It’s one thing to know who your target audience is, and another thing entirely to reach them effectively. All the research in the world won’t help you to do that unless you apply it, and this is where so many companies go wrong.
Certainly, you can identify your target market segments and create customer personas, but to make this deliver business growth you need to tailor your marketing efforts to reach the different groups. Otherwise, the whole exercise falls somewhat flat.
So here’s how to segment your marketing to match your various customer groups. This is also the principle behind niche marketing, which is the focusing of your strategy on a small, well-defined subset of your target market.
“Listen” to Your Audience
A critical aspect of niche marketing is telling your audience segment what they want to hear. This is also a vital principle in inbound marketing in general, because to get your prospects to search out information that leads them to you it has to answer their questions and needs. After you have identified the market segment you want to target with a specific product or service, you have to determine what they want to hear—and how they want to hear it. You don’t necessarily have to actually ask them, although that’s a good way to do it. If you have solid market intelligence it might give you all the information you need.
Choose Your Marketing Niches Wisely
Your market niche and your marketing niche aren’t necessarily the same thing. For example, if you’re providing IT infrastructure management and your target audience is SME B2B companies with fewer than 100 employees, that’s a niche market. It doesn’t mean you get to do just one form of marketing, though. Let’s say you choose CIOs as your marketing segment; you’ll want to promote the quality of your service and your knowledge of technology. If you’re targeting the CFOs, however, you might want to hype up the cost efficiencies of using managed network services instead.
Adapt Your Website
A “one-size-fits-all” website is most likely to fit none. It’s a fact of life. With inbound marketing’s current levels of maturity, customers and prospects alike have come to expect personalized promotions targeted specifically at their needs. Don’t expect pharmaceutical companies to call you if your website promotes general network infrastructure services. Sure, it might happen. Then again, it probably won’t. That’s fine if you’ve got a sales team out there reaching the pharma guys, but if you’re expecting your website to bring in business then you need to do some adaptation.
There are several options for customizing your online presence to reach a particular market segment, such as:
- Focus your entire website on your main target segment and let any overlap happen by itself
- Create individual websites for each niche market you’re targeting
- Segment your website into sections that each focus on a niche.
You often see this last method used by big companies such as Colgate.com. Their home page has only five navigation items of which one is general (Our Company), while each of the other four items targets a different group of users: investors, job seekers, customers and dental professionals.
Focus Your Content Marketing
Appearances do count, but they aren’t everything. You can’t just do a surface redesign and hope it’s going to result in miracles. Once you’ve chosen an approach, you need to focus your content marketing, social media, email nurturing and any other activities as narrowly as you do the website.
Create content aimed at the group you’re talking to. Optimize it with researched long-tail keywords specific to your industry. Make sure the content addresses the needs of your market segment and stay faithful to your approach. You won’t see results overnight—but then, you wouldn’t with a general approach either! What you will see is increased interest in your website, more leads generated and increased thought leadership in your marketplace.