Personalize Your Content Marketing Strategy: The Why and How
By Daniel Beldowicz
Last updated on April 25, 2019
The old adage of “go global and think local” has met its match. Personalized content marketing is taking that to the extreme and saying to go global, while thinking of the individual. This next evolution of marketing is here to stay, so you’ll need to prepare and have a sound strategy.
Personalization is the next stage in marketing segmentation—which moves beyond personas, segments and buyer stages. It’s not just a broad, gunshot method of displaying or delivering content that may not have relevance to your visitors, prospects and leads. Instead, it uses their actions to deliver a custom experience and content, based on the individual. This approach could create challenges.
According to an Accenture Interactive report, businesses’ number one challenge in meeting consumer needs continues to be how to uniquely serve everyone, without overwhelming anyone. Even with all kinds of data and technologies at their disposal, businesses still struggle to create personalized experiences that will not drown their customers in too many options. As a result, businesses need to humanize the digital experience by moving from marketing communications to digital conversations.
Several reasons to start incorporating content personalization into your marketing strategy include:
Amplified Engagement & Conversions – No one likes to get emails or messages that don’t have anything to do with their likes or interests. By using personalization, you can deliver content in which individuals have already expressed an interest, thereby increasing engagement with their content and brand—which lead to more loyalty and conversion rates.
Consistent Content Marketing Messaging – Leveraging the data and insights in your personalization campaign will allow you to deliver a consistent message across all marketing channels—from email, social media and mobile—to websites and advertising. This will reinforce your brand, as well as continuously connect with that specific audience.
Boosted Revenue – By providing a better experience and enhancing engagement, businesses and associations can boost sales, in addition to building more credibility and social proof that’s related to that individual or user segment. If you’re selling products online, this is the perfect fit. It’s also a way to remind customers about what other people also have purchased, along with their current purchase, which helps to augment the size of the transaction.
A good example of a business that utilizes this strategy is Amazon. Their “frequently bought together” approach provides product recommendations, based on the items in the user’s shopping cart or below products they’re currently looking at on site, to attempt to cross-sell them.
Following are some of the ways that you can personalize your content marketing strategy:
Get to know your audience
It’s best to know your audiences, when getting started with personalization. In email marketing, the simplest form of personalization is to add contact names into the email, so it appears to be specific and tailored for the recipient.
Hubspot reports that personalized emails improve clickthrough rates by 14 percent and conversion rates by 10 percent. In addition, the top reasons for U.S. email users to unsubscribe from a business or nonprofit email subscription are too many emails (69%), and content that is no longer relevant (56%). Advancing beyond that, you can personalize the experience with your brand across the web, with personalized webpages, generated by your database based on user behavior.
Taking it even one step further, you can personalize display advertising, videos and content on social and content sites, also based on your user’s behaviors, so they are seeing consistent messaging related to them. Hubspot also identified that 75 percent say that dynamic, personalized content across channels is very important, but most are still in planning stages.
Employ appropriate software and expertise
To make this personalization happen in any scenario, you’ll need the proper software, as well as personnel who have the expertise to build and execute it. Email personalization requires a platform that is tied to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. This will enable you to develop quality content and segment your list based on demographics, psychographics, geography and behaviors. There are many technology solutions, so be sure to choose one that will best enhance the customer experience.
Utilize web personalization
Web personalization delivers custom pages and unique experiences, which are tailored to your visitors’ needs and desires, to increase conversion rates and deliver the best experience possible. It also knows your customers by name, remembers their past purchases and recommends options based on that purchase history.
To leverage web personalization, you’ll need to start collecting and understanding analytical and customer data. The goal of this simplest form of personalization is to make offers that fit the page your visitor is on. That doesn’t include a general form for your customer to complete, but one that’s specific to the content that got them to your site in the first place. Once they’ve been to a specific page, retarget them with advertisements about that specific product or service.
Here’s some content personalization software to consider:
Measure content marketing effectiveness
There are several ways you can measure the success of your personalized content marketing campaign. They include examining downloads, views, session length, conversion rate and/or content sharing. Certainly, the biggest predictor is how it converted into sales leads and impacted your bottom line.
In closing, personalization is here to stay. Through employing this tactic, you can increase engagement, provide relevant content to your customers across channels, and grow conversion rates and revenue. With big data in the marketing mix, it’s getting easier and more attainable to incorporate it. This is one of those strategies to add now. Begin by taking small steps, to introduce personalized content into your marketing mix.
Do you have a personalized content marketing strategy? Contact us today, to start the conversation.
Daniel Beldowicz is the Director of Marketing Services at CMA, a full-service communications, marketing and association management firm, which has provided its clients with award-winning and proven results for more than 30 years.