Breaking through the Internet and finding viral success is like capturing lightning in a bottle, but content companies that do it well target people in three ways: by their location, by their generation and by emotional triggers.

Buzzfeed does this perfectly; look at these headlines and think about how each is targeted.

1. 18 Photos That Will Remind You How $@#%ing Weird Canadian Tire Is

2. We Ranked Canadian Snacks And The Internet Went $@#%ing Insane

3. Two Canadian Women Undertook An Epic Rescue To Return A Lobster To The Sea

In all three cases, Buzzfeed targets Canadians with emotional, regional and generational cues. All three of these pieces have gone viral, and Buzzfeed’s piece about Canadian snacks received tens of thousands of vSocialListening_WP-02otes.

If you want to grow your audience, you need to identify your potential audience in all three ways as well.

Why audience segmentation is a must

Building emotionally, demographically targeted content helps drive engagement and brands need more engagement and businesses need the help. Up to 67 percent of B2Bs and 63 percent of B2Cs rate their content marketing as less than effective. The message is that generic content just won’t do it.

How to segment regionally:

First you need to identify what you’d like to write about. If you were a car insurance broker you’d want to find people talking about purchasing a new car, or those who are shopping for a new broker.

Social monitoring software makes it possible for you to listen to all of these conversations on social media. You can then take the next step and identify in which regions or cities there is the greatest proportion of conversations.

Let’s say Calgary, Alberta had the highest proportion of conversations per-capita.Instead of writing an article about buying a vehicle in Canada, you know that you should write one about buying a car in Calgary specifically.

How to segment by generation:

People share a great deal of personal information in the conversations that they have on social media. People will identify the year they graduated, from which university program or even the year they were born.

Setting up a monitoring program that identifies these groups is easy.

With the fictional search we’ve created for our insurance broker, you apply filters to your car-buyer conversations to find those who share their age and generation information.

From this filter, you have a picture of which generation has the largest share of the conversation. Suddenly, you not only know how many people are discussing cars in Calgary, but also how old they are.

How to segment by emotionality:

Once you know the region and age group you’d like to target, you can then listen more carefully to all of those contacts. Follow everything they discuss and build filters around the key interests of the entire group.

What you can identify is correlated trends in conversations that these people share, which can help you unlock their emotional cues.

You might, for instance, reveal that your Gen Xer’s in Calgary who are discussing buying a new car also own ATVs.

As an insurance broker, this can provide a key-market insight. Instead of looking for net-new automobile insurance clients, you can cross-sell into existing Calgary-based car owners who own recreation vehicles, or create amazing content about ATVs that attracts your key audience.

Your content creation process can reveal new business opportunities that drive revenue and can help companies.

Learn how we can help your business by booking a demo of our social monitoring software.

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

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