You don't have to build a NEW site to have a BETTER site.
That headline statement alone is a huge relief to most marketers because building your site was a process that included designing pages, writing content, gaining group consensus and then programming. If I tell you that your website should be performing better but to get there you need to redesign and rebuild it, what would you do? I bet you would do nothing and say, “it’s good enough.”
Thankfully that’s not the case. You can make your existing website more effective by adding Smart Content within the existing pages. As easily as you add an image to an existing page layout, you can add Smart Content and start engaging your site visitors in meaningful and personalized ways.
Smart what? Smart Content it’s content that’s smart because it doesn’t deliver the same message to every site visitor. Instead it enables you to be helpful, insightful and relevant to what your site visitors are looking for.
It sounds revolutionary because it is. As a marketer you know that your company or brand have different audiences and when you’re developing messaging for those different audiences you speak specifically to their interests AND with ad or PR placements you can target those audiences. The mom-focused ad goes in Southern Living or on Oprah.com and you know your targeted message gets to a targeted audience. But on your website you say the same thing to everyone all the time.
With Smart Content you’re in a much better position because you can deliver the right message to right person at the right time. And the results justify trying it now.
Getting Started with Your Site
The first step is to create some simple profiles of your audience. In a few lines I’ll ask you to print this page out and list the different segments of your target audience in the spaces provided. First I’ll give you an example of how this might work if you were a national restaurant chain/concept.
National Restaurant Chain Audience Segments:
- Local/Regional Audiences
- Existing Customers
- Potential Franchisees
- Potential Employees
I don’t work at your company but I know that if you work with a national restaurant chain you have at least those four distinct groups of audiences coming to your site for information and, much more importantly, interaction with your brand. You will have more refined groups if you’re running promotions on Facebook or if you’re actively investing in PR or advertising around specific subject matter. For now let’s just look at the above list in relation to targeting content.
- Local Audiences Serve geotargeted offers, menus, and location information.
- Existing Customers Repeat visitors should be engaged more deeply through polls, quizzes, and incentives to talk with their friends about your restaurant.
- Potential Franchisees This is easy what is your pitch to a potential franchisee? It is certainly different than that of a customer so let’s adjust the message slightly.
- Potential Employees If you know someone is researching employment at your restaurant or your industry let’s talk about the business from that angle and encourage them to take action.
The bottom line is that you know who your audience is and now you can easily serve messages targeted to them within your existing website. If you’d like, print this out and fill in your main audiences below. Don’t worry if they overlap a little because the main point is to get started thinking about who your audience is and how you can get them to take action via your website.
If you jumped ahead without filling out your list of audience segments I would strongly encourage you to put pen to paper and write down at least three audience segments that you know you want to reach. And, most importantly, do not be limited by what you think your website can do, just write down who you want to reach.
Now that we have your audience segments identified, we need to isolate the message you would deliver to each and what you want them to do. This exercise is easy if you imagine that you’re talking to your potential customer in person. What would you say to them? What would you want them to do?
Above you should have a clear architecture of who your audience segments are and how you would like to market to them. Next I’d like to show you how you can execute your plan using Smart Content. We’ll take one audience segment from the restaurant example and look at the simple steps of creating a rule. For definition, rules are what you create to tell Smart Content how to serve content to your site visitors. For example, with our national restaurant our first segment is:
Local Audiences Serve geotargeted offers, menus, and location information.
So, imagine you want to test messaging in one market or you are offering a special in that same market to boost sales. Let’s say the market is Nashville. We would upload a piece of content, perhaps an image with the messaging or special offer, and then create a rule that says if a visitor is in Nashville give them this specific content.
It’s that simple. Seriously, take a look for yourself.
All we did was click on “New Rule” in the upper right corner and then entered the details for your new rule. Once we added details for the rule, we dragged and dropped the content for the rule to display.
If we added the wrong piece of content by mistake, we would simply drag the correct piece of content from the Content Library over the incorrect one in the rule window to replace.
That’s it. The next time the web page on your site is loaded, Smart Content will serve the specified content to customers in Nashville and you will have delivered targeted content. You could have done the same with different types of rules. Here are some examples to get you thinking!
Keyword Rule Site visitor arrived via a search for keywords you specify.
- Serving content that is relevant to what the customer is looking for!
Number of Visits Rule Is this the visitor’s first time to the site or do they come often?
- Addressing new and repeat customers in the most appropriate content. New customers often require explanatory content while regulars are likely looking for specific tools or sections. Each experience can be optimized.
- Segmenting visitors who have been to the customer’s site a number of times but have failed to convert on a specific goal. Identify what factors might lead to that and test messaging
Referring URL Rule Site visitor arrived via links on websites you specify.
- Providing content that is the next logical step from the user’s previous page. If the previous page were on your site you would optimize this process but in this case the user is coming from a product review or comments in a forum post. This rule allows you to optimize their experience by providing content that continues their experience.
By now you should be well into thinking about how you can better connect with your website visitors and have a much more effective website. And, like I said in the beginning, this is your existing website that you are making much more effective.
When you’re ready to learn more drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll help you get up and running.