How to Create Segmented User Experiences written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing
Your business doesn’t serve a homogenous customer base. Unless you’re an incredibly niche service, it’s likely that you have at least a handful of types of people who benefit from your products or services.
Because these types of customers are different from each other, they won’t all be won by the same kind of messaging. That’s why it’s helpful to create unique user experiences on your website that speak to each segment of your overall customer population.
Here’s what you must do to create a more personalized, segmented user experience for your website.
Create Target Market Personas
First thing’s first: You need to figure out what the segments of your larger customer population are. There are a number of ways to break an audience down into distinct buyer personas, and it starts with data. This might be data from your CRM, email service provider, website, or social media analytics.
Start looking for demographic and behavioral trends. Are there certain age groups, genders, or people from specific locations that do business with you? If you’re a B2B company, are there industries you work with often, or are your point-people in a particular department, or do they hold a specific job title?
Behavioral trends can help, too. Are there certain pages on your website that nearly everyone visits before they become a customer? Is there a particular email campaign that drives a lot of prospects to set up a sales call and eventually convert?
Finally, take a look at how these demographic and behavioral data points overlap. Is there a specific age group that responds well to a certain section of your website? Does your social media page generate a lot of interest from people in a particular geographic area?
If possible, it’s also a good idea to conduct some interviews with your existing customers. Hearing straight from the source about what problems your client solves and why they chose your client over their competitor can help you hone in on some of the other elements of the customer personas.
Once you’ve gathered all of your information, you can create your composite sketch of each type of their ideal customers: Who they are, what they need, and what they expect from you.
Allow for Self-Identification
Now that you understand who these different segments of your audience are, you can begin to create different messaging and experiences for them on your website.
The easiest way to ensure that each customer ends up on the path that’s intended for their persona is to allow them to self-select into the appropriate segment on your website. Websites do this all the time to great effect. Let’s say you own an architecture firm, and you handle both residential and commercial projects. On the homepage for the website, build a splash page with two separate buttons—one for those interested in each type of project.
Each button will take the visitor to a separate homepage for that specific audience, with a navigation bar that speaks to their needs (i.e. those who click on residential will see the portfolio for homes the architect has designed, and informational content about the process of undertaking home renovations).
Design Unique Landing Pages
I’ve already covered one instance in which unique landing pages can work on your website to speak to different audiences. This is also an effective tactic when you’re driving traffic from ads to your website.
Take, for example, a paid search campaign. Let’s stick with the architectural firm example and say that within your commercial work, you have two distinct personas: You work regularly with private schools and non-profit organizations. You design a Google Ads campaign targeted at private school leaders and board members. When they click the ad, rather than taking them to the generic landing page for commercial projects, why not create a landing page specifically about your work with other schools?
This customized landing page is effective in immediately addressing the pain points of your distinct persona. That board member of the private school might be somewhat interested in your work for other types of commercial properties, but when they see right off the bat that your architect has designed beautiful spaces that address the specific needs of a client in private education, that prospect feels an immediate connection to your work. They feel seen and understood, and you begin to immediately build trust.
Select Channels Based on Audience
Once you’ve captured the attention of each segment with an effective strategy to get them onto your website, continue to dazzle them with content that speaks specifically to their needs.
Of course, you want the meat of the content to be relevant to the audience. That means topics that matter, filled with advice and helpful information, rather than sales pitch after sales pitch.
But in addition to considering what you’re going to cover in your content, you want to think about how you’re sharing it. Typically when people think of content, they think blog posts, but there’s so much more to it than that: Podcasts, explainer videos, webinars, infographics, and ebooks—there’s a wide variety of ways to reach your audience.
For example, did you know that video, while a popular medium with all consumers, is even more effective with Baby Boomers? It might surprise you to learn that they watch 10 percent more videos on YouTube than Millennials. Meanwhile, Millennials and Gen Zers outpace Boomers and older generations when it comes to podcast listening.
So while you want to be providing a variety of content to each of the segments of your audience—because no one wants to be greeted with the same content format over and over again—think about ways you can lean into certain types of content for specific personas.
Invest in Hub Pages
Hub pages do a lot of good in organizing content on your websites. In addition to giving you great SEO juice and breathing new life into old content, it can also establish thought leadership in specific areas that are important to your different personas.
Let’s return to the architect example. If you know that your commercial clients are mainly in the private education and non-profit worlds, it makes sense to build hub pages around those two areas. One hub page can be specifically for that private school audience and include content that speaks to topics like fundraising and budgeting for major capital improvements, planning your construction around the school year, and designing a modern education building that speaks to what today’s parents are looking for.
Different segments of your audiences will have different needs and expectations when it comes to what they’re hoping to get from your business. By identifying these different buyer personas and creating specific customer journeys for various groups, you get a better chance at directly addressing pain points, building trust quickly and efficiently, and moving new prospects towards the sale even faster.