Urban Airship studied the importance of niche content, They discovered it can increase the frequency of a desired behavior among a targeted group by almost 300 percent compared to messages designed for general audiences.
Improve your response rates by 300%
Well, your results may not be quite that good, but every company( large corporation or small family owned business) can benefit from understanding and applying a Highly Targeted Content Strategy to their marketing activities.
What is Highly Targeted Content?
It is information which is developed and distributed to a very limited section of an audience, geared towards their specific wants and needs. Whether it is a written piece- such as a blog article- or a quick 30-second video, the information is usually so specific that it might be difficult to understand or otherwise uninteresting for a general audience. For example, if Ford has a recall on a specific part for a 2012 Mustang, the only people who will care about the warranty or recall information are owners of that specific make and model of automobile.
The example in the Urban Airship study specifically relates to messages targeted at users of mobile phone applications, but this approach can easily be applied to email, social and even print campaigns. Prospects and customers are more likely to take an action such as going to your website, putting your product in their shopping cart or signing up for a product demonstration or seminar if the call to action is extremely relevant to them.
Unfocused content may be a waste of time
There’s a staggering gap between the rate at which a general audience (95% to be exact) interacts with broad content and how highly targeted audiences (the other 5%) react to messages made specifically for them. Does this mean your broad emails about new products or special industry events- which you send out in a shotgun approach to every email address on your list- are more likely to go unnoticed? Absolutely.
So how do you make sure your audience receives, reads and responds?
- If your company has a variety of products or services, compile a different contact list for each type of product you sell.
- Use landing pages to collect people with a common interest. For example, a flooring company might create a series of carpet, hardwood floor, and tile buying guides. When consumers download the carpet guide, they begin to receive focused emails which feature discount pricing on just carpet. They are more likely to respond to an email about a carpet sale than a tile promotion.
- In your regular newsletter, invite your most loyal customers to join a newsletter which provides more detailed information, or talks about niche topics.
- Pay attention to readers who click on specific links. Move them from the broad category to a list which focuses on the specific products which attracted their attention.
- Create ‘user groups”. These are customers who have already purchased a product or service. Messages for them can be more focused on ways to enhance what they have already purchased
Putting the Plan Into Action
Now that you have groups of customers segmented by interests, it’s time to use a little elbow grease and get to writing. In the Urban Airship study, the brands in question were able to send specialized messages to a small percentage of their audience because they already had access to their mobile phones. They also knew- based on the type of app downloaded- exactly what these audience members were interested in.
While most small businesses won’t have this exact and intimate knowledge of their customers, here’s how an HVAC company might use this approach. They have a few options at their disposal because of their wide array of consumer products.
It doesn’t make sense for them to develop a general email newsletter about upcoming sales on all their products and services and then send it out to everyone they’ve ever put on their mailing list. The data shows that by choosing this tactic, they are less likely to encourage engagement than if they took a focused approach.
If HVAC Company Z, Inc. breaks their customer groups into 5 groups based on recent purchases, their lists might look like this:
- New Air conditioners/Heat Pumps/New Furnaces
- Duct Cleaning Service
- Water Heaters
- Furnace/Air Conditioner Repair
- Maintenance Contracts
Now all HVAC Company Z has to do is develop specialized messages for each group. There is no reason to send discounts to people who just bought a new system, but this audience might be interested in extended warranties or maintenance contracts. If you want to increase the odds of making a new sale, break the email down even further, offering unique programs for the specific model of the product. Make them feel the offer is just for them and you will increase the chances they will buy.
Conversely, ultra-loyal customers (maintenance contracts) who are already using services regularly are more likely to value discounts on duct cleaning services and accessories such as a programmable thermostat or air cleaner which is uniquely matched to the products they already have installed.
There will be lots of worked involved
To execute a highly targeted content strategy you will need to create lists and sub-lists and unique campaigns for each segment. Yes, it ‘s more work upfront, and you have to be prepared to plan your strategy properly, but it’s proven to pay off.
Want to learn more about developing information for target groups? Download our target marketing worksheet to begin focusing your marketing efforts for better results.