Content Retargeting for SaaS, Part 1: Audience Personas

It’s a  first post in the Content Retargeting for Software as a Service series. Follow us on Twitter to get further updates.

While B2C marketers can just export their XML feed, plug it into one of the retargeting platforms, kick back and relax watching the conversion level skyrocket, B2B/SaaS marketers are less lucky. We need to sweat and grind it, making sure that our low-ish traffic numbers (below 30k monthly uniques) work in the retargeting world. How do we know if we’re not just spending money but investing in high quality relationships?

The work usually starts with segmenting the audience properly. Most retargeting platforms look at audience segmentation from the URL point of view. This likely started with the fact that cookies are dropped into users browsers on certain URLs. We like to think of it from the user perspective. It will be easier to understand by introducing following personas:

1. Casual Reader

These will usually be your blog readers. They come from search engines, perhaps social channels or community sites (like Quora or Inbound.org). They consume one post, tweet or ‘like’ it if they deem it worthy and move on. Time on site will be rather short and only single page impression per session. They can be completely not relevant to your product (particularly if your content strategy sucks). As long as your content is not total link-bait, these users are your potential customers, but with no problem/need recognition.

Your Goal: Get them to come back, consume content highly relevant to your product. Test if they respond to market.

2. Engaged Reader

Again blog visitors, reading a couple posts, particularly those evergreens highly related to your product/space. Usually will arrive via SEO or targeted content distribution and community channels. They will spend a while consuming content (so make sure you provide good cross post linking and recommendation) reading multiple posts and spending considerable time on site. They might not be consciously aware of the problem/need yet, but the message resonates with them.

Your Goal: Get them to engage multiple times with product specific (blog) content. Trigger a buying/need signal.

3. Researcher

These would be your heavier content consumers. Usually arriving from referrals, SEO or content syndication platforms (Slideshare, whitepaper databases etc.) They read product centric blog content, download white-papers, browse slide decks and watch videos. They are researching a space, educating themselves as they have already identified a need or problem. Those that are early in the process will consume content not requiring any data (email forms etc.) like blog, video or slideshares. The ones that are ready to move forward will leave you a soft lead in the form of an email address.

Your Goal: Serve them heavier content triggering a soft lead conversion (email address). Qualify a lead.

4. Buyer

They browse your product pages and research company information. They have identified the need and are clearly looking for a solution. Readily parting with their email address on a whitepaper download, make themselves available to marketing automation programs. The further they go in the conversion funnel (checking pricing pages?) the more valuable they are.

Your Goal: Hard Conversion – ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Contact Sales’ depending on your sales process.

The Perspective

Thinking about retargeting programs from the customer engagement point of view ensures that you always serve a smart, targeted message, that is relevant to the particular client’s stage in the buying process (MOFU anyone?). It also allows you to re-engage the same user multiple times in the display media channel, which is especially important in earlier stages of the process, where you have no (contact) data from the prospect.

If you’d like some help with analysing your audience and content – drop us a line or post a question below.

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