This simply means grouping your target audience by similar characteristics and then building a strategy for each group. Segmentation allows you to deliver hyper-personalized marketing communications that resonate with your audience, and even has the potential to lower the cost of acquiring new leads.
In this post, we’ll start by establishing a strategic framework for segmentation and then identify the specific tactics you need to put it into action. Here’s how you can use buyer personas to build an effective segmentation strategy.
1. Build Personas Based on Market Problems & Lifecycle Stage
If you want to learn more about building a problem-centric buyer persona, this blog post will walk you through that process. Once you’ve created your personas, the next step is breaking those down into lifecycle stages within that persona. This exercise will not only show you who the leads are, it will give you a better idea of what they expect in their interactions with you.
This information can provide an easy way to prioritize your content marketing efforts. For example, the communications you want to send to a new lead differ greatly from the message you’d send to someone who has been established as an MQL or who was well on their way down the path to purchase. When communications are segmented by persona, they become more relevant and targeted; therefore, more likely to appeal to your target buyer.
2. Develop Content to Answer Each Persona’s Questions
When it comes to creating content and driving your editorial strategy, segmentation can be used to define the topics and tone of your blog posts, gated resources, emails, and website copy. To segment your content, every piece of content or copy that you produce should be assigned to a buyer persona. We recommend adding a column to your editorial calendar that includes persona and lifecycle stage to ensure an even mix of relevant content.
From there, identify gaps by conducting a content audit. Examine all the content you’ve created, including blog posts, landing pages, gated resources, rich content, and case studies. Do you have a lot of content for one buyer persona while neglecting others? Are you are producing content for every stage of the buying cycle?
If early-stage leads are under-represented in your existing library of content, you might create more top-of-the-funnel content that appeals to that segment to attract more of those people to your website. If you’re having trouble nurturing those leads into MQLs, you may need to create more decision-stage content. Based on these findings, draw up a list of goals for future content creation. These content pieces will serve as the fuel for our next step: your marketing automation efforts.
3. Create Automated Persona-Specific Conversion Journeys
Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to put it in front of the right people. After you have fleshed out your buyer personas and created high-value content for each of them, you can begin to segment your marketing efforts for better results using marketing automation. This means creating individual conversion journeys for each persona to automatically deliver the content you created in the last step, along with targeting your different personas across email, search, social, etc.
Effective lead nurturing (based on your buyers’ specific needs) must be made a priority throughout the decision-making journey. Identifying and automating conversion journeys for each persona ensures that your leads are receiving the most relevant information according to their business needs and stage in the funnel. To maximize effectiveness, consider segmenting and optimizing your forms and landing pages based on buyer personas so that users can self-select which persona they identify with. These persona-specific campaigns will continuously engage users with valuable, targeted content that nurtures them toward a decision.
As you get a better understanding of your buyers’ business objectives and their market problems, you can fine-tune your approach to segmenting content based on buyer personas. For now, start mapping your personas to existing and possible content pieces and creating user journeys based on that information. If you need help segmenting your content according to buyer persona, let us know. We’d be happy to help.