Audience segmentation for advanced content marketing
Almost 90% of B2B marketing teams use content-based channel to boost their department performance, yet around a third of these teams have no documented content marketing strategy. When used effectively, content marketing can bring great results, producing high-quality leads with a lower acquisition cost. But this success can only be achieved through a strategic approach that uses advanced techniques. Audience segmentation is the perfect way to revolutionise your content marketing and kick-start your strategy for success.
What is audience segmentation?
Audience segmentation outlines the process of categorising your data sets or target audience outreach based on a specific value, such as industry, pipeline position, seniority or product use case. Instead of marketing to “decision makers”, you can market to decision makers from the construction, manufacturing, packaging and logistics industries. Segmentation improves your first impression, as marketing efforts are better tailored to individuals engaging with them and increases conversion success through heightened product value and relevance.
When embracing a segmented approach, it’s important to carefully outline your target audience and how they can be split into categories to optimise marketing. Say your business specialises in packaging equipment for the food and beverages sector, for example. Would you segment your audience by industry? You’ll probably struggle to differentiate your prospects using category, so maybe segmentation by department, seniority or business size would be better? If you already sell products in a highly individual or niche market, think about pipeline position segmentation, evolving tactics to better suit the prospect's needs and questions throughout their AIDA journey. Once you have chosen your segments, your team can develop marketing strategies, approaching each group with highly targeted content.
Revolutionising content marketing
Audience segmentation can be used to fuel several different content marketing approaches and produces a myriad of benefits. This can take time to implement, as your team re-focus your brand’s message and product value to suit each segment. The good news is the hard work will pay off! Let’s look at what audience segmentation means to content marketing, and how this technique can improve your approach.
A key theme in businesses that want to boost content marketing with audience segmentation is the desire to offer personalized content. This can be content specific to the industries relating to your segmentation, or even business size or prospect profession. 81% of B2B buyers have cited “relevance” as the most influential element when making purchasing decisions; it’s no surprise that personalised content generates better results than more generic content. Assets with titles pertaining to specific industries receive 149% higher click-through rates than those with broader titles, proving the power of a content marketing approach fuelled by assets appropriated to audience segments.
Once your audience is segmented, look to your content plan and how those assets can be personalised. There are many ways to do this; your team could update previously created content covering broad topics to align assets with the segmented industries or business size. Or they could split this plan into individual content calendars for each segment, creating assets targeted at specific audiences. Creating personalised content makes sure you’re speaking the buyer’s language, and incorporating individual pain-points and priorities to ensures you offer content that is highly relevant and incredibly effective.
Content marketing not only generates new leads, it nurtures those who are concious of your brand, but not yet ready to make a purchasing decision. Pipeline-specific content focusses on improving lead nurture alongside lead generation, concentrating on building the expertise of your brand and the value of your product.
When nurturing prospects with content, they have already started working through the AIDA journey; they have an Awareness of your brand and product but need to generate an Interest and Desire before taking the relevant Action. Tailoring your content to meet the needs of these stages is vastly beneficial and highly profitable. As prospects move further down the AIDA journey, your content needs to heighten product value and practicalize your offering, so prospects can see how it benefits their everyday lives; this moves prospects onto the next AIDA stage- Interest. From here, Desire can be created by craftily weaving customer testimonials and product benefits through assets, whilst displaying regular calls to action that spark conversion.
While highly effective, this approach is complex and requires a detailed eye, ensuring these assets are sent at the appropriate time for the ultimate effect. If your content marketing approach uses automated workflows to maximise prospect engagement, this approach is reasonably simple to execute once the necessary assets have been created. The key benefit of pipeline specific content comes from the quality of leads produced; as they are so well informed about your product and can already visualise its inclusion in their processes, these leads spend nearly 50% more on your product, driving up your average order value for increased ROI.
Top tip: If you’re keen to create the ultimate content strategy, your team could juggle multiple segmentation approaches. Try using personalized content targeted by industry to improve brand awareness and warm lead generation, then entering data gained into a pipeline specific content workflow to produce a high-quality conversion. This is, however, a highly difficult strategy to master, so start small and focus on one segmentation before combining them for enhanced success.
Broaden content reach and relevance
Another key benefit of maximising your content approach with audience segmentation comes in the form of improved search engine optimisation. Creating highly targeted, personalised content is just the first step- ensuring it can be found easily and quickly by your target audience is the second. Optimising your content with keywords to ensure Google notices and ranks these pages within relevant searches is a best practice many content marketers exercise, and when this tactic is carried through to personalised content creation, this optimisation process becomes masterful; it increases your brand reach as a wider audience discover your content and positions your team as experts with assets remaining relevant to ideal buyer searches.
When creating your segmented content assets, be them pipeline specific or industry-led, conduct research into the keywords and search trends relating to your chosen segments, and align them with your current brand keywords to produce a highly optimised piece. Going the extra mile to produce content in this way takes time, but it’s important- there’s little point investing in the creation of elite, customised content if no-one can find it! The best content marketing strategies carry an equal focus on creating the ultimate assets and conducting effective distribution for broadened reach- this optimisation process is the stepping stone between these two key prongs of content strategy excellence.
Open new amplification channels
Amplification is a key part of content marketing, ensuring assets created are shared through a selection of channels to increase engagement and conversion results gained. When using audience segmentation to improve content marketing, an exciting opportunity arises as you discover new ways to distribute and amplify content. Many marketers use various third parties to distribute content assets to their data sets but finding companies whose data records match your ideal audience is difficult. However, when creating industry-specific assets, or pieces pertaining to differing professions, discovering third-party distributors with relevant data sets is far easier, broadening your amplification horizons.
Audience segmentation also improves your ability to maximise on current amplification approaches. Social media remains the most popular content distribution channel, and platforms like LinkedIn house groups surrounding those from similar industries with united interests and pain points. These are perfect places to share your newly targeted content, offering your team an easily accessible, pre-made audience matching ideal segmentations whilst feeding your B2B buyers desire to receive the most relevant brand experience.
Audience segmentation may seem like a simple idea, but for content marketers, this is a powerful approach that produces exciting results. If you’re keen to revolutionise your B2B marketing whilst gaining advanced insight into your current online audience, discover Lead Forensics - book your free trial.