There is a lot of buzz about how to tailor your site to specific types of visitors. Content targeting is surfacing in Beta within the internet marketing arena. Many people are serving different landing pages to repeat customers who are looking for specific information. For instance, if you are a mortgage lender and someone searches for a $400,000 mortgage rates on your site, if they return, you can serve them a landing page that promotes a special offer on a $400,00o mortgage. Or maybe you gather your visitor has poor credit, next time they come to your site, you can serve a landing page that assures them they can get a mortgage even if their credit is sub par. This type on content targeting seems great when you’re looking at it from a surface level perspective. A few questions you should ask yourself before you consider investing in content targeting:
1. How many of your visitors are actually repeat customers or are conducting a follow up action that makes this worthwhile?
2. How will you collect and organize data so you know what content to serve next time your repeat visitor arrives or proceeds through a follow up action that you’ve identified? What kind of assumptions will you be making about your visitors?
3. How much money will it cost to set up an effective content targeting campaign? Costs to consider: Strategy, Designing, Coding, Testing, and Opportunity Cost.
4. Is there a more effective way to spend your money at this point in your optimization process? Not everyone is going to benefit from content targeting and not every site is at the point that it’s ready for this type of optimization. In other words, most have got bigger fish to fry first.
Here at Future Now, we advocate Persuasion architecture and using Persona’s over content targeting. We appreciate content targeting because it focuses on the customer’s buying process and speaks to the visitor based on a behavior they are demonstrating. The problem is that, it’s impossible to know the buying modes and idiosyncracies of all the different visitors to your site based on a single data point that demonstrates a behavior. There are very few things you can assume by a visitors initial experience with you, and the problem becomes even greater when you are a company whose visitors usually only stop by once. With persuasion architecture, you can lead them all happily to a sale or lead by planning out the experience in advance. Persuasion Architecture helps you to combine the data that can tell you some important things about your visitor’s buying behavior, with other aspects of their buying behavior and personality types because it involves conducting research in advance to understand your segments of visitors at a much deeper level.
You can have two visitors coming from the same keyword, from the same zip code, both experiencing your site for the first time and those two people can have very different needs and intent when on your site. With Persuasion Architecture, you can pre- plan the buying styles of your visitors and create rewarding experiences for them before they even land on your site. With content targeting, you’re limited by the data; so you can only know so much about your visitors and how to prepare for them.
We can intuitively understand that everyone is an individual and has a different personality. The following is an example of how this plays out online:
Let’s say you’re creating a web site promoting Cancun vacation resorts to professional women, 25-54, with household incomes of $100,000 and up, and families with an average of 2 children. The objective of their vacation is some relaxation time and the assurance that their family will stay comfortable and occupied.
With a demographic like the one we described, it should be easy to create a site for this specific set of women, right?
Wrong. They approach the buying process in very different ways. One type of visitor may be an extroverted go-getter. She loves challenges and makes decisions quickly. The other type is an introverted woman who doesn’t like to be rushed. She likes to do a lot of research and take her time when making a buying decision. Even though these women look exactly the same on paper, they will all be looking for something different on your website. Plus, different women have very different visions of what “relaxation” looks like.
So, lets take a look at 4 types of women who may end up landing on your Cancun resort website
1. Gillian – Gillian will plan her vacation 6 months in advance. She will research every resort available in the Caribbean on the whole of the internet. She will pay attention to every detail. She will research the resorts and their amenities but will pay special attention to price while shopping. She wants to take this vacation opportunity to relax, and she will book well in advance.
2. Miriam – Miriam wants to go on a cruise with nice people. She’s looking for a vacation where they offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins because she knows that will excite her children. She will ask her friends for recommendations on Cancun Resorts. Miriam will be slow to make a decision. She will browse the site and look for a resort that makes her excited to get to Cancun.
3. Agnes – Agnes wants the most luxurious room she can afford. She wants to stay in a resort with a reputation for outstanding service. She wants to be able to do what the locals do in Cancun so she can think of her trip as an exotic adventure and learn something from the experience. She would also like a resort that includes a fitness center so she can come home looking good and feeling refreshed.
4. Patty – Patty will decide where she wants to go at the last minute. She’ll check out the amenities each resort offers, the more the better. Patty is looking for fun. She likes the personal touch, like chocolates on her pillow or a family picture taken outside the resort framed as a gift left in her room. Price is not a factor for her.
These women all look the same on paper, but they approach the buying process in very different ways and are looking for very different things. To accommodate them, you need to combine demographics, psychographics, and topographical information. You need to understand how your customers approach their buying decision. Most importantly, you need to speak to ALL of them on your website. It is a lot easier and more cost effective to welcome all of these women into their buying process than to try and predict which of them is landing on your site to give them a specific experience.
To see how these 4 women can be convinced to convert on your website, stay tuned for the second post in this series, Persuasion Architecture in Action. You will be able to use some of the ideas to implement conversion strategies on your own website.
Do you have any experience with content marketing? What about persona’s? We would love to learn what has worked well for you in the past and what you would never try again. We have experience increasing conversions using both content targeting and persuasion architecture, so if you need help implementing eiterh on your site, you can reach out to us!