I love mentoring. It gets me up close and personal with issues that startups are having right now, keeps my skills sharp by solving a multitude of problems, and allows me to give back.
This week I mentored at 500 Startups and worked with two companies on content marketing and segmentation. One was a company that sells to a dozen different verticals. The marketer was trying to sort out how to reach each vertical through content marketing, and he was getting overwhelmed with the idea of designing specific content for each. Later that day I worked with another company that had one product, and was about to add a second selling to a similar, but not the same, market.
This blog post is to explain how to simplify your message and marketing so that you can tell a clear story to 2 groups.
Of course, with the first startup we didn’t know there were 2 groups, so I started by asking questions:
What do all of these verticals have in common?
This didn’t get much of a response, as it turned out that the verticals didn’t have a lot in common in terms of the markets they were after (some were B2C, others B2B)
How is your product used?
Here we had more success. There were 2 use cases on how the product was being used. With that knowledge we can narrow things down. This product was being used inside organizations to build a community inside the company and it was being used outside (as in literally outside) as a way of advertising. It’s bought by 2 different departments for 2 different purposes
i.e. Two use cases:
- Building a community inside of an organization, aka company culture
- Marketing and building awareness with people outside
At the second company, I already knew 2 groups were being sold to – he needed to know how to divide up his message. His product is group purchasing for sports. This means you can buy a monthly pass to different classes or soccer club matches. The first product is for soccer, and the second is for gym classes. Here the questions were about the demographics of the two groups. I sat with the company and we mapped out the Behavior Engineering Canvas. In this case, the benefit for the customer is the same, but the customer is different.
To recap: Company One had multiple verticals but 2 use cases. They need to simplify things down to 2 themes to work with the 2 use cases and aim their content as helpful information for those needs. Company Two had one vertical but two similar (but not necessarily the same) target market. They need to send one message to both, while showing they understood the needs of both.
Simplifying content marketing
I’m assuming in this post that you already understand some of the basics regarding good content. Namely that the content isn’t about your company, but instead focuses on delivering valuable information to the market that you are interested in engaging. In other words, don’t write about you.
CTA stands for Call To Action (a button asking people to do something, typically leading to a landing page.)
I had 30 minutes with each company, so the recommendations are limited.
Segment content into two subjects: 1) Culture and 2) Advertising
- Above the fold on the homepage they should start with 4 tests:
→ Asking for a demo (this is often like proposing to someone on a first date, but if your prospects come to your site only later in the decision cycle it makes sense – you won’t know until you test it)
→ Dividing the main slider into 2:
- Internal use versus external use – and offer a giveaway for each section
- Those sliders have questions on the form that help segment the users even more
- Each lead generated funnels into a drip campaign that is written especially for the segment
→ A Culture CTA on the slider
→ An Advertising CTA on the slider
2. Two blogs (they were big enough to handle that): This way they can segment their prospects according to use case and lead them down the funnel with a consistent value add
3. Segmented email marketing: Why cloud your message by sending one story to both groups? Show your value accordingly, send a clear message by segmenting your email marketing.
- The pictures on the two main sections should look like the purchaser. One would be guys playing soccer and the other would be women and men taking a class in a nice gym
- Due to the lower price point ads would be the main marketing channel, but they would do some content to get long tail keywords and increase their organic search
- The value proposition is the same for both markets so one blog is enough, however emails should be segmented as the offer
Things to keep in mind
Having 2 target markets means you may need to work on segmenting the:
- Email marketing
- Landing pages
Do you have a question you’d like me to answer in a blog post? Leave me a question below in the comments.