Content Targeting: Avoiding Average Experiences
At POSSIBLE we believe that successful interactions begin with understanding an individual audience. One-size-fits-all solutions almost never speak effectively to our clients and their customers, but just pointing this out isn’t exactly profound. The real question is how we discover what matters to your audience, and how we reach them most clearly.
A good starting point is combing web analytics data to give us an understanding of who your brand is speaking to. For example:
- Traffic Source. First impressions matter. What we know about the search query, ad messaging, or email that drove the visitor to your site can pay dividends on their arrival. Matching your message to the traffic source can increase engagement and lead to a more consistent experience, requiring less effort from the user.
- New/Returning. First time visitors will likely require greater explanation and assurances to establish trust. Repeat users can benefit from content being streamlined and processes simplified.
- Location. Can geography affect the use of your product or service? Are there differences between urban and rural users? Warm climate or cold? Proximity to your physical locations? Any of these insights can be used to tailor your message.
- Time of day or day of week. Perhaps content consumption varies significantly based on temporal factors. For example, do visitors quickly snack on bits of information during work hours in short visits and linger longer on evenings and weekends? If so, when and where you position rich content can make a difference.
- Previous Actions Taken. Understanding where a visitor is in the sales consideration process helps. Has the visitor already downloaded the white paper? Played the video? Viewed or configured a product? Let’s then explore moving them down the sales funnel by presenting prompts for lead generation or purchase. Further, if we can identify site actions that lead to conversion (i.e. conducting a product search or price calculation), we can test surfacing these actions to those who haven’t yet conducted them and track the resulting behavior.
The overarching objective is to utilize what we know about the visitor to make messages more focused and the experience as easy and uncluttered as possible. Without targeting, marketers often try to say everything, but communicate nothing in the volume of their content.
I don’t mean to imply that it’s necessary to have all the answers and all your visitors neatly sorted into segments to get started with targeting. In the end, this is less about rules than it is about listening, and more about being willing to prod the knowledge you have to produce discoveries.