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Segmenting Your Audience Online: Are You Doing It Right?

April 23rd, 2014

Posted by to Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Uncategorized

Segmenting Audience

Targeting content to consumers isn’t something new; marketers have been doing it for years. First you decide who your customers are, segment them based on different characteristics and then tailor the language you use to interact with them to optimize engagement.

You might have a customer type that is data driven and will only be persuaded by the facts and figures. On the other hand you might have someone that is an idealist, someone that is more interested in what could be.

The big question is: Are you doing it online?

Have you taken a step back, looked at the consumers you are creating content for and segmented them based on their online personas?

Online consumers have quite a few personas, each sharing content in different ways, for different purposes. This is based on many different factors and will vary based on the sharing platform.

One person might share for career gain, only sharing content that will show them as up to date with the latest information in the industry. Probably sharing more on LinkedIn than other networks, wanting what they share to contain facts, figures and carry credibility. If you are tailoring content for these types of people make sure you get your data right. The branding of the content or site the information is coming from is just as important; make sure the piece is of high quality and looks professional.

On the other side of the coin you have the person that will share anything and everything as long so that they can be the first to share the content. These types of people are sharing content for a totally different reason; these are the people that always want to be ahead of the curve, share for social status and not career progression. Creating content for these types of people will often require more creativity and you will need to think outside the box. Video and pictures go over well and sharing is done more on first impressions and feeling than analyzing value to audience.

The two examples are at either extreme of the “sharers’ scale” and as always, you get people that fit in-between too.

Our friends at StatPro.com have created an awesome infographic about the 6 sharing groups. Let’s look at them and analyze how you can target content for each group.

Psychology of sharing

  • HIPSTER

Always at the front of the curve trying to catch the latest story before it’s broken. New ways of delivering content will drive their traffic along with creative content such as videos and images.

  • BOOMERANGS

Share content for others to see and share it. If content they have shared is appreciated they feel validated. Anything that they think others will enjoy will be shared over personal taste. Try to think of who these people are connected with rather than the person themselves.

  • CONNECTORS

People that use social media for pleasure over business. They are a lot more relaxed about what they share as content is normally aimed at their friends. YES a cat picture will normally go down well here but try to think of content that will engage their creative side. Again video and images will be engaging for them.

  • SELECTIVES

As it says in the name, these people are very selective as to the content they share. The content must add value to them and be thought provoking enough that they believe their peers will gain value as well. This is somewhere near the middle ground of sharers. All types of content will be shared if sufficient value is gained.

  • CAREERIST

These are the people discussed earlier, willing to share content but in a professional manner – always something they wouldn’t mind their boss seeing. Data is important to these people along with facts and figures. A well-written article or a funky looking graph is always pleasing for them.

  • ALTRUIST

Finally the Altruist – these are the people who are well connected with what is going on in the world and are probably silent sharing. What this means is they will share in spaces you might not see, using email and even offline communication to tell someone about content. Yes, that’s right –  even OFFLINE!

Thinking around these demographics you should be able to look at your target audience, and determine who the people are that sit within it. Rarely will you be able to put all of your consumers into one basket but who are the ones that you are trying to target with a specific piece of content? Work this out and you may realize that lengthy article you have been working on should actually be a video or maybe an infographic.

These will also vary depending on the platform you are looking at engaging people on. LinkedIn is for Selectives, Facebook for Connectors and Twitter a mix of both.

Have a go here, and find out which one you are! Be sure to share your answer with us in the comments below!

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