
In developing a sharper focus on the nuances in characteristics of your audience, you will find new topics or different angles on those you’ve already covered. Your teams might find filling up your content calendar easier when they have multiple approaches to work with.
Expand Your Content’s Reach
Developing highly targeted content delivers additional benefits to help you expand your reach. It improves your search rankings for keywords specific to each segment’s search intent. When your content matches what searchers seek, they are more likely to see your content in the search results, putting your brand in front of more people who might become customers.
Segmentation can also amplify your content on social media with particular hashtags. Those searching the hashtag may find your content and become a new prospect for your brand. Additionally, if social media audiences find your content relevant and engaging, they are more likely to share it, expanding your reach even further.
How Can You Manage the Audience Segmentation Process?
Segmenting your audience is essential to an effective content marketing plan. Defining your audience and what’s important to them makes your content marketing more relevant, engaging, and consumable.
DivvyHQ’s platform provides the tools to analyze your audience, create segments, and organize, schedule, and manage your content according to audience segmentation categories. To see how our platform simplifies the segmentation process, request a demo.