You may have heard this old adage before, but the best marketers are the ones who truly know their audiences. Sure, you’ve narrowed down your search to the right platforms, you’ve perfected your tone, you post at all the best times – but you’re still not getting the best from your content.
Why? Because everyone is different. Even within your chosen audience there will be differences in personality and preference, which will inevitably translate into how individuals respond to your content.
It’s a simple premise – if you have two otherwise identical customers, but one is interested in service A, and the other service B, the latter may not stick around for too long if you only ever talk about service A, C, D etc.
So what’s the solution? Well, that’s where audience segmentation comes in.
What is audience segmentation?
Audience segmentation is the process of breaking your audience down into smaller, more focused groups of matching attributes, which you can then start to drip-feed with targeted content based on the nature of each group.
Groups can be based on similar characteristics such as demographic information, interaction with your previous content, known pain points etc. By providing specifically targeted content, brands can address a wider range of subjects while still appealing to a greater percentage of their audience.
Think of a musician that you like, and imagine they’re doing a tour where the focus is just one of their albums, played in its entirety at each tour date. Chances are, only people who love that album will attend, but boy, will they be into it! Social platforms use the same principle by using algorithms to personalise the content they show you based on what you like. When you segment your audience, you’re doing the same!
Why should I segment my audience?
Segmenting your audience gives you the ability to personalise your content, and to present it directly to those who are most interested. In essence, it provides each member of your audience with the content most relevant to them, increasing your chances of engagement and taking on new leads.
Furthermore, segmenting your audience can give your credibility a much-needed boost. It’s well known by now that people buy from people, and so if a potential customer feels a kinship because you have tackled an issue that was a pain point, or that they feel similarly to you about, engagement and leads will surely follow.
A whopping 80% of companies reported seeing an uplift since using segmented and personalised content (Forbes), and Adweek reported that such tactics can boost revenues by up to 15%. It all adds up to one conclusion – if you’re not segmenting your audience by now – you definitely should be!
How do I segment my audience?
If you want to get started with segmenting your audience, your CRM should be the first port of call.
CRMs often have a tagging feature that allows you to identify and assign criteria to each contact, so once you have decided how your segments are going to be grouped, you should immediately be able to put them into practice.
If you don’t yet have a CRM, or one that doesn’t have this feature, check out Popcorn’s handy CRM tool which has everything you need to get started.
If you’re not sure how your audience should be grouped, talk to them! Ask questions on social media, make use of polls etc. to gather some preliminary data which will help you to define your segments.
It’s up to you how you define your segments, but one of the most common methods is to segment audiences by the services they are most interested in.
The graphic below demonstrates how a segmented audience would look if we were to break it down by interest in our own services:
Once you have your audience segmented, you’ve got ready-made lists that can be targeted with your red-hot personalised content!
Remember also, that some users will qualify for more than one category, so be sure to include them in every segment that applies to them.
We mentioned earlier how important it is to know your audience through and through. This is even more vital when your audience has been segmented.
It’s not necessarily about knowing them as people, rather than showing them that you’re in touch with their needs, their pain points etc. Take the time to study each segment, and always keep your observations close at hand when writing your personalised content.
Tag each piece of content so you know which segment(s) it was intended for, you should then be able to accurately measure its performance with your chosen segments, and create new content based on this insight.