How amazing would it be if a company knew exactly what you wanted without you having to ask or search? No more looking through a website, trying to find the product or service you’re interested in among all the other options.

Let’s say, for example, you wanted a black, 2-door sports car. You go to the website of a car manufacturer/dealer that makes a whole line-up of cars and trucks. But somehow, amazingly, the dealer knows exactly what you want, and the website looks like it’s been customized  just for you: no 4-door sedans and trucks in sight. Right at your fingertips on the homepage is a video depicting the awesomeness of the newest, sportiest 2-door car (ooh, and it’s in black!), accompanied by customer comments, industry reviews, and the spec documents of the model of your dreams.

Now imagine doing all that using the most engaging medium

That would be an exciting experience for the customer, and just as rewarding for the company, because it’s pretty darned likely that with a persona-geared website customization like that, you’re going to get an obscene number of customers.

If you’re not segmenting your company’s website visitors and serving each persona custom content tailored just for them, why not? Don’t you want an obscene number of customers? Ya, you do! If the tailored content was not only text-based, but in video form, imagine how engaging that would be. After all, video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%! That must be one of the many reasons why 70% of marketers say video is the most effective medium for driving conversions.

If you haven’t yet experienced video content geared just for you during your own online browsing, you’ve probably seen similar techniques with other content forms. Maybe you’ve noticed that when you log into sites like Amazon or eBay, for example, the homepage that displays for you is different than what other people would see.

There are tools that will allow you to customize your website with persona-based content even if you’re not a big e-commerce site, or if your customers don’t need to ‘log in’ to access your site.

So how do you start?

First, consider using Google Analytics to get the information you need about your website visitors, so they can be segmented in ways that make sense for your company. There are many characteristics about your site visitors you can get insights on, including things like:

  • The traffic source that referred the visitor to your page (Social? Paid banner? 3rd party blog post?)
  • The type of visitor (Returning? New? Registered?)
  • The location of the visitor
  • Which content the visitor has viewed (Your landing page, microsite, or other content)
  • What actions they take on your website
  • What value the visitor generates
  • The demographics of the visitor (Age, sex, gender, business size, industry, etc)
  • The level of the visitor’s engagement (Did they look at one thing? 5 blog posts? 2 product videos?)
  • The technology the visitor is using (Mobile? Screen size?)

With plenty of ways to analyze and segment your website audience, choose what works best for you and your business.

What can you do with these insights?

The more insights you have on your website visitors, the more you can understand what’s working for them, what isn’t, and how to convert them more easily through the marketing and sales funnel. What if your website converts 10% of your customers? That information doesn’t necessarily tell you what the site’s strengths and weaknesses are, but if you know your visitors well, and segment them into target personas, you can get the insights needed to customize your company website for each persona.

Use the information from Google Analytics to create custom content to wow each visitor. For example, what if your website visitor came to you through a paid ad about product A? They’re already probably more interested in your product than someone who’s simply googling for a similar product. So, you could show them an exciting top-of-funnel promo for that product (rather than product B or C), or a video proving why it outshines similar products on the market. Maybe they came through a 3rd party blog post on how a product integrates with another system. You could offer an FAQ video or demo of the integration.

If your visitor has been on your site before, you could offer them content based on what they’ve already shown interest in. How cool would it be if, when you went to a site to check out a product you’ve been thinking about purchasing, you were greeted with a video that not only welcomed you back, but picked up right where you left off, describing the product you’re into in greater detail, or showing you the next video in the series of webinars you were watching? Or, a return customer who has already bought product A could be offered content on the accessories that go along with it, or information the product’s newest updates.

If you segment your audience based on location, you could offer video showing your customer the closest location where they can buy your product, maybe even a tour of the local store. The point is that the possibilities are endless; segmentation and video content are a powerful combination for converting through your website.

Okay, so how do you do all this?

To take advantage of this strategy yourself, you can use the services of a web developer who knows the intricacies of tracking and using cookies. Or, you can use tools like Optimizely or Demand Base.

Optimizely allows you to control and customize what each visitor will see on your site, based on certain criteria. If they take action A, they will see information about product A, and if they take action B, they will see product B (that is an overly simplistic example, but you see where I’m going). You can use tools like Optimizely regardless of whether you’re a B2B or B2C company. Optimizely was even used by the team behind the Obama campaign in 2008 to better engage with potential campaign donors!

Demand Base offers B2B companies the ability to measure, engage, and convert customers from your target companies. The tool assumes information about your site’s visitor based on their company size, industry, and other factors, so that you can customize their experience of your website to better meet their organization’s needs.

Tools like these help modern marketers leave nothing up to chance. If you want to stand out from your competitors and help your customers feel like you truly care about them, try customizing your website with video content for each of your target personas. I doubt you’ll be disappointed!

Emily Ross