All of the website visitors are not there for the same reason. Some might be returning visitors ready to buy a product, while others might be first-time visitors still researching their best options. The reality is too many websites and post-click landing pages display the same content for all visitors, no matter their intentions, or how they arrived on the brand’s page.
Since these sites attempt to appeal to the masses, it’s likely that they’re not exciting or intriguing many prospects. There is a better way to speak directly to each visitor, to display different content and calls-to-action for each visitor, so they all feel like the page was designed specifically for them; this can be done with the help of content personalization.
Content personalization has become a way of life. From Netflix to Amazon and Spotify, brands have been using personalization to keeping customers engaged and loyal and as a consumer; it’s really become the expectation. Buyers want to be able to access the information most valuable to them without having to jump through hoops to get it.
If the brand’s website can deliver on that expectation, they are cutting a lot of the clutter out of the sales process. However, they don’t necessarily need complex algorithms or advanced AI in place to deliver on this expectation.
No matter what their size of business, the brand can create highly personalized experiences on their website with an adapted content marketing strategy.
With all the data marketers have access to on their contacts, their web behaviour, and their buyer’s journey; it’s easier than ever to create a highly personalized experience for their personas as they explore the website.
What is content personalization?
Content personalization is the act of tailoring different types of content to individual consumers, based on their personal data available to the brand.
Attainable information for example location, search queries, ads the visitor clicked on, website visit and purchase history, etc, is compared against a set of variables the brand has put into place, including gender, age, location, device, visitor frequency, date and time of day, proximity to payday, referring URL, purchase history, and sessions behaviour like navigation clicks, page views, etc.
The Growth of personalization.
Personalization has become a widely adopted concept as a marketing strategy, with 92% of marketers reporting the usage of it in some method. It is important to think about the user experience as a whole, though, since there will likely be multiple interactions with the brand prior to any purchase.
From the content the brand delivers to the web experience, the goal is to incorporate content personalization throughout the entire journey to make it more engaging. To start, the brand should understand the difference between content and web personalization.
Why content personalization is not the same as web personalization.
Dynamic content personalization automatically changes content shown to users based on customer segmentation variables and other database-driven signals available. It can be used with promotions such as email, social, etc.to drive the right eyes to the right content experiences and product listings.
However, if everyone who clicks on the brand’s dynamic promotion creative arrives at the same generic, static web page, they will likely disappoint many people and lose a lot of prospects. That’s why brands also need web personalization.
Web personalization changes a website’s presentation in real-time, based on the user’s preferences and past interactions with the site. So after they have clicked the brand’s personalized content, they also receive a web experience that continues to meet their needs and guide them through a personalized conversion funnel.
A perfect example is Amazon as every Amazon customer has a personalized homepage based on their browsing history and previous shopping experiences. Additionally, international visitors automatically get product information presented to them in their native language and currency.
Content personalization and web personalization are not two separate marketing tactics. They can work perfectly together and should be used together to develop the highly personalized customer experiences that today’s consumers crave for.
Content personalization examples
Segmentation is the most popular type of content personalization used by 68% of marketers. Marketers can target audiences by variables such as industry, department, job title, geography, gender, age range, and many more. An audience can even be segmented by their behaviour.
With insight into interests, preferences, and past interactions with the brand, they can anticipate what a customer needs, and deliver perfectly matched relevant, personalized content that leads to customer conversions.
While segmentation is great for increasing the overall relevancy of emails and website experiences along with improving general engagement, the level of personalization is limited to ensure the brand’s content appeals to an entire segment of people.
- Persona-based personalization.
Many brands take segmentation a step further and rely on personas to generate relevant content about the customers. As the name implies, a persona-based personalization strategy involves segmenting content by the characteristics of each customer’s persona, which can be anecdotal or more data-driven, based on website activity, purchase history, demographics, etc.
If you are an entrepreneur running a business, Google Ads on various social media platforms will display promotions on the newsfeed regarding the entrepreneur running ads. Therefore, the platform knows that the entrepreneur might consider advertising on Google as well to find new customers for growing their business.
As the brand increasingly collects more data over time, they can refine each persona to enhance their content personalization efforts further. This is especially useful for account-based marketing personalization when they are trying to engage with specific accounts.
- Customer journey-based personalization.
To evolve broad-based content into content that is relevant to each step in the customer journey, customer journey maps are essential. The customer journey map should address which audiences to focus on, and at which stage of the journey, so that the brand can align their content to each stage.
This lets them deliver personalized content directly related to a customer’s phase in their journey, helping them progress to the next step. A post-click landing page used in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, for instance, should only focus on warming the customer up with a free resource or soft-sell, rather than overtly promoting a product or solution in their faces.
For example, Instapage’s Marketing Stock Photos guide is meant for marketers wanting to select better and more relevant stock photos in all their campaigns.
So instead of promoting Instapage as a post-click landing page solution, it offers marketers a resource on using stock imagery in their marketing content and in doing so, it simply offers information necessary to make an informed decision at the next stage of the journey.
- Individual-specific personalization
Although the three methods above are all great approaches to content personalization, they are based on delivering content to the broader audiences.
Yet, with the evolution of advertising, consumers no longer accept one-size-fits-all or even one-size-fits-some, content experiences and with all of the changes to advertising over the years, there’s no reason they should have to. The only way to truly personalize the customer experience is to a segment of one, and optimize it in real-time.
This method is known as individual-specific personalization and should be based on the actions and preferences indistinguishably tied to that specific customer’s identity. This individualization is possible primarily through machine learning and AI technology, used by over a quarter of marketers in today’s time.
By aggregating and analysing customer data in real time, AI-driven content personalization uses both first and third party data to make intelligent decisions with each customer interaction across various channels.
This extreme level of personalization can deliver relevant content in the form of post-click landing pages, special offers, product recommendations, or even one-to-one emails.
Marketers can use content personalization software and strategies to improve the customer experience, and in turn, increase their website’s conversions.
In fact, the top five benefits of personalization have positive effects on both the brand-customer relationship such as increased visitor engagement, improved customer experience, and improved brand perception and the organization’s bottom line such as increased conversion rates and increased lead generation/customer acquisition.
Take the extra step and add a personal touch to the website’s content. Businesses that do so are often the ones that have the most loyal customers and that’s because content personalization can transform a simple customer interaction into a unique and engaging experience.
So whether the brand is personalizing their emails, social media posts, website, or post-click landing pages, the connection the business builds will increase brand awareness, drive conversions, and win loyal customers for the long journey.