Forget Generic – Target Individual Users by Tailoring Your Website

We all know that no user is the same. Aside from the very basics such as age, gender, socio-economic background and so on–every person differs in their life experiences, interests, and preferences. Since this is the case, why do marketers continue to use the same tired methodology to reach a diverse customer base? There are lots of excuses: Little man power, not enough resources, and of course—time constraints. But, with today’s technology, customization, segmentation and individualized targeting can be done efficiently without utilizing too many resources.

The importance of individualized messaging for your website cannot be overlooked. After all, there is a strong psychological basis behind the practice. This generation has seen tremendous breakthroughs in terms of promoting the interests of people on a personal level and while it has proven tremendously advantageous in the social arena, it has also lead to higher expectations in terms of customer experience, marketing and sales.

People want their needs to be met right here, right now. As a result, your messaging needs to be in tune with your users specific problems, provide viable solutions and give them maximum bang for their buck in terms of information provided and personal appeal. In other words, your users don’t want to feel like they are being spoken at. Instead, they want to feel valued as an important part of a community.

In order to arrive at the information necessary for individualized website marketing to be successful, you should first consider analyzing your users accordingly.

Demographics

User demographics tell you who they are on the most basic level. This includes information such as age, gender, socio-economic level, location, profession, education level, and marital status. In certain marketing contexts, these elements would be extremely important to note.

For example, if you are creating a landing page meant to increase your jewelry sales, it would be a bad idea to target single people about buying your jewelry as a gift for their spouse. Not only can this be a slap in the face for some, but it also makes people subconsciously feel discluded from your brand’s messaging and by extension, your community as a whole.

To avoid such disasters, you can obtain your users’ demographics in a few different ways. First of all, your website should always be set up to be a two-way conversation. This way, you can casually ask users this information either through conversation or asking them to fill out a short survey. Some great survey tools include SurveyMonkey, Typeform, and Zoho Survey.

Using surveys is highly beneficial since you get the personal information you need while simultaneously empowering your customers and showing them you care about being relevant in their lives.

If surveys don’t cut it, use analytics tools such as Google Analytics Demographics Report along with Facebook Insights. Additionally, products such as Demographics Pro and Quantcast are able to easily provide great insights to classify your customers.

To demonstrate how demographics can make significant impact on a Marketing campaign, check out this great infographic about using demographics for social media marketing:

which-demographics-use-social-media-docstoc-infographic

As you can see, by gaining knowledge of which social media sites are more popular based on age, income, and other factors, marketers are better equipped to decide which social media campaigns to use where. Obviously, the same type of information can be used for websites in general in order to run the right campaigns and write appealing website content.

Psychographic Segmentation

Psychographic segmentation digs deeper. This type of data focuses more on people’s lifestyles, behavior, and belief systems. While this type of information is more difficult to attain, it is by far the most valuable way of appealing to your customers.

Going back to the psychological level, appealing to a person’s intrinsic, emotional beliefs is generally extremely effective. For example, you can appeal to a targeted segment of say– young mothers based on the ideal of providing quick, healthy meals that children love.

In contrast, the exact same message will likely not be a significant core belief of a college aged male and will therefore fail to make a deep impression on his buying habits. Selling people on beliefs and lifestyles rather than products have been a key strategy in marketing for years.

As seen in the ad below, Tiffany and Co. builds an emotional connection with their audience by connecting the emotion of love with their brand. Through this strategy, they as a brand resonate with individuals that identify with this emotion.

tiffany-and-co-wedding-advertisement

At this point, it is important to note that connecting emotionally is not the only way to utilize psychographic data. Often times humor, hobbies, and other motivations are just as effective – if not more so. Check out this landing page by Awesometalk for example. Its messaging is simple and funny, while making a valid point which almost everyone can relate to.

awesometalk-landing-page-talk-to-mom

While the data needed to come up with messaging that resonates with your target audience can be obtained through surveys, keyword searches, and your previous effective content – in order to put the values into practice for your marketing efforts, you need to put these beliefs into words. So design landing pages, content, and social campaigns that communicate such themes and messages, and watch your users grow to love your site.

Prior Purchases

Deriving information about previous buys can help you gain insights on the types of products and services that interest a particular person. For example, if a person has previously bought a new comforter for their bed, they may be interested in buying pillows as well.

Therefore, using website features that sell complementary products or services can make your customers’ lives easier. Even prior to purchase, you can give your customers smart options. Many ecommerce sites such as Amazon show similar products that others have looked at so users can compare products and make a purchase.

amazon-suggested-selling-phones

Thankfully, there are a variety of tools and plugins that will allow you to instantly install this intuitive sales feature. For example, Retail Rocket specializes in real-time ecommerce personalization and product recommendation based on previous purchases and products that have been clicked on. By installing features such as this, your users feel that your site understands their needs and cares about their ease of use. Eventually, this will lead to increased sales and greater customer loyalty.

Previous Behavior

Each browser’s behavior online can show you a lot about their interests and what information is relevant to their lives. Answers (or lack thereof) to email newsletters or taking into account what they’ve clicked, Liked or read on your website can help indicate an individual’s interests and/or place in the buying cycle.

Heatmaps such as Crazy Egg as well as Google Analytics In-Page Analytics can show you where your customers are clicking, scrolling, and reading, which can help you get a feel for how to best approach them.

crazy-egg-quicksprout-demo

Obviously, if you see on a heatmap that a person has already watched a demo of your product, they may be more inclined to purchase than someone who is just reading your blog. However, if you notice that a user is constantly coming to your site to read blogs posts on growth hacking, writing more content on the topic and informing them about that content could give that user an extra push.

In addition, getting information about the searches your users are making and how they arrived at your site can help you to figure out messaging that is tailored to their needs.

What’s Next?

So now that you have gotten all the data needed to understand your customer’s needs, how do you actually follow through with your site’s customization? Here are some tips:

Individualize Your Newsfeed, Updates, and Notifications

There’s a reason people keep coming back to Facebook– and there’s no reason your site can’t capitalize from their understanding of targeted website marketing. They came up with the newsfeed so people get a glimpse at what’s happening in their friends’ lives. They then altered the newsfeed and notifications according to their users’ preferences and stories they wanted to see most. The same with Netflix – each users homepage is different. Each user sees different suggestions and recommendations based on their previous viewing history and ratings.

You can do the same. Think about installing updates and notifications based on the type of content specific users want to see. For example, if you have users who repeatedly read content related to growth hacking, display those stories in a special section and ensure they get notifications when a new story on that topic goes up.

You can also employ a comments section where your users can converse amongst themselves about topics that interest them. In this scenario, user’s conversations about growth hacking should also appear on this individual’s newsfeed so he or she is instantly informed and can participate in the conversation.

Targeted Landing Pages

As we have established, your users interests vary. Therefore, creating landing pages that appeal to specific keywords and niche subjects is a great strategy for reeling in segmented audiences.

Landing pages work great because they bring people to your site based on specific interests. For example, you may have users that love gardening. To bring them in initially, you would place an ad about growing beautiful flowers on a different site, targeting these specific individuals. Once the ad is clicked on, they get to an entire page elaborating on how your product can help make a beautiful garden. This eventually guides them to perform a specific action.

So now that we know why landing pages are great for targeting users, here’s how to write one that is sure to convert:

First decide which key messages, subjects, and topics are most relevant to various user-types. Then develop short, concise headlines for each topic along with information that elaborates the main points of what you can offer your customers. Make sure there is one call-to-action in order to ensure users are more likely to actually follow through with what you want them to do. Finally, design it, and watch it do its magic.

For further guidance, check out Kissmetrics’s comprehensive guide to creating an effective landing page.

Perfect-Landing-Page-sm

Power to The People

As we mentioned earlier, your users are not interested in a one-way conversation. They want to feel you are open to their suggestions, input, and knowledge. Therefore, adding a comments section or another area where your users can communicate and discuss ideals is a great way to make them feel you geared their site to fulfill their needs. Not only does it help them to use your site for a social means, but it also helps them to solve their problems and share their beliefs in a manner that is both educational and informal.

Of course, since nothing is more individualistic than voicing an opinion, so by installing such features, you are definitely scoring points with your users.

Individualized Content

Like many sites, your content might cover a variety of different topics. However, not all of these topics have the same meaning to everyone. This is where individualized content comes in. By guiding your users toward information that’s of specific interest to them, you provide them with useful intellectual tools that are relevant to their lives while also enticing them with more reasons they should continue to visit your site.

To take this to the next level, install tools that suggest new content to read at the bottom of each article. This way, you get greater loyalty and user retention by keeping their interests at heart.

Get Personal

Finally, don’t be afraid to take your site to a personal level. Allow your users to have usernames pictures and even gravatars. This way, they can feel they are talking to real people on the other side of the screen and feel that their comments are being noticed and attributed to them.

Individualizing your site is extremely important for creating personal relationships with your users. Your users want to feel that they are valued as people and not just as potential leads. By paying attention to their individual characteristics, you grab their attention and make them feel like a valued, dynamic member of a community.

About the Author: Nadav Shoval is the CEO & Co-Founder of Spot.IM, an on-site community that brings the power back to the publisher. Prior to Spot.IM, Nadav has developed and founded 4 technology startups. Spot.IM is his fifth venture. Nadav is a technology erudite and a sports addict.

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