The age of targeting the consumer market with generalised sales pitches is long gone. With businesses focusing on personalizing their experience with them in every aspect – be it the website, social media engagement, advertisements and more, the latest to join the personalization bandwagon is content.
A new survey by Adobe and Econsultancy states that 52% of digital marketers consider personalized content to be a fundamental element of their online strategy. Thereby making content personalization and behavioral targeting the 2 next big things that are either going to make it or break it for the brands.
Considering that every internet user has different browsing habits and varied interests, the results of the study seem more than just logical. When people are already demanding value and context from businesses, it is a given for them to expect personalization even in the content they are being offered.
What is content personalization?
The visitors of your website are different and they come with different intentions. There are those who come with the intention to make a purchase, those who are only researching on their needs and probably some who are looking at interacting with you for a possible job or a partnership.
A single landing page for all of them would actually serve no one’s need except the one you kept in mind while creating it. When a person interested in partnership doesn’t find a partnering form or clauses, is most likely to find their way out in seconds.
This is where content personalization comes in.
Content personalization enables you to target different segments of your visitors with different content, based on their behavioral analysis on popular digital channels and other factors. It makes use of data points that are already available to you – location, keywords they used to search, ads engaged with, their frequency of visits to the website, browsing and buying history, etc. These data points are then compared a set of predefined variables set by the business, to determine what content needs to be shown to that segment.
How do you personalize content?
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for personalizing content, here are a few general steps that a marketer must follow for content personalization:
1. Choose your variables to know who you’re talking to
According to a study by Forrester Research, online buyers complete 60-90% of their research before deciding to interact with a business. This makes ensuring that they see relevant content on your website in this stage, very important.
The first and foremost thing to do for offering the same is to understand who they are. While a website captures some information about the visitors and a lead form might get you a few more data points, they are not ample enough to create a campaign around.
But another thing that a business needs to come to terms with is that not every website visitor is their ideal customer and putting in efforts to personalize everyone’s efforts, can result in wastage of available resources. Hence, streamline the variables you want to take into account.
Consider the source of traffic, the organic searches, popular keywords being used and the general demographics of the website visitor. Start by identifying the top 3 audience segments you want your business to cater to.
Here, companies like Wigzo offer machine learning tools that enable marketers to track and analyse their website visitors, giving them the opportunity to identify and engage with them at the right time.
2. Invest time in segmentation of your website audience
Once you have your variables decided, it is time to go a little further into optimizing your data lists. The very next step that a marketer must take, is segmentation.
After analysing the predefined variables, their current online behavior and predicting what they seek in the new future, create specific audience segments. This will you figure out how to best address a group of people to make their buying experience even better.
The more segments you create, the more personalized can you make the content and the experience of your website visitor. But creating too many of them might just overwhelm you and create a mismanagement in the execution.
Another good way to segment your website visitors is on the basis of the keywords they use to reach your website. Pick the top 5 organic keywords and personalize your landing pages for each of them. This ensures that the internet users finds exactly what he is looking for on your web page, making it more likely for him to convert.
3. Developing the right messaging for each segment
Consistent quality content creation is one of the biggest challenges for marketers today. But be it writing regular blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, etc for the different target segments, content personalization is not much about the creation process. It is more about the strategy you follow for it.
It includes doing an inventory of the current content assets, identifying the opportunities it does not cater to, deciding when and how to deliver that content. There is a high chance that you might not require creating more new content – simple organization of existing content as per the segmented lists might do the trick for you!
To start with personalization effectively, break the process into two phases – one that takes into account the copy changes required on your website for each target segment and the other that focuses on creating content such as blogs, infographics, case studies, etc. But ensure you have a priority list beforehand – you want to be able to focus on what’s important first.
4. Measure, analyze and optimize your personalization efforts
When it comes to personalization, you need to back all your efforts with robust analytics. You will need to measure everything from page views to clicks and the on site behavior for every audience segment you create.
The greater your understanding of the website traffic, the better are the decisions you can make. You’ll be able to further optimize your content personalization efforts by keeping a close track of these metrics.
As you start to measure the effectiveness of your content for each segment, you will gain a better understanding of what your audience is looking for and how you can offer it better for higher conversions. Content personalization enables you to create individual customer journeys for your target audience and gain actionable insights that aid to your digital campaigns.
Before you plan to start personalizing content, take into consideration what your business offers and what process would work the best for you. Ensure that you take the marketing, business development and sales team insights into account to collate the right information about the market.
The higher the relevancy of your content, the greater are the chances of conversions and the bigger are the revenues!
Ps. While the aim is to offer the best experience to your website visitors and remain relevant to them at all times, it is important to not lose track of the business goals.