Ever find that as a business, you have multiple personalities? That you can’t claim just one type of audience and you don’t know how to address these disparities, these fragments of identity that keep you from being able to write to one type, or have your web site formality set up to attract one type?
This is a common problem in business, especially small business. Small businesses don’t feel they have a big enough operation to set up landing pages and separate sites or areas for each type of audience. How will people know where to go? they say. It’s hard enough getting them to my web site in the first place.
Sometimes you can write to a variety of audiences, and provide content that resonates with all of them – like Web developer freelancers and CIOs, or teenage girls and their mothers. But sometimes it just doesn’t work.
If you sell cakes, you’re not going to appeal to brides and parents of little kids on the same page – unless your audience is
like my best friend, who had a Snork cake at her wedding. You need landing pages to appeal to these specialized audiences, so you can provide your bride with beautiful wedding cake photos that evoke the emotions of her special day, and tout your partnership program with the florist next door who makes the most ethereal arrangements. The Dad on the Run looking for the perfect Transformers cake for his 6-year-old, a man who wouldn’t know “fondant” if it hit him in the face, will not stay long enough on your Web site to find your Optimus Prime masterpiece if he sees a bunch of frilly wedding sculptures tufted with pearls. You get the picture.
5-Step crash course in targeted vertical marketing.
- So you set up tabs on your web site, and link to them all clearly, with photos if possible, on your home page. Make the navigation easy as pie, or cake. Fill your lovely targeted pages with copy and content directed only at the audience for that page. Have your main navigation bar always visible on the side to help others find what they need if that page doesn’t have it (help Dad discover Optimus instead of Bridezilla).
- Write about your various skills in your blog and create categories with lots of keyword tags. Register your blog on Technorati and hook it up to a Twitter feed, if you have the time to post something to Twitter (or “tweet”) an average of once a day.
- You research keywords on the Internet and find out what people are searching for – bless you Google Keywords Tool – then you put some of those keywords on your pages along with great, educational, informative content. In your own style. Polished but approachable.
- If you post any ads online, link them to special landing pages just for those customers (your designer will know how to do this, or you can just set up a separate tab in your blog or on the site template and DIY), and add in a promotional code you can track or a coupon they can print and bring in, so you know it’s working.
- Measurement is important (see step 4), which is why you should also visit Google Analytics and register your site so you can look at who is visiting your page, where they are coming from, and how long they stay. Then you can play around with the site and see if more videos, more photos, or different headlines make a difference.